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Product J02682

Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio

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The DP-03SD is an affordable way to get into TASCAM's famed Portastudio system of making recording simple and affordable for musicians. The 8-track d...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Eight track digital recording at unprecedented prices.

The DP-03SD is an affordable way to get into TASCAM's famed Portastudio system of making recording simple and affordable for musicians. The 8-track digital recorder captures your music at CD quality to affordable SD/SDHC cards, and a 4GB card is included with the recorder. With built-in microphones, effects, and mastering, the DP-03SD provides everything musicians need to record and share their music.

A pair of stereo condenser microphones is built into the front panel of the DP-03, helpful for capturing a rehearsal, live performance or songwriting ideas. Also included are a pair of high-quality XLR microphone preamps with phantom power for condenser microphones. 1/4” line inputs are also available, and an instrument-level switch allows you to record a guitar or bass without a direct box. A three-button footswitch, the RC-3F, is available for control and punch in.

Routing the inputs to one of the eight tracks is simple, and you can record two at a time until you fill up all eight. A tuner and metronome are built-in for tight-sounding tracks, each with its own dedicated button for quick access. Track can be edited with commands like copy/paste, silence, clone track and undo. Bouncing is also available, even bouncing all eight tracks down to one or two. There’s even the option to import a WAV file through USB.

Each track has its own send to a stereo reverb processor as well as two-band shelving EQ. Once you’ve perfected your mix with the 45mm faders, pan knobs, reverb and EQ, record it to the dedicated stereo master track. Your mix can be processed with mastering effects like EQ and limiting for a tight, modern sound. When you’re satisfied, transfer your mix to a computer over USB 2.0.

FEATURES
  • 8-track Digital Portastudio
  • Records to SD/SDHC Card media
  • Import WAV files from USB
  • Built-in stereo condenser microphone
  • Two XLR microphone inputs with phantom power

Most music gets away before you can catch it. Order today.

SPECIFICATIONS
Microphones
  • Built-in mics: 2
  • Configuration: Stereo
  • Type: Not specified
  • External mic input: Yes
Audio Quality
  • Max bit depth: Not specified
  • Max sampling rate: Not specified
  • Audio formats: WAV
Connectivity
  • Headphones: Not specified
  • Audio in: 2
  • Audio out: Yes
Storage and Media
  • Type(s): SD/SDHC
  • Capacity: Up to 32GB
  • Hard drive No
Onboard Features
  • Connections: USB
  • Number of tracks: 8
  • Phantom power: Yes
Other
  • Width: 11.4 in.
  • Height: 2.1 in.
  • Depth: 8.2 in.
  • Weight: 4 lb.
  • Battery type: Not specified
  • Battery life (app.): Not specified
  • Built-in speaker: Not specified
  • Power supply: Not specified
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
TascamDP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio
 
3.6

(based on 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

68%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (15)
  • Easy to use (14)
  • Good audio (8)
  • Excellent sound (6)
  • Lightweight (6)

Cons

  • Poor sound quality (4)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (16)
  • Home studio (13)
  • Performances (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (14), Professional musician (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Expand your options

If you need compression, eq, reverb and easy control of eight channel, 16 bit recording, this is for you. Plug in a condenser mic and with the built in phantom power, you...Read complete review

If you need compression, eq, reverb and easy control of eight channel, 16 bit recording, this is for you. Plug in a condenser mic and with the built in phantom power, you have all you need for recording clean, discreet tracks. It has enough ins and outs to be compatible with any playback set up you want. It's compact size makes it easy to fit in whatever space you have: live recordings, rehearsals or anywhere you want to capture sound. The built in condenser mics make for great impromptu recordings, since it will also run on AA batteries. I bought the A/C power supply and use a 32 GIG card that will make MP3s and WAV files. It transfers to your computer via USB or to your interface via RCA outs, it even has a footswitch jack for those Todd Rundgren punch ins. I have used it for almost a year now and have been amazed at the production values packed in this unpretentious package. It records two tracks at a time of separate signals, or you can record two tracks of the same signal for a "wet track" or whatever variation you wish. Its intuitive controls and user friendly menus allow me to get from idea to recording in seconds. If you record for fun this will make it happen for you and if you work at it you can annoy your friends with decent demos of your latest opus.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Broken and had to return

Was looking forward to receiving item. It arrived broken - neither of the mic inputs worked. Headphone volume was very weak. Went online to Musician's friend - customer service rep assured me that...Read complete review

Was looking forward to receiving item. It arrived broken - neither of the mic inputs worked. Headphone volume was very weak. Went online to Musician's friend - customer service rep assured me that they would pay for return shipping, and said they would email me paid shipping label for UPS. After receiving their email, it turned out that it was NOT PAID - I HAD TO PAY FOR RETURN SHIPPING OF BROKEN ITEM!. I would call or email, but don't feel like tying up another hour of my time to straighten this out. I have ordered a replacement of the same model - Guys, I hope that someone is reading this review - you've got two strikes against you so far. I am a loyal customer and have ordered many instruments and stuff with your company - I really expected a better experience than I'm getting now. If this get's screwed up a third time, I will be taking my future business elsewhere.

Reviewed by 22 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(22 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Expand your options

By Old but slow

from Jacksonville, Florida

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

    If you need compression, eq, reverb and easy control of eight channel, 16 bit recording, this is for you. Plug in a condenser mic and with the built in phantom power, you have all you need for recording clean, discreet tracks. It has enough ins and outs to be compatible with any playback set up you want. It's compact size makes it easy to fit in whatever space you have: live recordings, rehearsals or anywhere you want to capture sound. The built in condenser mics make for great impromptu recordings, since it will also run on AA batteries. I bought the A/C power supply and use a 32 GIG card that will make MP3s and WAV files. It transfers to your computer via USB or to your interface via RCA outs, it even has a footswitch jack for those Todd Rundgren punch ins. I have used it for almost a year now and have been amazed at the production values packed in this unpretentious package. It records two tracks at a time of separate signals, or you can record two tracks of the same signal for a "wet track" or whatever variation you wish. Its intuitive controls and user friendly menus allow me to get from idea to recording in seconds. If you record for fun this will make it happen for you and if you work at it you can annoy your friends with decent demos of your latest opus.

    (18 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Fit my needs

    By Charles

    from undisclosed

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Excellent Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio

      Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

      This unit fits my needs perfectly. I use it to direct record 3 keyboards and a drum box. It is positioned next to my keyboards and I use a patch panel to record up to 2 tracks at a time. I record the all the desired tracks (up to 8) and export them to the SD card and later edit and master them on a PC. There is a variety of powerful editing software available (some free).
      This approach allows me to easily capture the individual tracks with no discernable latency and use a PC for post processing.
      The internal mics work fine and I had no trouble following the manual. I have not used an external microphone, or used the SD-03 for mastering a song, so I cannot comment on those aspects.
      The Unit seems well made and I have had it for several months with no issues so far.
      It is a great learning tool, allowing you to hear yourself play (or sing – do I sound like that?)

      (16 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Lives Up to its Billing

      By TubeHead

      from Tullahoma, TN

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Easy To Use

      Cons

      • Low Headphone Output

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio

      Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

      This recorder has 8 tracks, but can record to only 2 at a time.
      Therefore, it is obviously for home, amateur or demo use. This
      review is written with that as its purpose.

      Pros:
      1. Overall, I'd say it's a good buy: it is a compact 8-track
      digital recorder with overdub, mixing, bouncing and mastering
      capabilities. It lives up to its billing.
      2. At 11" by 8" by 2" it's a good size: small enough to be
      portable, but large enough so that the controls are easily
      operated.
      3. The two built-in microphones are handy, even if they are not
      particularly high-quality. Input jacks are available for both
      dynamic and XLR condenser microphones, though.

      Cons:
      1. The biggest drawback to this recorder is the low output level
      of the headphone jack. Even turned up all the way, during
      recording, the sound from outside getting through the headphones
      is often louder than the playback coming from them. This is
      the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
      2. The User's Manual is thorough, but not very well written.
      After some use, though, I picked up on the "mindset" of the
      operating controls, and it's fairly intuitive.

      Some Facts to Consider:
      1. Although it has a USB port, no USB cable comes with the unit.
      2. However, the SD card that holds all the data is removable
      and can be inserted in a slot on a computer. Only mixed and
      mastered WAV files can be read by a computer; the raw 8-track
      data is stored in a proprietary format.
      3. The dynamic range of the "Guitar" input is +/- 75 millivolts;
      while the dynamic range of the "Lin/Mic" inputs is +/- 110
      millivolts. That seems backward to me; plus, it's not that
      much different. Why have the two types?

      (15 of 24 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Broken and had to return

      By Otter

      from Buffalo NY

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Poor Quality Construction
        • Poor Sound Quality

        Best Uses

          Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

          Was looking forward to receiving item. It arrived broken - neither of the mic inputs worked. Headphone volume was very weak. Went online to Musician's friend - customer service rep assured me that they would pay for return shipping, and said they would email me paid shipping label for UPS. After receiving their email, it turned out that it was NOT PAID - I HAD TO PAY FOR RETURN SHIPPING OF BROKEN ITEM!. I would call or email, but don't feel like tying up another hour of my time to straighten this out. I have ordered a replacement of the same model - Guys, I hope that someone is reading this review - you've got two strikes against you so far. I am a loyal customer and have ordered many instruments and stuff with your company - I really expected a better experience than I'm getting now. If this get's screwed up a third time, I will be taking my future business elsewhere.

          (10 of 26 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Most Horrible Recording Experience yet

          By musiclvr

          from nc

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Could Hear W Earphones
          • Excellent Sound

          Cons

          • Difficult To Use
          • Unnecessary Functions
          • Waste Of Time

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

          One good thing. Great Sound. I could hear he playback through the earphones.
          After that , good luck to you. the manual is not clear, after mixing and mastering four tracks, it told me to shut the unit down. It did not tell me where to find the song, so that I could upload it. I cannot say enough bad things about this until. IT IS and WAS the most horrible waste of time experience that I have EVER encountered with a recording device.

          (9 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Like having a little buddy

          By Juice

          from White Bluff,TN

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Low Distortion
          • Powerful
          • User Freindly
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

          • Home Studio
          • Professional Recording
          • Singer Songwriter

          Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

          Cut my first record using a Tascam 4trk. Cut my last CD using this baby and it blew me away! Like alot of musicians, I lost it in a pawn shop. It was like looing a freind. Gonna get another one soon as I can. I mi my buddy.

          (8 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Dreadfull!!

          By Otter

          from Buffalo NY

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Easy To Use

          Cons

          • Broken
          • Poor Sound Quality

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording

          Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

          Was excited about the Phantom power function, as I recently purchased a condenser Mic set. The recorder is awful. When using this function, there is a loud white noise that makes using these new Mic impossible. When I attempted to use my older dynamic Mic, I have to have the gain up to full blast (and even then it only let's this Mic work occasionally). How disappointing to get a new, out of the box product that doesn't work. I WILL BE SENDING THIS BACK FOR A REFUND.

          (7 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Defective

          By Steve P

          from Lexington, KY

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

          After 5 reschedules, I finally received it. Had the previous reviews been posted, I would have cancelled the order. I had the same problem. The mic inputs did not work, and when I turn them up, I, too, experienced the same white noise. I've sent it back, and am not willing to gamble on another

          (6 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Disappointed

          By Joe

          from Asbury Park, NJ

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy To Use
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Poor Sound Quality

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording

          Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

          I recently purchased this unit so that I could record quality demos right at home. I am a solo singer/songwriter and when I tried to record a 3 track recording (guitar, vox, harmonica), it was super easy to set up. Once I got to the editing and mixing stage, I turned up the reverb and it sounded what can only be described as someone crunching a bag from the inside of a cereal box. The minute I heard it, I boxed it back up and sent it back to the store I got it from. I'm sorry but for the price I paid for this, every function on this machine should at least be decent enough to work with. And being a singer/songwriter looking to make a few demos, I NEED a little reverb. Sorry Tascam, but it just didn't work out for me :(

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Very cool

          By glissando

          from Eugene, OR

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Pros

          • Compact

          Cons

          • Usual Computer Menu Trees

          Best Uses

            Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

            If you have previously used TASCAM multitracks, going back to the Porta-One, this unit is a fine remake of that same capability in digital form. The interior mics are helpful for on the fly recording, if a bit noisy as mics. Still, with the ability to master and normalize CDs, including effects and compression,this unit does things the cassette units never could. Recording stereo drums with the internal mics in a large garage sounds very good. So if I hit the wrong little menu buttons occasionally it's worth it, still easier, quieter and better sounding than this kind of portable gear ever was in days of old.

            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great studiio at a great price

            By Otter

            from Buffalo NY

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio

            Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

            Used to record with a Fostex MR8, but this studio is a huge improvement. This is very easy to use, and has a much better sound and much better effects than the Fostex.

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Hobbiest Delighted

            By Brown's Lounge

            from Pocatello, Idaho

            About Me Novice

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Compact
            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Move between computer and Tascam

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio

            Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

            Once I got the hang of the three step process of initial recording, mix down recording and finally the master recorded, it was a very straight forward effort with features that can adjust and enhance the overall final product. Great machine and quality built for the price. Record harmonica with backtrack music. Highly recommend to anyone who prefers to use a stand alone digital recorder that does not need computer interface for a finished product.

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great for home use

            By Bill

            from Wahpeton, ND

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio

              Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

              I recently got a DP-03 the same recorder with CD. Very easy to use. If you used a pocket studio the instructions are almost identical. Has great playback sound and tone. Record a song. mix down, create a stereo track and master, that easy.

               
              4.0

              Great Deal!

              By Chocotaco

              from Kearney, NE

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Clear Sound
              • Compact

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Home Studio

                Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

                Great deal on an open box item. Was in perfect condition. Disappointed it didn't have the manual with it though. But I downloaded one online

                 
                5.0

                was happy to find how easy to use

                By sloppy marky

                from keene new hampshire

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Clear Sound
                • Compact
                • Easy To Use
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                • only 1 headphone input

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording

                Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

                i am very happy with this unit after still using 4 track tape till it died...i found it simple to use just using internal mikes for a great live sound for guitars,acoustic or electric.

                 
                1.0

                I got a bad one

                By Fiddle Picker

                from St. Louis, MO

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Compact

                Cons

                • Limited Functions
                • Poor Sound Quality
                • Unreliable

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording

                Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

                When I first received this as a gift I knew it had an issue but I was too excited to return it. It sat untouched in my home studio. Now that I've come back to it with more than enough qualification to work the thing, it constantly reads error and tells me to shut it off. Completely unreliable, it says it saves a song to the SD card but doesn't. Biggest issue is it's too late to return the piece of junk!!

                 
                4.0

                I never boot up without it.

                By Ed

                from CO

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Clear Sound
                • Compact
                • Durable
                • Easy To Use
                • Lightweight
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Events
                  • Home Studio
                  • Performances
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

                  I was sorry to read so many negatives. My own experience has been quite different. The output feeds to my amp, and it is on all the time. I rearely play without some recorded accompaniment. The more I work with it, the better the results. I still get some surprises with bounce, but will eventually get it down.
                  I have worked in audio, and the most I can say is that this unit is a engineering miracle. Granted, I wore out a PortStudio cassette model some years ago.
                  The best thing is the sound quality for voice and guitar. It is set up, really, as two four tracks -- four for line, four for vocal. Four tracks is just about right to keep things mangeable.
                  I wish for just a little more processing power; but discipline and patience can cover that. Also, downloading the tracks to a DAW, takes patience, though they have made it about as easy as it could be. You have a USB interface that displays everything on the disc in a window. I'm sure the compression, eq, echo, and reverb work fine, but what of that I do use I use in the DAW.
                  The biggest plus is that I no longer have to worry about latency or other quirks of PC based recording.
                  I know some people run Pro Tools on a cheap laptop and it works out just fine. For the money, all that mousing around is a thing of the past for me.
                  Bottom line -- works for me. Obviously, not for everyone.

                   
                  5.0

                  Easy, Does What It Says

                  By Harmonies

                  from El Paso, TX

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Clear Sound
                  • Compact
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Demos
                    • Multi-Vocal & Instrumental Harmonies

                    Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

                    I use this product for all parts of a song--guitars, bass/drums, vocals, keyboards--so I can hear them all together and decide what needs to be added/modified It's also good for those who don't know how a song goes, to hear the overall sound and how their part fits in. Both the Internal inputs and Mic inputs work well. I hadn't tried the guitar input since all my guitars have a preamp (I mic them up). I read the first parts of the manual as well as the recording/transferring to computer and mixing and mastering. That was enough to get a thorough understanding for what I needed. It's so easy, if you read those parts. I've never mixed or mastered before, but I was able to adjust the volumes of each part while mixing and the mastering will increase your volume quite a bit with normalizing. Then you can transfer your WAV file to your computer via USB. Each recorded part is very clear, if you record it clearly. Make sure you adjust the Trim input to prevent overload before you record. It's all spelled out clearly in the manual.

                     
                    5.0

                    Not too difficult to learn

                    By Traz

                    from Russiaville, Indiana

                    About Me Novice

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording
                      • Home Studio

                      Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

                      Produce was as advertised. I found the included owner's manual helpful and was able to record a quick song within an hour.

                       
                      4.0

                      Easy to use and good quality.

                      By Dman

                      from La.

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Clear Sound
                      • Compact
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Home Studio
                        • Performances

                        Comments about Tascam DP-03SD 8-Channel Portastudio:

                        I needed a unit that was easy to understand and setup quickly. Sound quality is good. Affordable and compact.

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