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Thread: Please help a 4 track virgin!

  1. #1
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    Cool

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    Ok well not quite a virgin, here's the position I am in;
    I have about 100-150 I can easily spend at the moment... 300 if I see something I *must* buy but I'm trying to save the latter 150.
    I've got a couple of electrics, an acoustic, a bass, a good programmable drum loop program on my computer (Frooty Loops) and a crappy keyboard, I also have a few leads and adaptors so they fit into the computer.
    I think I can get a 4 track (A Fostex XR-5) for about 150.. I wanted to know if that's a good idea...
    I've only ever seen the VERY basics of a 4 track at secondary/high school, I have a lead guitarist and a bassist too but no drummer, and the only two ways I've recorded at home are;
    1 - recording straight onto .wavs, but I have a crap computer, so to add extra tracks on top I have to find the EXACT point in the .wav on Soundforge (an oldish version) and then converting to mp3s, but my comp is slow and has little memory, so I can't fit much on, plus I can't record extra tracks in real time.
    2 - recording onto a shitty boomxbox with built in mic, then playing the recording thru the amp with my guitar, laying on another track using another tape, and then repeating, with MORE and MORE tape hiss and 'clicks' when it comes in and out.
    So would it be a good idea to get a Fostex XR-5? Would that let me record good sounding efforts straight in through the line in, or thru my amp and into the mic (does it have a built in mic?) and sing into the mic too, coz we don't have a mic and I know good ones can be costly...Would it also let me use normal 'TDK Super Chrome D90's (Type II)' tapes with this? And would there be clicks or tape hiss?
    I thought that this would be good enough to make simplish recordings of our songs, at a cheap price, and if we wanted them on CD or mp3 we could simply plug the 4 track into the computer and record it as a .wav?
    (I want to be able to record my own songs without the guitarist and bassist too)
    So would this be a good idea?
    Suggestions / hints / tips / comments all happily received

  2. #2
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    Unhappy

    I still use my 4-track as a mixer and for the mic pres. And I've tried a Fostex similar to the XR-5 (I think) called the X-55. Not bad. Does the job. I know the X-55 has no built-in
    mic and you'd be better off getting even a $75 mic or two and real mic stands than standing around a built-in mic in any case.
    If you get a nice hot signal to the Fostex, you'll have no problem making a nice fat .wav file out of it via the line outs.

  3. #3
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    Wink

    You're trying to do this on a budget and that can be done within reason. The Fostex should do the job but you need real mics. They need not be that expensive. The CAD22 is listed at musiciansfriend.com for about $30 US. They work just fine. Sure we'd all prefer SM58s but for what you're trying to do the CAD will do nicely. You can indeed record on your 4 track and then put that on your hard drive.

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