Is my DR-40 defective?

Peter Webb

New Member
Apr 30, 2014
Gear owned

I just received a DR-40 from Amazon, and it seems to be defective. I am a relative audio newbie, so I just want to confirm with the folks here that I'm not doing something boneheaded before inconveniencing TASCAM.

Here are three recordings I made with the unit. Mic Inside.wav Mic in Car.wav SM57 on Ext 1.wav

The first is a recording I made in my living room with the built-in mics. There is pretty loud EMF interference sound. I set the level so that my voice peaked at -12dB when I held it at about 6-8 inches away, and the noise is clearly audible and quite visible on the meter (at maybe -40dB or so).

I did the second recording outside in my car (which was turned off) in order to isolate myself from EMF sources and as much ambient noise as possible. I did not have my cell or any other electronic device nearby except the recorder.

The final recording is a different kind of noise, a smooth hiss. This is what I get when recording with a Sure SM57 on Ext 1 in mono mode. The hiss seems quite excessive to me, and it is present even when absolutely nothing is connected to either XLR input. The recording with the level set at about 80, which was neccessary to get my voice to peak around -12dB, again about 6 inches from the mic.

Just to eliminate any possible variables I also checked all of these problems without headphone monitoring and found the results to be identical.

Do you agree that my unit must be defective? Or is it possible that the problem is the user?

Thanks for you help!

-- Pete
Opted to return the unit. I'll let the forum know if the replacement is more satisfactory, as I expect it will be.
Just got the replacement and the amount of interference and sounds are identical to the first unit I received. Very disappointed. Is this really considered acceptable performance for portable recorders in this price range?
I have not experienced that type of noise in any recordings I have done with my DR-40. I've been using it for about 1.5 years. The built-in mics are very sensitive and they will pick up just about any ambient room noise; noise that I didn't even notice until I did the play back. But, the noise in your first two samples sounds like RF interference to me. Do you have any computers, tablets, smartphones, or Bluetooth gear operating near the DR-40? I always turn off my cell phone, my air conditioning, even unplug my refrigerator when recording in my house, because the internal mics will pick up that sound. Do you have Adobe Audition? With that I can use its noise reduction feature to eliminate background/ambient noise. I first record about 30 seconds of nothing but ambient noise, then start playing. I use that first 30 seconds in Audition as the sample for the noise reduction feature so it knows what sounds and levels I want to eliminate. I hope this helps.

New posts

New threads

Members online

No members online now.