With the SoundDevices 552 and the anounced AETA 4minX the industry is providing us with some really great gear. Having both a professional mixer and a recorder in one device is awesome! Are there more of these devices out there?

I know of the Nagra LB, but that has only 2 inputs and I'm looking for a 3 input device. Something similar to a SoundDevices 302 but with an inbuild 3 track recorder.


  • That's exactly what I'm in the market for too.
    – Kurt Human
    Feb 14 '11 at 7:38

10 Answers 10


Check out the Tascam DR-680. For the money, it's a very nice recorder and has 8 inputs, all tracked out to CF. Mixing quickly isn't too bad - press to solo, change the mix. For $800, can't go too wrong. I've used Tascam products for a number of years and have been very happy.

Good luck!

  • Tascam DR-680 records to SD(SDHC) cards. Apr 7 '11 at 8:49
  • @Bartosz - whoops! missed that.
    – VCProd
    Apr 7 '11 at 15:03

At least from what I've seen so far, most of the devices that are marketed as mixer/recorders only have two channels of record. If you're looking for a device with more tracks of record, they're probably just going to be called field/location recorders.

I don't know of any that are only 3 track recorders, but maybe someone else on here does.

The very cool thing about the 4minX is that it supports the newer AES42 format for digital microphones (i.e. the Schoeps SuperCMIT). Having that built in ain't such a bad thing. ;)


How about the Roland R-44?

4 mic pre-s and 4 tracks. You can also use it as a 4 channel mixer.


US price $995

I have one and am very happy with it.


What are you shooting - is an answer. Nagra is great, but dead, now we got 6-8-10 channels of audio. How many channels you need? Simple stereo? 4 channels? Try gear from Zoom, Fostex, Panas? And then, - in what way you go to transfer your recordings - USB / Firewire? Maybe Onyx from Mackie + notebook? Fostex LR16? Oh, and again - everything depends of style of your work: fast right now quick or.. Thanks.

  • First of all, thanks for the answers. I'm doing al lot of documentary- soundscape and sound FX -recording. I'm looking for, at least, a 3 mono track recorder so I can record one boom and two wireless mics. The Zoom devices I recorded with happend te be missing files once I got home and ran heavy on batteries. The Fostex devices I've worked with all just felt to plastic. Panas and Mackie don't seem to offer really portable equiptment, or am I missing something? Recording to a SD (SDHC) card would be nice (cheap) Sonosax is a good (expensive) option. More suggestions? Thanks.
    – Mark Thur
    Jan 15 '11 at 20:09

The Sonosax Sx-ST has an available recorder module that records 8 tracks. I've never tried the module, but the mixer is incredible, and incredibly expensive to.


I've been dying to check out the new SONOSAX recordings, but here in the states their pricepoint is just a bit high for what they offer. I'm sure they are more reasonable in europe:


Their gear is no joke and i would check it out.

  • @Sepulchra, i have no idea of the prices here in the US, but in europe they're stll outrageous lol, the mini82r = 4200€, the mixer sx-ST 30 000€, and the SX-R4 goes for around 9000€ Jan 15 '11 at 15:55

What about Zaxcom Deva.....?


Im also looking for the same kind of thing. So equipment to record but thats also able to use as a mixer between a videocamera and microphone. (But a little cheaper than the sugestions above). I found these products:

Roland VS100: http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/uk/products/detail.asp?ID=3342 Tascam dp-004: http://www.tascam.com/products/dp-004;9,16,3707,14.html Tascam dp-008: http://www.tascam.com/products/dp-008;9,16,3805,19.html

Im sure that you can make some nice recordings with these things, but Im a little bit afraid that it won't work very well as a mixer for a videocamera. (and I understood that you need to have a balanced output or something if you want to use it with a videocamera? Is that right? And do these recorders above have balanced outputs?)

(And VCProd: is this Tascam DR-680 good for live-videomixing as well? )

  • If memory serves me right, the 2 portastudios by Tascam only record at 44.1kHz. Not an ideal recorder for video.
    – user6513
    Mar 24 '11 at 16:44

TASCAM DR-680 is not very good at using it as a mixer, because it's outputs are set for Nominal output level: –10 dBV (0.3 V), and are RCA. Also, there is some interference on the outputs as i have observed - not a very clean signal. So not a professional signal for a videocamera. And it also has only one knob for mixing. The internal mixer interface is very nice though and you can set pans/levels and then route that mix to tracks 7-8 that record as a stereo preview wav file that contains all tracks.


TASCAM DR-680 looks awesome. Wish I would have been able to save for that.

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