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Thread: FD8 digital vs analog?!

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    After years using 4tracks I am ready to upgrade to an 8track...looking at getting the FD8. Dumb question maybe but..how does digital compare to standard tape based recording? I expect lot less noise? But how about the feel of the sound...is anything much lost in your opinion. I record mainly guitars through a POD and I am worried about losing a little of the great sounds I get now.

    Your opinions and views on this and the FD8 generally are hugely appreciated. Many thanks...Robert

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    Lightbulb

    all and all i am very happy with the fd-8. The quality of the sound is great. I record mostly guitar and I was amazed how easy it was to get good guitar sounds - mic'ed or direct, clean or distorted, electric or acoustic, even bizarre sounds/techniques. There is a warmth in the sound that I didn't expect (could be my guitar set up though). I've heard some people say that they don't like the on-board preamps but I have had NO problems. Actually, I also use an ART MP preamp too and think the Fostex preamps are usually quieter. It only records 2 tracks at a time so this might be an issue for you. I could see mastering could be an issue as the LCD is pretty small. I am looking forward to using it with a computer and the S/PDIF, ADAT I/Os should make this pretty easy. There is lots of info here on the FD-8 so I won't go on about its features. Hope this helps.

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    Cool

    Actually, you may appreciate your sound even more on the fd-8 considering you use a digital processor. I think it sounds great, and one should definitely have a spdif optical input on your soundcard if you intend to mix down to your computer. I thought the mic pre amps were crap, but found out it was the monitor buss that crapped out on dynamic sounds. The tracks are fine, it's just when you listen through the monitor section. Like when you listen to other parts on headphones when your overdubbing. It really is a great machine for the money.

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    Cool

    I also went from 4 track tape to the FD-8 and like it as well. Much better quality than
    tape...I have had the same problem with the monitor buzz but it disapears with the stereo out. Definitely a good buy for the cheap price of it.

    I haven't used it yet to mix down to a pc but
    when I finally do it will be via digital optical out!

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    You can also record 4 tracks simultaneous if you us a Dat machine use the light pipe in from the dat and the record inputs of the dat recorder this way you are using 2 dig ins and 2 analog ins this is the way to get more tracks at once .This is in the manuel for more info.

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    I too have been very happy with my FD-8. I use a Boss VF-1 with has amp simulators like the POD and it sounds great. Definetly go for the digital! Just editing and bouncing capabilities are worth it. Once you get it figured out you have alot of options to use to make some great recordings

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    Adam,

    Thanks v much for your comments..The FD8 sounds like a definite buy for me. 2 tracks simultaneously is not really an issue for me either, so that is fine. How do you mix down on to playable media (cd etc.)? What is recommended? In my 4track world all I do is master it to a standard tape deck. With digital are there other options?...ie: send to a ZIP drive and then create a CD with a writeable CD from that.

    robert

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by adam:
    all and all i am very happy with the fd-8. The quality of the sound is great. I record mostly guitar and I was amazed how easy it was to get good guitar sounds - mic'ed or direct, clean or distorted, electric or acoustic, even bizarre sounds/techniques. There is a warmth in the sound that I didn't expect (could be my guitar set up though). I've heard some people say that they don't like the on-board preamps but I have had NO problems. Actually, I also use an ART MP preamp too and think the Fostex preamps are usually quieter. It only records 2 tracks at a time so this might be an issue for you. I could see mastering could be an issue as the LCD is pretty small. I am looking forward to using it with a computer and the S/PDIF, ADAT I/Os should make this pretty easy. There is lots of info here on the FD-8 so I won't go on about its features. Hope this helps. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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    ...Sounds great. Thanks for the comments. The editing etc really appeals. Any idea how many minutes worth of music you can get onto the hard disk that comes with the machine?

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    you have a few options for transferring to CD. 1 is to use a standalone CD recorder - not a computer/SCSI, but something like the Philips/Marantz/Tascam/Fostex/Pioneer recorders. They come in 2 types, consumer and professional. The consumer won't let you make digital copies of copies (which it will consider your mizdown) due to copyright issues. They use a more expensive disc as well (some of them can be "tricked" into using cheaper media though). The professional versions don't have the copyright issue. These types of decks are easy to hook up and use with the FD8, kind of an all in one box. The cost ranges from about $400 to over $1250 and more, depending on features. The other route is obviously through your computer. As I mentioned you can use the s/pdif or the adat i/o of the fd8 to transfer tracks to the computer. I record to hard disk on the FD8 so I don't have a zip drive. I am not sure if you can just slip the zip disk into the computer and transfer data that way. There might be some data language/encryption issues. If it does work you will at least have to probably convert the file format. You might look in the archives here for more on the zip disk issue, or pose another question.

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    if you go the the fostex website www.fostex.com you can see the different lengths of time available with different hard drives. the fd8 has 2 different modes to record in. one is compressed and eats up less time. i use a 6.4 gig harddrive so I use the "master" mode which doesn't compress the data. for some media with limited space(i.e. zip drives) you need to use the compressed mode. i've never used it so i don't know about sound quality comparisons between the 2 modes. i think there are issues with the compression mode if you plan to use the music with an adat.

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