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  • Anyone else hardware only?

    I'm curious to know if anyone else here doesn't use a PC to make music.

    And anyone who's gone from using hardware (eg, multitrackers etc) to a DAW, how did you find the transition?

    I think my main reason for not moving over to a DAW setup is there just seems SO much to learn and, to be honest, my moments of creativity seem to come along so infrequently (about as often as Halley's Comet) that I don't want to be spending half my time trying to figure out how to work stuff.
    I do sometimes feel like I'm missing out on a lot of cool things I could do with a DAW that I can't with my Tascam 24 track, synths and guitars but for simplicity's sake I think I'll stick with what I've got.

    Any comments?

  • #2
    I'm not sure if I am counted as hardware only guy. I use computer but only to record audio and overdub stuff with freeware program called Audacity. I can agree that there might be a steep learning curve for some people but using a simple program just to record audio is very simple to use. I do not use sequencers at all because I do everything in live... if the Zyklus is excluded because it's very special tool specially for musical creation.
    "I'm totally opposed to all these expensive bull**************** computers (sequencers). They can do whatever you want but not in the time you want. People have lost the essence of time. One said to me: 'With this new computer I can create something in one or two minutes'. This is an eternity. I can do that in a split second. But the split second doesn't come into account because the previous computer could do it in 10 minutes - so for them, 10 minutes to two minutes is really great progress!" - Vangelis

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    • #3
      Oh gosh hardware multitrack recorders are inferior in every way. They are great idea pads, can record shows or practice, maybe produce a good demo, but that is about it. I guess in the hands of an amazing producer recording amazing musicians something can be had. I will focus on the good of DAWS and not the bad of hardware recorders.

      CLEANER SOUND
      MORE OPTIONS, editing tempo, phrasing, over dubbing, all done in the visual realm
      MORE TRACKS AND CHANNELS
      EXPANDABLE BY BEING THE CENTER FOR ALL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE PLUGINS AND ADDITIONS.
      CAN fix almost anything.
      CAN be software only other than MICS, Pres, and good conversion; of course room and treatments.

      That is just beginning.

      Comment


      • #4
        And anyone who's gone from using hardware (eg, multitrackers etc) to a DAW, how did you find the transition?


        Lol, I did the exact opposite. Started making music when I was 15-16 with warezed FL Studio and VSTs, moved on to buy hardware synths and now I only use them and record everything to an '80s portastudio.

        I feel I get a better workflow using only hardware. I stare into a computer monitor 18 hours a day and when I make music I want to get away from that. Also, I never finish anything when working in DAWs as I keep going back to make inaudible changes to the mix, OCD style. When recording to tape, done is done and can't be changed. Plus it sounds better. I also like the limitations of a set amount of channels and the challenge in bouncing them without degrading the sound quality too much.

        Oh but I do use a computer from time to time, obviously, for transfering the songs into the craptastic world of digitalism and sometimes to MIDI sequence ye olde TR-626 (the man who came up with the UI for that thing is a jerk). Alas, feelin' a bit faggy whenever I use a computer to make music nowadays, I do.
        www.lospalindromas.com

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        • #5
          My analog tape multi-track begs to disagree with you, Razz. Even though your computer can have more options, more editing, and more channels, it wishes it had analog tape warmth Also, "clarity" can definitely be argued about, especially in the mixing stage, as digital summing is perfect on paper but in practice, a lot of people end up moving to analog mixers in their DAW setups, and they say that this improves the sound of their mixes.

          Hardware-only guy here, Leonard. Not a computer in sight in my studio (well you could argue that my Alesis Masterlink and my Alesis Fusion are computers, but I digress...)
          http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

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          • #6
            I use a Yamaha AW 4416 to record my music.

            I have to deal with PC's all day at work; don't want to deal with that at home in the studio.

            When I turn it on, it just comes up ready to work; no updating or "can't find XXX" or any other recalcitrant computer crap. The scene memories are very useful, too.

            YMMV, of course.

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            • #7
              Anyone who's gone from using hardware (eg, multitrackers etc) to a DAW, how did you find the transition?


              I went from cassette 4-track (w/FSK MIDI sync) to a Boss BR864 8-track to a Tascam 2488 24-track and finally to a MacBookPro/Saffire Pro 40/Ableton Live last year.

              The transition to the DAW sucked. Still sucks in some ways No question that Live is far superior for mixing and editing compared to the Boss, but the flow for tracking is not as smooth.

              I'm just doing hobbyist demos, so the Boss was adequate for my needs (and far superior to cassette) but I convinced myself I needed something "better". When the 2488 turned out to have a bug when using MIDI sync, I jumped to the dark side. It hasn't made my music any better, it hasn't made me more productive and cost me time (to learn) and money (to buy the interface and software). I should have just fallen back to the Boss but that's water under the bridge at this point oke:
              My VCAs go to 11

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              • #8
                Hardware only. I hate computers for making music. Too much bul****************: upgrades, extensions that foul everything up, patches, plug-ins that don't work as they should or won't work with the version of software you have. Too much troubleshooting. It worked fine yesterday and won't do **************** today. Why? Hate 'em. Too damn much trouble that has nothing to do with making music. Too expensive as well.

                I use a Zoom 16 track studio. It's easy to use and always works as it should. It doesn't require any special skills to operate it either. The manual is written in English for the rare times I need to look something up. If I don't get an idea for 6 months, I know that when and if I do, I can turn on the Zoom and capture it without having to relearn anything, or wonder why the hell the web browser I updated 3 months ago is crashing my music making software. Is a full state of the art Pro Tools set up better? Of course. But not for what I do. I even hate GarageBand.

                Being a complete hardware guy as far as instruments go, I like the limitations hardware provides. When my songs have drums, it's real drums. When the big 8 voice choir kicks in at the finale, it's 35 rather subjectively tuned tapes from a Mellotron weezing and coughing away thru a 1978 tape echo. Just wish I had more time and space to do it lately. I really need to get back to recording.
                Alesis QS8, Ensoniq Fizmo, Oberheim OB-12, E-MU Vintage Keys Plus, Rhodes 73 Stage, Wurlitzer 145, Wurlitzer 146B, Wurlitzer 206A, Yamaha CP-70B, Yamaha CP-30, Kawai EP-608, Hohner D6 Clavinet, Mellotron M400, Hammond M-3, Vox Jaguar, Baldwin Fun Machine, Wurlitzer MLM, SCI Pro-One, Moog Rogue, Arp Explorer I, Moog Opus 3, Arp Omni 2, Multivox MX-202, Crumar Orchestrator, Crumar Performer, Akai AX80, Akai AX60 w/S612 sampler, Korg Poly 800, Ensoniq Mirage, Roland CR-78.

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                • #9
                  Nothing but complete respect for this group of guys keeping tape and multitrack recorders alive. I wish I could agree. I just know that with enough money invested in the right DAW and killer computer, outboard gear, ( Pres, mixers, MICS) the right VST's, the right AD/DA converters, preferably hardware, the right room, good reference monitors, the know how, oh and yes talent, one can make a record label LP ready for the mastering house. This level of professional quality cannot be had the other way these days, not in a home studio.

                  Oh and by the way CR, I would most definitely define your Masterlink as hardware. I used to have an ADAT--Masterlink combo, loved it.

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                  • #10
                    This level of professional quality cannot be had the other way these days, not in a home studio.


                    Yes it can. You've heard of people like Rick Rubin, right? I'd say he knows professional quality better than any of us... the fact is, people still do it without a computer. An OK quality analog mixer that will beat ITB mixing can be found cheap in the used market, plus tape multi-track machines also can be had pretty cheap these days. The rest of the equation is the same - the room, the pres, the compressors, the monitors, etc.

                    It's a choice, not a necessity.
                    http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

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                    • #11
                      I work in the computer for recording and whatnot but I am getting more interested in outboard hardware as time goes on. Not recorders but specialized gizmos like the Elektron Octatrack and other bits like that.

                      Out of interest, I searched on Google for suppliers of magnetic audio recording tape. I found a Dutch company called RMG International that still makes reel-to-reel tape. I also found a site where you can buy a 10.5" (metal) reel of their 1" wide tape (2500" long) for $154.75 each. Yowza!

                      FYI I started my career at 3M working on the physics of magnetic recording on magneto-optical disks and particulate and metal-evaporated tape. There was a lot of really good technical and basic scientific work done in that area that is fading from the collective living memory of the science and engineering world in general. This is similar to the photographic film industry, a field where coincidentally I also worked as a summer intern (at Eastman Kodak Research Labs) during college and graduate school. My first real technical publication was on modeling the way certain sensitizing dyes attach themselves to the surface of the silver halide crystals in photographic film (Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Volume 130, Issue 2, July 1989, Pages 568-577).
                      Gribs

                      ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

                      G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I know old school studios sound better, but can we find and maintain such things these days in the personal setting. What about pitch correction, laugh, gag, or spit, it is needed and can really help vocals. Also it is now a style which yes, laugh, gag, spit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think old school recording gear sounds like that which we are accustomed to hearing. I am not sure why adding harmonic distortion ("warmth") to music is desirable other than this. Is there a psycho-acoustic effect where we like sounds with certain harmonic and/or phase distortions? I also think some older recordings sound better because the engineer(s) didn't compress the dynamic range out and/or overcrowd and/or muddy the mix. There is also room acoustics.

                          I also think that a singer whose voice sounds like arse can have perfect pitch and sound like an arse with perfect pitch...

                          I think it would be cool and fun to have a reel-to-reel deck. I knew a guy who had a four-track Teac - down the street from me - and he recorded my brother and I and one other guy playing a song (guitars, bass, synth, with overdubs). He also had a Mini Moog (this was ~1979 when I was 14) then dumped it out to a cassette for us - great fun. My uncle had a similar system but for quadraphonic audiophile tapes. What was that tape width, 1/4" maybe?

                          Also one of my office buddies says his brother made a living at one time repairing studio (pro) analog mixing desks, and you just cannot buy desks now with the number of turns per pot that you got in those old things. So there was more to the old gear than just being analog - there was sensitivity.
                          Gribs

                          ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

                          G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I know old school studios sound better, but can we find and maintain such things these days in the personal setting. What about pitch correction, laugh, gag, or spit, it is needed and can really help vocals. Also it is now a style which yes, laugh, gag, spit.


                            And what about having actual talent, so you don't need all these pitch corrections and fake stuff?...

                            I've had zero problems with my reel tape unit I got back in 2000, thank God. I wish I could say the same about the computers that came and went during that time...
                            http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK. You beat me down. I love the MC-909 and even love the MV-8800 more. But I do need logic for the internal sounds in logic are really good, even though I am Roland fan. Mike Acosta who is now back with Roland, thank God, has done the most wonderful thing. He has put out a good video tutorial on using the Roland Juno Gi as a controller, interface, and sound source for Logic, simply brilliant.

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