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Thread: Use Computer Software or Stand Alone Recorders?

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    Use Computer Software or Stand Alone Recorders?

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    Been trying to dabble with recording for years on audacity and still have an old tascam recorder, but want to take it past beginning level. Which is best between computer recording and stand alone recorders and are there any tutorials for getting started with home recording? Thanks

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    Search Youtube and you will find thousands of videos on the subject. Quick and dirty take: standalone recording has slightly less learning curve and equipment, DAW has more expandibility and more possibilities IMHO
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    Sadly, I suspect hardware recorders are on their way out, bar in a few specialist areas? Things like the zooms and Tascams still do the job simply, but what they produce of course, still ends up inside a computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldyGoldy View Post
    Been trying to dabble with recording for years on audacity and still have an old tascam recorder, but want to take it past beginning level. Which is best between computer recording and stand alone recorders and are there any tutorials for getting started with home recording? Thanks
    It is your choice. Both work well.

    You do need to import the stand alone recording into the computer to edit mix master and make cds from.

    There are a number of books. Mostly old but still good enough. Although some of them are truly bad.
    Check the reviews on amazon. I think there is a dummies book on home recording that got good reviews.

    After that you may want to see specialized books for your DAW although audacity is simple enough you should not need it for that one but if you switched someday then you would want some guidance to start.

    Other areas might be midi, terminology, how to mix, and other technical areas.
    Or ask SPECIFIC questions and you can usually get answers on a forum.

    There are a few , very few sites , that will give you a good start with home recording.

    The 9 Home Recording Studio Essentials for Beginners
    has some very basic overview info.

    This is pretty good with more info
    Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies: Jeff Strong: 8601234608912: Amazon.com: Books

    This might be useful
    Site Map

    and this
    How To Set Up a Home Recording Studio: The Complete Guide - TuneCore

    There is one really good site I can picture in my memory but cannot find.
    connected somehow to zzounds and covers everything in a bit more detail than the sites above
    maybe if you googled for items of interest or with your questions it would pop up for you.
    So far I cant find it again although although I saw it last week.

    Found it!
    just had to google smarter
    TweakHeadz Lab Electronic Musician's Hangout

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldyGoldy View Post
    Been trying to dabble with recording for years on audacity and still have an old tascam recorder, but want to take it past beginning level. Which is best between computer recording and stand alone recorders and are there any tutorials for getting started with home recording? Thanks
    Best is what works best for you. to each their own. Why not download a DAW and start learning it. Cakewalk by Bandlab is free. Download it and see if you like it. But just know, there is a learning curve for everything.
    Online Audio Mastering - Online Mastering & Mixing Studio
    Audio Production Blog - Tips & Techniques Explained In Simple Terms

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    I tried using a daw for awhile and didn't like it. I've been using standalone multitrack recorders for more than twenty years and they work the best for me. Up until recently I've been using a Fostex VS160 but I just purchased a Tascam dp32sd and so far have been loving it. IMO, if I were you I'd try a good multitrack unit first and if that's not your cup of tea go with a daw.
    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldyGoldy View Post
    Been trying to dabble with recording for years on audacity and still have an old tascam recorder, but want to take it past beginning level. Which is best between computer recording and stand alone recorders and are there any tutorials for getting started with home recording? Thanks
    use a computer

    audacity is very good

    sonar is different better

    forget the tascam
    get a zoom if you must have something portable


    oodles of tutorials
    see the other posts for a good list
    home recording for dummies book
    tweakhedz site

    many others too

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    There are many people that are sick of the digital way that recordings are made. They seem to have no character to the recordings. If tape decks were so far an old thing I would not have over 200 of them here to be repaired or calibrated. They do a wonderful job while computers over complicate things and often times get people in over their heads so they lose focus on the recording they are trying to make and get all stressed out. I had to often help people in real studios at Radio Stations as Chief Engineer where a button would get pressed and the setting change all over the place in a suite of software. There are many hidden buttons in computer software that can send you down the wrong path.
    Tape recorders and mixers are just much simpler to deal with and much better with transients and overloads that computes crap out totally with.
    Take an overall perspective to the two fields before deciding which way to go. Many of my clients say they have had DAWs and are done with them. They did not need any prompting from me.

    Keep in mind that most U tube videos are made by people with the most basic knowledge of a subject and try and to pass themselves off as some kind of expert. I have watched many videos and the last one was laughable as the guy was fixing an audio problem by resoldering a wire onto an erase head which has nothing to do with the play function. Of course the stupid audience does not know this- he is shoveling crap as 96% of them are.
    Best regards,
    Skywave Tape Deck Repair, Chicago area

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywaveTDR View Post
    There are many people that are sick of the digital way that recordings are made. They seem to have no character to the recordings. If tape decks were so far an old thing I would not have over 200 of them here to be repaired or calibrated. They do a wonderful job while computers over complicate things and often times get people in over their heads so they lose focus on the recording they are trying to make and get all stressed out. I had to often help people in real studios at Radio Stations as Chief Engineer where a button would get pressed and the setting change all over the place in a suite of software. There are many hidden buttons in computer software that can send you down the wrong path.
    Tape recorders and mixers are just much simpler to deal with and much better with transients and overloads that computes crap out totally with.
    Take an overall perspective to the two fields before deciding which way to go. Many of my clients say they have had DAWs and are done with them. They did not need any prompting from me.

    Keep in mind that most U tube videos are made by people with the most basic knowledge of a subject and try and to pass themselves off as some kind of expert. I have watched many videos and the last one was laughable as the guy was fixing an audio problem by resoldering a wire onto an erase head which has nothing to do with the play function. Of course the stupid audience does not know this- he is shoveling crap as 96% of them are.
    Nonsense. There were people saying the same thing about three track tape vs. mono tape recording back during that transition, that three tracks just gets people distracted and music is better recorded live to one track. Staying focused takes a little practice, but it's really not that hard.

    If you're clipping in digital then you're doing it wrong. I think you're just uninformed about digital, which makes you biased toward analog tape. You can't say the same about me. I've got various analog tape machines, including a Tascam 4-track cassette, an Akai GX-220D, a Sony quad RTR (that seems to need work on the supply reel clutch mechanism), a nice Realistic 8-track cartridge deck (that needs a main belt) and one of the better Tascam dual well cassette decks. I used to have a working wire recorder. I've got a turntable and a spare for parts. My preference for using computers for recording is informed by my experience with analog.

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    I tried to use an old fashioned manual typewriter last year. I thought it would be cool to get back to "analog" writing and the old machine had a cool vibe to it.

    I always liked the way the the metal arms/letter pads hit the paper. They produced all kinds of small errors and that imparted a lot of character to anything that was typed. Too bad I couldn't type a damn thing on the machine. It was a royal pain (no pun intended. I was using a Smith-Corona) and I just gave up. It looks cool on the shelf, though, and people always ask me about the machine. I think of this experience whenever I hear people discuss analog equipment and wonder how it would even be possible to record on a deck.

    As far as hard disk recorders goes, they seem almost as difficult. In many ways they were one piece on the evolutionary path to the DAW, which will one day be replaced by another set of technologies. So I'd suggest using a DAW until the next new thing comes along.

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