1. avatar Sansie
    Basically a while back I tried recording straight onto my computer, but without the right equipment, and problems with software I gave up on the idea.
    I was using cool edit pro for a while but noticed a delay kept occuring, that i cudnt get rid off. Also I didnt have the right equipment to put the guitars etc through the computer, so basic badness.


    Anyway i'm looking to get some sort of equipment for recording. Its just for my own home recording, i.e. i'll be playin all the instruments etc, so everything has to be laid down separately.
    Bare in mind I know nothing............

    I want something, like a tascam or something, that will allow me to plug a guitar in, play a tune, then listen to it back whilst recording down another track, and erase the tracks individuallly if required, or if they sound crap!

    I dont mind if its a casette it records onto, just need some sort of multitrack system.

    I'm looking below the £200 mark, but even if anyone could reccommend some items then I can check online for good prices!
  2. avatar Pete
    The time delay on the computer is called latency and it decreases as the quality of the sound card increases. You also need everything set up just right.

    If you are looking to record guitars then you will NEED something like the Line 6 POD or my specific recommendation is the [url="http://www.v-amp.com/1_products/1_groupindex.cfm?gid=610"]Behringer V-Amp[/url] range of products. These model the sound of gutiar amps and effects and are superb value for money (Bairds are selling the V-Amp 2 and Bass V-Amp for just £109).

    The bass v-amp is excellent because it has mainly bass amps but also 8 guitar amp simulators, 4 acoustic simulators and 4 keyboard amps. I've got one myself and while its never going to create professional quality recordings it is damned good.

    All the V-amps can be plugged straight into the line input of the computers soundcard and sound good straight away. A decent sound card for a reasonable price is a soundblaster audigy and you should be able to pick one up for about £60.

    Software and plugins are easily "aquired".

    None of the decent all in one multitrack recording devices will fall beneath £200, and then you'd still need something like the v-amp on top of that.

    If you want to record vocals or mic up acoustic guitars, I'd recommend a mic preamp like the new [url="http://www.behringer.com/02_products/prodindex.cfm?id=MIC100&lang=eng"]Behringer Tube Ultragain 100[/url] which can again be connected straight to the computer. Should only be about £40 Edited by: morphsville at: 18/8/03 1:41 pm
  3. avatar Sansie
    I think i'd rather move away from the computer recording now. I was looking at a tascam portastudio, but i dont know if tascam is the best for the price. or was loking at zoom mrs -4 but moght be pricey.

    PLus not sure exactly if that'll do what i stated on the first post.
  4. avatar zebulon
    Cassette portastudios are exactly what you want - they're cheap but they get a your song into a listenable state in no time.
    Just be wary of buying a four-track 2nd hand - the parts that wear out could be knackered and cost a bomb to replace.

    And as for NEEDING a Pod or some other piece of technology - I always found sticking a mic in front of me amp worked quite nicely... ;>
  5. avatar Pete
    Aye, but for the price of a decent mic you've got loads of amps and effects all in a handy box that you can connect straight to a recording device without worrying about cranking volumes up.

    Maybe need was too strong a word though.

    Can you still buy cassette based multitracks? I thought they'd gone extinct..
  6. avatar exportsimsie
    corse u can stil buy them, bith from the shops and e-bay!
    i have a boss digital one tho, it kicks ass. loads of on board effects n everything
  7. avatar kennedyrass
    i bought a fostex cassette 4-track from ebay, it worked for a wee while but then it just crapped out on me. i havent bothered about gettin it fixed yet, so i dunno how much its gonna be. they usually retail for 80-120 quid on ebay, if anybody wants mine in the state its in, ye can have it for 40 sheets, but you will need to do a bit of work on it.

    we also recently bought a tascam usb428 which allows us to record and work through the computer, its quite good for demo-ing ideas but there is the same problem with the latency? is there only one way to get rid of this problem: by buying a better soundcard for the computer? and even if we do get a better soundcard, do we still run the risk of experiencing problems with the latency?
  8. avatar comprachio
    Cassette 4tracks are complete bum from my experience.
    If you've got a computer Julie-ann I'd suggest getting someone to upgrade it or kit it out for recording.
    I'll have my wee digital 4track up in a month's time so you can borrow that if you like!
  9. avatar Pete
    You will always get some degree of latency. Its a fact of computing life. How much you get depends on your soundcard, the soundcard drivers, operating system and specification of PC that you're using.

    Most of the latency problems that people in home studios have is with monitoring what they are recording. There are ways to get round these problems that don't involve messing with the computer. But you can tweak your computer settings to improve things as well

    Rather than me explaining it all here, there is a very good article which can be found on Sound on Sound's website [url="http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr99/articles/letency.htm"]here[/url].

    We have a Terratec soundcard with an audio through so we get practically zero latency. It helps that our PC is of quite a good spec as well (dual proc, 1GHz P3, 1GB RAM).

    But you can get very usable setups with a decent desktop comptuter and a soundblaster live with ASIO drivers if needs be. Edited by: morphsville at: 18/8/03 12:58 pm
  10. avatar leesub60
    if you're looking for a good straight-ahead 4-track then i recommend the tascam 414. i've had one for about 3 years and they're easy to use and sound the mutt's nuts. i use a korg agx1000 effects unit for amp simulation.
  11. avatar kennedyrass
    cheers pete, a helpful article there, if not slightly downheartening. i think people reading about this latency problem would almost actually be put off buying recording equipment upon hearing about this. it is quite a problem for us, its a very lucky take when you can record two or three minutes of sound without it jumping. oh well...just one of these things you gotta work with.

    [url="http://www.cuckoorass.com"]cuckoo rass site and forum[/url]
  12. avatar Sansie
    yeh i'm kinda re thinking the computer idea, my comp aint that old and i think the cards pretty good, so i'll see how it goes.

    betsonic is setting some stuff up for me, its more the inputting i'd be worried about.
    might get some sorta mixin desk or something, not sure. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh this from the girl who used to record on a hifi..........dont ask!

    I was liking the tascams, cos i'd messed aroundwith one once, however
    for making demos to chuck out to people or stick online might be a different thing.
    All i can say is, i recorded a wee 4 track song once on me comp, and people though ti'd done it in a studio, the wonders of technology!

    then my comp broke..........dont ask

    any more tips ??????????
    hows cool edit compared to other software out there.
    cubase looked brilliant but cudnt use it for the life of me
  13. avatar Pete
    I've found Cubase SX more intuitive than earlier versions. Cool Edit is great as well, but at home for just jotting down ideas, I tend to use Acid.

    A mixer is a good idea. Should be able to pick a decent Spirit Folio second hand for very little money, or even a new 4 channel behringer eurorack desk for about £45.

    You can get normal home PCs set up to record with no glitches and very low latency with a bit of work... but then once you start using it for stuff other than audio its starts to lose performance. It is better to have a dedicated audio computer.

    In an ideal world you've have an external hard disc recorder then transfer to the computer for mixing and mastering, but thats expensive (£1k - 2k for the recorder).

    In fact, sod that, in an ideal world you'll have good old fashioned 2" reel to reel tape! The transfer it all onto a computer for mixing and mastering!!
    :)
  14. avatar feline1
    My PC is so ahine that ewe that you get about half a bar's latency when trying to sync MIDI up to existing audio recordings, it's ahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine :-)
  15. avatar Sansie
    I'VE got it down between a choice of the Zoom MRS-4 or the Boss br-532.

    Does anyone has any advice on these????

    Zoom seems to get cheap, easy to use, and straight forward.

    Boss seems to have more inputs but, the inpust are weird, in there connecitons, they arent all the standard line connections, so i cant plug 4 guitars in at once!
    bit weird, not sure how it works or how its meant to,

    but i think it can connect to the computer in some way as well, again if anyone has advice on this item, give me a shout, cos i'd be glad before forking out the dosh!
  16. avatar beavertoe
    My first post!
    You really do get what you pay for.

    Cheaper electronics = nastier sound when run onto PC.
  17. avatar Pete
    I personally wouldn't touch them with a barge poll. Smart media recording is fine for jotting down a few riffs or chord sequences... but once you have more than 3 tracks you'll be stretching the card to the max to even fit one song on it... and its recorded at mp3 quality (a poor encoding rate at that).

    So you'd have to decide whether you want to record ideas, or record demo songs....

    Oh, and I just noticed, neither of them has a USB port so if you wanted to transfer the stuff to the computer then you'll need to buy a smart card reader.

    If you decide to go for one of them, I think the Boss one offers better value for money, with the built in "drum machine" and COSM guitar effects.
  18. avatar EPK
    CoolEdit's a wave editor mainly, but also has a wee 4 track recorder built in.
    I'd disagree with Pete about Cubase SX..it's a lot more complicated than the earlier Cubases, and has much more complexity at a basic level.
    However, if you're looking to be shown round Cubase in basic terms, I'd be glad to help you out some evening, so you can see the possibilities, which are pretty astounding.
    I've been using the bugger for over 13 years now.
  19. avatar Firebobbie Mark
    i think a portastudio or a multitracker cassette based 4-track would do for what you described in your post.
    You don't need to record 4 tracks simultaneously, you just want to be able to overdub a few guitars and a vocal.
    I have a fostex x-34 and it has served me well for ages for laying down ideas or recording a demo but i felt really limited by only having 4 tracks to work with and bouncing made everything sound bad.
    Recently i started using my computer which was bought in 1999 - 433mhz, 64mb ram, built-in soundcard etc.
    I also bought n-track studio (www.ntrack.com) so i can record as many tracks and use as many effects etc as my cpu can handle.
    I use the 4-track as an interface between my guitar/microphone and soundcard.
    With this simple set-up i can make far better demos than i ever could on the 4-track so it is worth considering the pc route.
    And i find n-track to be a lot more straight forward than the likes of cubase, cool edit etc
  20. avatar Pete
    [quote]I'd disagree with Pete about Cubase SX[/quote]

    I guess it could be put down to the fact that SX is the first version that I've actually sat down with by myself and poked at until it worked. Cubase has always daunted me as a piece of software.
  21. avatar EPK
    Tht seems to be a common stumbling block.....just getting started.
    I've said before, anybody wanting a wee starter class to see how Cubase works, let me know and I'll arrange it...I've done a few.
  22. avatar theafterglowonline
    I would love to be able to record on my pc but i don't think i have the money to set my pc up correctly
    :
    I've used the Boss digital 4 track and it is pretty good if you spend enough time with it.

    Its about £200 could i set my pc up for this?
  23. avatar EPK
    Absolutely. You could set it up for less than that.
  24. avatar theafterglowonline
    Would it produce better results than thon boss 4 track?
  25. avatar Pete
    How long is a piece of string?

    It really depends Alan, some people can get great results from basic systems... I'm heard utter crap being churned out by people with top notch gear.

    My gut instinct is that the computer would produce better final products
  26. avatar glzebub
    so how's that V-amp working out for you mr.morphsville? (you bought it off me ages ago)

    here's me...is thon Behringer mic preamp thingy good for other stuff, like recording electric geetar with a mic and an amp onto a hard disc recorder, would it 'valve' things up a bit or is it mainly for computer stuff? if it is £40 then i may be forced to take a closer look...