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Thrip
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#1
6th January 2014
Old 6th January 2014
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Smart portastudio solutions

I got a new Tascam DP-24 that immediately caused me so much trouble that I was forced to return it and search for something else that I can afford that will be reliable.

DAW/computer related solutions are for multiple reasons, inappropriate for me at this time

I've already learned of the superior but discontinued/out of production ROLAND VS 2480 and the AKAI DPS 24, (I'm currently considering an ebay type VS 2480 purchase, but am concerned of phantom power/pre-amp issues).

The new ROLAND R-88 (8 tr with 8 similtaneous trs) seems to be around the same price as a second-hand ROLAND VS 2480. -It seems to allow you to store information directly upon a USB memory stick, -I wonder if it would let you store your files into a portable solid state hard drive?

If this ROLAND R-88 can load directly onto a memory stick and/or portable hard-drive, -that makes up for it not having a CD burner like the out of production ROLAND VS 2480.

Perhaps a Roland R-88 with a Fostex CR-500 Mastering machine, (with it's excellent CD burner) would be a good way for me to go?
What do you think of that combo?
KEL
#2
6th January 2014
Old 6th January 2014
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KEL
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what are you doing with the intended box? just capturing, editing and mixing, mastering? what are the projects for? How many tracks do you need to arm at any one time?
#3
6th January 2014
Old 6th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrip View Post
I got a new Tascam DP-24 that immediately caused me so much trouble that I was forced to return it and search for something else that I can afford that will be reliable.

DAW/computer related solutions are for multiple reasons, inappropriate for me at this time

I've already learned of the superior but discontinued/out of production ROLAND VS 2480 and the AKAI DPS 24, (I'm currently considering an ebay type VS 2480 purchase, but am concerned of phantom power/pre-amp issues).

The new ROLAND R-88 (8 tr with 8 similtaneous trs) seems to be around the same price as a second-hand ROLAND VS 2480. -It seems to allow you to store information directly upon a USB memory stick, -I wonder if it would let you store your files into a portable solid state hard drive?

If this ROLAND R-88 can load directly onto a memory stick and/or portable hard-drive, -that makes up for it not having a CD burner like the out of production ROLAND VS 2480.

Perhaps a Roland R-88 with a Fostex CR-500 Mastering machine, (with it's excellent CD burner) would be a good way for me to go?
What do you think of that combo?
I had a Roland VS and it was OK. Very slow at data transfer, very slow at punching in text for tracks without a keyboard, very slow at bouncing tracks. Then a couple of the autofaders stopped working properly. Then the cd bruner stopped working on occasions. Total nightmare in the end. Imagine the really slow burn onto a disc, maybe a hour or more...then it fails.

I'd go for the newer Roland with stick transfer - it will be quick. I bet it sounds loads better too.

It also looks great.
Thrip
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#4
7th January 2014
Old 7th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL View Post
what are you doing with the intended box? just capturing, editing and mixing, mastering? what are the projects for? How many tracks do you need to arm at any one time?
Although I could enjoy having the 16 simaltaneous trs of the ROLAND VS 2480 I believe that I'de be all-right with the 8 simaltaneous trs of the ROLAND R-88. -The thing is I want to make some albums of song productions -as well as some development session and live performance recordings, -so I'll need to be capturing, editing, mixing, and mastering.
-I just thought that maybe the new ROLAND R-88 with warranty & hopefully "stick transfer" capability -with the Fostex CR-500 (-I was wondering as to mixing onto the FOSTEX CR-500 from the ROLAND R-88 and then mastering & burning CDs etc. from there) -would be the best little answer to my various production needs. -As I understand it the FOSTEX CR-500 would make it much easier for me (who is not with computer) to come up with professional quality masters.
That both the ROLAND R-88 and the FOSTEX CR-500 have the wave -uncompressed formats also suggest that such a kit would be capable of making a simple, but "industry standard" quality product.
-I also need to think about possible Phantom power and/or pre-amp etc. needs.
Thanks for your interest,
Thrip
KEL
#5
7th January 2014
Old 7th January 2014
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The roland R-88 is a really nice compact product. I'm very familiar with the 2480. They can be found inexpensively but as mentioned already, it's ability to communicate/interface with the modern world is lacking. And there is no getting around that you are buying older technology.

8 channels of record is just about enough to handle a lot of things....depending. What you need to consider in capturing live events, bands, etc, is whether or not there are other production setups you have to interface with. In other words, are you going to live performance gigs, or setting up your own from scratch? There is quite a bit to consider actually. For example, consider even a basic 3 piece blues band where two people sing. 3 or 4 mics on drums, bass, guitar amp and two vocals is 7-8 channels and you haven't even put up a mic for the audience. So, in order to squeeze a bigger act ontyo 8 tracks, someone would have to premix some inputs together for you or you'd really have to simplify the mic setup. If you are setting up a session from scratch there are a bunch of other things to consider before you even leave the house..

At the minimum you still need to consider mics, splitters, cabling, stands, DI boxes, Headphones and/or monitors and maybe even a mixer board

The Roland's mixing features are nowhere near a computer DAW. It's more of a capture & storage box that can mix. It's sync features are handy in the video world

as far as coming up with "professional quality masters" , it's really only an empty box waiting for good sources to be fed to it. Then the art of mixing comes into play. That's the whole world of recording that is a profession unto itself. The Roland is certainly capable of capturing clean audio but it's role in the whole process is very minimal.
Thrip
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#6
8th January 2014
Old 8th January 2014
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re the merits of the Fostex CR-500

[/QUOTE]The roland R-88 is a really nice compact product. I'm very familiar with the 2480. They can be found inexpensively but as mentioned already, it's ability to communicate/interface with the modern world is lacking. And there is no getting around that you are buying older technology.

At the minimum you still need to consider mics, splitters, cabling, stands, DI boxes, Headphones and/or monitors and maybe even a mixer board

The Roland's mixing features are nowhere near a computer DAW. It's more of a capture & storage box that can mix. It's sync features are handy in the video world

as far as coming up with "professional quality masters" , it's really only an empty box waiting for good sources to be fed to it. Then the art of mixing comes into play. That's the whole world of recording that is a profession unto itself. The Roland is certainly capable of capturing clean audio but it's role in the whole process is very minimal.[/QUOTE]



-That's why I thought -maybe the ROLAND R-88 could capture said "clean audio" -and then I could mix my some 8 TRS -onto the FOSTEX CR-500. -It is my sense that a much better time of mastering & much better quality master would be more easily done by myself this way as I'm not going to be getting any DAW/computers etc. in the near future.

(*I need computer compatible but not computer reliant solutions these days.)

I see the Fostex CR-500 as possibly the cadillac of mastering pathways, (at least in my price range) -it's even recommended to "PRO-TOOLS" users as a better way to make masters. I'm hoping to mix my 8 ROLAND TRS -directly onto the FOSTEX CR-500, -is there going to be any problem there?

[re USB] Do you know whether or not the ROLAND R-88 indeed allows for "stick transfer" capability? -I must also wonder whether this machine would transfer files into a portable solid state terabyte sized hard drive, -without the help of a computer;
(-considering both of these ROLAND & FOSTEX machines in question deal with non-compressed wave type of formats-)

-I don't consider this proposed prod. kit to be cheap, -but perhaps one of the only minimal ways that I can make product suitable for my "target-market".
-8TRS "clean audio" captured by the ROLAND R-88 & then mixed onto & then MASTERED with the FOSTEX CR-500.-
-Think it'd work?
#7
8th January 2014
Old 8th January 2014
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The RME UFX does USB recording too. I had one. It was excellent but only 4 preamps although it has 8 more inputs for adding preamps.
KEL
#8
8th January 2014
Old 8th January 2014
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The roland is severely handicapped as a mixer. You'll not end up with a pro result using only it. It has 3 band EQ and a pan...that's it. Perhaps for quick or sketchpad reference mixes it might work. No dynamics control, no effects, limited EQ and no real visual way to see everything. Perhaps a regular analog mixer and some racks in between the R88 and the Fostex might be a way to go. The fostex is simply a receiver of a stereo mix. If the mix is coming Digital, like AES or spdif it's only use is to archive that mix, burn it to a tangible medium or convert to 16/44.1 or mp3. If the mix comes in analog, then it's A/D quality comes into play. Any mix unit is really only supposed to be a transparent storage and delivery device.

Mixing and mastering is an entire area of skills needed. There are no mastering tools on either device.
Thrip
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#9
10th January 2014
Old 10th January 2014
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MIXER & MASTERING machines with ROLAND R-88

Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL View Post
The roland is severely handicapped as a mixer. You'll not end up with a pro result using only it. It has 3 band EQ and a pan...that's it. Perhaps for quick or sketchpad reference mixes it might work. No dynamics control, no effects, limited EQ and no real visual way to see everything.

Perhaps a regular analog mixer and some racks in between the R88 and the Fostex might be a way to go.

The fostex is simply a receiver of a stereo mix. If the mix is coming Digital, like AES or spdif it's only use is to archive that mix, burn it to a tangible medium or convert to 16/44.1 or mp3. If the mix comes in analog, then it's A/D quality comes into play. Any mix unit is really only supposed to be a transparent storage and delivery device.

Mixing and mastering is an entire area of skills needed. There are no mastering tools on either device.

-First of all I've found out that the FOSTEX CR-500 Mastering machine has been discontinued, -a fellow @ Fostex recommended the still available DENON CD-R-633 as a "CD recorder" -but would that be good as a mastering machine?

The second issue in question would regard mixers;

I see the ALESIS MULTIMIX 8 USB FX and the ALESIS MULTIMIX 16 USB FX -as well as the MACKIE PRO FX 8 and the MACKIE PRO FX 16 (-that are about twice as much as the Alesis mixers.
(It seems that these mixers are USB -stick-transfer friendly too)
-These ALESIS/MACKIE 8 and 16 tr mixers seem to do about the same things -is there anything serious to recommend one over the other in context with my ROLAND R-88/FOSTEX CR-500 proposition?
(I'm still considering getting a discontinued FOSTEX CR-500)
KEL
#10
10th January 2014
Old 10th January 2014
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Both of those mixers are a decent entry level mixer capable of summing your roland sources out to a master recorder. Neither one can record to a USB stick. The Alesis it can send and receive usb multichannel, the Mackie only master 2-track mix. I don't see how either can really help you with usb there. They both are decently capable mixers. I'd much prefer an Allen Heath Zed like:
ZED-16FX - Allen & Heath
along with the Zed mixer, perhaps one or two:
FMR Audio - RNC
One of these in case you have to interface with somebody's live rig
ART Pro Audio
and a couple of these in the length you need:
MTFM-8

Do you not own a computer? If you do, you can get an SD card reader(or if you have a Mac, many come with it) and save to your external drive that way.

You could go this route:
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/ice-16/
With a slightly bigger mixer:
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed-22fx/
that combo can record right to a USB drive or stick
Thrip
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#11
12th January 2014
Old 12th January 2014
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QUOTE=KEL;9744959]Both of those mixers are a decent entry level mixer capable of summing your roland sources out to a master recorder. Neither one can record to a USB stick. The Alesis it can send and receive usb multichannel, the Mackie only master 2-track mix. I don't see how either can really help you with usb there. They both are decently capable mixers. I'd much prefer an Allen Heath Zed like:
ZED-16FX - Allen & Heath
along with the Zed mixer, perhaps one or two:
FMR Audio - RNC
One of these in case you have to interface with somebody's live rig
ART Pro Audio
and a couple of these in the length you need:
MTFM-8

Do you not own a computer? If you do, you can get an SD card reader(or if you have a Mac, many come with it) and save to your external drive that way.

You could go this route:
ICE-16 - Allen & Heath
With a slightly bigger mixer:
ZED-22FX - Allen & Heath
that combo can record right to a USB drive or stick[/QUOTE]


Thank you for your interest & help. -I shall be pricing & researching these ALLEN & HEATH products, the ZED-16FX & ZED 22FX, mixer, etc. asp. This route may indeed be the optimum path for me.

But as I have been further researching the ROLAND R-88/FOSTEXD CXR-500 -with some sort of MIXER combo I have come up against some significant questions;

-Keep in mind that the RME UFX (that also does USB recording) had only 4 similtaneous trs. and was around the same price as the ROLAND R-88. AETA 4MINX and Sound Device664 & SD788T machines are way beyond my financial means at this time, -I shall investigate the Allen Heath ZED stuff, -but price is a factor.

-Back to the mixer question-
As one may expect, I have been told that the MACKIE PRO FX 8 and PRO FX 16 are much better machines than the ALESIS MULTIMIX 8 USB FX and 16 USB FX. -However I've learned that the MACKIE PRO FX machines are made for live performances rather than recording mixers. Apparently the ALESIS MULTIMIX USB FX machines can be used for both purposes, -but are not considered by many as good enough for really professional mixes.

*I'm reminded that I need to look at recording MIXERS with "INDEPENDANT CHANNELS" and "BALANCED DIRECT OUTPUTS". -Thus enters the relatively expensive consideration of the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I (-of which would require at least 8 expensive DB25 to maleXLR cables should I go with the ROLAND R-88 combo sceme). This is expensive but known as sturdy high quality gear, -an "ANALOGUE MIXER" supposedly with great ONYX pre-amps, -perhaps the compression & reverb/delay etc. are good enough with this mixer to do for the first while?

There's also something else to factor in with my general production apporoach.
*For various reasons I was planning to record directly into the ROLAND D-88's 8 similaneous trs. and THEN run said 8 trs through the mixer -mix-down into stereo -and into the FOSTEX CR-500 for mastering. (I could always send the FOSTEX CR-500 mastered files back to the ROLAND R-88 to be fed into a memory stick).
In this case should the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I make such better quality mix-downs than the MACKIE PRO FX 16 -or other cheaper mixers, (-and I feel that I need it so that I can make the pro-standard rec. art required) I would only need 2 to 4 DB25/maleXLR cables when I would use the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I for its ONYX pre-amps on microphoned trs., as apposed to the "into the mixer, -and then by the way of expensive DB25/maleXLR cables into the 8TR recorder, -running everything recorded on the ROLAND R-88 back through the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I -to be mixed into stereo onto the FOSTEX CR-500 approach".

( NOTE I was planning for a 16 channel mixer only because these ROLAND R-88s sync. & stack up -so that down the road when there may be more of a prod. need and available finances -I could get another ROLAND R-88 so as to work with 16 similtaneous trs.)

Should I persist with my intended "-first into the recorder & then later through the mixer to be mixed down to stereo onto the FOSTEX CR-500 to then be mastered method" I'm told that I could then get away with using a MACKIE PRO FX 16 type of mixer, as I'm only using it to mix everything down to stereo.
-The question is, although with my technique where I could use MACKIE PRO FX types of mixers -would I be able do get as good of a mix-down,(or good enough) sound-wise etc.? -How much difference would there be in my end recording as product? -say between using the MACKIE PRO FX 16 and the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I?

-Would the ONYX pre-amps save me some pense, and are the effects, especially reverb/delay & compression significantly better with the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I ?

In my quest for said "computer compatible/not computer reliant solutions" -there's obviously a financial aspect. -The original ROLAND R-88 recorder, MACKIE PRO FX 16 mixer, FOSTEX CR-500 mastering machine equation just about streched my cash limits beyond as it was. -Should the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I recording mixer be what's nessasary to make the quality of product that I need then I'll be effectivily over-extended -and for some good time there won't be money for pre-amps or racks etc. -That's why it's important for me to consider the merits of the MACKIE ONYX 1640-I 's pre-amp, compression, reverb, special effects, and other mixing advantages & features. -Will I be able to get along without any other pre-amps & racks etc. well enough in this case?

-I'm interested in direct memory stick & USB drive transfer because I can clearly see that the CD is on the way out, (and a good thing it is too).

-Again, -down the road, when prod. needs and the required finances come together and I do get into computers, -perhaps lets say with PRO-TOOLS -I'll then be able to use my ROLAND R-88 and 16 channel MIXER as AUDIO INTERFACES (should I at that time have a second ROLAND R-88 I would then have a full 32 AUDIO INTERFACE, 32 similtaneous recording trs into PRO-TOOLS. -Also the FOSTEX CR-500 is said to work esp. well with PRO-TOOLS. -So in theory even when I move up, -I'll still be able to use everthing as AUDIO INTERFACES, and as well serve as back-up systems should the computer fail on location, -even the mastering machine will still be relevent -with no learning curve.
(Hopefully then, I'll just need to move up to better studio mics & pre-amps & a few racks)

-DO you see any problems with me continuing on at that point -using my field recorders & mixer as AUDIO INTERFACES for PRO-TOOLS DAW type applications?
I assume that the ROLAND R-88 and any of these mixers should also be able to serve as AUDIO INTERFACES is that true?

Cheers,
Thrip
Thrip
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#12
14th January 2014
Old 14th January 2014
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What do you think of the ALLLEN & HEATH QU 16 mixer? or the PERSONAS TUDIO LIVE 16 mixer? the compressor pre-amps, & reverb etc. are said to be great
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#13
18th January 2014
Old 18th January 2014
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ZED-22 FX looks to be mixer solution for smart-porta-studio

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Originally Posted by Thrip View Post
What do you think of the ALLLEN & HEATH QU 16 mixer? or the PERSONAS STUDIO LIVE 16 mixer? the compressor pre-amps, & reverb etc. are said to be great
It seems that after pricing & researching the various mixers the suggested Allen & Heath ZED-22 FX analogue mixer is the one I will go with. -The Mackie ONYX 1680 was too expensive when considering all the racks or outboard effects it would need. -The digital mixers like the STUDIO LIVE 16 (as expensive as the Mackie) are said to be far too difficult to work with.

-I'm sticking with the the ROLAND R-88 (for various reasons -the field mixer being one) -however I may consider the Allen & Heath ICE-16 at a later time should I need 16 more (cost effective non-computer-relient but computer-compatible) silmitaneous tracks in my "smart porta-studio solution"

"SMART-PORTA-STUDIO" idea;

ROLAND R-88 (field recorder/mixer)

ALLEN & HEATH ZED-22 FX (analogue USB mixer)

FMR AUDIO-RNC (compressor)

FOSTEX CR-500 (mastering-recorder machine)

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