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Thread: all in one home studio on the cheap???...

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    well first off hi and I am pretty much a newbie. I have owned (well actually still do I guess) cubase and the presonus firepod but my laptop crashed last year and that was that. so I have decided I want to take the dedicated unit route to getting songs out. well let me give a bit of info on what I want to do. I am a guitarist, and I have about 15 completed songs that I want to get done and on cd. the songs would basically require drums, a few guitar tracks, vocals and bass, nothing fancy. I do own some stuff that might be helpful for recording as well---bfd drum software, a boss dr 880 as well as a zoom g9.2tt pedal. so here is what I am thinking I need

    1) a unit that will be based for the most part on turning knobs as opposed to using a computer type of interface (like my cubase is). since I am an noob to me less may be more as long as it has the basics, and it has to be easy to use and learn

    2) the ability to burn a cd directly from the unit. again for ease of use

    3) the ability to plug my zoom pedal in and use those effects bypassing the effects in the unit if I want. also the ability to plug a bass directly in to record.

    4) the ability to save to my external usb harddrive (or a usb drive or flash drive perhaps???).

    5) must be able to interact with the boss dr 880 so I can record with drums and even better would be the ability to interact with the bfd software as well (heck I payed for it right?). a huge plus would be to have drums built into the unit but I doubt that is available (I saw a couple of zooms that had drums but it didn't say "real samples" anywhere so I bet they suck).

    6) must have metronome built in

    7) must be able to produce a file that could be brought into a studio for vocals or drums/bass. I have no idea regarding file formats but for instance if I wanted real drums, a different singer (for sure on that one) and bass to be done in a studio to a click track that is done with guitar track from the dedicated unit...but has everything else left out to be done in the studo...then I'd Id like it to produce files that could be imported into say protools so the project could be worked on in a "real studio" for all the stuff I may not be able to do professionally.

    8) finally must have good sound quality that is in line with current industry standards (whatever those are).

    I know there is a lot hear and thanks for reading...I probably with think of some other stuff and hopefully this forum can ask me some other questions I am sure I have forgotten. again thank you very much I have seen products by zoom, tascam and boss just bouncing around but really need some pro advice (spoken in not expert terminology) here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rayc View Post
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    I never met a more terse forum

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    ...its all digital, cDR, effects, and........knobs.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    * Two XLR mic/line inputs with phantom power for condenser microphones
    * Eight-track recording at uncompressed 44.1k/16-bit audio quality
    * Portastudio-based interface with volume fader, pan, effect send, high and low EQ controls per channel
    * EQ frequency button to access high and low EQ shelf frequencies
    * USB 2.0 interface for transferring tracks, mixes and backup files to a computer
    * Dedicated stereo master track for mixdown
    * Internal metronome and bar/beat display for song position
    * Headphone output
    * Stereo line outputs on RCA analog and S/PDIF optical digital connectors
    * 40GB internal hard drive
    * Multieffects processor with guitar, bass, vocal and drum programs
    * Stereo reverb processor with send/return controls for multichannel mixing
    * Built-in chromatic tuner
    * Built -in CD-RW burner for CD mastering and song backup

    based on these specs...is there a big difference between 24 and 16 bit recording?

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    I had the 2488 and personally I couldn't hear a difference of 24 and 16 on my "demo" stuff. I now have a 192Khz 96khz or 48Khz and can't hear a difference either. I try to use 24-48, which as I understand it is a pretty damn exact to the analog.

    No doubt 24-48-96-192 etc.. and all the newest fastest better simulating is technically advanced and technically quantifiable.

    IMO..the biggest notice (weakest link) right now is between Wave files and mushy MP3's...MP3 being the downgrade of the tune. May the world all go Waves or something better than MP3 and we can all live happily ever after until MP5 comes out.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Quote Originally Posted by extendedping View Post

    8) finally must have good sound quality that is in line with current industry standards (whatever those are).
    That's where you end up spending thousands. Pretty simple - you get what you pay for.

    You're describing the Boss 16 track unit.

    However, the capacity to record and mix in 24 bit as opposed to 16 bit depth is probably the most important thing you want to track down in a unit. That pretty much rules out Fostex, for example. Even though CDs are recorded and play back at 16 bit depth, you should work in a higher grade format and convert the track to 16 bit only at the very end - to accommodate CD players. Let the CD be the weak link in the chain.

    As for file formats, most units record in a proprietary format but mix down to .wav formats. That is the standard that any studio can work with.

    Don't even think of recording in a .mp3 format; it represents a sonically harsh compromise in which large files are compressed to a fraction of their original size to accommodate slow internet transmission rates. You'll have to deal with .mp3 format if you want your stuff heard, but do it knowing that it represents a colossal - and very audible - drop in quality.

    If you are willing to record one or two tracks at a time, it might be interesting to check out the Korg 1-bit recording units. Sounds counterintuitive, but these record at a far higher sonic level than about anything else on the market. No CDs or bells / whistles, though.

    Good luck -
    Fall seven times; stand up eight
    Music at https://soundcloud.com/glenn-howland-230561145

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    Dude just trust me on this. DO NOT GET ONE OF THESE SO CALLED ALL IN ONE UNITS OR THE EVIL STUDIO-A-BOX. Whew ok now that thats out. Look man your just going want to upgrade later and the studio in a box's are much less versital then your run of the mill DAW. If you want ease of use I use acid pro 6 and it works great! Just get a nice interface and a good DAW and you wont regret it. Oh and by the way if you want it to be more tactile not a problem just get a control surface. I would say go with protools and a digi 003 factory or 002 factory if you want a studio standard all in one. Otherwise Acid Pro 6 is easy to learn and you can get a mackie control surface.

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