#1
Hoi,

So until now I've only used my phone's recorder which doesn't suck but it really isn't the best
device for recording riffs etc. I have severals hours of recordings and I'd literally jump off a bridge should anything happen to them. I've been recording stuff on the phone (my current phone) since 2013 or so.

So could someone help me finding a recorder with which I can record my riffs/songs? I've been looking at this: http://www.thomann.de/gb/tascam_dr05.htm?ref=search_rslt_recorder_262604
And to be honest, I don't know anything about these recorders; are they any good, how many hours can the recorders "hold" on average etc.

My budget is max 100€ so I don't think we'll get anything too fancy. Also, if I was to record something as a full band, would the particular recorder suffice? For example if I wanted to record a demo and perhaps send it to someone for example a label, would the quality be good enough? Or if I wanted to go as big as making a demo and send it to a label, should I be ready to pay a lot more than 100€?

But obviously the primary thing I'm looking for is a good recorder to record my riffs and other material and even be able to hear everything clearly unlike with a phone's recorder.

I'll also be buying the recorder from the particular site, so if you have any other recommendations, they should be on that site.
Last edited by Billie_J at Jan 28, 2016,
#2
The audio files will be larger based on the quality and whether you are saving uncompressed WAV files or MP3s. . 44.1Khz at 16-bit is probably the minimum that you want to use.You can get an estimate for the file sizes here - http://www.theaudioarchive.com/TAA_Resources_File_Size.htm

I would look for a recorder that has a SD card so you can easily expand the recording space and also transfer the files to your PC easily if you want.

Also, what are you recording, exactly? Just the guitar? What kind of guitar? If you're recording an acoustic, you probably want a unit w/ better mics, but if you have an electric, you may want an instrument input or be able to run a line input from your amp to the recorder. The recorder you linked to seems to be geared more towards 'live' recording, like an interview or podcast, and will be limited in that at best you'll end up with one stereo file of the entire recording (be it a riff / session / etc...). Though that may suit your needs just fine, a multi-track 'portable studio' recorder may also give you some more options (mixing / editing of tracks) and expandability, especially if you're thinking of recording a small band, so you may want to look at them.

Some examples:
Tascam DP-004 http://tascam.com/product/dp-004/ (I just sold a Tascam DP-004 on eBay for $50US.) It is a 4 track recorder, so it could be stereo vocals, plus a guitar and a backing track, for example.
The newer model is the Tascam DP-006 - http://tascam.com/product/dp-006/
The Zoom R8 might be another option, though it may be a bit overkill and over budget for you.

Oh, and get yourself a free online storage account w/ Google Drive, Dropbox, or something similar and set your phone up to sync your local files to it each time you connect to Wifi so you always have a backup of your stuff.
#3
Electric guitar. So, what do you think? What should I buy? The ones you recommended?
#4
It's a tough call. Are you using some type of modeler (POD, etc...), or does your amp have a line out? If not, and you plug the guitar directly into the recorder w/o an amp, you're going to get a pretty clean signal, which is good if you want to play around with adding effects in software later, but maybe not so good if you want to record exactly what you're hearing. Alternatively, you can just use the built-in mics to mic your amp (basically the same as you're doing now, or would do w/ a recorder like the one you linked), but you will pick up other sounds in the environment (you didn't say where you would be recording).

It all depends on what you want to do. The handheld recorder would work for basic recording, the pocket studios would allow a bit more flexibility, including the ability to record inputs to separate tracks. I'm also looking at the Tascam DR-40... Similar setup to the DR-05, but also has 2 XLR inputs, so it could be something mid-way between the DR-05 and a pocket studio. The XLR inputs would allow you to add external mics in the future, or maybe tap off of a mixer and record that way.

Other options would just be getting a better mic for your phone (Google BM-800 microphone - I just bought one and it's not bad for the price), and maybe a nice recording app. Chances are the phone itself isn't the limiting factor, it's the mic, and if you get a nicer mic, you can use it for other things down the line. Or, if you have a PC, maybe you want an Audio Interface and DAW and record direct to the PC? Lots of options out there...depends on what you want to do.
#5
Quote by Billie_J
Electric guitar. So, what do you think? What should I buy? The ones you recommended?


Zoom H1 $100, great sound quality, so simple even a caveman can do it.

This is useful as a quick audio sketchpad you can use anywhere, or quality stereo recordings of live/studio performances that don't require multitrack. Capture your recordings, edit them on your phone or laptop, and upload them to Soundcloud so you can compile a collection of your work and share it with anyone.

Remember that if a label wants a demo from you, they will ask you for one. When they call, go to a pro studio and make a pro demo. Sending them an unsolicited homemade demo of your guitar work will result in it being used as target practice at the range.
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 31, 2016,
#7
Well most of the recorders suggested are over 100€ on Thomann. And as far as I know the recorder I linked has an SD card. So space shouldn't be the problem. But under the light of the future, would the particular recorder be any good for example to show a full band's songs to other people? Would the sound be good enough (clear enough to recognize all the instruments)?

The main thing I would be doing is just record my own riffs etc. My phone is filled with hours of recordings so I'd rather have a "pure" recorder. A mobile phone's main purpose obviously isn't to record instruments..

My amp also has a looper (in the amp) so I really wouldn't have to make separate 'tracks' (or whatever term is used for the different instruments, rhythm, lead). But if I was to play with a friend, would the particular recorder be any good? And also, I would be recording in my own room. No external sounds.

And again, my primary target is not to record a full band but rather lead and rhythm guitars. So given all this, would the particular recorder which I linked, be a good choice? And do recorders like this have a feature with which you can plug a cord in the amp, connecting both, the amp and the recorder and thus giving you only the sounds made by the amp?
Last edited by Billie_J at Jan 30, 2016,
#8
Depends on the mobile, there are some attachable interfaces that can turn it into bona fide recorder. As long as you can get 320 mp3 quality or 16bit/44.1khz quality on the recorder you should be fine. Buy from somewhere with return policy if you can, so you can test it.
#9
The handheld recorders are going to record basically what a person would hear when standing at the location of the recorder. They have the fidelity to sound good, including being able to distinguish the individual instruments, providing the environment sounds good (did you listen to the samples, probably recorded in a studio? http://tascam.com/product/dr-05/overview/ ). Your room is probably noisier than you think (i.e., do you ever hear an ambulance go by, or the wind howling outside your window?). A good mic will make you realize just how noisy it is. Do you think you sound good in your room (or wherever else you record)? What will you and your friend sound like when you're both playing in your room? Because what you're hearing is what's going to be recorded. The recorder is not going to magically make you or the room sound better - a 'better' recorder than your phone is just going to record the sounds more accurately.

The DR-05 you linked to does have a line in, so if your amp has line outs (I asked this earlier) you will be able to connect it directly (or if you use a POD, a modeler, or something similar you can probably use the headphone outs to the recorder). Otherwise, you just put the recorder in front of the amp or at the point in the room where you want to record from and use the built in mics. It's definitely doable and would probably sound just fine, just be aware that you will get 1 stereo recording of everyone that is playing at once along with any ambient noise (just like you get now w/ your phone), and it just won't be as easy or flexible if you do want to start doing some post production (like having the ability to adjust the level of the individual instruments in your recording, or re-record just the lead guitar part). If that's 'good enough' for you, then the handheld recorder should do just fine.
#10
Thanks! Also a little side question for the future. How much would I have to invest in a project of making a demo to send it to labels or other similar places? How much on average would it cost, to get "good enough" and "adequate quality"?
#11
Quote by Billie_J
Thanks! Also a little side question for the future. How much would I have to invest in a project of making a demo to send it to labels or other similar places? How much on average would it cost, to get "good enough" and "adequate quality"?


$100 if you got the chops. Mad skill trumps gear every time.
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 31, 2016,
#13
Both will do what you want to do. My experience is with the Zoom and I like the XY pattern mics. Others have experience with the Tascam. Pick one and learn to use it well.
#14
Depends on the track count that you want to achieve, I think the Zoom is pretty limited in that regard.
How much to make a record co. ready demo? I'd say about $10,000 with you doing most of your pre-production before you take it up to a studio.