on April 11, 2012
4.5 stars based on the value for the price, the ease of use, very good sound and the inspiration that it provides for creativity. I have used it primarily for recording synthesizers (Yamaha Motif XF, Korg Kronos) and a little vocal recording. I am using it as an all-in-one recording workstation after a decade of using a DAW and synthesis software on my computers, I've wanted to return to a simpler means of recording ideas and putting together demos. This digital recorder has eight individual inputs (mono, stereo, line/vocal/guitar) and 24 playback channels, making it very easy to build a recording in layers. I read the Quick Guide section of the owner's manual and was able to record 8 tracks, punching it a few corrections along the way, and then mix it down to stereo, master it and burn it using the build-in CD-RW drive within hours of opening the box. I was up all night playing with it and at sun-rise I created another CD of songs for a good morning present to my wife.
The sound is very good, I found it important to get the input levels up to produce the best sound. I carefully compared the sound sources to the final recorded sound and found it very good considering the really modest price, the recordings were definately suitable for demos and possibly more. It was intuitive enough that I only occasionally had to pause to look up some details in the manual.
The color LCD screen is small, but large enough to be easy to read and the dedicated controls for channel EQ and panning are great, but I would like to have solo/mute buttons on each track (it requires you to select the mode and then select via the record buttons). Virtual tracks allow me to record several takes of a synthesizer lead (for example) and then keep the one I like best for the mix. The DP-24 comes with a demo studio recording that uses most of the 24-playback tracks and provides an easy way to get the hang of mixing and applying various effects.
Everything is recorded on a Flash Card. The DP-24 came with a 2gb Flash Card, I also bought a SanDisk Extreme (Class 10 SDHC) 32 GB Flash memory card on which I have recorded a couple of hours and it is working perfectly (will hold about 7-8 hours total).
I have used the MIDI interface to syncronize the timing for multi-tracking. It does provide a much easier method for recording than my computer system, and I was still able to transfer the data to my computer using the USB port and also created backup files of my recordings.
Many years ago, I had been delighted with the 4-track tascam cassette recorder and had found that wonderful for recording ideas and doing simple multi-track recordings; the Tascam DP-24 was like that but 60x more (250 virtual tracks). Not a doubt that it was worth the money. I'll update this review as I gain experience with the unit.
on July 15, 2012
The Tascam DP-24 table top all in one portastudio is a blast to use, both fun and pretty easy...
The good news is The Operations Manual is a snap to follow and it's laid out brilliantly.
I say that right away because that was precisely The Last Thing I Expected.
What I expected was a complicated device with a nonsensical operations manual and ultimately, frustration.
So here's what I got:
First of all - It's LARGE
Do not be fooled by the cute images, if you're going to try and shoehorn this beast into a crowded work space - forget it
It's approximately 21 wide x 16 deep x 4 high - it's about the size of a 16 channel mixing board - go look at one of those in your local music shop
with a full compliment of XLR cables plugged into the back = add 4 inches to the depth
So you're going to need to clear some square footage - but the user layout is so nice you'll forgive it the girth and come to love the logical space it creates
Before you get started:
* You will need a 16 or 32 gig card / the supplied 2 gig card is silly and unusable
First things First:
I spent time familiarizing myself with the considerably wide array of buttons, sliders, jog wheel, knobs, video screen layout and rear panel input configurations
All of this is well approached in the Manual (on page 24) called "TOP PANEL names and functions" and it walks you through the recording desk layout nicely
I think of what I want to do - like - Record a mono track or Record a stereo track or Create a song or Delete a track or Experiment with the built in guitar effects (whatever it might be)...
Then I just flip to the TABLE OF CONTENTS in the manual (page 5)
Find where it's covered in the Manual
And walk through the process
One step at a time
Easy - works great - makes great recordings - very logical manual to follow - simple and understandable steps
Stuff will be needed:
What you'll also probably need:
An assortment of cables 1/4 jack and XLR's and Mini-jacks - give some thought to what you'll be connecting into this device and load up on cables
My experience with the DP-24 has been FUN and PRODUCTIVE and it sounds great
BONUS: Not at all frustrating - in fact enjoyable
and you can't say more than that about a tabletop Recording studio
on April 29, 2012
I bought this unit and was very impressed with the ease of use and the professional sound quality. I was able to make a recording within a couple of hours out of the box. The problem I had was that at some point during either recording a track or playing back a track, the unit would completely freeze and produce a heavy static sound. There was no place in the manual that talked about how to reset the unit and the off button wouldn't even shut things down. The only way to shut the unit off was to pull out the power and then plug it back in. Once powered up, if you tried playing your track, it would freeze and produce the loud static. So, when I pulled out the plug and powered up again, I figured out that I can undo and go back to the last recorded track before the unit crashed. Therefore, you would lose whatever track you last worked on which was obviously frustrating. I tried buying a 2nd brand new sd card from tascams recommended list and the problem still existed. I wanted to give it a second chance since I liked this unit so much, so I decided to buy a second one, figuring this particular one was just defective. Now, to be neurotic, I bought a second unit from a completely different website in case this one was part of a bad lot. The problem still existed with the second unit purchased and a third SD card that I tried in hopes that it was purely the SD. I returned both units.
Clearly there is a software/firmware problem. I called Tascam to alert them of what I experienced with 2 brand new DP24's from 2 independent web sites and they were not very helpful. They basically told me to return both units and wait for a software/firmware update. They could not tell me a general idea of when that would be but said sometime in the future. However, they admitted to being aware of a problem with this model.
Bottom line: wait until they resolve this issue and then this will be a great model. Has anyone else experienced this and have you figured out a work around?
on February 13, 2013
I am very pleased with the Tascam DP 24. I have been a recording engineer my entire life and the true test of any great recording device is the sound your monitoring and the sound that plays back thru the speakers after you record. I used the MPC 1000 and recorded a pattern and it played back (without using compression etc) and the dp 24 played back exactly as the signal that went into the machine, same for voice and guitars, keys etc........ I am floored, the DP 24 "BLOWS AWAY" my old computer setup, with computers you really need to work the sound to make it sound good, those problems are now in my past.......the DP 24 excells from my computer setup already right out of the box. There are many great features of this unit, but if your looking to be creative and not bogged down by computer recording by all means spend the $600 on this baby. The unit could be used for mixing etc and but can also work well as just a basic recording device with a console/outboard gear etc. I would highly recommend the DP 24, so far I am blown away, and I only had this unit one day, it is very user friendly and will be my best friend for years to come. Hopefully Tascam will not "bow down" to popular trends and will keep on making recorders like this...for $600 bucks you simply cannot get a better recoder/mixer....thank you Tascam!!! (no I do not work for Tascam)
on July 27, 2013
Unit shipped with the ORIGINAL firmware. Upgraded it immediately - copied to SD card and followed instructions easily.
Will be using this to record, and do actual mixdowns on computer. My previous mobile rig just didn't cut it - too many weird issues, and it's a pain to set up and mouse around. Much simpler to plug in to this thing, set levels, and hit record.
4 stars for coming with older firmware and changing a few things up from the 2488.
- It has 8 XLR inputs. This is a nice improvement over the 2488, which I've used extensively.
- CD Burner. Some might say that's silly, but it's nice to have the ability to burn a mix directly.
- Plug in, power on, connect mic cables, assign tracks, hit record.
- Mixdown abilities are ok. I'm sure it'd be fine, I'd just rather copy to a computer later.
...in either case, this has easier/better mixdown capabilities compared to some other products, and is by extension, easier to track with when you want to get a basic mix working while you continue to add tracks...
- Per above, this makes for a good workflow - easy mixing while recording. Less time spent "mousing around" (or diving into too many menus, as with some other units) to get basic things set while recording.
- Color screen. Nice improvement over 2488 there, although some things are weird to compare to.
- Decent EQ section. Dedicated knobs for this are nice.
- METAL top. Very nice.
- Comfortable to use. Ergonomic.
- Slightly heavy, but that's ok. Prefer that to ultralight and flimsy feeling.
- Slightly thinner than 2488.
- Uses SD cards. Guess technology caught up and these are fast enough now.
- Shouldn't freeze up like 2488's would, due to vibration (say, while recording bass, or a live show, which I've seen happen...)
- Clean preamps. Sure, they're not as nice as those found in million dollar studios, but seriously, they're plenty fine for basic use. Can still turn down to 'line' level, and use external ones if you want, and they're mostly bypassed. At that point, you're as close to the AD converters as you're going to get on a unit of this type.
- Lots of others I'm sure you can read about... good unit. Solid. Far simpler and more efficient to set up compared to a laptop + interface box. This is truly one of the greatest advantages of this.
Cons - please keep in mind that NOTHING is perfect, and some of these are more a "wish list"
- Must change "undo" level to "10" (its max) manually, otherwise, you only get one (per session!)... the 2488 had a HUGE amount of undo if you wanted to use it, likely due to SD card limitations. Set it to 10 in the menu if you want to, otherwise, it's too limited IMO.
- Not a huge one, but.. Loss of dedicated mute/solo buttons compared to the 2488, but this isn't a huge deal, as it's still VERY simple to hit the mute/solo action button, and then do what you need.
- Effects are limited and kind of confusing to use at first, but I don't intend to use them anyway.
- Set in / set out can create multiple marker points if you're not careful. Haven't yet found out how to remove the ones I don't want. Still new to this unit compared to 2488... I really hope there's a way - if you want to move the 'set out' point, I still haven't figured this out.
- "Trim" (gain) pots feel cheap underneath - NOT sturdily mounted on the inside.. be careful! ...a few more cents spent here would've been nice.
- Stereo fader does not go past 0db. Not sure why, but this is just absurd. Oh well. Again, I won't be mixing much with it...
- Stereo tracks MUST record in stereo. I think the 32 track model lets you do mono there. Kind of lame, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't really care. Can bounce mono tracks panned hard left/right to a few of the stereo tracks, and then re-use mono ones if needed, haha ;)
- Doesn't default to 24-bit (@48Khz). Must set this per song. Seriously? This should be a system wide setting that you can adjust. Oh well. Easy enough to set when making a new song I guess.
All in all, I'm happy so far. It'll pretty much live at the practice space for a time while we get things tracked, and I'll be letting a friend get familiar with it there. Will also eventually use in some other situations.
Can't go wrong for the price. If you're on the fence between this and a similar product (in the 8 tracks at once category), or an interface box - I can vouch for the fact that this is solid, and simple to get started with. If all you need are 2 tracks at once, for basic home use, then by all means get a smaller unit, or an interface box.
on September 6, 2012
This machine has literally changed my life. To say that I was happy with it would be an understatement! It does everything that I could possibly want it to with ease. After years of horrible live recordings off the board, live mics, I am finally able to take individual channel insert sends from my mixer at a live show and send them right to their track on the DP-24 (the machine will record eight tracks at once also has eight xlr/1/4 inputs. I also run one room mic for the audience. And the results, fantastic! I have spent the last few years educating myself in DAW's. The fact that I can now take the card from the machine, Import the tracks into my recording software (Steinberg in my case) with absolute ease is proof that all these years of product development have paid off for Tascam, they really did bridge the gap between the portastudio and the DAW. Also I would like to talk about build quality. I was very happy when I lifted it out of the box and it actually had a little weight to it, very solid build and roadworthy, no more need to take a fragile, quirky computer to a gig and have to hook up the extras and wait.... This thing is ready to go! Oh ya and did I mention no latency! I still have a hard time believing they could put this product out at this cost, amazing, truly a dream machine.
on March 31, 2013
I've owned 2 other digital recorders, another Tascam 4 track and a Fostex 8 track, and by far this one blows them away! Sound quality is excellent, low noise when inputting clean guitar and vocals via 1/4" jack and XLR connectors. I bought two 32 gbyte SD cards, plenty of recording time there. There is a very simple work path from recording one track, overdubbing other tracks, mixing, and then stereo mastering. The menus are laid out very well, very understandable, they did their homework on this machine. I bought one from Amazon that was a couple of firmware versions old, but there are instructions at the Tascam website that easily allow you to download and upgrade your machine( via computer) to the latest firmware. I believe the latest version of the firmware eliminates the problems spoken about in the one star review of this product done a year ago.
My only problem right now is trying to figure out how to add reverb while recording, the effects facilities I've tried so far have added a lot of noise and diminished the signal on tracks I'm trying to put reverb into. I'm just going to try other options to use the built in effects, which the machine has plenty of. I'm very happy with it!
Update-4/1/13: Figured out how to simply add the reverb to any track without noise while recording, read appropriate pages in the Owners Manual, and cranked up the Send Eff 1 level as shown on page 47. Owners Manual is more than adequate to familiarize you with the basic work path procedures.
Update-4/5/13: I also boosted the guitar signal before inputting it to the recorder using a Pod Pro amp modeler, and that gave me more volume in the recorded signal without too much more noise. I would also recommend using some post-production software on the mastered tracks, such as Adobe Audition CS6, to clean them up and make them more finished. I still haven't figured out the file names for the mixed down or mastered file for any song in the Music folder, there seem to be two identical ones in there for every song. More later.
Update-4/30/13: The mixed-down, mastered file without the z extension is the one, as reported to me by Tascam. Also, every time I put any DSP effect into the signal path( whether it's an internal Dynamic effect, or a Send effect), or an external effect processor( like a DI box, amp modeler, anything so far that is in the signal path from instrument to recorder), noise is introduced into the recording. For me, it is an acceptable level of noise, because in post-production, I can post-process it out with Adobe Audition, but for some people it might be unacceptable. At one point I thought it was the cables I used when connecting an external DSP effect, but my feeling is now that it is any effect or digital processor or device introduced into the signal path. So if you are looking for a professional recording studio level of quiet in the signal, this recorder may not be good for you.
on March 7, 2013
So I was tired of mousing and recording straight to a DAW. I was once a Protools user and 10 years ago it was a very simple endeavor. You would think it would become even easier but it seems to me that with added functionality, also comes cumbersome mouse clicking.
So this was the answer for me - plug it in - make music. Very easy to use. Mic pres are pretty nice, SD Card is awsome. Only thing lacking is automation, which is a big deal for me. But not to fret - all I do is yank the SD card and throw it in my computer, Iport the files into my DAW (studio One) and bam I'm mixing and mastering the tracks in the DAW. You can mix and master in the DP-24 but I find it so much easier to do it on computer. I love this machine - it enhances my creativity rather than slow it down.
on September 18, 2013
I really love this thing! For less than the cost of a DAT machine, you have a self-contained unit that records 8 tracks at one time, mixes and masters, brilliantly, to a 25 cent CD or straight to your computer. You really can't beat it for $500 bucks. If you're expecting high-budget, studio quality results, you will probably be disappointed, and there is most definitely a learning curve with this, as there is with any home recording setup. If you're expectations are more along the line to produce extremely high quality home/demo recordings, you will be pleased as punch:)
I would recommend spending the extra $40 on the video tutorial and be prepared to spend a whole lot more on microphones, cables, direct boxes, etc., if you're going to plunged into this hobby. If you're interested in purchasing this, it's probably because you want to be able to record 8 tracks at once. I can tell you that it does what it's meant to do. Make sure that you purchase the 32 gig card if you're going to use it this way, as the included 2 GB card will run out very quickly. You are also going to need a decent pair of Reference Monitors, if you want to use this to mix and master CDs or MP3s. Also, this is not a 24 track recorder, but more accurately an 18 track recorder. The stereo tracks do come in handy for using stereo mics and doubling applications, but it's only 18 individual tracks that can be mixed at one time.
After watching the video a couple of times and making a few test recordings, I was pretty much off and running with this thing. I have not experienced any incidents of crashes or freezes, and I have pushed my DP-24 to its absolute limit. I would pass on the DP-32, as it only gives you 2 additional tracks for an extra $200. Put that money into some mixing speakers or a new condenser mic. and go with the 24!
on November 18, 2012
I'm a hobbyist musician, not a professional (either as a musician or producer), so this review is written from a casual amateur's perspective.
I'm a guitarist, harmonica player and 'singer' of only modest ability in all three areas, but have a Roland GT-10 multi-effects pedal as well as a Boss GR-20 guitar synthesizer unit and synthesizer ready Godin Freeway SA guitar. This allows me to simulate a multitude of musical instruments, and the GT-10 doubles up very nicely as an external effects unit.
The first few songs I've attempted to record have been popular classic rocks songs, e.g. 'Wanted Dead Or Alive', 'More Than A Feeling', 'Let It Be', 'One Of These Days' (Pink Floyd) and 'When The Levee Breaks'. I found that using the basic features of the unit (record and mix a song) was a very easy process, and the manual was reasonably clear. I haven't used the built-in effects but they look somewhat limited, especially when compared to what's available with my GT-10 unit. This really came into its own when recording 'One Of These Days' and 'When The Levee Breaks', which rely heavily on effects. So, even if you're not a guitarist but are keen on using effects, it might be worthwhile investing in a separate digital multi-effects unit. I managed to get quite satisfactory results by using the external effects send feature in conjunction with my effects pedal, getting some nice distorted and 'echoey' harmonica on 'When The Levee Breaks' and a truly scary ring modulated 'spooky voice' on 'One Of These Days'.
I have been recording in 16 bit at 44.1 KHz, and also invested in a 32 Gb SAN card. However, I did have a very negative experience when the unit froze and came up with a 'File Error' message when recording one of my songs. Unfortunately the song could not be salvaged and I had to start again from scratch, although my next attempt did complete successfully (this experience prevented me from awarding this unit 5 stars). My research so far shows that a firmware upgrade (from version 1.01 to 1.02) may resolve this, but I've not tried it yet.
One other slight quibble (but very minor) is that the unit doesn't appear to have scope for reversing tracks and applying backward echo. This is not something that would be needed too often, although 2 of the 5 songs I covered do have these effects! Still, I could probably always do something externally on my PC to work around this. It's honestly not that big a deal.
So, in conclusion, this unit did live up to my expectations for the most part and I would definitely recommend it, but with the caveats that you MAY need to invest in an external effects unit (don't quote me on this because I've not actually tried out the internal ones), and also be prepared to make an additional copy of your songs after you make any changes. Bear in my mind that my review has been written from the perspective of a guitar and guitar synth playing rank amateur, so please do read other people's reviews to get a good overall picture.