Need a SIMPLE 4 track recorder. Suggestions?

GreatDaneRock

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Hi. I would like to get my hands on a simple 4 track recorder to record my music. I have GarageBand - but I really just need a 4 track that I can use as a standaloneunit. Really- I think I just need a tape based 4 track analog cassette recorder - but those seem hard to come by, and immpossible to get tapes. Am I wrong? Any suggestions. Remember - I said simple. I don’t need the nested menu confusion of a digital recorder with dials and buttons and touch screens.

Thanks !!!!
Tascam still makes the Portastudio recorder, just not tape based, internal memory, usb and all that. It's a fantastic standalone portable unit, and I think you can actually get 8 tracks nowadays.

Also, the tascam DP 006 recommended some posts above, same as dp 008, less tracks.
 

ping-ping-clicka

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This is as close as I think you’ll get.

Why not Garage Band? If you’re struggling, there are some great tutorials on You Tube.
I have used Boss Recorders for a long time. They have worked well and never broken down.
I watched the video demo Boss Provided and was impressed buy a full featured set of processing recording and play back capabilities USB audio interface , COSM Amps and Effects.
I am impressed , the price point is great.
 

Maguchi

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Yesyoudidyouare

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Hi. I would like to get my hands on a simple 4 track recorder to record my music. I have GarageBand - but I really just need a 4 track that I can use as a standaloneunit. Really- I think I just need a tape based 4 track analog cassette recorder - but those seem hard to come by, and immpossible to get tapes. Am I wrong? Any suggestions. Remember - I said simple. I don’t need the nested menu confusion of a digital recorder with dials and buttons and touch screens.

Thanks !!!!
Tascam Model 12.

More expensive than you may have been thinking, but it is new- yet looks like the ones you will have been used to (vintage). Great unit.
 

Marc Morfei

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4-track cassette is not the analog you are looking for. All the downside, none of the upside, unless you're looking solely for noise, wow, and flutter.
Agreed. However, I will say I had a 30-year old Fostex X-26 4-track cassette recorder collecting dust in the closet for decades. Dragged it out a couple years ago to find out it didn't work any more. The drives belts had disintegrated. Advertised it on eBay as NON-WORKING and it sold for $180. Seriously. So somehow there is a market out there for that stuff. Maybe the same people who buy vinyl?
 

Engine Swap

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BITD, I loved my Tascam 424. Quick and easy.

I tried DAWs and was overwhelmed by the complexity.

I inherited a Tascam DP008 which was easy to use, but limited in editing abilities. SD cards are a pain and the interface/navigation was complex.

I now use an Ipad and Focusrite 2-channel interface to record into Garage Band. The workflow reminds me of the old Tascam cassette, only with a ton more options and no limitations that come with cassettes. I’m amazed at how good the recordings sound.
 

schmee

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I've been through this. I dont know anything short of buying a rebuilt Teac vintage tape recorder on Ebay that is dead simple. It's an item that is needed for sure and if you come up with one you will be a millionaire. Most of us dont want to scroll through a dozen digital screens etc to do a simple recording and overdub or lay down another track. Any musical inspiration is lost in the shuffle.

BTW, I tried a couple of the Tascam cassette devices... years ago... only to find they dont record at speeds and track separation you can play back on a normal Cassette recorder! I still have unplayable cassettes here from that attempt.... No idea how that is solved?

Far better than the Tascam Cassette types is just a little Zoom or Tascam DR-40 handheld Digital Recorder. You can record 4 tracks. But you are still doing a bunch of confusing scrolling etc. You then download to your computer and make it an MP3 or other file to put on a CD.

But still, as an occasional user, I have to relearn all the steps, scrolling through screens etc to do it. Unlike just turning on a Teac recorder and pushing "record" :mad:

Check out the thread on using a Looper as a recorder!
 
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ReverendRevolver

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My father and I threw in halfsies on a small silver Korg 4 track digital thing in the middle 2000s. $25 each, it was used on ebay and 1 track didn't work.

Pandora or something? Quality level was lower noise that the cassette setup but overall modern interfaces and DAWs are 1 laptop and 10 minutes setup more for a better result. I'd say audacity with no effort or prior knowledge got me slightly better results with similar mics 15ish years later.

I think those Korgs still go sub$75. I wouldn't mention it, but you said cassette was on your radar, so I'm guessing simplicity and hearing something at all is what you're after more than 2022 "live in the studio" level mix quality.
I recall a calculator display, less than 20 buttons, a dial and 4 or 5 slides.
 

allesz

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Another vote for the tascam dp family. They kept the workflow really similar to the old cassette 4 traks.
Never liked the UI of Boss recorders and, much worse, their overall sound.
Zoom sounds really good also.
 

loudboy

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I've been through this. I dont know anything short of buying a rebuilt Teac vintage tape recorder on Ebay that is dead simple. It's an item that is needed for sure and if you come up with one you will be a millionaire. Most of us dont want to scroll through a dozen digital screens etc to do a simple recording and overdub or lay down another track. Any musical inspiration is lost in the shuffle.

BTW, I tried a couple of the Tascam cassette devices... years ago... only to find they dont record at speeds and track separation you can play back on a normal Cassette recorder! I still have unplayable cassettes here from that attempt.... No idea how that is solved?

Far better than the Tascam Cassette types is just a little Zoom or Tascam DR-40 handheld Digital Recorder. You can record 4 tracks. But you are still doing a bunch of confusing scrolling etc. You then download to your computer and make it an MP3 or other file to put on a CD.

But still, as an occasional user, I have to relearn all the steps, scrolling through screens etc to do it. Unlike just turning on a Teac recorder and pushing "record" :mad:

Check out the thread on using a Looper as a recorder!
A computer-based DAW has none of the scrolling, nested stuff. Create a track, select the input, arm it, and you're rolling.

I've never used Garage Band, but it seems about as simple as it gets.

The standalone units were a stopgap solution to computers not having enough power to handle multiple tracks, plug-ins, etc. That's not a problem anymore, and IMHO, their time has passed.
 

loudboy

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Agreed. However, I will say I had a 30-year old Fostex X-26 4-track cassette recorder collecting dust in the closet for decades. Dragged it out a couple years ago to find out it didn't work any more. The drives belts had disintegrated. Advertised it on eBay as NON-WORKING and it sold for $180. Seriously. So somehow there is a market out there for that stuff. Maybe the same people who buy vinyl?
I know - it's nuts. Trends are hard to understand. Pre-recorded cassettes are making a comeback, and they were probably the lowest fidelity format since the wax cylinder.
 

DougM

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I have the DP006, and it's very easy to use once you learn the setup procedures, but I find Cakewalk just as easy and more versatile, and it's free. With Cakewalk I can create a backup file of bass, drums, and keys with BIAB, save it as a midi file, and then load that into Cakewalk and record guitar in sync with it. I can do that with the Tascam too, but I have to record the midi file on two of the four tracks. Plus, Cakewalk has more tracks if you want, and fancy editing and plug-ins and effects if you want to learn how to use them, but I've never taken the time, or feel the need to, 'cause I only use it for simple guitar jams.
DP-006.jpg
 




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