Could Use Some Advice Please!

Lennox Lewis

Member
Messages
130
I am wanting to get into recording. I've been playing music for 30 plus years, but never have gotten into recording. It's kind of intimidated me, despite buying a Zoom HD16 recording device a few years ago. I just never learned to use it, although I lazily didn't put in enough effort to do so either. What
I am wanting to ask you fine folks is which direction you would suggest I go with my current resources.
*I have some birthday/Christmas money to get started. Here are my 2 options:
1. Should I use the stand alone HD-16, learn to use it properly and perhaps build around it (monitors/ mics etc.) I currently have a beta 58 mic-wise too.
2. Or should I buy an interface and some other things to facilitate recording through a laptop/computer?

*** I have somewhat of a limited budget to work with. I would love to hear some opinions on how to get started. It's something I've been wanting to do for ages and plan to move forward with making it happen one way or another. Thanks so much in advance for your opinions.
 

ieso

Member
Messages
3,375
Per this:

"In the past, stand-alone portable 'Recording Studios' primarily existed as an alternative to computer recording systems, but the HD16 is a bit of a hybrid. Unlike many similar products, which tend to record in a proprietary format and require tracks to be converted into WAV files before anything else can read them, the HD16 saves audio in WAV format, so when the Studio is identified to a computer as a USB mass storage device, its tracks are immediately ready to be dragged across into the track channels of Cubase. This being the case, the HD16 could, for example, potentially find favour with musicians as a portable means of capturing song ideas (alongside backing programmed with the rhythm section), who then export the audio into Cubase LE for further refinement back in the comfort of their studio — at which point the HD16 could be pressed into service as a control surface."

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/zoom-hd16

You could use what you already have and do edits and processing in your computer.
 
Messages
1,991
Per this:

"In the past, stand-alone portable 'Recording Studios' primarily existed as an alternative to computer recording systems, but the HD16 is a bit of a hybrid. Unlike many similar products, which tend to record in a proprietary format and require tracks to be converted into WAV files before anything else can read them, the HD16 saves audio in WAV format, so when the Studio is identified to a computer as a USB mass storage device, its tracks are immediately ready to be dragged across into the track channels of Cubase. This being the case, the HD16 could, for example, potentially find favour with musicians as a portable means of capturing song ideas (alongside backing programmed with the rhythm section), who then export the audio into Cubase LE for further refinement back in the comfort of their studio — at which point the HD16 could be pressed into service as a control surface."

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/zoom-hd16

You could use what you already have and do edits and processing in your computer.
I'm assuming that Cubase LE was included with the HD16, but if it converts to wave, I'd imagine the user isn't limited to using just Cubase. Assuming I'm correct, I just thought this was worth mentioning for anyone new to DAW software. I'm probably stating the obvious here but it may be helpful to beginners
 

MrTAteMyBalls

Member
Messages
3,980
It really depends on what you want to record. Full band or just guitar + voice?

If the standalone unit seemed complicated for you then moving to software will be even worse. I might start with what you have just to learn the ins and outs. there is so much to learn about mic type and placement for each application, plus all sorts of other important stuff that you can learn without the need for anything else.

So At minimum some monitors would be a big help plus a couple of different mics.
 

makerdp

Member
Messages
529
Learn to use what you have. If you find it frustrating then move on to something else. Throwing money at something unknown when you don't even fully understand what you have is not a wise thing to do with your money. You can build a system (monitors, mics, etc) around the Zoom and if you just don't get along with it at all, you can look into a DAW but you may find it is all you need. If not you can reuse every piece of your system with the DAW (as someone else already mentioned the Zoom can also act as your audio interface if you move to a DAW-based solution) so no money wasted.
 

chunky48

Member
Messages
782
My advice...
Sell the Zoom before you spend your Christmas money on new recording gear.
There's a guy who's recorded a couple of our gigs with an HD-16, and they've sounded fine. That said, having recorded an album on the newer Zoom R24, the HD-16 did look kinda complicated and fiddly.

It depends on what the OP wants to record and how they want to build up their recordings. If it's only a couple of tracks at a time then the R8 would make sense.
 

soundchaser59

Thank You Great Spirit!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,689
If the standalone unit seemed complicated for you then moving to software will be even worse.
Yup, correct answer. If you don't master the Zoom standalone, then the software will be even more abstract. If you master the standalone first then the concepts will become second nature to you, then the software method will seem like a next logical step instead of like a deeper blacker hole.
 

makerdp

Member
Messages
529
Yup, correct answer. If you don't master the Zoom standalone, then the software will be even more abstract.
OK even though I am on the record suggesting he learns what he owns first so he's not just throwing money at his problems, I have to totally disagree with this statement. I came from the self-contained world (started on the VS880 and eventually moved up to the VS2480) and when that died I moved to software DAWs. For me, the move was a breath of fresh air. Everything was SO much easier to do on the PC. Probably has something to do with the mouse and huge screens and software (Studio One Professional) that is designed first and foremost with an easy work-flow in mind... not to mention the staggering choice of plugins. I did lose portability but I never really used my stand-alone out of my studio anyways.

If you want to try a software DAW, go ahead and here is how you can do it cheap...

I am a SONAR refugee (dumped it when Gibson pulled the plug in a feeble attemptto avoid bankruptcy) and now I am on Studio One, but if you do want to dabble in the software DAW world, the company that took over for Gibson (Band Lab) now offers SONAR for free... the full version. You can give that a try and if you are used to "old school" mixing console environments it will be a leaning curve but at least familiar looking/functioning. If you want to drop very little coin just to try it out, I would recommend Studio One Artist. I should have gone with Studio One before I wasted several hundred dollars on SONAR it's that good.
 

soundchaser59

Thank You Great Spirit!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,689
OK even though I am on the record suggesting he learns what he owns first so he's not just throwing money at his problems, I have to totally disagree with this statement. I came from the self-contained world (started on the VS880 and eventually moved up to the VS2480) and when that died I moved to software DAWs. For me, the move was a breath of fresh air. Everything was SO much easier to do on the PC.
That's exactly the point, though, isn't it? You had already mastered your standalone device, and that is the only reason why the move to PC based DAW was a breath of fresh air for you and for me. The OP does not have that luxury, he basically has no idea how to use his standalone, and because of that the move to PC will be just as baffling. There is a fundamental difference between your move and his move. If he had already mastered his standalone then I would agree with you completely, that is a great point from which to jump to PC.
 

makerdp

Member
Messages
529
That's exactly the point, though, isn't it? You had already mastered your standalone device, and that is the only reason why the move to PC based DAW was a breath of fresh air for you and for me. The OP does not have that luxury, he basically has no idea how to use his standalone, and because of that the move to PC will be just as baffling. There is a fundamental difference between your move and his move. If he had already mastered his standalone then I would agree with you completely, that is a great point from which to jump to PC.
Nope. That's not the point at all. The point is a software DAW is enormously more intuitive to use than a stand-alone unit because of the already ingrained familiarity with the operating system and how to use a PC/Mac in general, the larger screen so much less changing to new views, fewer clicks to accomplish tasks, intuitive menu structures, keyboard shortcuts, templates... I could go on...
 
Messages
271
Silly little question? Do you happen to have a Mac?

If so, Garage band is a very simple free program, you can probably find an inexpensive interface on reverb that will get you going. If you dig it, Logic is $200 with the same workflow and you can always upgrade the interface later
 

Digitalman

Member
Messages
2,041
Silly little question? Do you happen to have a Mac?

If so, Garage band is a very simple free program, you can probably find an inexpensive interface on reverb that will get you going. If you dig it, Logic is $200 with the same workflow and you can always upgrade the interface later
This. No one ever states what type of computer they have in these threads. Mac? GarageBand is free and easy. PC? Most beginners lean toward Reaper.

Flip the Zoom for your interface.

But I concur, if you were daunted by the Zoom, you’re just headed for the same thing here.
 
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Teal_66

Member
Messages
3,286
There's no worse feeling than really wanting to do something, but everything about it seems nebulous, and there's no worse sucker than a newbie in recording.

Here are some options:
1. Get a good book on beginning recording. Learn the basic language. Get your brain to understand what's going on with signal flow, sound, mics, interfaces, room acoustics, etc.
2. Sign up for a class or short course in basic home recording. Whether online or at a local college or something - this will bring to light what you want to learn, particularly with regards to the DAW.
3. Do not run out and buy gear if you don't even understand the basic process. Companies will sell you anything. They don't care if you know how to use it or not either. Anyone can go online and spend $950 on a Neve preamp, but that might not be a smart buy, especially if you don't know anything about microphones, or how to use the pre. Maybe a crappy little USB interface isn't the right thing for you - maybe here is where you spend a little money?
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
12,756
Your next step is to get a drum machine or find some loops that you can play and record directly into the Zoom. (You could always download and import them, but then you have to be careful to match the format, which I believe is 16-bit 44 kHz (CD format) .wav file.)

Record the drums to the hr16, then play a guitar part to it, add a bass part, etc and pretty soon you have a song. After you have done that - then download Cubase and import the files to your computer to open up a new session.
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
7,881
I am wanting to get into recording. I've been playing music for 30 plus years, but never have gotten into recording. It's kind of intimidated me, despite buying a Zoom HD16 recording device a few years ago. I just never learned to use it, although I lazily didn't put in enough effort to do so either. What
I am wanting to ask you fine folks is which direction you would suggest I go with my current resources.
*I have some birthday/Christmas money to get started. Here are my 2 options:
1. Should I use the stand alone HD-16, learn to use it properly and perhaps build around it (monitors/ mics etc.) I currently have a beta 58 mic-wise too.
2. Or should I buy an interface and some other things to facilitate recording through a laptop/computer?

*** I have somewhat of a limited budget to work with. I would love to hear some opinions on how to get started. It's something I've been wanting to do for ages and plan to move forward with making it happen one way or another. Thanks so much in advance for your opinions.
Use what you have. Put it this way, if you didnt want to learn how to run the HD16, the DAW I use has a 400+ page manual. Hd16 is relatively simple. Plus, there is a lot to learn about the external aspects. Maybe youll find that more engaging and frankly with a solid approach to mics, micing, room treatment, avoiding phase cancellations, arrangement, isolation, an hd 16 should be able to get you quality recordings and mixes. Not sure about mastering, I think not.
 

markedman

Member
Messages
813
***STOP! *** THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED!

Yes, I'm screaming at the top of my lungs! If the channel is red, you're recording, green is playback. FF, REW., Play, stop, pause. All your old favorite buttons, Zero learning curve, 0. You can concentrate on making music. I'm a caveman and even I can use it!

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/L12--zoom-livetrak-l-12-digital-mixer?mrkgcl=28&mrkgadid=3301332522&rkg_id=0&product_id=L12&campaigntype=shopping&campaign=aaShopping - SKU - Live Sound & Lighting&adgroup=Live Sound Mixers - Zoom - l12&placement=google&adpos=1o1&creative=280136034424&device=c&matchtype=&network=s&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmafhBRDUARIsACOKEROPIa0M4RXkS_gh4ZY12yl8GaN03UKVgqp9svhpoq9Xco6_4wacf1kaArt3EALw_wcB

I wrote and recorded this song yesterday in an hour tops.

 
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vashuba

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,626
not sure of your budget, but here is an idea
Macbook pro - best processing you can get.
Logic pro-
then all used gear - interface ect
 




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