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Portable Workstation or Computer?

Member for

21 years 2 months
Recently I almost bought the Yamaha AW 1600 Audio Workstation for recording my stuff ($1000). But 2 things happened:

1. I realized instead I want a 24-track system (not 16-tracks)
2. Someone told me it's cheaper to use my PC or laptop, than to buy a portable audio workstation.

Well as for computer options, I am not computer savvy, and not sure how to go about using my computer to create a cheaper recording system! Do any of you have opinions or advice about this?

And FYI: Consideration for buying a portable workstation mainly comes from a desire to record wherever I am when inspiration hits LOL.

Whatever decision is made, I have $1000 - $1300 to play with, and all I have now is an amp and a couple mics (No mixer, etc. -not even sure what else I'll need toward a mini-studio :rolleyes: ). Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Comments

Member for

16 years 10 months

TeddyG Wed, 11/15/2006 - 14:34
A 24 track computer DAW that works well is pretty tough sledding, and portable yet... One thing you'd better be is "computer savvy" - long before you get into such a system... Far as cost goes, first you must have the computer! I've put 1000's into my machine just to do 2 tracks, mainly 1(Mono)...

Are there no 24 track boxes, like you have now? Are there any you can link 2 together to get 32, or 2 12's to get 24 or your 16 and an 8?

Why must you have 24 tracks? I realized, just the other day, that I wanted a Ferrari. I didn't get one.

Another thing you'll need is a truck to haul around all the mics and other gear, regardless of the recording system, itself, to do 24 channels of anything.

In favor of the computer DAW is it "can" be better, as the sky is no limit, far as the parts you use. Other thing is that no matter how you record, you'll probably like mixing-down on a computer, so you'll get one anyway, that will handle 24 tracks... Oh well...


Try to control your desires for awhile until you gather gear and experience, then decide. Have a good time with your 16, for now...


TG

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 11/15/2006 - 14:36
If you just want to record Ideas wherever you are get a portable MD recorder with a Sony stereo microhphone and you are done.

If you want to record, edit, mix and have a finished procuct on CD for others to hear/buy, etc... get a PC.

You can find cheap PCs nowadays based on the older AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPU which would be more than enough for your needs at this stage.

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Wed, 11/15/2006 - 22:01
You'll also need some spankin' SOFTWARE (NOT crackware) to run on the thing, plus storge (which is cheap) and good pre's (which aren't nec. cheap), plus converters, etc. Then there's monitors, amps, mics, cables, rent, car/truck, snakes.....the list goes on, and quite honestly, $1000 is just a start.

Member for

15 years 8 months

Robak Mon, 11/20/2006 - 18:20
Who needs 24 tracks simultaneous?
1 main vocal
2-3 guitars
1 bass
3-7 drum mics
1 keyboard
1-3 back. vocals/other


That setup uses 9-16 inputs and covers most commercial music setups.
In my case it's more like:
1 - main vocal
2 - backing vocals
2-3 - guitars
2 - bass
8-12 - drums
2 - keyboard
2 - brass/percussion/something else

19 - 24 tracks in total

Member for

15 years 2 months

Scoobie Mon, 11/20/2006 - 19:00
Robak wrote:
Who needs 24 tracks simultaneous?
1 main vocal
2-3 guitars
1 bass
3-7 drum mics
1 keyboard
1-3 back. vocals/other


That setup uses 9-16 inputs and covers most commercial music setups.
In my case it's more like:
1 - main vocal
2 - backing vocals
2-3 - guitars
2 - bass
8-12 - drums
2 - keyboard
2 - brass/percussion/something else

19 - 24 tracks in total
Doing live recordings I use 24 tracks . Not always but most of the time.

Nobody has mention crowd, and room mic's, A must for a live recording.

Peace............Scoobie

Member for

15 years 8 months

Robak Tue, 11/21/2006 - 14:52
altima_boy_2001 it takes some time to set the mics correctly but there is no phase nightmare even if I use all of them. Phase shift can be used to your advantage, it's like eq. I know you can have great sound of drums with just 3 mics but you need good drummer, good drums, good room and type of music that calls for that type of sound.
12 mics on drums is not that much really:
bd - 2
sd - 2
toms - 3 or 4
overhead - 2
hi-hat - 1
ambience - 1 or 2
and what if there are 2 snare drums?
I like to have them on separate tracks for more flexibility during mixdown.

Yes, you are right the mics would cost a lot.

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Tue, 11/21/2006 - 16:34
I'll be honest here; unless it was Neal Peart, Carl Palmer or Carmen Appice (yes, I'm dating myself here), I'd be hard pressed to find a reason for more than 7 or 8 drum mics.

At the entry level that was being discussed at the start of this thread, if you can't get a reasonably good drum sound with the basic four on the floor and a couple of overheads, you need to rethink what you're doing in the first plcae. More mics will NOT make a poor drummer or lousy drum kit sound any better, trust me on this. It might look good for show, but wasting all that track space on a couple of extra cowbell or roto-tom mics gets old real fast. A better compromise (for now) might be a drum submix and cut it with just six or seven tracks. (composite Snare, HH, composite kick, stereo toms, stereo OHs). Even the separate HH is a luxury if you're tight on tracks.
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