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Thread: Tascam US-1641 and set up?

  1. #1
    deadletter is offline Newbie
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    Tascam US-1641 and set up?

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    Hi folks! I'm in a band who have tended to half home record stuff ourselves, and for the important stuff we would head to a decent studio. We started off on 4-track, then 8-track and most recently the Zoom HD16CD but think it is time to step up into the computer age!

    Whilst I realise you probably won't get a million dollar glossy production from a basic home set up, I am hoping we can get good clean recordings on a computer without having to worry about bouncing tracks!

    OK, so I will admit that I find the different options are quite daunting but I think basically what we are looking for is....

    A) A computer - Yes, we need to buy a specific one for the band and ideally a laptop for flexibility. Ideally for under 400 but with enough memory etc to handle the job, and also does the soundcard quality matter if I use a interface?

    B) An interface - This is the bit that I really was clueless about but I think I am narrowing down the options. I need to know literally how to get the sound from our drums/guitars/vocals etc into the computer! I've heard direct to a good soundcard might be the best way but is this an option with a laptop? With this option, would I need to buy a mixer or something to get all the live drum tracks onto the computer? The 2nd option I see is a firewire interface, and the 3rd is a usb 2.0 interface.

    C) A DAW computer program - I think at first we will get a basic version then if need be upgrade later when funds allow.

    After reading about a bit my preferred option at the moment is to buy a laptop (not really looked into that side yet... any recommendations?), and a Tascam US-1641. Whilst I know many people seem to recommend firewire over usb 2.0 and there may be a small risk of latency issues, on the whole from the reviews I have read it seems to be a good unit which would do the job in a simple way and has enough inputs to record drums without a mixer etc. A bonus would also be that it comes with Cubase LE4 which may be ok to at start off with, and if not I am thinking of trying out the $60 Reaper program. Is there a firewire alternative to the Tascam US-1641 (with enough inputs to record drums live and in the same price range)? We are hoping to get the whole set up for under 800 (don't worry - we have mics and instruments already!)

    So, any thoughts or recommendations on this? Am I missing anything? I'm very much a noob when it comes to these things so any help is genuinely appreciated!


  2. #2
    Seidy's Avatar
    Seidy is offline Force of Nature
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    a) you could look into Dell or HP business class series (not Pavilion!). If you are going to use external sound card then the internal one will be bypassed and doesn't matter.
    b) think about the interface: how many tracks you need to record at once? if you are tracking drums with two mics then you could pick almost random interface with two inputs. but i think you are using more mics, so you need interface with... lets say (drum kit: kick, snare, hat, 2-3 toms and overheads) 8 inputs. now there are mixers that let you to record all mics to separate track, but they are way too expensive, so i see that interface is only possibilty. I, for example, am looking at Focusrite saffire 40 pro. it has 8 input and if needed, you can use two saffires at the same time, so 16 tracks at same time. It is little pricey, but recording is not very cheap hobby :P

    oh and make sure you laptop has firewire port

  3. #3
    deadletter is offline Newbie
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    Thanks for the advice!

    Does the soundcard matter if I were to go with the Tascam US-1641 or indeed any other interface? When looking for laptops they don't often seem to mention the soundcard!

    Thanks for the recommendation of the Focusrite saffire 40 pro... looks pretty good and is now another possibility! I'm also wondering if anybody has any thoughts on the PreSonus FireStudio Project?

    One of the other reasons I am still considering the Tascam US-1641 is because it is also MIDI compatible - am I right in saying the Focusrite isn't?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    gotammo is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seidy View Post
    oh and make sure you laptop has firewire port
    This is EXTREMELY important. Even if you are planning to buy a USB interface now. You'll thank us later. Believe me.

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