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#31
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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You don't get it ... assembling a "small comp" involves a fcking OS such as Windows or Linux or MacOS ... and maintaing a fcking OS takes all your spare time, forces you to require internet connection, exposes you to malware and hacks. Typically the AC power and grounding issues mean you get clicks and pops and shit ... plus the fan noise.

Even a relatively hasslefree Macbook still has fans that make noise.

Computers like to shit on you in public - like when you are in the middle of a gig.

There is a need for simple, bullet-proof hardware that just works, reliably. Computers get more and more complex in a never ending shitstorm of problems.

I'm happy to use a computer DAW for mixing - so if it shits on me I have the time to fix it or replace the fcker. But in the middle of a tracking session or a gig, I just want simple, dependable hardware that works.
#32
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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I think what you guys are caught up on is thinking it "should" be easy to pull a "cheap" gizmo like this out of the manufacturing hat AND at a price point that the manufacturer would make money.

Ain't gonna happen. The planet has already been there.

If it could be done... it would be. It's not like someone needs to "invent" the technology. It already exists. Standalones (the mass of them anyway) already died. They're too expensive to make.. especially if you want to see one retailing at a few hundred dollars.

It's the multi i/o that is where the cost is for developing these toys. That's why the few remaining are still so expensive.

I owned four of the Fostex standalones while they were being made and also a couple of Alesis XT machines. The reason I bought them was for location recording that I could then take back to the studio to transfer to daw.

And the ONLY reason I bought them was because at that moment in 2001 or whatever, ALL laptops were running about $3000. + interface.

The standalones, at $2000 each , were a better bargain than a laptop.

Fast forward to 2012 where you can buy any number of laptops for $400. + interface. That's a GOOD thing.

My Fostex machines and Adat mostly just sit for the past 20 years.

Man... these are FANTASTIC days for laptops. A portable recorder for about $500 and it has a nice large display and keyboard and mouse that my "old" standalones didn't have. That's what a laptop is.

You guys don't realize how cool these days are compared to the short, dark days of the standalones.

I can sit out on the patio with a monitor (wired to the portable sitting inside the door, use a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse, and track all day out there with a line cable or mix.

No way would I fire up one of the Fostex machines now... and I do occasionally rack my brain for reasons to.
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#33
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
The smart thing would be for a vendor to make a modular unit that can be expanded and updated as interfaces and storage options change.

I would love to see a return to hardware for recording. Silent, Li-ion DC powered (for remote options and freedom from AC shit).

I still want to transfer the files to a computer DAW for mixing - so the OS and GUI could be ultra simple and idiot proof. No need for knobs ... i'd be very happy with digital control over the analog section.
Yes that sounds good and sensible. So you can buy the system that suits your needs and not have to cough up for something way beyond neccessary (I REALLY need 48 tracks theses days to get things done... )

They've abandoned stand alone units since laptops superseded them, but laptops are not necessarily the right solution actually.
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#34
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
  #34
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What do you think "hardware" companies use these days? It's just a PC with an LCD screen, probably running a custom Linux OS. And they tend to put fans in it. Noisy little ones. And a premium price, of course. Atom boards run without any fans. Install minimal Windows XP on it and forget the OS... Updates are for the crowd that use Internet and tend to get viruses and such... it's of no use for a DAW. We're using an OS just to run the programs we use, and they're going to run without any problems without any updates.

and Atom boards can run from 12V DC power ~60W PSUs... no noisy PSUs with fans.

Laptops can be noisy, fiddly, and crowded with too much features that take CPU cycles. I don't like them for audio... but they can make the work done if you know how to set them up. Like disable wireless and bluetooth, for starters. If you don't, you could get crackles during the recording even on 10+ cores, it doesn't matter how powerful they are as the Windows OS is crap for real-time audio, Win 7+ even more so.

p.s. however, Atom motherboards are not very powerful, so you can forget making a 100+ plugins production on it. But for the multi-track recording, they're great. IMHO and IME
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#35
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
  #35
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@TC5 How about this: A small and passively cooled Atom board based PC, MOTU 2408 with 2xMotu 24 I/O? It gives you a 56 track recorder for around 3000$ or less... I really don't know anything that gives you better bang for the buck at this price, and that's the one I'm going to use btw as I'm starting to need more than 8 tracks. I expect no problems whatsoever, no noise. Shit perfect. LOL

Cheers!
#36
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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I love/loved the Korg D3200 and it is my favourite stand-alone. Best user interface, and just generally very tape-like in use (scrub that wheel and hear it play backwards in real-time when editing a particular track/WAV) and somewhat in sound. 24-bit for 16 tracks. Just really well designed and usable. Love recording on that thing.

There's no direct input (except for the SP/DIF digital in), so you always have to go through the padded preamps which is why it colours the sound of everything that goes in. But it actually ends up being kinda warm and easy to mix.

#37
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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The thing with dedicated recorders is that they're so seamless and responsive. The workflow is so much better, there's no resizing windows to fit in what you need to see, or starting up this application, or closing that one off, checking for updates, -- or even if you have a dedicated PC/DAW, all the optimizing and shutting down of services. The hardware perfectly handles what you can do.

On a PC, you're typically pushing at resources, things are swapping in and out of memory because you have one too many things opened. Sometimes it's a matter of discipline to make sure you don't have too many VSTi's loaded, or too many long tracks that haven't been trimmed, or any background applications running,... but half the time, our laziness gets to the best of us, and we "tolerate" things because we can't be bothered to do the house cleaning, but in the end, it ruins the recording experience which is such a fickle trip... I mean, if you think about it, we worry about getting the right lighting and intimacy for the mood of the performer... shouldn't we think as much about the mood and experience of the person behind the faders?
#38
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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Quote:
Well, these days you can assemble a little comp for 300EU that's quite capable of recording far more than 8 tracks, man. There's no point in buying a high priced HD recorder. Even the lowest performance computers these days can handle recording dozens of tracks at 24/96.
If only the computer were the expense in computer recording. I have $500 in my current PC...and another $1k in audio/midi hardware...and another $3k in software...and I don't have the IO I need...so, here comes another $3-4k in hardware...and then there was teh $1k control surface which actually affects the SOUND (promise-I was surprised) via the choices made NOT with a mouse...then there's the monitor controller that the Akai has that I am apparently going to have to buy something expensive if the Radial I bought isn't "broken"--because it sounds like a$$.

At the end of this, I will have something approaching $15k in a computer recording set up...not counting analog mics/pres/eq/compressors, which luckily are useable with any system...

Sure...I have an old P4 you could put a RME card and 3xBerhinger ADA8000s...and record/mix to your heart's content at 44. But, who cares? That isn't comparable to high end hardware workstations like the Akai.

Actually, I was thinking the other day that PCM recording is SO mature at this point that what would be the excuse for NOT having a solid hardware solution? Anyone going over 96k? Ever? I've been using computers/plug ins now for a decade...and they've BARELY improved to my ear. The mixer? Not at all, unless you count the non linear stuff like VCC. Reverbs? EQ? Compressors? All a little. And at least the EQ/compressors like Waves CLA/JJP/API run GREAT on that decade old P4. I never tried the reverbs...having external boxes that still, frankly sound as good or better than plug ins...

It's mature. There just really are not a lot of new and cool things in PCM recording, IME. The non linear console emulation is the only thing I can think of from the last 5+ years that even makes much difference...and it's slight, grand scheme. This is except virtual instruments--but, again--other than VSL, which has no hardware equivalent, I don't even use them anymore. That tech is no different than synths of yore--every couple years, a new flagship comes out that beats the last. That stopped (mostly) a decade ago, and it switched to software. So, young people have a weird view of tech, IMO. Comparing a VS2480 to a modern SoftwareDawX...of course it "loses", but it doesn't lose because it's an embedded system. Want me to pull the beige G3 and DP1 out...which was the computer equivalent at the time? You can record all of like 15 tracks of 16/44 audio on a good day. I mean-not at the same time...ga...and you needed an analog mixer, since the latency was measured in hundreds and hundreds of milliseconds. They compare a MotifXFS or whatever they call the new one, which is using tech from 10+ years ago to cutting edge software instruments...I "get" why people don't want hardware. There's been very little designed in over a decade.

Which is why I bought the Kronos. Support Korg FINALLY bringing in the last decade's tech to embedded system keys...man, is it nice to just turn the thing on and make music...
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#39
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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All-in-one multi tracker checking in……Back in March of 2000 I was the first guy in town to own a Roland 1880, and I’ve been using it since. As embarrassing as it is for me to admit, I never could get comfortable with the idea of PC recording. The concept of plug and play is so much more appealing to me, and I HATE fighting with a PC latency, incompatibility issues, etc. There are so many variables involved in PC recording and so many pitfalls that seem to be inherent with it that the entire prospect seems daunting. As valuable as the limited time is I have to allocate to the recording process, the last thing I need is endless variable complications stifling the process. Plus, I sit behind a computer all day long. The prospect of going home, and sitting behind a computer in order to do what I love is simply demotivating.

Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Akai, Tascam, Zoom, et al all designed great multi-track recorders, and when the industry decided it was no longer worth investing in future models the industry took a step back IMO. PC and Mac recording platforms were initially designed for computer geeks and tech-types. PC’s and Mac’s are not inherently musical instruments or musical devices. By design their primary function is to carry out computer processing tasks, such as Word Processing, spreadsheets, mathematical computations, network communications, etc.

Yet, Roland, Korg, Tascam, etc. built great recorders that were designed by musicians and specifically for musicians. The workflow and design was logical, and compared to my experience with PC recording, “seamless,” as another poster previously described it. I love my 1880 so much so that I’ll soon be getting another VS recorder (either another 1880 or a 2480) to pair with it, while simply delegating my PC primarily to mastering functions. These units really feel more like instruments than computers to me, and that’s inspiring.

But, before those of us who love these all-in-one recorders get too depressed, keep in mind that companies like Zoom, Tascam, and Boss continue to manufacture and support select models. The Zoom R16/24, for example, seems to offer the best of both worlds in terms of multi tracking and interfacing capabilities. The other good news is that since so many people have moved on to PC-based recording platforms these old multi-track recorders can be had for cheap. In 2000 I spent almost $5 k on the Roland 1880 with both FX cards. That same unit can be had for around $300 on eBay, which is sick IMO.

Anyway, whatever you do, just pick a platform that makes you happy, and keep on tracking.

Chris
#40
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
If only the computer were the expense in computer recording. I have $500 in my current PC...and another $1k in audio/midi hardware...and another $3k in software...and I don't have the IO I need...so, here comes another $3-4k in hardware...and then there was teh $1k control surface which actually affects the SOUND (promise-I was surprised) via the choices made NOT with a mouse...then there's the monitor controller that the Akai has that I am apparently going to have to buy something expensive if the Radial I bought isn't "broken"--because it sounds like a$$.

At the end of this, I will have something approaching $15k in a computer recording set up...not counting analog mics/pres/eq/compressors, which luckily are useable with any system...

Sure...I have an old P4 you could put a RME card and 3xBerhinger ADA8000s...and record/mix to your heart's content at 44. But, who cares? That isn't comparable to high end hardware workstations like the Akai.

Actually, I was thinking the other day that PCM recording is SO mature at this point that what would be the excuse for NOT having a solid hardware solution? Anyone going over 96k? Ever? I've been using computers/plug ins now for a decade...and they've BARELY improved to my ear. The mixer? Not at all, unless you count the non linear stuff like VCC. Reverbs? EQ? Compressors? All a little. And at least the EQ/compressors like Waves CLA/JJP/API run GREAT on that decade old P4. I never tried the reverbs...having external boxes that still, frankly sound as good or better than plug ins...

It's mature. There just really are not a lot of new and cool things in PCM recording, IME. The non linear console emulation is the only thing I can think of from the last 5+ years that even makes much difference...and it's slight, grand scheme. This is except virtual instruments--but, again--other than VSL, which has no hardware equivalent, I don't even use them anymore. That tech is no different than synths of yore--every couple years, a new flagship comes out that beats the last. That stopped (mostly) a decade ago, and it switched to software. So, young people have a weird view of tech, IMO. Comparing a VS2480 to a modern SoftwareDawX...of course it "loses", but it doesn't lose because it's an embedded system. Want me to pull the beige G3 and DP1 out...which was the computer equivalent at the time? You can record all of like 15 tracks of 16/44 audio on a good day. I mean-not at the same time...ga...and you needed an analog mixer, since the latency was measured in hundreds and hundreds of milliseconds. They compare a MotifXFS or whatever they call the new one, which is using tech from 10+ years ago to cutting edge software instruments...I "get" why people don't want hardware. There's been very little designed in over a decade.

Which is why I bought the Kronos. Support Korg FINALLY bringing in the last decade's tech to embedded system keys...man, is it nice to just turn the thing on and make music...
I just caught that you’d bought the Kronos. Congrats! That’s an awesome machine, and I want one very badly. I’m thinking something like that, any VS unit, a little decent hardware, nice instruments, nice amps, nice mics, and a decent room is all anyone would need to makes some killer recordings. Some awesome recordings have been done with much less.

chris
#41
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
  #41
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I bought the VS-880 the day it came out 1996 for £2000 with FX card..

That thing was incredibly revolutionary for the time.. but the initial OS was terrible and super confusing..no-one could work it. The dealer staff had to go on Roland courses to be able to use it...

I picked up a mint VS-890 (the later 24bit version) for $100 a while back as a demo machine..it's still perfectly usable.
#42
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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+1. Loves my Korg!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jook View Post
I love/loved the Korg D3200 and it is my favourite stand-alone. Best user interface, and just generally very tape-like in use (scrub that wheel and hear it play backwards in real-time when editing a particular track/WAV) and somewhat in sound. 24-bit for 16 tracks. Just really well designed and usable. Love recording on that thing.

There's no direct input (except for the SP/DIF digital in), so you always have to go through the padded preamps which is why it colours the sound of everything that goes in. But it actually ends up being kinda warm and easy to mix.

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#43
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station View Post
I bought the VS-880 the day it came out 1996 for £2000 with FX card..

That thing was incredibly revolutionary for the time.. but the initial OS was terrible and super confusing..no-one could work it. The dealer staff had to go on Roland courses to be able to use it...

I picked up a mint VS-890 (the later 24bit version) for $100 a while back as a demo machine..it's still perfectly usable.
The VS-890 looks interesting. What is the storage media? The specs say hard drive or iomega Zip? the max capacity for drives is 10GB. does anyone make drives that small anymore?
#44
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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I just caught that you’d bought the Kronos. Congrats! That’s an awesome machine, and I want one very badly. I’m thinking something like that, any VS unit, a little decent hardware, nice instruments, nice amps, nice mics, and a decent room is all anyone would need to makes some killer recordings. Some awesome recordings have been done with much less.
It IS an amazing machine...but, it really doesn't sound better than virtual instruments--it just, well-I turn it on and play without regard for project/cpu overhead...sample rate...all with "hardware latency". I just got pissed that since I switched to software a decade ago with Gigastudio (kernel mode driver) Vis have gotten so much "mushier"--between user mode apps, ASIO drivers, and input side scripting--we've sacrificed a lot of playability for like maybe a 5% improvement in sound.

You certainly don't need one for great recordings. Since GREAT recordings don't generally use samples for much of anything. It's my EP/SynthPad machine...plus quick writing scratches of everything...seeing as how I have a real piano and Hammond here...it's cheesey digital EPs are the best I've ever played. That's the most unpopular sound in the world right now...but, damn, they're SO touch sensitive on this guy. The vintage EP modeling/hybrid engine is up there with the best (re:Scarbee) EPs.

I've custom sampled all my custom sound design I've done in old keys over the years...so, now, it is my sole digital keyboard...plus the computer for strings. Their new string expansions (from Korg and Karo) are better than stock, but still not on the level of VSL.

I digress. Yes...fab machine.

I do still think the idea of a new "all 96k" hardware unit--say 48 tracks at 96k...analog master and cue mix section...digitally routable 500 series inputs and analog inserts...with a UAD based engine would sell. Maybe not the quantities it would take to make it worthwhile for a big company...but, basically a virtualization of a traditional traditional small studio. Put the 500 series rack in there so people could pick and chose their own mic pre colors...analog inserts digitally routable so you could have your rack of nice analog goodies and integrated it where needed in the digital mixer. I know--people like their computers...but, I also think there's a large segment of musicians who would A)pay for the convenience and sonics and stability...or B)are compuphobes.

Mackie and Universal Audio already have a relationship...other than the 500 series part, which is just a published spec standard, they already have all the R&D done. Between the Mackie analog and digital mixers and control surfaces...and UA's DSP algorithms and chips and converter tech...ahh...dreaming...
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#45
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
  #45
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I've been using my AW2816 for 10 years. With outboard AD/DA converters, preamps, effects and the Y56K Wave card, I'm still please with the sound I get and I never had problems.
During that same 10 years, I had to replace my home computer 3 times.

I wish Yamaha would come up with a AW2816 up to date (24/96k) with nice faders... a professional machine.
The standalone makers are trying too hard to compete with the laptop route. I would'nt mind paying $10k for a professional standalone. That's $1k/year if I use it 10 years.
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#46
30th April 2012
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Quote:
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The VS-890 looks interesting. What is the storage media? The specs say hard drive or iomega Zip? the max capacity for drives is 10GB. does anyone make drives that small anymore?
Mine uses an internal hard drive.. Not sure of the size.. People are modding them to take flash cards these days. Check the vsplanet forum out.
#47
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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Quote:
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What's up with stand alone multi track recorders? It seems there's fewer of them available than previously. Besides the pricey Radar, there seems to be little selection out there. The Alesis HD24 was for a while a somewhat mid priced option but now discontinued. The low end units (Sonar V-studio 100, Tascam DR 680, etc) seem to fall a little short or are field recorders not meant for overdubbing.

My ideal machine would be a high quality compact 8 track stand alone recorder that's reasonably priced. Nothing really out there? I'm sick of hearing the noisy fan kick in on my MacBook Pro whenever I start tracking in Logic.
Go on Ebay and get a Blackface ADAT for like $60 . It sounds way better than all those Roland VS**** .
#48
1st May 2012
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Originally Posted by BudgetMC View Post
+1. Loves my Korg!
+2!
The preamps and converters in the d3200 do not suck. And 2x digital in if I want to bypass them.
I enjoy using the machine. It isn't perfect but although I have tried, I admit that I hate tracking to a computer. I enjoy editing and comping in the computer, and mixing is ok, but I like recording on the Korg.
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#49
1st May 2012
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it ruins the recording experience which is such a fickle trip... I mean, if you think about it, we worry about getting the right lighting and intimacy for the mood of the performer... shouldn't we think as much about the mood and experience of the person behind the faders?
Yes, I'm at the point where I would like the technology to disappear completely when I'm tracking. I just want to tune out and focus on the music.

Computers are good for editing and mixing.
#50
1st May 2012
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I've been using roland machines for 10 years and I love them. You cant go wrong with an 880.
#51
1st May 2012
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Stand alone multi track recorders

It's sad to see stand alone's become recording history.

Yesterday's technology gave us the ability to capture our musical talents. Today's technology gives us the ability to design them.

Computers are an overkill for what I need. I'll stick with Alesis HDxr's and Korg D3200's.
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Quote:
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Yes, I'm at the point where I would like the technology to disappear completely when I'm tracking. I just want to tune out and focus on the music.

Computers are good for editing and mixing.
Totally agree. This is how I work. I don't do my own editing and mixing though. Just track everything to the HD24,pop out the hard drive caddy and take it to the mix engineer,dump it into Sonar via my Fireport and let the computer do what it does best. And used HD24's can be had pretty cheap. I just sold my non-XR version with 2-40 gig hard drives and an SKB rack case for 500 bucks (after I got an unbelievable deal on a HD24XR). I love working this way and I don't have to learn the complexities of any DAW just yet,although I hope to eventually as I'd like to do my own mixing. Of course you will need a hardware mixer to monitor and set up que mixes with,so that'll add a bit to the expense. Still well worth it in my opinion,just for the simplicity of it all.
#53
2nd May 2012
Old 2nd May 2012
  #53
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I use a ZOOM HD16CD and love it....

I sequence on mu Yamaha Motif then record the sequence chain onto audio tracks in my Fantom G. I then add Fantom midi tracks and then mix it all onto two stereo tracks in the Zoom. I shut down the keyboards and finish my polishing in the zoom then burn it onto a CD and walk away. I have a Protools set up but for tasks that call for little to no editing, stand alone is the way to go. No crashes, no glitches, zero tech issues just pure uninterrupted musical workflow. I have 3 of these units and may be willing to part with one. Thanks KT
#54
2nd May 2012
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#55
2nd May 2012
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[QUOTE=Kiwi;7830874]Somebody really needs to build an affordable battery powered 12 track 24 bit 96 kHz recorder player with no bells or whistles - just simple conversion, clean preamps and solid state storage.


Hell, I'd love to find exactly that in just 2-track. Seems like manufacturers would rather spend $ on bells and whistles than on stuff that actually matters.
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#56
2nd May 2012
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[QUOTE=K.Lastima;7838461]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Somebody really needs to build an affordable battery powered 12 track 24 bit 96 kHz recorder player with no bells or whistles - just simple conversion, clean preamps and solid state storage.


Hell, I'd love to find exactly that in just 2-track. Seems like manufacturers would rather spend $ on bells and whistles than on stuff that actually matters.
It's probably in a different form factor and no faders, but the RME UFX does actually that.. you just might need an additional 8 channel preamp (like the ATI 8mx2 with some nice added mixer capabilities)..

It would be nice if somebody will reintroduce a sort of akai dps24.. in a better quality form than the korg d3200..



Cheu
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#57
2nd May 2012
Old 2nd May 2012
  #57
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another dps24 user here. havent used it as long as most of the folks that own one on GS, but i have to say it changed the way i recorded, in a good way. learned to record in late 90s on computers and kinda just stuck to that since it was all i knew. i bought a used dps24 in august 2010. i had been on the lookout for a newer all in one box, but it seemed like everything was straddling the prosumer and lower budget recorders/demo market. didnt really see anything new that was serious like the dps24 or vs2480.
my main reason was to get away from the music program menus. and the benefits i found were, as mentioned earlier, no more worrying about latency, software issues, and more of an immediate recording experience. helped me also improve my chops. if something didnt sound right, i either recorded it until it did or went back to practice mode until i could get it right.
sayin all this, i would too also like something a bit more modern. i was checkin out the tascam dp24 as it looked like it had some promise. recording to sd and having some long throw faders (albeit unmotorized) seemed like it could be a cool replacement if i ever stop with the dps24 or need something a bit more portable. but i can only imagine that the components of a $600 unit would not compare to the dps that cost $4-5K new.
i would like to get some feedback from folks who have been able to use both and could compare.
it is good to see a group of folks that dig makin music on these boxes.
#58
2nd May 2012
Old 2nd May 2012
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I'm using a Mackie SDR 2496 that I bought new eight years ago for $1300. I do my comping and rendering in Tracktion on the computer, mix in Sonar. I'll be disappointed when it up and dies, made some fine records with it. Plan to upgrade to Radar when it does crap out.
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#59
11th May 2012
Old 11th May 2012
  #59
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Apogee should get on this and produce a recording unit thinking along the lines of the original Duet. Simple zen design, clean and compact. That would sell!
#60
11th May 2012
Old 11th May 2012
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