With the important job of getting sounds from microphone to media, audio recorders are an indispensable part of any musical professional's toolkit. From a band recording its first demo tape to a studio engineer mastering a local artist's new album, there are tons of examples of when audio recorders come into play. It's only natural, then, that they come in plenty of shapes and sizes to provide options for all the different ways they're used.
If it's a studio you're outfitting, start at the top. The biggest and baddest recorders, like TASCAM's DP-32 Digital 32-Track Portastudio, are designed for demanding studio settings. You can choose models with or without a CD-R/RW drive, which puts the decision in your hands as to whether you'd like to go all-digital or have a CD backup. Some recorders are even rack-mounted, and they give you a choice of media too: look into the Marantz CDR633 for CD recording or the Gemini DRP-1 for digital. Or, if you want something small enough to toss in your gig bag and use anywhere, consider the TASCAM DP-008EX Pocketstudio. This is a mini recorder with big features, and it can even run on battery power so you can start recording anytime, anywhere.
If you're searching for the ultimate portable recorder, you might prefer to go even smaller. Check out some handheld recorders, like the Zoom H6 or Song PCM-M10. These might not have as much room for controls as a bigger recorder, but you'll be surprised at how well they hold their own when it comes to recording quality. These little units range from basic mono voice recorders to high-end stereo models, and you won't find a more convenient way to record jam sessions or spur-of-the-moment lyric ideas.
Narrowing down the choices is the first and most important step to choosing your new audio recorder. Will you be recording to a CD or digital? Does the recorder need to fit in your pocket or are you looking for the full control panel of a large desktop model? Whatever you're looking for in an audio recorder, you should have no trouble finding it right here.