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Thread: Computer Recording or Multitrack Workstation?

  1. #1
    jwai is offline Newbie
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    Question Computer Recording or Multitrack Workstation?

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    hi guys,

    i'm trying to venture into recording. i've only got a budget of USD400 to spend on it. so any clue if i should go for a multitrack workstation or a computer recording? i'm new to recording and i'm a guitar player writing instrumental songs. its basically gonna be me programming the drums and the bass as well. i'm looking for features like drum machines and bass sequencer in it as well. is cakewalk guitar tracks pro good enough? or should i go for digital workstations like a used zoom mrs 1044 or the boss br8? please advise. all comments are welcome. thanks alot guys!!!
    JW

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    jake-owa's Avatar
    jake-owa is offline Banned
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    I'd say go with a computer

    But this subject might be better in the newbies forum.

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    F_cksia is offline Force of Nature
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    I would always go for PC, mostly for the visual aspect.

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    ZEKE SAYER's Avatar
    ZEKE SAYER is offline Being a virgin sucks
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    Cool

    yeah, but for a newbie like jwai, seting up a computer recording station with pres and stuff will be hard. sure, guitar tracks pro is great software i have used alot of cakewalk software like guitar tracks, guitar tracks 2.0, guitar tracks pro, home studio, pyro and mp3 encoder. and they are all good. but i would just wait and save up a little more money and go for a workstation. there real easy to work and they give you the same sound quality as the computer would. (just without all the cords and software) check in to the zoom recorders at www.musiciansfriend.com they have all the features that you ask for. (drum/bassmachine,ect,ect,) and the price can be $300 (4-track) to $1000 (12 track with cd burner)
    i use the fostex vf-16. you can get it's big (vf-160) with a cd burner for $900 (16-track) go to www.fostex.com or www.vf16.com for more info.

    good luck and welcome to the homerecording.com bbs!

    zeke

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    Uladine's Avatar
    Uladine is offline Dedicated Member
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    PC's will give you more for less I think. I used to have a VS-1880 which was cool, but then I sold it and got a PC system. The PC gives me way more functionality, but also a lot more headaches. I'm always having to defrag the hard drive and what not (which takes about 3 hours) but for the money ($950) its not too bad. If you decide to go the PC route, go to www.prorec.com. They have an article on their called "roll your own" or something that is all about making a computer for recording. there are many, many different routes you can go considering all the guts you can put into a machine, so definitely do a lot of research. The guys in the computer recording forum will help you out.

    If I had more money I think I'd get a standalone workstation dedicated just for tracking. That way I could leave my PC at home, go capture some drum tracks, then dump them onto my PC for editing and mixing.

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    mike@THE CAVE is offline Newbie
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    ROLAND 2480cd
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    jwai is offline Newbie
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    Smile

    thanks alot guys for the replies. i'm really thankful for them. should i go for entry-level digital multitrack workstation units rather than going straight into the higher end models? i was thinking of the fostex vf80 or probably the fostex mr-8 as well. or probably a boss br-8 used one in ebay. ease of use and good quality outcomes is also my consideration? should i record to the digital multitrack workstation and then transfer them to the PC for mastering and editing? or should i do everything in the workstation itself? will the workstation alone be capable of producing good quality music? thanks alot guys. i really appreciate all the response. thanks!!!
    JW

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    Jack Hammer is offline Dedicated Member
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    i never imagined there was so muc to changing light bulbs. Maybe I should give up my dream of someday being a profeesional changer too!. But...I want to be a star, a bright, million watt star so, I'll just keep trying. In the meantime, gee wililkers gus, thanks for all the groovy information!!!

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    HapiCmpur is offline Dedicated Member
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    Originally posted by jwai
    should i go for entry-level digital multitrack workstation units rather than going straight into the higher end models? i was thinking of the fostex vf80 or probably the fostex mr-8 as well. or probably a boss br-8 used one in ebay. ease of use and good quality outcomes is also my consideration?
    Keep in mind that I'm a newbie, too, jwai, so take this with a grain of salt. Based on my admittedly limited experience, I'd say that you're likely to outgrow a BR-8 very quickly unless you want to buy a lot of outboard gear to go with it. Just to give you one example, you can't use the BR-8ís chorus and delay effects on the same piece of music, even if you're applying them to different tracks. For each song, you have to choose chorus or delay; you canít have both. Additionally, the BR-8 only has a two-step EQ: low and high. Thatís pretty limiting.

    Donít get me wrong; the BR-8 is a very capable little machine and very easy to use. In fact, I used one to record a complete CD of original songs, and I managed to do it with no prior recording experience. Still, once I got that first CD under my belt, I immediately felt the need (okay, ďdesireĒ is probably a better word) to upgrade to a whole new system rather than buy the additional equalizers and effects Iíd need to enhance my BR-8. Also, I record in my bedroom, so Iíd rather have everything contained in one unit than have a lot of outboard gear strewn around.

    On the question of whether a PC is preferable to a workstation, I opted for the workstation mostly because I donít trust PCs. Iíve got a good one, but it still has problems once in a while, and Iíd truly freak out if I lost any music because of a computer glitch. Yes, I realize that a workstation is also a computer and that it can have tragic glitches, too, but the important thing here is that a workstation is a DEDICATED computer. I donít use my workstation for anything other than music, whereas I use my computer for a whole lot of other thingsómany of which make it susceptible to viruses.

    For what itís worth, I eventually chose the Yamaha AW2816. I wish I could tell you something about it, but Iím still learning how to use it. Yamaha manuals are not written by humans or for humans.

  10. #10
    Treeline's Avatar
    Treeline is offline Three Thousand and Counting
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    Here's what I did

    After fooling around with a mixer / computer / not very good card / newbie toe-stubbing techniques, I started doing research on multitrackers and ultimately bought a 16 track on Ebay. The AKAI DPS 16 is available used and has a good combination of intuitive user interface, decent hard drive and superior preamps / converters - for the money. It is capable of recording at 24/96 and is available under a thousand bucks. Well worth a look. Here's a current auction; if it passes, others will come by.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...item=931364322

    Expect a winning bid to be around $800 - 900; occasionally higher. Any real bidding happens in the last minute of the auction, so if you're interested, maybe hold off until then, or do a search and use one of the "buy it now" options. I think those are about a hundred bucks high right now (at $1100), but the unit I cited is up for auction a second time; its reserve might be a bit lower and it might represent an opportunity.

    You can get CD/R drives on ebay set up to work with the DPS for under $150. Outstanding bang for the buck.
    Fall seven times; stand up eight

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