Simple 4 Track Advice?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by photoguy, May 16, 2006.


  1. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Looking for a simple 4-track recorder to allow me to do some recording at home. I don't know the first thing about these machines, though I do have a couple of things in mind:

    Price- ideally in the $200.00-300.00 range.

    Ease of use- I don't want to make a career out of figuring out how to use it, the simpler the better. Sound quality is not an issue.

    Output- I'd like to be able to burn a CD when done...if that means hooking it up to my MAC to do this, that'd be OK, something self-contained would be even better! I'd be happy listening to my recording efforts via headphones in the meantime.

    A built in clik track would be a nice bonus.

    As an example of what I'd like to do...take "Here Comes The Sun" for instance, I'd like to be able to record 2 or 3 guitar parts and eventually lay a vocal track over it. Presumeably each of these tracks would be seperate and editable until the final mixing (?).

    Any ideas? Does anything like this exist in my budget? Is there a better way?

    Thanks-

    Gary
     
  2. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    and it's for sale here on the emporium, a Roland VS-840, but I'll explain how it may or may not meet your needs.

    It only has 4 1/4" inputs, no XLRs, so if you have an XLR mic, you'd need a transformer (~$15 or so). One input can be switched to guitar level impedance for direct input of guitar.

    It has a lot of built in effects, for guitar, reverbs, mic simulations, voice effects. It has digital out so you can output to either a dedicated CD burner, or a PC with digital in and CD burner but there are no digital inputs.

    Overall it is rather complex with a large manual to do quite a bit of things that are now usually done with computers, it's actually a multi-track digital recorder, and a digital mixer.

    However, there is a quick start 4 page, 10 step guide to get you just recording and overdubbing. The sound quality is pretty good at the default or higher level (there are 4 levels of compression, but no option for pure uncompressed)

    There's a forum over at www.vsplanet.com where they talk about them if you want to ask or do more research.

    I'd only recommend this if you're definitely not going the computer DAW route, can live with compressed audio formats, and can work your way through a manual if you want to get into the trickier aspects of this unit.


     
  3. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Let me do a little research. It might be a little more complicated a unit than what I was hoping for.

    Gary
     
  4. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I have a Tascam 488 mkII 8 track cassette deck for sale. I do have a guy locally that is interested in it, but he has not yet made a commitment. Sound quality is decent, and if you have good gear can be better than that. I also have a 424 4 track, but I need to keep it awhile yet, as I an transferring all of my really old 4 track stuff to digital. Once I get that task out of the way, I'll sell it as well.
     
  5. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Thanks for the heads up...since posting the question though, I've discovered GarageBand (already have the Mac). With a small investment in an interface and a mic...I should be in business.
     
  6. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    If you can afford it, get a firewire interface. The Presonus FireBox has some good reviews from what I have read at the GarageBand discussions pages. I am using a Tascam US-122, and although I like it fine, I wish I'd have waited and got the FireBox, instead.
     
  7. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Thanks for the tip.-

    Gary
     

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