A lot of portable digital audio recorders these days carry built in chromatic tuners and metronomes but in almost every case they are thrown in as an afterthought. They tend to be hard to read and difficult to customize, but not so with the Tascam PT-7. In the PT-7 the emphasis seems to have been placed squarely on the practice tools but unfortunately that also means that the audio recording quality seems almost to have been an afterthought.
Tascam PT-7 Features and Form Factor
The form factor of the PT-7 is actually pretty nice. Fairly thin but with a large LCD screen the unit fits easily into most professional instrument bags. The controls on the front are easy to read and understand, with plenty of control buttons rather than the single buttons or rocker switches found on most pocket sized audio recording devices.
The tuner continues to work while the unit is recording, allowing a student to record their practice sessions with ease while still focusing on fine details of their intonation. It is also one of the more responsive and versatile digital tuners this reviewer has used recently. The metronome can be adjusted by standard +/- buttons or can automatically detect the tempo when tapping a single button repeatedly. It can also subdivide and do time signatures up to seven beats per measure. It also includes alternate temperments for tuning instruments to non-standard pitches.
Inputs and Outputs on the PT-7
The Tascam PT-7 also has a 1/4 inch mono input for an external microphone or for plugging in a guitar. The audio input can be set to two levels (high or low) to limit the gain and prevent clipping.
On the downside the PT-7 has no removable media and can only hold about 20 minutes of music. Once the internal memory is full it must be downloaded to a computer or deleted. The unitâ€™s internal speaker is rather tinny, and headphone output does not sound much better. Overall the recording quality of the PT-7 is fair to mediocre at best. In a practice setting it would work but not be recommended for use in a music production setup.