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Demo recording - help out?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by djole94hns, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Hello there,
    I need help choosing which interface to choose for recording demos and songs. I take the route of recording 1 instrument at the time, starting with drums>bass>guitar then vocals (for the basic set). I am on the hunt for a cheap but good interface.
    For now, my options are:
    Alesis iO2 Express - USB
    Steinberg CI-1 - USB
    Behringer F-CONTROL AUDIO FCA202 - FireWire
    Line 6 POD Studio GX - USB
    Lexicon Alpha Desktop Recording Studio - USB

  2. all that stuff will complicate your life.

    Get a little 4 or 8 track tape machine, grab a couple cassettes/tape reels, go to town, make some demos, post them online, snag a record deal, go on tour, and conquer the universe!!!!!
  3. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    I'd say this is terrible advice, unless you WANT to complicate your life. :rollno:

    Who the Hell is using cassettes these days?! To the OP, I don't know the interfaces listed, but I'm sure every one would be an upgrade to the tape suggestion.
  4. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014
    My Lexicon Alpha works fine for me, the latency free monitoring was a big plus point when I was looking at interfaces. Any of them are going to sound better & make your life much simpler than a tape machine.
  5. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    We do everything w Q-Bass
  6. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    If you plan on using a condensor microphone for vocals or instruments, make sure whichever interface you get has phantom power.
  7. SingleTrk


    Feb 14, 2014
    I used the FCA202 for a while... worked fine. My current laptop doesn't have firewire though, so I am not using it at this point. I recently picked up the Behringer UCA202 (USB), but haven't tried using it to record yet.
  8. you can make a pretty good demo on a little tape machine!
    -it takes 30 seconds to setup.
    -you don't have to worry very much about clipping!
    -the signal you put into it is what goes onto tape, nothing else.
    -tape has it's own built in compression

    all that software interface stuff will take you all day to connect, install software, setup plugins, adjust input levels, name files, create folders, blah blah blah.

    one of them little tape machines you can setup and record and have your demo ready in about an hour. mix it straight into your computer line in jack, record in stereo using default recorder stuff to .wav or .aiff, and you are done.

    Save yourself the headache and use tape. You'll be glad you did.
  9. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    I've been quite happy with my Tascam US-1800. It was $200 brand new and has 8 mic inputs so you can multi track rehearsals too.
  10. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    I'd call this being lazy.

    Of course cassette has the extra benefits of crosstalk, generation loss, limited flexibility, poor archiving, and media to buy and store. :rollno:
  11. robthebassplaye

    robthebassplaye The World Needs More Bass Players - Start Early !! Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    I really would not go this route in this day and age.

    I've had personal experience with the Line 6 POD and the Lexicon Desktop a few years ago - my rigs have gotten bigger since then. Both can be had for a reasonable price used, both are trivial to use with a modern computer (just make sure your computer doesn't have a paper tape reader... , that will complicate your life !).
  12. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    I was going to go with the Tascam until I came across the Focusrite series.

    Then the Air Force decided that I didn't need a reenlistment bonus. Or the job that I was going to be going to school for. Yeah. So this never happened.
  13. +1

    How you will get it to a medium that people can actually listen to is a mystery though...
  14. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014
    All day to install drivers & software? really? no need for plugins unless you want them but at least you can use them unlike tape & you make it sound like hitting Ctrl + S to save is a big deal.

    Besides any time spent setting up will be saved when it comes to tracking, wrong note, record the track again, changed one word, record the track again, next we'll be getting the razor blades out.

    I can't image recording with only 8 tracks for anything but simple songs especially if you're using real drums, it's 2014, using tape now is just pointless.
  15. +1 to MrTaff!
    If you need all day to set up digital recording you must be using Windows 3.1.
  16. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    Also, you could consider a portable recorder. I recorded my current band's demo using my zoom h2 (~$200) and audacity (free), and i think it came out pretty awesome.

    the demo:

    I used to use an interface, but after a couple years it started being unreliable, and then eventually stopped working altogether.
  17. robthebassplaye

    robthebassplaye The World Needs More Bass Players - Start Early !! Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Or, a computer with a tape reader....


  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    For interfaces, Some do things like have local monitoring busses with effects, so it doesn't have to go through the PC to add some reverb while monitoring. Other will have effects loops for hardware if you have any. Other have some decent built in effects to offload the PC.

    There's some mixers out there with 2 to 4 USB channels.
    This can be handy for drums where you're trying to get 11 mics down to 4 tracks.

    Are you looking for a DAW? Many of the interfaces come with a light version of a DAW. Maybe you already have a DAW in mind. The DAW itself may be the biggest impact. All the stuff like track sync, continuous takes, punch in, out, automation like riding levels, all are taken care of in DAWs.

    It's amazing what some people can do with a stereo handheld recorder, Then again life may be easier with 8 simultaneous recording channels. I have a couple of small interfaces that I can combine to look like one big interface with ASIO4ALL - which is free.
  19. masterFlash


    Jul 6, 2009
    I have windows 7 laptop (i5, 8GB ram)
    I have M-Audio Fast Track (2 channels)
    Also have Tascam us-1800 (16 channels)

    The m-audio sounds good. mostly stable. has caused my system to crash if I don't exit recording software before shutting it off.
    (used on craigslist for $100)

    Tascam sounds a bit thinner, has been more stable than the M-Audio so far.(used on ebay for $165)

    As for recording software I have used

    Audacity.Free. It's ok.

    Ableton. LE version came with the M-Audio. Limited to 4 tracks at a time. Has lots of cool effects. Session view is awesome way to brainstorm.

    Cubase. Got the trial version. kept crapping out on me. It would stop recording after 42 seconds. Tons of awesome effects and plugins.

    Reaper. Using a trial. So far it's been super solid, and easiest to set up a new project in. No problem recording 8 tracks at once. I haven't pushed it to do all 14 yet.