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Thread: Buy V880EX or a Pentium III setup?

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    HI, I live in CAnada, Montreal and I want to buy a 880 ex, how much do they go for in Canadian, or US dollars? Second question is how easy to use are they? Is it better to buy one of these, or to buy a new Pentium, sound card, etc etc??? I am stuck basically on buying a pc setup or this thing. Please let me know what you recommend. I will be recording bass, drums, guitars and voice and maybe some keys. Thanx.

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    I've had my older model vs880 for over two years now and I love it. I have seen the 880ex for around $1400 USD, and you could probably find less by shopping around the Internet. However, if you have to make the choice between a butt kickin new PC or the vs880EX, I'd go with the PC. The 880 does everything involved with recording well, and is very portable, but a PC can do so much more. There also seem to be a lot of manufacturers going the PC route for audio software and hardware, and that should give you tons of options for future upgrades. It's hard/impossible to upgrade the 880 except for software updates and a new hard drive every now and then. I record everything with the 880, but always end up transferring to my PC for mastering and burning CDs. If I didn't already own the 880, and I didn't have to do remote recording every now and then, I would build my home studio around a new PC. Just my opinion. If you decide to get the 880 instead, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's a great tool for what it's designed to do. Post any specific questions you have about the 880 and I'll do my best to answer them.

    [This message has been edited by Jon X (edited 07-06-1999).]

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    Joanne,
    I would agree with Jon X's assessment. The 880 is a wonderfull machine that produces astounding results. You are, however, limited in your quest to build a better recording. In order to improve on my 880 work, I have found that transferring the tracks to a PC is the best way to get exactly what I was looking for. As a longterm investment, a PC will allow you greater flexability and better options for upgrading your studio as the pocketbook allows.

    When I first started recording I used the 880 and couldn't believe my ears. The results were incredible! But as you learn more, and your desire to "better" your recording grows, PC based editing offers greater rewards. Again, though either way you're going to get great sounds.

    Good luck.

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    Thanx to both of you for the info. I just have to tell you a little more about my situation. First, as I said I live in Canada, a new V880EX with 2.2 GIGS here is about $2400 CAN = $1700 US and that does not come with the burner, the burner is about $895 CAN = 620 US so in total you will pay $2400 US for both without taxes ( here the taxes are about 15%! ) So, I can get away with that price of course. NOW, let me mention that I do have a pc, but it is a 486 DX 66, with 16 MEGS (quite sluggish). If I were to buy a pc setup, that would mean I would have to buy the pc, = $1600 CAN, the sound card for these things I hear are quite expensive, about $1000 CAN for a good one ( = 700 US) and then the software, Cakewalk versus Cubase (in which I hear Cubase is better), and then, the console, another $1000 and then the rest!!!
    Now is a Mac better than a Pentium III? I have been greatly discouraged in buying a Pentium (in which I do work in computers and would be more ideal for me). What do you still suggest? Buy the V880EX and combine it with the sluggish 486 I have, or just buy a new pc? If so which pc, Mac? Pentium? Which video card? Which software? Which console? What I need to record is 2 tracks of guitar, 1 bass, 1 full-set acoustic drums, 1 vocals, and maybe a keyboard. I don't need to record a whole live band.
    If you suggest a pc is better, can you give an example why and what the downfalls of the V880EX machine are compared to the pc other than the upgrades? Like any sound, easy of use downfalls?
    Sorry for all the questions, I am new at this and I just don't know anyone who can help!
    I appreciate all your help, thanx thanx!

    .. Joanne

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    That 486 is good for MIDI only! The slowest
    Pentium that I've seen (somewhat)useful for S/W audio multitracking is a PII-233. Fortunately, prices have fallen quite a bit since the introduction of that chip. A very impressive cheapo processor is the 433 Celeron. Get at least 128MB RAM. There are so many decent AGP video cards; research yours at Ziff-Davis (they publish the Computer Shopper). www.zdnet.com
    As to Macs- I don't like the Crapintosh. But if you've got money to burn- they usually are on the cutting edge of computer technology when it comes to music or video. But that is coming to an end as PC's in general are now fast enough to deal with the data transfer requirements of these processes. Macs had Firewire ports before PCs did; so what?
    Now you can get one on either platform.

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    Heylo

    I have been planning on getting a combined system for over a year, a vs880ex linked to a PC for auxillary processing/mixing and CD mastering, as well as my other music business and internet access. I've been waiting for a good Dcard for a portable and it seems they have one now.

    But my point for you is that I've been watching the used market and places like the classifieds at Harmony Central (www.harmonycentral.com I think) regularly have vs880's at 1100 to 1500 US, I've seen them around other places, and in paper classifieds, and bulletin boards. So you might consider a used one to make it easier on your budget, all lot of these units probably have pretty low hours.

    I'm really just starting on this myself, the folks here should be better at knowing budget alternatives that work with the VS880. That would get you going at least, and you can go with the PC when you upgrade your old PC anyway, just add a dcard when you get it and adequate software is not hard to get really, or expensive. I'm not sure, but you might not even need a dcard if you can link the vs880 to a computer via the scsii port(?) (I'm sorry, but I'm far from all my notes and the details are fuzzy, someone here should be able to answer that question) And then the VS880 is still a mixer and A/D converter. Their CDR seems overpriced, I don't know, but maybe you can dump to something else scsii based (exterior HD?) or get the CDR from a different source (I looked at one and its a standard model, forget which type). Find a friend/musician with a fast new computer who wants to get into recording/music and collaborate till you can afford your own.
    You have the VS880 and they have a computer.

    I do something similiar by travelling with nothing but alot of great software on CDR, for music recording, processing, editing, and mp3 conversion; as well as my mailing list managers and graphics programs. I just load it into someone else's system when I need to work. (And sometimes I forget to erase the files when I leave )I keep my studio tracks on CD ready to load in as well. But I've had to use studios for the actual recording, a good way to learn what mikes work for me, but now I want my own system so I have the time to produce the quality recording I don't have time to do at studio prices.

    But I guess my point is with a little research and some luck, you should be able to shave down the price of getting set up a lot with used and discount gear to get going. That's what I'll be doing , though I'll probably buy my diaphram mike new.

    Well, I'm just starting on the same track, I'll be buying one in the next month or so when I get back to the States.

    Peace

    Brian / Folksinger http://www.mp3.com/folksinger http://www.pan.com/folksinger


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