Building a home studio on a budget

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
I wont be buying any more old gear Rob. The only reason I got the Akai S2000 was that it was cheap for £80 and filled the final 2 units in my rack! Dickhead? Yes 😅😅
What is the most cost effective interface for my Rode Condensers for DAW? Can you get a plugin virtual DAW PC mike interface instead of hardware?

Thanks 😉👍
Sorry I meant Tal
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I wont be buying any more old gear Rob. The only reason I got the Akai S2000 was that it was cheap for £80 and filled the final 2 units in my rack! Dickhead? Yes 😅😅
What is the most cost effective interface for my Rode Condensers for DAW? Can you get a plugin virtual DAW PC mike interface instead of hardware?

Thanks 😉👍
You really can't do a virtual interface. That's where the AD/DA conversion takes place, plus it has the preamp circuit and any phantom power. Eliminating the interface means going with something like a USB mic, which you don't want to do.

Interfaces will run you from £100 to over £400.

I have a Tascam 16x08 and it works great for me. I wanted 8 mic preamps, plus it has 8 line inputs and MIDI. It was either that or the Scarlett 18i20. I can record 12 mics by adding my MX12/4 plus direct in on 2 channels right into Reaper. The Motu M series and the Scartlett series are both well regarded. It makes a difference how many inputs you need, mic or line, ADAT, etc. The Tascam doesn't have ADAT, so that might not work for you. I don't know a lot about the Presonus interfaces. I looked at some of the Audiobox interfaces, but at the time there were lots of comments of problems. That might have been more due to driver issues. Tascam had their issues on a couple of versions, but their V4 software has been solid.

And you always have the Behringer line, the UMC 404HD isn't expensive and has midi,and 4 mic pres but no ADAT. The UMC1820 is more money but has ADAT, midi, plus 8 mic preamps. I don't haven't used them so I really can't comment on the driver software. Dave thinks pretty highly of the Berry 204HD.

I've been using the same interface for over 5 years now. It's not something that I plan to replace. It has fit my setup just fine, whether I'm micing up an acoustic guitar or running a tape deck into the line inputs.
 
Last edited:

rob aylestone

Well-known member
ive also got one of those Tascam. I replaced it in the studio when it became flaky with my pc. Probably and update problem, maybe even with some other device. As it had a FireWire in for video, I bought a presonus firepod. Same inputs, as far as I could see and hear, same performance. Oddly the Tascam works perfectly in my video studio. I have available a Midas 32 input interface, but I have no need to use it for studio use, even though the preamps are supposedly better.

I really don’t think anyone gets at you, but you post a lot, and when occasionally you post something we think a bit odd, strange or just plain iffy, we comment. It’s positive for the learning curve of everyone, to put up counter advice?

it really wasnt the gear. It was the notion of allocating a fixed sum for each item. In fact, you’ve proved it was strange advice when you revealed some of your purchases were actually amazing deal - not what others could repeat. An overall budget might work if you plan on buying everything at one time, but a good deal on one item might give scope for something over budget elsewhere. This is so obvious and normal, this is why we’re rallied a bit. We really thought the division and allocation completely a random bit of advice, that for me, made no sense at all. I’ve never done this ever, either personally or for my work projects. It’s so restrictive. I appreciate it worked for you, but you also did deals and got some great ones, but that sort of messes the idea up a bit, doesn’t it?

nothing negative was meant, but we really found it a bit weird, that’s all. The thing that made me wonder was the notion that each area had equal budget. Other people might devote 50% to speakers, others just decent headphones. Both approaches might be right for that person. Me? I’ll put budget into sensible mic choices and software. The most expensive investment in my studio are sample packages, not hardware. I do have a Kontakt master keyboard that cost a fair bit. I’ve also spent a lot on hard drive storage with a NAS drive. Your list assumes you are buying a retro studio, but not the usual exotic wonderful stuff, but the kit we got rid of twenty years ago, and it was budget then. We’ve moved so far in this time, for some members this was also just weird.

it’s not wrong, just unusual? Hence I think, why people scrutinised it quite a bit?
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
ive also got one of those Tascam. I replaced it in the studio when it became flaky with my pc. Probably and update problem, maybe even with some other device. As it had a FireWire in for video, I bought a presonus firepod. Same inputs, as far as I could see and hear, same performance. Oddly the Tascam works perfectly in my video studio. I have available a Midas 32 input interface, but I have no need to use it for studio use, even though the preamps are supposedly better.

I really don’t think anyone gets at you, but you post a lot, and when occasionally you post something we think a bit odd, strange or just plain iffy, we comment. It’s positive for the learning curve of everyone, to put up counter advice?

it really wasnt the gear. It was the notion of allocating a fixed sum for each item. In fact, you’ve proved it was strange advice when you revealed some of your purchases were actually amazing deal - not what others could repeat. An overall budget might work if you plan on buying everything at one time, but a good deal on one item might give scope for something over budget elsewhere. This is so obvious and normal, this is why we’re rallied a bit. We really thought the division and allocation completely a random bit of advice, that for me, made no sense at all. I’ve never done this ever, either personally or for my work projects. It’s so restrictive. I appreciate it worked for you, but you also did deals and got some great ones, but that sort of messes the idea up a bit, doesn’t it?

nothing negative was meant, but we really found it a bit weird, that’s all. The thing that made me wonder was the notion that each area had equal budget. Other people might devote 50% to speakers, others just decent headphones. Both approaches might be right for that person. Me? I’ll put budget into sensible mic choices and software. The most expensive investment in my studio are sample packages, not hardware. I do have a Kontakt master keyboard that cost a fair bit. I’ve also spent a lot on hard drive storage with a NAS drive. Your list assumes you are buying a retro studio, but not the usual exotic wonderful stuff, but the kit we got rid of twenty years ago, and it was budget then. We’ve moved so far in this time, for some members this was also just weird.

it’s not wrong, just unusual? Hence I think, why people scrutinised it quite a bit?
Fair comment 😉
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I really don’t think anyone gets at you, but you post a lot, and when occasionally you post something we think a bit odd, strange or just plain iffy, we comment
@smithers, your posts since you landed on the scene have been a breath of fresh air. They're nearly always enjoyable to read and often they'll draw people in to reveal their thoughts and experiences on various matters. And so when people do draw on those thoughts, sometimes, disagreement is to be expected.

We have a good and mixed crowd here at the moment. People express themselves in different ways. As you get to know folk better, you'll get used to their ways and realize that they're not getting at you negatively and personally in the way they might sometimes express their variance of opinion. For example ecc83. He has vast electronic experience and by his own admission, doesn't do much recording ~ yet he weighs in with lots of interesting and valuable stuff. I can remember over the years how some people {fortunately no longer here} have given him an unnecessarily hard time and he's learned how to hold himself on a forum like this and still remain a gent.
Or Rob, who is very forthright and opinionated and is confident in what he shares, yet who is also a treasure trove of information that goes a long way towards helping people reach their own conclusions, whether in the direction he has posited or otherwise.
Or mjbphotos who knows what he wants and, if you listen to some of his music, knows how to apply what he wants to make it work effectively for him. Whether one agrees with a specific point of his or not, that alone makes him worth listening to.
Or Talisman who has a lot of experience in playing and recording but is never too proud to pick up new things, while being steadfast in what he knows and will share.
There are quite a few others too.

I'm nearly always cognisant of the fact that most of the advantages that exist in communication on video, telephone and eyeball-to-eyeball don't exist here. All we have are printed words to communicate the things that vocal and body language and all the other cues do for us in "normal" everyday life. It can be hard, trying to read a person just through their words. I slip up in that from time to time. We all do.

You have no need to apologize. We're just a group of people that possibly wouldn't choose to hang together much were it not for our chosen passion/interest. But through that interest, we are in the same boat and we get sort of get to know each other.

I think of it like this; many of us are not exactly young anymore. Lots of us have wives/partners/friends/kids/colleagues that have been part of our lives for a long time, that haven't got a clue of the depth of knowledge and interest that we have in home recording, yet people we "meet" on this forum do {if they're listening and not blocking !}. But it can take a while to get used to the full range of a person's "whys and wherefores."
It’s positive for the learning curve of everyone, to put up counter advice?
I think this is crucial. Of course, it works both ways.

For me, when it comes to recording in general and home recording in particular, there is rarely a universal route to anything. If one looks at the history of recording sound, there have been all kinds of methods to achieve the same result and sheer logic alone tells me they all have a place, even if some are no longer in common usage. They worked at one stage so it's not like finding easier, more "effective" ways renders the old ways no longer applicable. For example, if someone lives in a castle or a very large house and they want to rig up mics in high stairwells to record the drums, vocals, double bass and acoustic guitars, and they are happy to do that and they like the result and it isn't impeding the songs, then they should do that, even if it takes them 4 times as long as someone with VSTis and plug ins.
Personally, I could care less about the headaches you get in making your music. That's on you ! They make for a good story to tell.
Something I have always valued about being on a forum where there are so many different people with a variety of different ways of doing things is that I can see that pretty much every way is valid ~ although not necessarily at every point in time.

Counter-advice is useful. I don't take it personally anymore, even if it's meant that way. One day that counter-advice might make one of my recordings that much more interesting and effective.
We really thought the division and allocation completely a random bit of advice, that for me, made no sense at all.....The thing that made me wonder was the notion that each area had equal budget
This really stood out to me. I'd never really thought about it before in such a codified way, but the reality is that the market {both new and 2nd-hand} ensures that there is rarely budget equality between the various areas.

I've been building my arsenal of weaponry since, I suppose, 1986. The item that is my longest serving that I currently have would be my congas which I've had since the end of summer 1990, bought from a neighbourhood criminal {he insisted they were his}, and my 6-string electro-acoustic guitar which was bought for me in early September 1990. The guitar was £100 and the congas were, IIRC, £80. The congas were certainly a bargain.

When I started buying stuff for my mythical studio, I personally didn't think in terms of a budget. I just thought in terms of what I needed or wanted and looked at the items and decided whether I was ready to pay what the prices were or not. I was sort of buying on the fly. "Oh, I could use such and such. Let me see if I can find one."

These were pre~internet days.

I remember that when I went from 4 to 8-track portastudio in late 1992, I went for the Tascam 488 {MK1} which was £1070 ~ an insane fortune for me at the time. I had to take out a loan for it that I didn't pay off till early 1996 ! In 1991, I bought a double bass for £350 and later that year, I bought a mandolin with a pick-up {I still use that mandolin and the pick-up !}....for £78.
In '93, I bought a piano from some old geezer that lived on the 2nd floor of some converted house for £90 and a Hammond organ from some store that sold them 2nd-hand for £350 and the following year, I bought a Fender Rhodes for £170 and the day before that, my 6-string electric guitar {a Peavey Reactor} for £155. And when I wanted to try out various pedals and effects, I'd pop down to shops like Rockstop or Turnkey in central London or some of the local ones and buy there, or even the instrument exchanges in Kentish Town and Notting Hill gate.

Happy days !

I could go on and bore everyone to sleep 🥱 😴 🤤 with how VSTis have been incorporated into my studio and my move to digital standalones, but my point is that Rob's point here is an important one here. The market determines the prices and these are determined by what one desires to use.
Me? I’ll put budget into sensible mic choices and software
One of the most wonderful departments in HR.com is the analogue forum. Although I no longer record in that medium {and I loved it while I did and support it forever}, its very presence ensures that there will be people that step outside the current "norm" of digital. And there are always overlaps between the two.
In terms of mics and software, I think that's a progressive thing. The mics I started off with {a couple of AKGs}, I swapped/was swindled out of {by a clever pro singer !} for a couple of shitty Shures.....but I learned through experience that I needed something "better." Many of us learn as we go. We listen to what other people are using, consider how that compares with what we have, and proceed from there.
Your list assumes you are buying a retro studio, but not the usual exotic wonderful stuff, but the kit we got rid of twenty years ago, and it was budget then. We’ve moved so far in this time, for some members this was also just weird
I get that, but one should keep in mind that not everyone has the personal experience of the person offering the comment. I sometimes joke about mjbphoto's disdain for digital standalones because it genuinely makes me laugh. I disagree with him about them but I bear in mind that he has left them behind and gone onto something that he considers superior. I love them and still use them. It isn't a matter of who is wrong or right because wrong and right don't come into it. There is plenty of room in our world for variance of opinion. If I didn't like hearing opposing ideas, or to put it a better way, different ways, I don't think I'd hang around anyone online that was likely to proffer something that isn't where I'm at. I don't mind echo chambers sometimes, they have their value, but one doesn't learn as much being in one, neither does one learn how to counter opposing points.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Smithers - no disrespect meant in any of my replies. Different people have different needs/budgets and methods.

As to AIs, I had the Tascam US-800 for about 8 years before the left side outputs went wonky on it. I switched over to the Focusrite 8i6 2-1/2 years ago. Never had any driver (or other) issues with either AI (except the Tascam's output). Depending on your needs for # of inputs, ADAT in/out, MIDI in/out, and budget, there are many choices and hard to go wrong as long as you go with a name brand.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Or mjbphotos who knows what he wants and, if you listen to some of his music, knows how to apply what he wants to make it work effectively for him. Whether one agrees with a specific point of his or not, that alone makes him worth listening to.

I sometimes joke about mjbphoto's disdain for digital standalones because it genuinely makes me laugh. I disagree with him about them but I bear in mind that he has left them behind and gone onto something that he considers superior.
Oh, a double-mention from Grim, thank you! I would not say that I DISDAIN stand-alone digital recorders, but found that the advantages of a computer DAW outweigh any of the 'conveniences' of a stand-alone. I used a Boss BR600 (up until 11 years ago) with 64 'virtual' tracks, but really only 6 tracks (4 mono, 2 stereo) available for mix-down meant lots of 'fader-riding' and bouncing of tracks when I was recording. I cringe when listening to those recordings now! Being able to comp tracks, automate, unlimited tracks/takes, and being able to 'undo' everything has made recording and mixing a joy instead of a chore!
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
@smithers, your posts since you landed on the scene have been a breath of fresh air. They're nearly always enjoyable to read and often they'll draw people in to reveal their thoughts and experiences on various matters. And so when people do draw on those thoughts, sometimes, disagreement is to be expected.

We have a good and mixed crowd here at the moment. People express themselves in different ways. As you get to know folk better, you'll get used to their ways and realize that they're not getting at you negatively and personally in the way they might sometimes express their variance of opinion. For example ecc83. He has vast electronic experience and by his own admission, doesn't do much recording ~ yet he weighs in with lots of interesting and valuable stuff. I can remember over the years how some people {fortunately no longer here} have given him an unnecessarily hard time and he's learned how to hold himself on a forum like this and still remain a gent.
Or Rob, who is very forthright and opinionated and is confident in what he shares, yet who is also a treasure trove of information that goes a long way towards helping people reach their own conclusions, whether in the direction he has posited or otherwise.
Or mjbphotos who knows what he wants and, if you listen to some of his music, knows how to apply what he wants to make it work effectively for him. Whether one agrees with a specific point of his or not, that alone makes him worth listening to.
Or Talisman who has a lot of experience in playing and recording but is never too proud to pick up new things, while being steadfast in what he knows and will share.
There are quite a few others too.

I'm nearly always cognisant of the fact that most of the advantages that exist in communication on video, telephone and eyeball-to-eyeball don't exist here. All we have are printed words to communicate the things that vocal and body language and all the other cues do for us in "normal" everyday life. It can be hard, trying to read a person just through their words. I slip up in that from time to time. We all do.

You have no need to apologize. We're just a group of people that possibly wouldn't choose to hang together much were it not for our chosen passion/interest. But through that interest, we are in the same boat and we get sort of get to know each other.

I think of it like this; many of us are not exactly young anymore. Lots of us have wives/partners/friends/kids/colleagues that have been part of our lives for a long time, that haven't got a clue of the depth of knowledge and interest that we have in home recording, yet people we "meet" on this forum do {if they're listening and not blocking !}. But it can take a while to get used to the full range of a person's "whys and wherefores."

I think this is crucial. Of course, it works both ways.

For me, when it comes to recording in general and home recording in particular, there is rarely a universal route to anything. If one looks at the history of recording sound, there have been all kinds of methods to achieve the same result and sheer logic alone tells me they all have a place, even if some are no longer in common usage. They worked at one stage so it's not like finding easier, more "effective" ways renders the old ways no longer applicable. For example, if someone lives in a castle or a very large house and they want to rig up mics in high stairwells to record the drums, vocals, double bass and acoustic guitars, and they are happy to do that and they like the result and it isn't impeding the songs, then they should do that, even if it takes them 4 times as long as someone with VSTis and plug ins.
Personally, I could care less about the headaches you get in making your music. That's on you ! They make for a good story to tell.
Something I have always valued about being on a forum where there are so many different people with a variety of different ways of doing things is that I can see that pretty much every way is valid ~ although not necessarily at every point in time.

Counter-advice is useful. I don't take it personally anymore, even if it's meant that way. One day that counter-advice might make one of my recordings that much more interesting and effective.

This really stood out to me. I'd never really thought about it before in such a codified way, but the reality is that the market {both new and 2nd-hand} ensures that there is rarely budget equality between the various areas.

I've been building my arsenal of weaponry since, I suppose, 1986. The item that is my longest serving that I currently have would be my congas which I've had since the end of summer 1990, bought from a neighbourhood criminal {he insisted they were his}, and my 6-string electro-acoustic guitar which was bought for me in early September 1990. The guitar was £100 and the congas were, IIRC, £80. The congas were certainly a bargain.

When I started buying stuff for my mythical studio, I personally didn't think in terms of a budget. I just thought in terms of what I needed or wanted and looked at the items and decided whether I was ready to pay what the prices were or not. I was sort of buying on the fly. "Oh, I could use such and such. Let me see if I can find one."

These were pre~internet days.

I remember that when I went from 4 to 8-track portastudio in late 1992, I went for the Tascam 488 {MK1} which was £1070 ~ an insane fortune for me at the time. I had to take out a loan for it that I didn't pay off till early 1996 ! In 1991, I bought a double bass for £350 and later that year, I bought a mandolin with a pick-up {I still use that mandolin and the pick-up !}....for £78.
In '93, I bought a piano from some old geezer that lived on the 2nd floor of some converted house for £90 and a Hammond organ from some store that sold them 2nd-hand for £350 and the following year, I bought a Fender Rhodes for £170 and the day before that, my 6-string electric guitar {a Peavey Reactor} for £155. And when I wanted to try out various pedals and effects, I'd pop down to shops like Rockstop or Turnkey in central London or some of the local ones and buy there, or even the instrument exchanges in Kentish Town and Notting Hill gate.

Happy days !

I could go on and bore everyone to sleep 🥱 😴 🤤 with how VSTis have been incorporated into my studio and my move to digital standalones, but my point is that Rob's point here is an important one here. The market determines the prices and these are determined by what one desires to use.

One of the most wonderful departments in HR.com is the analogue forum. Although I no longer record in that medium {and I loved it while I did and support it forever}, its very presence ensures that there will be people that step outside the current "norm" of digital. And there are always overlaps between the two.
In terms of mics and software, I think that's a progressive thing. The mics I started off with {a couple of AKGs}, I swapped/was swindled out of {by a clever pro singer !} for a couple of shitty Shures.....but I learned through experience that I needed something "better." Many of us learn as we go. We listen to what other people are using, consider how that compares with what we have, and proceed from there.

I get that, but one should keep in mind that not everyone has the personal experience of the person offering the comment. I sometimes joke about mjbphoto's disdain for digital standalones because it genuinely makes me laugh. I disagree with him about them but I bear in mind that he has left them behind and gone onto something that he considers superior. I love them and still use them. It isn't a matter of who is wrong or right because wrong and right don't come into it. There is plenty of room in our world for variance of opinion. If I didn't like hearing opposing ideas, or to put it a better way, different ways, I don't think I'd hang around anyone online that was likely to proffer something that isn't where I'm at. I don't mind echo chambers sometimes, they have their value, but one doesn't learn as much being in one, neither does one learn how to counter opposing points.
You have absolutely made my day friend. Thank you so much. I am a complete useless idiot. It was never my intention to cause any conflict here. I am really sorry if any of my posts have come over either arrogant or know all in any way whatsoever. I am on a learning journey and really appreciate the great advice I have been given here. I think the problem is that I got a bit over enthusiastic as a Newbie posting too many threads. So I will throttle back now. I have woken up some days with having to eat some humble pie and totally slapped down. But I have never meant anything in a bad way. Thank you for your comment, it means a lot 👍

I am not experienced on forums but learning fast. Everyone here has a right to say what they think. Thank you 🥰😅😉👍
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
Smithers - no disrespect meant in any of my replies. Different people have different needs/budgets and methods.

As to AIs, I had the Tascam US-800 for about 8 years before the left side outputs went wonky on it. I switched over to the Focusrite 8i6 2-1/2 years ago. Never had any driver (or other) issues with either AI (except the Tascam's output). Depending on your needs for # of inputs, ADAT in/out, MIDI in/out, and budget, there are many choices and hard to go wrong as long as you go with a name brand.
Yes I am sorry, I think some of the comments I have made are a bit inexperienced and over exuberant 😅👍
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
That was a long one.
But hey !
I did actually think at one point

Sod this! They are all ganging up on me! But I realise now this is not the case. Maybe as a Newbie I might have ruffled feathers but it was never my intention. I am fine with ECC, he seems to know a great deal and I hope I can learn a bit from him.
Thanks
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
Smithers - no disrespect meant in any of my replies. Different people have different needs/budgets and methods.

As to AIs, I had the Tascam US-800 for about 8 years before the left side outputs went wonky on it. I switched over to the Focusrite 8i6 2-1/2 years ago. Never had any driver (or other) issues with either AI (except the Tascam's output). Depending on your needs for # of inputs, ADAT in/out, MIDI in/out, and budget, there are many choices and hard to go wrong as long as you go with a name brand.
Thank you, after the good advice here about DAW I am regretting buying the 2 ADATS. But
... there you go. They were 80 each so could get my money back. But probably just keep them as ornaments 😅😉👍
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
@smithers, your posts since you landed on the scene have been a breath of fresh air. They're nearly always enjoyable to read and often they'll draw people in to reveal their thoughts and experiences on various matters. And so when people do draw on those thoughts, sometimes, disagreement is to be expected.

We have a good and mixed crowd here at the moment. People express themselves in different ways. As you get to know folk better, you'll get used to their ways and realize that they're not getting at you negatively and personally in the way they might sometimes express their variance of opinion. For example ecc83. He has vast electronic experience and by his own admission, doesn't do much recording ~ yet he weighs in with lots of interesting and valuable stuff. I can remember over the years how some people {fortunately no longer here} have given him an unnecessarily hard time and he's learned how to hold himself on a forum like this and still remain a gent.
Or Rob, who is very forthright and opinionated and is confident in what he shares, yet who is also a treasure trove of information that goes a long way towards helping people reach their own conclusions, whether in the direction he has posited or otherwise.
Or mjbphotos who knows what he wants and, if you listen to some of his music, knows how to apply what he wants to make it work effectively for him. Whether one agrees with a specific point of his or not, that alone makes him worth listening to.
Or Talisman who has a lot of experience in playing and recording but is never too proud to pick up new things, while being steadfast in what he knows and will share.
There are quite a few others too.

I'm nearly always cognisant of the fact that most of the advantages that exist in communication on video, telephone and eyeball-to-eyeball don't exist here. All we have are printed words to communicate the things that vocal and body language and all the other cues do for us in "normal" everyday life. It can be hard, trying to read a person just through their words. I slip up in that from time to time. We all do.

You have no need to apologize. We're just a group of people that possibly wouldn't choose to hang together much were it not for our chosen passion/interest. But through that interest, we are in the same boat and we get sort of get to know each other.

I think of it like this; many of us are not exactly young anymore. Lots of us have wives/partners/friends/kids/colleagues that have been part of our lives for a long time, that haven't got a clue of the depth of knowledge and interest that we have in home recording, yet people we "meet" on this forum do {if they're listening and not blocking !}. But it can take a while to get used to the full range of a person's "whys and wherefores."

I think this is crucial. Of course, it works both ways.

For me, when it comes to recording in general and home recording in particular, there is rarely a universal route to anything. If one looks at the history of recording sound, there have been all kinds of methods to achieve the same result and sheer logic alone tells me they all have a place, even if some are no longer in common usage. They worked at one stage so it's not like finding easier, more "effective" ways renders the old ways no longer applicable. For example, if someone lives in a castle or a very large house and they want to rig up mics in high stairwells to record the drums, vocals, double bass and acoustic guitars, and they are happy to do that and they like the result and it isn't impeding the songs, then they should do that, even if it takes them 4 times as long as someone with VSTis and plug ins.
Personally, I could care less about the headaches you get in making your music. That's on you ! They make for a good story to tell.
Something I have always valued about being on a forum where there are so many different people with a variety of different ways of doing things is that I can see that pretty much every way is valid ~ although not necessarily at every point in time.

Counter-advice is useful. I don't take it personally anymore, even if it's meant that way. One day that counter-advice might make one of my recordings that much more interesting and effective.

This really stood out to me. I'd never really thought about it before in such a codified way, but the reality is that the market {both new and 2nd-hand} ensures that there is rarely budget equality between the various areas.

I've been building my arsenal of weaponry since, I suppose, 1986. The item that is my longest serving that I currently have would be my congas which I've had since the end of summer 1990, bought from a neighbourhood criminal {he insisted they were his}, and my 6-string electro-acoustic guitar which was bought for me in early September 1990. The guitar was £100 and the congas were, IIRC, £80. The congas were certainly a bargain.

When I started buying stuff for my mythical studio, I personally didn't think in terms of a budget. I just thought in terms of what I needed or wanted and looked at the items and decided whether I was ready to pay what the prices were or not. I was sort of buying on the fly. "Oh, I could use such and such. Let me see if I can find one."

These were pre~internet days.

I remember that when I went from 4 to 8-track portastudio in late 1992, I went for the Tascam 488 {MK1} which was £1070 ~ an insane fortune for me at the time. I had to take out a loan for it that I didn't pay off till early 1996 ! In 1991, I bought a double bass for £350 and later that year, I bought a mandolin with a pick-up {I still use that mandolin and the pick-up !}....for £78.
In '93, I bought a piano from some old geezer that lived on the 2nd floor of some converted house for £90 and a Hammond organ from some store that sold them 2nd-hand for £350 and the following year, I bought a Fender Rhodes for £170 and the day before that, my 6-string electric guitar {a Peavey Reactor} for £155. And when I wanted to try out various pedals and effects, I'd pop down to shops like Rockstop or Turnkey in central London or some of the local ones and buy there, or even the instrument exchanges in Kentish Town and Notting Hill gate.

Happy days !

I could go on and bore everyone to sleep 🥱 😴 🤤 with how VSTis have been incorporated into my studio and my move to digital standalones, but my point is that Rob's point here is an important one here. The market determines the prices and these are determined by what one desires to use.

One of the most wonderful departments in HR.com is the analogue forum. Although I no longer record in that medium {and I loved it while I did and support it forever}, its very presence ensures that there will be people that step outside the current "norm" of digital. And there are always overlaps between the two.
In terms of mics and software, I think that's a progressive thing. The mics I started off with {a couple of AKGs}, I swapped/was swindled out of {by a clever pro singer !} for a couple of shitty Shures.....but I learned through experience that I needed something "better." Many of us learn as we go. We listen to what other people are using, consider how that compares with what we have, and proceed from there.

I get that, but one should keep in mind that not everyone has the personal experience of the person offering the comment. I sometimes joke about mjbphoto's disdain for digital standalones because it genuinely makes me laugh. I disagree with him about them but I bear in mind that he has left them behind and gone onto something that he considers superior. I love them and still use them. It isn't a matter of who is wrong or right because wrong and right don't come into it. There is plenty of room in our world for variance of opinion. If I didn't like hearing opposing ideas, or to put it a better way, different ways, I don't think I'd hang around anyone online that was likely to proffer something that isn't where I'm at. I don't mind echo chambers sometimes, they have their value, but one doesn't learn as much being in one, neither does one learn how to counter opposing points.
I have noticed one thing in my short time here though Grim if I may say. The never ending discussion about analogue v digital format. My belief is that there is a place for both 👍
 

jamesperrett

Active member
Thank you, after the good advice here about DAW I am regretting buying the 2 ADATS. But
... there you go. They were 80 each so could get my money back. But probably just keep them as ornaments 😅😉👍
For a few years I used ADATs as my A/D convertors by connecting the line outs of my desk to the inputs of the ADAT machines and the optical out of the ADAT to an RME Hammerfall card in the computer. They work much better for that than as recorders. You can also use them the other way round with the ADAT converting the digital output from the computer to an analogue signal that can be fed to the line inputs on the mixer. The only problem is that a suitable audio interface to make use of them is going to be a little more expensive. Probably the Audient iD14 is about the cheapest with an ADAT input while others have both ADAT in and out. Nowadays I use an RME Digiface USB which gives me 32 channels of ADAT in and out.
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
For a few years I used ADATs as my A/D convertors by connecting the line outs of my desk to the inputs of the ADAT machines and the optical out of the ADAT to an RME Hammerfall card in the computer. They work much better for that than as recorders. You can also use them the other way round with the ADAT converting the digital output from the computer to an analogue signal that can be fed to the line inputs on the mixer. The only problem is that a suitable audio interface to make use of them is going to be a little more expensive. Probably the Audient iD14 is about the cheapest with an ADAT input while others have both ADAT in and out. Nowadays I use an RME Digiface USB which gives me 32 channels of ADAT in and out.
I will keep them and try to learn. I have heard the mechanism sucks and if you have more than one then you really need the BRC 😟😟
 

jamesperrett

Active member
I will keep them and try to learn. I have heard the mechanism sucks and if you have more than one then you really need the BRC 😟😟
Yes, the mechanism sucks but I don't think a BRC would help. I used a Digital Timepiece, which is like a computer controlled BRC, and they still took ages to sync up.
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
Yes, the mechanism sucks but I don't think a BRC would help. I used a Digital Timepiece, which is like a computer controlled BRC, and they still took ages to sync up.
It was probably a mistake to buy them but
you live and learn. Actually the original ADATs which I have did not have MTC. So I THINK maybe I can use the SMPTE machine to sync them? I heard that the in built MTC on the later machines had problems working with an outboard MTC?
 

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
For a few years I used ADATs as my A/D convertors by connecting the line outs of my desk to the inputs of the ADAT machines and the optical out of the ADAT to an RME Hammerfall card in the computer. They work much better for that than as recorders. You can also use them the other way round with the ADAT converting the digital output from the computer to an analogue signal that can be fed to the line inputs on the mixer. The only problem is that a suitable audio interface to make use of them is going to be a little more expensive. Probably the Audient iD14 is about the cheapest with an ADAT input while others have both ADAT in and out. Nowadays I use an RME Digiface USB which gives me 32 channels of ADAT in and out.
This is really interesting stuff James. From what I can gather then ADATs have no modern use. But if I can interface with a DAW then it might work. Thanks 👍
 

jamesperrett

Active member
It was probably a mistake to buy them but
you live and learn. Actually the original ADATs which I have did not have MTC. So I THINK maybe I can use the SMPTE machine to sync them? I heard that the in built MTC on the later machines had problems working with an outboard MTC?
None of them had MTC. They had their own 9 pin sync connectors which apparently used something like MTC internally but you couldn't access the MTC directly and use it.

If you really want to sync them to anything you can either go the old fashioned way and stripe a track with timecode and use your current synchroniser or use a synchroniser with an ADAT 9 pin connection which gains you an extra track to record on. I use a MOTU Digital Timepiece when I need to sync things in my studio. It works with LTC, MTC, ADAT, Tascam DTRS, Digidesign Superclock and Sony RS422 protocols (and probably others that I've forgotten).

Personally I wouldn't bother using them as recorders - as I said elsewhere, just use them as extra A/D or D/A convertors with your computer.
 
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