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qazwsx
06-19-2006, 08:47 PM
Hey guys, I know many of you have experience with home digital recording equipment so I was hoping I could get some advice on which equipment I should buy. I need something that's portable, simple and relatively inexpensive. I've been considering the boss 1180cd, but may consider the zoom or korg models. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks.

VHT-J-CAN
06-20-2006, 06:57 PM
The Zoom would be my choice. At least over the Boss. I've owned both and the zoom is much easier to operate. A word of advise though, get one of the models without the drumpads. They're useless!!!

Koreldyre
06-21-2006, 05:58 AM
I would go with a laptop with a USB2/firewire connection to a front end. The speed of the laptop won't be a bottleneck but make sure it has a lot of RAM. 1GB is more than enough if you're just recording and mixingdown a handful of raw recorded tracks, but several gigs will be necessary if you plan to use a lot of samples (Drum software, orchestra, electronica, etc).

To me, the integrated portable solutions all sound kind of cheap, flat and compressed in comparison. I've bought a few flavor-of-the-month units in the past, but in the end they're just lacking dynamic range, editing options/speed, flexibility, and software/sample options. The simple fact is your average computer has far more processing power than any recording box you can buy. To me it seems logical to want to put all that power to good use that you probably already have.

The disclaimer, however, is that with all that power there is definitely more of a learning curve, and an increased chance of running into something that might stop you that you don't understand or know how to overcome. So if you're willing to put some work into it, I'd recommend computer-based recording for the long run.

qazwsx
06-21-2006, 07:59 PM
Thanks for the resonse guys. I am a real rookie when it comes to this stuff so what all is it that I would need for computer based recording? What is an interface?
Thanks

Koreldyre
06-22-2006, 07:44 PM
The "interface" is a box or card or whatever unit that has hardware specifically for recording. The most important aspects are the A/D converter (a chip which changes your analog signal into 1's and 0's to be stored on your pc), the input impedance (heavily affects mic element dampening and the sound of your mic), quality mic inputs/preamps/phantom power.

You want one with high sample rate, which translates into better headroom in the recording. Cheaper boxes won't have switchable impedance, but if you use SM57's like most people, the secret key to maximizing the tone is to feed it around 500Ohms (low), which is actually what it was designed for. It gets rid of the typical harshness the average joe gets (from underdampening) as well as bring in clearer transient response, it'll sound more like there's an actual person playing the instrument, or hitting the snare, whatever. If you have knowledge on wiring/impedance, you can actually purchase a double-ended XLR barrel and solder a resistor between pins 2 and 3 in parallel with the input impedance the microphone would have seen and instantly create your own impedance converter to any value you want. Doh think I gave away too much. :)

qazwsx
06-23-2006, 04:17 PM
Thanks so much for your help guys but I really need to get schooled on this subject. I was not able to understand very much of what computer based recording is all about. I'll probably go with a multitrack recorder for now since I really want to get something dodne this summer. Thanks a lot
Steve

Andrew
06-28-2006, 01:29 PM
Thanks so much for your help guys but I really need to get schooled on this subject. I was not able to understand very much of what computer based recording is all about. I'll probably go with a multitrack recorder for now since I really want to get something dodne this summer. Thanks a lot
Steve
Probably a good idea.. Computer based recording is a huge topic. I think you need to be well versed in computer hardware and software (installing cards, memory, hard disks, etc, in your PC, installing drivers and software, configuring the operating system to be optimized for recording, understanding how all this stuff fits together, etc). I see a lot of frustration on forums based around PC issues. Once you get your PC ready, then learning the sequencing software can take a few more weeks.

I think the in the long run PC based recording is much more powerful and flexable, but with that power comes a huge learning curve. Well worth the effort, I think, but not something someone can learn over night. If you have the time and the motivation, there are lots of resources on the 'net to help get you started. If you don't have time or don't like tinkering with computers, then probably the self-contained recorder would be better.

Byrne
08-01-2006, 05:30 PM
... computer-based recording, especially if you only need to have a couple of tracks available at a time, can be very, VERY handy. If you want to chat about it sometime, give me a call.

To make things even more deliciously simple, you can find a Digidesign MBox on eBay with Pro Tools software for around $200. It's pretty easy to use and I'm sure that there are a couple of people on this board that can give you tips.

Good luck, and if you have any questions you can email me at scrawnydeadboy@hotmail.com. Just put something about recording in the subject line...