A hardware based digital multi-track is essentially an all in one recording console. What this
means is that the mixing board, equalizer, tone controls and hard drive are all built into one self
contained unit. In other words, with the exception of microphones and cables, hardware based
digital multi-tracks contain all the equipment you need to make a great home recording.
Benefits of a Hardware Based Digital Multi-track Recorder
Multi-track Recording - Depending upon which model you choose, you will be able to
record anything from 2 to 16 tracks simultaneously in your home recording studio. Additionally,
most multi-track recorders offer a huge number of virtual tracks, allowing you to overdub
additional tracks when needed.
Physical Interface – Many users prefer a physical interface over the graphical one
you get with computer based recording units. With a hardware based multi-track recorder in your
home recording studio, you'll be able to touch and feel all the knobs, allowing you to quickly
control the sound in a highly intuitive way.
Onboard Microphone Preamps and EQ – Included with the physical interface are all
the controls and equipment you need to set the levels, mix them down, and even master a home
recording. Additionally, multi-track recorders almost always provide at least some channels with
phantom power; meaning all your condenser studio microphones won't need an additional power supply.
Expandable – For home recording projects where a digital multi-track recorder
isn't quite enough, you'll be happy to know that multi-tracks today are often built to solve this
problem for you. Some digital multi-track recorders allow you to seamlessly integrate with computer
software, expanding your options and controls immensely. Other digital multi-track recorders allow
you to export your work through USB or Firewire straight to a computer; giving your home recording
studio the option to using either the onboard controls or those of your favorite audio software.
How Many Channels Do I Need for My Home Studio?
When deciding which hardware based
multi-track recorder will work best for your home studio, you should first consider your needs.
For those who primarily want to record themselves playing and practicing at home, then a
two-channel multi-track will be great for the job. In fact, in these instances, a digital portable
recorder may be even better. For example, the
H4n Handy Recorder
will allow you to make a great home recording without the need for
additional equipment. With perfectly aligned stereo microphones built-in, you can create a high
quality home recording at the touch of a button. Plus, with two extra channels to plug microphones
into, you'll be prepared to expand your possibilities if necessary.
On the other hand, if you're looking to record a greater number of instruments, than you'll
want to consider a multi-track recorder with more channels for your home studio. For example, when
recording a drum set you may want to use as many as eight or more studio microphones, meaning a
multi-track recorder with the ability to record that many tracks simultaneously will be preferable.
For those of you searching for the perfect home recording studio platform for full bands, then you
may want to consider a multi-track recording unit with even more channels.
R24 24-Track Digital Multitrack Recorder
is a great option for a home recording studio designed
to record multiple instruments or even full bands. With the ability to record 8 tracks
simultaneously, and then layer as many as 24 tracks in total, your home recording studio will have
all the power it needs to record everything from solo musicians to full piece bands. Plus, the Zoom
R24 also functions as a full-featured interface and controller for your favorite digital audio
workstation (DAW) software.
By selecting a digital multi-track recorder for your home studio that meets your home
recording needs you'll be able to hit the ground running with all of your projects. However, even
in the event that you need additional tracks you typically don't need to worry since most digital
multi-track recorders have extra virtual tracks you can layer on your home recording for just such