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TASCAM DP-008EX or Zoom R8


Silver Supporting Member
Which 8-track Digital Recorder for me?

I'm looking to replace my Fostex VF-80. It served me well for many years but some control buttons are starting to give me trouble. Time to move on...

I like the idea of recording on a separate unit as opposed to directly onto computer. I have a laptop that's a few years old and I don't think it has the power to do recording very well. However, I do like the idea of being able to mix on computer. I also need to have XLR and 1/4" inputs and be able to record 2 tracks simultaneously.

All that being said, I narrowed my search to these 2. The TASCAM does not look like it has the ability to operate as an "audio interface". Not sure what that means or how big a deal it is. I can still export files to computer and import them for mixing I suppose. I'm not very savvy on the computer recording world... Help me out here.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of these 2? Which one will serve me best? I'm thinking the Zoom but am not sure. Will the TASCAM do all I need?

TASCAM DP-008EX ($200) or TASCAM DP-008?
Zoom R8 ($300) or is the R16 worth the extra cost?

Zoom R8: What's the advantage of "audio interface"? What can I do with that that I couldn't do with the TASCAM?


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Tone is in the Ears
I have the Zoom R24 which is the same thing - just more tracks. I also have Protools with an Avid interface.

The Zoom is so easy to use that I set up a session for my wife and I could basically leave her alone to practice and record a vocal track she wanted to do (and she has no technical knowledge).

I am not familiar with the Tascam, but with a quick glance it looks like the Zoom has more inputs (should have 8 xlr/1/4" line inputs). It also has very good built in stereo condensors. I has a large number of built in guitar effects (which I like) and it was very easy to transfer the files to a computer. I assume it comes with Cakewalk Lite, the bigger R16 and R24 do.

I would go with the Zoom, I think it has more functions, but it is also the one I know best. Both can also be used to record to a computer, but be advised that once you transfer the files you are in the computer realm. All your mixing is then done in Cakewalk (it is not a control surface, just an interface). Or you can remain in the Zoom for a whole session and mixdowns are really very easy.

Anyway - I think your ability to understand the technology also determines the decision. The Zoom can be a little confusing. (for example, only channel one has guitar impedance, so once you record on that, if you want to add more direct guitar tracks you have to bounce track one to an open track to save it and then record o new track on the now open track one). if you can understand what I just said, you are ready for the Zoom. If that is confusing, you might want to stick to something simpler.

If "simple" is important, you may want to go with the Tascam. If having more features is more important, I would go with the Zoom.


The 'interface' bit allows you to record two inputs directly to your computer without first savingbthe data on the SD card in the R8 (which only has 2 inputs, BTW). I like the remote recording aspect of Zoom's R series. You can get some out door recording done on the Zoom, then dump the .wavs to your computer for mixing. Great at parties, too.

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