I was thinking about getting this (TASCAM Portastudio 414mkII) And I'm confused about one thing...

I'm directly quoting one of the reviews "But due to the tape speed which it records, you will need a separate mixdown deck."

So what is a mixdown deck, how come I need one because of the tape speed, and what would be a good mixdown deck to get?
Why are you buying that? I seriously want to know. A friend and I were thinking about buying one of those Tascam decks back in 2000 but didn't because we thought it was out of date.
I was once heavily prominent on these forums from 2004-2007, let's see how long I can stay now that I'm back.
Mostly because if I were to go the route of recording with a computer... I'd need to buy a new computer. (I'm currently on a Win98 laptop. Sucks.) Then I'd need some expensive-ass soundcard, too. And then get a mixer. That all adds up to a lot of $$$.
I wouldn't bother with this, honestly get a digital machine. If it was a higher quality tape machine it might be different but you are talking a very inexpensive, relatively cheap, low quality piece of equipment, I can't see why you would want to deal with old equipment. You can get digital multi tracks that do not require a computer.
Fix up your computer. There's a lot you're not thinking about. If you upgrade your computer and load an inexpensive sequencer you will be able to do everything that little machine can do and a million other things you never thought of.

You can upgrade as much or as little as you want. You can keep your music files on your pc...forever. What about downloading and uploading your finished stuff? What about effects? Don't overlook effects. We're not just talking about reverbs, choruses, phlanges, whammies, vibratos and amp sims - we're also talking about compression, parametric and multi-band EQ's and etc. All of this is available with a software sequencer like Cakewalk or Cubase loaded on your computer.

Honestly. I don't know why anyone buys separate machines for recording. They are so limited in features - stripped down hardware versions of superior software programs. They are not upgradable. You have to figure out what to do with your audio once you fill up the disk. If you're using a tape recorder how are you going to get your songs into your computer for posting on the net or similar? You'll have to record it onto your computer - why go the long way around??

If you don't use your PC for recording, you'll wish you had. To buy the hardware equivalent of what is offered in a software sequencer will cost thousands of dollars. That's for studios - not broke ass musicians.
This is a bit outdated, I've actually decided on snagging an 8-track cassette recorder off eBay for around $200. I haven't made any permanent plans yet, so if you guys convince me, I'll think of something else.

I mean, with a decent tape and decent microphones, is my music really going to turn out sounding like shit? And I think transferring it to computer... wouldn't using an RCA to 1/8" Y adapter (maybe with a preamp?) plugged in work fine?

Well, you guys made me look at digital recorders, I had no idea the stand-alone ones were so cheap since every time I went near that stuff they were always like "SALE! $2000!" (okay, not all of them, but you get the point) so I always assumed they were really expensive and never really bothered looking it up. But now I've been enlightened, so at least there's that.

Sooo.... are analog track recorders really that bad? I heard they have a warmer sound that goes well when recording guitar. Plus, a few of my favorite bands (Bright Eyes, The Microphones) record with analog equipment, getting me excited about it in the first place.

Anyone want to reccomend a good stand-alone multi-track recorder? No? Thought not.