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Digital 8 track machines vs PC recording.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. I know a few of the pros cons...

    Pros 8 track: simple :)
    Cons 8 track: lack of quality

    Pros PC Studio: many different programs, possibilities of professional level mixing....

    Cons PC Studio: complicated.... :)


    That pretty much sums up my knowledge. I searched and came up with that most 8 track machines have good, but only ok sound quality and the vocals are often really bad quality... I like the simplicity

    I have also done a little mastering with some programs on my computer, I dont really like the process.... But it works well.


    So, tell me why a Digital 8 track will be good enough for recording tracks and that I should buy one of those. or convince me that learning all the PC mumbo jumbo is worth it...
  2. I'd go with the computer if possible, because it will allow you to incorporate softsynths later on if you like, as well as simplifying editing immensely. A computer also lets you try a few programs until you find one you like best.
  3. I chose to go with a digital 8 track for several reasons. :rolleyes: Economics was one, my Tascam DP-01FX was 400 bucks and a computer that would allow me to do at least as well would have been 2 or more grand. :eek: Speed and simplicity was another factor, the Tascam already made sense but the computer was gonna take valuable time to learn not to mention the frustration factor (I had already travelled a while on the computer road b4 going with a DAW). :meh:
    As fas as quality goes the only way I feel that it is a compromise is with drums which I have to submix into a stereo trak. I am having to really work to get a vocal sound I am truely happy with but that has more to do with my mic and signal chain but I am almost there. Admittedly I am working with 2 vocalists that are a very dynamic and a challenge to record, even for a pro level studio and they are both happier with the results in my home studio that they have been anywhere else in town and there are some top studios they have both tried.
    When I got this DAW it was one of a few out there and there are some more interesting choices out there that offer more flexibility.
    All in all I am still happy with my choice but I have to admit that I am finishing some projects using my old computer for some mixing and editing because of the progammability and flexibility. But I am still recording real audio/analog things on the Tascam and transferring the wav files into the computer.
  4. When you factor in cost, I might have done the same as you. I was assuming that you already had most of a computer, and just needed software and an audio interface to complete it.
  5. The computer in my studio is over 10 years old and would need a new mother board to support a good digital I/O, I tried several PCI bus card I/O before giving up. It's a great old machine but it is just not up to speed for todays technology. A new studio recording computer is in the planning stages, exploring the options. I really like the idea of a Mackie Onyx mixer going firewire as my I/O interface and control surface, I'm old school and twisting virtual knobs just don't tweak me.
  6. I'm with you on the knobs. :smug:
  7. I don't think an Onyx can act as a control surface for recording software. You'd need a Mackie Control Universal or a Project Mix or something like that.
  8. I got the impression that Onyx mixers were interactive with Traktion software which is pretty cool.
  9. Don't think so, but you should ask. If it did do that, there would be no market for the MCU.

    AFAIK the Onyx can act as a digital I/O and can control the signal before it gets into the computer and after it comes out, but it can't directly control Tracktion parameters within the computer. IOW, it won't act as a full-fledged DAW control surface. But again, you should check with Mackie.
  10. Good lord, go PC. Many more options, much more flexible. You'll be short selling yourself if you go with a multitrack box, trust me, I have had both. PC is the way!

    Good luck!
  11. This is the vibe I'm getting.... I already have several pieces pf software... I need the hardware though... mixer... I have a guitar port throught USB but the quality is terrible... I also have no way to record vocals.

    Edit... I'm also a Comp Sci major... so I dont mind twiddling with things and have a knack for figuring things out :). Eventhough I tend to prefer simpler methods of doing things..
  12. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck

    Sep 19, 2006
    Plainfield Illinois
    I recently set up a PC based studio and spent about $700. I purchased a Tascam 1082, works great as a DAW, as well as Cubase SX3, my super rich guitarist bought Waves Diamond bundle for a price I care not to mention. It works out good enough for demo quailty but not really a polished pro sound. But then again it was just me mixing and mastering and I am a newb. Check out www.tweakheadz.com I learned so much from them it is ridiculous.

    Heres what my band did in one afternoon with about 8 hours of polishing the sound in software.
  13. I've been using a Fostex VF16 for quite some time now. The learning curve on these porta studios is pretty steep so be ready to do a lot of reading and re-reading and then trial and error. I've come to the point that I save what I have recorded with the VF16 to wav files on the CD burner, transfering those files into my computer and then doing the final mix with adobi Audition. I'm getting ready to purchase a Presonus FireStudio which will allow me to record directly into my computer and will also interface with my portastudio making it easily record 16 tracks at once. I think the porta studios are more portable and might be a bit easier to record with. I know that a computer based system is much easier and better to mix down with.

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