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Multi-track recorder/mixer...sorry i'm a noob but i searched

I'm totally new to recording. Well actually, no not really but I didnt even know about a standalone multi track recorder until recently. Anyway, I want something I can use to record our band demos, it doesnt have to be you know-the best sound but close to CD would rock. But um, i'm kind of lost in the multi track recorder field, ive searched and found some nice ones i guess but like I said i'm lost. I'd like to have one with an internal CD burner or at least one i can hook up an external to. What all else would I need other than the recorder and the mics? I have a computer at home but its a "community" computer that my bro and roomates use so i really cant just snatch it up and start using it to record. Ugh, sorry i'm so vague but I cant find any good info on them. I searched here and thats like finding a needle in a hay stack cuz the word mixer or recorder is in like every thread. Would it be better to just get a mixer or some kind and record straight to the computer? I could of swore that there was a link something on this website that would direct me to where I wanted to go but I cant seem to find it. ANY help would be appriciated. Thanks, Shane
I also cant find any websites with more than 10 recorders on it. Musiciansfriend only has a few plus the sets they sell.


mugtastic Mon, 05/15/2006 - 10:53
i like my standalone (that would probably be a better keyword to use in a search) but you are severely limited in vst's and editing. get a newer one with usb and you can hook it up to a computer when you want to mess around. look for 16 tracks plus and at least 8 recordable at once. it gives you the functionality of a preamp/mixer, digital interface, computer, effects and cd burner plus the magic of a controller - using faders to mix/control parameters.
of course to improve quality i use a bunch of outboard gear as well. most standalones don't have enough phantompowered xlr ins for mics so check that out too.
there won't be tons of info on them here because most pros and hobbyists go for the power and flexibility of a computer based system. if i were starting out now and had a few extra thousand bucks, i would too.
at first glance the yamaha 2400 looks like the most appealing to me.

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 05/16/2006 - 12:58

Stand alones are generaly cheaper, not that you can't buy expensive one, but you need to put pencil to paper and see what the totals are. You can pick up some standalones new for 800 with 16 track, 8 simultan recording. For doing demos they can be fine, they are portable and have their advantages, you can actually get a pretty good sound out of them, I do in my home studio.
Folks like to brag up their yuppie pre-amps and all but they ain't any closer to a million dollar studio then you are, just becuase they spend a few thousand dollars more than you, as in you spend a thousand and they spend 3 thousand, in the end you are both miles away from the big boys.
For the computer route, write down everything you'll need, sound card, pre-amp, software, whatever and total it up. Jot down what you are getting going the computer route and what you get that is included in the stand alone.
I did the same think when I bought my stand alone. In the end I looked at what it would cost me for a computer, preamp,card, etc....looked at the price and said "do I want to, can I afford to pay that much more?"
Sure you can use an existing computer you already have if that is convient and it is fast enough etc... personaly I work with computers, I'm a software engineer, and I went with a stand alone. For a couple reason, 1) I've got enough shit on my computer already, and when it's time to reload the operating system and reconfigure dealing with any recording I would have on there was a thought I didn't like. 2) Computers can really suck and be very un-reliable, my friend lent me his recording software and preamp to try out, it was a major pain to get it working then there was latency, dah dah dah, sure it can all be fine. and while going the comptuer route can be flexible, you still gotta buy that next piece of flexibility, look at the prices of some software add ons. My experince with software for music is, alot of it sucks, and it cost you money to find out.
Anyway there's lots to read up on and educate yourself, it's all part of it, and whatever you learn will come in handy later.......

mugtastic Tue, 05/16/2006 - 13:35
well said. and remember that the interface (faders) in every standalone is the luxurious last expendature of most computer based daw's. i did a little mixing on a friends cubase pc - sticking cursers, million mouse moves, screen changes and slides etc. my yamaha has motorized faders to control diff. things - i fly through basic mixing.