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Starter-level digital multitracker?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by RobS, Jan 9, 2002.


  1. RobS

    RobS

    Jan 8, 2002
    Madison, WI
    Howdy. Looking for recommendations and things to avoid in entry-lever digital multitrackers. Pros, cons... Thanks.
     
  2. RobS

    RobS

    Jan 8, 2002
    Madison, WI
    entry-level
     
  3. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Your budget?

    I'm not too familiar with stand-alone digital multitrackers, but I've seen some which utilize SmartMedia cards (the same kind that can be seen in various MP3 players and digital cameras) as the only means of storage. If I was to get a multitracker to use for more serious recording rather than just as a sketchpad, I would avoid such recorders.
    My reason why is simple: the cards are too small and you pay too much per megabyte. One minute of 16-bit mono 44.1 kHz audio takes up approximately 5 MB of space. So one minute with four tracks of music would take up 20 MB. On a 64 MB card, which at least around here would cost $60-$70, you could have roughly 3 minutes of 4-track music, which isn't a whole lot considering the the cost of the media. And what if you have several tunes that you're working on? You'd need several SmartMedia cards!

    There's also multitrackers that use ZIP disks, either 100 or 250 MB disks. As you probably already have understood, ZIP disks usually have larger capacity than SmartMedia, and while they also are cheaper per megabyte than aforementioned cards, they still are 10 times more expensive per megabyte than your regular IDE hard disk.

    So, if I didn't have the need of having a battery-powered multitracker ready in my pocket, I would get a device with a built-in hard disk, IDE or SCSI. If I by myself could change the hard disk to a larger one if I had the wish, that would be excellent. I'd also see that the multitracker either was equipped with or that I had the option of adding a USB or SCSI interface, so that I could transfer my mixes to my computer, and burn CD's with my mixes easily. An instrument input to eliminate the need of a DI box would also be nice. A drum machine would be cool as well, if I didn't have one already.

    Look into the Fostex VF-08 and the Zoom MRS-1044. They seem to be good value. The VF-08 is cheaper and supposedly of excellent quality, but doesn't have the Zoom's multitude of built-in effects. However, Zoom's reputation when it comes to effects isn't a very good one... The built-in drum machine on the Zoom could be cool, though.

    Do come back if you have more questions. :)
     
  4. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    TASCAM also has a 4-track. If it were me, I'd do the Guitarworks software. You have 24tracks and can do more producing. It's just not as protable. But it's around $50.
     
  5. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    A digital "entry-level" one? Why can't I find it? :(
     
  6. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
  7. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    Forget it...you said digital! Duh...Check the site though. Sorry.
     
  8. APouncer

    APouncer

    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
  9. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Boss BR-532
    Boss BR-8
    Fostex VF08


    I prefer the Fostex VF08. It has a 5.1 gig hard drive, compared to the BR-8's 100MB zip disk, and the the BR-532's 32MB smart media card. I also think you can do alot more with the Fostex as far as eq capabilities go.