on January 18, 2010
After wanting a digital multi-track for a long time, I finally decided on this model, and I'm glad I did.
One thing that is not included in a list of specs is the usability factor. I've purchased my share of electronic devices for making and recording music over the years. Just looking at a dry list of specs has often been my method of deciding on what to buy. Well, on paper the DP-008 looks good, but it's not until you use this to cut a few tracks that you realize how well it is designed. I'm SOOOO glad I didn't buy the DP-004, as this model is clearly the results of Tascam eliminating the weaker aspects of the 4 track model just in time for the 8 track version.
I have seen a lot of digital multi-tracks that look good on paper, but to use them is a real pain. The fact that the DP-008 has all the individual track knobs means that you don't have to go flipping through pages on a menu or choosing the "hot track" in some other way. Here it's all laid out logically and makes tweaking the final stereo mix a piece of cake. Sure it would be nice if there were level sliders rather than dials, but these work just fine.
I use this model to record myself playing guitar and bass, run a Boss drum machine into it, and I record vocals with an external mic though a small mixer that has some helpful effects on it. You don't need a mixer, though, as the included mics are quite good. I am able to record several tracks, "bounce" them if I want to, and then write them to a stereo master mix. Then, I export that mix on the unit itself (sounds weird, but basically you're just creating a wav file that can be seen by a computer). The final step is connecting the DP-008 to a computer and merely dragging the song files over to the computer. I then use Audacity to convert it to an ogg file or mp3.
I use Linux and the process of transferring songs to the computer is very simple. In the past you would have received a useless cd-rom with a crappy "song transfer" program and maybe some crapware to go along with it. I'm glad that Tascam has decided to treat the customer right and state it clearly: There is no need for special software. Once you export the song, it will show up as an external storage device and you can simply transfer the files over to your computer, whether it's a PC running Windows or Linux, or a Mac.
on April 15, 2010
So just as a point of reference, I'm an audio engineer. I went to school to be one and had my own ADAT based project studio for a while afterward. I was trained on buttons and knobs. Prior to, during, and after all that I had home gear that ranged from a boombox to 4-track cassettes, to the aforementioned ADAT, to PC recording. All the while as a musician as much as engineer.
That said ... I love the 008. It's not perfect, but I love it.
Brilliant. Compact, all the input options you'd need including phantom power, excellent decisions on what to have dedicated controls for vs. being menu items (save for the EQ, but that's a space hog, so I'm willing to accept the compromise), and potentially infinite memory.
Considering my background, I'm generally not a fan of PC recording, I prefer the tactile nature of buttons and knobs over mice and pointers. And the 008 has instantly recognizeable tape transport control buttons. And clear single function knobs. Plus an aray of buttons that are mostly all clear and simple. So the familiarity with the basic controls makes things comfortable and easy. There are still somethings you have to scroll through menu items on the LCD for. But again, if you're at all familiar with the tools and terminology of recording, for the basics, it's simple, clear, and intuitive.
Using the built in mics on just me and my acoustic guitar, I got a practically flawless sound. Seriously. On playback in decent headphones, my guitar sounded pretty much just like it does to me acoustically. I haven't tried the built in mics for a full on band recording. But I imagine they'd do fine so long as you placed it well, and kept the levels reasonable. As a preamp for a pair of large condensers, it worked equally well. This is how I got full band recordings. With a pair of room mics (strategically placed) running into the 008 I got a solid, accurate sound. In our quieter moments, the kick drum was actually one of the better sounding I've gotten in my years recording. Louder, things got a bit mushier, but still maintained it's quality. And that type of thing is more often the room than the recorder :)
This is where that one star gets lost. The 008 is designed as a multitrack recorder, not a field recorder. So overall these next steps make sense. They're just not intuitive, and despite being fairly easy to learn and eventually do, it required cracking the manual, reading and rereading, and sussing out some fairly non-intuitive practices. Essentially you need to 'export' your recorded stuff, whether individual tracks or after doing an onboard mixdown (which they call mastering) to a seperate partition on the memory card itself and then you can transfer that 'exported' file to a computer for putting to CD or MP3, etc. A clunky process, but again, it's designed as a multitrack, so the expectation is that you'll need to mix it down or get the raw tracks first.
Overall, this thing is a winner and most importantly it's convenience and ease of use will inspire me to record more. The best tools a musician can have fascilitate and inspire without taking over your time and energy. The 008 falls into that catagory.
Any issues I may have with it may be rooted in my more traditional background, and someone new to the art may not experience them because they aren't set in their ways. But either way, those issues are small, and definitely aren't deal breakers.
I can think of improvements for sure, but they'd just add to either the physical size or cost of the device. And really, the 008 falls squarely in that narrow gap of everything you need for a price you can afford.
on January 1, 2010
My first Portastudio was a cassette tape Tascam 244 circa 1980/81. It was great for it's time and I used it so much the record head actually wore down. I moved on to an updated version of the cassette portastudio years later then got away from recording.
Now I'm back into music and recording so I thought I'd give Tascam another shot. I started with the 4 track DP-004 and loved it so much I immediately returned it and ordered the DP-008 which was a wise decision. This is simply an amazing unit in every way.
At first I was concerned that the menu driven system with a jog wheel would be cumbersome and slow but I was very pleasantly surprised. It's intuitive, fast and powerful. As a former portastudio user the learning curve for me was short.
The ability to easily import/export tracks and swap SD cards between DP-008s (even a DP-004 to a DP-008) is nice. The built in reverb is good and the condenser mics are excellent. Although you can mixdown and master your recordings on the DP-008 it's pretty easy to export the tracks and master them on a computer using Audacity or Soundbooth.
Best of all the price is simply amazing for all that you get. I highly recommend this for casual to semi-serious recording.
on August 13, 2010
Holy cow. I'm a drummer by training and picked up guitar, keyboards, and then MIDI from bandmates, ultimately combining everything into songwriting. I've had a home studio for years, running every kind of recorder from ADATs in the '80x to Cakewalk/Sonar and late-model 24-tracks. This little gem has become my go-to recorder for laying basic tracks. Why? How about bullet-proof solid state recording media? A 16GB Class 4 SDHC card delivers about 4 gig into each of 3 partions, plus 4 gig into the USB-accessible "FAT" (PC) partition. That's about 818 minutes, or 14 hours. Antique ADATS used VHS tapes(!), The big 24-trackers use hard drives (they eventually die!), and PC will give you the Windows latency, compatibility, and software update headache every time Bill G issues a new operating system. How about portability? It's the size of a decent paperback. Built-in mics? Surprisingly good, quality finally available because of noiseless solid state data storage. XLR inputs with phantom power - yes! Non-destructive editing/recording with "undo" history - yes! More reasons? How about digital copying (see notes below), allowing you to record hundreds of tracks of the same song? I've recorded a base of 3/4 and 4/4 drum backing tracks at various BPM, stored them, then copy them our when it's time to create a "new song" idea. Then I use the remaining available tracks to backfill with quality recordings, individual drum parts, etc. All tracks are easily exported to the unit's "FAT" (PC-based) partition (4Gig), where a PC can easily pick each track up as a .wav file. Edit away in your PC. I could go on.
I wouldn't attempt much internal editing in the DP008; it is unavoidably tedious. Use a PC-based sequencer for that. If you're on a budget, Audacity is free, and it will do the job. Also max of 2 tracks recording at a time.
The DP008 ships sans AC adapter. I highly recommend Sony PSP100 Power adapter for about $5 instead of Tascam's $30 offering, and the Yamaha FC5MM "sustain" pedal footswitch for record punch in/out. (Subsequent note: users report the PSP100 doesn't supply enough juice for phantom power mics, so consider the Tascam adapter.)
Operation is intuitive and simple, but here's my personal "cheat sheet":
TASCAM DP008 Operations
Home Screen: A & B meters inputs; 1-8 meters tracks; L & R meters stereo bus levels. Top meter bar is OverLoad (OL), and it will stay on for a while for noticeability. "Hollow" A,B,1-8, L,R frames means mute or eq has been applied to the track.
MENU > CARD > PARTITION > Select a partition.
Footswitch use: Arm tracks to record; push "PLAY". Footswitch toggles into & out of record mode as play progresses.
Record Auto-Punch: Set "IN" & "OUT" points. Press "REC+IN/OUT" to enter auto-punch mode. Arm target tracks. Press "PLAY" to rehearse. Press "PLAY+REC" to record. Nice.
Punch In / Out shortcuts = Function keys 1-4 (4 buttons under the display).
STOP+F1 = go to "In".
STOP+F2 = go to "Out".
F3 = set "In" point.
F4 = set "Out" point.
REPEAT button: repeats between "In" & "Out". Interval of quiet is adjustable.
MENU > SONG >
LOAD (loads existing song)
SAVE (note: the machine continuously auto-saves by default)
CREATE (new song)
COPY (to current or other partitions)
ERASE (allows multi-song erase)
PROTECT (on/off, allows multi-song protection)
REC MODE > MASTER RECORD. Choose in/out points. Press REC+PLAY. Master Level, Track Level, and Pan knobs control the stereo mixdown. The master mixdown is placed in the FAT partition as a stereo .wav file.
REC MODE > BOUNCE Tracks. Choose source tracks on screen. Press track REC to arm target track(s). Press PLAY+RECORD to bounce. Adjust VOL & PAN on the source tracks; adjust record volume using MASTER LEVEL. Unlike tape, you can bounce source tracks 1 thru 8 simultaneously to target tracks 1&2. Of course, the content of tracks 1&2 will be replaced, but the originals will have been included in the bounce mixdown.
To create 100's of tracks for one song: Record 8 tracks into new song "xxRhythm", for example. Then, before BOUNCE, use MENU > SONG > COPY (and NAME EDIT) to create a new copy of the song. Call the new copy "xxVocals". The original 8 tracks will remain intact in the original pre-bounce "xxRhythm" version. Then use the new "xxVocal" copy to bounce down all 8 rhythm tracks to tracks 1&2. Record new vocals into tracks 3 thru 8. Repeat copying & bouncing as needed for bass, drum, lead, strings. When finished, use EXPORT TRACKS to save all tracks of the song, from all copies, into the FAT partition, ready for transfer to a computer editor. Careful track naming is essential. Adding just 2 copies = 20 tracks; the only limit is space.
MENU > EXPORT / IMPORT > TRACKS (or MASTER) converts tracks to .wav files & puts them in the FAT partition for import / export to a computer. Hook up the USB cable; the DP008's FAT partition appears as an external storage device on the computer. Exporting MASTER is redundant, but you can import .wav files to tracks (16bit, 44.1kHz only).
MENU > INFORMATION gives record time available in current partition. A 4gb partition contains 818 minutes.
"UNDO" & "HISTORY" buttons. UNDO goes back one level. HISTORY allows you to choose one of several past levels to return to. Nice. All past recordings and operations are saved until you power down, which clears history. Keeping history eats up storage space in the current session.
MENU > TRACK EDIT > CLEAN OUT (track). All other track edits would be better done by bounce, or by record "IN" & "OUT", or in a computer editing program.
Metronome button. It's never recorded, unless picked up by a live mike.
on March 25, 2010
I, too, started with the cassette-based Tascam Portastudio and there is no comparison with the difference in quality. It is so close to what I'd consider perfect for my needs that it just makes me want what it's missing even more. But I'll break down the ups and downs.
* The quality of the sound and ease of use. I can see how people would give it 5 stars just for these two.
* I'm very pleased with the built-in stereo condenser mics. Of course, it won't compete with pro level but these aren't toy mics either. Definitely a little better than I expected at this price point.
* Knobs! My main recording DAW is ProTools (no hardware controller) so this just reminded me how much more fun it is to mix with something physical (as opposed to the mouse).
* Reverb is pretty decent, too. More than I expected at this price point. I liked that the reverb isn't recorded during the actual recording. If you want to use its reverb, you need to mix it down with the reverb level of your liking (so exported individual tracks won't have reverb by default).
* Portability is also quite nice. I've been recording our band practices and it's nice to be able to move it around to find the best spot for the sound. I've also taken it to record another band's live performance. I've been able to run it with NiMH rechargeable batteries for 6 hours.
* XLR input and phantom power are the main selling points to me over the DP-04. The preamps in it are decent.
* When connected to USB, it shows up as a drive letter (as someone else mentioned, no need to install any software on your computer)
* You can transfer the individual tracks and/or a mixed down version.
* Last Recording Position feature is handy. This lets you easily go to where you last STARTED recording. Note, it cannot remember where you last stopped recording (which is actually a downer).
* Shuttle wheel is very handy for going to a certain spot in a long recording.
* Transferring to your computer isn't intuitive. Basically, you have to export what you want to transfer on the DP-008 itself first and then you can copy it to your PC.
* The exporting isn't fast. It doesn't seem like it's realtime but more like 50%. So an hour recording will take 30 minutes to export (and then you still have to copy it to your computer but this part is usually fast). But I could be wrong because I would just set it to export and walk away and then transfer to my PC later.
* Missing compression! I appreciate that it has EQ and can be used during the recording (2 bands of it anyway) but I wish it also had built-in compression. I don't normally record with EQ but recording with compression is very necessary at times. If this had a decent compression that can be used for recording (with variable threshold, ratio and attack) then I would probably give it 5 stars. Compression could also be handy during mixdown (though personally, I do that on my PC after I've transferred the files).
* No inserts! If it had inserts (TRS) on the preamps then I could use my own outboard compressors and I would probably give this 5 stars even if it didn't have a built-in compressor. I wonder if they could make the 1/4" inputs act as both regular inputs as well as an inserts so they're not giving up real estate on the device.
* No easy way to remember where you last stopped recording. This is a problem as it becomes easy to overwrite something you recorded before. An example is when I was recording a live performance. I recorded the whole first set as one song (would not be practical to try to create a song file for each song) and turned off the device to save battery life. I should have created a new song for the second set but being in the "cassette-based" PortaStudio mode, I just powered it up and started recording. Unfortunately, the DP-008 always starts at 0:00 whenever you turn it on - it does load up the last song you were using but doesn't recall where you last stopped. It took me 10 minutes to realize I was actually overwriting the beginning of the first set. So I stopped recording and fortunately, I remembered the time mark of when I last stopped recording so I was able to quickly go to that time with the shuttle wheel. Otherwise, I would've had to keep fast forwarding and listening and repeating until I got to where I last stopped recording.
* No third XLR input for 3 simultaneous tracks recording! I could ask for four which may make more logical sense but three would be enough. One reason I wanted this is to quickly record myself singing and playing an acoustic guitar. Sure, I could just use one track for each, but the fact that the built-in stereo condensers actually sound decent make me want to keep the acoustic guitar in stereo then use another track for vocals. Of course, I could overdub the vocals later but I would prefer to just record everything at once. If real estate is an issue, I wonder if they could make it so you can use both the two internal mics and the two external inputs (via XLR or 1/4") for four tracks of simultaneous recording.
If Tascam came out with a PortaStudio that had three (preferable four) XLR inputs with phantom power (or allow you to simultaneously use both the internal mics and external inputs), a decent built-in compressor that can be used during recording, and TRS inserts in all inputs, I'd seriously consider buying it (of course, depends on how much more it would be).
on August 3, 2012
After using the Tascam DP-008 for about a year, I've found that it is designed for self-recording short tracks of high-quality sound. It does everything it says it does, but it's not well-suited for multi-hour recordings like live concerts.
It's a complicated device. To get a .WAV recording to your PC:
1. Record your 2-channel track to a Song file, overdubbing as many additional tracks as you please. The Song file is not playable by standard players like Windows Media Player.
2. Create a Master file from your Song file. This is where you use the Reverb, Pan, and Level knobs. It is done in real time, which is a pain for long recordings. The Master is also a non-standard file format.
3. Create a .WAV file from the Master file. This is not done in real time but still takes a long time, perhaps 50% real time. The DP-008 gives no clue about how long it takes.
4. Connect to your PC and collect your booty from the DP-008.
The SD card is partioned into Song/Master file (MTR) and PC-format file (FAT) partitions. Half of my card capacity is in mastering, and half is in the export (.WAV) file directory on the DP-008. I use a Kingston Digital 32 GB Flash Memory Card SD10G2/32gb SD card, no problems.
Since I use Sony's Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 - 2011 software, I don't have much need for the DP-008's editing tools. If you need to master an overdubbed multi-track recording deep in the forest or in a cave, the tools will come in handy, but otherwise I recommend using your PC.
The built-in microphones make very good quality recordings. I'm certain good external mikes would be even better.
If you don't need to create over-dubbed studio master recordings in the field, I recommend you buy a simple 2-channel MP3/WAV recorder instead.
As far as quality, everything works as adverstised. The owner's manual is better than average and was useful when I had trouble mastering a recording, and also when I got error messages. I deduct two stars for:
-* The long mastering process required is burdensome if you plan to edit the file on your PC.
-* The buttons serve too many different functions, especially with menu control. It's hard to memorize how to work the gadget. I still must refer to the manual to work through each process.
on April 1, 2010
I've had this device for over a month now and have recorded over three hours of music/vocals. This is also the first multi-track recorder I've ever owned, but not the first time using such a machine.
Let's start of with, in my opinion, what keeps this from being a 5* review.
-Yes, it has 8 tracks, but you could only record two at a time. I already knew this prior to getting it, but I didn't realize how much more convenient it would be to have more than track recording at once.
-Only power supply included are 4 AA-batteries. A power adapter would have been nicer. Luckily, I have a spare one so I've yet to use the AA-batteries.
-No effects. That's on the next model up.
-Exporting tracks before being able to transfer to computer. I found this to be very time-consuming especially when I had to export one of our band's practice sessions which had over an hour of recorded material with several tracks.
Now the good things about it...
-Very easy to use. So easy, the only thing I had to refer to the manual for was how to bounce tracks/make a master track. The layout, the knobs, the menu, everything is very user friendly.
-The sound is amazing. I've tried recording a guitar by putting a mic in front of an amp and it sounded decent enough. I had the guitarist plug in directly into the recorder and the sound was just amazing. Same goes for electric drums and vocals. The reverb feature is nice, but again, I would've liked built in effects. I've yet to use the built-in mics.
-Very portable. I'm a drummer who has to lug around a set, whether acoustic or electric, so this little guy is one less bulky thing for me to lift.
That's it for now. I'll update of any other good/bad things I may come across, but for now, a 4*.
on January 16, 2010
My biggest (and perhaps best) Christmas gift ever as a kid was a shiny black Tascam Porta One, which I received back in 1984 or 1985. I used the heck out of that thing and have a box of tapes the size of a Volvo somewhere (which I need to transfer via another Porta One someday... someday...). I've had a couple of other small recorders (digital and analog) over the years, but none of them have ever given me that simplistic user-friendly vibe that my original Porta One did - until now.
This machine sounds so clean, is so intuitive in it's controls, is just so addictive, that I can't stop recording. Within minutes of having it out of the box, I was up and running. Hardest part for me was turning it on (have to hold the button down for a sec or two before it turns on... thought it was DOA for a sec) and now hardest part is turning it off.
Tascam has created a new classic for the next generation of starry-eyed kids plunking away in their basements. Your Kings of Leon, Girls, Animal Collective, and Fleet Foxes to my Van Halen, Motley Crue, Scorpions, and Rush. Just wish I could flip the SD card over and get that backwards guitar sound! :) Wanna jam, junior?
on December 25, 2011
New UPDATE 2014:
The first two ARM buttons have stopped working. Great!
New UPDATE 2013:
It sucks that Tascam has come out with a new DP008EX which had all the things we asked for in the previous DP008 like in built effects and on board mastering. They ought to have released this as a firmware update! What sucks is that its at the same price as the DP008.
I had uploaded a video containing a quick recording of of Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown".
The mix was done entirely on the DP008 with no post processing on a PC. The entire song was recorded inside of 10 minutes. You can listen to that and more recordings done with the DP008 on youtube at the channel titled tascamdp008.
Amazon deleted my last review and never told me about it. Well anyways here it is again for all of you.
I have been a PC based audio producer musician since 2002 and frankly have HATED recording with PCs.
Troublesome interfaces, system crashes, latency, non-portability etc etc. And last but not least, that annoying fan noise and AC hum that creeps into every recording. I was just dying to find a way to get out of PC based recording.
I was looking for an easy and painless way to be able to make my music and songs without the hassle of using a computer or laptop.
Portability is also imprtant to me because I know that the size and type of a room affects the way your voice and instruments will sound. So i needed to be able to take my recording setup anywhere I wanted to.
I needed a portable studio.
I purchased this off amazon and I got it on Christmas eve. I was very excited about this device and had purchased it after reading every review I could find online: Amazon, zzounds, Buzzilions, youtube. I compared it with the Zoom r8/r16 multitrackers and decided to go with this one based on ease of use, sound quality and clock precision.
I was able to record a full song with harmonies, guitar solos etc using just the internal microphones within 5mins of opening the box.
The quick start quide helped me do this. In fact, all you really need to read is the quick start guide which is right in the beginning of the manual. You'll easily be able to figure out all the other functions and options on your own once you read the first 5 pages.
The guy who said it's intuitive is right. Its a VERY intuitive device. All the things you need to use while recording are provided right in front of you.
Here are my initial findings:
+ Ease of use. This is already covered well by the others. Power up and you're recording. This is the BEST feature of this device. You can record songs very fast.
+ Build quality. Good construction. NOT all metal but reasonably sturdy. Not cheap plastic either. Knobs are rubberized which means they wont break and are easy o rotate. Also the device has a good bit of weight. Which means it HAS something substantial in it. I'd suspect any device that's too light. Mind you this isnt heavy. It has a good weight for its size.
+ Size. Its way smaller than an ipad and about the same size as a small tablet. Its like a palmstop studio.
+ Knobs! After years of using a PC for recording, you'll LOVE the feel of tweaking knobs.
+ Inbuilt mic quality. VERY good mics. You can adjust sensitivity (Lo/Hi) which is another bonus
+ Phantom Power - Workd like it should and makes for endless possibilities. Hook up a nice large diaphragm condenser mic and you're talking serious stuff. For people on a budget I recommend Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package
+ Battery operation. I use four rechargeable NiMh cells and it works like a charm. I prefer this over using adapters and power supply units. I dislike clutter and unnecessary wiring. It's annoying!
+ Battery life. Using just the internal mics, you can use this for a long long time. 4+ hours for sure. I haven't tried this with phantom power. Will try that and get back to this review.
+ Tuner and Metronome ready. Both accessible at the touch of a button on the front.
+ Sound quality. Crystal clear. CD/Studio grade no doubt.
+ Reverb. Doesn't sound cheap like a lot of other effects processors out there. Very good quality reverb. And you can choose from a few different types.
+ Look. It looks very cool. Has a very well thought-out design with well matched colors. It's important to ME :p
This unit doesnt really have any obvious negatives. Here are some requests to Tascam for a future firmware update:
> More effects like compression and mastering gates and expanders. This is so that we can just mixdown the whole record with NO need for a PC. Basically i mean complete onboard mastering and compression.
Right now, I mix down all the tracks and then mix and master them on the PC. I get the best results this way.
COMPRESSION and LIMITING is badly needed. Just the inclusion of a soft limiter can make a massive difference in the sound of your recordings.
> Recording direct to wave. I really don't know why Tascam records in its proprietary format in its own file system after which you need to export your recordings to WAV format. I can live with this too. It doesnt take super long to mixdown and its a great excuse to go take a break. If there was a means for on-board mastering and more mixing effects like compression and parametric EQ the current setup would work just fine. Maybe I'm just being greedy.
> Allow for 24bit recording. Presently it is fixed at 16bit.
> Provide mp3/ogg support
1. To make the most of the recordings made with this unit, I would recommend exporting the tracks of your song and then mixing and mastering on a PC with any DAW of your choice. This way you can apply track compression/saturation as well as mastering expanders and the like.
2. Get rechargeable cells. It runs on 4 batteries. I use NiMh rechargeable cells and I couldn't be more pleased. yes phantom power will exhaust them sooner but be glad you can even use phantom power on a portable multitrack device. I have an Envie Speedster 4 cell charger and it charges to max in 1.5 hours. I would charge cells maybe once a week depending on how often I used my Rode NT1A condenser mic with this. Now my entire performance and recording rig is mobile and clutter free. I also have a battery powerd amp the CUBE Street Battery Powered 2x6" Guitar Combo Amplifier which is quite good.
3. Learn how to use the different combinations of external and internal mics while recording. I have been able to go direct with my acoustic guitar and also use the internal mics to pick up the sound. this way i have two channels of the guitar and mixing them together provides a nice robust sound. This way there are endless possibilities to getting the perfect sound.
4. Understand that its the quality of the SOURCE of sound that matters and not the capability of your recorder. This means that if your sound source is rubbish, no amount of post production will change that fact. Learn how to POSITION the recorder when using the internal mics and you'll be surprised by the results.
NOTE: I am putting up videos of my recording full songs on this device on youtube: /user/tascamdp008.
In a nutshell, as an audio engineer and producer who's worked with all the latest DAWs and audio inerfaces, I'm 100% satisfied with this item and am glad I bought it. Of course it could have more features but am sure with some prodding Tascam will provide those in the next firmware update.
In the words of Deep Purple in 'Smoke on the Water', with this you will be able to
"Make records with the mobile..." Coz we don't have much time!
I'm on youtube as arjunkaul the Lord of Rock
on April 1, 2010
Much of my review at the Tascam 4-TRACK POCKETSTUDIO page can apply to this this 8-track unit as well. I liked the Tascam 4-track so much I decided to upgrade to this 8-track version. Since I like to overlay many guitars, some keyboard, vocal, bass, & drum tracks, I found I outgrew the 4-track. In my opinion, if it's just you and an acoustic or electric guitar with vocals, you're fine with just a 4-track. But if you have a band and you're recording with this (in my case, a one-man band) for mixing many instruments, spend a little more for this 8-track version.
Here are some of the things I like better on the DP-008:
8-tracks...I can mix in half the time compared to a 4-track, more diversity too.
Backlight on screen...easier on the eyes.
Reverb & EQ effects for each track...saves time from going into Audacity for vocal/instrument effects.
RCA outputs for monitoring (in addition to the headphone jack).
XLR mic inputs + phantom power for condenser mics.
Footswitch option (see update* below).
A few more buttons on the faceplate rather than buried in the menu (IE: tuner, track input change).
SD card slot in a more convenient place (comes with a 2GB. I recommend 8GB minimum).
(NOTE: If you have the DP-004, you can plug-in the same SD card to this one and it works fine without re-formatting so you can keep your recordings on the card intact. Tascam tech support said it wouldn't...but it did.)
Be sure to get a power supply for it Tascam PSP520 Power Supply For Mpgt1. It can eat up batteries. The backlight is programmable so it can shut off to save the batteries. I use the AC power all the time and only use the batteries for transferring files to the PC. BTW, it's the same AC adapter the DP-004 uses. I'm using a Sony PSP-100 AC adapter. Same specs, but I bought it used on Amazon cheaper.
For me, it was easy to start using this without the manual since I had the advantage of having already learned the 4-track one. A few things are a little (smartly) rearranged, but I overcame that fast.
If you go to Tascam.com and download the owners manual, you'll see all the great features it has. After I glanced it over, I realized I've barely scratched the surface.
If you are like me and not perfect...screwing up a note every so often, trust me on this...get a footswitch to punch in & out. I thought at first..."Bah! I don't need no stinkin' footswitch!" Guess what? I NEED a stinkin' footswitch. It's like a gift to my recording life. You won't know how you lived without it. Also, you don't have to buy the expensive Tascam one. The MUCH cheaper Yamaha FC5MM Sustain Pedal for Keyboards works just fine. Again, trust me on this one. As Monk would say, "You'll thank me later".