Recording Tracks Simultaneously

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by ahaynes4, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. ahaynes4

    ahaynes4 Guest

    Oct 25, 2005
    Athens, GA
    Hello all, I play in a 4 piece (bass, drums, guitar, keys) funk/ jazz/blues band. Since we have a "jam band" type of thing goin on, all the good chemestry occurs during our improvised jam sessions, thus the need for simultaneous recording. We need a fairly cheap ($300-500) solution for getting decent recordings of our jams. I've browsed through these options:
    -Recording directly from a mixer
    -8-track digital recorder
    -Firewire Interface
    -PCI Digital Audio Card
    I am fairly new to the world of recording, and I'm a little confused as to what can record tracks simultaneously and what can't. When I browsed through the 8-tracks I noticed some only had 2 track simultaneous recording, some had 4. Also, does anybody have any experience with recording directly from a mixer into an editing program? If anyone knows more about recording simultaneous tracks, any info would be appreciated! Cheers from the BOTTOM end
  2. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    that many tracks that cheap is gonna be pretty tough. If you have a soundcard on your computer that his lightpipe in maybe u could get that smpro audio a channel lightpipe box. Very few standalone recorders that will record 8 actual ins are close to that price. Your looking at something like a digi002 or m-audio project I/O. Those start at about $1200. the firepod is another and i think those are like $750, but it does not have faders. I alot of people seem to like the firepods, u just cant run pro tools, which is a big deal for me but not for others.

  3. $599 is the norm these days for a new one.
  4. rboyce


    Oct 12, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Have you considered a "stand alone" multi-track recorder? These units are ideally suited for recording a live band (either on stage or in a rehearsal space). I own a Fostex VF-16 (the predecessor of their current model, the VF-160ex), and it's perfect for capturing band rehearsals. Both the VF-16 and the VF-160 allow you to simultaenously record 8 tracks at a time. And if you buy an external mic preamp with ADAT output (like the Behringer ADA8000), both units will allow you to record 16 tracks simultaneously! I just leave my VF-16 (and ADA8000) set up in my rehearsal space, so we can quickly and easily record (and later mix down) our practices. And if there are any "live" tracks that we feel are worth working on, then we still have the ability to do some overdubs and some limited post-production. Obviously, most of these types units can't match a computer-based DAW in terms of functionality (effects, unlimited tracks, etc., etc.), but I personally find the stand-alone units perfect for live-tracking bands.

    You can probably score a used VF-16 for $300-$400 on eBay, and not that much more for a used VF-160 or VF-160ex. If you buy a VF-16, keep in mind that the default hard drive is only 5 gig; the good news is that it's easily to replace it with a larger IDE hard drive (I've got a 40gig HD installed in mine).

    As far as some other manufacturers...I think Korg's D-16 allows you to record 12 tracks simultaneously, and Yamaha's AW16G allows you to record 8 tracks simultaneously. But these units typically sell for much more than the Fostex units on eBay. And the Fostex units are pretty unique in the fact that they can be expanded to record 16 tracks simultaneously.


  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Tascam 788 will do 6 simultaneous. 4 mic/line input and aux. So we sub-mix drums leaving the kickk on a separate channel. guitar & bass take up two more, vocals get the remaining 2 in my trio. Mix down is 12 or 14 max as I recall. I haven't needed that many so I haven't maxed out.

    Our technique has been to get a live mix and then re-record using the pre-existing tracks as guide. So getting a rough mix first works for us. One issue you'll have to deal with is mic separation, especially on the drum set Unless you have some form of isolation booth for the drums, recording live in a project studio is problematic. Myabe better to capture the live feel from lub playing and then clean it up a track at a time at home... Your mileage may vary....

    You can midi-link 2 788's for 12 simultaneous in and something like 24 at mix. 1 get's to be the 'master' and it's transport controls the 'slave' machine. 788's are discontinued so the EBay price is pretty low these days. Really good sound quality at either 16 or 24 bits. They use IDE ATA/100 internal drives which are cheap. Still supported by Tascam, the latest software is $25 on a ROM chip and it takes 5 mintues to bring the machine up to date. You get two choices for burning cd's. 1. Use a Tascom cd burner 2. If you have a decent sound card with clean and quiet audio in or preferrably SP/Dif, play the final mix to your computer and record it using WaveLab Lite or Sound Forge or ??? and burn from their. With the Tascam you will eventually want their burner as well.

    I've had decent luck with mine. I carry the 788, power supply, cabling and a Mackie 1202, wrapped in towel in an old TravelPro roll'a'board suitcase. Someday I need to get something heavier duty but by then it will proably be something heavier duty to record with anyway...

    1 tip - If you're using a Mackie board that has channel inserts (like my 1202 vlz pro) you can pull off independant channels by inserting a 1/4" mono (tip & sleeve) into the insert until the first 'click'. Mackie sends on the 'Ring' and returns on the Tip so you basically have a separate send to play with... that can be helpful. You also have an overall mic level or +4 dbu that will let you use the full Mackie to sub-mix with and then bring it into one track on the recorder.

    2nd tip - be prepared to spend a long time getting a drum sound and then document the hell out of everything. Your notebook is your best friend 'cuase this takes a lot of setup time.

    3rd tip - be patient and make sure that you get a good clean and loud set of counts before beginning the tune - or you'll do a lot of hunt and peck later... 1234,2234 ... you'll trim them off prior to mastering but the re-recording thing is a bear without