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Portable Multitrack Recorder

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by Morf2540, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Morf2540

    Morf2540 Strat-O-Master

    Nov 8, 2017
    Philadelphia, PA
    So I picked up one of these on eBay. It's basically a digital version of a cassette-based 4-track I had many centuries ago. So I'm finally putting my toe in the water again for recording. Next step would be to get an interface, DAW, etc, and learn that whole business. But this is small and portable and does not tie me to a computer. Obviously much more limited in capability. But for simply jotting down musical ideas I figure it's worth a shot. I'll report back after I use it a little. In the meantime, if anyone has something similar and wants to share some advice, that would be awesome. Thanks, s-l1600.jpg
    drutgat, Mankonis, Rastus and 4 others like this.
  2. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 3, 2016
    Houston, TX
    I used to have a similar Fostex unit. I loved the features and the ease of use, but the QC was lacking. Just as I was mastering the features, it cratered.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  3. craigh

    craigh Strat-Talker

    Nov 20, 2016
    I’ve been looking at one of those also.
  4. Duckster

    Duckster Strat-Talk Member

    Nov 29, 2018
    I used to record to my tascam cassette 4 track all the time. Man .. thats a process I dont miss.
  5. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014

    I've been using a Boss,BR-800 for a number of years now, & for myself, it's all I'll ever need. All the guitar effects that Boss make, & a drum machine with over 300-patches are built into it. It also includes mastering effects too, to polish your finished sound off with...

    You may want to consider an up-grade into one of these units, as even though it also comes with DAW software too, you'll never need to use it, like I don't.

    DAW sees so many updates etc a year, that folks will spend more time readjusting what they've learned, than playing & recording.

    The only issue with your unit would be not enough tracks, especially when you consider adding drums, bass, & vocals etc etc. You'll have to do "bounce-downs" quite often to achieve a full stereo production sound.

    A bounce-down is when you transfer say 4-recorded tracks onto 1-track, giving you another 3-usable-tracks again...

    Have fun,


    Mankonis and circles like this.
  6. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    Zoom H6 is awesome.
    circles likes this.
  7. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    How quick does it boot up?
    My playtime is so serendipitous...
    Need a .005 second boot time..
    My Bad
  8. 64 Tele

    64 Tele Strat-O-Master

    Feb 6, 2013
    NW Arkansas
    I've been using this for several months. I do everything myself (instruments/vocals) so limitations to 2 tracks at a time recording is not an issue. I use an Alesis digital drum machine, record bass, keys and acoustic guitar direct, vocals and electric guitars using condenser (vocals) and dynamic mics. Amazing sound for small recorder.
    Groovey likes this.
  9. lammie200

    lammie200 Strat-O-Master

    Apr 25, 2016
    San Francisco
    I just bought the same one. I have really been remiss at recording and want to get on track, so to speak. I am going line out from my amp to Input A set to mic. Seems to work. One thing that I noticed is that the headphone jack doesn't click in positively. Still works but pulls out easily. May be that is intentional?

    BTW, I returned a Roland R07 to get this one. I was thinking that the Roland would be a super easy interface. It is, but it also had crap signal to noise ratio. Had to do a lot of clean up with Audacity to get something decent sounding. The Tascam unit is much quieter.
  10. frankdoorhof

    frankdoorhof Strat-Talk Member

    Nov 8, 2018
    I'm using a br80
    Bought it mainly to be able to use eband when travelling.

    It's awesome and cheap.
    Fill it with guitar backing tracks, plug your guitar in and you have loads of sounds and recording options.
  11. jimyjazz

    jimyjazz Senior Stratmaster

    May 15, 2015
    New Zealand
    I have a boss br 80 as well, which does deliver good results and the built in effects are pretty amazing too .
    Haven't used it for a while as I started using audacity which I find faster to move around on when doing multiple takes or layering stuff . The br 80 is very cool in a very compact package .
  12. banjaxed

    banjaxed Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Mar 14, 2014
    Liverpool UK
    I have the Boss BR900CD which does everything including burning your recordings on to CD
    without going near a PC.
    circles likes this.
  13. drutgat

    drutgat Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    Good for you for getting back into the game.

    I do not know how current your knowledge is about digital recorders, and I also have not looked at the specs of the unit you bought, so please excuse me if you already know what I am about to say.

    The first few generations of digital 'standalone' recorders were just that - they recorded by themselves, and had no other purpose or capability.

    However, in the last few years, quite a few digital recorders have been made which have the capabilities to function as:
    1. A Stand Alone recorder, AND
    2. An Audio Interface (to plug them into a DAW and record on to the DAW in the computer), AND
    3. A Control Surface

    These recorders can fulfil at least two, and often three of the functions mentioned above.

    Personally, I have the Zoom R16 (which has faders, which I like), and the Boss MICRO BR80, which is so small that it fits into my shirt pocket.

    And there are many others. So, if your current recorder does not do so, you could pick up another that can be portable and self-contained, and that can also be used as an Audio Interface, and perhaps a Control Surface.

    FWIW, the Zoom R16 (and its bigger brother, the R24) has been around for a long time, and seems to be respected. I really like it, although I wish that it did have a drum machine of some sort.

    Good luck.
  14. jeff h

    jeff h Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 13, 2017
    I really want one of these but my needs are more in line with recording 8 simultaneous tracks. (4 for drums)(2) vocals, guitar and Bass. Those recorders are expensive so I don't have one yet...

    I do have a DAW and audio interface so recording two tracks at the same time is a piece of cake. That is all I need for me, but in the band, it is nice to capture everything separate so it can be mixed.
  15. frankdoorhof

    frankdoorhof Strat-Talk Member

    Nov 8, 2018
    Have to add
    For home I use a Behringer 4 input module and Cakewalk.

    The boss is purely for on the road
  16. drutgat

    drutgat Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    Was just thinking that if you are doing some recording on the Tascam with a friend, then a headphone amp might be useful so that you can each have a set headphones (typically, these units only have one headphone out), and also so that you can different volume levels.

    I have the older version of the Presonus HP4, which is easy to use, built like a tank (and which is way too loud if you crank it above 2 or 3).

    I would imagine that you would be able to pick one up used at a very good price.

    Here is what my older version looks like