help getting started with recording...please?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by patrickmerrill, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. Hey.

    For awhile now, I've been trying to get started on recording. I was looking at stand-alone recorders, and I came accross this piece of equiptment:

    Sony MDS-JE480 MiniDisc Recorder/Player

    I had a few questions regarding this...

    1. What is a mini-disc? Is it like a memory card or a mini-cd?

    2. The "Specs" page says that it accepts Stereo (RCA) as an analog input. Does this mean I could plug my preamp into it and the mics into the preamp and record from there?

    3. Does anyone have any objections to me buying this?

    Thanks in advanced
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    1) A mini disc is like a mini CD, but it uses perceptual coding line an mp3 - a lossy compression - a reduction in sound quality.

    2) Yes.

    3) Depending on your goals, I personally don't think this is the way to go.
  3. thanks for the reply.

    well, is there a recorder in this pricerange that you recommend? I was mainly interested in the Sony cause of my budget...
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Tell us your recording goals.
  5. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Can't get much better for learning basics on the cheap than with a Portastudio, IMHO
  6. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    For 2 channel recording there are lots of choices over a wide price range. If you are just starting out then I would recommend you stay cheap. But We DO need to know a little about what you plan to record.

  7. My goals are creating decent if not professional quality recordings for classical acoustic piano.

    My price range for the recorder itself is probably about $200.

    I took a look at the Tascam Portastudios. They look very convinient but I don't know about the budget. Thanks for all the help so far to everyone.
  8. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Well, to put it in perspective, there is a reason why professional gear costs a bit. There's a certain level of quality you will not be able to crack with a $200 budget. That said, there are great deals on used gear of all varieties.

    You can go either analog or digital. I dig the analog cassette Portastudios because you pick up some analog recording technique by using it, which is handy later if you ever get into a real studio.

    Anyway, here's a few options, from

    If you spend some time with these kits, you can get great results, and you'll learn all about mic technique, etc. If you spend some time doing this stuff, your results could even rival pro stuff.
  9. thank you very much for your help.

    i am either buying one of those kits or a TASCAM CD-RW700 off eBay, so i am all set!

    However, I would like you realize that my budget is $200 only for the recorder, not including mics and pres. Still, I don't have that much to spare outside of that.

    Again, thanks so much for your help, I look forward to recording.
  10. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Just remember, good recordings are all about the loose nut behind the wheel! Nice, expensive gear doesn't automatically make recordings good. If you've got mics and pre's already, use what you've got with whatever recorder you choose and practice. Try to get the sound you want with a minimum of equipment. Rather than grab a knob, move the mic, etc.

    It's really all about YOU and not anything to do with the gear. It's nice to have the "ringer" equipment, but even entry level stuff like cassette Portastudios (which are actually below entry level, IMHO) can achieve fantastic results. Stuff is good enough these days that it really comes down to utilization more than specs.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  11. thanks again. i'll check in to let you know what i bought and how i'm doing.
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