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Last Post 20 Oct 2003 08:59 AM by Q2. 17 Replies.
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Q2User is Offline
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Q2

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20 Oct 2003 08:59 AM
    So things are going to change around here & gig announcements will no longer be dominating the discussion board. Good! This board has been as boring as hell these last couple of months. Anyway, I need your help folks, I've got over 20 songs written that I want to get recorded at home. I'm going to get an 8-track digital recorder for this but I must admit my knowledge of such devices is very limited. Can anyone recommend a decent model(s)? What's the best and why? I'd appreciate any advice. Cheers Q2
    DromedUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2003 01:14 PM
    Hi Q2, I want one myself, but something easy to use...a striaght forward 4 or 6 track analogue recorder is what I'm looking for at the moment. We have used a Roland 840 EX for the last four years and to be fair it's taken some abuse and still working very well. It's a self-contained 8 track digital recorder, with digital mixing, editing and effects processing, quite professional for it's price but that depends i suppose on what you're willing to pay and what you're looking for. It cost us about €600 four years ago but I'm sure that models been upgraded by now and should be available for around the same money. I found it hard to use it past some of it's basic functions to be honest, it can get pretty complicated so if you're into that you'll have loads to get your teeth into but if your a bit technophobic like me then it's probably not the best one to go for.
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    20 Oct 2003 02:06 PM
    hello,listen if you want something thats really easy to use and can get you top quality recordings then i recomend the Boss br-1180.Its great and easy to use and it burns your song on to cd aswell so what more could you ask for.It has loads of built in vocal,bass and guitar effects.It well worth the money. let it flow
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2003 03:29 PM
    If you are getting into digital recording I would reccomend going down the software route with a PC (or Mac) rather than buying expensive and inflexible hardware. This can be a really cost effective way of doing it especially if you have a PC already. If your're a bit of a technophobe, don't worry. Recording audio on your PC is easier then you might think. The PC does not have to be the latest or fastest, but its best if its a relatively modern. Older PCs are ok, they will just be slower, you won't be able to record as many tracks at the same time and you will be limited in the number of tracks you can record simultaneously. Your PC must be equipped with a sound card. Almost all PCs have sound cards but the better the sound card, the better the quality you can achieve. If you have a cheap sound card, it can be replaced. The Audiophile 2496 seems pretty good and is around 200 Euros. A PC is no good without software so you will also need some Soud editing software. The software you chose is more down to personal preference and budget than anything else. Some common titles that might suit your needs are Magix music studio (very cheap, but pretty good), Cubase, Recycle etc. You will often find trial versions of the titles on the cover CDs of magazines like Computer Music. To get the sound into your PC you will need a Microphone (I reccomend the Studio Projects B1), leads and a pre-amp to bring the sound up to line level (you soundcards input voltage). If you have a cheap DJ mixer with a preamp built in that will also suffice. plug the mic into the preamp or mixer and then plug the pre-amp into your sound card. I reckon if you already have a PC with soundcard, and use magix music studio, you could turn your PC into 48 track recorder for 300 euro (including microphone and pre-amp). When you're ready to move on from that basic setup. You can always upgrade your PCs various components and software.
    perkythepigUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2003 03:47 PM
    I've used a Roland digital recorder myself in the past and once you learn the different bibs and bobs they're great. The more time you spend on it the better sound you'll get out of it - I was really frustrated for ages when I started to use it but gradually found my feet with it - more because I hadn't a clue of how to record rather than any great complexity with the recorder itself. Don't spend all your money on the recorder though - really important to get a decent mike (or two if you manage it). Having a decent mike as opposed to just using a 58 for everything will make a big difference...
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2003 04:15 PM
    Totally agree with perky the pig about getting a good microphone. A mike thats ok for gigs may be crap for recodring. Heres a link to the studio projects B1 specs http://www.studioprojectsusa.com/b1.html Also if you decide to go down the PC based route you should be able to pick up a secondhand mixer pretty cheap in January as hundreds of teenage wannabe DJs give up on the home DJ kit they got for christmas when they realise they have no musical ability and attempt to trade it in for a Playstation 2
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    21 Oct 2003 09:18 AM
    Binokular you have me thinking now....two of my mates have been using Cubase for the last couple of years and could give me a hand....I'm getting rid of a an old PC, cos it's beyond sh*te but have been offered a newer one. How much is Cubase at the moment, new/secondhand? I'll have to see what kind of money it would cost to upgrade that PC to be worth getting Cubase, but it's not a bad idea. Q2 what kind of stuff are you going to be doing?
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    21 Oct 2003 12:10 PM
    There are several different versions of cubase from about 400 - 800 euro new. I think you can get large discounts if you are a student. Check out www.steinberg.net I'm not a big fan of cubase myself, but that is purely my personal preference. I currently use the dirt cheap but rather good magix music studio 2003 deluxe. Its basically a cut down version fo EMagic Logic. I'm also going to eventually get Propellerheads Reason 2.5 for synths and maybe ableton live for sequencing. If your really stuck for cash theres a free version of pro tools that can be downloaded but it only runs on 98/ME or Mac os9. Download it from http://www.digidesign.com/ptfree/
    DromedUser is Offline
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    21 Oct 2003 02:56 PM
    D'you reckon magix music studio 2003 is better/easier to use then Cubase? And what's the Propellerheads Reason 2.5 like??
    perkythepigUser is Offline
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    21 Oct 2003 04:48 PM
    Me and me mate have been using Cakewalk for tracking - don't know anything about Cubase or the relative merits of one program over another but it does everything we need it to do... tis onny STG£70 on amazon... http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00009X70J/qid=1066758230/sr=2-3/ref=sr_2_3_3/202-3057444-2626221 Messed about with Reason once there - wrecked me head so it did. Much prefer putting keyboards through guitar pedals and dah...
    Q2User is Offline
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    22 Oct 2003 08:27 AM
    Thanks a million for all these replies guys, I didn't expect such an unstoppable flow of knowledge & experience to show up here. I'll be checking into all the things you've mentioned. Dromed, to answer your question, the stuff I've written is mostly acoustic soft rock. I can't sing very well (or at all really) so I've written songs based on me being able to carry a tune, but nothing more than that. It would be a bit more rythmic than say Damian Rice or Ron Sexsmith for example...hmmm.. possibly a good comparison would be Teenage Fanclub or Tom Petty, I guess. I only want to press these tunes on a decent recorder and audition for band members 'cos I would not be interested in solo. I'm sure you know from your own experience that other musicians can really maximise a song that only one person has written. Anyway, hopefully i'll be doing all this early in the new year. Thanks for asking Q2
    WickerUser is Offline
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    22 Oct 2003 08:42 AM
    I would agree with the PC Approach... With a little investment you can have some decent hardware and s/w at your disposal.... I'd recommend any of these .... Cubase SX Reason Orion Platinum any Native Instrument's VST's Whatever s/w you do choose make sure it's VST Compatable. (eg Reason, as nice an all as it is, is NOT VST compatable and might not suit your needs) Also checkout getting MIDI Controllers/Keyboards. This will let you input notes (or knob tweakings) into your sequencer. you can only do 1 thing at a time with a mouse. you might also want to look into getting a USB Audio interface (built in Pre-amp)
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    22 Oct 2003 10:41 AM
    I wouldn't say that Magix Music Studio 2003 is "better" than cubase in any absolute sense but I find it easier to use. Cubase is much more expensive piece of software aimed at the middle/high end of the music production market. Magix Music Studio is aimed at the budget end of the market, but still delivers impressive sounding results and is VST compatible too. Overall I think its better value for money. For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the term VST, VST is a common plug-in standard for music software. It basically means that you can add new instruments and effects to your existing software by installing add-in software called a VST plug-in. VST is not the only plug-in standard, there are others such as DirectX and Pro Tools plug-ins but VST is the most common and theres loads of free VST plugins available on the web. I like Reason because its easy to use and the sound quality of the instruments (to my ears anyway) is really good. Reasons' interface looks like the rack of hardware its imitating so if you're used to hardware its more intuitive. Reason is more of a softsynth so its great if you want to generate sounds from your PC and add some samples/ vocals but may not suit someone who spends most of their time recording audio from "real" instruments. Its true that Reason does not support VST but Reason does have ReWire support so it can be used in conjuction with a sequencer that does support VST such as cubase, logic or Abelton so you can use both Reason and VST instruments. Theres lots of really good software out there, what may suit one person won't suit someone else.
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    22 Oct 2003 12:37 PM
    Fountains of knowledge the lot of ya's.....finally something to learn!!! Q2 what your planning to do sounds nice....and don't rely on a band if you're ready to do your own thing, look at Damien Rice ...like him or not he's proved it can be done...get busy concentrating on your songs and put them out there. A band is a good way of bouncing ideas off other people and is certainly a 'safer' place to be in terms of getting the fear in putting yourself out there for people to ridicule or knock down, but at the end of the day who are you making music for...the ''crowd' or yourself? A band often means battling for control and that can mean compromising your sound, if you've a clear idea of what you want then go for it if you can find like minded people but don't be afraid to go for it on your own if you don't find the 'right' people, there's lots of 'solo' people out there that will support you. Best of luck anyway!
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    22 Oct 2003 03:30 PM
    dromed I have a copy of cubase vst i could let u have , will dig it out.
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    22 Oct 2003 08:25 PM
    Been thinking about getting some sort of eight track to do some home recording myself. My question is where do you but such things? MusicMaker is the only place I know in town that has a dedicated recording equipment department (actually there is another shop I know but can't remember the name of it). Are you better off going on line to a site like thomann?
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    23 Oct 2003 09:49 AM
    Ah Eddie that'd be fantastic, I'd really appreciate that! Earth Horse if you register on ebay and keep your eyes on the auctions you can get some good bargains. Also there is a site called ww.music123.com where you can buy a lot of decent gear new, rather then second hand, at a cheaper price then the music shops here. Also look in the buy and Sell and the Trader supplement that comes with the Herald cos that has the odd thing in it too - and I'm sure that the moderators wouldn't mind us posting stuff that was for sale...maybe they could set up a for sale/swop section for that purpose?????
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    23 Oct 2003 04:13 PM
    The thing about buying stuff off the web is that you really need to be 100% sure that it's what you need. Very easy to bury a lot of money into something, get it, and find that you hate the way it works etc... Very good to go to a shop and at least then you talk to someone about the machine and mess with it a bit yourself, but it's also very true you can get some great deals on music123, ebay and the like - and they'll be a lot cheaper than you could get something in a shop here - you just need to have your research done and that. Best of luck with the fun
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