- Brand: Tascam
- Connector Type: XLR
- Input Voltage: 48 Volts
- Power Source: Battery Powered
- Item Weight: 610 Grams
- Package Type: Standard Packaging
- Brand: Tascam
- Compatible Devices: Laptop
- Hardware Interface: USB 2.0
- Format: .ali
- Headphones Jack: 6.3mm
- Memory Storage Capacity: 32 GB
While purchasing a digital multitrack recorder, there are several factors to keep in mind. The number of inputs and outputs will determine how many instruments or microphones can be recorded at once, while the resolution and sample rate will affect the overall sound quality.
We have spent countless hours researching and testing different models to determine the best digital multitrack recorder for various needs and budgets. In this article, we’ll present our top choices and provide insights to help you make an informed decision based on our experience.
Best Digital Multitrack Recorders in 2023
Tascam DP-006 is a solid option for musicians and songwriters looking for a compact and portable digital multitrack recorder. With its built-in microphones and CD-quality recording, users can quickly and efficiently capture their ideas on the go.
- Portable and user-friendly design
- Clear CD-quality recording
- Built-in omnidirectional microphones
- Limited to six tracks for recording
- No adapter included
- Small screen and buttons can be challenging
The Tascam DP-006 is a reliable and compact digital multitrack recorder, perfect for songwriters and musicians on the go.
I recommended the Tascam DP-006 Multi-Track Audio Recorder to my neighbor, Jose, a musician. He found that it was much easier to use because it allowed for more than two tracks of simultaneous playback.
He also experienced that the DP-006 does not have any onboard effects or EQ. It has only level and pan controls, which are the most important controls a musician needs to determine the potential of a good mix.
The limitation to six tracks might be an issue for musicians who require a higher number of simultaneous tracks for their projects. Additionally, the fact that the power adapter is not included in the package might be an inconvenience for some.
Also, navigating the small screen and buttons might be challenging, especially for those with large fingers or limited dexterity.
Tascam DP-006 is a solid option for musicians and songwriters looking for a compact and portable digital multitrack recorder.
With its built-in microphones and CD-quality recording, users can quickly and efficiently capture their ideas on the go.
We had the chance to test the TASCAM DP-008EX Pocketstudio, and we were highly impressed by its easy-to-use interface and the quality of the recorded audio.
The compact design makes it perfect for musicians and composers on the go, while the built-in microphones eliminate the need for additional recording equipment. With a variety of useful features such as EQ, reverb, and track bouncing, this portable recording studio packs a punch.
- Compact and portable design
- Built-in microphones for convenience
- Intuitive operation and controls
- Limited to recording two tracks simultaneously
- Formatting the storage card can be tricky initially
- Requires AA batteries for power
The TASCAM DP-008EX is a reliable and versatile choice for those looking to purchase a quality digital multitrack recorder.
TASCAM DP-008EX can only record two tracks at a time, making it less suitable for more complex recording setups.
While the storage card is useful for saving, we found that formatting it correctly is essential for optimal functionality. The device runs on AA batteries, which can be a minor inconvenience for some users.
The Tascam DP-24SD offers a comprehensive recording solution for musicians and producers seeking a reliable and feature-packed digital multitrack recorder. With just a little time invested in learning its many capabilities, it has the potential to significantly enhance any recording project.
- 24-track recording capability
- 8 XLR inputs for multi-instrument recording
- In-built effects and mastering tools
- Slightly bulky design
- Learning curve for beginners
- Limited to USB 2.0 connectivity
Tascam DP-24SD has 24-track recording capability, which allows you to record and edit multiple instruments and vocals with ease. The multi-track functionality provides ample flexibility to create complex recordings and layer sounds as desired.
We found the 8 XLR inputs to be extremely helpful for recording larger ensembles or connecting multiple microphones and instruments simultaneously.
The built-in effects and mastering tools further enhanced our overall recording experience, enabling us to produce polished and professional-sounding tracks without the need for external plugins or software.
Another minor drawback is the recorder’s limited USB 2.0 connectivity, causing slower data transfer speeds compared to more modern options.
However, this should not be a deal-breaker, as the overall functionality and versatility of this unit far outweigh these concerns.
Zoom H6 All Black 6-Track Portable Recorder maintains an overall impressive performance. Its professional-grade audio quality, versatility, and long battery life make it a perfect choice for those seeking a premium recorder for various settings and purposes.
- Professional-level recording with up to 24-bit/96kHz audio
- Versatile use with four mic/line inputs and interchangeable capsules
- Long battery life of over 20 hours
- Slightly bulkier than some other portable recorders
- Limited to six tracks simultaneous recording
- May be more expensive than other options
The Zoom H6 All Black 6-Track Portable Recorder is an excellent choice for anyone looking to record high-quality audio in various settings.
As we started testing the Zoom H6 All Black 6-Track Portable Recorder, we observed its impeccable audio quality in recording every detail of the sound.
The ability to record up to six tracks simultaneously allows for capturing multiple sources of audio. The four mic/line inputs and interchangeable capsules make it versatile in its application, whether we are recording meeting notes or a music concert.
The large full-color LCD display and gain control knobs with -20dB pads for each input were user-friendly and indeed contributed to the ease of navigation and adjusting settings.
With the long battery life of over 20 hours using standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries, we were able to carry out extended recording sessions without the worry of the device shutting down.
While the device has many benefits, it also has a few limitations. For instance, the drum sequencing options are somewhat limited compared to other devices on the market.
Additionally, users new to digital recorders might experience a learning curve when navigating the interface and controls. We also found that the 32 GB memory storage capacity could be improved for users who plan to record a large number of projects.
- Compact and portable design
- High quality built-in microphones
- Variety of COSM effects
- Limited drum sequencing options
- May require a learning curve for new users
- Could use more memory storage capacity
We tested the Boss MICRO BR-80 Digital Recorder and found it to be a fantastic tool for musicians who need a reliable and portable multitrack recording solution.
Its compact design allows for easy transportation, and the device fits comfortably within a pocket or gig bag.
We were particularly impressed with the high-quality built-in microphones, which captured the sound of our instruments with clarity and warmth.
These microphones are ideal for recording acoustic sessions, rehearsals, and even live performances. The BR-80 also comes with various COSM effects, providing a range of guitar and vocal processing options for sound shaping.
The Zoom PodTrak P4 Podcast Recorder is an excellent investment for podcasters and those looking to conduct remote interviews.
With its high-quality audio inputs, versatile features, and user-friendly interface, it provides a professional recording experience without breaking the bank. Just be prepared to address the limited battery life and consider additional accessories if needed.
- High-quality microphone inputs with phantom power
- Multiple headphone outputs with individual volume control
- Convenient sound pads and multi-track recording
- Limited battery life on AA batteries
- No built-in battery backup option
- May require additional accessories for advanced users
The Zoom PodTrak P4 is a versatile and user-friendly multitrack recorder, perfect for podcasters and remote interview enthusiasts.
We bought and used the Zoom PodTrak P4 Podcast Recorder for one of our projects, and we were quite impressed with its capabilities. Equipped with four high-quality microphone inputs and phantom power, it allows us to connect a range of microphones for crystal-clear audio recordings.
The four headphone outputs with individual volume controls make it easy for multiple users to monitor audio levels during recording sessions or live podcasts.
The Zoom P4 offers four programmable sound pads, providing quick and easy access to pre-recorded sound effects or jingles, which can be a game-changer for podcast production.
The multi-track recording feature ensures that all inputs and sound pads are captured separately, allowing for more flexibility during post-production. The automatic mix-minus function enables seamless call-in phone interviews and remote interviews via TRRS jack or USB Audio Interface mode.
However, the 3.5-hour battery life while using only two AA batteries can be limiting for extended recording sessions. We highly recommend investing in a portable battery backup or power bank to avoid any unexpected shutdowns during important interviews.
Furthermore, advanced users or podcasters with specific requirements might need to purchase additional accessories for an optimized experience.
The Zoom R20 Multi-Track Tabletop Recorder is a versatile, user-friendly device that generates high-quality recordings. Despite some limitations, we believe the R20 is well worth considering for any musician or producer seeking a functional and portable multitrack recorder with many handy features.
- User-friendly DAW-like interface with touchscreen
- Records up to 16 tracks (8 simultaneously) with versatile input options
- Onboard editing and professional effects
- Limited recording length may not satisfy all users
- Plastic construction feels less professional
- Reliance on a specific power adapter
The Zoom R20 is an ideal purchase for musicians seeking a quality and versatile multitrack recorder with touchscreen capabilities.
We used Zoom R20 Multi-Track Tabletop Recorder for a recording project. The first thing that stood out was the DAW-like interface with touchscreen navigation, which made it very intuitive to use.
The ability to record up to 16 tracks (8 simultaneously) with 6 XLR inputs and 2 combo inputs allowed us to capture a wide range of instruments and vocals.
The onboard editing with drag, drop, swipe, pinch functionality, and professional effects, such as EQ and compression, helped us refine our recordings during the production process.
However, there are a few drawbacks to the Zoom R20. One limitation was the restricted recording length, as it stops at 1350 bars, which is a bit of a surprise for those expecting to fill an entire SD card.
The construction of the R20 feels somewhat less professional due to its plastic build, which might be a concern for those looking for a more robust piece of equipment. The reliance on a specific AC/DC adapter could make it less convenient for traveling or recording on the go.
First and foremost, consider the number of audio inputs and outputs. A larger number of simultaneous inputs and outputs allows for greater flexibility when recording multiple instruments or sources at once.
Ensure that the device has the appropriate input and output types you require, such as XLR, 1/4 inch, or MIDI.
Another important aspect is the recording quality. The sample rate, measured in Hz, and bit depth, measured in bits, determine the audio fidelity of your recordings.
Common sample rates include 44.1kHz, 48kHz, and 96kHz, while typical bit depths are 16-bit and 24-bit. Higher sample rates and bit depths offer better audio quality, but also require more storage space.
Storage and Connectivity
Many modern digital multitrack recorders come with built-in solid-state drives (SSD) or hard disk drives (HDD), while others use external SD cards or other removable media for recording storage.
Consider the amount of storage you’ll need and the ease of transferring files to a computer or other devices for further editing and mixing.
Connectivity options are equally important. USB, FireWire, and Thunderbolt interfaces are common, with some devices offering multiple options to connect to a computer.
Consider any integrated Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities for added convenience and remote control of the recorder.
User Interface and Portability
A user-friendly interface is important to navigate the device and make adjustments during recording sessions. While some digital multitrack recorders feature touchscreens for ease of use, others rely on buttons, knobs, or faders to control settings. Make sure to choose a device that fits your personal preferences and workflow.
Portability is another factor to consider, particularly if you plan to record on-the-go or in various locations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a digital multitrack recorder do?
A digital multitrack recorder allows us to record and play multiple audio tracks simultaneously. It is widely used in music production, podcasting, and filmmaking to create high-quality audio recordings. These devices offer flexibility while editing, such as mixing, adding effects, and adjusting the overall sound of individual tracks.
Which is the most user-friendly multitrack recorder?
The most user-friendly multitrack recorder varies according to personal preferences and requirements. However, some popular options that are recognized for their user-friendly interfaces include the Zoom R8, TASCAM DP-24SD, and the Boss BR-800. Each of these recorders provides an intuitive interface, easy navigation, and a wide range of helpful features for different types of users.
Which multitrack recorders have built-in drum machines?
Some digital multitrack recorders come with built-in drum machines that can help in creating drum patterns and beats. Examples include the Boss BR-800, Zoom R8, and Roland VS-2480CD. These devices offer a variety of drum sounds and patterns, allowing users to experiment with different rhythms and styles during music production.
What is the key difference between DAWs and digital multitrack recorders?
The primary difference between Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and digital multitrack recorders is their operating environment. DAWs are software applications that run on computers, while digital multitrack recorders are dedicated hardware devices. Both tools enable multi-track recording, editing, and mixing, but DAWs typically offer more advanced features and plugins due to their software-based nature. However, digital multitrack recorders are portable and often include onboard microphones, making them ideal for on-the-go recording sessions.
How to multitrack with TASCAM digital recorder?
To multitrack with a TASCAM digital recorder, follow these general steps:
- Turn on the recorder and connect microphones, instruments, or line sources.
- Assign the inputs to the desired tracks by adjusting the input settings.
- Adjust the recording levels to ensure optimal sound quality.
- Arm the tracks you want to record by pressing the record button for each track.
- Once the tracks are armed, begin recording by hitting the main record button, followed by the play button.
Remember, different TASCAM models may have specific steps, so always refer to the user manual for detailed instructions.