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Thread: Originally posted in the newbie forum...now here

  1. #1
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    Originally posted in the newbie forum...now here

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    They recommended I post this here, so here goes:

    hey all-

    this is my first post here, but it seems like a very informative place. i've certainly enjoyed perusing the board today.

    i recently purchased the following reel-to-reel from a friend, and it sounds really great when recording directly into it (via RCA cords). Here's a shot of it:

    edit: n00bz can't link files. www . hackberryrecords . com / photo.jpg



    So lets say I was going to build a studio around this machine, and then look to upgrade the reel-to-reel to a 1" tape deck later on, possibly an Otari?

    I've obviously got a lot to choose from in the form of mixers, and I would prefer to keep this a completely analog affair-- however, if it is just a no-brainer to go digital, I've got a Powerbook that would do the trick. I would like to stay away from that, though. Just personal preference.

    Anyone had any experience with this machine? Anyone have any suggestions for a mixer that would work well with it?

    Also, I've got a few SM57's and a 58. If I want to expand the mic locker a bit, what are some cheaper than usual suggestions, or spots where I might happen upon something like that.

    Dreamers welcome. Let your imagination run wild. I'd like to see if I fall in line with any suggestions before I go spend a lot of cash.

    Thanks!

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    Well, as I'm sure you know, that's a 2-track machine, so you're pretty much limited to one-take recordings with that or using it to mix down to.

    Regarding mixers for that machine, you don't need much, because you only have two tracks. But if you're planning to upgrade to maybe an 8-track at some point, I'd look into maybe 12- or 16-channel recording boards to allow yourself some room to grow.

    The Tascam M series would be good to start with, such as the M-216, M1516, M2516, M520, etc.

    I found an M-216 locally on craigslist for $100 that works great.
    famous beagle

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    I tried to do the analog - digital - analog thing and I personally got crappy results. I could have gotten better results if I had spent a lot of money on software, but instead I'm getting great results doing it all analog.

    I record bands live, and will at some point record "live" in a studio (all mics mixed to two track, one take at a time). I presently do my live recordings on a two-track cassette recorder, and do my mixing at home.

    Unless this is similar to what you want to do, I suggest that you start with a four-track 1/4" reel-to-reel deck. Teac made a good number of them, and while they're starting to appreciate in value, you can still get your hands on one for $200 if you're LUCKY.

    You can keep the Sony you've got, and use it for mix-down. Don't get rid of it!

    While you may have gotten your deck for cheap, keep in mind the associated costs if you want to use it for recording:

    - Mixer
    - Outboard effects
    - Monitors (I tried to use my home stereo for the longest time and trust me, it doesn't work)
    - Cables (the cost adds up VERY quick)
    - Tape (ain't cheap)

    I have a pretty bare studio for mixing my recordings, but it still set me back a bit in $$$.









    Pictured: Soundcraft EPM8 (~ $350), dbx 166xl compressor & dbx 231 eq (~ $400 I think), Two dbx Type I noise reduction units (indispensible, bought fairly cheap from a fellow on this board), Akai 1730D-SS glorified 2-track rtr ($75 off craigslist).

    Not pictured: Yamaha HS50M monitors (~ $350), dbx 296 Spectral Enhancer (for un-muddying old cassette tapes and removing hiss, $50 off eBay), 2x dbx NX-40 type II noise reduction units (for cassette, $30 off eBay), and about $100 worth of cables.

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    I wouldn't put any effort into doing anything around/with that machine.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

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    Yup, as famous beagle already pointed out, you won't be able to multitrack, overdub etc.. on this machine but it's at least a good intro to the world of analogue.

    I think this recorder has 3 heads and if that's the case, you might be able to use it as a tape echo device or as a mix-down deck. As far as building your studio around it, depends what you're after and what your needs are.

    For example, if you pick up a mixer with 8 mic inputs, you can set it all up and actually record a band or yourself playing / singing but..... it's a 'live' take with no room for errors, as this is only a 2 track machine [actually 1/4 track] with no overdub capability, again, as famous beagle stated earlier.

    It's a good starter unit, to get a feel for tape based recording but you should upgrade to something that you can playback and add to previous tracks, something suited more to studio recording.

    Look locally for a 4 - 8 track or 16, again, depending what your needs are. If you're a one man band, play all the stuff yourself, then you'll be fine with an 8 track - in fact, most people will be fine with an 8 track unit. In fact, many a time, 4 - 8 track units are plentiful, cheap and will get the job done. You should look for one. Stick to TEAC or TASCAM. They're abundant, parts are available, people know them and it'll be more likely you'll find a low millage unit.

    It's best to look locally. Where about are you located?

    I always pimp this book, where necessary. It's a must read. Buy it:
    http://www.amazon.com/Musicians-Guid...1678358&sr=8-5

    ----
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo-jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post

    It's best to look locally. Where about are you located?
    I'm in Tuscaloosa, AL. I have a few connections in the Nashville area, and will probably end up there sometime.

    I got this machine for 20 bucks. It was the perfect investment price to see if this was something I wanted to get into. As all of you know, this stuff is like crack. Very, very addictive.

    I'll definitely upgrade to a better deck at some point, i.e., after the band plays a few shows.

    If you'll indulge me a bit, I have a few more questions. Maybe some of you think answering stuff like this is fun-- if so, this is the thread for you. I am in a band-- a rock-and-roll garage band reminiscent of the bands you might have gone to see at the music hall if you were a teen in the 60's. For a better idea, check our websites:

    www . hackberryrecords . com or myspace / nationaltrustonline

    We recorded out of town last time, and while it was a great experience, it was also quite expensive. I'd rather kill two birds with one stone-- indulge a hobby (and possible career) that i've become enthralled with AND record my band at the same time.

    Now, here are the questions:

    1. Outboard gear. If there are some "essential" items for an analog setup, what do you suggest they are? If you'd like, suggest different options for different situations. Any help will work, because I'll admit that this is one area of this whole stuff that I am very, very unfamiliar with.

    2. Microphones. I'm pretty educated on mics, however, if anyone has a DIRT-CHEAP ESSENTIAL or anything, I'd love to hear it.

    3. Any other suggestions on mixers? Personal experience and anecdotes are welcome.

    Thanks for the help. Knowledge is power and I need some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed View Post
    1. Outboard gear. If there are some "essential" items for an analog setup, what do you suggest they are? If you'd like, suggest different options for different situations. Any help will work, because I'll admit that this is one area of this whole stuff that I am very, very unfamiliar with.

    2. Microphones. I'm pretty educated on mics, however, if anyone has a DIRT-CHEAP ESSENTIAL or anything, I'd love to hear it.

    3. Any other suggestions on mixers? Personal experience and anecdotes are welcome.

    Thanks for the help. Knowledge is power and I need some.
    These are only my opinions.

    1: 31-band EQ and a compressor. The basics, and they'll take you far.
    2: A couple/few SM57s, a good kick mike, two drum overheads.
    3: No opinion.

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    For outboard gear, I found that I was pretty much good to go with an effects rack and a compressor. An effects module like the Zoom ones will give you a basic delay for vocals etc, and can also double as a reverb unit when mixing down.

    Actually, if you can't find another use for it, the tape deck could probably be made to act as a tape delay.

    Currently my main outboard setup consists of a Watkins copicat (which I now use on all vocals), and a spring reverb unit. I have a TLA Fat-1 compressor which I use for vocal tracking, and also for light compression at mixdown. The Zoom rack I don't use for reverb much anymore, but a digital delay can be handy for synth solos and other similar effects. I also have a couple of guitar pedals which I use for vocals and keyboards.
    But as I say, an effects rack and a compressor for vocals will take you a long way.

    EDIT:

    For vocal microphones, I've got pretty good results from the Behringer B-1 condenser mic.
    Last edited by jpmorris; 09-18-2008 at 03:09.

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