#1
I thought a simple Presonus Firestudio would be a good way for a beginner to start getting into recording guitar and vocal tracks, but then I see on eBay that reasons for selling such audio interfaces and similar ones is because they are too technology based. God knows I hate faffing about with complex technology. I can't even put up with my MIDI keyboard + Reason because find a sound I like gets me frustrated so easily.

Anyway, I just want to be able to quickly and easily record my guitar work. My laptop is quite slow and I can imagine that if anything would annoy me about an audio interface it is how slow my laptop would process it all. Is that a significant factor?

What are the downsides to using a multitracker like the Boss BR600? Someone on eBay is selling his Presonus Firestudio because he prefers the simplicity of his Boss BR600. But I want to be able to save my recordings into an MP3 format that I could send in emails or upload online. Would I be able to do that on a Boss BR600? Can the Boss BR600 act like an audio interface also?

Any help would be appreciated. Ease of use is my primary concern here.
#2
Neither is better than the other really. It preference, just like DAWs on computer.

Personally I would never get a multitracker. I just prefer going straight to the computer and cutting out the middle man. And I prefer a mouse to navigate and using VSTi and VST plugins as well.

On the other hand GaryBillington feels the opposite (I'm sure he will post in here). He like the simplicity of the multitrackers, and he would probably say mobility is also a plus for multitrackers. Most multitrackers can now be connected to a computer (in believe some double as an interface?) to export your files and do post processing in a computer DAW.
Last edited by FireHawk at Feb 18, 2012,
#3
Here I am

I'm fairly sure the BR600 does act as an interface as well as a standalone multitracker, I don't think it acts as a control board for the software part of your DAW though. For that you'd need one of the Zoom R series (they do an 8, 16 and 24 track version).

Multitrackers can essentially do everything software can, and have the advantage of portability as well as not being reliant on your PC (a major part of the decision if you aren't the only user of the PC in your household?).

You said your laptop is pretty slow - is that something you'd be looking to upgrade at some time in the near future anyway? If you are, it would probably make sense to put the extra you'd spend on a multitracker towards your new PC and get one which is powerful enough to control any recording software you use. If you aren't considering a PC upgrade soon, it sounds like a multitracker is your only choice as software DAWs usually need a reasonably high spec PC to work properly.

What do you think you'll need to record besides your guitar? I'm guessing you'll at least want some drums & bass? Some (but not all) multitrackers include drum machines that can also programme a bass line, you'd need to make sure of that before making the purchase. If you want more than that though, you'd need to go with software so you could use all the VSTs etc that are out there.

There have been a few entertaining debates about the pro's & con's of both multitrackers & software DAWs, and the only conclusion seems to be if you just want an easy way to record yourself multitrackers are a good way forward, they can do everything most home recording hobbyists will ever need, are easy to use, create excellent quality recordings and these days can be bought for a reasonably amount of money. However, if you want to get seriously into recording as a separate hobby (& potential career) then software is the only option.
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Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
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#4
I'm not exactly sure how I want to develop. All I know is that I want to be able to make high quality guitar recordings, but I want to be able to easily play it back. I want to be able to edit but not to a super massive extent. I think VSTs are like sounds and effects you can add after a recording, right? If so, that isn't what I'm going for. I might use them to create some cool effects to go at the beginning or end of a song but the main chunk of my recording I want to be able to recreate in a live setting. 99% of my sound will come from what I can do with a guitar alone.

I'd be interested in a decent quality drum soundbank... but I have Reason (which in general I hate, although the drum samples are more usable for me than most things on there). As for bass, I would only add bass if I was using an octave lowering effects pedal or if a friend was willing to record themselves playing bass for me.

I want to record my own vocals though. That's important for me. Forgot to mention that in my first post lol. And I might record Piano when I go back home every couple of months. So some microphone work there... does that trap me into buying an audio interface and using a laptop?

I hate clicking around with a mouse and the fact that I would only be able to record stuff on guitar once I've logged in on my computer would annoy the hell out of me. I want something instant. Right now I just use my phone to make crap quality recordings which I cannot edit in any way shape or form. It's fun but it's extremely limited, obviously. I want to expand upon what I find fun about that "get up and record" kind of attitude and I'm worried that an audio interface connected to my laptop would just kill that fun by being too awkward/slow.

I don't intend to upgrade my laptop until my current one dies.
Last edited by BadBanshee at Feb 19, 2012,
#5
Sounds like a multitracker would definitely be a good way forward for you. They will do all the things you mention, they all have inputs for microphones as well as all the vocal effects you'll need for a home recording project. The microphone would also be the most appropriate way of recording your piano as well. Most multitrackers are also designed with guitarists in mind so they'll have a range of guitar effects you can use when you need them.

Recording & playback are instant, just like you say you want - it really is little more than just switching on and pressing play/record.

For drums, you can either keep looking around for some software or make sure the multitracker you purchase has a drum machine built in. Like I said in my last post, most of the Zoom multitrackers have a drum machine built into them.

For an example of how those drums sound, check out any of the recordings on my profile. The drums on those were created with a Zoom drum machine with the same specs as the one they include on their multitrackers. (You'll also get an example of the overall quality you can get from a multitracker recording - I'm no expert, and spend very little time with mixing and mastering, but I think I still achieve reasonable quality with very little effort).
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#6
How do the built in microphones on these multitrackers fair? I'm looking at the Boss BR800 and the Zoom R16.
#7
Quote by BadBanshee
How do the built in microphones on these multitrackers fair? I'm looking at the Boss BR800 and the Zoom R16.

Never tried them, so don't know. I would say that you'd be far better off using a proper mic to record with though, the standard recommendation here is the Shure SM57 (58 for vocals, but both mics can do both jobs).

If you don't have a mic yet, you can still DI from your amp's line out and your keyboard's headphone output.

A quick warning though: Unless they've seen sense & changed the specs, Zoom didn't put a drum machine on the R16 - only the R8 & R24.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#8
I'm not sure about these multitrackers to be honest. They're still geared towards having a technician to accompany the musician. By that I mean, you can't play and control the multitracker simultaneously.

What about loopstations? They are actual pedals that you can activate with your feet. They record guitar (the RC-30 even has an xlr input for a mic). Plus tracks can be saved an exported as wav files to your computer. Does that mean loopstations have soundcards too just like multitrackers and audio interfaces? I'm assuming that the quality of those wav files played on your laptop would be decent quality right?

So what do you think to loopstations as an alternative to multitrackers?
#9
Quote by BadBanshee
I'm not sure about these multitrackers to be honest. They're still geared towards having a technician to accompany the musician. By that I mean, you can't play and control the multitracker simultaneously.

I've been using them for years and never needed anyone else to help me. If that's what you're worried about, using a PC to record wouldn't work for you either as they require even more input than a multitracker does. Multitrackers are designed to be used by people recording on their own at home. I'm not sure why you'd find it a problem - you wouldn't be creating the final mix whilst still recording your guitar anyway.

I don't have much experience with loopstations, but from what I know of them they're usually only designed to make temporary recordings a few seconds long. I've never heard of anyone using them as a way of creating multitrack recordings. Maybe someone else can provide more information on this one...
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#10
That's what I thought about loopstations too but then found out they can be permanently saved to banks and sent to computers via USB. Also, the RC-30 and RC-300 have Mic inputs.

Only remaining question is whether the "soundcard" in these loopstations can rival those in multitrackers and audio interfaces. If they can, it seems the only important diffierence in the usability of loopstations for home studio recording is how many simultaneous inputs they can support which are likely lower in loopstations, possibly even just 1.
Last edited by BadBanshee at Feb 22, 2012,