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Newbie Dilemma: Zoom H4N or Tascam TrackPack?

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by NorthShore, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. NorthShore

    NorthShore Senior Stratmaster

    Help a brother out!

    I have about $250 CAD in gift cards for my local Long & McQuade store. I have been toying with the idea of trying out home recording of guitar (both acoustic and electric) and vocals.

    I went to the store this past weekend with the intention of picking up the Zoom H4N hand recorder. My thought process was that I would use this to make simple recordings for practice review and also to take to the occasional jam with buddies.

    Then I saw the Tascam TrackPack bundle at the store. Tascam 2x2 interface, plus a condenser mike, plus headphones, plus software download for Ableton Lite and Cakewalk Sonar LE.

    So, I couldn't pull the trigger! There's a good chance I will eventually by both a portable recorder AND a computer recording interface package at some point.

    My question: Which should I get first, and why?

    Thanks for any and all input.

  2. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    I'm a huge fan of the Zoom H6. I think you should get that one. :)

    I recorded this entire song on it and mixed it in Audacity.


  3. NorthShore

    NorthShore Senior Stratmaster

    Sounds great but that's a bit out of my range....

  4. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    My vote goes for a computer bases system and external mics but my preference is based on my own bias. :D

  5. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Also: There are plenty of good interfaces out there that are reasonably priced and that come bundled with software. Ditto for reasonably priced mics/headphones/etc.. You can find something in your price range quite easily and choose your DAW.
    NorthShore and Paperback Rocker like this.

  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    You are sitting and typing on the best recorder you can buy. A decent M Audio interface, and ProTools Free and your good to go.
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  7. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter


    You will be assimilated...into ProTools.
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  8. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    Use the DAW that works for you.
    Logic replaced PT for me when I retired and didn't have to work on other people's stuff.

    A really talented editor I used to work with loved Nuendo. But, in order to share project files with multiple editors or to sync up to a final mix of a film, he had to work on the same platform every one else (Foley, dialog, FX, ADR etc.) he used PT.
    Dadocaster likes this.

  9. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Please note my post above was primarily to infer that fezz parka is a Borg rather than to infer that PT is a poor product. If I had to do this stuff for a living, I would probably migrate to ProTools.
    fezz parka likes this.

  10. moullineaux

    moullineaux Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 11, 2009
    I️ own an H4 and it has never let me down. I’ve used it for recording everything from band practices to nature sounds. The mics are really good and the stereo field is great . Has some pretty decent on board effects as well. Good bang for the buck

  11. NorthShore

    NorthShore Senior Stratmaster

    UPDATE: Bought the Tascam Track Pack. I decided that I can always add the H4N for portability purposes later. And of course, my laptop crapped the bed that night before I could even download the software and test it. So, now on hold until I pick up a new computer.

    The anticipation is killing me.