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Roland or Tascam? Help me decide

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Brusco, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    I think I want to do the standalone thing. My local music store has the Tascam 2488 which goes for $1200 new. BUT, there's this used Roland VS2480 that's calling my name also. Which would you rather have?

    Maybe one is easier to use? more reliable? Better sound quality?
    All important to me.
     
  2. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I'd rather have the Roland.
     
  3. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    The Roland is used and costs the same as the Tascam. I have to go back and see if he Roland has the cd burner or any of the other expandable items.
     
  4. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, it should have a cd-r built in, unless it's the newer dvd-r version.
     
  5. stephenT

    stephenT Silver Supporting Member

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    I've found tascam stuff easier to use. my buddy Bill Sheffield

    http://www.billsheffieldblues.com

    recorded his latest "Journal on a Shelf" on the tascam 2488 and it sounds very good. Bill is not a technical guy but figiured out everything he needed to do on the Tascam. I understand the roland interface isn't so easy.
     
  6. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Roland stuff is not the easiest to use! I have a Roland 1824CD just lying around cause the thing is just a PITA to use. I just dont have the patience to figure it out. I bought a tascam DP01 8 track just to have something I could use to document ideas and its a breeze! Recorded a song in first hour I had it! I wish they would expand this old portastudio design with more tracks. Id buy another in a heartbeat!
     
  7. bjm007

    bjm007 Member

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    Neither.........

    I've used the Roland stuff quite a bit since they first came out. They do a decent job, but in the end there are just some inherent imitations in sound quality.

    Get yourself a decent preamp, converter, computer and get Cubase SX3.......

    Just my 2 cents
     
  8. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    I may just take that under advisement.
    In what price range would you consider a decent preamp and converter? I think at least 4 channel. How about the MOTU? I am planning on that G5 in the near future.
     
  9. bjm007

    bjm007 Member

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    Just depends on your budget...

    I'm not a big fan of MOTU for preamps or conveters, but they make decent midi boxes...

    On the low-end you could certainly get by with a little over a grand, which when you factor in the cost of a computer and compare it to the Roland stuff is going to give you much better overall fidelity...

    Something like a RNC RNP (Preamp) with a little Lucid converter. They are about $450 and $700 respectively...

    You can sure spend a whole lot more, but unless you have invested a bunch more $$$ in other gear, you may not hear the difference.

    A nice mid to high-end setup might be one or two API 3124 4-channel mic pre's with an Apogee Rosetta 800 8 channel ad/da converter. It's a lot of money, but you'll have just about all you're gonna need in the way of pre's and converters to make pro quality recordings.

    Then all you need is mics, cables, compression, plug ins, monitors, switcher, and the list goes on and on and on.............

    I guess that's why they call it the "Gear Page" ;)
     
  10. Turbozag

    Turbozag Senior Member

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    I'd also opt for the Tascam.

    I also agree with those who say Roland is harder to use and their user manuals suck, and always have.

    I recorded a tune on my Tascam 788 24-bit hard-disc recorder the first night I opened the box. It's still one of the best recordings I've ever made...

    In fact, if money is tight, you can find a used Tascam 788 with CD burner for around $500. The sound quality is superb, and it's loaded with features, and is fairly easy to use.

    FWIW, YMMV.
     
  11. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    I'd love to do the API/Apogee setup but it's just not in my budget.. good advice well taken though. Maybe in the future when I get sick of the amateur sounding recordings I'm getting..

    The Tascam 788 looks good as a scratch pad for ideas but I think I need to step it up to at least to the 2488 to record my band. I want to mike a couple guitars and do at least stereo mics on the drums. I don't think the 788 has the XLR's I would need.

    My local recording dept. guy is recommending the Firepod and Cubase. He say's I'll get the same sound quality as with the Tascam.
    Another friend of mine said that the Tascam 2488 will have good pre's and good EQ's -- and I won't get a better signal into my software going straight through an interface>software.

    I got to make up my mind about this stuff.
     
  12. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I usually like Tascam products but the 2488 has a few big drawbacks. The biggest is the fixed sample rate. Only 4 xlr ins.

    The VS2480 on the other hand, has twice the # mic preamps, channels, et. More complicated, yes, but 3rd party plug support and an actual GUI (important if need to visualize what's happening inside the box) gets you closer to a decent computer based DAW without the computer.

    Either will be fine for scratch pad recordings but the Firepod/Cubase (or Sonar 4) will be a better investment, imo.
     
  13. BSHARP

    BSHARP Member

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    BOSS BR-1600 (Roland) gets my vote. Designed for musicians - not engineers - about $1200+ new - and very easy to use.
     
  14. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    I'm in about the same position you are. I've been using a 788 for years and I've been REALLY happy with it. I've pretty much outgrown it now and I'm looking to upgrade. My general satisfaction with the 788 makes me lean towards simply replacing it with a 2488. I'm still reading, so obviously it's not a done deal, but that's the top contender for now.
     
  15. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    I have also used the 788 for years and have a love-hate relationship with it. For what I do (mostly solo guitar, few tracks...) it's almost overkill--I am drifting ever more surely toward doing everything on the computer. Right now I use the 788 primarily just to capture raw material, then do all the editing on the PC because editing on a tiny little screen with button punches vs editing on a big monitor with a mouse is just no contest.

    You may have already found them, but there are lively 788 and 2488 forums on www.cmoore.com. Might be worth posting your question there too.

    All this said, I've done plenty of recording on the 788 and if there's been a problem in sound quality from time to time, it's more due to things like crappy preamps than to the 788.

    One last point: Tascam's support for its base of loyal users absolutely sucks. E.g., they took down a very active and helpful 788 user forum overnight with no warning and no archive--which spawned the 788 Refugee forum on cmoore.com. By and large they've shown chilling disregard for their customers. Bear it in mind. It's not just about the gear itself. I would be disinclined to give them more of my money.
     
  16. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    Zen, thanks for the link to cmoore. I had a Tascam 244 Portastudio in the 80's that was great for a while. When the buttons and other mechanical parts started going bad I tried to contact Tascam for parts. Suddenly I remember how much help I got.
    Anyway, I'm now seriously considering the Firepod. I'm sold on the 8 XLR inputs and hear the preamps are not bad either. It comes with CubaseLE which is upgradable, all at about half the cost of the 2488. OK the Firepod ain't no Rosetta but really not bad at all for an entry level setup.

    On second thought, Why can't I get a Mackie Onyx 1620 (with optional Firewire card) and use Mackie Tracktion2 to record/edit? The Onyx 1620 appears to have good preamps and EQ. I like the idea that I have a control surface too with dials and all..

    Would the Mackie setup work the same way as the Firepod/Cubase setup? Could someone help me weigh the differences? There's just so many options and limits with all the different hardware out there, it's hard to know everything. That's the reason I was going for the standalone unit in the first place.
     

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