9 Best Multitrack Recorder : Record Like a Pro

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If you are a fan of doing it the old school way. If you prefer the simplicity and straight forward nature of things other than complexity and confusion. If you are a musician and maybe in the market for the best multitrack recorder.

The best multitrack recorder is a recording device that allows you to record numerous music tracks to line up your music sequentially and this can create a perfect concoction.

They are physical hardware that is manufactured to do digital recording software is able to do. In some ways, they lack the variety of effects which the software will have and they also take up more space. Multitrack recorders are more simple and easy to use.

So you must be wondering why will you use the best multitrack recorder?

It would seem a bit weird to use the best multitrack recorder in the world where software is the way to go. The software can be confusing and tough to use, especially if you are a beginner.

If there are people who are trying to look after programs like Logic or ProTools then we can assure you that the learning curve is tough. Best Multitrack recorders offer variation in order to record your most inspired work.

This is why we decided to put on a list of the 9 best multitrack recorders in 2020. If you read on and find the devices which fit your specific needs and also some necessary questions you should be asking yourself.

9 Best Multitrack Recorder:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best overall 
Zoom F6 Field Recorder
Zoom F6 Field Recorder

Compact design and a sturdy build

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Best 8-Track recorder
Tascam DP-03SD
Tascam DP-03SD

2 XLR inputs

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Best outdoors multitrack recorder
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Podcast Recorder
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Podcast Recorder

Playing back, recording, and mixing 10 simultaneous tracks

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Best Value for Money
Zoom LiveTrak L-12 Digital Mixer
Zoom LiveTrak L-12 Digital Mixer

16 onboard effects 

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Best standalone multitrack recorder
Tascam Model 16
Tascam Model 16

32 track recorders

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Best Portable multitrack recorder
Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder
Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder

Exportable MP3's and WAV's

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Best dedicated digital multitrack recorder
Zoom LiveTrak L-20 Digital Mixer
Zoom LiveTrak L-20 Digital Mixer

Portable and lightweight

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Best build quality
Zoom H4n Pro Recorder
Zoom H4n Pro Recorder

 
4 Channel recording

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Best 4 track Tascam multitrack recorder
Tascam DR-40X Recorder
Tascam DR-40X Recorder

Digital Navigation

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1.) Zoom F6 Field Recorder - Best Overall

multitrack recorder software

The name zoom r16 multitrack recorder makes people think of handheld devices, and if you thought so then you won’t be too far wrong.

This model, however, is a bit different. It is very compact, measuring somewhere around 7” by 2.1 by 5.5” and it weighs around two pounds. This is the power of the zoom r16 multitrack recorder.

The device is ruggedly built, with an aluminum chassis, and is tailor-made to work outside on the fields. There is one advantage that can be irrelevant to some are the variety of power sources available with this device.

The options are AC connections, external and internal battery operation. This comes in very handy when you are working outdoors. There are various options in the zoom multitrack recorder.

It has 8 locking jack sockets which come with a choice of XLR or ¼” and also a mic operation or a switchable line. Each input has a separate microphone preamp giving up to 75gb of gain.

You can monitor sound sources and levels by using a headphone jack socket. You won’t struggle to hear if the background noise is loud all thanks to the built-in headphone amp.

This F6 model by Zoom is aimed at the best multitrack recorder for the film industry. This device can be mounted over a tripod and not only that it also has a bracket that will fit your DSLR. It carries a lot of features for its small size.

The high-quality filters reduce external noise like that of the wind, and an adjustable limiter gives a little extra headroom for each track.

And if you are using it outdoors, the metering can sometimes be an issue due to light or poor visibility. The F6 has been equipped with high-visibility metering and displays to solve this particular problem.

This device has employed a LED meter for each input and it helps you to get your levels right and. There are a lot of features built-in for such a compact machine.

This is one of the best multitrack recorders for DJ who are doing gigs in outdoors. It is very expensive and is most suitable for people doing professional DJ gigs and have a good budget in hand.

Pros
  • Compact design and a sturdy build.
  • Good sound recording features.
  • Good noise cancellation for the microphone.
Cons
  • Rather expensive unless you are a professional DJ.

2.) Tascam DP-03SD- Best 8-Track recorder

cheap multitrack recorderThere may be a time when you need to put more than one instrument onto a track, then you require the best multitrack recorder that can handle all the pressure put into it.

The Tascam multitrack recorder is very efficient. The Tascam DP-03SD 8-Track recorder is a bigger version than the no. 1 recorder on our list.

The bigger size means it is less portable, although the size difference is not that much in reality still it is quite closer to size to its close relative.

This device has two XLR inputs for external microphones and a built-in condenser microphone these are powered by the phantom power. The Tascam multitrack recorder is very effective in getting its objectives accomplished.

This best multitrack recorder gives you the option of recording voices, bass, piano, guitars, and any other instrument which you have to use to get your job done.

If you want to record drums, then you can only have two microphones plugged into the XLR inputs. You have the option of importing wave files directly into the recorder in order to mix tracks on the ones you are working now and they require a touch-up.

We cannot stress enough how important this best multitrack recorder becomes for you when you start using it and hence, it is a really reliable recorder in the 8-track range.

You’re able to get as many ideas as you need when you’re working on simple music. Having this device around the house would be great for discussing ideas.

Pros
  • 8-Tracks
  • 2 XLR inputs
  • Wav files uploads
Cons
  • Heavier compared to its competitors

3.) Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Podcast Recorder- Best outdoors multitrack recorder

best multitrack recorder softwareThe Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is manufactured by keeping in mind the needs of bands, podcasters, and creators as an all in one mixer or recorder or streaming device.

This device is capable of playing back, recording, and mixing 10 simultaneous tracks or 12 on its own if you were to use it as an audio interface.

This device is also capable of working as an audio interface and then have the audio feed directly go to the streaming platforms.

Apart from transport buttons, this device also has six sound trigger pads for, canned laughter, samples, or other sound effects that you might need in your DJ gig, live performance, interview recording, or podcasts.

This best multitrack recorder can be used with Mac and Windows. It can be used in a room to record a band as a whole with the external microphones, or in a private setting plugged in.

This device will be the perfect companion when you are getting your ideas down on a scratch track. In terms of portability, this recorder is the best in class. It is smaller than the first pick in the list but doesn’t have extra 2 tracks.

The device has major positive reviews from the DJs’ who are always on the go and this is why they love the Livetrak L-8’s portability and features.

Bands users too have the same feeling of affection towards the device for its capability to be an audio interface, this allows them to either record their rehearsals as a sample or uses the same device to make their final gig.

In the end, we can say, the Zoom LiveTrack is a feature-filled and convenient user-friendly device.

Pros
  • Rich features are tailored towards the specific needs.
  • It allows simultaneous recording to a DAW and external storage
  • The option of a backup file to be stored in external storage.
  • These are powered by batteries which give it portability
Cons
  • The USB port is used as AC power.

4.) Zoom LiveTrak L-12 Digital Mixer- Best Value for Money

best multitrack recorder appDuring the time of publication, this device was the highest-rated digital track recorder.

This device was introduced as a follow-up on their success of the R series recorders.

Zoom introduced the Livetrak series in the year 2017 bringing new features that were not there in their previous model and this is a new introduction of their standalone recorder line.

While the R series is still being produced today, the Livetrak series gives you more enriched experience and this device looks more in place when used in studios and all the while the R series caters more to the “prosumer” market.

If you want a one size fits all best multitrack recorder which will help you in keeping a record of rehearsals or live performance, small venue events, this device is a good choice.

This can record simultaneously 14 tracks. This can export tracks to the computer. This gives you the option of Tracks playback or mixes simultaneously up to 12.

These are phantom power on 8 channels. Unbalanced LR Monitor out + USB. The sample rate is 44.1khz, 48khz, 96khz (switchable). The bit rate is up to 24-bit.

There can be 16 onboard effects including delays and reverbs. USB audio interface: 14 channels. The storage medium is USB 2.0.

Pros
  • It functions as a digital mixer, an audio interface, and a standalone recorder.
  • The features provided are the latest
  • The build quality is very good
Cons
  • A solo button is missing and a polarity switches to reverse the phase.

5.) Tascam Model 16 - Best standalone multitrack recorder

multi track recording equipmentThe TASCAM 16 All-In-One is manufactured as a standalone recording workstation familiar to its ancestor the tape recorders of old offered by TASCAM.

Given that it does provide USB recording and control features of DAW, it was manufactured that the people will use computers less recording work.

If TASCAM is to be believed, many celebrities’ songwriters have previously worked with their 32 track recorders which include the likes of Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen.

The main features you need to keep in mind as a potential buyer are that it can record 16 simultaneous multitrack at a time.

The built-in audio interface can send/receive audio data to or from DAW. There are as many as 14 inputs points present in this best multitrack recorder with 10 monaural balanced and 2 stereos paired TRS balanced.

There is also the presence of 10 mic pre-amps using Tascam. These are all phantom-powered inputs each and every one of them.

The sample rate is around 44.1k/48 with the bit rate believed to be around 16/24-bit. There are several on-board effects including 3-band EQ, mastering tools, exciter, de-esser, compression, noise suppression, amp models, reverb, and more.

This device gives you the option of exporting all the tracks to the computer.

TASCAM’s is an old and established name when it comes to offering standalone best multitrack recorder. This device is a modern version of the older Tascam model of the past.

This device is best used by artists or performers who will be needing multiple inputs and prefer having the liberty of recording and mixing with a DAW, and are very well accustomed to the computer less setup.

Pros
  • Tailor-made for people who are familiar with computer fewer setups.
  • The workflow of the device is much appreciated.
  • The controls and the button layout of the device are super easy to use.
Cons
  • Lack of upgrades on the previous model compared to the price hike

6.) Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder- Best Portable multitrack recorder

zoom r16 multitrack recorderThis device is hands down the most versatile and portable recorder on our list. This contains four combination XLR/1/4″ inputs this allows the user to record mics and instruments simultaneously.

The device comes with gain knobs and pads which definitely adds to the effects of your recordings.

By making an additional purchase, you can have a mounting adapter this will allow you to attach the recorder to cameras as they can record video with high-quality sound.

There are two built-in condenser microphones that can be adjusted accordingly and this gives you the liberty of recording mono, or multi-directional stereo sounds.

Pros
  • Built-in condenser mics
  • Exportable MP3's and WAV's
  • Portable and lightweight
  • 6-simultaneous track recording
Cons
  • A bit outdated when compared to the rest of the products in the list

7.) Zoom LiveTrak L-20 Digital Mixer- Best dedicated digital multitrack recorder

zoom multitrack recorderThe Zoom device is the flagship best Multitrack Recorder / Digital Mixer hybrid of the Zoom infamous product portfolio.

The features of this device are more suited to dedicated digital mixers as they balance recording and mixing functionality.

This device also offers us the option of using a solo button for each channel, this is a feature a lot of people were sorely disappointed as the L-12 didn’t have these feature and hence, they were turned off by the prospect of buying the device.

The one feature which was quite well received by the audience was its ability to provide six separate personalized headphone mixes while the recordings were going on.

There can be simultaneous recording tracks up to twenty-two. Simultaneously Tracks playback/mix can be up to twenty. There are no virtual tracks. There are 2 x Stereo Line

The TRS phone jacks Monitor speaker out, 6 x Headphone monitor mix out, 1 x Headphone-out. The sample rate is 44.1/48/96 kHz and Bit rate 16/24-bit, mono/stereo, on-board effects twenty types of Reverb, USB audio interface 22 Channels in, 4 Channels out.

The LiveTrak L-20 is great for recording and monitoring live sessions which are increasingly 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.

Pros
  • It can handle up to 6 headphones at a time.
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Wav files uploads
Cons
  • The EQ channel affects the monitor mixes which is very confusing.

8.) Zoom H4n Pro Recorder- Best build quality 

tascam multitrack recorderIn accordance with our sixth position multi-track on the list, this digital multi-track recorder is also banged on in terms of portability. This is a four-channel recorder that has built-in stereo X/Y microphones and it can record at a 24-bit capacity.

The 2 XLR/TRS inputs allow you to plug in microphones and instruments alike. All the things you record can be directly stored on the SD card for up to 32 GB. It can be connected to a computer through USB and has 4 input and 2 output channels.

This best multitrack recorder can be used with Mac and Windows. It can be used in a room to record a band as a whole with the external microphones, or in a private setting plugged in.

This device will be the perfect companion when you are getting your ideas down on a scratch track. In terms of portability, this recorder is the best in class. It’s smaller than the first pick in the list but doesn’t have extra 2 tracks.

When you are getting your ideas down, four tracks could be all you need. It is great for recording in a room with 2 microphones being able to pick up intricate sounds.

Pros
  • Portability
  • Built-in condenser mics
  • 32GB memory
  • 4 Channel recording
Cons
  • The built quality could have been better

9.) Tascam DR-40X Recorder - Best 4 track Tascam multitrack recorder

best multitrack recorderThis is yet another four-track recorder that will work out great for the people who are always on the go. This is a digital device that gives you the liberty of navigating through the tracks with ease and speed.

The two XLR/1/4″ inputs give you the opportunity of using two lines for both or either instruments or microphones as you may like.

This device also offers two built-in condenser microphones alongside a safety track recording so as to avoid any distorted tracks.

This recorder can accompany you to record rooms irrespective of the background noise whether it is a loud environment or a more quiet atmosphere.

If you are recording a live band in lectures/talks in a room or club you can record the sound properly. This best multitrack recorder has the best in class technology of peak-reduction as well as locking inputs for your instruments or microphones.

The built-in audio interface can send/receive audio data to or from DAW. There are as many as 14 inputs points present in this best multitrack recorder with 10 monaural balanced and 2 stereos paired TRS balanced.

There is also the presence of 10 mic pre-amps using Tascam. These are all phantom-powered inputs each and every one of them.

This multi-track device can be compared to the previously Zoom H4N recorder. This is a good alternative when you are recording in a room or you want to put down a few ideas on the go.

This device is small and compact compared to its peers in this price range but it still boasts the necessary features which you require while putting your inspiration together.

Pros
  • Adjustable built-in condenser mics
  • Digital Navigation
  • Combination inputs
  • Peak-reduction
  • Portability
Cons
  • Not value for money deal better option is available which gives overall good performance

Best Multitrack Recorders Buyers Guide:

What do you look for when you are buying the best multitrack recorder?

There are several options available in the market when you are talking about recording devices that it can be tough to figure out the best way to go.

Doesn’t matter if you are looking for a record to make full bands songs or just to make few tracks on your own, you will surely able to find what’s right for you.

This is why we put on a short guide of things which will be helpful to keep in mind when you are looking for an audio recorder.

The factors which you need to keep in mind are as follows, versatility, compatibility, size and many others will influence your decision.

Why use the best multitrack recorder?

For starters, they are easy to use and very straight forward in operation as one can testify who has had previous experience of using multi-track recording equipment.

There is no need for fumbling around and putting in extra effects and confusing attributes.

The Digital recorders always tend to be loaded up in the features side of things and these can be a tough experience for a beginner who is just in the initial days of their journey in becoming a superstar DJ.

This can sometimes be so frustrating that people might contemplate quitting the job altogether and we here don’t want that to happen and we are quite certain we don’t want that either.

These best multitrack recorder software are in the general not so confusing and the software experience might get dwarfed when compared to these best multitrack recorder software.

There is the fact that recording in large rooms is obviously made quite easier with all the built-in condenser microphone and line inputs.

The best multitrack recorder software will take you back to a time that is more simple and straight forward. It can make recording a lot of fun and quicker without unneeded intricacies.

Size

The size is one of the most important factors which you need to keep in mind whenever you are buying a cheap multitrack recorder?

You should ask yourself the question where you want to take the cheap multitrack recorder is it to your jam spaces, friends’ houses, and live venues?

If your answer is one of the three mentioned above reasons then this where portability becomes very important. In simple words, the smaller the recorder, the more portability it has got.

There are a variety of options that are available to you when you start looking for a portable recorder.

All these being said, if you desire a bit more zip about your cheap multitrack recorder, then you will be requiring a recorder with a few more tracks. This is possible that you get more tracks and still have a degree of portability.

Versatility

What are all the things do you expect out of your cheap multitrack recorder equipment? You should ask yourself whether you will be looking to record a few ideas for later recording, or whether you intend on having a full orchestra uploaded onto your recorder?

There are different recorders that come bundled with different versatility and this becomes quite crucial for you to decide the purpose of the best multitrack recorder app.

If you require different effects minus external plug-ins, you should look to get a device that can handle a high workload.

If you are more of a simple and casual user, then you should definitely not look to having those extra effects that might not be necessary for you.

You have to think about the type of music you will be recording and what features you really want in your best multitrack recorder app.

There is another factor that you should consider is that even though you might not need those fancy effects at the current moment in time, but it will always be helpful if you have them on hand as you want to be prepared for the times when you might need them.

The multitrack recorder can be a lot of fun to play around when you don’t have anything to do.

Memory

This is a question that should pop in your mind that how much memory does your recordings going to require? This is crucially important as you don’t want to end up running out of data.

A 32Gb should be more than enough memory as far as an initial amount of memory goes, but then again if you are the traveling types then you might need more memory as you would not want to miss out on recordings because of memory constraints.

This is why you need all the memory you can get. The music can get away from you in the sense that the place where you record the things is not necessarily the place where all the music ideas generate in your mind, so this multitrack recorder software will give you that flexibility that you desperately require.

The retrieval of all your ideas when they all start to pile up is mighty important. The worst thing which can happen to you is to be in the middle of a recording session and don’t have enough memory as you have run out of space.

The decision of deleting any one of your ideas can be mighty difficult Having to decide what ideas you want to delete could put you in a real mental pickle.

This is why you need to make sure that the amount of spontaneous recording will dictate the amount of memory you will be requiring.

Conclusion:

Your multitrack recorder software is your escape route to exit the monotony of daily life. This gives you the liberty to put together all your best ideas in a scratch format and helps you capture the raw emotions that you have flowing through your veins and then you can work on these ideas later and make them more concrete.

There is a cut-throat competition which is prevalent in every field of work you might be employed in and the business of DJ’s is no different and hence, the more reason you need to be more proactive in grabbing the little advantages that you can to give you an edge over your rivals.

Any music writer enthusiast knows the fact that you should own a device and keep them nearby so that you can capture exactly the type of sound you intend on capturing is incredibly helpful.

These ideas can very well slip away unnoticed and in worst cases, you might never get your ideas back. This is where a good multitrack recorder software comes in handy, as you don’t have to worry about that losing on the opportunities anymore.

Expert tip:

The crucial thing you need to keep in mind while choosing a recorder or judging the capability of the recorder, the ever-expanding world of chances and creativity.

It is inevitable that you will be expanding your horizons as you will eventually get better at writing and recording.

This is why this is very essential that you have a recorder which is a cut above your capability range as this might be the best purchase option going forward in the long run.

Did you know?

The first recording device was invented by Thomas Edison. In the year 1877, the mechanical phonograph cylinder was first produced. This was the first device that was able to record and reproduce audio.

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