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Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording
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Dan



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Here's a kind of dopey question: I recently bought a portastudio (digital) (it was an impulse buy), and realize now that it probably isn't really right for making dub (although it has many other decent features, including tons of pretty good guitar effects and a useful drum machine). I was looking at the Interruptor's drawing on the "basics" area of this site, and it shows, for instance, four instruments recording directly to a 4 track reel-to-reel, which then has 4 lines out to a mixing board, which is in turn connected to off-board effects and, ultimately, a stereo recording device for mixdown.

Here is my question: is there something like the 4 track reel-to-reel that is digital, but not a portastudio, and that would have, to keep the same example, 4 lines out that I could then run to a mixing board, etc.? I considered using my portastudio as the recording device (it has an 80 MB hard drive for storing projects, which would be ideal), but it doesn't have enough lines out to go to a separate mixing board (and given the signal routing inflexibility of the portastudio, this may not really work anyway). I suspect I just need to buy a 4 track reel to reel or cassette recorder and separate mixing board, but I'd appreciate it if anyone could point out another path I might be missing. Also, I should mention that I am not interested in working through my computer, as my computer skills are even weaker than my studio skills, if that is imaginable.

Sorry to have rambled on so long. Any insight would be appreciated. Peace to all. Dan
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DjSkizz



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 5:49 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

There is a 4 track from Tascam the 424 MK3,its a 8 channel mixer 4-track cassette recorder with individual outputs!!Just check out the specs at Tascam's websight.
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
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Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:53 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

[b]something like the 4 track reel-to-reel that is digital, but not a portastudio[/b]
from top of my head,
the only I know such thing was(is) akai-DR4d (I have two of them :)).
This is if you mean digital four-track recorder with internal Hard-Disc without any built-in mixer and other porta-studio stuff. If you are lucky you can find used akai-DR4d not so expansive. Originally DR4s were something between $800-$1000 or so depending on HD-size, but now used you can find like for $200 more or less.
The lates version was v-4, here's the link to akai-site: AKAI DR4d,
but keep in mind that as I know akai does not make them any longer.

Nowdays all digital standalone multitracks have digital mixer section, it's just a market print, as I can tell.
*******
alternative thoughts:
1. you can search trough and shop around and see for yourself, because you can for example find 8-track hard-disc recorder for about the same price, some have digital mixer, but if unit has all outputs, then you can just use it as recorder and use your analog mixer for actual mixdown/dubbing.
2. If you have ok computer, then you may think about getting multi in/out soundcard and use your computer as digital multi-track recorder. I would not say that it would be much cheaper, thou... about the same after all and it depends on how 'frendly' you are with computer in general, 'cos recording on computer is not the same as - turn it on, push REC-button and you're in :), computers are pain in a neck, you know....
example of multi-out sound card: Echo Gina 24,
there are many more

/respects,
/Mike Zee
Z-D-L

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Dan



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 2:02 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

DJ Skizz and Mike Zee: thanks for your responses. I didn't realize the Tascam 424 MKIII had the four lines out -- this looks like a real possibility for me. I downloaded the manual from the website and I'm looking into it. Mike Zee: I will check out new digital recorders to see what's around. Most digital cd recorders I see around are mostly burners, I guess, and maybe okay for mixdown, but I'll keep my eyes open for ones with multitrack capabilities. Thanks to both of you for all your help. Peace. Dan
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
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Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 11:24 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Most digital cd recorders I see around are mostly burners
Dan,
no , I am not talking about CD-recorders.
I talking about stand-alone HARD DISC digital multitrack recorders. Some of them are simply multi-track recorders, some of them are more or less "complete recording porta-studios" with mixer, sometimes built-in effects and vary other options....
There are actually other digital multi-tracks, like 4/8 tracks MINI-Disc recorders, which are pretty much the same as casstte multi-track porat-studios, but using digital format recording direct to mini-disc (Tascam, Yamaha, Sony) were trying to push this format for some time, but looks like they have not become very popular, I would not recommend them for anything.
Here, check out this link, it's just a list of today's available stand-alone digital recorders at musicianfriend:
standalone digital multi-track recorders,
also on that page you'll see another group of products, which are porta-studios (with buitl-in mixer etc)

/respects
/mike Zee

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Dan



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 1:42 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Mike Zee: thanks for the follow-up post with link to Musician's Friend. If I read your post correctly, you're contrasting hard disc recorders with mini-disc recorders, and saying the mini-disc ones (with flash card type things for storage)aren't worth the trouble (I was advised against buying one like that before, which is why I went with portastudio I have now, with the 80MB storage). Unfortunately, the hard disc stand alones look pretty expensive. Would you not recommend something like the Tascam 424 MKIII, even for use merely as a stand alone recorder with outs to a separate mixing board (and I realize it's got the 4 track limitation and won't be as good for bouncing tracks)? If so, what would you recommend? I'm a little leery of buying a used reel to reel because I'm not much good at fixing things, and I'm not sure I even know enough to test it properly. Do you think an 8 track stand alone digital recorder (presuming it's got enough lines out) would just be a "less hassle" better investment (i.e., money better spent in the long run)? Thanks so much for your input. You're really helpful to all who come to this site. Peace. Dan
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
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Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 3:02 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Dan,
if you ABSOLUTELY sure that you can not or do not want to deal with possible fixing things or even do some Maintenance, then stay away from used reel-to-reel or cassette portastudios, because sooner or later you'll have to deal with it.
Reel-To-Reel machines are more likely older as well and more likely will need some care. You can find pretty good condition and little-used cassette studio thou, but again any device where mechanics involved will need some care.
Now, here's what I can tell (however!!!),
the 'bad' thing about tape recorders is that you have to take care of it, but at least you CAN do it yourself and even fix some thing on your own. Not the same with digital recorders (regardless of is it CD, MD or HD) - if it goes bad (problems) - there is not much you can do if any, and well, thigs DO go wrong with digital recorders, and then all you can do is to send for professional repair. Digital recorders are simply 'dedicated computers'.
For example one of my older AKAI-DR4d gives me big problems all the time, and what it is - during recording/play-back it often stops with an ERROR message. I look into manuals, and all I can tell - it is an Hard Disc Error. I did try reformating the Hard Disc - it did not help. So all I can do now is to send it to AKAI dealer for repair, and it may means I'll need to install a new Hard Drive or maybe some operating system corruption or what ever...
Digital vs. analog.
Man, this could be a long discussion. We had here some long talk about it: digital or analog,
more topics here
But in general: Digital recorders gives you 'better' (better to say cleaner) sound quality and ability to nearly endles editing capability, instant access (start/play/record points, punch in/out), fast erase (so called undo), loop rehearsal play .... etc etc. This is something which you just can not do with tape recorder.
What's better for the money?
There is no way I can answer to this question. Please check out these topics-links above. It depends on what you are doing and what is your goal.
Depends on where you live. If you have some good music-equipment store in your are, then go there instead of shopping on line first. Most music-equipment stores have used gear and you can find good used multi-track there (cassete or digital), most important you'll see what you get and at least you'll have some sort of insurance that it works ok. If you have limited cash to spend and you are shopping for your only one recorder - it's pretty risky to shop on line, like e-bay (which isn't really the cheapest place on earth anymore) and you can endup with something not what you thought it is, while spending money for shipping... Music stores in general often buy gear from musicians for about half-value price and then sell it to make what ever little extra.... no shipping, no guessing, you can see the thing, test it and usually if it goes really bad, you can return it to the store during some time...

well, man, if you have specific questions about some specific machine, drop a note....

/respects
/Mike Zee

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Looter



Joined: 13 Mar 2001
Posts: 111
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 3:45 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Try looking in this forum under "Other" for the topic "Analog Record Machine wanted".
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Dan



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 7:47 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Thanks Mike Zee for your response (and Looter, too). I just today saw a used Tascam 34B reel to reel which I think the seller may take $400 for. He claims it works fine. Worth looking into? Peace. Dan
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Mike Zee



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 12:05 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

34B is great machine, but for $400 you make sure it is in REALLY good working condition, you must see and test the machine to know, if you can't check it out (like if you saw it on line or in the paper add) then you are taking a risk, you know. Also you can find the same machine in good shape for $200-300 (well you'll need to really shop around and get a good luck :)) and I've seen people selling B34 for $600 or even more.... there's no rules really here. For the best deal you need to fine a person who does not really needs the machine nor ever used it nor values it, if the seller is a musician/or producer, then they may try to sell it for higher price, cos they know that the machine has value, 'regular' people may think that it's just an old heavy pice of junk heh heh :)

/Mike Zee

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Danno88



Joined: 06 Mar 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 1:33 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Thanks so much Mike Zee. A local music store is selling it, so I can get a chance to try it out. The owner's had it around for a long time and would like to get rid of it. They have a Fostex (I think) 16 track reel to reel for which they want almost $2,000, but I would guess they're not too easy to find! Thanks a million for all your help. Hope all is well with you. Peace. Dan
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Dan



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 1:35 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Oops. Last message came out with user name "Danno88"; should be just Dan. See you.
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KoCha



Joined: 25 Jan 2002
Posts: 259
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 11:01 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Check the "Yamaha MD8" 8track direct out + integrated mixer.

KoCha
www.Almighty-Dub.com

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aleph



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:53 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

I have a 16 track fostex:2000$ is really too expensive (800$ is the price i 've paid for it!)
I think that analog is the solution for roots dub
only if you record reel instruments.If you use
expend sounds or samples analog will be only a source off problems..
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Mike Zee



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:35 am    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

If you use
expend sounds or samples analog will be only a source off problems

Aleph, I am not sure what do You mean here. What are analogtape-recording problems related specifically to recording sample-based/digital synthesizers instruments?

/MikeZee

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aleph



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:23 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

I mean it will add unwanted noise and will not
really warm your sound,it is like putting diesel
in a ferrari.
But if you use reel instrument with good mic
(nt2 are cheap and really good for ex)with a tape
recorder it will be a child game to have this
70'sound we all love.
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Dan



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 2:34 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Hello Kocha! I went to the Yamaha (US) site and searched, but could not find reference to an MD8? Does the machine you're referring to have any other name? Thanks. Peace. Dan
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Mike Zee



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 7:08 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

md8 is a digital 8-track portastudio-style desk-top unit which records on mini-disc (MD), keep in mind that mini-disc fromat is compressed audio (not bad, but it's pretty bad :)) These type of recorders are GONE for good, I don't really know what the companies (sony, tascam, yamah) were thinking of, deciding to make this 'stations'.
No company makes them anynore, this is why you will not see them listed at official web-ste, unless they have some archive-products listings and support, some sites do. You still can find it as used, but I would not recommend it, thay are not cheap (originally they were around $1000 - more or less, actually they were 4-track, yamaha MD8 was the only 8-track MD-recorder).
Nowdays you'll find for tha same price hard-disc recorder with better audio-quality, better editing etc. i've seen md8s on e-bay for around $500 - it's crazy.... The unit is kind of cool thou..., but really not the best choice for the $$$.

/Mike Zee

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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

Aleph, what you're saying is 'semi-true' :),
I mean, if you play digital synthesizer (which is sample-based) and or sampler, but the signal goes through analog mixer, applying vary effects/tratment (effects, eq, compressor - you name it) - you still may want to capture the sound as ANALOG instead of converting it to digital and also take all the 'sugar' of tape-compression effect etc... Another words, what's in your mixer - IS A REAL THING, you know what I mean. Also when it comes to dubbing, then reels are REELs - nothing can really replace it. Dubbing from 4/8/16 - what ever tracks analog tape is not the same as dubbing from digital tape/or HD multi-track. Digital recording is just way TOO perfect. It's not just about the sound texture, but 'timing/speed' as well, you know there's a BIG difference between Cassio-digi clock and Swinger GrandFather Clock ..heh heh :)

/respects,
/Mike Zee

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aleph



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 1:54 pm    Post subject: Question from the Confused: Multitrack Recording Reply with quote

In fact if i said that mike,it's because i've just
recorded 5 song on my 16track 2inch with a real drummer.
Before,(i had only one nt1),with a true high hat
and sampled snare,kick,tom running into my re201,
dynachord echochord,it sounded great but far from
my favourite king tubby record....
I through re201 and especially dynachord(highly recommeded!)was not as good as i expected.
I was wrong....
With condeser mic+tape recorder these item produce
the drum reverb sound i want without any compression or smart setting...
With a pair off CONDENSER mic a little far from the drum, an accurate room(should be a as non reverberant as possible)and the Swinger GrandFather Clock(well said!) your job is done,a child game!(;-)
note:the mix deck is very important too,sould have only GOOD PREAMP
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