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What is an 8-track Digital Recorder for?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by AlphaMale, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. AlphaMale


    Oct 30, 2006
    Ventura County
  2. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA
    I have a Tascam. I have used it for putting together fairly complex songs. I come from the era of old-school "boards" and have never recorded straight into my computer, so the 8-track allows me to work digital while still having the type of interface I'm used to. My stereo acts as my monitor. I mix and master the whole song on the 8-track, then dump the finished product onto my laptop. This song is a .wav file. I don't think I needed to install any new or special software to start using it.

    --Bomb :bassist:
  3. deekay911


    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    I have one of these and love it. You can use it to record your band live, using the inbuilt stereo mics, or use your own. Then you can also lay down tracks individually and build up and master a whole song. I did this by playing all the parts, using the inbuilt drum machine, and singing too. Its standalone so you dont have to have a PC, but you can export the file to a PC, Boss has free software to use to convert it to a wav file so you send to your friends or burn to CD. It has inbuilt effects, tons of features, you'll be playing for days.
  4. durarl


    Oct 29, 2007
    These recorders are great for certain applications. My garage band started out with one of these for our first album. Since there are only two inputs, it is difficult to mic a drum kit. You can run all the drum mics into a mixer, and then run it into a recorder, but then you can’t adjust the levels of individual drums. After that, you have to track each instrument one at a time. Which is a great method of recording anyways.

    For our second album we purchased an 8 input digital recorder. It is similar to the one you want, but you can record 8 individual instruments all at the same time. The downside is it costs a lot more. This allowed us to record the entire band at the same time, and it made for a great live recording. If you have the extra money, and you want to record your entire band live, this is the way to go. However, if you are strapped for cash, you can get a good recording with the two inputs if you are patient, and have the time to track each instrument separately.

    Our main song writer uses the old two input recorder for recording basic acoustic songs to give the band a feel for how they should be played and sang. It does work well for that.
  5. It replaced the 4 track cassette tape recorder that some of us spent countless hours recording, ping-ponging, rewinding, punching-in on in the late 80s.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - I remember doing that !! :p

    So it's about recording all the instruments for a tune/song - usually one by one ....so I used to start with drum machine track and keyboards, possibly programmed or live - then add bass, guitar and get a singer to add vocal tracks.

    Good way to demo original songs or introduce them to a band.
  7. Shameless Plug... :D

    There happens to be a super sweet recorder for sale on TB right now.


    You can make REAL nice recording with a decent unit. I was involved in a project that we recorded many tunes on the Yamaha I have for sale.
    You get a bit of ease of use, (compared to many software programs) portability, all in one kind of unit. Record, edit, add effects, eq, mix, master, and burn.
  8. GarethBull


    May 4, 2001
    A machine like that can record 8 tracks and then let you adjust the level, equalisation, effects and other setings of each track until you get the tracks balanced with each other and are ready to convert the song to a regular stereo format.

    Some have hard disks build into them. Some even have CD burners that let you burn a CD that you can play on a hifi system (as long as your hifi CD player can play CD's you burned yourself). That Boss BR-600 doesn't have a hard disk or CD burner. It stores the recorded music on Compact Flash memory cards (which are in common use with several different brands of digital cameras). You would still need to plug the memory card into a computer with a CD burner to create a playable CD.

    That web link doesn't say if there is a limit on how many tracks the BR-600 will record at the same time (just because it can play 8 recorded tracks at the same time, that doesn't mean it can also record 8 tracks at the same time). A little bit more checking and the BR-600 only records two tracks at the same time. To record a song that uses 8 tracks, the band would need to play the song 4 times, and each time you record two different tracks (that's assuming you need to use all 8 tracks).

    For an extra $50 the Fostex MR-8HD CD seems better value to me (built in CD burner, record 4 tracks at the same time, built in hard disk with more storage than memory cards, can supply phantom power to mics if they need it....).


    If you're really interested, I have an absolute classic Tascam 464 four track cassette recorder sitting in my closet that I don't use any more, complete with manual and original box, in excellent condition! :eyebrow: (I really do have a 464 in my closet, exactly as mentioned)
  9. Since I have stepped up I still use my 8 track for quick ideas and for recording live stuff to stereo, until I can afford on eof those nifty new handheld recorders.
  10. Heck, I've still got a PortaOne and 424MkII in the collection. Actually still use the MkII as a front end mixer for home recordings.

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