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9 Best Multitrack Recorders & How to Pick (2024)

Check out the best multitrack recorders for all use cases. We cover 9 of the best options and share tips on how to choose one.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
March 4, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

The right multitrack recorder is the key to good production. 

A good multitrack recorder lets you get separate recordings from multiple sources. And with separate recordings, editing and post-production becomes much easier. You can easily fix mistakes, adjust volume, and manipulate one instrument or speaker's voice at a time without affecting the other tracks. 

Whether you make music, movies, or podcasts, multitrack recorders can greatly speed up and enhance the recording process – allowing you to simultaneously capture multiple sources of audio in pristine quality and detail. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the best of the best in the market today, as well as the pros and cons of each. We’ll also go over all the factors you should keep in mind before purchasing. 

So, without any further ado, let’s get right into it! 

What is a multitrack recorder?

A multitrack recorder allows you to record and process multiple audio tracks from various sources – like instruments, vocals, and sound effects – all at the same time. 

Multitrack recorders are often used in podcasting when multiple guests are involved. They can help you get separate recordings from each of your guests, which gives you more control over each track in post-production. 

Other than podcasting, multitrack recorders are used mainly for music, filmmaking, and recording sound effects. 

There are two main types of multitrack recorders: digital multitrack recorders and multitrack recording software. Here’s how they differ: 

Digital multitrack recorder vs multitrack recording software (Equipment/Hardware vs software)

A digital multitrack recorder is a hardware device that records and stores multiple audio tracks onto SD cards or internal hard drives. Multitrack recorders usually have built-in preamps, converters, a small mixing console, and input/output options for mics and instruments.

With a digital multitrack recorder, you can record, mix, and edit all on one physical device. 

Multitrack recording software, on the other hand, is completely computer-based. You might also know it more commonly as a DAW or a Digital Audio Workstation. Popular examples are Audacity, Riverside, Adobe Audition, Pro Tools, Cubase, and Logic Pro X. 

DAWs provide a virtual mixing console, such as the one pictured below, so that you can adjust the levels and settings for each sound. 

With multitrack recording software, you also get access to virtual instruments and a variety of editing tools and effects. To use DAWs, you’ll need a computer and an audio interface to connect mics (or instruments) for recording. 

So what’s the difference between digital multitrack recorders and multitrack recording software? 

The most obvious one is that digital multitrack recorders are hardware devices while multitrack recording software is… well, software.

But it doesn’t end there. Digital multitrack recorders are usually a better option in terms of portability since they don’t require a computer or any additional equipment. 

Let’s have a more in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of multitrack recorders. 

Advantages and disadvantages of digital multitrack recorders


  1. Portable: Digital multitrack recorders are relatively compact and portable, which makes them perfect for on-the-go recording.
  2. Reliability: As closed systems, digital multitrack recorders are less prone to crashes and compatibility issues compared to open systems like DAWs. 
  3. Less lag: They are fairly low latency as they don’t rely on any software or hardware processing. 
  4. Multi-purpose tool: Digital multitrack recorders usually feature built-in preamps and converters, making them an all-in-one solution for recording, editing, and mixing


  1. Less editing features: Compared to DAWs, digital multitrack recorders don’t have as many editing features and effects
  2. Less visual space: Digital multitrack recorders have smaller displays than you’ll find on a laptop or PC. This may be challenging for some people who require more visual feedback and space. 
  3. Can record only a limited number of tracks: They can record a limited number of tracks. On average, multitrack recorders can record 4 to 8 tracks, with some models going up to 16. 

9 Best Multitrack recorders for all use cases in 2024

Zoom R20 (Best Portable Recorder) 

Zoom R20 multitrack recorder

Price: $450

The Zoom R20 is a solid device with 16-track playback and 8-track recording.

With a weight of only 1.3 kg, it’s fairly lightweight and easy to carry around – which makes it perfect for on-the-go recording. If you move around a lot, this may be a good option for you. Mixing is a breeze with this recorder – and the recording quality is a nice and crisp 24-bit/44.1kHz.

A unique benefit of this recorder is that it actually has an iOS app (no Android, unfortunately). The R20 Control App features VoiceOver Gesture controls that make it easier to use for people with visual impairments. 


  • Input: 8 (6 XLR and 2 combo)
  • Outputs: 2 (L/R main and headphones) 
  • No. of recording tracks: 16 (can record up to 8 simultaneously) 

Best for: Content creators who require a lightweight and portable multitrack recorder that can record up to 8 tracks at once that also has remote control capabilities.  


  • 16-track playback
  • Up to 8 tracks simultaneous recording
  • Lightweight and compact, easy to carry around
  • iOS app allows for remote control


  • Default synth sounds are not that varied or interesting

Tascam DP-24SD (Best Choice) 

Tascam DP 24SD multitrack recorder

Price: $600

The Tascam DP-24SD is a favorite amongst consumers. It sports an easy-to-use, straightforward layout that allows you to quickly access essential functions, including 12 rotary knobs for adjusting levels and other settings.

Offering sample rates of 44.1k/48k and 16/24-bit, the Tascam DP-24SD features EQ, reverb, compression, de-esser, noise suppression, as well as mastering tools. 


  • Input: 8 XLR-TRS combo inputs
  • Outputs: 3 (RCA stereo output and two unbalanced 1/4" TS outputs)
  • No. of recording tracks: 24 (up to 8 simultaneous tracks)

Best for: Podcasters who want a robust, all-in-one multitrack recorder for recording and editing so they can rely less on a DAW


  • 24 tracks playback
  • Up to 8 tracks simultaneous recording
  • Up to 24-bit/48k recording quality
  • Features a wide range of audio effects and mastering tools
  • Phantom power


  • LCD screen is a bit small, and details can be hard to see at times 
  • Pricey

Zoom LiveTrak L-12 (Best for Live Performance) 

Zoom LiveTrak L12

Price: $550

The Zoom LiveTrak L-12 is a 12-track recorder and mixer designed primarily for live performances, although you can use it for studio recording as well. 

It features a built-in audio interface, onboard effects, and 5 custom headphone mixes. It’s an all-in-one solution since you don’t have to buy a separate audio interface. It's pretty handy if you’re on a tighter budget!

The LiveTrak L-12 consistently delivers high-quality audio at 24-bit/96 kHz resolution that can capture the energy of your live performances in pristine detail. If this is too high for you, you can change the sample rate to 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz instead. The built-in audio interface makes it super easy to work with your DAW of choice. 

It also has 16 onboard effects, including reverbs, delays, and various modulation options to jazz up your music. Thanks to its amazing sound processing and all-in-one capabilities – you don’t need any external effects processors. You can focus on delivering the best sound possible in your live performances.


  • Input:  8 x XLR, 2 Stereo 1/4" TRS 
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR Master Out, 5 x ¼ inch TRS Headphone outs, 2 x ¼ inch unbalanced LR Monitor out + USB output 
  • No. of recording tracks: 14 simultaneous recording tracks, 12 playback

Best for: Live performances


  • Features a built-in audio interface so you don’t have to buy a separate one
  • High-resolution recording
  • Features 16 onboard effects
  • 5 custom headphone mixes allow you to monitor easily


  • You cannot apply an effect to just one channel at a time – effects apply to all tracks 

Tascam DP-008EX (Best Value)

Tascam DP-008EX multitrack recorder

Price: $230

If you are a solo musician or podcaster and want an easy-to-use multitrack recorder with great audio resolution, this might be the one for you.

The Tascam DP-008EX records up to 2 tracks at the same time, while it can play back 8 tracks. 

It comes with a 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution and features 6 reverbs, 2-band shelving EQ, a compressor, and other effects.

The preferred storage medium for this multitrack recorder is an SD/SDHC card of up to 32GB.  Keep in mind that it does not function as a USB audio interface, but you can use USB sticks to transfer your tracks to PC.  

The Tascam DP-008EX also features 6 virtual tracks with an undo and redo history function. Pretty useful in case you accidentally remove or add something and want to fix it. 


  • Input: 2 XLR inputs and 2 unbalanced mic/line/guitar inputs
  • Outputs: 2 RCA line outputs, 1 x ⅛ inch stereo headphone output, USB output
  • No. of recording tracks: 2 recording, 8 playback

Best for: Solo musicians or podcasters who want the best bang for their buck


  • Affordable
  • Standard CD quality audio resolution
  • Features various effects
  • Undo and redo function


  • Does not function as a USB audio interface

Tascam DP-006 (Best Budget) 

Tascam DP006 multitrack recorder

Price: $170

Are you looking for a budget option that can play back 6 tracks with great audio quality? 

The Tascam DP-006 is an affordable multitrack recorder that provides up to 6 tracks of recording at 16-bit/44.1 kHz audio quality. You can record up to 2 tracks at a time with its two built-in high-quality omnidirectional condenser mics.

These mics are located directly in the front of the units for better audio coverage. The recorder also has a tripod mount for easy setup and placement. 

To have an elongated battery life, you can use Tascam’s external battery pack via USB. This is handy if you’ll be out and about. 

The Tascam DP-006 is great on a budget. It’s super easy to carry around at a weight of just 360g – equivalent to a jar of Nutella! It comes with a chromatic tuner and metronome so you can stay in rhythm and tune your instruments as necessary. 


  • Input: 2 TS 1/4 inch mic/line inputs 
  • Outputs: 1 headphone output
  • No. of recording tracks: 6 (can record up to 2 simultaneously)

Best for: Podcasters on a budget that want something portable 


  • Great budget option for musicians
  • High-quality condenser mics
  • 6-track playback and 2-track recording


  • Not suitable for more complex productions

Zoom PodTrak P4 (Best for Podcasting) 

Zoom PodTrak P4 multitrack recorder

Price: $150 

The Zoom PodTrak P4 is a multitrack recorder specifically for podcasters. With this recorder, you can plug in and record 4 XLR mics at the same time. So if you want to record yourself and up to 3 guests on separate tracks with up to 70dB of gain, this is the perfect device for you. 

The device has four independent headphone outputs, each with a dedicated volume control, allowing each participant to adjust their headphone volume according to their preferences. 

The P4 can also record remote calls by linking your phone to it. It comes with a Sound Pad, which is a bank of 11 pre-recorded sounds. You can also load presets of your own. This can reduce the amount of time you spend adding music or audio effects in post-production. 


  • Input: Up to 4 XLR mics
  • Outputs: 4 independent headphone outputs
  • No. of recording tracks: 4 simultaneous tracks

Best for: Podcasters


  • Supports up to 4 XLR mics with phantom power
  • Up to 70 dB of gain
  • Independent headphone control for each participant
  • Sound Pad allows you to add audio and effects that you can easily play at the push of a button


  • May be too small for some use cases
  • Does not have built-in mics

Allen & Heath Ice-16 (Best for Professional Use) 

Allen & Heath Ice-16 multitrack recorder

Price: $1,263

The Allen & Heath Ice-16 is one of the best multitrack recorders today thanks to its stellar audio quality and the incredible amount of tracks it can record simultaneously.

This beast of a machine can record up to 16 tracks at the same time, which is great if you have a large group of people you plan to podcast with. The audio quality is 24-bit/96 kHz, which you’d expect from a recorder in this price range. 

It comes with a FireWire interface for easy integration with your DAW of choice. 

The Ice-16 has a peak LED Meter and signals to help with mixing, a mono headphone bus for input and output monitoring, and very intuitive controls. It also allows you to connect multiple standalone units together, which is very useful if you already have some stuff in your rig that you’d like to use with this machine. 

This is pricey, don’t get us wrong – but for pros, it’s worth it.


  • Input: 16 analog inputs
  • Outputs: 16 analog outputs
  • No. of recording tracks: 16

Best for: Audio professionals who need more tracks for complex productions


  • Can record up to 16 tracks simultaneously
  • Perfect for complex arrangements
  • Records in 24-bit/48kHz quality 
  • Ability to daisy-chain multiple units
  • FireWire interface allows you to use your DAW of choice with this device easily


  • Very pricey

Boss BR-800 (Best for Home Studios) 

Boss BR-800 multitrack recorder

Price: $268

Want a solid setup for your home studio for a relatively affordable price? The Boss BR-800 is the multitrack recorder for you.

It has 8-track playback, with 4-track simultaneous recording. And given that the device is small, compact, and easy to move around, you can easily plop it somewhere in your home – even if there’s limited space. 

The Boss BR-800 can, as most multitrack recorders on this list, function as an audio interface, which means you can integrate it with your digital audio workstation (DAW). 


  • Input: 4 XLR inputs, 1 ¼ inch guitar/bass input, 1 3.5mm line input, 1 ¼ inch footswitch pedal jack, 1 power input
  • Outputs: 1 stereo RCA output, 1 ¼ inch headphone jack, 1 USB type-B connector
  • No. of recording tracks: 8 tracks playback, up to 4 tracks of simultaneous recording

Best for: Home studio recording or practice sessions


  • Up to 4 tracks can be recorded at once
  • Easy-to-use
  • Song Sketch button allows you to start recording with no fuss
  • Personalized effects
  • Easy connection to PC


  • Not very suitable for complex arrangements

Zoom F8 (Best for Field Recording) 

Zoom F8 multitrack recorder

Price: $1,099

Are you looking for a higher-end multitrack field recorder? The Zoom F8 is an 8-channel, 10-track audio recorder and mixer with crazy high-res 24-bit/192 kHz audio and a sturdy aluminum chassis build. 

Thanks to its built-in tripod mount, you can easily set it up anywhere and start recording. It weighs just under a kilogram, so it’s fairly portable and easy to carry around. 

It features high-quality mic preamps with phantom power and an extremely low noise floor to keep your recordings sounding clean and crisp. It also comes with high-pass filters to remove low-frequency noise from your recordings. 

The F8 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots of up to a whopping 512 GB – so you’ll never have to worry about running out of recording space when you’re out and on the go. It records in WAV format at 16 or 24-bit resolution and all sample rates up to 192 kHz. 


  • Input: 8 XLR/TRS combo inputs
  • Outputs: 4 outputs and a ¼ inch headphone jack
  • No. of recording tracks: 10

Best for: Field recording


  • Amazingly high sound quality
  • Supports SD cards up to 512 GB
  • Low noise floor
  • High pass mics filter out low-frequency noise
  • Built-in tripod
  • Portable and easy to carry around


  • Expensive

How to Choose a Multitrack recorder

Choosing the right multitrack recorder can be tricky (understandably).

Here are the factors you should consider:

Recording requirements

What type of project will you be working on? This boils down to the kind of audio you’ll be recording. Is it music? Dialogue? Sound effects?

Multitrack recorders meant specifically for filmmaking purposes generally feature more inputs than those designed for music production. This is because they need to capture dialogue from many characters as well as ambient sound. 

For most types of music, 4 to 8 inputs on a multitrack recorder are sufficient. For filmmaking or recording an orchestra, a recorder with 8 to 16 inputs is recommended. 

For podcasts, you’ll just need to make sure you have enough inputs based off the number of live guests you’ll be recording with at a time. This is likely to be between 2-4 people, so we’d suggest getting inputs according to this.

Recording environment 

Where will you be recording? And will you have to move around a lot? Get a recorder that works on batteries if you’ll be in places without power outlets. Consider what you’ll need for a remote recording environment if you’re not going to be settling in a traditional studio. 

Alternatively, consider something easy to carry around if you’ll be changing practice rooms often. Lightweight models are better suited for indoor practice as they’re not as sturdy or robust.  

Recording resolution and audio quality

High-quality audio capture is essential for a good multitrack recording experience. You'll get better sound fidelity and dynamics with a higher resolution, such as 24-bit/96 kHz. Also consider the different file types compatible with the recorder, such as WAV and MP3

Some portable devices compromise a bit on the audio quality to make the device easier to carry around – so keep this in mind before purchasing. 


If you don’t have a big budget to work with, you can use budget-friendly options on the list, such as the Tascam DP-008EX and the DP-006.  

Track count

How many tracks do you need to record at once? Keep in mind that the number of tracks that you can play back simultaneously isn’t the same as the one you can record. 

Input/output options

Look for a recorder with the suitable number of input and output options that you need, like XLR inputs for dynamic and condenser mics, ¼ inch inputs for instruments, and outputs for headphones, monitoring and external processing.  


It’s super important to make sure your chosen multitrack recorder will be compatible with your other gear, such as mics, instruments, and DAWs. 

Riverside: A Software Alternative to Multitrack Recording

Recording multitracks on Riverside

Are you looking for a reliable, all-in-one multitrack recording solution you can use collaboratively? Riverside allows you to record up to 8 people at once with uncompressed, beautifully clear 48kHz WAV audio and up to 4K video resolution. You’ll receive separate audio and video tracks for each, all synced and ready for editing. And, you don’t have to worry about hardware failures like with traditional multitrack recorders – everything is stored on the cloud and backed up. 

You can use Riverside straight from your browser to start collaborating with others for your podcast. Our producer mode allows you to assign a person to access studio settings to work behind the scenes. They can work on the technical aspect while you focus on the creative work.  .

Riverside also offers screen sharing, which allows your participants to see your screen. You can record your screen shares, and just like audio and video you’ll receive these files on a separate track. Plus, you can insert podcast music, jingles and sound effects live with our Media Board

There are some more features that make Riverside ideal for multitrack recording:

  • Text-based editor that lets you edit your video by making changes to a transcription of its audio. Just like editing a Word document or Google Doc, you can delete phrases or move text segments, and you’ll see these changes reflected automatically in your video recording. 
  • Automated audio fine-tuning that allows for excellent sound quality
  • Ai speaker mode that automatically displays the current person talking
  • Transcriptions in over 100 languages using the latest in Ai tech for precise transcriptioning. 
  • Remote recording so you can have a podcast with people from all over the world and get multitrack recordings from each of the participants once you’re done.  
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Which multitrack recording option is best for you?

Best multitrack recorder for beginners

The Zoom R20 is the best multitrack recorder for beginners. It has a touchscreen and an intuitive layout of knobs and buttons. It’s easy to use and has extensive documentation on the Zoom YouTube channel. 

Best budget-friendly multitrack recorder

The Tascam DP-006 is a highly affordable, great-quality multitrack recorder that can record up to 2 inputs simultaneously and play back 6 tracks. We highly recommend it if you want a digital multitrack recorder on a budget. 

Best multitrack recorder software for podcasts

The best multitrack recorder software for podcasting is Riverside. You can record with up to  8 participants, in top-quality resolution without worrying about your internet connection. You’ll receive separate tracks for each participant, but you can also edit all your tracks directly in Riverside’s Editor. With just a few simple clicks you can create a fully polished podcast. Riverside makes collaboration easier than any other kind of multitrack recorder. 

FAQs on Best Multitrack recorders

What is the difference between Zoom and Tascam multitrack recorders?

Zoom recorders, at least those that have built-in microphones, are known for their high-quality mics. Plus, most of their models are usually more portable and lightweight. 

Tascam recorders, on the other hand, are known for their sturdy and robust build – as well as their professional audio interfaces. They’re not as portable as Zoom multitrack recorders, but they’re very suitable for use in home or professional studios. 

What is the most popular recorder?

The Tascam DP-24SD is a very commonly used multitrack recorder that has found a wide user base of musicians and audio professionals. Many of the recorders on this list are widely used. 

When it comes to audio, it’s not as much about what’s popular or trending as about what device suits you best and does what you need it to do. 

Is Tascam a good brand?

Tascam is a giant in the audio industry – thanks to its long history of making pro audio equipment. Their products’ reliable and durable build – as well as performance – is not easily rivaled. As such, many musicians, audio engineers, and podcasters use their gear. 

What do you need for multitrack recording?

Here’s what you’ll need for multitrack recording:

  1. A multitrack recorder or software like Riverside
  2. One or more mics, depending on how many audio sources you want to record at the same time
  3. XLR/TRS cables for mics and instruments
  4. Headphones and studio monitors
  5. Audio interface to connect instruments to the multitrack recorder 
  6. Accessories such as mic stands and pop filters
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