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maarkr

Record 8 tracks...

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I need something to record 8 tracks at once and be able to import them in Reaper/Sonar or other DAW to edit and mix. I thought of using an audio interface like Saffire pro40 or Presonus firepod, then I saw these 3 items that are similar, they record tracks onto itself then I can move them to the computer; Zoom R-16, Korg D888, Boss BR-1600. Those wouldn't need to hookup to the laptop, so one less thing to mess with. There's some reviews out there, but wondering if anyone here has experience with some/all three, or recommend something else. Most all are available used for $300 so that's my budget.

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The saffire stuff is great. I had on/off issues with my firepod and some of the pots got noisy, it was ok for the money but all in all it really is just a cheap inteface.

 

The saffire can be expanded as well so IMO it's the better option here.

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I guess I'm getting direction for an audio interface. I'm thinking this ties me to using a laptop at the recording site, so it adds another piece of gear. Does anyone use the stand-alone recorders (Zoom R-16, Korg D888, Boss BR-1600)?

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Saffire 40 is probably the better interface, you can expand upon it with lot's of stuff, the pre's are probably better too.

 

PreSonus Firestudio Project is great too if you're on a budget. It's expandable only with other presonus firestudio interfaces. I have the Project, and for my needs, it's perfect.

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I have an old Akai DPS16 I use for live tracking. Its only 8 tracks, so I'm going to get a Korg unit, too, and use them in tandem. I like them because there will never be any latency, and it works just like a tape recorder, so you can go in and instantly add and punch-in stuff a lot easier than computer DAW (IMO), and my hands can move over all the buttons on the recorder way faster than I can do that stuff on a computer.

 

The only thing I'll say that's a pain when importing tracks from the akai (via S/PDIF) is that you gotta line the tracks up in the computer - I use my drum machine to put a little click track at the beginning of them all, then they line up really easy later on. The Korg uses USB to import into the computer, which will be nice and will probably make all imported tracks the same length.

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I have an old Akai DPS16 I use for live tracking. Its only 8 tracks, so I'm going to get a Korg unit, too, and use them in tandem. I like them because there will never be any latency, and it works just like a tape recorder, so you can go in and instantly add and punch-in stuff a lot easier than computer DAW (IMO), and my hands can move over all the buttons on the recorder way faster than I can do that stuff on a computer.


The only thing I'll say that's a pain when importing tracks from the akai (via S/PDIF) is that you gotta line the tracks up in the computer - I use my drum machine to put a little click track at the beginning of them all, then they line up really easy later on. The Korg uses USB to import into the computer, which will be nice and will probably make all imported tracks the same length.

 

Even though the Akai DPS16 is an ancient artifact to modern day standards, it still stands it's ground, and it's an overal great sounding machine if you're after decent amatuer recording. It was ahead of it's time when it first came out, and besides it's limitations (mine doesn't have a build-in cd writer, which I guess might be enough reason to look for something else) the onboard effects dont suck, the editing capabilities are useable, and the convenient all-in package is something you won't get from a computer set-up that costs tree times as much.

 

Anyway, I know the workstation crowd is getting smaller and smaller, but I personally would have a lot of fun recording with any of those three recorders you mensioned. Unless you already own a beefy laptop and the right software, there's no way $300 could buy you an easy and somewhat portable way to record your songs. And if you don't need a DAW that's capable of complex midi routing and high-end professional post-production or whatever...Don't let anyone talk you into believing anything else, and focus on your music instead.

 

Impo there's a helluva lot of bedroom artists that go way overboard with their $$$ home studio's.

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