So let’s say you’re out and about and inspiration strikes. How would you remember that beat or record that rap?
Yeah you can use your iPhone but you can’t record quality professional music on an iPhone. I use my iPhone just to record ideas (The voice recorder app) and in the last 5 years of doing this, I only used one or two of these countless ideas.
It’s not convenient at all and a pure hassle to say the least.
Who wants to connect the iPhone to a laptop and then try to recreate the idea using professional equipment and most importantly, noise-free?
As creative music artists and producers, we are not meant to worry about the technical mumbo jumbo to bring that idea to life.
Our job is to simply produce and create.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Multitrack Recorders
Here we pick up 3 top models based on the features and specs as well as the budget you might be interested in.
Top 10 Multitrack Recorders for Beginners Reviews
#1 – Tascam Digital 8 Track Recorder DP 008 – Best Tascam Portastudio
Tascam is a great brand (My audio interface is by Tascam as well) and this portable multitrack recorder is no exception. One of the entry-level guys in Tascam’s Portastudio line up (Short for Portable studio), this model is already considered the easiest multitrack recorder around.
This little wonder comes with two built-in condenser microphones as well so whenever inspiration strikes, you a simply whip this out and spit your game on these.
The second condenser can be used to record a beat or an instrument like an acoustic guitar riff as well. It comes with a 4gb SD card so data transfer is quick.
The Tascam DP 008EX is definitely one of the light ones out there so if you record a lot on the road, this digital multitrack recorder is great for traveling. It comes with two xlr inputs so even when on the fly, you can maintain the quality of your recordings. Like most digital multitrack, it doesn’t come with built-in speakers but you can use your headphones or external speakers.
To be honest, having headphones is more than enough. You don’t need to connect these to studio monitors as that would kind of defeat the purpose. One downside is doesn’t come with an adapter, that is a separate purchase. You can run it on batteries though but I wish Tascam threw in the adapter as well, that would have made this a killer Tascam 8 track recorder package.
Overall, it’s still the best Tascam portable recorder around and in my opinion, the best home studio multitrack recorder.
The Tascam DP 008 EX eight-track is a great way for anyone new to recording audio to begin learning the ins and outs of the art. It’s got enough channels that you can expand into more complicated sessions and it’s phantom power increases the number of mics you can use with it.
The controls are very intuitive and it comes with batteries and a memory card. However, the screen is small and hard to read.
#2 – Tascam DP-24SD – Best Portable Recording Studio
Here is the big boss of them all. Tascam Dp-24SD has (You guessed it) 24 tracks for you to get completely lost in recording music. This is basically a music studio in a box.
It comes with a nice slick 3.5” LCD screen so you access all of its features. I wouldn’t recommend this to any beginners but if you are looking to go to the next level or have the budget for it, then this is it.
You can literally bang out professional-quality tracks on this thanks to the built-in effects processor and the multiple mastering tools it comes preloaded with.
I personally love the option of having 8 XLR inputs. It comes loaded with features but just as easy to use as a Tascam handheld recorder. Considering the size, I would label this the easiest digital multitrack recorder.
Tascam Model 24 is a superb option for anyone looking to set up a home studio. Tascam Model 24 is a superb option for anyone looking to set up a home studio. The Model 24 is simply a high-quality multitrack recorder. Hands down.
It comes with SD cards as large as 128 gigabytes and can store a lot of audio data. The Model 24 works as a lone mixer and comes with some pretty sleek and sturdy 100-millimeter faders.
SD cards as large as 128 gigabytes and can store a lot of audio data. The Model 24 works as a lone mixer and comes with some pretty sleek and sturdy 100-millimeter faders.
The engineers here made sure that things don’t get too complicated with this one. That is always a plus in my book. All hail the Tascam DP 24 – The best 24 track digital Portastudio yet. One downside is it’s not portable enough for you to carry around but I don’t think it’s meant for that.
#3 – Tascam DP-03SD Multitrack Recorder
Another Portastudio by Tascam. This one also has 8 tracks and it actually comes with its own power supply and an SD card. This model basically replaces the Portastudio DP 02cf (A legendary workhorse). Jam-packed with features but if you’re looking for a mixer to keep near your current music studio, this is more suitable for that.
It’s a larger Portastudio than Tascam’s DP series and definitely less portable. I would use this to record if I’m spending time in different music studios, but not while just running around.
Since it has more features than the DP series, there is a learning curve attached to it which could be a turn-off. Especially if you hate anything ‘technical’ in music such as myself.
Also just because of what you are getting here (Size and features wise), most users later regret that they got an 8 channel instead of a 32. Guess it’s just one of those digital recorders that you either hate or love. These days, it’s all about computer-based multitrack recording and this one fits the bill quite nicely.
#4 – Tascam DP 006 – Best Mobile Recording Studio
This Tascam digital multitrack recorder is pretty much the same as the DP-008EX but with one key difference. It has only 6 channels.
I prefer 8 channels but most can get by with 6. It all depends on how you record your things. I know some artists have some really unique set ups that are totally unconventional.
At the end of the day, it’s not how you record but what you record. To be honest, if you’re having fun even the latter doesn’t matter.
That said, the Tascam DP 006 also comes with a nice little tripod so you don’t have to hold it in your hand all the time while you go back and forth with your music laptop (Transfering audio files, etc).
If 6 channels are good for you then this is one of the best Tascam Portastudios around. Great entry-level multi-track recorder.
#5 – Korg D-12 – Top Quality Sound Uncompressed
Korg has created a nice 12 track digital multitrack recorder as well and it goes by the name of D-12. Maybe Eminem’s crew stole this name but either way, it’s a great product.
This Korg multitrack recorder is a tad bit old compared to the new digital recorders (Like Tascam) but still solid as ever.
Record 4 tracks at the same time or playback all 12 at once, this Korg multitrack is a beast. You’ll be surprised to see how many people actually use this in their studios.
#6 – Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder
I consider the Zoom R16 multitrack recorder as my main multitrack recorder which is not my main recorder.
I guess if you completely despise “techy” stuff in music (Welcome to the club) but still want to make professional music, this multitrack recorder is for you. No drama, no learning curve just plug and play.
As far as ‘ease of use’ goes, this one is the best in the business. Works great with batteries though some do report that the quality of their adapter can be a lot better.
#7 – Zoom LiveTrak L-12 Multitrack Recorder
This Zoom multitrack recording studio is great for bands. The reason for that is it allows you to record about to 14 tracks simultaneously. Which is the most out of all the multitrack recorders featured here.
It also comes with 5 headphone outputs so you know this is meant for a nice group session or something along those lines. The Zoom L-12 also comes with a proper power source (An adapter) and a USB cable.
If you are somewhat familiar with your current DAW, you’ll really enjoy the connectivity with this multitrack recorder.
I would pick this over the big Tascam multitrack recorders just because it is really that easy to connect with your current home studio (Logic, Ableton, etc). Plug and play all the way. One of the best Zoom multitrack recorders in the market today. However, just like everything in life, there is one tiny bit of a downside, you must provide your own SD card. Ouch . . .
#8 – Korg D1200 Multitrack Recorder
This is the newer revamped version of the Korg D12. The Korg D1200 has all the same features as the Korg D12 but it’s a whole lot more easier to use.
So if you enjoyed the Korg D12, this would be your natural upgrade. As the D12 this one is also great for guitarists.
Now the question of the day is if you had a choice between the D12 and the D1200, which one should you pick? Well obviously the D1200 is more up to date but you can definitely get away with the D12 as well.
Let me put it this way . . . If you like the old school classic feel, try to get a D12 and if you just want to keep moving into the future, go with the D1200.
Overall, it’s the same multi recorder essentially.
#9 – Zoom H4N PRO – Best Home Multitrack Recorder
The smallest and probably the most coolest looking digital multitrack recorder I’ve ever seen.
Looks like something from those Alien movies but don’t let the fancy look foo you, this thing is a beast.
It’s a 4 track recorder and if your genre of music is rap, 4 track should be more then enough. One for the bass, one for the beat, and you can add a loop on the third. On the last one . . . spit your game playa.
Believe it or not, the H4N has been around for about 10 years and the folks at Zoom just keep improving them.
The Zoom H4N Pro gives you the chance to get your hands on an incredibly high-quality system. It even has a pair of stereo XY mics mounted on top. If you don’t yet own anything to plug into it, don’t worry about it. As the Zoom H4N also supports SD cards of up to 32 gigabytes.
This multitrack recorder has a very compact design with built-in amp emulators.
Zoom really outdid itself and almost created a new niche of micro portable digital multitrack recorders with this one.
#10 – Tascam DP-32SD Digital Portastudio
So we saved the baddest one of them all at the end. If you are tired of the 8 Tracks and the 24 tracks, this is Tascam’s giant 32 track digital portastudio.
This is literally a full-on studio. Besides the regular reverb and other effects, you can use compression and a limiter on this one here as well. Most likely, you don’t know what those two things are but once you do learn compression and limiting, that’s basically saying that know how to master music.
Needless to say, the Tascam 32 track recorder is literally a portable studio. So besides being a total powerhouse, what else makes this portastudio stand out? Well try the “color” LCD monitor for example.
Unlike some complex multitrack recorders here, I actually do recommend this one fo the the beginners out there. Reason is although when starting out, you might not need all those channels but it is easy to use. If you’re feeling like getting the best than it doesn’t get any better than the Tascam DP-32SD.
With a total of 21 faders and a three and a half inch color display, the Tascam DP 32 track creates a lot of opportunities for you to take control of your mix. It’s input also makes it easy to navigate around its various menus and settings. The DP 32 records up to eight tracks at once and offers excellent EQ options. The downside though is it’s playback may occasionally crackle.
Sound Devices MixPre-10T
The MixPre-10T portable offer up some of the cleanest signals on the market. Making this a good choice for the kind of detailed audio work required in the film and music industry. The 10T is equipped with 10 inputs, backlit gain knobs and quarter-twenty mounting features. It’s basically one of the best Multitrack recorders out there.
Zoom F8 Multitrack Recorder
The Zoom F8 has limiters on each channel that offer a nice amount of headroom while protecting the signal from clipping. Resulting in a much clear sound which is great when you’re tracking from particularly dynamic sources. The sun’s controllable Virant iOS app and comes with locking hybrid XLR jacks along with a color LCD readout.
Zoom F4 Multitrack Recorder
The Zoom F4 is a good model for the audio professional who spends a lot of time in various studios and may not have many opportunities to upload their work to a computer. Now thanks to a pair of SD slots that can each support a card of up to 512 gigabytes.
The Zoom F4 provides accurate time code generation and runs on mains or battery power rugged metal belt moving up a list to number six the primary inputs for each channel on the zoom live track l12 are built right on top of the device so you can make changes to your setup without having tough fish around in the back of the console with level indicators next to each fader you can easily tame your mix the effects presets can be saved and is equipped with five headphones outputs however it does suffer from some minor bleeding issues.
Moran’s professional PMD 706 96kHz 6-Channel DSLR Recorder
Thanks to its male quarter-twenty mounting hardware it’s easy to secure the Marantz professional PMD 706 directly beneath your camera. Whether that’s a camcorder, a DSLR, or other pieces of equipment, with the appropriate female parts this one’s great for indie movie and music production. The 706 also offers a mid-level preamp which is of decent quality but it’s not so efficient with batteries.
Roland Digital Multitrack Recorder HS-5
The Roland Digital HS 5 is designed to sit atop a simple cymbal stand in the middle of your bands practice space. This way, you can experience a live mix of your rehearsal and lay down anything that you think is worth keeping. The HS5 offers individual mixes for each person and dedicated two reverb knobs. However, it’s a poor choice for use on the go.
Best Multitrack Tracker for Beginners Buying Guide
What is a digital multitrack recorder and what does it do?
Well let me make this really easy . . . Have you ever seen this? It’s known as a audio mixing board.
Most likely you probably saw it in a movie or perhaps on Google somewhere. However, if you were really lucky, you got a chance to see it in real life and started drooling immediately. At least that’s what happened to me when I went to enroll in a music school some eons ago.
Imagine a machine that condenses all of that in a little box that you can either carry with you or place it next to your home studio. That’s what a digital multitrack recorder is. In a nutshell, you record each instrument on each of the tracks (One sound per track) and then play around with it or ‘mix’ it till it sounds professional.
That’s what a multitrack recorder does.
Anatomy of a Digital Multitrack Recorder
Each multitrack comes with it it’s own special features but all you need to know is the following:
It will help you control the volume of the instrument, vocal or sound sample that you just loaded. Each “track” (8, 12, 24, Whatever . . .) is controlled by this Fader.
So the whole idea is to play around with the faders and see which formation sounds the best.
Controls the combined volume of all the faders.
If you can understand this basic concept, then you can figure out how to use any multitrack recorder in the world.
Yeah these specific features might be considered “too analog” but that’s also part of it’s charm.
Do I need a multitrack recorder?
If you make music when you are not using your home studio (Making loops on your iPhone or recording ideas on a voice recorder) then it’s better to get a multitrack recorder.
Reason is you’ll save tremendous amount of time and will actually put out finished tracks much faster.
Some of your favorite songs were just spur of the moment things and if they weren’t captured properly, you and I would have never heard them.
That’s what the sole purpose of a multi-track recorder is.
Taking inspiration and helping you get it out there asap in the easiest way possible. With a multitrack recorder, you don’t have to worry about sound quality, noise reduction, etc. Basically, if you’re a serious music producer, you need it. If you are a hobbyist (Someone who doesn’t think about making music once you’re done spending time on your home studio), don’t worry about it.
How to use a multitrack recorder?
Although each multitrack recorders comes with it’s own bells and whistles, the main idea is to upload or record each individual sound on a single track and then use the mixing controls or board to mix it properly. A multitrack recorder is more or less the ‘hardware’ version of a daw.
This simple process is called multitrack recording.
Who invented multitrack recording?
The process was created by a man named Ross Snyder who later sold it to Les Paul (Yes the famous guitar company). In 1957, Les Paul made it into the world’s first 8 track recorder and the rest as they say is history.
Best Digital Multitrack Recorder Brands
When it comes to multitrack recorders, Tascam takes the cake in my book. Yes they have a fair bit of history in advancing music production in general (They invented the R-Dat Recorder after all), but when it comes to audio interfaces and digital multitrack recorders, I feel they are literally the best.
Their products are sturdy, and the output quality is professional. At the moment, when it comes to portable recording, they are definitely the leaders.
My other favorite, Korg (I’m sure you’ve heard of them) as already established itself as one of the prominent leaders when it comes to making professional music equipment. At the very least, a Korg multitrack recorder represents the brand accordingly as well.
The only reason I’m going to make these guys my second pick is because Tascam seems like they are more interested in making multitrack recorders and are definitely more relevant.
If you can find a multitrack recorder that’s right for you from these two brands, most likely you’ll be in good hands.
How do I use multitrack to record in a DAW?
Of course it depends on your DAW but you can literally connect your multitrack recorder to any of of the popular DAWs such as Logic Pro X, Audacity, Garageband, Adobe audition or Ableton. As long as both devices have USB input and output capabilities, you should be set. You can even set it up through Firewire (Great for Reaper users).
What is the best multitrack digital recorder for musicians with cd?
There are a few solid multitrack recorders that come with cd burners but to be honest, you simply need to upgrade. It’s all about USB now. Even USBs are going to become outdated and we’ll all be saving our music files in the cloud so forget about CDs.
So if you do have CDs, get that data on a USB and get a more newer digital multitrack recorder. Using a multitrack recorder that burns CDs is like having a multitrack tape or cassette recorder (Shrugs).
How to hook up a mixer to a multitrack recorder?
You don’t need to as a multitrack recorder has a built in mixer (Remember the mixing board example above). An 8 track multitrack recorder means you can mix 8 tracks together and so on. However, you can use the input feature of a multitrack recorder to add an additional mixer to it.
How to setup a Yamaha multitrack recorder?
Well it obviously depends on which Yamaha model you get but since most include fairly detailed instructions, all you have to do is simply follow through on them. To get a litter deeper, the first step is to connect it through USB and then follow the instructions.
Please do not try to figure it out on your own because you could actually damage your multitrack recorder. Hold on to your excitement, go through the process and if you’re stuck, just contact Yamaha’s customer service.
How to add drum tracks to multitrack recorder?
To record your drums, the best way is to select a track for each and then record them. For example, you will record your snare, toms, kicks, etc all recorded on individual tracks and then play around with them either on your multitrack recorder or pass them on to your music software. Whenever you record anything, make sure you record them individually so you have more mixing and editing power. So basically, to record drums on a multitrack recorder, you do it the same way you would with any other group of instruments. You record each individual piece first and then throw it in the mix later. So for drums, you would record your snares, toms, cymbals, etc all as single tracks.
How to get minimal xlr hissing with a multitrack recorder?
Hissing on any microphone when recording is a very common issue. If you are getting any kind of hissing sound, simply adjust the settings of your multitrack recorder. I can understand you having such issues with your DAW (As an audio interface or a pre-amp maybe required) but if you have a decent multitrack recorder, hissing shouldn’t be a problem. If so, you only need to play around with the internal settings of your multitrack recorder more. Contact the manufacturer at this point for sure.
Which hard drive based multitrack recorder records the most tracks at once?
Well again that depends. Most multitrack recorders range from 4 track to 24 track. 8 track multitrack recorders seem to be quite popular with home studio owners and anything more really just depends on your workflow and how you like to record tracks in general. So overall, 24 is the highest number so far.
How to burn a cd from a multitrack recorder?
If you multitrack recorder comes with a built-in CD burner, that would be the fastest way. Korg has some really good models in that space. Another way is to simply upload all your tracks on your computer and then go from there. However, like I said, CDs are too old and it’s all about USB at the moment.
How to connect a multitrack recorder to pro tools?
Just like you would with any DAW or music software. You simply connect your multitrack recorder to your computer through USB and then get your DAW to ‘recognize’ the hardware. This can be achieved through preference or settings section. Again, it all depends on your DAW and how it does things.
How to multitrack record in audacity?
To be perfectly honest, if you have a multitrack recorder then you should be able to get a better daw than audacity. don’t get me wrong, we all love audacity. However if you are capable of multi recording then you’re better off using a free music software than audacity.
Hey I started recording my first rap songs on Audacity so I have a special place for it.
As far as free music software goes, it still really cool editing tool. However, if you are serious about recording on Audacity, then basically open one track at a time and then import whatever sound or tune that you’ve created. The only downside with audacity is you have to do everything one by one, by hand, manually that is.
Do they still make multitrack recorders?
Yes of course they do. In fact, multitrack recorders are very popular on tour buses. Ås they allow your favorite artist to record their latest tunes in a professional way and put it out as soon as possible.
How to record in multitrack adobe audition cc on pc?
Pretty much the same way you would on a mac. That said, I have found Audacity to be a little bit for flexible for PC users than mac. I guess because it was originally designed for PC users. Overall though,if you want to record using Adobe audition on PC, it`s pretty much the same way. Just download the application, setup the proper preferences and you should be good to go.
How to multitrack record with a usb mixer?
Now again it all depends on your workflow and how you do things. This is the best part about music production, everyone has their own way of doing things and if it works, that`s all that matters.
Do you necessarily need a usb mixer on top of a multitrack recorder? Not really but will it give you an additional way to mix? Definitely. I would just use the mixer that comes with any built in DAW.
How to mix a multitrack recording?
The whole idea about multitrack recording is to record tracks individually. Once you get them all recorded as individual tracks, that`s when you throw them in the multitrack recorder and mix as one single track.
Are there AI algorithms to separate individual instruments from multitrack recording?
I am not sure if you can completely separate or pick out individual instruments from a multitrack recording but you can definitely identify them. It all depends on your understanding of EQing.
If you are pretty solid with EQing and identifying low end, high end etc. You should be able to identify the elements in a multitrack recording. At least this way, you can recreate the entire track.
Although it is possible to use some elements (Instruments) within the multitrack recording (Especially if it wasn`t mastered or EQ`d already).
How to multitrack record a live band?
The best way to do this is plug in each instrument within the multitrack recorder and get the person to play that part. Once each instrument is loaded, then you can play around with it.
Just make sure you take extra care per instrument as recording live requires a little bit of patience and a bit of dexterity. After all, you want to make sure you capture each instrument like it was meant to be heard.
What is the best digital multitrack recorder?
The best multitrack digital recorder is the one that works for you. There are so many of these on the market and to be honest, a lot of them do the same thing. At the end of the day you just have to ask yourself what are your requirements and then go find the one that will fulfill those requirements.
Simple as that.
To be more accurate, by requirements I mean your workflow. The way you make your music and so on. That is the most important thing. Generally speaking though, a good multitrack recorder should have a few basic things. At least, this is what I would be looking for.
I would say always go for the brand names first. Just because they’re established, they have done the proper research and have the experience behind them. After that bridge is crossed, all you have to look at the features. Try to go for what you need then any special bells and whistles. I know it can be tempting but go for a multitrack recorder that can do the job.
Not just something with a lot of bells and whistles.
Why no midi multitrack recorder?
The reason there’s no midi multitrack recorder is because that’s not it’s purpose. if you want to record midi, you can just use any daw or music software that is out there. The true purpose of a multitrack recorder is to either record live instruments while you’re on the road or just your own vocals.
That’s pretty much it.
If you want to record midi notes, you’re better off simply connecting your MIDI controller to your laptop and start recording on your favorite music software. Using a multitrack recorder to record midi is like forcing your drum set to sound like a ukulele.
It just doesn’t make sense.
How to use 424 tascam multitrack recorder?
The 424 Tascam multitrack recorder is one of the most “classic” yet quality multitrack recorders ever made.
No surprises here really as Tascam is a brand that has pretty much established themselves as an elite in this category.
Plus they got raving fans and I happen to be one of them.
One of my two audio interface is by Tascam and I’m quite impressed. To use any of Tascam’s products, I highly encourage you to Look into the manual that is provided with the product.
If you need additional information just go to their website or contact them directly.
I have found instead of wasting time on the internet looking for answers, when it comes to your music equipment, it’s best to just go directly to the source.
Just give them a quick email and I’m sure he’ll take care of you or any questions that you may have regarding the 424 Tascam multitrack recorder.
Getting the best multitrack recorder for beginners take your time. It is rewarding when comes to great performance as you want. Take the top picks and guidelines into account before making a purchase. Nice shoping!