Musicians who want to build their own recording studios often settle for two popular choices: the digital DAW and the multitrack recorder. The multitrack versus DAW debate has been going on for ages.

Among the two, which one rates better? Let’s start by discussing the workings of these two recorders.

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

The DAW or digital audio workstation is computer-based software that is able to process all the crucial items needed during recording. All the musician needs in their arsenal is a microphone, which will be connected to a computer that has all the specs required for the process.

As soon as the mike is plugged in, the musician can then begin recording, place effects, mix the tracks and produce his or her output.

Multitrack Recorders

Multitrack recorders are similar to DAW setups. The unit records the music and proceeds to do everything required.

However, with a multitrack recorder, the computer used for the procedure is provided with all the needed items, while to use DAW the computer has to have the appropriate soundcard, sufficient processing strength and other specifications. This is a multi-item setup and is designed to manage recording music.

Multitrack recorders are similar with DAW in that they can also process music digitally. They allow users to record, edit and mix the tracks.

What is great about multitrack recorders is that musicians can concentrate on recording separate segments of the track without being required to play the whole song each time. Musicians can also record independently from his or her band, which might provide convenience in terms of schedules.

The multitrack recorder edits faster and simpler when it comes to individual performance compared to a complete live band recording. Multitrack recorders also provide users with a good range of microphones and allow musicians to have more control over the equalizer and dealing with each instrument used.

The Tascam DP-03SD Digital Portastudio is one of my absolute favorite devices to record on.

Differences Between Multitrack and DAW

Now we are going to discuss the disparities between the two types of recorders.


The multitrack recorder includes fixed or stationary items, unlike the DAW, which can be adjusted. The DAW can also allow the addition of new parts and software.

Thus, when it comes to expandability, the DAW wins. However, if you want a recorder that has all the goods you need and will not obligate you to purchase new components, you should opt for the multitrack unit.


Multitrack recorders do the whole job of recording for the musician, from beginning to end, and will close the deal and provide the musician with his or her output at the end of production. The DAW, on the other hand, relies on the decisions of the musician for every procedure required, hence the user will learn a lot from the recording sessions.

Therefore, if you want a step-by-step process of learning the whole recording deal, you should definitely choose the DAW method.


The multitrack recorder is an easy unit to use, since it has all the items a musician needs. The DAW, on the other hand, has to be uploaded, arranged, and then connected to a microphone and other devices.


The DAW is actually better than the multitrack recorder when it comes to compatibility, since the unit is in actuality a gathering of several programs.

This means that all the programs must be compatible with each other. Because of this, the musician can actually work on a track at different hours or in various locations.


The price of DAW and the multitrack recorders vary and of course the prices will also depend on the features that each model has.

However, both units allow musicians to have accessible recording tools at home, which is also more affordable compared to renting hours at a studio. The price will also vary based on the quality and the software.

The debate between the DAW and the multitrack recorder will never end, because people have different needs and tastes. What the musician chooses will usually be based on what he or she needs for the recording.

Both items are worth it in terms of convenience and cost. What you select will be up to you.