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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Portable Multitrackers

3. Types of Multitracker

Back in the day, the equipment needed to record and mix even the most basic compositions filled a modest sized room. With modern day developments though, it’s now quite possible to cram this and much more into a unit no bigger than a biscuit tin. Multitrackers or ‘portable studios’ offer very different features from one model to the next, but for the purpose of this guide we’ll attempt to split them into four basic categories:

Ultra-Compact Portable Multitracker

These are the smallest and most portable multitrackers around, generally aimed at guitarists and songwriters. Their compact size normally limits the amount of tracks to around four, but built-in features such as drum machines, amp-modelling and effects make them perfect mobile idea-pads. Battery power makes them truly portable - great for the roaming song writer. Audio is typically stored on removable memory cards, which means your compositions can later be transferred to a computer, ready for burning to CD.

Zoom PS-04 Palmtop Studio for Songwriters on the Road

Compact Multitracker

Offering up to around eight tracks, and greater storage space, the compact multitracker is commonly used by small bands for demo recording. Audio is recorded to an onboard hard drive, and more often than not, a built-in CD burner allows you to master your mixes directly. Although these models feature up to eight tracks of audio in total, they are often limited to recording just two tracks simultaneously, making them less than ideal for recording drum kits or band rehearsals. However, their relatively compact size and increasingly useful feature list make them a good choice for the songwriter wanting just that little bit extra. Effects, basic editing and mixing tools are usually included.

Boss BR-900CD Compact Multitracker

Semi-Professional Multitracker

With the ability to record up to eight tracks simultaneously, it’s possible to record a full drum kit, making the semi-professional multitracker suitable for serious band recordings. Units come loaded with large internal hard drives, a multitude of built-in effects and signal processing, increased I/O for connecting peripherals, and CD burners for mastering. With a total track count of up to sixteen, together with the option of often hundreds of virtual tracks, it’s going to take a while before you are limited by the boundaries of one of these machines.

Yamaha AW1600 Semi-Professional Multitracker

Professional Multitracker

These are the most feature-loaded multitrackers, offering 24 to 32 audio tracks, with professional mic pre-amps and phantom powering for studio condenser microphones. A massive selection of built-in effects and signal processing power enables them to claim to be a real studio in a box, and a plausible alternative to the traditional studio setup. Some models even allow all the inputs to be re-used at the mixdown stage – great for adding external outboard FX and/or sequenced MIDI instruments.

Korg D3200 Professional Multitracker
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in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

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    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
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    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
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Portable Multitrackers overview

Elektron Digitakt Millenium ST-95 Harley Benton HB-40B 2017 Harley Benton CST-24T Ocean Flame Vox Adio Air GT Rockboard LT XL Power Bank Denon DN-300C MKII ADJ Pro Event Table tc electronic M100 Presonus Studio 26 Novation Circuit Mono Station Vox AC2 Rhythm Bass
(4)
Recommended
Elektron Digitakt

Digital Drum Machine 8 Internal audio tracks, 8 Dedicated MIDI tracks, 1 Multimode filter per audio track, 1 Assignable LFO per track, Delay and Reverb send effects, Built-in sequencer, Support for sampling, OLED display, 64 MB Sample memory, 1...

to the product
730 €
(1)
Recommended
Millenium ST-95

Standing Aid Ideal for keyboardists, guitarists and DJs, Seat height, backrest and footrests individually adjustable, Seat upholstery and backrest with cover, Seat height adjustable from 545 - 965 mm, Padded seat, Weight: 6 kg, Material: Steel, Colour: Black, Suitable...

to the product
79 €
Recommended
Harley Benton HB-40B 2017

Harley Benton HB-40B 2017, compact electric bass combo amplifier, 40 watt, 10" custom voiced speaker, TEC tube-emulating circuit, instrument input, gain control, integrated compressor with LED indicator, 3-band equalizer (bass, parametric middle, treble), volume control, headphone output, aux-input for play-along...

to the product
98 €
Recommended
Harley Benton CST-24T Ocean Flame

Electric Guitar Deluxe series, Body: Mahogany, Top: Flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer, 24 frets, Pearloid Dot fretboard inlays, Scale: 635 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Pickups: 2 Wilkinson WHHB Alnico Open humbuckers, 1 Volume control, 1 Tone...

to the product
222 €
(5)
Recommended
Vox Adio Air GT

Modelling Electric Guitar Combo Power: 50 W, Equipped with: 2x 3"speakers for a wide stereo sound, Bluetooth allows wireless playback of music and remote control via app, VET Modelling technology for authentic amp sounds, Up to 23 amplifier models,...

to the product
299 €
Recommended
Rockboard LT XL Power Bank

Mobile power supply for effects pedals 3 High-capacity lithium-ion batteries, Battery capacity: 6600 mAh, Can still be used during a recharge, Can also be used for charging smartphones and other USB devices, On / Off switch, 2x 2.1 x...

to the product
48 €
Recommended
Denon DN-300C MKII

Denon DN-300C MK II, CD/USB Player, Slot-In CD - Drive, USB Audio Player, USB plays MP3 audio file formats, 3,5 mm Jack Input, Display, symmetric XLR Output, stereo RCA Output, adjustable speed ±15%, Random, Repeat and Power-on-Play, IR Remote, 10-key...

to the product
239 €
Recommended
ADJ Pro Event Table

ADJ Pro Event Table, Compact and collapsible, Lightweight, around 18 kg, Functional and professional looking, table height: 880mm, dimensions table 1200x580mm; Dimensions (LxWxH): 50” x 24” x 45.5” / 1270 x 610 x 1155 mm, Dimensions for own Logo (WxH):...

to the product
325 €
Recommended
tc electronic M100

tc electronic M100; Stereo Multi-Effects Processor; 16 TC-Effects including reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, rotary speaker, pitch shifter and multi-effects; Edit and Tap/Select function; 24-bit AD/DA converters; Stereo Input Level control with LED level indication; Mix Balance and Output Level...

to the product
111 €
Recommended
Presonus Studio 26

USB audio interface 2 x 4 USB 2.0 audio interface with 192 KHz, 2 Combo inputs: Mic/Line/Inst (XLR/jack), Jack inputs switchable from "Inst" (high impedance) to "Line", 2 Low-noise XMAX-L microphone preamplifiers, 48 V phantom power can be connected,...

to the product
199 €
Recommended
Novation Circuit Mono Station

Paraphonic Analogue Synthesizer 2 Oscillators with individual control of sync and tuning parameters, Filter can be used as high, low or bandpass filters with 12 or 24 dB, Three distortion modes, Monophone and paraphone modes with individual glide control,...

to the product
520 €
Recommended
Vox AC2 Rhythm Bass

Vox AC2 Rhythm Bass, Basscombo, 2x3" Speaker, 2 Watt, 5 effects, 3 selectable sounds normal flat and scoop, inputs for bassguitar and aux in, headphone output, 81 rhythm patterns, tempo 40-240 BPM, power supply via 6 AA batteries (alkaline or...

to the product
69 €
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