Tascam launches DR-680mkII portable recorder at NAMM 2015


Tascam has unveiled an upgraded and improved version of its DR-680 8-track field recorder, with up to 192kHz resolution, six mic/line inputs and digital input channels, allowing simultaneous recording of up to eight tracks at 96kHz/24-bit. The DR-680mkII enables you to record live music with multiple mics, capture sound effects in surround, or document film shoots or events with multiple microphones.

An internal monitoring mix can be recorded as a stereo track, with completely separate level and pan settings from the six independent tracks, so a stereo mix can be reviewed immediately while the multitrack version can be retained for mixdown at a later time.

tascam dr680mkii profile

TASCAM premium HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) mic preamps

Microphone preamps have a significant impact on the quality of the recorded audio. The DR-680MKII has HDDA mic preamps – designed by TASCAM with carefully selected components. Each HDDA mic preamp is built with a differential amplification circuit that employs discrete architecture, and made with parts selected for their audio quality. These preamps also provide +48V phantom power.

8-channels recording at 96kHz/24-bit (6 tracks + stereo mix track) or 2 tracks at 192kHz/24-bit

In addition to WAV format, this unit also records in BWF format – which stores the recording start times in the metadata. Using the WAV/BWF format, the DR-680KII can record 8 channels at 96kHz/24-bit (6 tracks + stereo track) or 2 tracks at 192kHz/24-bit.

Simultaneous recording of 4 channels in MP3 format possible

Recording of MP3 files with up to 4 channels is also possible at 96, 128, 192 and 320 kbps. This allows efficient control of files sizes when in situations requiring long recording times. Stereo or mono file can be selected for file type.

Digital output and 6 unbalanced line outputs

The unit has a built-in coaxial digital input and output (S/PDIF, AES/EBU) and 6 unbalanced line outputs. By connecting a mixer to the outputs, this unit can be used as a 6-track playback device.

tascam dr680mkii rear

Mid-side mic decoding mode

The built-in mid-side decoder enables use with mid-side stereo mics. The 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 channel pairs can each be set separately. Decoding is possible during recording or when monitoring.

The Cascade function allows transport control of multiple units using a master unit.

When using the cascade function, the master unit controls the REC/PAUSE start (front of unit) and the STOP and PLAY/PAUSE keys (on the top) from multiple DR-680mkII units at the same time.

GANG function allows the input gain of multiple channels to be operated simultaneously

The GANG function allows multiple linked channels to be controlled at the same time on the TRIM, PAN and LEVEL screens.

Rugged, compact construction provides excellent resistance to vibration and environmental conditions

SD, SDHC and SDXC cards are used as recording and playback media, and the compact form offers excellent vibration resistance. Along with the included shoulder strap, this unit has a built-in folding stand for tabletop use, making operation easy in a variety of situations.

tascam dr 680mkii stand

Improvements from the original DR-680:

Improved audio quality

Through extended listening tests, a new op-amp and capacitor were selected for the mic preamps to deliver improved audio quality.

Support for SDXC cards

Readily available SD/SDHC cards are used for recording media. The DR-680MKII also supports SDXC cards, which have higher capacities – enabling recording for long periods of time.

Take (file) numbers can be reset using the “Take No. Init” function

The numbers added to recorded file names can be reset. Resetting the take numbers used for each recorded scene is now possible, making file management even easier.

Improved battery life

The newly improved battery life of the DR-680mkII means that the battery now lasts 150% longer than previous DR-680.

Improved clock precision

The precision of the built-in clock oscillator has been improved – making synchronization more accurate when used with video devices.

Dual recording function allows two files to be recorded simultaneously at different levels.

A second file can be recorded simultaneously at a lower level for a distortion-free safety track. This allows you to set the recording level high and make a backup recording at a lower level in case of an unexpected sudden increase in sound level, which may create distortion in the primary file. The DR-680MKII can make −12dB backup recordings of audio input through inputs 1, 3 and 5.

Playback of multitrack recordings

The DR-680MKII can load multitrack audio files. Multitrack materials (multiple mono files) prepared with a DAW, for example, can be played back.

Support for lithium batteries

In addition to alkaline and NiMH batteries, lithium batteries – which can provide extended power – are supported.

tascam dr680mkii user


SD/SDHC/SDXC cards used as recording/playback media
6 balanced mic/line inputs (1-4: XLR/TRS combo jacks, 5-6: TRS jacks)
6 unbalanced outputs (RCA pin jacks)
COAXIAL digital input and output (S/PDIF, AES/EBU)
Recording/playback formats: BWF, WAV, MP3
With BWF format, recording starting times can be stored in files
8-track recording at 24-bit/96kHz (BWF, WAV)
6 mic/line inputs and stereo mix recording or 6 mic/line input and digital stereo recording •Record MP3 files at 96, 128, 192 and 320 kbps
Record 4-channel MP3 files
From 4 mic/line inputs (XLR/TRS combo jacks) or 2 mic/line inputs and digital stereo inputs •2-track recording at 24-bit/192kHz (BWF, WAV)
From 2 mic/line inputs or digital stereo inputs •Digital inputs and outputs support double speed 96 kHz and quad speed 192 kHz
Sampling frequencies
44.1, 48, 96, 192 kHz (BWF, WAV) 44.1, 48 kHz (MP3) •Quantization bit depth: 16/24-bit (BWF, WAV)
6 channels of TASCAM HDDA mic preamps for high audio quality with 48V phantom power
Limiter and low-cut filter available on each mic/line input
Built-in stereo monitoring mixer for headphone mix and/or recording
Dual recording function allows two files to be recorded simultaneously at different levels
GANG function allows the input gain of multiple channels to be operated simultaneously
Pre-recording function allows the capture of audio two seconds before recording is started
Automatic recording function can start and stop recording automatically in response to the input signal level (−48, −24, −12 or −6 dB)
Even when multiple tracks are used, all recordings made at the same time can be managed as a single take/file
Track incrementation allows a recording to be split by creating a new file at the desired point without interrupting recording
Up to 1000 takes and 5000 files can be recorded on a single card
Mark function can be used to move to specific points (up to 99 marks per take)
Wheel can be used to change the playback position
Repeat playback function
Panel lock function to prevent mis-operation
Cascade function allows transport control of multiple DR-680MKII units using a master unit
File name format can be set to use a user-defined word or the date
High-speed transfer of files to a computer using USB 2.0
128×64-dot matrix display with backlight
Built-in mono speaker with 500mW output
Headphone output and level control (50mW+50mW/ 32ohm)
Powered by 8 AA batteries or the included AC adapter
USB cable and shoulder strap included
Folding stand convenient for tabletop use
CS-DR680 carrying case (sold separately)
AR-DR680 case by Portabrace also available

tascam dr 680mk bag



About Author

MNJ has been writing articles, reviews and blogs for the DV online magazine for the last five years or so. Although he has been playing for longer than he cares to remember and is now officially an 'oldie', he is still mad for all things guitar related and when not busy in his studio he's learning new songs, practising bluegrass guitar, painting his house and taking his dogs out. If banished to a desert island and forced to take only one guitar he'd take a Les Paul. Actually, make that several Les Pauls, a Strat, a Tele, an ES-335, a vintage Martin and some boutique amps. Battery powered obviously.

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