Portable Home Music Recorders - dummies

By Jeff Strong

Many home music recording systems can be portable, but if portability is your main concern, then you can choose from a few really cool options, including the following:

  • Linear recorders: These are two-track recorders, sometimes called voice recorders or field recorders. Many come with mics built-in, and some even have effects. The cool thing about these is that most fit in your pocket and can record with surprisingly high quality, such as 24 bits, although many are 16 bits. Check the specs of the various models if the bit depth is important to you.

  • Mobile devices: Smart phones, tablet computers, and other devices such as the iPod can record audio with fairly good quality. Check out the Apple App Store for software (look for the Portastudio app by TASCAM), and you’ll see what devices you can use.

    These devices, at the time of this writing, are limited to one or two tracks of simultaneous recording. You need an interface to use one for recording. Check out these two cool ways to get the sound in: Blue Yeti USB mic and Appogee Jam guitar interface.

  • Others: You can find portable options within many recording categories, like computer-based systems, SIABs, and stand-alone recorders. Depending on your budget and needs, these may be a good solution for you. For example, the Zoom R24 is extremely portable and can record up to 8 simultaneous tracks. A laptop with a bus-powered interface can also give you a lot of power in a highly portable system.

So, if portability is important to you, rest assured that you’ll be able to find a solution that fits your needs and likely your budget.