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OT: Recording Gear??


Gooma

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I realise there is a forum dedicated to this subject, but some of you guys posting clips here create the most amazing recorded sounds i have heard. Bob Savage and Randy Van Sykes come to mind.

 

I havent any recording gear at all so i`m starting from scratch,

I have been tossing up between going the digidesign Mbox route with my laptop, or a Boss digital 8 track recorder. What are the pro`s and cons of each??

Would either unit coupled with a shure sm 57 be ok or would i need to look at a decent Mic pre amp also.

 

Any suggestions at all greatly appreciated as i`m kind of stuck as to which way to go. My budget is probably only going to allow me to look at the above or simular.

 

Brad :)

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Cheers for the info steve, much appreciated :) i`ll try and Find red ant on here and PM him. I dont want to spend a fortune on recording gear, just the basics.
I`m leaning towards the M Box as midi isnt something i know a whole lot about, and from the little i do know pro tools is great if your not into midi.

Brad

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Originally posted by Gooma


I havent any recording gear at all so i`m starting from scratch,

I have been tossing up between going the digidesign Mbox route with my laptop, or a Boss digital 8 track recorder. What are the pro`s and cons of each??

Would either unit coupled with a shure sm 57 be ok or would i need to look at a decent Mic pre amp also.


Any suggestions at all greatly appreciated as i`m kind of stuck as to which way to go. My budget is probably only going to allow me to look at the above or simular.


Brad
:)



Hello Brad,

Whether you go with a PC or dedicated hardware based system should be based upon whether or not you mind and are capable of doing troubleshooting on a PC in the case you run into problems. As good as interfaces and multitrack software is nowadays, there's always the possibility for issues due to the wide variety of hardware configurations on PC's.

If you go with a PC based system, and assuming you don't need more than two input channels/pre's (the mbox does SPDIF so you should be able to increase the inputs) and you don't need MIDI, the M-Box option is probably a good one.

What's your budget?

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I found the learning curve on an DAW and PC based software to be very steep, and I'm pretty good with that kind of stuff. On the other hand, with a Tascam DP01FX I was up and recording in 10 minutes. For simplicity, get a standalone digital recorder.

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Originally posted by Bob Savage



Hello Brad,


Whether you go with a PC or dedicated hardware based system should be based upon whether or not you mind and are capable of doing troubleshooting on a PC in the case you run into problems. As good as interfaces and multitrack software is nowadays, there's always the possibility for issues due to the wide variety of hardware configurations on PC's.


If you go with a PC based system, and assuming you don't need more than two input channels/pre's (the mbox does SPDIF so you should be able to increase the inputs) and you don't need MIDI, the M-Box option is probably a good one.


What's your budget?

 

 

Hey there Bob,

 

The only issue i have going with the m box is the problems that could arise with my laptop as i do a lot of my business on it as well.

 

Would i be better off buying a dedicated PC and running the M Box from there in you opinion?? I have seen quite a few M box packages on ebay quite cheap, around $300. I guess i`d be looking at spending around $600-700 all up incl mic`s etc so i dont really know if there are any other options in this price range.

Cheers for the advice

Brad

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Originally posted by GCDEF

I found the learning curve on an DAW and PC based software to be very steep, and I'm pretty good with that kind of stuff. On the other hand, with a Tascam DP01FX I was up and recording in 10 minutes. For simplicity, get a standalone digital recorder.



This is my only concern, the steep learning curve that is. I guess i`ll have to actually read the manual for once :) Thanks for the input.

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Originally posted by Gooma



Hey there Bob,


The only issue i have going with the m box is the problems that could arise with my laptop as i do a lot of my business on it as well.


Would i be better off buying a dedicated PC and running the M Box from there in you opinion?? I have seen quite a few M box packages on ebay quite cheap, around $300. I guess i`d be looking at spending around $600-700 all up incl mic`s etc so i dont really know if there are any other options in this price range.

Cheers for the advice

Brad



You should be able to use your laptop, plus, for $600-$700, you're not going to put a system together that includes a new PC. That said, yes, a dedicated system is by far the best route to go. Digital audio can, and usually is both CPU and disk intensive, so the other processes that are running on a "general use computer" can cause performance issues, particularly memory resident virus and spyware scanners, software firewall's, etc.

Anton (Red Ant) has a lot of experience with the M-Box, definitely contact him for advice, plus he might be able to get you a great deal on a new one.

There are other low cost options out there. Take a look at www.m-audio.com for some others.

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Originally posted by Gooma



This is my only concern, the steep learning curve that is. I guess i`ll have to actually read the manual for once
:)
Thanks for the input.



On the flipside, while I haven't used a dedicated setup since the 4-track cassette I used in the mid 80's, I found the PC based setup to be very easy to figure out.

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Thats reassuring to know Bob, i have done a bit of research and from what i have been told at least the pro tools platform is quite a good one to navigate. Having said that i`m sure i have a lot to learn. Im really looking forward to the challenge tho :D

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I'm currently using protools free version for my computer based recording.
I truly hate computer based recording (and will for as long as I have a challenged computer).


I find that I am happiest with dedicated hardware units like The boss BR1200CD which I am saving for:

The advantage: portable. Can record vocals while sittin on the can. No ram or computer processor speed issues (a godsend for people with {censored}ty comps).

CONS: Moving parts that break eventually and need repair. Will become obsolete eventually unlike computer recording programs that are easily update/upgradable.
No access to cool plugins.

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If you are going to be recording all of the time, it may be worthwhile to go to a computer-based setup, as in the long run (when and if you have money to get really serious) this will ultimately give you the most flexibility. By the way, there are several pro tools setups, and from what I read the basic stuff sounds nothing like the high end pro tools used in the studio.

If you are not going to be recording all of the time, a stand-alone is the way to go for simplicity and convenience. I own the Yamaha AW4416, which is an amazing box. 16 tracks, 8 auxs (I can make up to 5 independent headphone mixes at one time), up to 44 inputs if you buy the 2 add on cards (8 inputs at a time in its most basic configuration). Built in FX, automated mixing. The sound quality can be superb if you know what you are doing. Yamaha no longer makes the unit but they can be found on Ebay pretty readily. It will cost a little more than the $700, but is worth it IMO. The only drag to it is that it does not have a VGA out like the Roland units. However, it does not compress the audio files like the Roland units do, so you have to weigh those against each other.

You can lose a lot of creativity in the time between having the idea hit you and executing it to tape (or hard drive these days) because you are booting up crap, plugging in cables, setting up routing, figuring out why you are not getting sound, etc. Even with my AW, I keep one of those hand-held tape recorders (like you would use for dictation in an office) close by to capture ideas that come to me when I'm jamming.

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Originally posted by Gaf-Yag-A-Ton

I'm currently using protools free version for my computer based recording.

I truly hate computer based recording (and will for as long as I have a challenged computer).

 

 

I use PTFree on my system too and, strangely enough, I feel the same way as you. Maybe it's time to switch software?

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I have used both dedicated disk recorders (most recently the Yamaha AWG16) and a laptop, I prefer the laptop solution because it seems easier to edit and master tracks. While the yamaha had track editing and mastering capabilities I found myself outputting the tracks to my computer and mastering them from there. I don't think I did this for any other reason than I liked to look at the waveforms on a bigger screen (my unit didn't have a VGA out as I recall) and I am used to messing with software based applications.

Right now I am using a Apple Powerbook with a Presonus Firebox interface. What I like most about this is that the Presonus is bus powered so I can record for a while using only battery power. It also has midi support should you decide you need it. For software I am running Cubase SX3 but I think the $100 LE version is just about as good if you aren't syncing anything up to video and don't need timecode.

Really though, it is a preference thing. Both work very well. I have a coworker who uses a Korg dedicated unit, he is very good with computers but says that since he uses them at work everyday the last thing he wants to do is mess with them at home.

Good luck!

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