Tascam DP-008EX Review: My Favorite Multitrack Recorder

The Tascam DP-008EX is a portable 8-track audio recorder with Phantom Power capabilities that continues to garner praise from beginners and professionals alike.

What makes the DP-008EX different from other track recorders, though? Does it really live up to all the hype?

tascam dp-008ex

I recently got this unit and was able to record my first song with a drum track, bass, two guitars, and vocals within only two hours.

Initially, I had my doubts. I liked its portable design and hands-on controls, but it looked far more complicated than most multi-track audio recorders.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually extremely straightforward and easy to use after the initial boot-up.

The built-in EQ is easily one of my favorite features; it really helps achieve great sound out of the box with minimal effort.

In this Tascam DP-008EX review, I’m going to break down all the notable features and specs of this product. Is it the right one for you? Let’s find out!

Tascam DP-008EX 8-Track Digital Pocketstudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder,Black
  • 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
  • Features two analog 1/4" inputs that allow users to connect external microphones, electric-acoustic guitars, and line-level devices

Brilliant Design and Sound Quality

Before I proceed with my review, it’s important to note that the Tascam DP-008EX is a mid-tier multi-track audio recorder. It’s a high-quality machine, but it’s advertised towards beginners and intermediate users rather than professionals.

Regardless, it’s not as expensive as most recorders of its caliber, which is good news for those just starting out in the world of audio recording.

With that out of the way, the DP-008EX offers a ton of value for the price. You get what you pay for plus so much more.

When it comes to portability, the DP-008EX is like no other. Rather than an AC adapter, this device runs mainly on four AA batteries that last approximately six to seven hours; more if the Phantom Power function is turned off.

The sound created by the DP-008EX is excellent for the price. It’s not perfect by any means, but it comes fairly close.

The DP-008EX performs uniformly well. Playback recordings are free of digital noise, which is something most low to mid-tier multi-recorders fail to achieve. Plus, the onboard mic tracks are on par with the external condenser and dynamic mics.

It’s almost impossible to detect which track is recorded with which mic. Great news for those who don’t own either of the latter two!

Excellent Controls and Functions

The Tascam DP-008EX’s controls and functions are what make the device different from other multi-track recorders of the same price.

Its audio processors allow you to insert a de-esser, exciter, compressor, and mastering to its input. It also includes EQ and reverb functions, both of which greatly help with polishing and finalizing your track.

Featuring two analog quarter-inch inputs, the DP-008EX allows you to connect electric-acoustic guitars, external microphones, and line-level devices to the recorder.

The XLR inputs that come with the device’s signature +48V Phantom Power give you the capacity to connect up to two external condenser microphones. This is useful for capturing crisp vocals at high frequencies.

I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t have as many features as the Zoom R24 Multi-Track, which is another mid-tier 8-track recorder that’s worth checking out.

Regardless, every single one of the DP-008EX’s functions carries its own weight extremely well.

Tascam DP-008EX 8-Track Digital Pocketstudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder,Black
  • 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
  • Features two analog 1/4" inputs that allow users to connect external microphones, electric-acoustic guitars, and line-level devices

Specifications

  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 8.7 x 1.74 x 4.99 inches
  • Weight (excluding batteries): 1.35 pounds
  • Recording media: SDHC card (4GB to 32GB), SD card (512MB to 2GB)
  • File system: TASCAM original (MTR) / FAT32 (FAT)
  • Power: AC adapter (TASCAM PS-P520, separately sold), Four AA batteries
  •  Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Distortion: Less than 0.05%

Pros

There are many things I like about the Tascam DP-008EX. For one, it has excellent sound quality. The built-in microphones and line inputs are sensitive but quiet. They likewise work quite well with drum machines, keyboards, and synthesizers. The reverb sounds great, too.

The device’s build quality is impressive and on-par with some of the more expensive multi-track recorders. It feels substantial and solid in your hands.

There aren’t any moving parts inside the device, which further increases its reliability. The controls and buttons are decently weighty, but not to a point where they’re difficult to turn.

Another great thing about this device is its ease of use. Its interface is fairly straight-forward and user-friendly.

Cons

One of the biggest disadvantages of the Tascam DP-008EX is its battery life. It runs through AA batteries fairly quickly, so if you intend to use it for multiple days at a time it might be better to invest in a power supply cord. The same is said if you want to use the Phantom Power function.

It also takes a while to export the media file you’ve created on the device, which can be frustrating when you want to get things done in a hurry. It doesn’t have MP3 support either, meaning you’ll need to use an external program to convert your file into a more portable format.

What Customer Reviews Say

At the time of writing this review, the Tascam DP-008EX has just over 600 reviews on Amazon. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5, with 78% of customers giving it 5 stars and only 3% giving it 1 star. That’s pretty impressive!

Most users are happy with the DP-008EX’s user-friendly interface and great-sounding reverb. The built-in mics are another well-loved feature as they produce high-quality sound that closely resembles external mics.

Similarly, most have an issue with the device’s low battery life. It’s truly a shame that it doesn’t come with its own AC adapter.

Tascam DP-008EX 8-Track Digital Pocketstudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder,Black
  • 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
  • Features two analog 1/4" inputs that allow users to connect external microphones, electric-acoustic guitars, and line-level devices

Conclusion

The Tascam DP-008EX is a great budget-friendly multitrack recorder. If you’re looking to record high-quality audio without breaking the bank, this device might be for you.

It allows you to turn your musical ideas into reality with minimal effort. Plus, its portability allows you to record anywhere you want.

This fantastic little device is nimble, clean, and packed with great features. I highly recommend the DP-008EX for beginners, intermediate users, and anyone who wants to start a new music career.