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Thread: Home recording with synths.

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    Home recording with synths.

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    I've been a musician for quite some time but I'm a complete newb when it comes to recording. My current set up is this: Roland Gaia and JDXi, Waldorf Blofeld and Streichfett, Korg ms20 Mini, Arturia MicroBrute, Teenage Engineering pocket operators, Gakken sx150, the Korg monotron series and an Alesis sr16. I'm currently setting up a very basic home studio. I have a Shure sm58 and sm57 to record vocals, my melodica and my ukulele. The multitrack I'm using will be the Zoom r8.

    That being said, my question is this: What cables and other equipment will I need to properly record my synths into the r8? Can I use, say the gaia, as a midi out for the Streichfett and record It directly into the r8 as well? And lastly can I record the Alesis sr16 directly into the zoom?

    I had a tascam 8 track years ago that I used to record an acoustic album, but it was not digital. And I'm completely new to recording digital and to recording synths. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    "WILL be the R8" have you bought it yet? If not IMHO don't.

    My suggestion would be a muliti input Audio Interface such as the Tascam 16-08, that will certainly take all the inputs you need. Without Googling each one can I assume they are all keyboards/syths/sound generators of some sort? Naturally you cannot play more than two keyboards at a time* but it makes sense to have everything plugged ready to go. The mic pre amps on the Tascam are likely better than the R8(this is not to say the Zoom is not a useful thing, it is but not, I would aver as the "central control" of a project studio?

    *The keys are however surely " MIDI'ed"? Thus you could probably play them all at once! The Tascam can also record MIDI data, the R8 cannot.

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    "WILL be the R8" have you bought it yet? If not IMHO don't.

    My suggestion would be a muliti input Audio Interface such as the Tascam 16-08, that will certainly take all the inputs you need. Without Googling each one can I assume they are all keyboards/syths/sound generators of some sort? Naturally you cannot play more than two keyboards at a time* but it makes sense to have everything plugged ready to go. The mic pre amps on the Tascam are likely better than the R8(this is not to say the Zoom is not a useful thing, it is but not, I would aver as the "central control" of a project studio?

    *The keys are however surely " MIDI'ed"? Thus you could probably play them all at once! The Tascam can also record MIDI data, the R8 cannot.

    Dave.
    They are all indeed synthesizers and keyboards, however I don't own a pc, laptop or tablet. So I have nothing in which to connect an interface to, so that may be a bit out of my price range. The only actual synth I have that needs a midi controller is the Waldorf Streichfett, but I'd be controlling it with another hardware synth. The r8 still couldn't record it?

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    "however I don't own a pc," Well, get one! They are MOST handy.
    Seriously you can pick up a second hand Win7 desktop* for 100/$150 and to record ALL of those instruments at the same time, plus vocals and Uke with your feet would not need a particularly powerful machine. My i3 2 core HP laptop would hiss it. Oh! and MIDI data as well.

    AKAICT the R8 can only record two tracks at a time (and tho you can HAVE 8 tracks you can only ever have a stereo mix of them) . The lack of more than two inputs means you will be forever changing leads and I suspect you will bugger the connectors in pretty short order. You COULD get over the connectivity issue with a mixer but then an AI starts to make even more sense.

    I guess you are going to say "budget!" But you have already invested a few quid in keys, time to do them justice?

    BTW all but the Blofeld have some sort of MIDI capability.

    *Monitor, 10-20 from a charity shop. Kbd and mouse, peanuts from 'Zon.

    Dave.

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    I don't believe there are any stand-alone recorders under $500 that will record MIDI signals - it's not clear from your OP if you want to reocrd MIDI (in other words "sequence" your synths).

    Once you record (with the Zoom, per your plan), what exactly did you plan to do with your recordings? If you want to put them online, or burn to CD, you're going to need more gear - that's when you'll need a computer.
    Last edited by mjbphotos; 11-11-2015 at 11:47.
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    If you're going to go digital, skip the standalone unit and get an audio interface and some DAW software (Reaper is full-featured and inexpensive). I did my first digital recording on a Roland VS880ex in the early 2000s. Not bad for the time, but detailed editing was not an option. I had to run it alongside a computer anyway to handle the MIDI programming. When I got back into recording in the past couple of years, I discovered that quality audio interfaces and improved DAWs had revolutionized digital recording. Night and day.

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    I've got to say that the R series of recorders from zoom are excellent - but so limiting pieces of kit. Quality is really good, and if you understand a tape recorder, you can be using the zoom quickly. However, things have moved on - seriously fast, and you are looking at a piece of current technology that mimics the recording style and features of something nearly 50 years old. Kids age 12 at school know nothing of recording history - rather like steam trains. They are so used to technology giving you what you need and even things you don't yet knowyou need, that what is important is what you personally can do. They don't live in within fixed parameters.

    If you have even a modest computer system, it can make your life so much easier. A technophobe friend records on an R24, and brought it to me because he needed to do something it wouldn't do. It just made a simple task so complicated. I took his memory card, bunged it into cubase, fixed it, then spent ages putting the fixed tracks back onto it. Seeing, not hearing, what he wanted to do on the screen was so blindingly obvious that he suddenly understood what I've been saying for years. The R series and tape before it forced you to think in a linear fashion. On the screen, I snipped out two bars of chorus one, and replaced the mistake in chorus 2 - twenty seconds.

    Sure, computers are a pain, and they do odd things - but we live in a computer age, and at some point you need one. I seriously could not make a living without computers - I use them for audio, video, graphics, and two way radio systems. I do my accounts on them, and pay my bills. The notion of not having one now is like asking a 14 year old not to use their phone. I understand you may not like them, but it's a mind set to be changed. At some point, the R series and similar products will simply stop when people no longer want them.

    I note you have nice keyboards, and are not using a Yamaha DX7 or a clavinova. The notion of using a drum machine direct into the recorder (of any type) scares me now. Seeing the drum hits on a grid, and being able to nudge that mis-hit snare in bar 13 just a tad forward is indispensable. My friend has drilled a hole in his R24 to do footswitch drop ins, because hitting a punch in button needs one of his playing hands!

    Just think how exciting it would be to have all of your keyboards playing via MIDI from a sequencer, something you're not able to currently do. All those little mistakes you hear, but put up with because re-recording for a tenth time is not an option.

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    So from what I'm reading, DAW seems to be the way to go. What do you guys think about the iRig for the new iPads? And then record into garageband possibly?

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    "What do you guys think about the iRig for the new iPads? And then record into garageband possibly? "

    No.

    Dave.

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    Wow. What an insightful reply. Thanks, brother.

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