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Thread: SONAR vs Tascam DP 24SD - need advice on home studio

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    SONAR vs Tascam DP 24SD - need advice on home studio

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    Greetings,

    I have recently been trying to resurrect my home studio. Many years ago I had Cakewalk 3.0 which I used for editing MIDI, and had a KORG M1 for my sound module. I used a Tascam 488 4 track portastudio to record guitar tracks letting the sequencer play live to mix down. Life was grand Fast forward many years later......finding that my M1 was dead, and Cakewalk 3.0 doesn't like Win7 x64 bit, the old tascam is also having some electrical issues.....it was time for some upgrades.

    I purchased a Korg KRONOS which I absolutely love. Was playing around with Cakewalk SONAR Artist addition (as well as Reaper) and it seemed like SONAR was a bit easier to work with MIDI editing than repear. Also, having the ability to record digitally with either of these apps sounded nice, but I still wanted an external MTR. While googling Tascam devices I found the DP 24 (which at the time supported MIDI). Apparently I did not research enough to realize that the DP 24SD upgrade did not include midi....which is what I wound up purchasing. So it seems I am at a crossroads. I can still return the Tascam (still under 30 days) and use SONAR to do all my recording. I do have a focusrite audio interface, but was never really crazy about dealing with the latency issues of hard disk recording. OR If I could obtain a MOTU or something similar to generate and read SMPTE, perhaps I could stipe a track on the tascam with SMPTE and get Sonar to slave along to sync tone and run the KRONOS via midi? For some reason this "feels" more flexible to me but I might be missing something or thinking about all this the wrong way.

    Any advice or suggestions from anyone using similar equipment or techniques? I feel like I need someone with more knowledge to help me out here.

    Thanks!

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    What are the specs of the computer you're using? [personal preference/old school knob obsessiveness aside] In most cases, doing everything on the computer will be easier. But the computer needs to be up to the task.
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    Its an Alienware. M17 Core i7-3820QM CPU @ 2.70 GHz
    32 GB RAM
    64bit OS
    500 GB ST drive

    Surely more than enough processing power. I suspect I would need an alternate drive for recording at some point.

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    Definitely have the processing power. Using the focusrite with your software of choice will definitely be the easiest way. You might want a SSD for your primary/work drive, and anything large enough for storage. That's something that can be done later if you know how to image your windows install from one disk to another.

    I went from old 4 track tech straight into doing everything on the PC [around the time I registered here in 2002]. Haven't looked back!

    There's specific uses for outboard equipment, but it doesn't sound like you need it (?).
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    I could see times where having a portability might be nice, but other than that I guess I really don't need external, other than preference I guess. Would be nice to pick up using the old workflow, and I'm sure this will be a lot of change to the old workflow. Did you find changing to PC a bit inhibitive when you first started?

    Also, do you see any reason SMPTE could not be used with the tascam? Sonar appears to be able to read SMPTE, so I don't see why it shouldn't work provided I can find a used MOTU SMPTE/MIDI inferface or something similar. I guess the downside there is persisting on using a method where the technology becomes more and more outdated. Oh well, perhaps I just need to be more willing to give the PC route a better shot. Frustrating...lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timduce View Post
    I could see times where having a portability might be nice, but other than that I guess I really don't need external, other than preference I guess. Would be nice to pick up using the old workflow, and I'm sure this will be a lot of change to the old workflow. Did you find changing to PC a bit inhibitive when you first started?

    Also, do you see any reason SMPTE could not be used with the tascam? Sonar appears to be able to read SMPTE, so I don't see why it shouldn't work provided I can find a used MOTU SMPTE/MIDI inferface or something similar. I guess the downside there is persisting on using a method where the technology becomes more and more outdated. Oh well, perhaps I just need to be more willing to give the PC route a better shot. Frustrating...lol
    I'm certain the time can be sync'd with Sonar, and some members here (that perhaps don't frequent this section) I believe have this configuration working. You may need to start a DP24 specific thread in one of the other applicable sections to get more details on that.

    When doing recording prior it was mostly jam room, bounce to a track kind of stuff. Nothing serious. But soon after making the move to PC based production I was able to accomplish a lot more than I could have with tape/a multitrack unit. Then when the computers got fast enough for virtual instruments, things really took off for me.

    So as far as work flow, I didn't have much in the first place so learning the "PC way" of doing things didn't require much unlearning. Sonar, for example, has automation recording functionality just like the big boy consoles, as well as track level granularity for manual volume and pan that are plotted out/saved/manipulable. Pretty much anything you can do in a hardware studio you can do in the virtual studio. Routing and buses all work, etc. Somethings get kinda easier too, like creating effects presets that you just assign to a track instead of using buses, then freeze the track (basically an in-place mixdown) so that track no longer uses processing power. This helps ward off latency issues as you stack track upon track. I've kinda blended some what would be considered old school methods of routing with the convenience of the new methods of just doing things track by track. It really depends on what I'm tying to accomplish.

    The flexibility is awesome. Being able to side chain is my newest tool in the mixing kit, which can be done as often as you like. I've really only used it on louder / harder songs where I needed the kick to come through but didn't want to sacrifice the other bass heavy instrumentation either by lowering their presence or doing EQ cuts. Side chains can also be used to help vocal presence, etc. This sort of stuff used to require VERY expensive units and complicated routing, now it literally only takes a plugin and knowing what settings to change. I never even knew about it because of the hardware prerequisites of the past. Now it's becoming a common place technique.
    Last edited by Pinky; 03-15-2016 at 11:25.
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    Sounds very interesting. I do really appreciate the shared information. I think at this point I will keep the dp 24 and experiment with both techniques. I really like the idea of having access to all the virtual toys you mention, which would probably never happen in the real world any time soon. I feel like the tascam might be very usable for portable situations as well as ease for recording musical ideas. My big concern was to be sure I will be able sync once I have the right midi/sync adapter. In either case, you have convinced me to give the PC route more of a chance. I will likely have more questions once I dig into that a bit.

    Thanks again for your time!

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    You should really sign up with the official Cakewalk forum and ask your questions over there.

    There are some VERY knowledgeable posters who would walk you through it step by step.

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    Actually I did sign up there and posted my query. Have not had a reply yet.

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