Personal recording recommendations?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by trumpus, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Hey,

    So i should preface this post by saying i have little to no knowledge of recording. My old band recorded a demo in a studio, but I had very little to do with the actual recording process. The only recording I have done myself, was using an old tascam analog 4 track to record my guitar (either direct or line out from my amp) and some vocals.

    I am interested in finding an easy to use, somewhat inexpensive, portable way to lay down ideas. I don't play with a band anymore, so the only thing I would need it for would be to record either my acoustic guitar direct or a line out/mic of my amp, and 1 or 2 vocal tracks. I'd prefer something digital, and prefer a standalone unit, with the capability to input (via USB/Firewire) to my computer so that I could burn the tracks to a CD. I'm less inclined to get one of the USB/Firewire audio interfaces for the computer, in that i have no recording software or any experience with any, and for me, it seems like it would be more than i need.

    Realistically, i want something that can sit on top of my amp, and i can hit record when i want to lay something down, or awith a little extra work, do some very rudimentary multitracking of guitar and a few vocal tracks. IF a system had some extra capabilities (like rhythm section tracks) and such, I wouldn't be opposed, but they aren't necessary.

    Any suggestions for inexpensive solutions?

    Thanks in advance!

    Brian
     
  2. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    I know, in general, that Zoom is probably not the best company to look to for this, but i guess what i am looking for is something like this:

    Zoom PS-04

    Does anyone have experience with something like this. Are there better versions or companies making a similar product that is better?

    Anyone? I know my question is similar to that in the thread below about inexpensive recording, but i don't think i need something so extensive, as i am not recording drums, and really only need this to get basic ideas out of my head and onto a disc so i can review and listen to them....

    Brian
     
  3. LithiumLulu

    LithiumLulu Guest

    I picked up a Zoom MRS-4
    [​IMG]
    for $30 at a yard sale. Works great for sketching out ideas.

    They're on ebay for between $50-100 or so.
     
  4. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    Korg also makes something similar.

    http://www.korg.com/gear/info.asp?A_PROD_NO=PXR4


    There are cool demos and stuff on the website. Steve Vai did one. It also includes effects and amp modelling. I have no direct experience with this model. The one comment I heard from my guitar teacher is he thought it was really cool until he tried to use the built in mic and it was extremely noisy. I'm sure that problem would be solvable but he took it back. I use a D16 and it is perfect for what I do. There are some great deals around on small hard-disk multitrack recorders, but its pretty hard to beat $30.

    Shawn.
     
  5. LithiumLulu

    LithiumLulu Guest

    I should add that the built-in extras like cab simulation and effects are crap, but I've thought that about everything I've seen that was less than $600.

    The nicest recorder I've had a chance to play with was the Boss BR-1180CD. They go for about $700 - $750 and the built-in effects are decent. Onboard CD recording is nice too.
     
  6. edgarallanpoe

    edgarallanpoe Member

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    Big +1 . I have the Boss BR-900CD and love it. I picked it up for $450 with a 1 gig card. Its like a sore pecker...you just can't beat it. :D
     
  7. Antero

    Antero Member

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    The easiest, cheapest thing ever for a computer is Audacity. It's free.

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    If I need something really quick-and-dirty, I just use that and the mic built into my laptop.
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    Presonus Firepod + Sonar Home Studio + firewire card + my Laptop = best investment i've ever made. :cool:
     
  9. 2x6L6

    2x6L6 Supporting Member

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    I've had a Zoom MRS-4 for a couple years and it really is a pretty cool little tool. Thing I found that I don't like is that I end up back at the computer to deal with the recorded music.
    So I recently purchased a Line 6 Tone Port UX2, and upgraded to Ableton Live 5, and I LOVE this system. My Zoom's not getting much use at this point. Next stop - a laptop so it is indeed wildly portable. The Line 6 is cheap, comes with very cool recording software (Live 4 Lite) and the quality is fantastic.
     
  10. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    wow the zooms old!
     
  11. stump

    stump Member

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    The Boss BR series is good for what you're looking for. The BR 600 does 8 tracks, has built in drums, guitar and bass modeling and has USB for transfer to PC. They go for $350 new. I have the BR 1600 and although it's more money and less portable, it has phantom power, 8 XLR and 1/4" inputs, programmable drums and bass, guitar,bass and mic modeling. The BR1600 goes for about $1100. The BR Micro is 4 tracks and works well for real portable recording and pretty good demos/ scratch pad. It is limited on inputs and the amp modeling isn't very good. Tascam has an 8 track Portastudio that's mistakenly labeled Portastud that sells for $250 at Musician's Friend. It has less features but is a great price for a digital recorder. All this being said, I think that the BR600 fits your requirements the best. Good luck.
     
  12. foghorn99

    foghorn99 Supporting Member

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    Really simple/cheap:

    1. Use the amp's "Line Out" into your laptop/desktop. it might be a bit compressed, but if you don't want to get a SM57, this is the cheap alternative.
    2. Use AUDACITY (free) for multitrack recording. For a bit more money, there are other programs that may include drum track sequencers.

    That's it. Simple?
     
  13. devinb

    devinb Member

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    I like the sound of an old tape four-track. I might try to get a reel to reel at some point for home recording, but I think home recording has come such a long ways that it just sounds off compared to studio, where as four-tracks sound cool and lo-fi, and that bothers me less. I say four-track it and then dump it to a computer.
     
  14. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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  15. foghorn99

    foghorn99 Supporting Member

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    Not sure I'm understanding....is this a question about Audacity or someone doubting that Audacity can do what you need.

    In my circumstance, being a muscian that does EVERY instrument myself....yeah, one.....at.....a.......time....I'm good, but not THAT good (LOL).........Audacity was the perfect beginner tool for recording each instrument one at a time....and it's FREE.

    It has good basic features such as click track, fade in/out, amplify/attenuate, bass boost, EQ, noise reduction (doesn't work very well, though) AND...post-recording VST plug-in capability...both built-in and accepts external VST DLL's. It has no real-time VST or soft synth hosting capability....I use Synth Edit for that.

    PM me if you have further questions. I'm not an expert, but it seems to work for me....just visit my myspace for samples. I'm sure that there are better packages now....but this is what I have been using for the past three years.

    Thanks.
     

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