A recorder is a machine that reproduces (or records) sound. A reporter might use a recorder during an interview. A recorder is also often a first musical instrument for kids, who crank out “Hot Cross Buns” at top volume.
A digital recorder and the recorder on your cell phone are both examples of electronic recorders. A person whose job involves taking notes or keeping written records during a meeting can also be called a recorder. A now-obsolete meaning of the verb record is "practice a tune," and from this came the 15th century name of the musical instrument called a recorder. These wind instruments are still around, not just in elementary schools.