Digital audio recorders - an overview
Digital audio recorders are the perfect choice if you prefer to record on a real device rather than a computer, with zero latency, as in the "good old days". Besides, now Digital has replaced the tape as a medium. The digital multitrack replaces the traditional multitrack tape recorders and digital handheld models replace the old dictation machines and offer more reliability, but still a familiar feeling.
Why still bet on a digital recorder?
Digital audio recorders do not require any software to work (except for the minimal operating system on the device itself). Therefore, the devices work reliably and are extremely crash-proof. You can record directly to your own hard drives or SD memory cards.
This means that it is a simple, all-in-one solution without the need for a computer or notebook, audio interface or mic preamp. Some newer multitrack models even feature built-in condenser microphones with amazing sound quality!
Another big advantage is the compact dimensions of the devices. They can be quickly and easily stowed away and are ready for use within a few seconds if required. Operation via rechargeable batteries is also possible. That's why these ultra portable devices are still very popular with reporters, lawyers, live gigs, band rehearsals and anyone who wants to record fast and easy.
One of the main drawbacks, however, is that the recorders only offer a limited number of tracks. Mostly from 4 to 32 tracks. On a laptop with a DAW of your choice, you can use unlimited tracks.
Battery operation can also prove to be a disadvantage if you run out of juice. With a running time of 20 hours or more, current devices usually offer enough running time to come all day long.