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  • Need Recording Device Suggetions

    I had a Zoom 2 recorder and liked the sound quality it faithfully recorded, however, it had layers of functions that made it cantankerous to use. I ended up just getting PO'd at the thing and threw it out after three years of use. Are there recorders that have that quality that are easier to use? I was always used to "record", "stop" and "play", etc. No wonder no one in any band I've been in has ever purchased a recorder.....they are a pain in the ass!
    Dennis Hopper's retirement plan, except Dennis is dead
    Retired and likin' it a lot!
    Regards. Rimmer

  • #2
    Stand alone recorders were an interim solution when digital first appeared. You had DAT recorders first. Then when memory and hard drives became larger they bade stand alone recorders. Once PC's could be used most people dumped stand alone recorders for a whole host of reasons.

    1. You have track limitations based on the number of channels the recorder has.
    2. In order to upgrade anything required buying a whole new unit.
    3. Navigating as you've mentioned is very difficult. You need to use a manual (if you can understand it) to get to higher functions and the ability to perform simple tasks becomes a nightmare.
    4. You're stuck using the one set of audio tools built into the unit for mixing.

    I could list many other negatives but you owned one and you probably know this all to be true. The only thing that do have going for them is portability, but even there you have new options like laptops and touch pads that can connect to an interface and be just as portable.

    The benefits of using a DAW are.

    1. You can choose any interface you want so long as it compatible with the computer and the computers minimum operating specs match.
    2. You can choose any DAW program you want again so long as the minimum operating specs are good. don't like one, try another.
    3. I don't think I've had to crack a manual more then a few times and that was only for highly complex things. If you did need a manual you simply click the help button.
    4. Mixing is easy and many DAW's can be customized to your own needs. If all you want on the desktop is Play Stop and Record you could do it.
    5. You have thousands of effects you can download both free and purchasable. The quality of many are as good as their hardware counterparts.
    6. The number of tracks you can recorded is virtually unlimited. If you need 50 tracks to get a guitar part right you could record that many tracks if you wanted you're only limited by the power of your computers.
    7. What's recorded in the computer can stay in the computer till you upload it to a site or burn it to a disk. Getting files off a stand alone recorder onto a computer for burning CD's or uploading isn't necessary so allot of time is saved.
    8. You have High visibility. You can see the wave files and even analyze them with visual tools to detect what your ears cant hear. Editing is as easy as cutting and pasting the words I'm posting here. You highlight, delete, copy, paste etc.

    Again, I can go on an on here. I can say I've been into recording since the 60's I did tape, DAT, Stand alone and switched to DAW recording since 95 and DAW recording blows all the other methods away. I wouldn't consider going back to the formats for any reason.

    There are some things you need to realize however. Interfaces are broken down by how many preamps/converters they have. If you were to buy a 2 channel it means you can record two independent tracks at a time. You can play those tracks back and add 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 etc and build a multitrack mix two tracks maximum at a time.

    If you but a four channel you can record 4+4+4. if you buy an 8 channel 8+8+8 etc until your computer runs out of drive space and CPU resources.

    What you have to first decide is how many tracks you need to record at the same time. If you have a three piece band you want to record you could get by with a 4 track but your drum micing options are very poor. Maybe you could use several mics and use a mixer into one channel. The other three channels would be bass guitar and vocal.

    An 8 channels with a 4 piece band would allow 4 drums mics, 2 guitars bass and one vocal to be recorded at the same time. Of course you can multitrack all you want.

    I have 24 channels but normally run 16 channels. I use 8 drum mics, two sets of mics for each guitar amp, Bass and three vocals.
    I use a wireless mouse and keyboard in the studio so I can operate the computer for a distance and have recorded every session my band has played for the past 20 years. I literally have stack of hard drives filled with band recordings. There's allot of redundant recordings but with my original band I have thousands of one take wonders that I couldn't recreate if I tried. Every so often things just click like they never have before and never will again and when that's captured in a recording its something you can pat yourself on the back about.

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    • #3
      The Tascam DP24SD 'digital portastudio' is a good solution.
      Every worm, every insect, every animal is working
      for the ecological wellbeing of the planet.

      Only we humans, who claim to be the most intelligent
      species here, are not doing that. ~Sadhguru

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      • #4
        Originally posted by onelife View Post
        The Tascam DP24SD 'digital portastudio' is a good solution.


        or the 32 track one.

        Read the reviews cause they took the cd player out of the newest version.
        It's USB out to you computer.


        The newest Tascams have very mixed reviews. The one with the cd burner a buddy of mine has, and loves. His might be the 24 track.



        _____________________________________
        Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

        Join Date: Aug 2001
        Location: N. Adams, MA USA
        Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mikeo View Post
          ...

          The newest Tascams have very mixed reviews. The one with the cd burner a buddy of mine has, and loves. His might be the 24 track.
          A good friend of mine is a singer/songwriter who does not want to deal with computers when he is working on his songs - but he did try the DAW route for a while. After getting frustrated with non music related issues, he went for the DP24 and it is perfect for him. Even though I do most of my work on a MacBook, we can still work together by exchanging wav files.

          Not everyone has the same level of understanding and technical knowledge as WRGKMC and the musical path can get derailed when things don't work as expected. The single purpose stand alone recorders are still a valid choice for non technical musicians who want to remain in the creative side of their brain.
          Every worm, every insect, every animal is working
          for the ecological wellbeing of the planet.

          Only we humans, who claim to be the most intelligent
          species here, are not doing that. ~Sadhguru

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for all your input. I will run this by my band at today's rehearsal for sure!
            Dennis Hopper's retirement plan, except Dennis is dead
            Retired and likin' it a lot!
            Regards. Rimmer

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            • #7
              read the owners manual

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              • #8
                Originally posted by onelife View Post
                Not everyone has the same level of understanding and technical knowledge as WRGKMC and the musical path can get derailed when things don't work as expected. The single purpose stand alone recorders are still a valid choice for non technical musicians who want to remain in the creative side of their brain.
                Considering the OP mentioned in his first post he had a Zoom 2 and complained about it having layers of functions that made it cantankerous to use. I don't see an even more complex stand alone as being a solution to his problem. That's why I didn't suggest it.

                The initial tracking isn't too hard but mixing can be an absolute nightmare for many people. The number of buried menus and poorly written manuals is in itself works against the creative side as you say.

                If you recorded to one then moved the files to a DAW for mixing it wouldn't be so bad. Sitting with a stand alone jumping from chapter to chapter in a hand book just to get the simplest of things done is not my idea of fun. Its actually a friggin nightmare till you do it enough to memorize things. Running a DAW is no harder then browsing the internet or winning an office program once you're past the initial learning curve. You don't have to memorize sub menus either. All the options are right there on the tabs.

                20 years ago I might have recommend a multitrack cassette recorder. I have an Tascam 8 track that's very easy to run but the technology is already dead. I haven't even looked to see if they still sell blank cassettes.

                Again, its not the tracking that's hard with those. You plug your mics in and set the levels and hit record.
                In all cases its getting those tracks to mix well, and nothing comes close to a DAW.
                If you use the stand alone to track then move the files to a DAW for mixing you'd save yourself all kinds of headaches and get a much better mix and master. Of course you'd still need at least a 2 channel interface and the most important item of all - studio monitors. Mixing without a decent set of near field monitors is a wasted effort because you have no fixed standard to mix to without them.

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