What do you mean my Grandma's old tape deck is outdated?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Papazita, Feb 26, 2010.


  1. Papazita

    Papazita

    Jun 27, 2008
    Ohio
    Alright, help out a total recording noob here.

    As stated in the title, my experience with recording technology is severely limited and outdated. I'm not looking for anything major; I just want something I can sit with and record, tweak and edit whatever ideas come along. Maybe something portable that I can take to practices, jam sessions, and the like. With a hefty tax refund coming, I've got money to burn as well (although I really don't want to spend a fortune!).

    So far, the only piece of gear that is definitely on my buy list is a Boss GT-10B effects unit, which has a USB out for data and audio transfer. Not sure how well this will work for recording, or if I need anything else (software, etc).

    What else could/should I be considering?
    A multitrack portastudio, such as this Tascam unit:
    http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Tascam-DP02-Digital-Portastudio?sku=241788?
    What else would I absolutely need to go with it?

    I also noticed this cool-looking specialized recording netbook:
    http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Indamixx-Indamixx-Laptop-MKII?sku=582390
    which will save me from having to bog down my home computer with software; plus...it's portable!
    I like the price on this thing, first of all. I also like the overall features and flexability vs a portastudio. I don't like that you need an external CD drive for burning...not sure if I could connect it to my home computer and its drive or not.
    Again...what else is a necessity to go with it?

    Or... am I over-thinking this, and there's some $100 magic box that will do everything I want and need?

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. You're not overthinking it: however, you aren't thinking right.

    I applaud you for ascertaining precisely what you need now, and how to get it without paying too much: however, I would suggest a more capable rig, so as to accomodate the inevitable scope creep.

    Here's what I would start out with, were I starting in recording all over again:

    Stereo audio interface. 2-in, 2-out, ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. Don't be fooled into any kind of mono solution - also, don't be fooled into getting one without XLR inputs! You never know when you'll need a mike. The Presonus Audiobox USB is fairly decent, at $195 local in my neck of the woods.

    A DAW - I use Ableton LIVE, but other people will use whatever they prefer.

    These two items (assuming you have a computer and speakers/headphones) will let you do everything you want, ever - you can buy more gear to let you do it quicker or better, but you could, technically, record an album with a 2-channel interface into a DAW.
     
  3. 4lPh4n0m3g4

    4lPh4n0m3g4

    Nov 19, 2004
    Good advice from R. Laevinus.

    IMO, your interface is the most important purchase, at this stagemake sure it has a decent pre-amp section. Even the best mic can't shine if it is hindered by a inadequate pre and tha tis one sure way to make a so so mic. sound worse than it is. Plus, there are many ways to solve athe problems associated w/ cheaper mics. if your pre is "junk", your hindered from the get go.

    For editing software I would recommend one of the more simple programs Like Garageband (Mac) or Mixcraft (PC)

    There is also a Freeware editing program called Reaper that is very similar to theose mentioned above.

    IMO, your interface is the most important purchase, at this stage make sure it has a decent pre-amp section. Even the best mic cant shine if it is hindered by a inadequate pre.

    IMO, don't bother with the gimmick gadget types of recording gear. ( Or if you do, don't have unreasonable expectations. Theres typically a reason why a unit is a jack of all trades, yet is still "cheap".)

    If your serious about recording you will soon come to realize all the limitations by these types of devices and want to upgrade to better gear. If you decide recording isn't for you the resale value on such items is typically low, you will take a hit on recouping your investment.

    On the other hand, if you buy a decent piece of gear and fairly shortly thereafter decide recording isn't for you, the resale value will be significantly high than the cheaper piece.

    That said, even w/ better gear one cant wait too long if resale is desirable due to the rate at which tech. is rendered obsolete

    For PC, I would look at, (as suggested) a Presonus, (can get one foe between $100.-$200, or for a more features (and expense) I would suggest a MOTU interface.

    That netbook actually looks pretty good. The 2gig RAM upgrade is nice. Never heard of the company before, but worth looking into for that price fore sure; Especially with the software that comes pre-installed, just about every app one would need.


    I'd say for -$2K you can get a good recording/editing solution ( mics/cables/interface, boomstands, etc) that will do what you want and still have enough flexability to be expanded upon or integrated with more gear as expenses allow.
     
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Reaper isn't freeware - the licence is $60 for most users, on an honour system.

    It's also the best DAW I've used for my way of working; this is a matter of personal choice, though, as noted.
     
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    That netbook looks a decent little gadget if you don't mind it being Linux based. You'll need a decent interface to go with it to record your stuff.

    As far as burning goes, a USB memory stick would be all you'd need to transfer stuff over to a regular PC for burning.
     
  6. 4lPh4n0m3g4

    4lPh4n0m3g4

    Nov 19, 2004
    Good point. Def. worth keeping in mind.

    I would actually prefer Linux over MS Windows OS; too much pre-installed garbage/bloat-ware and unneeded processes/coding for the majority of users IMO. Open source is the future of apps; M.S. and their grab at a monopoly can **** off. But I digress...

    Back on topic... Depending on the quality your looking for, a decent field recorder may work for you. Very simple to set-up and operate, compact and versatile. I like the Sony PCM D50.
     
  7. Tascam is a great way to go & the DP02 is a pretty cool machine but it is only 8 tracks/2 inputs. You should look at a 2488 neo which offers a whole lot more stuff for just a little bit more 24 tracks/8 inputs. Believe me once you get started you'll outgrow the DP02 very quickly.
    I'll only say this about the portastudio vs computer recording:
    You will have to spend a whole lot more time and money on a computer system to match the Tascam for quality and features.
     
  8. 4lPh4n0m3g4

    4lPh4n0m3g4

    Nov 19, 2004
    I can agree with that; but IMO, a portastudio will never match the versatility or expandability of a PC/MAC based recording solution. Yet still, that is an excellent and valid suggestion; especially for someone just starting out, it would even retain enough functionality even for semi-experienced engineers; which isn't the case with many less expensive "portastudios"

    From what Ive seen, the Tascam 2488 is about as close to a magic box as your likely to find for "full featured" unit.

    For a more simple and portable recording solution, (sketch pad/live material recorder) theres also the Roland CD-2

    http://www.roland.com/products/en/CD-2/
     
  9. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    An audio interface for the Indamixx Netbook.

    BTW. One can create bootable USB 2.0 keys for OS installations as well as use said keys for transferring files to another computer (networking, and 'cloud computing' would be options too).

    If one really needs a DVD burner there are a number of slim, external, USB 2.0 units from various manufacturers at reasonable prices.

    'Almost forgot: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8262002&postcount=19
     
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