9 Best Multi-Track Recorders in 2022

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Portability – If you don’t have a home music studio setup, you might be taking your multi-track recorder on the road. If this is the case and you’ll be frequently bringing it with you to recording sessions, you’ll want to make sure your multi-track recording model is lightweight and properly shaped for easy transportability.

Scott Etan Feiner

Scott Etan Feiner FOR MUSIC CRITIC

 Multi-track Recorders Buyers Guide

What to look for when buying a multi-track recorder

There are so many options out there when it comes to recording devices that it can be tough to figure out the best way to go. Whether you are looking to record full bands or just to lay down a few track ideas on your own, you’re surely able to find what’s right for you. It can be, however, fairly hard to know what may be necessary for you and what may be just add ons.

Here we have put together a short guide of things that would be helpful to keep in mind when looking for an audio recorder. Things like, size, compatibility, versatility, and many others can influence your decision. Read on to find out some of the bullet points.

Why use a multitrack recorder?

Multi-track recorders are what all the pros have used since the invention of recording until the digital age has taken over. They are large, clunky, and sometimes ugly. They still hold a ton of value for a wide variety of reasons. They are very simple to use and straight forward as far as operation goes.

You don’t have to fumble around with extra effects and confusing attributes. Digital recorders tend to be loaded up with features that can be tough for a beginner to decipher. It can even cause people to give up. With multi-track recorders, there is generally no confusing software to have to deal with.

Multi-track recorders are good for people who like to have a physical device in their hand and at their disposal. With a good portable multi-track recorder, you can take it where you need to go without needing to have your computer or powerful recording software. Recording large rooms is made easier with built-in condenser mics and line inputs.

They allow you to use your hands to navigate and control the outcome of the music you are recording. Multi-track recorders offer you that sense of “working with your hands” which will give you a different sense of satisfaction compared to working on a computer.

A multi-track recorder 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

How big is the multi-track recorder that you need? Are you looking to take your recorder with you to friends houses, jam spaces, and live venues? If so, how important is portability? Quite simply, the smaller the recorder, the more portable it will be. There are many different options when it comes to a portable recorder that you can have your pick of the litter.

However, if you want a little bit more capability, then you may need a recorder with a few more tracks. It is possible to get more tracks and still have a degree of portability. The bigger the recorder, the more tracks you will generally have available to you. If you’re going to be sticking around home and working on your music at your leisure, then a larger, more versatile recorder may be up your alley.

Versatility

How much do you want/need your multi-track recorder to do? Are you looking to record just a few ideas for later recording, or do you want to have a full orchestra uploaded onto your recorder? Different recorders come with different versatility. If you want a lot of different effects without external plug-ins, you’ll want to get a device that can handle that kind of workload.

If you’re just looking for something more simple, then having those extra effects may not be necessary for you. Think about what type of music/musicians you will be recording and what capabilities you may want. Even though you may not need effects now, it is always helpful to have them on hand if you need them. It can also be a lot of fun to play around with in your downtime.

Memory

How much memory do you need for your recordings? 32Gb can be a lot of memory as far as a startup amount of memory goes, but if you travel a lot and are recording all the while, you may need the most memory you can get. Music can sort of get away from you in a sense where you record things and often forget about it until much later. When your ideas pile up, it’s important to be able to easily retrieve them. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of a recording session and not have enough memory to work with. Having to decide what ideas you want to delete could put you in a real mental pickle. Be sure to keep in mind the amount of spontaneous recording you’ll be doing.

Conclusion

Your multi-track recorder is the gateway from your soul to the outside world. It will allow you to put together all of your best ideas in a scratch format so you can work on them later. Any long-time music writer knows that having a device nearby that can capture the type of sound you want is incredibly helpful. Ideas can slip away unnoticed and you may never get your best ideas back. With a good multi-track recorder on hand, you don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Expert tip

When it comes to choosing the capability of your recorder, always keep in mind the ever-expanding world of creativity. As you get better at writing and recording, you will inevitably want to expand your horizons. Having a recorder that is a little above your capability range may be the best purchase in the long run.

Did you know?

The man credited with inventing the first recording device is Thomas Edison. The mechanical phonograph cylinder was first produced in the year 1877. It was the first device able to record and reproduce audio.

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