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HELP. What is a good multi track recorder?
Old 13th October 2004
  #1
Here for the gear
 

HELP. What is a good multi track recorder?

I am fairly new to the recording world. I am looking to get a good, pretty cheap, recorder. What ones do you guys recommend? I have been looking at Yamaha aw2816 and aw4416. But I want to know if there is better or whatnot.
Thanks,
Jim
Old 13th October 2004
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Yeah there's better.

Studer A800's are a WHOLE lot better.


What do 'ya wanna do and whuz your budget?
Old 13th October 2004
  #3
Gear Addict
 

I've had good experiences with the roland machines, the 16 and 24 track versions. The preamps aren't great, and the onboard effects are about as good as most plugins, but as a basic deck they're very good.

Myself, i prefer using a computer-based DAW.
Old 13th October 2004
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I just want to record the songs ive made: guitar, drums, bass, keys, etc. My budget is around $900 to $1000 tops. Whatever I end up getting ill get used on ebay or HC.
Thanks for your guys help.
Jim
Old 13th October 2004
  #5
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

You really need an all-in-one box?
If so, also have a look at the Akai DPS series.
If not, I'd seriously consider a DAW.
Old 13th October 2004
  #6
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j tron. with respect with that budget
you might consider an amf athlon pc for a daw.
easily do 60 tracks, and have more editing flexibility.
you can get one for around 500 bucks.
add something like a delta sound card and a small mixer,
and some recording software.
just an idea. if you want more info just ask.
Old 13th October 2004
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the info Manning. If you could give me some more info that would be great. Im not too familiar with the DAW so if anyone has info on that too, thats'd be awesome.
Thanks,
Jim
Old 14th October 2004
  #8
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

If you could give me some more info that would be great. Im not too familiar with the DAW so if anyone has info on that too, thats'd be awesome.

I don't want to talk down to anyone, but it's worth checking to make sure we're all on the same page. A DAW isn't a product, its an acronym for "digital audio workstation" or generic computer based recording system. In other words, a PC and some software. The suggestion being made is to grab a powerful but inexpensive PC, add on a couple of accessory bits (soundcard, maybe a mixer) and your choice of audio recording software. If cost is a primary concern, that is one way to go.

ON the other hand, if you are a musician who doesn't want to spend all of your spare time learning how to drive the DAW bus, a hardware audio recorder might be more of a plug+play solution.

How many tracks do you think you need? If you can get by with 8ch, there are many inexpensive products out there, but I'm not familiar with which are the good ones or which to avoid.

Just to mix things up a little; are you aware of how much studio time you can get these days for your thounsand bucks? There are more than a few (thousand.....) bands that have recorded their first CD for that amount. And you get all the benefits of an engineer operating the gear while you concentrate on your music. Just a thought......
Old 14th October 2004
  #9
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Hammer v2's Avatar
dude, Have you factored in mics, cables, headphones...............
????????
Sure you'll be able to get an ok DAW or multitrackboxymixy-thing but usually that is only the tip of the cash iceberg.....

Not shooting you down here mate....Just an oft overlooked part of the puzzle.......

If you're going down the DAW path and want to record a band on a teensy budget...you'll have to factor in mic pre's to get the right levels going into your computer, other wise you'll be stuck with only 2 inputs at once.

A cheap ADAT card and a bear-rinder ADA8000 box with Ntracks or similar should do the job for you. An ardvark Q10 (comes with 8 pre's built in) will also work (Ithink the ardvark comes with cakewalk 9 as well).

The other option is of course to go to a commercial studio and get it done properly.......








Good luck with it!
Old 14th October 2004
  #10
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 

Quote:
dude, Have you factored in mics, cables, headphones...............
????????
Sure you'll be able to get an ok DAW or multitrackboxymixy-thing but usually that is only the tip of the cash iceberg.....

Not shooting you down here mate....Just an oft overlooked part of the puzzle.......
True, but I think we all agree that a PC/Mac as DAW is more versatile then a semi-pro harddisk recorder (Roland/Akai). Like DAW's those things also have a steep learning curve for someone who isn't in to recording right now. The only downside it that you have to install the software and drivers, and the other machines work right when they come out of the box. But you could also buy a DAW from a specialized company, allthough a bit more expensive. But I think nowadays a lot is really plug and play.

Allthough I think it's great for a band to track at a real studio, it's also a great experience to track your own band. Maybe you could see this as a pre-production thing, to see what works or how everybody is playing their parts. They'll be more rehearsed when they enter a real studio. I think you all agree that a lot of bands some not well prepared if they haven't been in studio before. And not to think of the arrangements and also the playing. ("hey this doesn't work, you're playing it differently", "no man, I've always played it like this!")

Buy a fast PC, for the latest best specs ask the PC guys here. And buy a card with some no-latency recording mode. I would say for not so much money buy an RME Multiface. And as mentioned before, you need some mics and mic preamps. If you go for cheap, check the Behringer 8 channel mic-pre. If you like something a bit better go for RME octamic/MackieOnyx/PresonusDigimax/Focusrite octopre. As for mic's get some Shure SM57 / 58's and maybe 2 condenser mic's for overheads and acoutic guitars, things that need sparkle. There are now a lot of those Chineze condenser mic's that aren't that bad to start with: Audio Projects, SE, ADK, are there any more, guys?
Old 14th October 2004
  #11
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jtron. i would be happy to post a suggested daw configuration and all the rest of the stuff needed. but i need to know your budget please. the daw would be based around a amd athlon
computer. i would also like to know how many mics you need to record onto seperate tracks on the computer at the same time.
this will help suggestions on soundcard.
if you only need to record one track at a time this will be less expensive as a multi input sound card wont be needed.
also do you have any computer knowledge currently ?
its now a pc world, and things will be easier if you do.
meanwhile to familiarise yourself read up on this forum and other sites like cakewalk.com and nuendo.com and audioforums.com
on what people are doing with amd athlon pc's as well as amd 64 pc's which are even more powerfull. also the high end opterons. though these are very expensive.
this will give you a good bases to make intelligent decisions on the route to go.
Old 15th October 2004
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Thanks again.
First let me say again, my budget is around $1000.
I have thought about mics. Not really about pre's. But I do have a mic lineup that im looking at.
As for how many inputs I need. Im not sure. I don't need that many for now, just enough for drums. Would it be best to get a multi input now or can I just upgrade later?
I do have some computer knowledge. If I need help I have my brother or friends who are really good with computers.
I also heard that building your computer is a good way to only get what you really need. Is that something you guys would recommend?
Thanks,
Jim
Old 15th October 2004
  #13
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

I recommend building the computer yourself yes. Will save you money and gives you the option to choose the components you want.

Is $1000 for the computer and the pre's and the audio interface? That's gonna be hard, but might be possible... Some ideas:

Adat interface for the computer:
Marian Marc-A , around 130euro

AD/DA convertor with build in pre's:
Behringer ADA8000 , around 240euro

This will give you 8 I/O with 8 pre-amps, should be enough for drums.

Leaves a bit more then 600 for computer and software, shouldn't be a problem! Both Steinberg (Cubase) and Cakewalk (Sonar) have versions of their soft that are less then 150, so 450euro for the computer.

Good luck!
Old 15th October 2004
  #14
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by GvdB
True, but I think we all agree that a PC/Mac as DAW is more versatile then a semi-pro harddisk recorder (Roland/Akai). Like DAW's those things also have a steep learning curve for someone who isn't in to recording right now. The only downside it that you have to install the software and drivers, and the other machines work right when they come out of the box. But you could also buy a DAW from a specialized company, allthough a bit more expensive. But I think nowadays a lot is really plug and play.

Allthough I think it's great for a band to track at a real studio, it's also a great experience to track your own band. Maybe you could see this as a pre-production thing, to see what works or how everybody is playing their parts. They'll be more rehearsed when they enter a real studio. I think you all agree that a lot of bands some not well prepared if they haven't been in studio before. And not to think of the arrangements and also the playing. ("hey this doesn't work, you're playing it differently", "no man, I've always played it like this!")
Point #1

What's the purpose here? If your working out songwriting ideas and stuff you can a hell of a lot of work done very simply with a 4-track, even a cassette four track. If the goal is a finished polished recording save the dough and hit a studio. If you want to be an engineer then it's somewhere in the middle and you need to start investing in tools.

Point #2

Most of the bands that I work with do pre-production recording by recording to DAT or CD or something fast, easy & cheap. Hang a mic or two in a room, record a litte so you can hear things. Maybe move the amps around or adjust the volumes so you can hear everything fairly well and then play your ass off and make copies for everyone.
Old 16th October 2004
  #15
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jtron 1k is tough. small budget but maybe doable.
as well as deltas suggestion - a good one heres what i would suggest.
1. a yamaha mg mixer with 8 mic channels.
the 8 directouts go to 8 ins on...
2. delta 8 channel input sound card.
3. an amd athlon pc with 512 ram, and two fast 7200 rpm drives plus all the usual stuff.
4. the multitrack software i use which is powertracks from pgmusic.com. 49 bucks and does 48 tracks. check the demo out.
i love it.best bang for buck imho.
5. cad gxl mics are only 50 bucks. or mca sp1 (jim williams has posted on how he upgrades these cheap mics to sound great).
if you shop wisely this should sneak in around 1k or maybe a bit more. but note this is for only 2 mics. you will have to add more money for more mics.
the above will get you good sound for little money.
a lot of people feel the yamaha mg preamps are better than the behringers. but try both and draw your own conclusion.
Old 17th October 2004
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Ok. Since a daw is based on a computer, in order to record I would have to bring the computer where im recording at?
Oh. How hard are the recording programs to use? I have samplitude on my computer now (it doesnt work) but when I open it up, it seems pretty confusing.
Thanks
Old 17th October 2004
  #17
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i dont understand your first paragraph.
lets say you have a control room isolated from the main recording room. in the control room you would put the screen, mouse,
keyboard,,,,,and some people put the tower itself in a seperate well ventilated area in the control room.
or just make sure you use low noise components in the tower like quite fans for example. just in case someone wants to record vocals in the control room.
on the software side, any software has a learning curve.
imho samp is a very good package. you dont need anything else.
just familiarise yourself with the HELP.
note : i also use its younger sibling magix music studio.
tip: make sure when recording mono tracks you set the track property to mono NOT stereo.
just start playing with samp. you wont do better.
Old 17th October 2004
  #18
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Yes, you'd have to bring the computer to the location you record. If you plan to do recordings on location often, an all-in-one solution or laptop might be easier...

DAW software isn't all that hard imo, but i can imagine it can be confusing at first if you're not used to it. The possibilities are way more advanced then a standalone recorder of course.
Old 18th October 2004
  #19
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by DrDeltaM
Yes, you'd have to bring the computer to the location you record. If you plan to do recordings on location often, an all-in-one solution or laptop might be easier...

DAW software isn't all that hard imo, but i can imagine it can be confusing at first if you're not used to it. The possibilities are way more advanced then a standalone recorder of course.
If your after simple get a standalone recorder. It goes back to my first point. Whuddawanna do with it? Think about workflow too, if I'm sketching out ideas I'd rather not deal with a computer. I wanna toss a mic up, hit a power switch and then the big red button.
Old 18th October 2004
  #20
Gear Addict
 
rynugz007's Avatar
 

J tron, an "all in one" box or "studio in a box" like the yamahas you originally mentioned are great as well as the roland vs series recorders. They will keep you happy for a while unless you outgrow em. A computer or "daw" setup has its ups and downs too. Heres a little comparison for ya-

studio in a box- portable, easy to maintain, small learning curve, more convenient to buy and resell, limited editing features, limited upgrade potential, basically good for demos and small projects.

I've owned both the roland vs1680 and vs2480, they were both very reliable (never crashed) but i eventually wanted to do more.




computer "daw"- steeper learning curve, can have problems getting them up and running if you dont know what your doing. Very versatile and flexible, you can swap compents and software as your needs grow (upgradeable and expandable). Great for any type of recording project. A tweekers dream

Check out the presonus firepod. Its an all in one interface that has 8 to 10 inputs or so (plenty for drums) and comes with cubase le (a nice stripped down version of cubase recording software) Its around $600 american and has its own mic pres (no mixer required). All you need to add is the PC.
Old 18th October 2004
  #21
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by rynugz007

Check out the presonus firepod. Its an all in one interface that has 8 to 10 inputs or so (plenty for drums) and comes with cubase le (a nice stripped down version of cubase recording software) Its around $600 american and has its own mic pres (no mixer required). All you need to add is the PC.
Good idea!
Old 19th October 2004
  #22
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Hi. That firepod looks pretty cool. Can anyone give me more information on it. Also, If I got something like that would it be smart to get a laptop? I want it to be pretty mobile. If so, what kind of laptop. I don't want to spend a lot on one, considering my budget is around $1000.
Thanks,
Jim
Old 19th October 2004
  #23
Gear Maniac
For easy use and fairly high quality two track recording (44.1 sampling), you might consider a Superscope.

Superscope PSD300

I got mine on Ebay for about $880. I can hardly go through a day without using it! It's great for recording gigs and rehearsals directly to CD. I find that band members are more likely to listen to CD's for study review than to have to FF or Rew a cassette tape. You can use the onboard pres, or run any mic pres through the AUX input for higher fidelity recording. The only hangup is that if the unit is vibrated very much by bass or drums, it will error. Thus, I draped a few small bungy cords across a plastic sweaterbox and rigged a kind of shockmount for the whole unit. recording rehearsals and gigs really helped my band prep for going in the studio last August! Plus I use it as a notepad for song ideas. you can also copy CD to CD....slow down or speed up playback without affecting pitch for lifting licks or slow practice, or change keys on playback without affecting tempo. A great little unit! I'll always have one handy.

John Hedger
Old 19th October 2004
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Also what about the motu 896Hd or the 828? And with these units, the motu's or the firepod, can you playback what you have recorded directly from these or do you have to transfer it to a computer first? Oh, and on some of my songs I have electronic drums, can I import those to the unit and play along to them?
Thanks everyone!,
Jim
Old 19th October 2004
  #25
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rynugz007's Avatar
 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...255623-5325429


research brother and inform yourself.

The interface (motu 896, firepod..etc) is a means of converting your analog audio to digital audio. The computer's hard drive is what stores the data.
Old 19th October 2004
  #26
Gear Addict
 

a laptop with firewire interface is a totally viable mobile setup. i have a mac powerbook that i use with a metric halo 2882 (or uln 2) and dp, sounds great & no problems at all (yet).
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