The Best Multitrack Recorders - Digital

multitrack digital recorder
Sweetwater

Sponsorship Announcement

This gear guide is sponsored by Sweetwater and you can click through to their website to read customer reviews, check prices, or make a purchase, however all of the recommendations below have been made by the Gearank team.

The DAW once nearly brought portable multitrack recorders into extinction. This 2020, will the once, humble little portable multitrack recorder's more advanced digital successors swing engineers away from their DAWs?

The music production world was shaken in 1979 when TEAC came out with the first, mass-produced portable multitrack recorder that records on a standard cassette tape: The TEAC 144 Portastudio. It was followed by TASCAM, (a division of TEAC) with their Portastudio, the Tascam 414.

Though these days, recording to cassette has all but disappeared except for a few lo-fi enthusiasts that rely on its noise and quirks for the genre.

Despite DAWs and computer recording setups being the most popular means to record, many studios, musicians and producers still prefer a standalone recording device like digital multitrack recorders.

Because of their "all-in-one" nature, most models are more affordable than a basic laptop / computer + Interface + DAW + software setup. Because everything is self-contained, hardware multitrack recorders are also more reliable and more "immediate" when it comes to getting ideas from your head, through your instrument, onto a record.

This guide is about multitrack recorders that have everything you need built-in for recording, mixing, and producing music - if you're looking for handheld multitrack recorders then please read our Handheld Recorder Guide.

For this 2020 update, we examined over 6,700 review and rating sources and updated our ratings for all qualifying multitrack recorders in our database which includes all the models widely available from American music gear retailers. To help you choose the best one for your needs, we have categorized our selections based on the number of tracks. This factor determines the unit's capability of handling projects of varying sizes from demos to theater productions.

Finding the best one for you is a matter of understanding what your projects will typically be and your budget.

For specificity, we chose to include items that are used primarily for music production, thus excluding recorders designed primarily for field recordings.

The Best Digital Multitrack Recorders

Highest Rated 6 to 8 Track Recorders

This bracket presents economical solutions for home recording demos and small projects. These prioritize portability over the number of simultaneous inputs.

TASCAM DP-008EX

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 850+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$280
TASCAM DP-008EX

At publication time this was the Highest Rated 8 Track Digital Recorder.

TASCAM has a storied history of making portable multitrack recorders for use by musicians.

When they first released their Portastudio series for cassette tapes, multitrack recordings were limited to going to big recording studios. TASCAM continues this design philosophy of making multitrack recording hardware accessible with its current range of multitrack recorders.

The TASCAM DP-008EX is still very popular with the number of user reviews having consistently increased over the past few years.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 2
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 8
  • Virtual tracks: 6 with undo/redo history function on all tracks
  • Inputs: 2 x balanced XLR with 48v phantom power & 2 x unbalanced mic/line/guitar
  • Outputs: 2 x RCA line, 1 x 1/8" stereo headphone + USB
  • Sample rate: 44.1kHz
  • Bit rate: 16-bit
  • On-board effects: 6 reverbs, 2-band shelving EQ, compressor, de-esser and exciter, mastering
  • Effects send: Internal
  • USB audio interface: No - USB is for transferring files only
  • Storage medium: SD/SDHC card - up to 32GB
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes

Pros

The quality and clarity of its sound, its portability, and ease of use are features that owners consistently refer to when rating it highly. Owners are continuing to praise the quality of the in-built microphones.

Cons

The most often cited complaint from reviewers was that it doesn't work as a USB audio interface, which is true, but it seems like an unfair complaint because it doesn't claim to be one. You can, however, transfer your tracks to a computer via USB. For its price, you can't expect it to have many more features than TASCAM have already packed into it - if you need one that also works as an audio interface then look at some of the other options below.

Overall

The TASCAM DP-008EX is well suited to musicians on a budget that simply want a reliable portable device that records songs and allows for mixing down to a final stereo track.

Zoom LiveTrak L-8

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$400
Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is marketed towards content creators, podcasters, and bands as an all in one mixer / recorder / streaming device.

It is capable of recording, playing back, and mixing 10 simultaneous tracks on its own or 12 if it is used as an audio interface.

It is also capable of functioning as an audio interface and have the audio feed go direct to streaming platforms.

Aside from the transport buttons, it also has 6 sound trigger pads for samples, canned laughter, or other sound effects for your podcast, interview recording, or live performance.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 10 (plus 2 stereo tracks if direct to DAW)
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 10
  • Virtual tracks: 6 with undo/redo history function on all tracks
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line/Hi-Z), 4 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line), 2 x 1/4" TS (ch 7/8), 1 x 1/8" TRRS (smartphone)
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR, 4 x 1/4" TRS , USB
  • Sample rate:96kHz
  • Bit rate: 24-bit
  • On-board effects: 4 x Reverbs, Delay, Chorus, Vocal, 3-band EQ, 75Hz Highpass Filter
  • Effects send: Internal
  • USB audio interface: Yes
  • Storage medium: SDHC/SDXC Card Slot
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes, plus capability to simultaneously act as an audio interface/livestream source

Pros

Users who bought the LiveTrak L-8 chose it for its rich feature set tailored towards their specific needs. Being able to simultaneously record to a DAW and external storage was seen as a plus for recording engineers who would want to have a backup copy of their session in other storage media. Being able to be powered by batteries was also seen as a plus for some users as they can record nearly anywhere.

Cons

From all the pros just listed, users cite one potentially deal-breaking flaw: The USB port is also used for AC power.

Overall

The majority of positive reviews come from podcasters on the go who love the Livetrak L-8's portability and features. Bands also love it for its capability to be an audio interface, enabling them to either record their rehearsals for demos or use the same unit to do their final production. All in all, the Zoom LiveTrack is a feature-laden but convenient and user-friendly device.

Highest Rated 12 to 16 Track Recorders

These are best for small recording projects like bands and podcasts. These are good for recording multiple instruments simultaneously.

Zoom R16

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 1100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$400
Zoom R16

The Zoom R16 provides allows you to record 8 tracks simultaneously for a total of 16 total tracks.

All 8 inputs can take microphones or line-level inputs. Phantom power is only available on two tracks and one track can take a Hi-Z instrument (guitar) level input.

You can also use it as an 8 channel USB audio interface and it comes bundled with Cubase LE. You can also transfer any tracks you've recorded directly on the Zoom R16 to your computer via the USB connection.

It has a built-in stereo condenser mic making it easy to use as a portable recorder.

It comes with an A/C adapter but can also be USB Bus-powered or you can use 6 AA batteries.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 8
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 16
  • Virtual tracks: Unlimited (actually limited by storage space)
  • Inputs: 8 x XLR and 1/4" TRS Combo with Hi-Z input for guitar - Phantom power on 2 channels
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" + USB
  • Sample rate: 44.1kHz
  • Bit rate: 24-bit
  • On-board effects: 135 types including amp and cab simulations and mastering
  • Effects send: Internal
  • USB audio interface: 2 channels
  • Storage medium: SD/SDHC card - up to 32GB
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes

Pros

The most commonly mentioned attributes in positive user reviews are that the Zoom R16 provides excellent value for money given that you can use it to record 8 tracks simultaneously to the onboard SD card or your computer and that the sound quality is comparable to much higher spec'd recording devices. In their review, Music Radar said, "Having the simplicity of a standalone recorder is one of its strengths, and the R16 manages to combine said simplicity with many more advanced features that make it a great portable recording solution as well as a handy addition to your computer setup."

Cons

One issue that has been pointed out by a few reviewers is that it doesn't come with an input for a footswitch to allow you to punch/in out when recording. A few owners also gave negative comments about the light-weight plastic construction, but given that many reviewers are still using this device years after they bought it that's probably not too much of a concern - just treat it carefully and you should be okay. It appears that not many people use it as a controller as it seems on average they would only give it about 3.5 out 5 for this feature. If you're serious about wanting a hardware DAW controller then you might want motorized faders which this doesn't have.

Overall

Overall probably the biggest testament to the Zoom R16 is that it's the only 16 track digital recorder that we found we could recommend after analyzing all the reviews - most of the other manufacturers who were serious contenders in the 16 track space have given up leaving the Zoom R16 as the clear winner in this category.

Zoom LiveTrak L-12

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 350+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$600
Zoom LiveTrak L-12

At publication time this was the Highest Rated 12 to 16 Track Digital Recorder and the Highest Rated Overall.

Following up on the success of their R series recorders, Zoom released the Livetrak series in 2017 with new features previously unseen on any of their standalone recorder line.

While the R series is still in production today, the Livetrak series offers an upscale experience and looks more in place in studios while the R series caters more on the "prosumer" market.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 14
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 12. 4 if used as audio interface
  • Virtual tracks: 0
  • Inputs: 8 x XLR, 2 Stereo 1/4" TRS - Phantom power on 8 channels
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR Master Out, 5 x 1/4" TRS Headphone Monitor outs, 2x 1/4" unbalanced LR Monitor out + USB
  • Sample rate: 44.1khz, 48khz, 96khz (switchable)
  • Bit rate: Up to 24-bit
  • On-board effects: 16 onboard effects including delays and reverbs
  • Effects send: Internal
  • USB audio interface: 14 channels
  • Storage medium: USB 2.0
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes

Pros

Most users liked how it functions threefold as a digital mixer, an audio interface, and a standalone recorder. Some users who had the previous generation R series think that the Livetrak L-12 is a definite upgrade with its newer preamps and converters.

Cons

Reviewers criticized the lack of a solo button on the tracks as well as the absence of a polarity switch to reverse the phase. Both are essential functions for mixing. Filenames are also named similarly and can confuse when transferring the project to a computer for further mixing.

Overall

If you're looking for a jack-of-all-trades multitrack recorder that can help you keep track of rehearsals or live, small venue events, the Zoom LiveTrak L-12 is a great choice.

TASCAM Model 12

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$600
TASCAM Model 12

The TASCAM Model 12 is designed as a standalone Mixer, Interface, and Controller.

It features an analog-style workflow and aesthetic with individual knobs for eq, compressors, and AUX.

One great feature of this recorder is the capability of routing tracks in your DAW back into the mixer's 10 channels and use it as an analog mixing console. The Stereo out is then routed back into a stereo track into your DAW as a mixdown.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks:10
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 6 Mono, 2 stereo
  • Virtual tracks: 0
  • Inputs:8 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line/Hi-Z), 1 x 1/8" TRRS (stereo), 2 x 1/4" (L/R)
  • Outputs:2 x XLR (main), 2 x 1/4" (L/R Subgroup)
  • Sample rate: 48kHz
  • Bit rate: 24-bit
  • On-board effects: 8 x Channel Compressor, Reverbs, Delay, Chorus, Flanger
  • Effects send: Internal
  • USB audio interface: Yes
  • Storage medium: SD Card Slot, SDHC (4GB-32GB), SDXC (64GB-512GB)
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes

Pros

The TASCAM Model 12 put a big smile on the faces of those familiar with analog mixing consoles and workflow. Some reviewers noted that the unit's workflow "takes them back" to the days of the cassette recording. Another main selling point was the ability to use it as its on mixing console because of its flexible routing options. This means that users can route 10 tracks from their DAW and mix using the Model 12's faders, eq, and effects. The resulting sound was also said to be more "glued together" because of the summing effect using a console has.

Cons

Recent reviews show that some people have had problems with the USB connection of the unit dropping out. One user found a solution in changing the ports you plug into your computer. This might be addressed in future firmware updates.

Overall

The TASCAM Model 12 is a throwback to the '80s where Portastudios were an essential part of being in a band and recording demos. Many users fell in love with the idea of engaging in that workflow again and TASCAM was kind enough to provide a lot of modern optimizations to that style of production. Being a new product, it has its hiccups in the form of firmware. Future updates may address these.

Highest Rated 20 to 24 Track Recorders

These are best for medium size studio recordings of larger bands with more layers. Some models with several inputs can be used for live recording.

TASCAM DP-24SD

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
TASCAM DP-24SD

At publication time this was the Highest Rated 20 to 24 Track Digital Recorder.

The TASCAM DP-24SD is designed to be a stand-alone audio workstation.

While this means that it does not offer any DAW controller or USB audio interface features, the design approach allows you to do all of your music production onboard and also lets you export tracks to your computer via USB.

It also features a complete suite of internal effects, 24-track simultaneous playback, and having 8 takes on virtual tracks on the ready for compositing.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 8
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 24
  • Virtual tracks: 192 - 8 virtual track per actual track
  • Inputs: 8 x Combo XLR/TRS - 1 channel switchable between line and guitar - Phantom power on all 8 inputs
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" balanced TRS, 2 x RCA unbalanced, 1/4" TRS headphone jack, 1/4" TRS jack for effects send + USB
  • Sample rate: 44.1k/48k
  • Bit rate: 16/24-bit
  • On-board effects: Many including 3-band EQ, reverb, compression, exciter, de-esser, noise suppression, amp models, mastering tools, and more
  • Effects send: 2
  • USB audio interface: No
  • Storage medium: SD/SDHC card - up to 32GB
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes via USB

Pros

The vast majority of musicians who have reviewed it praise if for its audio quality and ease of use. The amp simulations have mixed reviews - but overall they lean towards being positive. According to some users, the workflow feels like you're working between a mix of a DAW and mixing live music with a digital mixer. For those familiar with both, the DP-24SD will be a comfortable transition.

Cons

One issue that some owners report in a negative light is the limitation that you can't use more than one dynamic effect on a single track simultaneously - for example, you can't use the de-esser and compressor, or compressor and noise suppression, simultaneously on one track. The same applies to time-based effects since you can't have reverb and delay at the same time. You can work around this utilizing bouncing and virtual tracks, but it would have been better if you didn't have to. There were also some reviewers disappointed that it doesn't have motorized fades or mixing automation, however, those features probably would have caused the price to go up.

Overall

Overall this is well-liked as an all-in-one recorder for both live and home studio use.

The following review by Andi Picker of the previous model provides an excellent overview of its features and functionality - note that it no longer has a CD burner - you can export to your computer to do that:

Zoom LiveTrak L-20

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 80+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1000
Zoom LiveTrak L-20 Multitrack Recorder

The Zoom LiveTrak L-20 is Zoom's flagship Multitrack Recorder / Digital Mixer hybrid.

It features functionality more akin to dedicated digital mixers while balancing recording and mixing functionality.

The L-20 also adds a solo button for each channel -- a feature a lot of people were missing on the L-12.

One feature quite well appreciated is the ability to provide 6 separate personalized headphone mixes while recordings.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 22
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 20
  • Virtual tracks: 0
  • Inputs: 16 x XLR/TRS combo jacks, 2 x Stereo Line in
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR Master out, 2 x TRS phone jacks Monitor speaker out, 6 x Headphone monitor mix out, 1 x Headphone out
  • Sample rate: 44.1/48/96 kHz
  • Bit rate: 16/24-bit, mono/stereo
  • On-board effects: 20 Types of Reverb, Delay and Modulation
  • Effects send: 2
  • USB audio interface: 22 Channels In, 4 Channels out
  • Storage medium: SDHC/SDXC
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes

Pros

Most user reviews came from people who use the unit as a live mixer that can record performances. Some bands with more than 5 members bought this over the L-12 for the extra inputs. It also gets praise for the individual monitor mix for 6 headphones.

Cons

Many users disliked the fact that the EQ channel also affects the monitor mixes. Front-of-house (FOH) mixes going out through the monitors is usually a recipe for feedback and a few users had trouble finding a compromise between having a good audience mix and a good monitor mix.

Overall

The LiveTrak L-20 is great for recording and monitoring live sessions which are increasing popular these days as Youtube content. It may not be optimal for live sound because of the linked channel EQ for both the FOH mix and monitor mix. For your rehearsal space, studio, or radio station, the LiveTrak L-20 is a handy tool for capturing performances.

Highest Rated 32 Track Recorder

TASCAM DP-32SD

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
TASCAM DP-32SD

At publication time this was the Highest Rated 32 Track Digital Recorder.

The TASCAM DP-32SD is designed to be a standalone recording workstation similar to its ancestor, the TASCAM Portastudio Tape recorders.

While it does not offer USB recording and DAW control features, it was designed with people used to computerless recording workflows in mind.

According to TASCAM, many well-known songwriters have used their 32 track recorders including Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen.

Main Features:

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 8
  • Tracks playback/mix simultaneously: 32
  • Virtual tracks: 256 - 8 virtual track per actual track
  • Inputs: 8 x XLR/TRS balanced combo - 1 channel switchable between line and guitar - Phantom power on all 8 inputs
  • Outputs: 2x 1/4" balanced TRS, 2 x RCA unbalanced, 1/4" TRS headphone jack, 2x 1/4" unbalanced jack for effects send + USB
  • Sample rate: 44.1k/48k
  • Bit rate: 16/24-bit
  • On-board effects: Many including 3-band EQ, reverb, compression, exciter, de-esser, noise suppression, amp models, mastering tools, and more
  • Effects send: 2
  • USB audio interface: No
  • Storage medium: SD/SDHC card - up to 32GB
  • Export tracks to computer: Yes

Pros

Most positive reviews come from users that are accustomed to computerless setups and love how familiar the DP-32SD's workflow is to what they're used to. Many of these reviews are from people who gained experience with tape and early digital recording.

Cons

Older customer reviews of the TASCAM DP-32SD rate it slightly lower than owners of the TASCAM DP-24SD and the main reason being that they expected more than just an additional 8 tracks of playback for a $100 higher price tag, but at time of publication, both models were selling at the same price. That being said, it appears that more people have purchased the 32 than the 24 over the last few years based on the relative numbers of new user reviews favoring the 32 track version.

Overall

TASCAM's reputation for offering standalone multitrack recorders goes back decades. The DP-24SD is a modern take of the old Tascam Portastudios of the past. For artists or performers that require multiple inputs that prefer having the ability to record and mix without using a DAW, the DP-32SD is a perfect choice.

What To Look For in a Digital Multitrack Recorder

  • Channels vs Tracks

    Take note of the distinction between "Channel" and "Track". Channels refer to your inputs (including the preamps and line inputs) and the accompanying set of controls (the channel strip). Tracks refer to a recording done in its discrete area on the tape. In the case of digital multitrack recorders, these are your files that are recorded from a specific channel. Over the years, they have been used interchangeably but clarifying the distinction helps to keep you from buying the wrong item.

  • Simultaneous Recording Channels

    When multitrack recording was done on tape machines you could generally record tracks on all channels simultaneously, however, digital systems usually only permit recording on a limited number of channels at the same time - make sure the recording system you choose provides enough recording channels for the kind of work you do. A recorder can have 8 simultaneous recording channels but could be capable of recording 16 or more tracks. Make sure you check all the specifications before purchasing.

  • Total Number of Tracks for Mixing

    If a digital recorder is listed as 8 tracks that means you can mix a maximum of 8 tracks regardless of how many you can record at once.

  • Virtual Tracks

    Many digital multitrack recorders offer additional virtual tracks which are very handy because they allow for non-destructive editing. For example, if you have 8 virtual tracks per track you can do 8 extra takes without 'recording over' previous takes. Alternatively, you might have drums on 8 tracks and bounce them down to 2 tracks to free up tracks for other uses, however, if you need to change that mix later you'll still have access to the original 8 tracks which you can reload then remix.

  • Effects

    You won't be able to add plugins so you'll either want to select one that has all the effects you need or one that has an external effects send/loop so you can use additional outboard signal processing.

  • Export Functions

    You may want to record on a multitrack recorder, then later export your tracks to a computer so that you can do additional mixing / editing / processing on a DAW.

  • Additional Features

    Many models come with additional features such as drum machines or allowing you to use them as a USB audio interface with your computer.

Which is the Best Budget Multitrack Recorder?

Selecting which Multitrack Recorder within your budget needs some special consideration. Since most recorders increase in price the more inputs you need, you have to consider how many inputs you will use. As a general tip, choose a recorder with around 2-4 more inputs than you need. Then when you have identified how many inputs you need, check our guide as we have categorized our selections according to the number of inputs and then price.

For small bands that don't need to record simultaneously, the TASCAM DP-008EX is a safe pick with 2 inputs if you don't need it as an audio interface.

Multitrack recorders with fewer inputs require a different workflow since you won't be able to simultaneously record your entire ensemble. If you need to record multiple sources simultaneously, the 12-16 track recorders would be a good place to start looking at a slightly higher cost.

Important Note About Digital Multitrack Recorder Memory

Many recorders only ship with a 1 or 2 GB SD card installed, and some don't ship with any at all, so you'll probably want to get some bigger SDHC memory cards. They're fairly cheap so you may as well go for the ones with bigger capacities beyond 32GB. You can buy them at a local store or online from Sweetwater.com.

Best Multitrack Recorder Selection Methodology

The first edition was published February 2016 written by Jason Horton. The latest edition was published on August 19, 2020 written by audio engineer Raphael Pulgar with contributions from Jason Horton.

We looked at all multitrack recorders available from major online American music gear retailers, excluding handheld and field recorders. We came up with a shortlist of 19 products and entered all of them into our music gear database. We then analyzed forum discussion and reviews by users, owners, and audio engineers and processed that information, which included over 6,700 sources, with the Gearank Algorithm to produce the rating scores out of 100 you see above. We selected the highest rated options in each sub-category of track numbers and recommended them above. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

Comments

On the DP-32SD & DP-24SD, do

On the DP-32SD & DP-24SD, do they record both main out on separate channel like the ZOOM L12? thank

Hi Mario,

Hi Mario,

The DP-32SD and DP-24SD are both capable of rendering a stereo mixdown aside from individual multitracks. Tascam made an official video about this feature:

I hope it helps!

Thanks for the article. I

Thanks for the article. I would be interested to know about the drum programming that each one offers

The Zoom R24 has up to 6

The Zoom R24 has up to 6 phantom-powered inputs. The R24 page is still out-of-date in this respect. Also, I found the R24 (and presumably R16) preamps inadequate for distant acoustic sources, e.g. group of unamplified singers or room mic for a solo piano, even with condensers. After adding a FocusRite Scarlett into the gain chain, everything worked much better though.

As a result of our August

As a result of our August 2019 update the following recorder came off our recommended list above, but you can still read our analysis of it: Zoom R24.

Why in the world would these

Why in the world would these companies start eliminating midi when most of the old AND new music devises do?
A deal breaker for many. The world is creeping more and more towards the insane Common sense is out the door!

It seems crazy to me that

It seems crazy to me that what used to be standard features are no longer incorporated on the latest models, e.g. MIDI, mixing automation/scene memory, punch in/out footswitch.
We should be getter more features, not less.

The missing of Midi is a real

The missing of Midi is a real hoax . Homerecording is the use of sequencers and Drummachines !
Maybe it will come back if the army of reissues of Vintage drumboxes and synths will enter the market ... Catched a Tascam dp24 Vers. 1.0 for me !

Just tried a Tascam 008.

Just tried a Tascam 008. Kinda quiet, no FX, unimpressive reverb. MY biggest problem: it displays time m/s/fr when i need Measure/beat, for accurate editing. Some ads don't specify. RRRRR!!!

Why no mention of Roland? Don

Why no mention of Roland? Don't they compete in this market anymore. I have several that work pretty well.

Does any one know of you can

Does any one know if you can use the r24 and the r16 together as a slave to the r24?

Yes..I have both and use the

Yes..I have both and use the R24 as the master...40 tracks and works great!

I have the Tascam DP-24 and

I have the Tascam DP-24 and it's amazing after 20 years of Sonar on PC, these work flawlessly EVERY time I use it. Saves on crash.(Even saves last 10 undos after crash:)

Should mention the Roland. If anyone aver makes one with automation and automated faders(with memory after crash) that would be the perfect machine.

I tried using digital multi

I tried using digital multi track recorders.very frustrating to me and I wished 4 -8 track tape recorder make a comeback! Recording life was easier for me...

I'm a Huge Tascam fan - got

I'm a Huge Tascam fan - got lots of their products and recorders throughout the years. Currently using the 32sd primarily - nice unit. There are going to be some limitations due to price point, and that's ok. I still enjoy playing around with the old tape machines though.

You can synchronize two Zoom

You can synchronize two Zoom R16's via a simple USB cable for 32 tracks of playback and 16 tracks of simultaneous recording. The R16 can also run on batteries. No midi input or rhythm machine on the R16 was a deal breaker for me, at the time, and I ended up paying more for the older Zoom HD16 which had both.

Does the tascam dp32 sd have

Does the tascam dp32 sd have the capabilities of panning the stereo tracks to different locations in the mix?

It was a good machine about

It was a good machine about 14 years ago - still worth considering if you find one second hand for a good price, but it uses a built-in hard drive and CDRW drive rather than the SD cards that current ones use.

Great information here, I am

Great information here, I am glad I popped in to check things out. Am in the process of getting a multi track recorder, and for me, and me needs, the Zoom r16 is the one I will get for sure, thx again!!

I have a Zoom R24 and it's a

I have a Zoom R24 and it's a great bit of kit for the price. However I still feel I get better results from my Boss BR1600 which I prefer to use.

And yet none of those

And yet none of those recorders supports MIDI. You can't sync multiple passes from a drum machine or sequencer, etc. Deal breaker for some of us. :'(

No solution fills all the

No solution fills all the requirements, but - I opted, last year, to purchase a used Yamaha AW-1600, and because I have a dedicated Studio PC (not connected to the internet)for mixing and mastering, I've bypassed some of those issues common to the stand-alone DAW. In addition, it features full midi sync-ing. Again, not perfect, but 'perfectly fine' for my needs...

I contacted a few of the

I contacted a few of the manufactures to see if there were any undocumented features that might enable syncing - both Zoom and Tascam got back to me but external syncing isn't possible with their current recorders.

Tascam did point out that the original DP-24 and DP-32 had the ability to MIDI sync with external devices, but that was removed in the 24SD and 32SD models.

If you want to sync you'll either have to get one of those older Tascam models, or do what we did in the old days of tape machines where we'd record SMPTE time code on one of the tracks and sync via that - this is what my band used to do.

Here's an article explaining syncing with audio recordings using SMPTE: Getting Recording Devices In Sync: The Basics Of Timecode And Synchronization

There is a work-around for

There is a work-around for MIDI sync on the Zoom R8 and Zoom R24 (not the Zoom R16) using a striped track for time code (the old fashioned way) on a 'hidden' output via one channel of the headphone socket. This is not the original article where I read about it, but it still covers the basic idea of how to do it.

http://www.henkybacker.com/2011...

Hi Deano, which is the best

Hi Deano, which is the best device that is compatible with pro tools 12? Would have loved to have got the Zoom R16 but it doesn't work with Pro Tools.

Hi there I notice that the

Hi there I notice that the Boss BR-800 Multitrack Digital Recording Studio is not mentioned in your review. Please can you provide me with the pros and cons....I thought it was a great bit of kit?

Hi Deano,

Hi Deano,

The Boss BR-800 was included in our research but it didn't have high enough scores to be included in this guide when it was published.

It didn't miss by much so there is a chance it might be included when we next update this guide - in the meantime you can see its Gearank score in our Music Gear Database here.

Thanks Jason, it looks (as a

Thanks Jason, it looks (as a layman) the easiest to use, I am a not sure what to buy as this is the 1st time Ive bought a recording device. Thanks for the link BTW.

The Tascam knobs and faders

The Tascam knobs and faders are from a material that after two years of use starts to fall apart. Bought a DR24SD in 2013 en after 3 years of use the rubber starts to like melt or crack away.

I do like the tascams alot,

I do like the tascams alot, but i've had lots of issues with the buttons failing because little switches inside wear out fast.
really frustrating..

Hi, nice article. The Zoom

Hi, nice article. The Zoom R16 is actually an 8in/2out usb audio interface (same as the R24),
Cheers

I got my R16 to record 8

I got my R16 to record 8 tracks simultaneously into the computer using Reaper.

Just a quick correction as it

Just a quick correction as it was made me upgrade from the Zoom R16 to the R24 - the latter has SIX phantom powered channels, not four! It should also probably be noted that the bit rate is either 16 or 24 - mostly pertinent because at 24 you can't use the built-in effects features.

I want to note for buyers to

I want to note for buyers to be aware the Zoom recorders, either 16 or 24 track recorders do not have the ability to use a footswitch. Therefore for punching in and out is a deal breaker and I chose the Tascam 24 for this reason. Who wants to set auto points everytime to fix a spot? I use punch in tool for writing solos and experimenting so it's an important tool for me.

I had the same issue with my

I had the same issue with my Zoom 24... if there was only ONE thing more I wish it had... it would be a foot-pedal punch in. This mark in/out thing gets old right off the bat. Otherwise it's a great recorder!

Thank you Rob - I have

Thank you Rob - I have updated the Zoom R24 description to show that it has 6 inputs with phantom power.

According to the R24 manual, the limitation on effects is when using it as an Audio Interface - you can only use the effects in this mode with the sampling rate at 16-bit/44.1 kHz.

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