Tascamdr-40-224x422Tascam is nipping at the heels of the Zoom H4n with its new firmware update for the Tascam DR-40.  If you're not too familiar with the Tascam DR-40, here’s the recap - it's one of the smallest flash audio recorders with XLR inputs, has most of the basic functions run-and-gun filmmakers want, and runs you roughly $130 cheaper than the H4n.  With the new firmware update it also eliminates one of its biggest disadvantages - setting independent gains on the two XLR inputs.  Why is that important?  Find out after the jump:

As Tascam notes:

The new update allows independent control over the two input levels, so you can match up different microphones.

This means that if you are recording from a lavalier and a mic on a boompole you can set each mic’s gain at a different level.  That’s pretty handy considering the lavalier and shotgun mic may be picking up completely different sounds or the same sound from different distances.  It’s also handy if you have two mics on different actors and one actor is shouting his lines while the other actor is reacting in whispers.

In November of 2010 Zoom released a similar firmware update to the H4n that allowed for the same functionality:

And with this update Tascam bridges the gap.  For folks considering whether to buy the DR-40 vs the H4n, this update along with the $100+ price difference may just tip some over to the DR-40.

For the firmware update click here; we will be getting our hands on the Tascam unit here at No Film School and will have a full review comparing it to the Zoom H4n. To be fair, the Tascam DR-100 MkII is a more direct competitor to the H4n; we'll try to test both and share the results. Anyone out there have any Tascam reports of their own?

[via CheesyCam]