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Thread: New Music Toy - Now with a Sound Sample

  1. #1
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    New Music Toy - Now with a Sound Sample

    [Music/tech geek warning...]

    I’ve been frustrated trying to get multitrack recording software to work with my HP laptop. I finally came to the conclusion that the “Beats Audio” internal sound card simply isn’t up to the task. So this morning while I was checking out the Black Friday sales at the local music stores, I found this used multitrack recorder:



    I paid about $1200 for a Fostex FD-8 8-track back in the late '90s. The Fostex has a 2 GB hard drive and a SCSI port if you need more storage space. (Can you even buy a SCSI drive anymore?) It only has RCA or optical digital outputs for dumping the mastered song onto a CD recorder...no direct computer interface. Plus, it's in LA, where it's doing me no good.

    This $100 Tascam has a 40 GB hard drive, with RCA, digital optical, and USB outputs on the back. Should make backing up and dumping the mix onto a computer much easier. Ain't technology great?

    Now I'll be able to finally record some examples of the new purple/black guitar for Dave Hawksford.

    Oh, and for the non-music/tech geeks out there, an "8 track" recorder refers to the number of separate recordings you can mix together into one song, not the 8-track cartridge tape player you had in your '72 Nova. (Actually, you can have more than 8 sounds at once by manipulating things...it's pretty easy to do but complicated to describe.) As a point of comparison, the Beatles recorded the entire Abbey Road album on a 4 track recorder. But then again, they had George Martin turning the knobs, so they had a distinct advantage.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
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    Cool deal! Should be a quick learning curve for an old pro like you
    I started out with a tascam{411 model if memory serves}, the old cassette style> Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	79596 it was good for what it was, but had the notorious 'tape drag' syndrome. Switched to an alesis io26 > Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	79597 and totally luved it, but financial difficulties lead me to let 'er go
    Looking forward to hearing some tracks and maybe now we can get that forum collab going
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  3. #3
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    Nice. A standalone unit should be pretty versatile, especially going to gigs and such.

    Can't wait to hear the next masterpiece!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
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    Nice score!

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 4
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Nice. A standalone unit should be pretty versatile, especially going to gigs and such....
    This one's not that well suited for recording live gigs, since it's limited to two inputs. (Although it'd be dead easy to pull a mono feed from the mixing board.) This will just be mostly be a digital scratchpad that I can use to record ideas and expand on them. I really would prefer to use a computer-based setup where I can cut, paste, drag, and drop, but short of a pretty major computer upgrade, that wasn't gonna happen.

    Ken, I started with a 4-track cassette Tascam PortaStudio back in the '80s, and one thing I really liked about it was the simplicity of it all. Here's an example of something I did with the old cassette rig...just messing around one Sunday afternoon. (It was made up on the fly.). The audio left some things to be desired, though, so eventually I got the Fostex digital unit. (And only ended up barely using it because it was next to impossible to transfer things to the computer for CD burning. I had to buy a standalone audio CD burner to get my recordings onto CD.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    I've still got a 4 track cassett thingy.

    I've also got a little 4 track Zoom digital recorder.

    That, and then the computer setup.

    After listening to Vaughns sample, I'm ready to chuck them all in the trash...
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
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    It's a what??
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  8. #8
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    Iiiiiiiiiinteresting ...

    I'm still casually shopping for some kind of interface for recording. I keep seeing 2ch options in a price range i'm willing to live with ... but i'd sure like 4ch ... maybe i need to check out the used pile at Guitar Center next time i'm in there
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  9. #9
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    Alrighty, here are a couple of quick rough mixes, warts and all. I'm liking this new toy. Very intuitive if you're familiar with old-school recording consoles (like me). I like being able to physically move the sliders when doing a mixdown of the tracks. So far, I've only used the 4-page Quick Start Guide to get familiar with it. In time, I'll dig deeper into the full User Manual to learn even more tricks.

    I came up with these chords Thursday night, and just recorded them Friday night and then did some noodling around on top of them with a couple of other guitar tracks. (Total of three separate guitar parts, all played on the purple/black Variax that Dave painted for me.) I'll play this for a few days to get some ideas in my head as far as what to play when I record it for real. This is sort of like a rough sketch just to get some ideas for the final design.

    (The song should start playing shortly after you click the links below. If you have a slow Internet connection, right-click the link and save the file to your computer instead, then double-click the saved file to play it.)

    Click here to hear...

    And here's another version, with a different lead guitar track. (It has some good moments, but a few more missed notes. The final version will end up with ideas from both of these preliminary versions.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Beam View Post
    Iiiiiiiiiinteresting ...

    I'm still casually shopping for some kind of interface for recording. I keep seeing 2ch options in a price range i'm willing to live with ... but i'd sure like 4ch ... maybe i need to check out the used pile at Guitar Center next time i'm in there
    Unless you're planning to record more than two instruments at a time, there's no need for more than two channels (inputs, actually). (This new Tascam only has two inputs, for example.) Keep in mind that having two inputs (or channels) is not the same as having two tracks. Most of the recording software you'll find will have at least 24 tracks.

    The M-Audio MobilePre line is good stuff for a USB audio interface. I've got one and it works great...it's just that the sound card in my laptop doesn't do it justice, hence the multitrack recorder.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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