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Compact digital studios???

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Nov 5, 2000.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I'm considering buying a digital workstation. Does anyone know of a place on the internet where I could find user revues, or a forum (such as this) where I can ask lots of questions. I've got my eye on 2 right now - the Akai DPS16i and the Roland VS1880. I need 16 tracks and I also need to keep the price below $2500. Does anyone have any info or experience with either of the 2 studios mentioned, or suggestions for another?

    I'd appreciate any help.
     
  2. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Go to the tascam site and they have boards up on all their recorders.
    I recommend the Tascam 788, Im leaning towards purchasing one of these for myself.

    Their site has people who can walk you thru using their recorders along as giving you a "their product VS. the competitors".
     
  3. Player

    Player

    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    You might want to look at the Fostex VF-16 too. Not quite the features of the Roland, but about half the price. It's basically the VM200 digital mixer (w/ effects and eq) and a 16 (+8 virtual) track recorder.
     
  4. a freind of mine just picked up a korg d16
    cost him about 1200 dollars and the thing is real nice
    built in effects hard disk recording, you name it this thing seems to have it, short of making coffee and vacuming
     
  5. DaveB

    DaveB

    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Do you need 16 real tracks or do virtual tracks do the job ?
     
  6. Speedbird

    Speedbird Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2000
    Northern Virginia
    For that kind of $ you could get one of those rack-mount interfaces that let you record unlimited tracks on your computer. I saw a nice one around $1K, that leaves you tons of $ for mics, cables, nice monitors, plug in software, even a crd. Green-day recorded their whole new cd this way. Think about it, thats what I would get. However, my buddy spent around $3.5K on a real nice Roland set-up & the results sound as good as any cd @ the stores.
     
  7. Hi,

    My band is using the Roland 1880 and we really couldn't be happier with it. The recordings we're getting with it sound fantastic. It has been easy to use and didn't take long to figure out. We have a road case for it and we can pack it up and move it any time without too much hassle. Going to digital has saved us many headaches, like the time my guitarist went to quickly overdub to fix a flub in his guitar track and accidently left all the channels engaged, and all it took was a quick UNDO and we were back in business. We can plug the whole band into it at once, record live, and then mix and burn a CD for our producer, all on this little magic box. It is a very cool piece of gear. We haven't got very deep into its automated mixing abilities and the effects cards we have in it, but so far, things have been great. Its real test comes in the next couple weeks when we'll be doing some really serious critical recordings with it.

    Definitely check it out.

    Brian
     
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Depends on what you're doing.

    As the hoary legend goes, the Beatles did Sgt. Pepper on a four track, heck until the late sixties most recordings were made with no overdubs of any kind! Gee, just think people had to play it right all the way through live, what a concept ;) To some extent the "need" for tracks has grown simply because they are there.

    Virtual tracks are used to store multiple takes of a part. Once you've picked one (or spliced a final take together from pieces of multiple takes) you then trash the rest. In the end, when you're mixing, you can't access all the virtual tracks.

    I'd say for most home recording eight tracks is plenty, especially if you are also using MIDI accompaniment rather than live drums, etc. (unless your goal is to do commercial quality CDs, in which case you probably don't want one of these all in one boxes anyway).
     
  9. I have a Roland VS-1680 and really like it. The 1680 will record 8 tracks simultaneously, and I think the 1880 is the same - however, you can mix up to 16 tracks on the 1680 (18 on the 1880). I would look around for a 1680 - they can be had for ~$1k5 as many dealers are selling selling them off to make way for the 1880.

    - Wil
     
  10.  
  11. puppeteering

    puppeteering

    Mar 16, 2000
    The brand new YAMAHA AW4416 looks immensely powerful for a dedicated hard-disk driven machine.... I am fairly certain it goes above your price range, but hell, if you're going to get into the studio world, you'll have to stop spending time thinking about silly things like budgets!! :)

    Seriously, has anyone had a chance to extensively use this machine? Real servo-operated motorized faders are just one function I have heard separates this machine from some of the others, not to mention the 24 bit and built in CD burner option.

    The good thing about Roland's stuff is that there's a virtual universe of users able and willing to provide you with support... worth it's wait in gold if you've ever killed an hour or more in the Roland Customer Service hotline...

    Cheers-

    AZ
     
  12. Player

    Player

    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    I just picked up the Fostex FD8 w/6 gig HD ($695). I haven't taken it out of the box yet, but here's why I got it. With my budget I had narrowed it down to this, the VF08 or the Korg D8. I decided on the FD8 because it has ADAT optical I/Os and I wanted to be able to dump tracks to and from the studio (2 Alesis ADATs). The Korg was short on storage (1.4 gig or 35 min of 8 track). I decided to give up the digital mixer and effects of the VF08 for the optical I/Os and SCSI port (SCSI is an option ($?)on the VF08). It was a tough decission. Both the Korg and VF08 are nice (especially for the price). The VF16 is really what I wanted (has optical I/Os and everything else), but I couldn't swing another $500. If not for the ADAT I/O requirement I think I would have gone for the VF8 over the D8 because of the larger storage (5.1 gig), additional 16 "virtual" tracks and it can import/export .wav files. When I first started looking at HD recorders a few years ago any one of these machines would have cost over $1k.
     
  13. virtual.ray

    virtual.ray

    Oct 25, 2000
    With both the Roland and the Akai,you gotta read the fine print.The Roland is only a 16 track recorder/reproducer IF you use the "MT Pro" mode which is a lossy compression scheme.If you want to record 16 bit linear data,it becomes an 8 track machine!The Akai fares a little better,I believe you can record 10 tracks and play back up to 16 at 16 bit/44 or 48 khz.But if you want to use it at 24 bit/96khz,which is what they throw in your face in the blurbs,it goes down to 8 tracks as well;hmmmm....IMHO if you wanna save money get the Fostex 'cause although it doesn't model the sound of your electric toothbrush,you get 16 real,noncompressed tracks for $1199.On the highend the Yamaha is currently leading,but I doubt that will last long.If it were me I'd get a used 880 or 1680 depending on how many horizontal tracks you need at one time,they ain't perfect either but at least they're cheap.
     
  14. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I've got a Fostex VF-16, and although some people told me they were no good, I am very pleased with it so far. The only thing I would bring up to you before you buy one is that only two of the 8 input channels have balanced XLR inputs with phantom power (you can turn PP on or off). Also, you can only put compression on two channels at a time (or the master), and if you have compression on a channel, you can't EQ it. Ran into this problem when mixing a kick drum. However, there is a send for an outboard effects unit, so this can solve the last problem.

    All in all a GREAT unit, comes with a 5GB hard drive (upgradeable) and a SCSI out. I'm doing my band's and another band's demos on it right now and so far (rough mixes) it sounds better than any CD I have ever recorded in a studio.

     
  15. Domino

    Domino

    Dec 5, 2000
    I'm thinking of purchasing a used Roland VS-880EX with two effects boards and the CD Burner that plugs into it.

    A good chat board for Roland equipment recording is http://www.vsplanet.com
     
  16. virtual.ray

    virtual.ray

    Oct 25, 2000
    I've got a VS880EX and they only hold one FX board altough on most of the presets two seperate FX are available.The VS 1680 and 1880 are the ones that can hold two FX boards,but you gotta pay extra for 'em whereas the 880EX comes with it at purchase.BTW,you might want to take a look at the new Tascam 788,I saw one at Mars Saturday for $1199 with Tascam's companion CD burner.It's a 24 bit machine.
     
  17. does any one know any good sites for digital recorder reviews? i have searched the web but haven't come up with much the satisfied