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TASCAM DP-32SD Portastudio 32-Track Digital Recorder
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TASCAM DP-32SD Portastudio 32-Track Digital Recorder

Build your home studio around the TASCAM DP-32. This digital Portastudio records 8 simultaneous tracks and plays back 32 -- all on rock-solid SD card media.

Overall User Ratings (based on 14 ratings)
Overall:
Sound:
Features:
Ease of Use:
Quality:
Value:
Manufacturer Support:
The Wow Factor:
Overall:
(14)
Submitted October 29, 2019 by Paul A in Clearwater, FL
"No complaints....."
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This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
I am absolutely having a ball with this recorder! It's well worth taking the time to learn how to find your way around and manipulate tracks. After a few days of diving in and playing around, I went through the whole manual cover to cover. I can now work very quickly and easily. This an an amazingly low price for all that you get. So you have to expect some limitations. The on-board reverb is not bad. Same goes for the noise suppression. But the compression leaves much to be desired. I use outboard equipment to limit and compress at the input as I record tracks (inserts on each channel would be nice so that you could patch in outboard gear on individual tracks at mixdown - maybe the next model?). The onboard compression can be used on 1 track at mixdown. This comes in handy when needed. 32 tracks really allows you to develop ideas. I frequently fill every track when recording. It's pretty easy to sub-mix a group of tracks and bounce them to a single, stereo track. This is great for recording multiple harmony voices. The sound of the machine can be a little "dark." But I just adjust my monitors to compensate (roll back the high end). I haven't had any of the technical problems that I read about online. And I've had the recorder for over 3 years. And I use it a lot! As I said, for the price, you have to expect some short comings. But I've been able to get around most of them.
Sound
The sound lacks a little sparkle in the high transients. But you can easily compensate during mixdown (and especially when mastering). I would recommend listening on as many different systems as possible. This is how I learned to mix so that it would sound good on anything. I use 2 sets of speakers in the studio. Then listen on my home stereo, both car stereos, a boom box and whatever else is available.
Features
The guitar amp simulator is not very good. But it does comes in handy when you want to quickly work out scratch parts or put down ideas. I live in a condo. So I built a box out of foam rubber in a closet. I have a 12" speaker cabinet inside it that I power with a Blues Jr. I keep it miked up so I can record guitar tracks using an amp and speaker. This makes a WORLD of difference! This allows me to use FX pedals and anything else that I want to run through the amp. The onboard guitar effects are not that great. But I will say that using the built-in flanging or chorus and recording it to a stereo channel sounds great!
Ease of Use
As I mentioned, once you get the hang of it, it's very easy to use the unit. It will take some time until you start getting things to sound the way you want them to. But it certainly can be done.
Quality
I have not noticed any defects so far. Occasionally, I press a button and a light doesn't come on (or go off). I suspect the switches will go eventually. But I do use it a lot and haven't had any major problems. Remember, it's a computer. If you start going FF and Rewinding really quickly it can freeze up. But, like a computer, I've found that turning it off and re-starting it usually fixes the problem. I have never crashed it and lost a track or a mix.
Value
This is more than worth the money. I lived and worked (played & recorded music) in LA for several years. You can buy one of these recorders for $599. I have worked at several studios in LA and NYC. In these places, it will cost you $599 to load your equipment in!!!! If this recorder broke, I would buy another immediately.
Manufacturer Support
I have never had to contact Tascam (I hope it stays that way....).
The Wow Factor
Honestly, the value is the WOW FACTOR. I can record drums and percussion all on separate tracks then overlay several guitar and vocal over-dubs. So many tracks that I can record a specific delay setting for one guitar on a separate track. Aside from the fact that you cannot control midi tracks, there is nothing I've wanted to do that I wasn't able to do on the Tascam DP-32SD.
Musical Background:
Professional musician & songwriter. Live, studio, clubs, concerts, etc. 40+ years
Musical Style:
All styles
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Submitted January 26, 2015 by Ken B in Westfield, MA
"A World of Capabilities."
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I'm just getting started with this unit, and have no experience with other equipment to compare this with, but so far I am very favorably impressed. It's very easy to use and understand if you have any technical background at all, even a little bit. The directions seem clear, and do not assume you know anything already, as far as I can see. Descriptions of functions and the "how to's" are clear and make sense as you follow the steps to familiarize yourself. Recording and playback is easy. I would suggest getting the compatable SD card list from the Tascam website for the unit, then purchase the cards you want that will have enough space them for your projects. I bought two 32GB sanDisk Ultra Plus SDHC UHS-1 cards at Staples. They are already formatted, but ran one through the formatting process on the DP-32 just to get familiar. I'm very impressed with the sound quality and capabilities of this unit. Overall, I'm very pleased, and if I had a need, I would purchase this unit, or similar, again. I did not intend to buy this big a unit, but zZounds had a " blemished" one for a ridiculous price! I have yet to find the "blemish," and everything works as advertised.
Musical Background:
Been playing guitar most of my life. Play harmonica and bass guitar as well. Now into drums and keyboard a bit.
Musical Style:
Blues, Jazz, Christian, Classic Rock. Mostly as a hobbiest now; not in a band for years, but throw a pick-up band together now a
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Submitted March 22, 2018 by Gregory Schiller in Elgin, IL
"Incredible Technology That's Affordable"
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I have owned several versions of the home studio for years. I started with Tascam's original 4 track cassette recorder. I have used 8 & 12 channel open real, machines. I have owned dual Alesis ADAT machines. I owned an Alesis HD24. I still have my Tascam DP-01 hard drive based digital 8 track recorder. I am no newbie to say the least. The DP-32SD is an affordable & awesome piece of technology. Easy to use with intuitive menus & functions. Great sounding AD/DA converters. Quality mic preamps. It even has the ability to do hands free, foot activated start, stop & punch, with Tascams 3 way foot switch. It takes up to a 32 Gb SD card. That equals over 100 hours of record time. There is a USB to PC interface for transfering audio files & upgrading firmware. Nice, color LCD screen. The best part... 32 TRACKS can be recorded with 8 tracks at a time. You can mic the whole kit, bounce those tracks over to the other 24 & keep going. 500 bucks is a steal for a piece of equipment that is this useful & this functional. How much would you pay a studio to record you & your band? LOTS is the answer & that is just for one project. The cost of this unit & some mics & headphones & a headphone amp comes in under studio time for a single project. I record all my own instruments & write my material so, I don't have a band helping to pay for studio time. This thing is a God send.
Musical Background:
Musician for over 40 years. I play several instruments.
Musical Style:
Rock, old school Metal, Blues, Country, Folk, Surf, Rockabilly, Punk, Pop.
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Submitted January 3, 2021 by a customer from gmail.com
"Impressive"
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I recorded for a long time with the BOSS BR series recorders so this was a little bit different for mr at first. The overall ease of operation is impressive. Within 45 mn of plugging it in, using the quick start guide I was able to lay down 3 guitar tracks and a vocal track. I haven't had time to really get into the meat and potatoes of the unit but so far so good.
Musical Background:
36 years giging and studio
Musical Style:
Country, Blues Southern Rock, 80's hair, Texas Red Dirt, Classic rock, Classic Country, Christian Gospel, Christian Contemporary
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Submitted July 15, 2018 by JOHN B in UNION, NJ
"Awesome piece of equipment to use for recording demos, and just maybe some final tracks"
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I picked up my first 32sd about 4 years ago. Then I picked up a second one to have in another city where I was traveling to on a regular basis. How nice to be able to take a SD card from the one, plug it into the other and away I went. So I have songs that were recorded in different cities on different tracks. Now, I have seen complaints about quality, and if you are looking for serious professional studio quality, I could see how you might be not be a happy camper. But seriously, this is $600, we were paying $250 an HOUR to record at top end studios, not including 2" tape at $150 PER reel. And that only was about 15 minutes worth of time. (yes, I know, when I was your age, blah blah blah..... The point is if you have half a clue of what you are doing, you can get some pretty amazing results from this unit. Will I win a Grammy from something recorded on it....well, we'll just have to see about that one. It's easy to use. I would just suggest to anyone that buys it. ALWAYS back up the SD card when you have added songs to it. You can always format a new card (do it on the recorder, not the computer) and that way you won't lose anything. FYI, buying a couple more of these for bandmates so that we can Dropbox files to each out and add tracks to new songs...very, very cool!
Musical Background:
45 years keyboards, song writer, recording artist
Musical Style:
rock, country, classical
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Submitted May 16, 2020 by Ronny R in Malakoff, TX
"Manual a little vague, great machine."
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Let me begin by saying that there is a bit of a learning curve with this piece of equipment. The included manual is not really layed out well and at times a little convoluted in it's explanation of functions. YouTube videos by other owners have been more helpful in learning my way around the machine. That being said, I could not be happier when it comes to the actual product. Once you figure it out you are gonna love creating with this. Tons of tracks to work with and be creative. I have wanted to record at home for a long but the daw systems just didn't appeal to me. If you're wanting to home record get this machine.
Musical Background:
Make my living playing music. I play drums, guitar, and a few other string instruments.
Musical Style:
Classic rock, country, Christian and jazz.
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Submitted September 22, 2017 by Phil S in Haymarket, VA
"Tascam DP-32SD"
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Excellent value for the quality. Many undocumented features.For the absolute best results use either Lexar or Blackvue SDHC cards. Class10 cards. Virtually crackle and hiss free. Running the final product through Wavelab 9 or Reapers shows excellent fidelity. Can be either Neutral or Warm
Musical Background:
Publisher,Composer,Synth,Guitar
Musical Style:
Funk, Ambient, Soundtracks for Cinema, Gaming, MMD, New Age, EDM
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Submitted May 4, 2015 by rochester davis in allentown, PA
"Tascam Dp-32sd Digital Portastudio"
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Total satisfaction !!!! Very easy to adapt to so mu h easier the computer and really give me the sense of knowing that I am in control totally of what I am doing .Again. Total satisfaction
Musical Background:
lets just say along timd. I play a Fender Jazz American a thhe way and a fine bass by warwick
Musical Style:
The " P " that The Funk as well as Rock R&B some Jazz
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Submitted August 13, 2020 by Ronny R in malakoff, TX
"Update on my previous review"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
After having this recorder for 4 months now I can honestly say that it was a Great purchase. Have taken time to watch some of the youtube videos and they are extremely good and useful. Being creative has never been so much fun and rewarding. It has stretched me as a musician too since I am doing all the parts myself. From guitar parts, keyboard, drums, mandolin, and more I am finding myself experimenting and it has really been fun. Sent out some of my stuff to some musician friends who are honest about creative input and they have all said that the sound of the mix and final product is amazing. From initial track recording to the final mix down, to mastering and everything else, it is just really cool. I have over a 40 year history working in studios including being a part owner and partner in a 24 track studio with Soundcraft recorder, boards, and all kinds of outboard gear. This is not the same thing, but that goes without saying. But if you want to self produce and put out some very affordable merchandise table product you can't go wrong with this. I am a very happy with the service from zZounds.com and will buy more gear in the future from them. Tascam has been dragging their feet with my rebate items that were part of the deal, but that is on Tascam from a customer service aspect. That said, this recorder is a win win for the home recording musician.
Musical Background:
over 40 years of touring and studio work
Musical Style:
Classic rock, Country, R&B, Pop, Christian, Swing, and whatever else the gig calls for. From commercial jingles for national pro
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Submitted March 6, 2016 by Dave m in Brimfield, OH
"I really like it but...."
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
These units have a design flaw. They have electronic spikes. It seems to happen when punching in and out. I've owned two DP32s and they both had this very negative aspect.
Musical Background:
producer / performer
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Submitted August 26, 2015 by John B in Denton, TX
"Tascam!! Quit teasing us!!!!!"
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I was ready to pounce on this recorder... until I remembered a Tascam upgrade always involves the consumer having to lose something in the end. In this case, we lost midi connectivity. How many of us sequence midi tracks? Raise your hands. If the unit is only fully functional when paired with a computer, might as well just use a computer in the first place. The low score for sound is based on the horrible effects. This could be a great unit, but Tascam ruined it by trimming necessities. Tried to contact Tascam several times. I have never received a response after several (maybe 8) attempts to correspond with them. This is why "pro" studios don't use Tascam products anymore.
Musical Background:
Professional musician/ live sound and recording engineer 35+ years
Musical Style:
Jazz, rock, pop, EDM, classical, big band, country, blues, reggae,
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Submitted May 17, 2015 by armando Portillo in Miami, FL
"It is ok for recording demos"
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I bought this to record my ideas and then try to record them professionally in a studio. If you are not looking for a home-recording sound, don't buy it. But if are trying to record lots of tracks to have fun and remember your ideas it is great. I am having a lot of fun with it. It is really fun playing around with it and pretty good sounding for a home recording device. I would recommend it. But not for professional recording.
Musical Background:
Professional guitarrist
Musical Style:
Alternative rock, reggae, Balad, Pop.
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Submitted January 15, 2015 by Jay D
"Gismo laden toy"
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I assumed since this is a 32 track recorder that it would be capable of big time production projects. After all, why would a "scratch pad" recorder need 32 tracks? 3 band eq? Really. Try mixing 32 tracks together and get everything to fit together with no overlapping frequencies with 3 band eq. The guitar amp sims sound terrible. Good enough for a "scratch pad" recorder, but again, why do you need 32 tracks for that? Having full, real time control during mixdown is not possible with the menu setup. Would be fine for someone who is just learning to record, but why do you need 32 tracks for that?
Musical Background:
38 years a guitarist and bassist, 21 years a recording engineer.
Musical Style:
Rock
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Submitted March 31, 2017 by Ernest Cann in St. Louis, MO
"This thing SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Tascan/Teac USED to be an industry leader when they were analog - great machines! I had their first Ministudio 4-track cassette - worked fine. Around 2005 I struggled to save $500.00 to buy their DP-08 I think it was - it was an 8 tack with a cd burner - what a JOKE!!!!!! they did not even have a backlit VU meter! I talked with a sales rep and told him about - he didn't seem to get it - I moaned about how all those unnecessary onboard effects were not as important as a backlit VU! After that I was a bit leery to try Tascam again - but, i read reviews and balanced it out and thought, i don't expect it to be perfect - but it should do what I need it to do. I bought the DP-32 - MISTAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!! This thing just will not cooperate with my commands! It will not UNDO properly; I cannot erase: I put the SD card into my computer to erase files - I put it back into the unit - fire it up - and it WILL NOT LOAD THE SONG!!!!!!!!!!!! Everytime I try to load it - a message comes up that asks if I want to discard changes - I say YES - it still will not load even if I say NO! This thing also appears to have 'crosstalk'. What makes this even worse - I tried to go to their forum and weeks after I thought I had signed up - I get an e-mail telling me that they had problems where myself and many others did not get our e-mail verified - try again - still didn't work NOT SURPRISED - Seems as if Tascam just cannot maKE INTO THE DIGITAL AGE!!!!!! What makes this even more frustrating is that I had emailed Tascam 2 times , once a few days ago, and another time a few weeks or more and would you believe it? NO RESPONSE FROM TASCAM! I am sending this unit back for a refund NO MORE TASCAM FOR ME!!!!!!!!!
Musical Background:
40 YEARS
Musical Style:
Pop/rock
18 of 32 people (56%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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