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Thread: Mixdown Recorder

  1. #1
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    Mixdown Recorder

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    Hello,
    I am new to home recording and I have a question. I have a Tascam 424 MKII. I also have a Yamaha receiver 75 watts which I am using for a monitor and playbacks. I have been slowly setting up to do recordings but the major hurdle I have is getting a good recorder for recording masters for duplication and distribution.

    I have been advised that instead of cassette tape mixdown using a CD Burner for mixdowns and mastering. Can anyone give me the pros and cons of such a move? Is it worth considering at all?

    Thanks for any answers,
    Troubadour

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    There's no doubt that a quality cassette deck can capture the full fidelity of a Portastudio's out put. The only problem with cassette is that it is a fleeting format.

    Manufactures seem to offer less and less skews every year and in many cases the ones they do offer are lower end machines with less then ideal design objectives and matching specs to boot.

    There is alway the option of purchasing a used higher end cassette deck like a Teac 3 head or a Nakamichi or Denon model.

    The option of using a good used open reel recorder in a half track, stereo format would also be a wonderful format to master onto giving you something that a mastering facility could actually work with to make commercial CD's from.

    Stand-a-lone CD recorders also offer a high degree of fidelity so long as you don't overload them signal-wise and don't pre-compress your signal and thus give a mastering facility nothing to work with dynamically.

    Another option is to make a 24 bit digital master on a professional DAT recorder or computer based recording medium.

    If your end goal is to be able to present a mastering facility with a usable stereo formated, ready for industrial distribution, recording, 24 bit digital and half track open reel recordings are the formats of choice in the professional world.

    If you are making masters for your own personal or limited distribution requirements, a stand-a-lone CD recorder is not a bad choice at all.

    Cheers!

  3. #3
    Beck Guest
    FM pretty much covered it. I’ll add a plug or two for some specific decks to consider. Rather than a long list of every possible model, here is short list of things I own or have used that I can recommend:

    Cassette:
    Tascam 102 MKII – low cost, high quality, straight-forward – Dolby C and HX-Pro
    Tascam 122 and 112 – more bells and whistles, older, a little more expensive

    Half-track open reel:
    Tascam 22-2 – industry standard format, ¼” 2-track – light, portable, low-cost, gets the job done.

    Stand-alone CD:
    HHB CDR-850
    Fostex CR300

    These are pro models, meaning they can copy to standard computer CDs and can switch off SCMS. The Fostex and HHB are the same, both built by Pioneer (though one is cream and the other purple). The Fostex has some additional capabilities for backing up certain Fostex digital multitracks.

    My opinion – These are the best pro CD burners on the planet!

    *** Beware of consumer stand-alone CD burners, which can lock you out of making copies of your own original music because of copy protection, and have you paying copyright fees for every blank “digital audio” CD you buy! (don’t get me started on this unconstitutional taxation of a medium of free speech). ***

    Also, the way in which you create your music may be a consideration. I have a lot of sequenced keyboard and digital drum parts, which go directly to the master. Therefore, I master to tape to get the beneficial effects of analog on those instruments.

    If everything you have is already on tape you can go directly to CD, guilt free.


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    my 2 cents...

    I beleive you should create masters at least one step above your medium....ie use something better than a casette to make casette copies.

    There are some digital casette recorders out there. Even very good casette decks..the 3 head expensive ones.

    My favorite though, is HI-FI VHS.
    Laugh... but try it. Even though i burn to CD, i still make a copy of every thing that comes off the DAW onto VHS tape. And it is cheap for the product you get in return.

    good luck

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    Originally posted by Beck
    Stand-alone CD:
    HHB CDR-850
    Fostex CR300

    My opinion – These are the best pro CD burners on the planet!
    My opinion is that neither come close to the Alesis Masterlink........

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    Gentlemen,
    I thank you all for your replies it has given me a lot to consider. I hope as I get better at this that I can do the same for someone else.

    Troubadour

  7. #7
    Beck Guest
    Originally posted by Blue Bear Sound
    My opinion is that neither come close to the Alesis Masterlink........
    The Masterlink is feature rich, I’ll say that much. The most I have against it is that it’s built around hard disk recording, which is the worst thing to happen to music since rap/hip-hop.

    If you’re recording solely in the digital realm from start to finish then the Masterlink is hard to beat. However, I prefer and recommend the Fostex/HHB over the Masterlink without hesitation if one is starting with an analog tape source. In fact I would even recommend some Pioneer consumer units based on the same PCB over the Masterlink as the bridge between analog and digital formats, save for the copy protection.

    The big names and organizations that have embraced the Masterlink are quite impressive indeed. Once the original analog is converted to ones and zeros the Masterlink does have a lot to offer. I would even say it has no equal.

    If you’re recording Rap/Hip-hop nothing I said above applies because nothing you do on that level will be perceived or appreciated by anyone who listens to it anyway.


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    Originally posted by Beck
    The most I have against it is that it’s built around hard disk recording, which is the worst thing to happen to music....
    Say WHAT?????????????????

    Care to qualify that?

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