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Tascam DP-008 Digital Pocketstudio

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Tascam DP-008 Digital Pocketstudio Tascam's DP-008 is called a "pocketstudio" but it descends from the company's long line of Portastudios and the DP-004 four-track model. The DP-008 adds four more tracks for eight total plus an onboard mixer.

About double the size of an iPhone, the DP-008's mixer has separate knobs for volume, pan and a send for a built-in stereo reverb on each track. You get two XLR microphone inputs with phantom power, a guitar level input, and built-in stereo electret condenser mics. It gets simpler with a built-in stereo mixdown track and all audio files are held in 16-bit/44.1kHz .wav format on an included 2GB SD Media card.

I received a DP-008 and was struck by how straight ahead it works. There is a backlit LCD display used mostly for setup and track assignment but once you've started recording the first track, it works like a tape deck with a simple mixer. Four AA batteries power it or you can buy the optional PS-P520 power supply. There is a 1/4-inch footswitch for punching in/out of record or use the In/Out marking feature to set record in/out the same way as setting the beginning and end of looped playback.

I liked the RCA line outputs for connecting to any existing sound system like my stereo, the mini stereo headphone jack, and the USB 2.0 jack lets me import/export audio files to and from my Pro Tools rig.

I'm using my DP for capturing vocals or guitar parts easily out on the road. I don't have to bring a computer, interface or even a microphone if in a pinch and it all fits into a large coat pocket. The DP-008 sells for about $299. For much more, check

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