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help with 4 track

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Chris3142, Jan 17, 2001.

  1. Alright, heres the deal, me and my band doesnt have much money, we have a 4 track recorder, we want to get a demo tape down because thats really the only way to get gigs. But with 2 guitars, a bass, 2 vocals, and drums, thats more then 4 tracks. how can we record it all? We might have enough money for an okay mixer, but how do we record everything? I figure thats got to be about 8 tracks, 2 for guitar, one for bass, 2 for vocals, and atleast 3 or 4 for drums. would buying an eight track help? or can we put everything into a mixer (we need one anyway) then put the mixer into the recorder? Please please please help me.

  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Chris I have tried to answer your post twice now and my PC ate it or something :( so......

    If you record something on track 1 and something on track 2 you can then record them both to track 3. This is called bouncing. So you can record on track 1 record something else later on track 2 (this is called overdubbing) and then 3 and bounce to 4. So now you has 3 things on 4 and space on 123 ,you can bounce 1 an 2 to 3 meaning you have 3 things on track 4 and 2 things on track 3. So you have 6 inputs on 2 tracks leaving 2 tracks for say vocals. With me?

    For your situation I would record a guide track with vocal guitar and cowbell (or something the drummer can hit) Then record from the drums up, overdubbing and bouncing while you go.

    You could stuff all the inputs in a mixer and record live to a stereo recorder or your 4 track.

    An 8 track would be subjectively better but I would try your 4-track first.

    I hope this is of help to you.

  3. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Most muti-track recorders are stereo.

    For your demo, probably mono is fine.

    On tracks 1 - 4 left side, record 4 things

    on tracks 1 - 4 right side record 4 things

    play it back mono

    Bam! 8-track mono recorder!!

    Good luck!!
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    gbrooks: That will work only if there are four inputs on the portastudio. Otherwise, it would have to be miked live.

    Nowadays, you might be better off recording a whole band performance into a Minidisc. Just make sure you get a good balance overall and you're ready to roll.

    Will C.:cool:
  5. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I don't think so... I only have 2 inputs and it seems to be working fine for me. Or at least it was working fine until I picked up Vegas and Sound Forge.
  6. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001
    Chris, your decision may also depend on additional information. You didn't specify what type(s) of gig the demo was going to be used for or what style your band plays. For some clubs and small events, a simple tape recording using the techniques mentioned by CS and gbrooks will be fine. But if you're trying for middle to large venues, weddings/formal parties (depends on the style that you play obviously), something to show AR people from labels, or popular nightclubs, a simple tape recording like this might now be enough. For something of that nature, you might acutally want to pick your 2 or 3 most popular songs and go to a recording studio for 2 days and get a much better quality (hopefully, anyways) recording of your band. A lot of small or mid-size studios will give you a decent rate for a 2-day, 16 or 20 hour block of studio time, which should be enough time to record and mixdown 2 or 3 songs. Provided that the every member of the band can play their part very well.
  7. Yeah, sorry i didnt mention what type of music we play, but its rock/punk/emo/ska (with no horns) we touch base on a lot of genres because our drummer is a ska fanatic, rhythm guitarist is really into the emo stuff, lead guitar loves classic rock, so his solos are really influenced by that type of thing and I bring the punk to the table. So, its a mixture. And we're just trying to get something together to show our friends and parents, we're all 15. But, we want it to be good enough that we can give it to medium/large venues and possibly get gigs. And the other problem, we dont have any money, we just bought a PA which cost like 1400. Now, with a mackie 808S does anybody know if we can record out of that? like just record it live, no mixing required because it would be premixed by the 808S? Thanks for everyone's help.
  8. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001

    Just checked out the page on Mackie...


    It looks like you can use the L Mixer Out & R Mixer Out, or, the Tape Outs. These both appear to be in the lower right corner of the front panel. These are both line level outputs and can plug into any 2-track recorder that you can think of(i.e., cassette player, minidisc, DAT, etc.) I would use a cassette at first to play around with the PA settings and get used to recording through it and then later, if the sound is adequate, use a minidisc or DAT.

    If anyone has ever tried to burn a CD live in this type of fashion, I would appreciate if they could make any comments on their success and setup.

    I hope this helps, but if it doesn't keep asking questions.
  9. my band actually has about 2 mixers one is hooked up tothe drum which is then miked into the bigger mixer which id sent into the 4 track with the vocal and then the bass and 2 guitars go next but we might get a mixer which i don't know why but we will then have a problem but we have a 24 input mixer so we will find out something i am sure!! but for now it seems to work nicely!!
  10. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI

    We had an even cheesier setup once, but somehow the recordings came out really well. We hung one good AKG mic from the ceiling in the middle of the room and ran it through an old Yamaha mixer into a TDK cd recorder. We'd check our levels first and then just press record on the crappy TDK thing and play. Then we "finalized" the disc and listened to the recordings. I think we used 1 cdrw for almost a whole year. Cheap and painless. Ahhh, those were the good old days :)

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