Field Recording a Binaural Microphone -Tascam Portacapture X8

Over the last year, we’ve been upgrading our field recording gear to include 192 kHz/32-bit recording. I love our Tascam Portacapture X8.  It’s great for field recording and has all of the quality and features I have come to expect from our other Tascam gear.  It’s the perfect size for world travel and small enough to be stealthy when hidden in a backpack or shoulder bag.

Tascam Portacapture X8 in small shoulder pack

One feature I found limiting was the lack of a jack with stereo plugin power. Instead, the Tascam Portacapture X8 comes with two mono mic inputs with plugin power which hold the included X-Y microphones.  

The Hunt for 32-bit Field Recording with A Binaural Mic

We’ve been recording a lot of binaural ambiences with a set of Audio Professionals SP-HMC-1 Headphone Mounted Binaural Microphone.  We are always looking to deliver the highest possible quality sounds in our audio packs, so finding a means of field recording with the binaural microphone at 192 kHz was really important to us.  I looked into external plugin power, but the price was higher than I wanted to pay, especially knowing that the Tascam Portacapture X8 already comes with plugin power.

So, I broke into our rigging cases.

Two rigging cases with a ridiculous amount of adpters and cables

I tried various adapters and configurations to get plugin power to both microphones.  Most attempts sent power to only one microphone.  One configuration powered both mics, but sent the audio from both mics to both tracks 1 and 2, resulting in a dual mono, instead of the desired binaural microphone sound.

Finally, I ran some tests with the bits and bobs of adapters and gears that travel with us and worked out a configuration that powered both microphones separately and sends sound to the individual channels.  It was an ugly snake’s nest of wires and adapters. It even included a run by Monique for cables that I didn’t end up using in the final rig.  But it worked.

Rigging the Tascam Portacapture X8

Tascam Portacapture X8 with binaural microphone and Hosa adapter

After an online order and some quick testing, I recreated the success using a Hosa YMM-492 Adaptor Cable, which allows each microphone to be powered separately.  The result was an outstanding, crystal-clean filed recording in 192 kHz/32-bit.

And a happily satisfied inner nerd.

The Recipe

Binaural Microphones on Your Tascam Portacapture X8

Record 32-bit binaural with this $9 Hosa adapter
Total Time1 minute
Keyword: binaural, Hosa, Portacapture X8, Tascam
Yield: 2 channels
Author: Matthew Boudreau
Cost: $9


  • Tascam Portacapture X8
  • Binaural microphones that operate via a plugin powered stereo jack


  • 1 Hosa YMM-492 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual Right Angle 3.5 mm TS Air Travel Headphone Adaptor Cable


  • Insert the stereo 3.5mm plug into the Hosa adapter cable.
  • Remove the included X-Y microphones from channel 1 and 2 on the X8
  • Each plug on the Hosa adapter is labeled for easy reference.  Insert the plug labeled “Tip” into channel 1 and the plug labeled “Ring” into channel 2.
  • Choose a recording mode on the X8 and set the input channels to 1-2.

That’s it! You’re all set to record binaural tracks in 192 kHz/32-bit sound on your Tascam Portacapture X8.

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