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First Time Recorder


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  • First Time Recorder

    Hey guys,

    Got any recommendations for a simple recorder for a newbie? I think I want something that can record without a computer, but have the option to interface with a computer so I can upload music into different formats/media.

    So far I've been recommended the Zoom R8, and I like the idea of being able to program drums and 8 tracks seems like a good time (even though I don't know if I'd use them all). I was wondering though, would it be more advantageous to get a simpler multi-track recorder and then getting a separate drum machine (like an Alesis SR-16 or something)?

    Open to any suggestions/insight.

  • #2
    Can you elaborate a bit more on what you're wanting to record? That will make a big difference in suggestions. A budget is also nice.
    ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ Antelope Zen Tour, Dell Precision 7510 (w/i7-6920HQ, 16GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, 960GB SSD recording drive) Harrison Mixbus 3, StudioOne Pro, Pro Tools 12, and Reaper. Belmont Bigsby, Godin LGSP-90 (NAMM ed.), Godin LGX-SA into an 11 Rack controlled by a FCB1010 with an Eureka Prom. A bunch of other stuff lying around.

    Did I mention that Harrison Mixbus 3 is out? If not check it out. It Is AWESOME!!!


    • #3
      I have not used the Zoom, so I can't comment. Some of the guys seem to like it though, and it does look like it has a nice feature set for someone like you who just wants to do some basic home recording of their guitars.

      You mentioned a drum machine, and I believe the Zoom R8 has one built-in. Is it better to use an external one? Hard to say. That would depend entirely on how well the onboard one is integrated into the functionality of the machine and how comprehensive it is. In general, all-in-one units offer great convenience, but the downside is that if it goes belly-up, everything (recorder, drum machine, etc.) is down until it's repaired or replaced. Also, you can't update parts of it as easily as you could if those parts were separate components.

      Just a few things to think about while you're getting us a budget and giving us an idea of what you want to record.

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter


      • #4
        I've been in a similar situation (I think), wanting to try home recording with some of the same features you mentioned - simple for a newbie and standalone so I don't need a computer. I have a simple USB interface that seems to work great, but for whatever reason I haven't used it much, I think because I can't just sit down and record.

        After a long time shopping around, reading reviews, etc. I decided on a Fostex MR-8. Compared to other recorders from brands like Boss (BR series) and Tascam (DP series), it seems to earn better reviews. What stood out to me in these reviews was ease of use - while people complained about specifically Boss models, they had nice things to say about the Fostex. It can run on 6 AA batteries instead of an adapter for I believe 4 hours max. It also records to .WAV instead of some other products which record to proprietary file formats that would need to be converted to work with as easily. It's an older and I believe discontinued model, so you would almost have to buy used. There were two models, a "MK I and MK II," which both record to Compact Flash cards (a minus for me), and another "HD" model with a 40 GB drive. Going rates on eBay are about $70 for the Mk I (red), $90 for the Mk II (black/silver), and $95 for the HD. I just picked mine up today through Craigslist and hope to be fooling around soon, just want to read the manual first.

        The Zoom R8 seems awesome to me too; I had only heard of the "R" line this week. I haven't looked into it much, but based on what I've read I think it's a feature-packed all-in-one kind of deal but it's out of my price range even used.

        Sorry for the rant, and good luck.
        Looking for anyone in the RI area to jam, practice, etc.
        Good business: colejustesen, theAntihero, dgo ratt, teletaylor, munizfire, stratedge09


        • #5
          Something that I'm considering strongly is a new "handheld" recorder from Olympus. The LS-100 8 track. I want to mount it on a heavy duty mic stand (maybe an Atlas) with a boom. The first release of the LS-100 seems to be pretty buggy so I'm waiting for a firmware release this month (July). Then I'll be reading user and forum reviews to see if it's up to snuff. I find the idea of easily moving it around my house very appealing.