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  #1  
Old 01-08-2010, 02:25 PM
Scott O Scott O is online now
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Default Best way to record?

I was just over Buddy's house the other day and he just got a used 8 track digital recorder and I had a great time putting together guitar, base, bongos, vocals, etc. Would like to get something similar but I don't think a few hundred bucks is in the budget. I'm just looking to mess around with it for fun. Would software like Cakewalk work in a similar way on my laptop? If so, anyone ever use a free download service for something like that? Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:20 PM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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Just get a Zoom H2 (if you don't already have a pair of stereo mics) and free Audacity software. Total cost: $170 + $0 (priceless, if you pay with Mastercard )
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:48 PM
dmarkturner dmarkturner is offline
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My music teacher suggested a Zoom H2...says it's great. So I ordered one today!
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:42 PM
Scott O Scott O is online now
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Thanks for the replies. Could I do this on more of a budget, ie just using a cheapo mic off of craigslist? mmmaak - do I need 2 mics? Do I need some sort of digital recorder like the Zoom h2 to make audacity work? I appreciate it, thanks.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:39 AM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
Thanks for the replies. Could I do this on more of a budget, ie just using a cheapo mic off of craigslist? mmmaak - do I need 2 mics?
Sure you could, and no, you don't *need* a pair of mics, but then you aren't going to get good-quality stereo reproduction either. It all depends on what you are willing to settle for and how much your budget is.

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Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
Do I need some sort of digital recorder like the Zoom h2 to make audacity work?
No, you don't. Essentially, all Audacity does it manipulate digital sound files. So, if you can get a sound file onto disk, Zoom H2 or otherwise, you're good to go.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:49 AM
Fungus Kahn Fungus Kahn is offline
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Audacity is fun and useful, but it has issues with multitracking. Theoretically it does it, but it's very difficult to get the tracks to synch up. Might try to find a used digital 8 track (like a Fostex). I bet you could find one for $100. Come to think of it I've seen a few multitrack cassette recorders around recently. If you just want to play around that might be a good cheap solution.

Rob
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:21 AM
JoeCharter JoeCharter is offline
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The Zoom H4N comes with an integrated 4-track recorder. It's awesome.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:57 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
Thanks for the replies. Could I do this on more of a budget, ie just using a cheapo mic off of craigslist? mmmaak - do I need 2 mics? Do I need some sort of digital recorder like the Zoom h2 to make audacity work? I appreciate it, thanks.
If you want to overdub you need to determine if your laptop soundcard can record and playback at the same time. You can test this with Audacity by just trying to record and playback empty tracks.

If you can overdub, then you can use any cheap mic off Ebay or from Radio Shack or Amazon (you want a "computer" mic - mono electrect condenser with 1/8" plug) to record as many tracks as you like. The quality will be less than stellar, but you'll be learning about recording every time you hit the red button.

Fran
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:39 PM
Scott O Scott O is online now
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All I can say is, 'wow!'. Thanks for all of the advice. I got a bunch of replies from craigslist as well and also just got back from a 3 year old's b-day party (good times and good cupcakes!) and met a guy who worked for a music software company and he had plenty of suggestions as well. Gonna do some more homework this afternoon before dropping some bucks. Much appreciated, thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2010, 04:54 AM
Pokiehat Pokiehat is offline
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Microphone -> Soundcard mic level input -> Computer

or alternatively:

Pickup -> Souncard instrument level input -> Computer

I record using FL Studio but there is a tonne of great software out there for track recording and there is some really good free stuff such as Reaper.

The advantages of going with a computer recording setup are are:

1) No track limit. I think its good to be frugal with track counts but the option is there to record truly massive ensemble performances one take at a time and the only limit is how fast your PC is and how much RAM you've got.

2) VST/DX plugin support. This is the big one. There is a mind boggling number of great plugin signal processors including many fantastic free ones. Super Impulse Reverb (SIR) is a great example of this. SIR is completely free and you can import impulses of real acoustic spaces (cathedrals, concert halls etc) as well as plates from really expensive outboard units (Lexicon PCM91, TC System 6000, Eventide Eclipse etc). There are also tonnes of free compressors, gates, EQs etc and some of them are very well made.

3) Full MIDI rig so you can mix your guitar with software synthesizers. Again there are loads of great free ones like Synth1 if you want to get involved with sound synthesis.

I've been doing all computer recording now for 4 years and I can never go back to a 4 track. These days its easy to go completely mobile if you have a laptop and portable bus powered firewire interface (like RME Fireface). The editing and post production possibilities alone are endless. In fact the only bad thing about going with computer recording is that you have way, way too much choice and you need to discipline and organize yourself.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2010, 01:57 PM
Scott O Scott O is online now
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Thanks, Pokiehat. My plan now is to pick up a used Fostex 8 MR-8 (digital 8 track). Seems like a pretty simple setup with the ability to move things over to my pc (5 yr old IBM R50e with limited RAM, processing, etc) and use one of the free systems like Audacity or Reaper to do some further editing. I'm sure you'll all be hearing back from me with more questions down the road. Thanks again for the help and info.
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2010, 10:33 AM
Crass Badger Crass Badger is offline
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Try a USB mic, its how i started, NADY has one that comes with a basic version of sony acid, its simple to use with decent quality.
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