Tascam DP-03SD 8-Track Digital Portastudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder

(10 customer reviews)


Compatible Devices Laptop
Brand Tascam
Hardware Interface USB
Microphone Form Factor Built-In
Media Format WAV
Headphones Jack 3 5mm Jack
Item Dimensions LxWxH 8.2 x 11.4 x 2.1 inches
Memory Storage Capacity 4 GB
Item Weight 5.25 Pounds
Screen Size 2

  • A digital recorder perfect for getting into TASCAM’s famed PORTASTUDIO system of making recording simple and affordable
  • Features a simple body and intuitive operation, like a cassette MTR, but with 8-track recording and 2-channel simultaneous input
  • The XLR terminal supports condenser microphones while the TRS phone terminals enable guitar and keyboard connections.Frequency response:20Hz to 20kHz (+1/–3dB, INPUT (MIC/LINE) to LINE OUT)
  • Equipped with two high-quality stereo condenser microphones for on-demand recording anytime, anywhere
  • Create professionally-mastered audio with the DP-03SD alone through onboard mastering effects and editing functions
  • A tuner and metronome are built-in for tight-sounding tracks, each with its own dedicated button for quick access


8-Track Digital Portastudio

From the manufacturer

TAS DP03SD Banner

Main Product Image


  • 8-track Digital Portastudio
  • Records to SD/SDHC Card media
  • Import WAV files from USB
  • Two XLR microphone inputs with phantom power
  • 1/4″ stereo line inputs


Digital Portastudio

The DP-03SD is a great 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 built-in microphones, effects, and mastering, the DP-03SD provides everything musicians need to record and share their music.

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Dimensions: 11.4″ W x 2.1″ H x 8.2″ D
  • Weight: 4lbs

Main Features

Product Feature 1

Product Feature 2

Product Feature 3

Product Feature 4

Stereo Condenser Microphones

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.

Tuner and Metronome

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.

Utilizing SD/SDHC media ensures confident recording

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. When you’re satisfied, transfer your mix to a computer over USB 2.0.

Additional information

Weight 5.25 kg
Dimensions 8.2 × 11.4 × 2.1 cm
Item Weight

5.25 pounds

Product Dimensions

8.2 x 11.4 x 2.1 inches

Domestic Shipping

Item can be shipped within U.S.

International Shipping

This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More

Country of Origin




Item model number


Date First Available

June 28, 2012

Color Name


Compatible Devices


Hardware Interface



2.10 x 11.40 x 8.20 inches

Media Format



5 watts



10 reviews for Tascam DP-03SD 8-Track Digital Portastudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder

  1. BluegrassPicker

    Very Useful, But With Quirks and Limitations. First Unit Appeared Defective.I haven’t had an opportunity to explore every feature of this machine, but so far I am impressed. The built-in condenser microphones are of surprisingly good quality, and the unit performs so far to my expectations. You can record yourself, or a band, do a mix-down, master, and then export the result to a WAV file, copy that result to a computer, and burn to a CD. The device is also an excellent learning tool: You can also create WAV files on a computer, import them into the DP-03SD’s SD card, and then listen to and/or record yourself, playing along with the imported music. That’s an excellent way to detect and correct mistakes in your timing or execution. Both of these techniques require multiple steps, but they are pretty straightforward if you’re willing to read the accompanying manual.My original unit periodically displayed a “FX Rx Failed” error message when it was powered down. This happened with different sizes and brands of SD cards, so the cards were surely not at fault. The Tascam manual doesn’t explain what this particular error message means; it simply says “If any of these errors occur turn the unit power OFF and restart it. If these error message (sic) continue to appear, please contact a TASCAM service center.” Well, Tascam doesn’t seem respond to messages left on their website (they ignored one of mine), so it seemed more expeditious to have Amazon replace the device. So far, so good.Beyond that, there are several things that deserve mention.1. WAV files can be imported into a “song”, but each WAV file typically has two tracks, so after four imports, it appears that nothing more can be imported without cleaning out some existing tracks. The trick here (not mentioned in the manual) is to create a new “song”. Once it is loaded, the import process can start anew. In other words, WAV imports go into the currently loaded “song”, but you can create as many “songs” as you like.2. The “songs” menu does not display titles in alphabetical order; instead, they are displayed in the order that they were recorded to the SD card (or imported, or restored from a backup). This can make it difficult to identify a particular song in a long list.3. There is no easy way to back up or copy an entire SD card. The DP-03SD uses a proprietary file format, in addition to a FAT partition, but the SD card’s “songs” are not visible on a computer. The only way I’ve found to copy songs to a new SD card is to (1) backup each song individually per the manual’s instructions, (2) copy those songs from the SD card’s BACKUP folder to a computer, (3) copy the files from the computer to the BACKUP folder on a new SD card (which must first be formatted by the DP-03SD); (4) restore each song individually once the new SD card is inserted into the DP-03SD. This process is highly laborious and time-consuming.4. The Tascam website lists authorized dealers for the DP-03SD, but Amazon does not appear on that list. I contacted Amazon Customer Service, which researched the matter, and assured me that Amazon is indeed an authorized dealer, and that Tascam would honor the warranty for units sold by Amazon. (This may not apply to third-party sellers on Amazon, so caveat emptor.)

  2. Judy W.

    Wonderful for a small studio for individualsThis system allowed me to do recordings for my family and myself that would never have happened otherwise. Pretty easy to use with guitar, keyboard, and vocals. There are some limitations but for the money it’s phenomenal for an individual musician or small group.

  3. spacemonkey58

    A Nice Non-DAW Solution For Home RecordingI combine this with a keyboard workstation and a voice transformer to quickly rough out song ideas. It took a while to get the patching and levels right but the recorder itself is surprisingly clean once those issues are addressed.Having basic EQ, Comp and Normalization on board along with mixing and mastering is useful for “what-if” experimentation but you will probably want to import DRY to the DAW and recreate. You can internally convert each track into a separate WAV and easily transfer files via SD card or USB cable. This unit does not allow streaming via USB.There is a full sized printed manual that comes with it – one of the clearest most complete manuals I have come across.The little LCD window is surprisingly adequate as far as information goes but I knock off a star for the required learning curve to efficiently negotiate the entire menu from track recording to mastering.All in all, I would definitely buy this again. It’s relatively efficient at cranking out rough drafts and with some careful tinkering could get you in the ballpark of an acceptable demo without breaking the bank.

  4. homeboy

    underwhelmed compared to my BR-600I had really high hopes for this recorder, it replaced a boss BR-600 which I used for about 6 years. The main selection dial on the boss gave out rendering the recorder pretty much useless. The Tascam feel much sturdier, the Boss always felt fragile. The controls on the Tascam are much more intuitive, most everything is right there in front of you instead of buried in a myriad of menus and sub menus. The Boss had far more functions though so that isn’t exactly a fair comparison.My big problem with the Tascam is how crappy the internal mics are. I got very used to using the internal mics on the Boss to lay down quick ideas and to use to lay down basic backing tracks for jamming along with. The internal mics on the boss were really pretty passable. now I have to get out mics, cables etc to do any of that which is kind of a pain.I’ll see what the mic preamps in this is like after I play around with it a little more, the preamps in the boss were pretty noisy. when I was micing I used a tube preamp on the Boss so I was not too bothered by that.Update:Using the phantom power on this with an AT2020 condenser mic was too noisy, the mic preamp in this is not very good at all. I am using an ART MP studio and that is miles better, quieter and more natural sounding. That combination is great for recording acoustic guitar and vocals. The $100 for the mic and $50 for the preamp made a huge difference in recordings with this. If you are investing in the tascam do yourself a favor and get a decent mic and a pre, your recording will be vastly improved.

  5. John Dowing

    Totally satisfiedProduct is as described and illustrated. I received my order on schedule and undamaged. Everything works and I had two songs recorded and mixed down in less than 15 minutes. I’ve had many Tascam products in the past and have a 99% satisfaction rating with them. The quick start recording instructions cover about 95% of what you’ll need to know, and the rest, like EQ, Reverb, and editing are explained nicely. The menus are not as deep and confusing as other, similar equipment, and you can’t get lost because all you have to do is push the HOME button to take you back to the start page.UPDATE 1-20-2017Playing one acoustic guitar and singing one vocal – both into one of the built-in mics – I recorded 12 songs. Until I got to MIXDOWN and MASTERING, I hardly referred to the user’s manual at all – it was that easy to use. The MIXDOWN and MASTERING just required a few looks in the guide to make sure I followed in the correct order. This unit won’t let you go through these last two steps in the wrong order but you will need to know how to get started – then it’s a breeze.I started with one guitar track and one vocal track. On most of the tracks, I made two or three additional cloned guitar tracks, and I made one cloned vocal track for each song. With two identical vocal tracks I was able to cut 1 fps from the beginning of one of them so when they played back together it created a “doubling” effect – very nice.All I did with the guitar tracks was to leave the original “as is”, then EQ the second one slightly different in one frequency, and EQ the third slightly different in a different frequency so all three covered the lows-mids-highs and filled out the sound.I am happy with this product and am writing twelve more songs to be recorded sometime this year – I hope.

  6. DC

    Not bad, just not for meI got this because I was attracted to the physical knobs that you can actually touch and turn and slide, as I’ve only learned how to use DAWs with my keyboard and mouse. So I gave this a shot, and I’ll say it’s ok. I feel this is really geared towards the musicians who don’t want to learn how to use a new daw or computer and like to use the old school stuff. It has a couple decent mics built in, it lets you add simple eq and reverb to your tracks with just a knob twist, and lets you adjust volume and hit record on the fly. An issue I’ve heard a lot of people talk about and I have experienced as well is the lack of volume on the headphone jack. But the odd thing is when you set a pan pot all the way left or right on say, track 1, then the sound seems to be at full volume. Also when panning, there isn’t any stereo effect; it all sounds mono which is very strange. This thing does have a learning curve. The tiny screen and menus you tediously have to go through, to set simple things like EQ and saving a song name instead of just typing it out on a keyboard is so time-consuming I feel it’s not really worth it for a lot of people to try this out. However, this is a lot smaller than a lot or laptops and audio interfaces you’d be carrying around if you choose to go go that route. What I did record with it sounded nice and clean, nothing too strange other than the panning issues.Overall I’m sad to say I wouldn’t really recommend this to a whole lot of people just because using a DAW is not only easier in a lot of ways but keeps your options wide open with plugins, effects, and the ability to use whatever kind of other tools you want with it as opposed to being stuck with only a couple of effects, and spending precious time doing simple tasks that take a small amount of keystrokes on a computer. I would honestly rather lug my laptop around with microphones and an interface than use this to have all the things I need with me and endless possibilities and tons of plugins. But if you’re looking for something small to record 8 tracks with and not really touch them up a whole lot, then I believe this is a nice tool to have with the instruction manual by your side to guide you along. Not bad tascam, just not for me.

  7. Mike

    Great Portable StudioI grew up using the Tascam tape cassette four track. Even though I record with Cubase on a computer now, I bought this because I occasionally need to record someone singing or performing away from my studio. When I got the unit, I formatted the SD card and imported a stereo instrumental wave file to the first two tracks panned left and right with no problems. The first thing I noticed, however, is that the headphone volume output is very quiet. Therefore, I highly recommend getting an affordable headphone amp to use with this. I do wish it recorded at 48kHz 24bit. Other than that, it will help me record vocals and other parts when I’m away from my studio. When I imported the instrumental I was able to record vocals over it without much of a learning curve. Reverb and EQ both easy to use and sound good. The build quality is solid which is what you’d expect from Tascam. The sound quality seems great to me.

  8. Shifter

    Love The Tascam DP-03SDThis is perfect in everyway for what it is. I prefer the preamps in this unit to my RNP. They are as quiet and have more personality. The RNP is great if you want very sterile but I find it uninteresting. This is the second DP-03SD I have purchased, the first one from guitar center had issues with the write error and I also suspected it was used. The built-in mics on the first one exibited alot of hiss whereas this one is much better. Also, the firmware version in this one ends in 004 and the first one was 003. I do not know what changes were made but maybe the quieter built-in mics were part of it. Anyways, I use this with 2 Shure SM81’s for acoustic guitar and also vocals. The 81’s were a surprise on how well they sound on vocals with this unit. The reverb, compression and eq are limited but that is part of the charm of the DP-03SD. They sound fine and I usually use just enough reverb so you can hardly tell and eq is better done with mic placement but I occasionally add a slight bit of highs on the SM81 with vocals. Everything sounds superb. After working in IT for the last 3 years I just couldnt take coming home and doing music with a PC. It was such a struggle I stopped altogether for a while until I figured it out. I could have bought the DP32 but I love the simplicity of the DP-03SD and I am able to focus on what really matters again :)Shifter

  9. tony

    Best in the industry!I came up on for track cassette. I had been away from recording for a while. This was like picking up just where I left off. The built in mics are especially nice. The super solid build easy to use.

  10. Joe Gruessing

    Easy to get your ideas down with pretty decent sound.I have been using TASCAM/TEAC products…including Portastudios since the 80’s. This was my first *digital* Portastudio. I am very pleased. It’s a piece of cake to record tracks, mix down, and upload. The sound is amazing considering the cost of the unit. It’s super small…easy to move around. Very pleased. I did have a problem with the first unit… DOA. But the second unit is working great… keeping my fingers crossed. The only thing I don’t like so far is the mini-USB connection. Seems a bad choice for this type of equipment… i.e. equipment that gets bumped and jostled around a lot. Could easily get damaged.Everything is else is pretty well thought out… this isn’t meant to be a studio recorder by any means. However, you can definitely make great sounding tracks with it! Thumbs up!

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