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Discussion Starter #1
...i have decided that i would prefer not to take my band into a recording studio.

what i want to do is rent or buy decent mics, and record the raw tracks in my home studio, then turn them over to a qualified and properly equipped engineer/producer.

what is the best way to record raw tracks, digitally?

computer?

-dh
 

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The best way for our situation and probaly yours is the use of the Mackie Onyx 1640 with fire wire connection into a laptop..You still need a program like cubase or something similar to record the tracks. All the audio is saved as a wave so you should have no problem handing them over to your producer.
 

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Jeff Flowerday said:
At that price you are getting into laptop with firewire interface price.
and you get more storage...
 

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david henman said:
...how about something like this:

http://www.akaipro.com/prodDPS24.php

"Up to 24 tracks simultaneous recording" for approx $3,000.

-dh
Couple things:

It only has 12 preamps so really you could only do 12 tracks without spending more money on additional preamps.

It will only do 12 tracks at 24/96. I assume you want to give your engineer the highest quality possible.


That said a computer system will be a much bigger pain in the butt. Disabling devices and services, making sure you have the proper firewire chipset etc etc.
 

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jroberts said:
If you're not mixing it yourself, you don't need a lot of the features that has. A simple recorder without the mix surface, effects and everything else would likely be a better option (combined with a simple analog mixer for monitoring).
I record with a computer, but there is a lot to be said for dedicated recording machines if you don't need a ton of features and don't want the hassles of a computer setup. There's also a lot to be said for renting if you're only doing one or two recording projects a year.
1 the fact that i would be able to create (test) mixes and burn cds is icing on the cake.

2 the hassles of a computer setup, indeed! computer, keyboard, mouse, 24-track mixer, interfaces, cables, software, trial and error, learning curve, $$$...etc etc etc etc etc etc...!!!

3 renting is not an option. we want to be able to record on a whim, and have everything set up, armed and ready to go at the touch of the red button.

-dh
 

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david henman said:
2 the hassles of a computer setup, indeed! computer, keyboard, mouse, 24-track mixer, interfaces, cables, software, trial and error, learning curve, $$$...etc etc etc etc etc etc...!!!


-dh
I hear you, but it doesn't have to be quite that complex. :tongue:

Laptop + 1 firewire cable + Mackie Onyx 1640 with built in Firewire (Which has 16 preamps and the ability to record them all). Maybe add an USB external 7200 RPM drive and Cubase 4 and you are set.

This is the simplest computer solution I've seen to date.
 

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Jeff Flowerday said:
Couple things:
It only has 12 preamps so really you could only do 12 tracks without spending more money on additional preamps.
It will only do 12 tracks at 24/96. I assume you want to give your engineer the highest quality possible.
That said a computer system will be a much bigger pain in the butt. Disabling devices and services, making sure you have the proper firewire chipset etc etc.
...i'm not anal about sound quality. obviously, i want to stack the deck in my favour. it has to be acceptable, of course, but that's a pretty broad "parameter". blue rodeo manages to get the worst drum sounds in recording history. in the end, does it really matter all that much?

i need three vocal tracks, one guitar track and one bass track - that leaves seven tracks for drums, if i only use twelve tracks.

and, yeah, computer technology has a long way to go in this "non user friendly" context.

-dh
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jeff Flowerday said:
I hear you, but it doesn't have to be quite that complex. :tongue:
Laptop + 1 firewire cable + Mackie Onyx 1640 with built in Firewire (Which has 16 preamps and the ability to record them all). Maybe add an USB external 7200 RPM drive and Cubase 4 and you are set.
This is the simplest computer solution I've seen to date.
...that is still pretty complicated, by comparison to an all-in-one. you also left out the keyboard and mouse, and all the various cable connections. not to mention learning how to use it all.

with a "portastudio", you hit a red button, essentially.

that said, i am trying to open mind with regard to computer recording. ultimately, that is the direction i will go. i just don't think the timing is right.

at this point in time, simplicity and ease of operation are the key factors.

-dh
 

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Discussion Starter #11
jroberts said:
If it wasn't for point #3, I'd say to rent a tracking machine, and spend $350 on a really simple computer. Any cheap computer would suffice for doing basic mastering and CD burning, as long as you can mix the tracks down to stereo with a small mixer. #3 is what makes things expensive. I don't really know what would work best for you. Taken together, points #1 and #3 might mean a computer setup is the best option after all.
...inevitably, i think that is where i will end up. for now, its too complex, too time-consuming (still have a day job), too expensive and too difficult to learn and navigate, especially given that the $3,000 akai 24-track appears to do everything i need.

what do you mean by a "tracking machine"?

-dh
 

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jroberts said:
I wouldn't really attach all that much importance to 96kHz. I usually work in 44.1, just because I find that the benefit having additional processing headroom far outweighs any sonic benefit. Using 24 bits is more important, but the difference between 44.1 and 96 is far smaller than just about any other factor in your recording chain.
I can tell the difference between 44 and 96. Though your comment about 24 bit is true it's far more important.
 

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David,

One more thing, the interface on the machine isn't going to be more user friendly than a computer, if that's what you meant by user friendly. If you try to do any editing at all you'll become pretty frustrated.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Jeff Flowerday said:
David,
One more thing, the interface on the machine isn't going to be more user friendly than a computer, if that's what you meant by user friendly. If you try to do any editing at all you'll become pretty frustrated.
...actually, that is one of the primary reasons why i'm not, at least at this time, interested in computer recording: i have very little interst in editing.

in fact, i have very little interest in anything that doesn't involve playing guitar, singing and writing songs.

the vast majority of my work involves sitting with a stereo tape deck and a stereo mic, while my pro gear sits covered, and idle.

that should give you a better understanding as to why "plug-and-play" user-friendliness is crucial for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
jroberts said:
I mean something that is just a recorder. No mixing, no effects, no CD burning. Something like this:
http://www.alesis.com/product.php?id=1
Or anything here...
http://www.izcorp.com
Or even a couple of these...
http://www.tascam.com/Products/DA-98HR.html
I've done some really good recordings on those Tascam units.
...ah! yes, this would work, as well. but i would still need a mixer. the cost could get out of hand.

more to the point, however, a stand alone unit like the akai gives me the ability to do test mixes and burn test cds, complete with onboard processing.
 

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Are you looking for studio quality?

I got a Fostex MR-8HD multi-tracker from Long's and I gotta say it is easy to use and works really well.

We're using it to record jams and isolate the parts so that each performer can hear their own bit in the mix. It's an eye-opener for sure.

Eventually, we'll mix tracks on it, or convert each track to wave and dump it into Pro-tools or something.
 
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