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Imagine if you had a stand alone equipment that helps you with everything you need to do such as recording, mixing and producing music?
How will you feel?
Someone like me, I will go out and look for the best multitrack recorder I can find.
This is because an equipment like this will make my life so much easier.
There will be no need to make sure everything is played in real time and you can actually have overdubs when recording.
But before you run out and get the first multi track recorder that you can find, there are some things you need to consider.
In this article, we will be looking at a review of the top 5 multi track recorders in the market today, tips you need to consider before you make a purchase and how to make sure you get the best out of your newest purchase.
Our Top 5 Best Multitrack Recorders 2018
- TASCAM DP-008EX 8-Track Portable Multi-Track Recorder – Editor’s Choice
- Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder
- TASCAM DP-24SD Multitrack Recorder – Premium Choice
- Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder
- JamHub Tracker MT16
What is a multitrack recorder?
Simply put, a multitrack recorder is a piece of equipment that allows you to record multiple pieces of audio (on separate tracks) before combining them together to form a larger piece.
So for example, you will have a track for vocals, a track for drums, a separate track for guitars and so on.
Basically this was how (and is still how) things were done before computers came into play.
There are still some people that believe in using multitrack recorders and prefer it to using a computer.
This article is not about which is better. It is simple a guide to help you pick the right choice if you want to get such equipment.
Personally, I think it is a matter of personal choice and which one you are comfortable using.
Things to consider before you make a purchase
1. The total number of tracks
This is probably the most important factor you need to consider before you make a purchase.
The name says it all.
If you are getting any multitrack recorder, you want to at least get something that has a high number of tracks.
This is because the number of tracks you have will determine the number of recordings you can make at once.
Basically you want to go with something that has at least 8 tracks.
2. What type of recorder is it?
Also you want to determine the type of multitrack recorder you are getting.
The type you get will usually depend on the applications and the settings you see yourself using it later.
Basically we have the small format, large format, field recorders and portable recorders.
They all have different uses and applications
All you need to do is to make sure you get the type that fits your need.
3. What effects does it have?
One thing about such equipments is that you cannot add any sort of plugins to them.
So you need to make sure that whichever one you get has at least some built in effects that can serve you well.
If that is not possible, then it should at least have an external effects send/ loop which you can connect additional outboard signal processing
4. Does it have the ability to export?
When you finish your recordings on your multitrack recorder, you want to be able to export to a computer for further processing.
As such you want to make sure that your purchase has this function in it.
This will definitely make your life much easier and stress free.
5. Does it have additional features
Finally you want to see the additional features that it comes with.
Most of them usually come with drum machines and also have a USB port that allows you to easily connect as many media devices as you want.
Our Top 5 Best Multitrack Recorders
1. TASCAM DP-008EX 8-Track Portable Multi-Track Recorder
This is simply one of the most common and popular multitrack recorders out there.
It is a portable 8 track recorder that can be used anywhere and also gives you a wide range of options when recording.
It has a digital resolution of 44.1KHz/ 16 bit which makes it CD quality and professional audio quality.
It comes with a built in high quality condenser mic which is ideal for ease of use and getting your vocals down without stress
It has 2 XLR inputs with +48V phantom power for easily connecting extra mics to it
It comes with a 2G SD card and AA batteries.
It has special effects such as EQ, compressor and normalize for giving your mixes that professional touch.
2. Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder
This is a 16 channel playback and 8 channel simultaneous recording recorder that makes your recording job so much easy
It has 48V phantom power on 2 channels which makes it easy to amplify and get clear vocals when recording.
It comes preprogrammed with over 135 types of effects that takes your mixing and mastering skills to another level
It comes with 32GB card that gives you enough space to do as many recordings as you like
It has 8 balanced XLR inputs which makes it very easy to connect as many extra equipments as you like.
It has a simple and unique control surface that is compatible with all major DAWs.
It has a USB ports for high speed file transfer and can be powered using the included AC adapter or AA batteries.
3. TASCAM DP-24SD Multitrack Recorder
This is another one made by the guys over at TASCAM.
It has 18 track faders and one master track fader which makes it very easy for you to work on any given channel easily
It has a 3.5 inches LCD screen and self illuminating buttons that makes control and navigation very easy
It has the ability to record to both SDHC and SD cards for easy storage and backup
It comes bundled with built in multi effects and mastering tools that makes it very easy to record and master a finished product instantly
It has a USB port that makes file transfer easy
4. Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder
This is one of the smaller and very portable multitrack recorders that makes your job stress free.
It has 4 channels and has digital resolutions of 24 bit and 94 KHz.
It comes with built in stereo microphones that helps you easily setup and begin recording.
It has 2 XLR/TRS inputs with locking connectors for connecting different media types to your recorder.
It has a 4 input and 2 output USB audio interface that helps improve the quality of your recordings
It can accommodate SD and SDHC cards of up to 32 GB which makes for extra storage space for your audio files.
It has built in natural sounding preamps that helps to amplify your vocals and make them clearer when recording.
It has a brighter and easy to read LCD screen for easy control
5. JamHub Tracker MT16
This is one simple but very powerful multitrack recorder that is being used by a lot of people today.
You can easily records 16 channels on it without any hassle
It is WIFI enabled which makes it very easy to use and also to hook it up to the internet.
It supports storage cards of SD and SHDC of up to 16GB.
It has an ethernet port, headphones and audio ports making it very easy to hooks up external gear to it.
If you are looking for something that is very portable and will save you the stress of setting up then this is it.
How to use a multitrack recorder
Here is a video showing you how to use multitrack recorder and make a multitrack recording
Getting the best multitrack recorder is one of the best things that you can do for yourself.
It is going to take your recording and mixing skills to another level
Luckily all the products reviewed in this article are top quality and you cannot go wrong with them.
If you have any tips or comments leave them in the box below
All images sourced from Amazon.com