Help Me Pick My 1st Recorder!

ranjam

New member
Hello! I am very new here, and may be asking 'D-Oh!' questions, so bear with me. Anyway, I am looking for my first recorder. I have a line on many units from local folks who did the basic 'I bought it, but never had time to use it' scenario. So my question is which would be the best bet for me, who is only semi-competant with anything technical.

Zoom MRS1608-CD I cannot find much info, and not even a Forum here! I also cannot find many other people around here who use this, and there aren't many credible reviews on HC. But it looks feature packed, and the price is a very reasonable $500. The fellow who owns it now swears he has only 4-hours of use on it, and paid $1300:o.
Korg D8 Of course this is half the recorder the Zoom is, but for $350, I have money left over for another mic or a modeling preamp/DI.
Fostex DMT-8VL same price as the Korg. Looks a little more intimidating, though.
Boss BR-864 Appears almost as cool as the Zoom (of course it has half the tracks). Has FX, USB, and some drum sounds (good for scratch tracks). And at $300 (negotiable:D) I can do a lot with the change left over.
I may be able to safely use any of these recorders, but hesitate to make my first experience a bad one. Any hints or tips? These are all located in my neighbourhood, so there's no shipping or taxes involved.
 

solaris1982

New member
I know it isn't on the list, but...

I have a Fostex MR-16HD and it's been swell so far. I have yet to even really explore all the options available (I'm pretty new at this, too). If you have a computer, you can export your tracks via USB and use external mixing software (I have reaper). I've even been able to just record a dry guitar signal and experiment with using modeling software like Amplitube. I know it isn't in your neighborhood, but if you buy from MF, you get free shipping and it's only $400.

My two cents...
 

Randy Yell

New member
The Fostex MR-16 is very user friendly. If your friend paid $1300 for the Zoom, he paid too much, American Musical Supply sells it for $699 brand new.
 

Minion

Blow Me !!!
The Zoom MRS1608 is a pretty crappy piece of equipment....The unit works but the sound quality and effects are just awefull , It has a Lot of features but the manual is as big as a phone book and not really that easy to understand....

The guitarist for my band has one and we have tried recording on it many times but the quality was allways pretty bad and the Mic preamps are really noisy and the VU meters aren"t even close to accurate....

have you considered a computer based recorder?? You could get one for about the same price or even cheaper and it would be easier to use and more versitile in the effects and editing department.....?

:D
 

ranjam

New member
I am looking to move around and record in my house, and even record my gigs (and touch them up later), so a computer is sort of out of the question. I really think I may avoid the Zoom now. The local music store here says the Zoom did retail for $1300 a few years back, but everything has come down in price, and exact same recorder is now $900. It doesn't come up in my profile, but I am in Canada, and up here we pay double for everything. A strong Canadian dollar (which is really a BS statement) means a lot of prices for gear up here is now a lot cheaper, but still more than the US prices. All of these recorders I mention are from the local 'Buy & Sell' paper, so I can just grab it, walk home, and start recording in twenty minutes. It's why I am getting excited; no shipping, no sales taxes, no import Duty or anything else. Just to give you an idea of why I like this; the last Les Paul I bought off of eBay came UPS from the US, and the nice man in the brown uniform asked me for $400 before he would hand over my guitar :eek::eek::eek:! That was all taxes and Brokerage fees. So if I can buy local, great. If I buy anything off of eBay, it has to be small enough to come USPS, which means a small fraction of the taxes and fees UPS charges. You'd think the drivers would be pulling up to my door in an Escalade with the prices they charge. End of rant :mad:. But Hey, thanks for the tips. The BR864 might be it!
 

Oancient1

New member
The BR864 might be it!

One key thing to keep in mind with the BR864 and some other machines that record to CF memory cards is that they record in data-compression mode to sasve space on the CF card. Depending on the selected level of compression (I think the 864 has 3), some sound quality will be lost due to the data compression. It likely will not be too significant when recording tracks, but will increase and become more noticable when bouncing tracks, as doing that is essentially further compressing already compressed data. The same is a factor when exporting WAVs out of the BR864 to a PC for further processing/mixing etc. WAV is an uncompressed format, but the internal BR864 data format is compressed, and exporting it as WAVs does not restore any sound quality lost.

None of this matters too much if you intend to do everything on the BR864 and 8 tracks is enough -- the only advice then would be to use a 1G CF card. But if avoiding data compression is an issue, you would be better off getting a recorder with a hard drive -- most (all?) of which record uncompressed.

Tom
 

ranjam

New member
Aaaah! More to think about :mad::mad::mad:! I really don't expect to master anything I record on this and try to sell CD's. It's just for noodling and song writing. Well, that and to experiment with mics and recording technique. When I have that all down, I'll be ready to go back into a real studio. The last time I went into a real studio I 'wasted' a lot of time and $$$ doing the 'What if I did it this way?' trip, only to keep the first take in the end:o. But this 'home recording' will be like going to school for a minimal cash outlay, and I know I'll save money in the long run. And it is going to be fun learning, even if it kills me.
 

Oancient1

New member
Aaaah! More to think about :mad::mad::mad:! I really don't expect to master anything I record on this and try to sell CD's. It's just for noodling and song writing. Well, that and to experiment with mics and recording technique. When I have that all down, I'll be ready to go back into a real studio. The last time I went into a real studio I 'wasted' a lot of time and $$$ doing the 'What if I did it this way?' trip, only to keep the first take in the end:o. But this 'home recording' will be like going to school for a minimal cash outlay, and I know I'll save money in the long run. And it is going to be fun learning, even if it kills me.

For your purposes the BR864 should work fine. I use an older Tascam recorder that compresses when tracking, and although the number of tracks (4) is a big limitation, the compression is barely noticable unless bouncing to open up tracks, something that would be less of an annoyance with 8 tracks.
 
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