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Remote Rig on a $1200 Budget
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sofar_dallas
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#1
8th February 2013
Old 8th February 2013
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Remote Rig on a $1200 Budget

Sorry in advance if this should be in Low End Theory, but hopefully the Remote Forum guys will know exactly where I'm coming from...

I need to build a 4-6 channel portable rig on a budget of about $1200. I already have mics, but will be adding to my locker as time goes by.

Looking specifically for suggestions on an interface and preamps. I'm usually recording 4-6 channels, acoustic bands, in "acoustically challenged" rooms. Must be USB (no firewire on my laptop). I want the rig to be expandable, but need 4-6 GOOD channels to work with for now.

If you were starting over with my budget, what would you buy??? Thanks!!!
sofar_dallas
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8th February 2013
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BTW - I'm usually using a mid-side arrangement plus a few close mics or spaced omni's...
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8th February 2013
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How about getting a Tascam DR680 for have the bread in your budget.
Get a great pair of headphones and a few other odds and ends and call it a winning situation for your budget?
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8th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofar_dallas View Post
Sorry in advance if this should be in Low End Theory, but hopefully the Remote Forum guys will know exactly where I'm coming from...

I need to build a 4-6 channel portable rig on a budget of about $1200. I already have mics, but will be adding to my locker as time goes by.

Looking specifically for suggestions on an interface and preamps. I'm usually recording 4-6 channels, acoustic bands, in "acoustically challenged" rooms. Must be USB (no firewire on my laptop). I want the rig to be expandable, but need 4-6 GOOD channels to work with for now.

If you were starting over with my budget, what would you buy??? Thanks!!!
Quite a few options out there to consider, some that are within your budget. May I ask---are you WINDOWS or MAC based?
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8th February 2013
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8th February 2013
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I agree with Steve. The DR680 is our best kept secret and really defies its cost. It's a little more expensive now but I picked one up before X-mas for $515. Line in from my Millennia is incredible and the built-in pres are pretty amazing for the price. Record in a good room and you'll be amazed. And it fits in a backpack with a piece of foam wrapped around it. That's the way I like to travel here in NYC! It also does m/s right in the box!
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8th February 2013
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DR-680 is definitely the best field recorder in its price range.

The analog inputs on mine are a bit noisy though - analog ins/mic pre's are a bit hissy, and I have one input that is unusable for microphones due to some weird internal noise in the mic setting (on line it is OK). That could just be my unit, as others are happy with it.

My best advice would be to save a little more and get an RME UFX.
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8th February 2013
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I havn't used one, but I have been wanting a DR680 for a while now. I read nothing but good and for a buget like that (since you already have the mics) I would look into one. You wouldn't even need your laptop with you to use it.
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8th February 2013
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Thanks for the quick replies...
*I've been using a Tascam US-800 for the past year hooked up to my Mac. Definitely want something more robust than the budget-friendly Tascam.

I'm considering the new Focusrite 18i20 or 18i6 interface and maybe a second external pre for my mid-side pair like an Audient Mico or ART Digital MPA II. I don't really need all of the pre's on the 18i20, but it's nice to have them available for not too much more $$$.

My current mics are a pair of CAD M179's, a CAD e70 scd, and a few 57's. I mix on a pair of ATH-M50 headphones for now until I can set up a good set of nearfield's.
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The RME UFX is definitely on my radar! Wasn't sure I could justify the extra expense at the moment though. I've had a chance to play with a Babyface and really liked it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofar_dallas View Post
Wasn't sure I could justify the extra expense at the moment though.
From past experience, whenever I think this, 9 times out of 10, it turns out I should have waited rather than get something cheaper. Something I am sure many people on these boards would echo.
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8th February 2013
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The RME UFX is definitely on my radar! Wasn't sure I could justify the extra expense at the moment though. I've had a chance to play with a Babyface and really liked it.
The DR60 does looks pretty great. But since you said you have the UFX on your radar, keep in mind you should be able to find a used one for $1650-1700. Not that much more than your budget. It really is ideal for location recording, IMHO. Very nice pres, stable, and with a built in back up system.
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8th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Walker View Post
From past experience, whenever I think this, 9 times out of 10, it turns out I should have waited rather than get something cheaper. Something I am sure many people on these boards would echo.
This. I learned the hard way many times over with this, and not just in recording!

If you can manage with the US800 for a little longer (I have heard about a number of problems with that and the 600, which is odd because my US1641 has been almost flawless appart from some driver issues. Those issues were solved by switching to Asio4all though, maybe that will help with any problems you are having?) I would do that and then buy something you won't have to upgrade later. Also, the idea of having a backup recording being made to a thumb drive would give me so much more peace of mind.
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sofar_dallas
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8th February 2013
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My biggest issues with my Tascam US-800 is a fairly high noise floor. Haven't had too many driver problems, but I'm on a Mac, not Windows. Seems like most of the driver issues people have are Windows related.
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