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New cheap discovery (for me at least)!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by KingOfAmps, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. It all started when I wanted to record my bass--just to tape riffs and crap. Was not trying to "make a CD". So I went and blew two or three hundred bucks on a used Tascam mkII 4-track, special tapes and an SM57 or 58 (can't remember which) and mic cables and special Impedance adaptors and such. Well, I had hoped between that stuff, an SVT-CL (w/balanced line out), three different cabs, a good passive Fender P-bass, the Manual, a lot of free-time and homerecording.com that things would be OK. Wrong. It all sucked. The track of the balanced line out from the amp was thin. Track of the mic'd cab was quiet and thin. Straight in balanced and unbalanced. Tried everything. Levels all different ways. Knobs (on the bass & amps & recorder) and buttons in all different positions. Blending tracks. Different mix-down techniques. Different special adaptors and tapes. Borrowed a different amp that had an adjustable balanced out level knob. Tried the unbalanced out (worked better). Borrowed an AKG D112 after advice here (worked better). Basically experienced what many beginners seem to report here. Well, at that point I was advised I needed a compressor and a limiter, an additional(!) mixer, an active bass, different strings and three or four other things that I can't remember (this part all happened back in March). And at that point I threw in the towel. I said f**k it! I then auctioned all of it off and felt relieved. Well the other day I was visiting my mom and saw that her 30 year old Sanyo tape recorder had a tiny (1/8) mic input. I brought it home, plugged straight into it, put in some wore-out old 20 cent Maxell Lo-Fi with a hundred dubs on it already, hit record and Son of a B*t*h! I sound like thunder.
  2. that's really funny! I visit this board as I have absolutely NO recording experience.......I think I'll just get a used 4-track recorder!
  3. ...and just last night I figured out a way to run a line from my Nokia's "ear out" jack to the above mentioned 1/8" in on the old Sanyo and record cell phone conversations very discreetly. :eek: I'm starting to creep myself out....
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    My best MacGyver feat was a cheap way to record half-speed versions of a song for practice.

    Tools used:

    - double tape-deck with highspeed-dubbing

    - a cassette adaptor (used to plug a discman into a car cassette stereo with no line in)

    Put the cassette adapter in tape drive 1 and a audio tape in drive 2.
    Set everything to highspeed dub recording

    Connect a cd player to cd cassette adaptor and press play, after you pressed record on the tape deck.

    You get a recording at roughly half-speed. My tape did 1.8 speed so I had to adjust the tuning of my bass. But it worked fine!
  5. Boppingtheory


    Aug 27, 2001
    My advice for beginners: before throwing away a lot of bucks in expensive and complex rigs, define carefully your aims and needs, try to squeeze as much out of your equipment, then upgrade your gear as you grow as musician.
    Here are some cheap solutions for record your rehearsals:
    1) if you play only one instrument and rehearse occasionally with your friends, some good mics, a small mixer and an analog recorder (even rented) could be the way;
    2) if you have a hifi VCR available at home, you could use it as a mixdown deck (you could need an inexpensive SCART/RCA);
    3) you could buy a small analog stereo cassette Walkman such as Sony WMD6C or WM GX400 or WM GX600 paired with Sony ECM MS907 or AT822 or M35 stereo mics;
    4) you could buy a portable mini disk recorder but in this case consider the reliability of the device and the possibility to share the mini disk with the other members of your group;
    5) as you grow as musician and you think about how to fix your original projects or masterpieces you could consider HD recording systems as investments;
    5) let folks crazy about new recording tecnologies spend their money in upgrading sound devices for you, and use their equipments only when you really need.
  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i probably made the best cheap discovery EVER the other day...

    a music store around these parts had a DOD FX10 Bi-Fet preamp pedal for $5 on clearance. so i bought it, run one end into my bass and the other end into my soundcard and VOILA! perfect cheap preamp for recording stuff! it actually doesn't sound bad at all.
  7. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...my room...
    I record all my stuff onto a 4 track mixer with regular tapes..
    and ive figured out how to get just as good quaility as a really expensive recorder that uses Tapes or master cassettes.
    mine cost 89 bucks at mars music.
    I actually use my bass amp for monitoring.. i dont mic anything until vocals . I run my drums(electronic drums), guitar(2 guitar tracks, lead and rhythm or else rhythm and rhythm)..and then bass(usually have it higher up than guitar so it cuts through 2 guitars.. and for a 160 dollar bass and one pickup... and really thin bass strings... IT CUTS LIKE BUTTER THREW CHEESE.
  8. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    I've recently realized that my handheld tape recorder with built-in microphone is inadequate to record rehearsals for learning/crtiquing purposes.

    I started using my trusty old Tascam 244 4 track and two mics in crossed pair configuration. Trouble is, the tapes are 2x speed, so I'd have to mix down to normal speed, etc.

    I then realized that I had a laptop computer (iBook), and that there is a free version of Prootols available for download from Digidesign.

    Now I realize that this software can do a lot more stuff, but I'm using it to turn my laptop into a 2 channel digital recorder. I plug a Sony 907 stereo mic into my laptop via a Griffin iMic ($35) and USB port, and voila! I'm recording to the hard drive.

    Once I get the tracks on the hard drive, I pan the tracks to get some stereo separation, and then bounce to disk. You can bounce to disk in .WAV or .AIFF, or even mp3 (1 mo trial permit - but you can buy a version from digidesign). I'm bouncing to .AIFF and then using iTunes to convert to mp3.

    The sound is suprisingly good, and it makes sharing rehearsal tapes over the web easy and pretty painless.

    I do burn the original tracks to CD pretty quickly, or else my hard drive gets full fast.

    I thought this would be a huge pain in the butt, but it has turned out to be pretty simple and the sound quality is surprisingly good, and being able to post the mp3's to other band mates makes it super useful.
  9. Ibanez_SR400


    Jan 17, 2003
    I went and bought the Fostex MR8 and let me tell you it is the easiest digital recorder out. Within 15mins I was recording and editing my tracks. So if any one is thinking about buying a new recording get the Fostex MR8.
  10. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Hey shirojiro,
    I got a couple of questions for you.
    Does Prootols work with OS X ? and is that Pro Tools not Prootols ?
    Do you have a link for it ?
    Do you really need Pro Tools in order to record ?
    Thanks, Tony

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