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Am I kidding myself?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by pandorascooter, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Ok. Went to SamAsh today to look around at home multi-track recorders (I'm thinking about getting a little TASCAM 4-track to teach myself some of the basics of recording - I'm a spoken word/singer type). So, the sales guy shows me this ZOOM MRS802XX multi-track recording studio on sale for $549 (from $979) with CD burner, etc. He says I can take this baby home (plus some speakers) and be recording 'pro-level' CDs.

    Emphasis: I am a total beginner at recording. I just want to start teaching myself something about all this so that I'm not so damn dependant upon the engineers/etc (little control issues, I have)... And I also am just plain curious. But, I don't have any way to know if this salesguy is on the up and up. I don't even know what to ask him. So... is this the machine for me? What one should I be looking at? And what questions should I be asking?

    Let me know what y'all think! And thanks, in advance, for your time, opinions and advice...

    Peace,
    Pandora
     
  2. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    You can't record on a pro level until you have a pro or someone with pro skills operating the equipment. Just because you sit in the pilot's seat of a 747 does not mean you are a pro pilot.

    Anyway there are plenty of other options for a neophite recording musician, such as Pro Tools Free (assuming yuo have a computer) or any number of other demo level products from other companies. Start out using the HW you alreeady have , a couple mics a small mixer and your PC or a tape deck or mini disc. When you can make that setup kick ass then you are ready to move up the equipment chain a little. But short of that experience you could spend $550 in a pro recording studio and get much better results in one day then you will in a year if you don't know what you are doing.

    Steve
     
  3. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    It depends on what you want to do with it also. If you want to be able to go mobile, the little multi track units would serve the purpose, but if you just want a system to use at your house/studio, I would suggest you go for computer gear. In my opinion, you can get a much better system for less. For example, when I started out I had a run of the mill stock sound card in my computer. It (like most/all normal soundcards) had a stereo line input which allowed me to record two tracks at a time. I downloaded the evaluation version of a program called N-track and WALA! I was recording. I soon figured out that if I used two different brands of sound cards, I could run two in on computer. So then I could record 4 tracks at once. A few weeks later I added another sound card for a total of 6 tracks at once. I used this for a month or so and finally decided I needed a "Real" soundcard. So I bought an M-Audio Delta 1010 sound card. It has 8 analog balanced inputs, 8 analog balanced outputs, SPDIF I/O, Midi I/O. I got it on ebay for $400. (And even better, I found out that the Delta 1010 cards have a lifetime warantee. I had a problem with it and their tech support couldn't help me fix it over the phone so they had me send it to the factory and they fixed it for free.) Anyway, two more Delta 1010s, better software, a few years of hard core research and experimentation, and about 15-20 grand of equipment later and I can make a pretty close to "Pro" quality recording. I can't quite capture the sound of the 2" tape behind a Neve, but I've heard comercially released recordings that don't sound near as good as some I've done.
    Bottom line, take Sdevino's advice. Research your options and start with the gear you already have. The equipment you buy will very much reflect the methods of recording that you learn in your research. You will find that there are just as many opinions on how to record as there are people doing it. Here is the best place I know of to start learning. Check out the articles links at the top of the page.

    http://www.studiocovers.com/articles.htm
     
  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2001
    the above advice goes if you are computer savy ..if your not (that is possible) you really might have a much quicker time to creativity with a old cassette fourtrack. VERY essy to use. You still have to use mics, and pre's, and pans, an' faders and limited eq (just like the beatles). You can get one of these for dirt cheap. Tape is cheap and if your only doing a vocal or two and 1 or 2 guitar parts you could do it with that.
    This is not "PRO"...but nothing you do now will be..you have to grow into that. Also..you can still go down that computer path, the stuff I'm suggesting will hardly set you back...and while you're learning the sometimes frustrating world of digital recording you can capture you art here nad now. Then you can later dump your earlier analog pieces into digital once your up to speed.
    A win - win.

    ...Oh...and pretty much diss anything almost any salesman tells you....there there to first get a sale....(IMO) :p:
     
  5. Thank you! All of it makes lots of sense and sounds like solid advice. If I do anything, I'll probably go with the 4-track (my original impulse) to just play around and see what I can see... ('Cause the original plan was never to try and produce anything 'pro' or 'semi-pro' - but then I started listening to that salesguy! Why did I do that? Silly rabbit!) Ok. So, thanks again. Much Peace to y'all --- once I take the next little step, I may be back! :) - Pan
     

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