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Microphone Month

TASCAM DP-004 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 16 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Kenny Bergle

    Amazing recorder for the $ from the original innovator in singer/songwriter workstations, TASCAM. This is one of the easiest multi-track digital recorders around!

  • Johnny Rage from DMF
    from Orange County, CA March 27, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, Studio/Live Recording "Engineer"

    Kicks ass!

    I use this to record every gig I play. battery power is great so you don't have to scramble for an outlet. Just plug in a 1/4 inch mic for vocals(I tape it to the house mic) and use the built in mics and you will get a decent live recording every time. Plus you can edit and cut your performance song by song. And it's a Tascam.

  • Tommy
    from Richmond, Va February 3, 2013Music Background:
    Active Musician

    Love it

    This this is super cool and useful. I use it to write and record material in my apartment. Tons of great features, super portable, and everything works as it should. No complaints.

  • Ken Regester
    from Lawrenceville, Georgia March 28, 2012Music Background:
    Absolute beginner

    Great product.

    Awesome little pocket mixer/recorder.
    I had it up and running in about 30 minutes (I had to spend 15 minutes finding my cables in the junk box first LOL)
    Sweetwater are just great people to deal with.
    Big thumbs up. !!!!!!

  • Abigail
    from Los Angeles, CA February 21, 2012Music Background:

    Simple to Use

    It's very simple to use. It has all the basic components needed for a track recorder. I can take it anywhere. It's super light and has A-OK battery life.

  • Snake
    from Pocatello, ID USA March 20, 2013Music Background:

    Rugged little unit

    Love this little thing. Very simple and straight forward to use. Just wish the screen could be seen without picking it up, which is hard to do when the inputs are engaged and the AC power is hooked up. Goes through AA batteries awful quick, even copper-tops, so get the optional transformer. Made some great recordings with an SM-58 through a Behrenger Xenix 1202 mixer. Thinking about getting another to bounce back and forth.

  • Wilbur Ulmer
    from Perkinston, Mississippi, United States May 24, 2012Music Background:
    Audio Engineer

    Great Recorder!

    The recorder works just great but just remember to save your work before recording another track, or you'll be recording over your previous work. The sonic quality is digital - enough said! I hope it never quits working but if it does, I'll just get another without even looking at the competition!!

  • Kelvin
    from indianapolis IN December 21, 2011Music Background:
    home recorder, musician

    great for demo's

    To supplement this review, you should call Sweetwater and chat with them... my guess is that SW doesn't sell bad products, and their comparison knowledge is astounding - when you are thinking about what to buy, they can help you narrow down choices based on your style of music and what you are recording. That's my experience with my dedicated sales engineer (who now remembers my style of music and what I've previously bought from them).

    For this 4 track, after a few basic tests, I find myself liking this unit quite a bit. I need a very quick way to get down ideas with simple multi-track... so I just tested the on-board mic's and they were quieter and fuller than expected. I was able to get down a 3 track idea, make a quick mix, and export to my computer without reading the manual at all.

    I used to own a Boss BR-8, and this sounds better to my ears (probably because of advances in converter technology over the past ~7 years), which is great.

    A few reviews cautioned that the mix-down was complicated, I didn't find it complicated. Sure, you have to record all the multi-tracks to one stereo file with real-time play-back - but I find that process fine, it's nice to listen to the play-back again while it's copying. Then it's drag and drop to a computer via USB. I did goof this process up one time before guessing the right way to do this (note again that I didn't even look for the manual).

    I also own a Mac and an Apogee Duet, and this definitely won't replace that set-up, or come close . But I find the simplicity of this unit inspiring... and somehow having a recorder that only does audio is nice. When booting a computer, it asks what you want to do - when booting this 4 track, it's ready to record audio. I like that.

  • Charlie Vaughn
    from McMinnville Tennessee April 24, 2013Music Background:
    Choir director/organist/pianist/arranger/songwriter

    Dp 04 no brain strain

    I'm a church organist working with a small praise group and a pianist.
    Arranging vocal harmonies is my responsibility.
    The DP 04 is quite straight forward and simple to use for my purposes. I can use my Roland VP770 to lay down tracks on the DP04 of harmony parts for each singer, then bounce those tracks to CD in the sound system CD recorder. I also own a Tascam DP 02: However, I've yet to decifer the convoluted system of the DP02 after owning it for a couple of years. I was recording with the DP04 in about two hours of stuying the simple manual.

  • Hyacinth
    from Grand Forks, ND April 12, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Singer/Musican; Music Teacher

    Initial recording stage

    So far I have been able to produce a decent 3-track recording, featuring piano, guitar and voice. As I haven't yet learned how to mix it down, I happily anticipate the final product which I suspect will sound very good. I will probably eventually use my Fender Amp for effects like echo and reverb, as I think that this will make a significant difference on the voice track. Otherwise, I am satisfied with this affordable portable studio!

  • Mr.F
    from Boston April 11, 2012Music Background:
    part-time gigging musician, hobbyist recording engineer

    very easy, very cool

    Excellent little piece of easy to use, portable equipment. For the price it should get a five, but there are only quarter inch ins and outs... some mic connectors would have recieved the five... of course then the price goes up and so on... Nice piece of equipment to get some ideas out quick so you don't forget.

  • Rick Marcil
    from Southwick, MA April 11, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Church Musician

    Great for individuals, not, so much for group.

    I bought the DP-004 with the idea of doing remote recordings. I tried it on a single voice and it sounded great, but it was not as useful for my choir in a large building. I couldn't get the signal loud enough with the external mics (I used SM57 condensers). We are going to retry, this time taking the signal off the P.A. speakers and miking the choir.

    It is a little complicated to learn, so I suggest figuring it all out before you get inspired and need to lay down a track pronto. The other issue is that you need a larger SD card for a long session, and the finished files take a while to bounce.

  • r12470
    from Central Texas February 5, 2012Music Background:
    Week end musician, 45 years in Electronics

    Great pocket recorder

    Excellent for grabbing tunes in live jams. Also use it for Practice to see what I really sound like. The onboard Mic's are pretty good. Over 3 hours time recording, using Rechargeable Batteries. The description is Wrong, It requires 4, yes 4 double "A" batteries.
    I use an 8 gig card, Over 10 hours recording time. About the SD cards: Your songs are recorded on a Hidden partition on the Card, NOT viewable or Playable, Even when Fitted to A computer. You must use Wav Export function to move your song to the Viewable partition of the SD Card. The SD Card is hidden behind the batteries for a reason, You need total power Disconnected to remove and Insert the SD Card. Card writing Speed: 2 works OK, 6 works OK. Very good for making and sharing demo's and practice tracks among your band mates. I Carry a set of Ear Buds to monitor what I am recording.

  • Joseph Spallone
    from Glen Gardner NJ December 5, 2011Music Background:

    Tascam DP-004

    The Tascam DP-004 recorder is just the right recorder I needed for my apartment studio. I actually recorded my part of my original song, and the guy from comcast that comes by the apartment complex to work on the cable is my keyboard player, and plays his part of the song, when he was in the area. then, my nephew came to play bass, and everything worked out just perfect!! I didnt' need any more then what the DP-004 puts out. it is just right!!! thanks Sweetwater!

  • William Jones
    from Jasper, Georgia July 7, 2009Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician and Singer, Home Recordist and Hobbyist,etc.

    Really Cool for what it is!!

    This is really cool for what is. I purchased this a while back because the look of it made me nostalgic for the old Tascam Porta-One Cassette 4 track I cut my teeth on. This thing runs rings around the Porta-One in terms of sound quality and features. I think the Porta-One costed me about $600.00 in 1986(I'm dating myself) and was not capable of doing what this thing will do(The two hundred dollar price tag is quite a shocker considering all the features this thing has under the hood). The built-in mics are not my favorite. I prefer to use external pre-amps and quality condenser mics. I suppose if you were to drop it in the middle of a loud band rehearsal, the external mics would be o.k. Don't really care for them for recording acoustic guitar and vocals. This thing is convenient considering it is smaller than a paperback novel and you can take it with you just about anywhere. It sure beats lugging one of the many mobile hardware recorders around with you. I'd still recommend using a really good condenser mic/mic-pre-amp with it. The sound comes out a lot better.

  • David in Baja
    from Baja, CA, Mexico March 31, 2009Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Not a direct WAV recorder

    This may be a good multitrack recorder but I expected something way different from this unit. I expected to be able to record two tracks, left and right off a mixer as a stereo signal to WAV format and then transfer that file to a computer... not a chance! Not without sooo many steps and so much time.
    Records only to its own proprietary format. Mixdown to a useable format is in realtime... no speedy file coversion here... two hour recording = two more hours for mixdown, at least. Produces two seperate files, not one stereo file.

    Ate my 16gig HDSD card; the Tascam formatted it, couldn't read it after that. My computer and camera can still read it... they see it as a 4gig card now.

    The unit came with a wrong button... a play button ">" was in the stop button place so I had two play buttons instead of a play button and a stop button.

    The front of the unit has a nice feel. The knobs feel solid. The battery cover on the back doesn't feel right at all.
    You have to remove the batteries to get to the SD card slot.
    Didn't find the user interface intuitive at all, but then I wanted it to do something it wasn't designed to do.

    Like I say, maybe a perfect unit for desperate multitracking... wouldn't call the thing a recorder in any practicle sense.

    I did not buy this unit through Sweetwater.
    Am looking at the Zoom H4n to replace it with.

  • Wolf
    from NYC February 25, 2013Music Background:
    Over 40 years or playing/recording

    Nice idea--but you can do better

    Purchased this two years ago when I was staying in NYC and wanted to store all my ideas and arrangements. A small, uncomplicated, compact 4 track is obviously appealing for singer/songwriters at home or on the road and this attractive little device with stellar reviews seemed like the right choice.

    The directions were pretty straightforward, though I have worked with more complicated digital and analog recorders. Depending on your experience, it may take a bit longer to set up than the claims. If you have song bursting from your head and need to record them instantly, buy an old cassette recorder and keep it filled with tape. All you need to do is push a button and play.

    The advantage to this machine was supposed to be "quality " sound. Well, compared to what? The sound of my acoustic via the input mics was thin and brittle as was my vocals. Nothing you record will be a "keeper" to play others---just a reference copy of your newest. creation Yes, you can work on arrangements by utilizing all four tracks and even mixing down 3 tracks to 1 and thus adding more parts.

    My biggest problem, besides the sound quality, is the number of error messages I get, usually after I have recorded a difficult piece. When getting these messages, you must turn off the machine which means losing all your work. This has been a constant problem---I should have returned my DP-004 within a week of purchase. I just took it out recently and it continues to be very inconsistent--well after the warranty ran out---so it's a total loss for me.

    At this writing, there are several inexpensive multitrack recording devices available. I suggest passing up the DP-004 and settling on anything else.

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