Tascam DP-008EX vs Zoom R8

Thanks to the advanced in technology, recording at home or on the way no longer needs a complicated set of audio equipment anymore because we can just pick a portable multi track recorder like Tascam DP-008EX Vs Zoom R8. If you don’t want to spend much for building a setup one by one or need something that can be carried anywhere, go see what these machines can offer and pick the one with the best features or capabilities matching your needs.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Why choosing a Multi-track Recorder
  • What are Tascam DP-008EX and Zoom R8
  • What Tascam DP-008EX and Zoom R8 Look Like
  • What Tascam DP-008EX and Zoom R8 can offer to you
  • How are the Performance of Tascam DP-008EX and Zoom R8
  • Tascam DP-008EX vs Zoom R8

Multi-track Recorder Benefit

Many of us find an enjoyment when creating music and plan to walk the professional path later while building up the experience and skills. As a creator, the equipment we need will be different from those we own while being a casual listeners because producing require professional tools to create the best result. Besides the tools we have to own to build a proper setup, price is also playing an important part in deciding our choice for budget can be a huge issues especially for beginner or aspiring musician.

The basic tools or equipment to build a studio for recording purpose will be inputs like microphone, an audio interface to connect with computer, computer for processing, and output or speaker for monitoring. These are the most common tools we have inside a home studio but, it can be a hassle to pick each one of them, especially when you are also moving a lot such as while traveling and between gigs. If this is the case, getting a multi-track recorder can be a nice alternative to get all the tools in one machine.

The first reason why a multi-track recorder can be a good option is due to its convenience. Computer indeed offer much capabilities but in comparison with a recorder they will be a bit more complicated and not convenient as plug and play we can do instantly with the other tool, moreover with program compatibility. In addition, when needed, a multi-track recorder can work with both OS and Windows. Second, we sometimes face issue when processing in computer due to its limit especially for complex recording.

While a multi-track recorder will not give us the same amount of tracks we have on computer, they are working amazingly well and just as what we can see in the equipment; what you see is what you get. Of course not all recorders are made with the same capabilities so we can’t say they are rich in features but, in general they are packing effects and even built in condenser microphone when we can’t carry much but still have to record outside.

The last may not happened with all producers but, we tend to sometimes pay attention to computer screen while monitoring tracks being produced but, it can distract us from critically listening. A multi-track recorder have a small screen for navigating the functions and it is good to let us concentrate more on what’s being played rather than seeing the visual made by your program. 

About Tascam DP-008EX

Picking a multi-track recorder is indeed beneficial yet, not all people will think the same and it is good for what we needs don’t have to be the same with other people. If you find building a setup manually is a hassle or need to get down to business fast and want something that can accommodate your lifestyle especially for musicians who are on the road often, getting a multi-track recorder will be a good decision. One of the best options for audio equipment including multi-track is Tascam.

This brand is very popular with its Portastudio which is consisting of various multi-track recorders that we can pick based on our needs but while it is indeed good to have many options, it can be quite confusing especially for new users. Several years ago, they released the DP-008EX recorder still based on the first model resulting in a more modern device that will give you so many capabilities for recording. It is an all in one machine with as built in omnidirectional condenser microphones and basic mixing or editing functions.

Tascam DP-008EX Design

Coming into the design part, this Portastudio is looking like any of the similar machine from the collections but is also different. The whole body is pretty much compact but still powered with battery, four AA batteries at once which is enough for a long hour or producing but, you may want to keep replacement near when working with Phantom power for external microphones. It has SD/SDHC slot for saving data and a USB 2 port to connect and transfer the file to your digital audio workstation. 

While some people refer Tascam DP-008EX as a Pocketstudio, it is not something we can just fit in our backpack or even worse pocket since it is meant for those who are always on the way and should be placed in a protected case or gig bag. Overall, its size is in comparison with A4 paper but has much function.

Tascam DP-008EX Features

As you can see on the sample picture above, this multi-track recorder is coming with 8 tracks but, if usually we have faders like in Tascam DP-03SD vs Zoom R8, we only have rotary knobs here so each channel have their own control areas with a pan knob. The 8 channels record button that is found just under the level control will arm the tracks ready for recording but no matter how many they are, only two can be used at once and the most recent pressed pair will cancel out the previous choice.

As for the editing function, we have the classic Copy, Paste, Copy Insert, Move Paste, Move Insert, Open, Cut, Silence, Clone Track, and Clean Out with graphic to illustrate what the process is meant to do. It is offering EQ and reverb only so we don’t have effects, sound generating tools, or virtual amp simulations.

Tascam DP-008EX Performance

On the result, you will be happy knowing that Tascam DP-008EX is producing a very reliable result no matter when using its built in microphone or those we bring from our collection so the sound doesn’t feels out of place as well as almost impossible to tell apart which one made with internal or external microphones. Unfortunately, it has no effect or sound producing tools as well as can’t hold the juice long while using Phantom power.

About Zoom R8

Since we have quite the amount of good options out there, it is wiser to see what the other brands are offering because then we can compare them and see which the better option is or in case they are more affordable for our pocket. If you are looking for a multi-track recorder to work with while in between gigs or need something to be more compact and faster to setup, Zoom R8 is another nice option to go as well.

This popular recorder has been around for quite some time and still based on the HD16 recorder which is doubling up as a MIDI controller for your DAW. The Zoom R8 model is a cut down version of the powerful 24-track R24 so instead of managing 8 tracks at once while recording, this model is only capable of two simultaneously. 

Zoom R8 Design

If you ever see the 24 tracks machine, you will be very familiar with this version since it is only looks simpler while the whole knobs are still the same yet the color is changed into black instead of silver. The firm plastic is in nice quality and all of the buttons, knobs or sliders are sticking up to the board just as good. Holding the machine is like holding a campus notebook and uniquely, there are a handlebar on both sides to slide your fingers in when carrying the unit.

Zoom R8 Features

The first thing we love from Zoom R8 is the file quality because many other machines in its price range are only capable of recording at 16-bit including the DP-008EX we have talked above while this recorder is already at 24-bit with maximum sample rate of 48kHz. However, when used with computer it is capable of handling 88.2 and 96 kHz files. While there is only 8 channels on board, it can support an unlimited number of virtual tracks. It is saving with SD/SDHC up to 32 GB for producing purpose.

Similar with many other reliable recorders, we have built-in microphones and Phantom power when you have external mic to connect and since it also have combo socket, we can plug instrument like guitar with the help of high-impedance switch and tune with onboard chromatic tuner, as well as process its overdubs with the amp-modelling insert effects. Hip hop musician will also love its sequencer and sampler to emulate basic production techniques.

Zoom R8 Performance

On the result, Zoom R8 is an amazing machine because despite the compact built and fairly affordable price point, it already offering much for the users and actually sounds very good; not as good as a professional studio but is near. We also love to see the rich effects especially for guitar since we can find a wide range of options while the standard rhythm is also still very useful.


Now, let’s compare Tascam DP-008EX with Zoom R8. As you may already know, both of them are a very reliable multi-track recorder to have but are also different since in comparison Zoom R8 is richer but also more expensive. This model also comes with a 1 GB card instead of 2 GB that we get in DP series including 008EX.

Tascam DP-008EX vs Zoom R8

- A perfect music sketch pad with built-in high-quality stereo condenser microphones for multi-track recording anytime, anywhere
- Easy to operate, just like a cassette MRT, with recording preparation achievable in just two steps after turning the device on
- SD/SDHC cards are used for recording media, allowing data to be transferred to the computer via USB
- To ensure a simple, easy-to-use interface, no unnecessary features were included that might complicate the recording process
- Digital recorder with 16-track playback and 8-track simultaneous recording utilizing Secure Digital (SD) memory
- 16/24-bit/44.1kHz linear PCM recording in WAV format
- Built-in stereo condenser microphones
- Includes 1GB SD card and supports cards up to 32GB SDHC


All in all, the decision is all yours to make because not all of us will have the same preferences and it is always best to get the one that fits your application the most but, if we are to choose, those with other gears like MIDI controller, sequencer or effects processor may want to save more and go with DP-008EX but, if you don’t have those or need the built in effects, we will recommend the Zoom R8.

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