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Building a basic A/V recording studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by griz, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. griz

    griz Active Member

    I did this back in the mid-80s with a Ramsa console, an RCA patch bay and Otari 2 and 8 track recorders.

    Things have really changed. My first attempt to build a digital recording studio was not successful. It worked and the quality was good but inserting and controlling music and sound effects and monitoring have been a complete PIA.

    I am going to try again.

    What I want to do is to build a system that allows me to work the way I did in the 80s with the control console managing input and output.

    Here's what the salespeople are trying to sell me:

    * Mackie control surface
    * Firestudio by Presonus
    * Sonar-7 Producer

    As I've thought about this, I'm thinking that it is a bit of overkill since all of my recording involved only: narration, sound bites from peeps, music and sound effects. Each track was placed one at a time. It was rare for me to use all 8 tracks on the Otari.

    I think I should be able to do this with something that allows me mic and line inputs. The trick for me will be to properly assign them a channel and then mix them on a board - which I believe the control surface emulates. (The control surface is really a specialized mouse for a digital workstation, correct?)

    For an old pro I sure am stupid when it comes to digital audio.

    Is there something I can read to explain this? (Am pretty thick so it's got to be clear.)
  2. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    Maybe try looking at the tascam fw-1082/1884 line. Im not sure of quality but its a all-in-one type of interface/controler you might be looking for. If you don't need that many inputs then you could go with a smaller controler and there are a ton of those that controle 1/2 channels. Im looking to get me one soon.
  3. griz

    griz Active Member

    So this Teac/Tascam unit combines a control surface with a presonus like preamps?

    My experience with Teac was that the electronics were pretty muddy.

    But if this unit lets you plug the input device into the board, send the output to the computer (multitrack recorder in my mind), play it back and mix it through the board while sending it to the computer (two track recorder now)...I like the concept.
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Your experience is dead on. The Tascam unit, while serving most of the functions you listed, will likely lead you to pull most of your hair out.

    I had a total of 4 of them in my studio - none at the same time - all replacements under warranty or 30 day return. Ultimately, I sold the last one and washed my hands of them. (This was probably 4 or 5 years ago.)

    Yamaha makes a few control surface/interfaces as well as the Tascam and there are quite a few people around here who seem to dig them. I believe it's the 01x??

    Of course, the Mackie CU will work quite well along with an interface that includes some preamps. How many preamps do you need? How many line ins/outs do you need? How many tracks will you be recording/playing back at the same time? All of these will help us to understand your needs.

  5. griz

    griz Active Member

    >>>my recording involved only: narration, sound bites from peeps, music and sound effects. Each track was placed one at a time. It was rare for me to use all 8 tracks on the Otari.

    It is unlikely that I'd ever use more than 8 inputs or build more than 8 tracks in a master.

    * Microphone input
    * Stereo digital field recorder input
    * Music CD/DVD player input

    Perhaps in very rare cases there might be a need for a second microphone input.
  6. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I've been looking at something like the PreSonus FaderPort - Single Motorized Fader.

    I bought a FP10 recently but feel I'm missing the control when mixing stuff down. I wish I could afford something like the Mackie controller but I cant.

    I wonder if anyone has any experience with something like this and Cubase?

    BTW I had no Idea about Tascam. I just knew that it did what you were asking. I purchased the FP10 after reading tons of reviews here. FP10 sounds good to me so far so I cant complain.
  7. griz

    griz Active Member

    I'm spoiled. I spend 20+ years working in broadcast and recording studios - pre-digital - so I really like pro gear. I even designed a few radio booths.

    ...but I am very confused by the signal paths now that the board is not the heart of all functions.

    This control surface, firewire interface and software recording console has my head spinning like Linda Blair's in the Exorcist. :cry:
  8. griz

    griz Active Member

    OPINIONS on this board

    I spotted these units. They appear to be a console/pre-amp/control surface. Do they give me an old style recording studio that's recording digitally?

    *** Yamaha 01V (used showing 4 or 5 years of regular use/wear)
    *** Yamaha 01V96 V2 Digital Mixer (new about $2200)

    Would appreciate comments from people experienced with these units before I spend my money.



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