Submitted October 29, 2019 by Paul A in Clearwater, FL
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professional musician & songwriter. Live, studio, clubs, concerts, etc. 40+ years
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