A professional multitrack recording setup featuring the Zoom R24, surrounded by instruments, capturing the essence of a best multitrack recorder in action.

7 Best Multitrack Recorders: Unleash Your Musical Genius

In the realm of audio recording, the quest for the best multitrack recorder is a journey many embark on, whether they’re seasoned professionals or just starting out.

The multitrack recorder is a pivotal tool that allows for the recording and processing of multiple audio tracks simultaneously. This capability is essential for capturing the complexity of live performances, the layered textures of studio productions, or the dynamic interactions of a podcast with multiple guests.

For those new to the scene, understanding the nuances between digital multitrack recorders and their software counterparts is crucial. Digital multitrack recorders, prized for their portability and all-in-one functionality, offer a tangible, hardware-based solution for capturing audio.

These devices often come equipped with built-in preamps, converters, and a variety of input/output options, making them a versatile choice for recording on the go. On the other hand, multitrack recording software, or DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), provides a virtual platform for editing, mixing, and refining audio tracks with a breadth of digital tools at your disposal.

Choosing the multitrack recorder hinges on several factors, including the intended use, desired portability, and the specific features one might need, such as phantom power for condenser microphones or the ability to handle high sample rates for superior audio quality.

For beginners, navigating these choices can seem daunting, but understanding the basic functionalities—like the significance of an audio interface for connecting microphones or the convenience of virtual tracks for non-destructive editing—can demystify the process.

Our Top Picks

We provide our product links with Amazon assurance whenever possible.

Best Price$150
Zoom R20
Tascam DP-24SD
Zoom LiveTrak L-12
Tascam DP-006
Zoom PodTrak P4
Allen & Heath ICE-16D

Best Overall Recorder: Zoom R20

Dive into the world of music creation with the multitrack recorder on the market, the Zoom R20. This device is a game-changer for musicians and podcasters alike, offering unparalleled flexibility and quality. Compact yet powerful, the R20 is your studio on-the-go, making it easier than ever to capture inspiration whenever it strikes.

Side and top views of the Zoom R20, showcasing its sleek design as a multitrack recorder with versatile functionality for creators.


  • Touchscreen Interface
  • 16 Track Recording
  • Built-in Stereo Condenser Microphones
  • 8 Combo Inputs
  • Battery Operation
  • USB Audio Interface Functionality
Pros Touchscreen Navigation Versatile Connectivity High-Quality Preamps
Cons Limited Editing Features No Wi-Fi Connectivity Fixed Internal Mics

Who Is It For?

The Zoom R20 is the multitrack recorder for musicians, podcasters, and content creators who demand flexibility and quality without the bulk of traditional recording equipment. Whether you’re laying down tracks in your home studio, conducting interviews on the go, or capturing live performances, the R20’s portability, ease of use, and high-quality audio make it a standout choice.

Its intuitive touchscreen interface and versatile connectivity options, including USB audio interface functionality, make it ideal for both beginners and seasoned professionals. If you’re looking for a portable multitrack recorder that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Zoom R20 is your perfect companion.

Best Portable Recorder: Tascam DP-24SD

Dive into the world of music creation with the Tascam DP-24SD, the multitrack recorder for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Compact and loaded with features, it’s your studio on-the-go, making recording, editing, and mixing a breeze. Perfect for capturing inspiration wherever it strikes, this portable powerhouse is a game-changer in the world of digital multitrack recorders.

The Tascam DP-24SD's expansive channel offering secures its spot as a multitrack recorder for serious musicians and engineers.


  • Recording Media: SD/SDHC card (512MB to 32GB)
  • Simultaneous Playback: 24 tracks
  • Simultaneous Recording: 8 tracks
  • Input Channels: 12 mono + 6 stereo
  • Faders: 19, for hands-on mixing control
  • Dimensions: 20.2″ × 4.1″ × 13.4″
  • Weight: 13.67 lbs.
  • Power Consumption: 12W (with phantom power)
Pros Intuitive Interface High Track Count Versatile Connectivity
Cons Limited Editing Features No Built-in Effects Bulkier Than Competitors

Who Is It For?

The Tascam DP-24SD is the multitrack recorder for musicians, podcasters, and audio enthusiasts who demand quality and versatility without being tied to a studio. Whether you’re a solo artist laying down tracks in your bedroom, a band recording a live session, or a podcaster interviewing guests on the road, this portable multitrack recorder offers the flexibility to capture high-quality audio anywhere.

Its intuitive interface and robust feature set make it ideal for those looking to step up their recording game without the complexity of a full studio setup. With the ability to handle multiple inputs, offer extensive track playback, and provide hands-on mixing control, the DP-24SD is a powerful tool for creative audio projects, making it a top choice for anyone looking to produce professional-grade recordings with ease.

Best for Live Performance: Zoom LiveTrak L-12

Discover the multitrack recorder for live performances: the Zoom LiveTrak L-12. Compact, versatile, and packed with features, it’s the ultimate tool for musicians and sound engineers who demand quality and flexibility. Whether you’re recording a band session or managing live sound, the L-12 makes it easy and sounds incredible.

Zoom LiveTrak L-12, an all-in-one solution and multitrack recorder for live mixing, recording, and performing.


  • Channels: 12 discrete (8 mono plus 2 stereo) with XLR or 1/4″ connectivity
  • Recording/Playback: 14-track simultaneous recording, 12-track playback
  • USB Interface: 14-in/4-out audio interface compatibility with Mac, PC, or iOS
  • Phantom Power: +48V for all mono channels
  • EQ: 3-band mid-parametric EQ on each channel
  • Effects: 16 built-in send effects for enhancing your mix
  • Output Power: 10 mW per channel into 60 Ohms (Max) for headphones
  • Weight: 2.53 kg, making it highly portable for live performances
Pros Versatile Connectivity High-Quality Preamps Intuitive Interface
Cons Limited Channels Basic Effects No Motorized Faders

Who Is It For?

The Zoom LiveTrak L-12 is the multitrack recorder for live performers, bands, podcasters, and sound engineers who need a portable, all-in-one mixing and recording solution. Its 12 discrete channels, combined with high-quality preamps and versatile connectivity, make it perfect for capturing studio-grade recordings or managing live sound with ease.

Whether you’re a solo artist looking to record your sessions, a band wanting to mix and record live performances, or a sound engineer in need of a reliable, easy-to-use mixer for events, the L-12 offers the flexibility and quality you need to bring your audio to life. Its intuitive interface and built-in effects further simplify the process, making it accessible for both beginners and professionals.

Best Value Recorder: TASCAM DP-008EX

Dive into the world of music creation with the TASCAM DP-008EX, the multitrack recorder for those who value both quality and affordability. Compact and user-friendly, this device is a powerhouse of creativity waiting to be unleashed. Perfect for musicians, podcasters, and anyone looking to capture audio brilliance on the go.

Tascam DP-008EX with its versatile recording features, a multitrack recorder for independent artists and producers.


  • Recording Media: SD/SDHC card (512MB to 32GB)
  • Built-in Microphones: Omni-directional condenser x 2
  • Recording Quality: CD-quality (44.1kHz/16-bit)
  • Tracks: Eight mono tracks
  • Simultaneous Recording/Playback: Two tracks recording/eight tracks playback
  • Inputs: Two XLR microphone inputs with phantom power
  • Dimensions: 221 mm x 44 mm x 127 mm
  • Weight: 1.35 lbs
Pros Portable Design Built-in Microphones Phantom Power
Cons Limited Editing Features No Built-in Effects Smaller Screen

Who Is It For?

The TASCAM DP-008EX shines as the multitrack recorder for emerging musicians, podcast creators, and audio enthusiasts who demand high-quality recordings without the complexity of larger studio setups. Its portability makes it ideal for capturing inspiration anywhere, from the comfort of your home to the spontaneity of outdoor settings.

It has built-in condenser microphones for crystal-clear audio capture. It has phantom power for professional mic compatibility. You can record directly onto SD cards. It’s designed for artists who want to focus on their art without getting bogged down by technical hurdles.

Whether you’re laying down tracks for your next album, crafting the perfect podcast episode, or simply exploring the realms of sound design, the DP-008EX offers a blend of simplicity, quality, and value that’s hard to beat.

Best Budget Recorder: Tascam DP-006

Dive into the world of music creation with the Tascam DP-006, the multitrack recorder for those on a budget. Compact, portable, and incredibly user-friendly, it’s the perfect tool for musicians and podcasters looking to capture inspiration whenever it strikes. With its straightforward interface, anyone can start recording high-quality tracks in no time.

Compact Tascam DP-006 portable multitrack recorder, perfect for on-the-go recording sessions and considered among the best in its class.


  • Recording Quality: 44.1kHz/16-bit
  • Tracks: Up to 6 tracks (2 mono tracks + 2 mono/stereo switchable tracks)
  • Memory: SD/SDHC card support (512MB to 32GB)
  • Power: Four AA batteries or AC adapter (sold separately)
  • Inputs: Two built-in omnidirectional microphones
  • Dimensions: 6.1″ × 1.6″ × 4.2″ / 155 × 41.5 × 107 mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz / 360 g (excluding batteries)
  • USB Connectivity: For easy file transfer
Pros Portability Ease of Use Built-in Microphones
Cons Limited Editing Features Battery Dependent No Built-in Effects

Who Is It For?

The Tascam DP-006 is the multitrack recorder for budding musicians, podcasters, and anyone in between who seeks a straightforward, no-fuss recording solution. Whether you’re jotting down song ideas, recording rehearsals, or creating your next podcast episode, this device’s portability and ease of use make it your go-to.

Ideal for creators who prioritize simplicity and quality, the DP-006 ensures that you never miss a moment of inspiration. Its built-in microphones and the ability to connect external sources offer flexibility for various recording situations. If you’re stepping into the world of the multitrack recorder without wanting to break the bank, the Tascam DP-006 is tailored for you.

Best for Podcasting: Zoom PodTrak P4

The multitrack recorder for podcasting enthusiasts is here! Meet the Zoom PodTrak P4, a game-changer in portable podcasting. Compact and affordable, it’s designed to elevate your podcasting game with professional-quality audio. Whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or just starting, the PodTrak P4 is your ticket to producing top-notch podcasts effortlessly.

Zoom PodTrak P4, an innovative multitrack recorder, shown from different angles to highlight its portability and ease of use.


  • Maximum Sampling Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16-Bit
  • Memory Card Support: SDHC (4 GB to 32 GB)
  • Dimensions: 112 x 47 x 155 mm
  • Weight: 290 g (without batteries)
  • Battery Life: Up to 4 hours with AA batteries
  • Input Channels: 4 XLR with phantom power
  • Headphone Outputs: 4 individual jacks
  • Audio Interface: USB 2.0
Pros Phantom Power Portable Design Individual Headphone Outputs
Cons Limited Sampling Rate No Built-In Speaker Battery Dependent

Who Is It For?

The Zoom PodTrak P4, the best multitrack recorder for podcasting, is perfect for podcasters who demand mobility without sacrificing audio quality. Whether you’re recording interviews, roundtable discussions, or solo monologues, this device caters to all.

Its four XLR inputs with phantom power support a variety of microphones, making it ideal for both beginners and professionals. The individual headphone outputs ensure each participant can monitor the recording in real-time, enhancing the collaborative experience.

If you’re looking for a portable multitrack recorder that combines ease of use with professional-grade features, the PodTrak P4 is your go-to device. It’s especially suited for podcasters who value flexibility, quality, and the ability to record anywhere, anytime.

Best for Professionals: Allen & Heath ICE-16D

The Allen & Heath ICE-16D stands out as the multitrack recorder for professionals seeking reliability and quality. This device captures up to six hours of 16-track audio directly to a USB thumb drive, making it a powerhouse for live and studio recording. Its ease of use and flexibility in connectivity options ensure seamless integration into any setup, appealing to those who value efficiency and high-quality recordings.

Allen & Heath ICE-16D, a top contender for multitrack recorder with professional inputs and outputs.


  • 16 analog inputs, 16 analog outputs
  • Balanced I/O for long cable runs
  • Front USB socket for easy capture to USB storage devices
  • Hybrid FireWire (IEEE1394)/USB 2.0 16-in/16-out audio interface
  • Industry-standard WAV file format
  • Up to 6 hours of 16-channel audio on a 32GB USB stick
Pros Balanced I/O Hybrid connectivity Intuitive controls
Cons Limited to 16 channels Requires external USB storage No built-in effects

Who Is It For?

The Allen & Heath ICE-16D is the multitrack recorder for audio professionals who demand the highest quality in their recordings, whether live or in the studio. Its 16 analog inputs and outputs, coupled with balanced I/O, make it perfect for those dealing with long cable runs and needing pristine sound quality.

The hybrid FireWire/USB connectivity ensures it fits seamlessly into any digital setup, offering flexibility and ease of use. With up to six hours of recording time on a 32GB USB stick, it’s ideal for recording full live sets or extended studio sessions.

Whether you’re a seasoned engineer, a live sound technician, or a studio producer, the ICE-16D offers the reliability, quality, and flexibility needed to capture your audio with precision and ease.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Got The Multitrack Recorder?

  1. Sound Quality Expectations: While many users are satisfied with the sound quality of the multitrack recorders, some wish they had known more about the nuances of recording quality, including bit depth, sample rate, and the importance of preamps.
  2. Ease of Use: A common regret is not researching how user-friendly the device is. Some of the multitrack recorders can be complex to navigate for beginners.
  3. Connectivity and Compatibility: Buyers often overlook the importance of connectivity options such as USB, MIDI, and others.
  4. Portability and Durability: For those who needed a recorder for field recordings or live performances, understanding the size, weight, and build quality of the recorder beforehand would have been beneficial.
  5. Features vs. Needs: Overestimating the need for certain features (like the number of tracks, effects, or inputs) can lead to purchasing a more expensive or complicated recorder than necessary.
  6. Software Integration: The ease of integrating the multitrack recorder with digital audio workstations (DAWs) and other software is an aspect some wish they had considered more carefully.

What is a multitrack recorder used for?

A multitrack recorder, is an essential tool for musicians and producers, enabling the recording of multiple audio sources simultaneously on separate tracks.

This versatility allows for detailed editing and mixing, ensuring each element of a performance can be finely tuned. Devices like the Zoom LiveTrak offer features like phantom power and headphone output, catering to both studio and live recording environments.

Whether you’re looking for a portable multitrack recorder or a comprehensive audio interface, these devices offer the flexibility and quality required for professional-grade recordings.

What do I need for multitrack recording?

The best multitrack recorder combines flexibility and quality. Consider the Zoom LiveTrak for its comprehensive editing and mixing capabilities, or the Zoom R8 if you need a portable solution.

Key features to look for include high sample rates for superior sound quality, an audio interface for seamless integration with other devices, and phantom power to support a range of microphones. Additionally, ensure it has a headphone output for monitoring and supports virtual tracks for expansive recording options.

What is the difference between multitrack recorder and computer?

A multitrack recorder, like the multitrack recorder options available, offers a dedicated device for capturing audio across multiple channels simultaneously, ideal for musicians and podcasters.

Unlike a computer, which requires additional software for editing and mixing, multitrack recorders provide an all-in-one solution with features such as phantom power and headphone output. Models like the Zoom Livetrak also double as an audio interface, allowing for high-quality recording with various sample rates, making them a portable and versatile choice for on-the-go recording.

Martin Brown is a tech-savvy writer with deep expertise in music technology, studio equipment, instruments, and innovative production tools. His interest in music never disappeared from an early age.