recording system for old analog guy

dogmeat

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per the title. I did some recording LONG ago and I was completely comfortable with the equipment of the day.... talking 16 and 32 track reel to reel tape. a decade ago or so, I got a digital Fostec simultaneous 8 channel recorder (that has virtual channels and all that stuff). I liked it, but it crapped out. and one of its problems was being 24 bit in a 64 bit world

now, I would like to get back into recording some things. what the heck is out there that emulates that? anything even close? I don't need fancy, I want straight up, old fashioned analog keyboard. help an old man out...
 

Red Ryder

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Can't help you but I'm going to help myself. An old friend of mine has a high tech for its time 8 track twin deck recording system complete with about 100 eight track cartridges. It's as new and mine for the taking.
 

Telekarster

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Hey man, I dig where you're at. I was there along with my buddy about 2 years ago. Believe it or not, we old dogs can learn some new tricks LOL!!! So.... here's what we did:

We started out with a Tascam 24, which is a 24 track recorder... much like you're already used to.

Next we purchased an iMac capable of handling Apple's Logic Pro X. Incredibly, what we didn't know at the time, is the Tascam 24 was built specifically to work with Apple's Logic Pro X as an audio interface! The rest is simply amps etc. for studio monitors, etc. etc. which you're already familiar with all that. The biggest learning hurdle was learning the Logic Pro software, but there's so many helpful tools and videos out there, you'll likely pick that up in no time.

Now... if you don't want to go down the Logic Pro X path, you can use the Tascam 24 as it is and as you're used to. Just wanted to let you know what we old dogs did, and so far it's workin' out swell man... Hope this helps!
 

codamedia

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one of its problems was being 24 bit in a 64 bit world

Don't let the numbers get in the way. 32bit floating point and 64 bit double precision is how computers calculate "in the box". The I/O is still (most often) 24 bit. To complicate matters more, modern computers are 64bit but that has nothing to do with audio quality - it refers to the OS, software and drivers.

When it comes to hardware, I'd aim for a product that can do 24bit/48K since that is where I work within a computer. I can always export to lower qualities as required... (CD quality, MP3, etc... etc...)

Zoom and Tascam still provide a great "Portastudio" style experience... no computers needed. I believe the Tascams top out at 24bit/48K while the Zoom "LiveTrak" can do 24bit/96K. I wouldn't hesitate to use either brand.

Just my 2 cents...
 

matman14

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From a recording perspective, not much has really changed.
Sure we've replaced tape speed, tape formulation, pre/post eq emphasis curve considerations with bit depth, sample rate, file format arguments. Fundamentally, however, you stick a source in front of a mic, twiddle the controls (either hardware or virtual) until you like what you hear in the monitors, understand what your meters (hardware or virtual) are telling you and try not to [email protected] up the takes. It ends up in a computer instead of on tape.

Like anything else, it just takes time and practice to figure it out.

Editing, however, is a billion times better than having to cut and splice tape with razor blades. I would not want to go back to that for any reason. And all the cleaning and alignment of tape heads...ugh.

Good luck!
 
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klasaine

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I'll be 60 in May. *IDK if that qualifies as an 'old guy' just yet?
I come from the analog recording world too and I didn't become heavily invested in DAW recording until I had to, due to the Pandemic. Prior to that I would jot down musical ideas and do very quick demos in Garage Band on a very low spec'd Mac or use Cubase on an ancient desktop PC. And I hated doing it because the flow (and look) was nothing like using an actual recording desk. I'm also not really a 'computer guy' (though via the rec thing I'm geetting considerably more savy).

All that has changed now. Most rec software (DAWs) look/function like a console and as mentioned - the sound is a lot better, non-destructive editing, relatively unlimited track counts, free FX and processing, etc.
 

dogmeat

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I fooled around with the early version of Cubase and hated it. it came with the Fostex as I recall. thanks for reminding me. one of the things I want to investigate is programs like Garageband or LogicPro...

maybe some more info on things like that? thanks
 

klasaine

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Depending on how serious you are about diving into all this, and if you have decently spec'd Mac, you may want to look into Universal Audio interfaces and their "Luna" daw (it looks and behaves pretty much like an old school desk).

UA interfaces are a little pricey and you enter into a bit of an ecosystem with their stuff (though it is a fantastic ecosystem).
Read carefully and if it interests you at all, ask questions here. I know several of us here use UA interfaces and software.
 

no doz

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entry level recording equipment is really great now. i'd recommend starting with:

- a basic interface with the amount of preamps you'll require. if you're tracking drums you'll likely need more inputs / outputs. if you're just doing simple tracking either DI or with a few mics at once, a two or four channel interface might serve you well. i started with a focusrite 2i2 that i loved, always did the job until my recording needs eventually outgrew it

- a functional DAW. garageband is a great starting point if you're using a mac OS, it's essentially the diet version of logic. user friendly interface, endless amount of tracks, lots of great stock sample libraries and audio plugins, and it's free! upgrading to logic pro from garageband is a fairly seamless transition as well as there's a lot of shared functions and capabilities, which leaves you with room for growth

- a dedicated recording computer that's optimized and spec'd out for recording and running a session

- a USB or MIDI capable keyboard (since you mentioned an analog keyboard). this will plug into either your interface or into your computer directly, and you can change the sounds it's triggering inside your DAW itself. analog physical feel with the added benefit of digital capability. i use an alesis V49 that i like quite a bit. a keyboard with weighted keys can sometimes aid in the feel department, size + cost depend on how many keys / octaves you feel you need while actually playing

- a couple of mics, stands, cables, and related accessories (if you're recording using microphones)

- decent monitoring. a good pair of mixing headphones and / or studio monitors will serve you well when making recording decisions. arguably the most important and overlooked thing when first starting out

there are other pieces of outboard gear and third-party software VSTs and plugins that can help you emulate a bit of that analog sound and feel, but i wouldn't say any of it is necessary at first
 

Engine Swap

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I fooled around with the early version of Cubase and hated it. it came with the Fostex as I recall. thanks for reminding me. one of the things I want to investigate is programs like Garageband or LogicPro...

maybe some more info on things like that? thanks

Cubase put me off of DAWs and recording for about 7 years. No amount of videos could show me how to configure a channel and signal path.
 

dogmeat

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and yeah, I have a full on PA, plus a couple mixers, mics, stands, preamps, power supplies etc. what I'd like is the capability of 8 or more tracks of simultaneous recording
 

SPUDCASTER

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I came from analog boards, Ampex MM1000 2" 16trk, LA2A's and assortment of old mics.

That was years ago.

Recently acquired a Behringer X32, a nice KSM353 ribbon and several condensers and dynamics.

Using the internal X-Live for now. But will probably add a Reaper program.

Plenty of YouTube videos on anything you buy nowadays. You just have to spend the time.

Lots of good gear out there to choose from.

Good recordings have always been determined by the ears of the nut behind the wheel.
 

KelvinS1965

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I use a Tascam SD32 which has probably got some very complex functionality, but I just use it like a 32 track tape deck. The most I do is use the drop in function to punch in a lead solo rather than wait for it to get to the solo section.

It does allow me to mix to stereo and then master, so I did go to the trouble of learning how that bit works, but it wasn't too difficult to work out. It also has a guitar sim built in, which actually works pretty well for my needs set clean and using the same pedal board I use for gigging to give me the dirty tones.

I have previously used midi software for keyboard and drum machines when I had an Amiga computer(!) I found that I got stuck fiddling about with allsorts of settings and didn't make much music because it drained me.

I think I paid about £400 for mine, thought there is a cheaper 24 track version too which is a little bit cheaper (not much though, which is why I bought my 32 track version on a deal). I could record our band using 8 tracks at once if I had enough mics to do that, so that might be another use I make of it at some point.

I also use mine to practice our band set list through, playing back MP3 of our own recordings on other channels and playing along with them, with a touch of stereo reverb so that it sounds more natural on headphones.

I don't like the idea of getting stuck down using a DAW and a laptop though. I suspect for me it would be like when I had the Amiga and midi software, or like when I tried to edit sounds on a modeling pedal I bought. KISS for me at least and that way I actually produce something from time to time. :)
 

bgmacaw

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i mean, im pretty analogue but it is not overly complicated to learn reaper and get an interface to plug into a relatively mundane desktop. thats what i do. its like your basically workin a board with your mouse.

If you really want something board like, you can buy a mixer with an interface to plug into a PC. You can go relatively inexpensive with the Behringer Xenyx series or get fancy and expensive with Tascam and others...

 

Boreas

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Let me ask this - I started with an old Fostex MR8 that worked well for me. Basically, everything was done on-board and mixed to a TINY compact flash card. After that, the STEREO file is transferred to the computer and can be tweaked from there if desired. Really, my only issue was that it was a slow transfer to the computer, and the flash card was too small. Is there a similar unit with an easy, analog interface (sliders/knobs) with larger on-board storage or thumb/CD card storage? I have a Scarlett 2i2 right now which works fine, but any DAW (Windows 10) I use seems to take forever to get set up, deal with latency, and learn. It just turns me off from recording. I can get it to work, but still prefer working with and looking at an analog device. Don't really care how old it is.

I want something like this - a STAND ALONE LAPTOP portable platform with this instead of a typical keyboard/computer on the bottom:


fostex-mr-8-8331.jpg


THEN, add a 12-14" modern LED display or tablet on the hinged lid instead of the postage-stamp LCD display on this. Doesn't need to be Hi-res. It would have a fairly large/fast internal SSHD as well as USB outputs to a computer or external drives. Perhaps a touch device or touchscreen for "computer" download functions, etc.. Anything out there like that for under $500??
 
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