Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommendation

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.

Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommendation

Postby perfectdefect » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:52 am

I'm thinking of getting an 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder for recording quick sketches etc -the way we used to use 4 track cassette machines in the old days. Can anyone recommend a decent one I can likely get used on my local Craigslist for a few hundred or less? I plan on getting ProTools and a new computer and all that eventually, but days and ideas keep slipping by while I try and figure out what model computer/DAW etc to get.

Thanks!
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby vvd » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:16 am

Not really what you're asking for but you get 4 tracks of "tape" and you need nothing else to make scetches: Teenage Engineering OP-1.
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby meatballfulton » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:37 pm

Tascam is the only mfr still offering MIDI connections their recorders if that is important: DP-24, DP32.

Roland/Boss has recently dropped out of the market, Yamaha and Korg have been gone for a few years now.

Zoom has 8, 16 and 24 track machines in their R-series but they have no MIDI support.
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby adekoyote » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:43 pm

I enjoy my recently acquired yamaha aw-4416. what I love about it is that I have dual compression...and the routing is just awesome, and it has midi control.

By dual compression I mean I can take a input into two buses and on one I can apply side chain and another I can use it for parallel compression...so your elements gel together better.

it is dated....but its is one of the best purchases for $300 bucks I have made for my studio...in that it is an extremely tactile mixer...and this adds a level of dynamism to the recording process...where as before, boosting levels and all was a general pain.

I would say that regardless of when the multi tracker was made...you have to check the routing options...it is not just about recording a machines outputs, its about how each signal path is treated along the way.

best of luck with whatever you are doing.
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby c-level » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:49 pm

boss br600/800/900cd worked well enough for full compositions for me back in the day
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby meatballfulton » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:25 pm

c-level wrote:boss br600/800/900cd worked well enough for full compositions for me back in the day


BR-600 had no MIDI :oops:

I had a BR864, upgraded to a BR900CD (two XLR ins rather than one plus a CD burner if you want to go 100% computer free) which I still own but don't use. That plus a Motif ES was my entire "studio" for a few years.
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I see these around for $100-150 these days and the MIDI synch is rock solid. You can even load your own drum samples into the onboard drum machine. Guitar FX onboard are perfect for DIing when you can't mike amps. Basic "mastering" tools you can use to get loud mixes plus it will run for a couple of hours on batteries so you can literally record anywhere. If you're looking for quick, dirty, used and cheap, it's a great choice.

Only problem is getting 1 GB CF cards...I bought a half dozen cards for $10 each when they were becoming obsolete, you can still find them on eBay but not as cheap.
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby perfectdefect » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:46 am

I really appreciate all of you all's input. I'll have a cruise of CL and eBay looking at the recommendations above and see what makes sense.
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby perfectdefect » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:27 am

Anyone have experience with/an opinion of the Zoom R16?
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:17 pm

Zoom R16: A friend uses one for recording his gigs to multitrack. Being able to record 8 channels at a time is useful for that.

Sounded great but the mixing interface/features aren't very good (he mixes in GarageBand on his Mac) but OK for quick and dirty.

Good price.

No MIDI!!!
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby CS_TBL » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:02 pm

I have a Zoom R16, recording is easy.. editing? Dunno, I just record and then transfer 'n edit the files on PC. I think for what it offers it's extremely complete though, one of the more price-efficient pieces o' kit. I also bought another one and connected them up via USB, for 16 track simultaneous recording @ 24 bit!

And squeeze me for the spam (I work there :D) but this one does 16 track 24/96 recording onto USB!
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby perfectdefect » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:38 am

Running the risk of waking the dreaded zombie thread police...

Anyone have any experience with a Tascam 2488 Neo?
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:00 pm

I had the 2488 mkII (same as Neo except smaller hard drive, fewer "mastering" tools) and liked it very much except for one thing...the MIDI synch was faulty which totally hosed it for my application (hardware sequencer MIDIed to 2488). It worked perfectly if you started playback at 0:00 but when you fast forwarded around a song for punches, overdubs, etc. the MIDI clock position would get out of synch, bad news if you needed to do a punch at the final bar of your 35 minute prog rock epic :(

I did contact Tascam to find out if I had a lemon or it was a problem with all units, they were unable to help so I sold it and took the leap into Ableton Live. If you want I can give you full details offline so you know what to check for if you plan on buying one.

The OS of the 2488 (still used in the new DP-24 and DP-32 SD-card machines) is somewhat dated when it comes to file transfers to a computer and a few other functions but overall it was a very nice machine. Depending on your needs, choosing the Neo vs. one of the DP models would be based on how important certain features are...the 2488 has SPDIF in and out but the DP do not, the 2488 has an internal power supply, the DP uses a wall wart, DP cannot do backups to CD-R, etc. I would only buy a 2488 if a particular feature that was dropped on the DP is critical for you.

Since your first post said "quick sketches" I'd say a 2488 is overkill, though.
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby perfectdefect » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:45 pm

Update: I bought a Tascam DP 24. Amazon has new ones for $476. Cheaper than several used ones I saw on eBay. The new era begins!

Old post: Thanks for the response. I was drawn to the NEO because, like the Yamaha AW4416 mentioned earlier, it seems like a lot of bang for buck. I don't really have any expectations for features yet, so, since these are cheap, maybe one would be a good starting point.

I don't have a lot of experience with MIDI, but recently got a few keyboards with it that will live at my house, so getting a hardware sequencer and learning it is on my to-do list. Would be nice to be able to grow in this direction -I'll search around the other forums a bit for info on 2488 Neo MIDI implementation
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Re: Need 'all in one' digital multitrack recorder recommenda

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:55 pm

Good luck with your purchase, enjoy.
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