i have an 8 track recorder by boss...i love it, but i dont think this is what you want. if you want to record to computer, this is basically a waste of $$ cause this is supposed to be an "instead of" computer unit...meaning you can basically do everything on it w/o compys

id hate to have you waste 300 bux ask me more q's if you want
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there are many many computer routes, just search google or this site, you will finds tons of options, like soundcards, mic pres, etc.
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then get a box that connex to a USB or firewire port and you plug your guitar into...example...guitarport, or line port (i dunno what its called)

not sure if these are good, but its a lot cheaper than a digital recorder, you can connect straight to ur compy, and it prolly comes with some software to get you started
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but does it let the amp hook into it too so i can play through the amp instead of their crappy fake software amps
I'm not sure you know what you want enough to say 100% no to a soundcard. I've never heard anyone say that....ever...until this thread.

So what's the deal with the soundcard thing? Every computer has one. They are not made equally. The worst soundcard, like a 10 dollar soundblaster would sound better than that Tascam thing you're looking at.

Besides, why would you buy a box for recording to a disk when you already own a box for recording to a disk?
this model doesnt have a CD burner. it has a hard drive to send files to ur computer
and i have a xtreme gamer xfi sound card already. i wanted to bu a 1/8th to 1/4th cable to jack the guitar into, but the guy said it would lose too much music quality when you recorded to the line in or mic input.
Ok, so you want to use a piece of plastic hardware, with a joke for a A/D D/A conversion card in it, with a measily 40 GB of disk space and no CD burner instead of using your superior computer with a better A/D D/A conversion card, potentially limitless hard drive space, CD and DVD burner, limitless upgradable platform with a direct connection to the internet to upload your music.

I'll never understand why people insist on hardware recorders...I think the salesmen are trying to get rid of their stock since they know that hardware recorders are archaic and essentially dead
Whose "the guy"?

Yes, you will lose music quality when using a 10 dollar soundcard inside a noisy chasis. You will also lose music quality when using a cheapo Tascam inside a plastic chasis.

Buy another card. You can get twice the music quality out of a 100 dollar soundcard from musician's friend. If you're worried about the noisy chasis (which is actually the least of your problems, but the first thing music salesman use to justify their bullshit), then get a break out box. A break out box or exterior interface will do the A/D conversion before it gets sent to disk.

But I wouldn't worry about that. You have noise coming in from 20 directions, you don't have a real studio environment - none of us do really. The most quality benefit is going to come from the quality of A/D conversion. I can do a sorry ass conversion in a completely quiet atmosphere. I can do a great conversion in a noisy atmosphere. The great one will sound better, everytime.
i dont have a 10$ sound card. my card was 100$. Creative X-fi Xtreme Gamer.

and *the guy* is a salesman at guitar center
so what will let me use my amp directly into the computer other then another soundcard? because i dont want to buy a second one.
Have you tried recording to your soundcard yet?

Don't listen to people at Guitar Center (or most salesmen in general). They just want you to buy their crap.
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^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
ok, so now you got me interested...i have a digital boss recorder i bought about 4 years ago for 500 bux, if i would have known about computer recording then, i would have gone that route, but i didn't...so i have this and it uses a 128mb flash card for recording

your saying that the A/D converter is soo crappy on these, that its pretty much impossible to get good quality with it?? i mean i can crank out some pretty polished stuff, but not "perfect"....as now i usually record to the flash card, and then have a card reader taht i use to transfer the tracks to my compy, seems to work pretty well

and if im usually a digital effects pedal to DI my guitar, wouldn't the A/D conversion be at this processor, not the digital multitrack??? hopes this question makes sense
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No, I wouldn't say that A/D converter is crappy. I believe the Tascam one is crappy, but I don't know about yours.

I don't see the point though in going the long way around. Why record to that silly thing and then transfer everything to computer? Why not record straight to the computer to begin with and ditch that thing? There's waaaayyyyyy more features, effects, capabilities and etc in software sequencing. You already have a machine that can record to disk. It's 100 times the machine that silly recorder could ever be.

That's why I'm blown away about this soundcard hang up with Swat man. He wants to spend more money on something inferior to what he already owns. And if he spent a hundred bucks at musician's friend, that would be even better than what he currently owns. But some idiot at Guitar Center has him all spun around, so now's he's bound and determined to throw his money away.

Edit: Oh, and about the pedal - the A/D conversion is happening at the pedal no matter what. But if you're using the "line-out" of the pedal, then you're getting an analog signal - meaning it got converted back, D/A. A/D D/A conversions degrade the signal each time, and the signal is only as good as the worst converter in the chain.

If you're using a USB out (some kind of digital out), then yes, the A/D conversion happens at the pedal and only the pedal - it stays digital from that point on. Not bad either, from what I've heard. What kind of pedal is it? If it's a digitech ( like mine ) then it's pretty crappy. Line 6 or something...might be good.

Keep in mind, this is a "cumulative" degradation. Meaning, if we compare the two signals, one clean and good quality to one that's noisey and bad quality, you may not notice much difference actually. However, once you add all of the guitar tracks, vocals, bass - all of the audio - then compare, you'll really hear the difference and it will drive you nuts. It's amazing how air and noise can effect a loud guitar part.
Last edited by ParanoiaMusic at Feb 7, 2007,
interesting, and thanks for the detailed response

i am saving up for a nice soundcard but as i said, i bought the box a while ago...its the Boss-864 8 track digital recorder, and the pedal i use is the Korg AX1500G

i go line out from the AX1500 to line in on the BOSS...the BoSS can actually mixdown rite there, but sometimes i want to edit so i throw it on the computer

-i can totally hear the signal degration on the Boss, because like you said, when all the instruments go together it just sounds, choppy and hard to listen to...i always thought it was because i was using so mcuh digital effects, but when micing my amp it doesn't do much better

what is your setup, because i was listening to your music and loving the quality and style
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Well, the funny part is, I just changed my setup and I think I have a better sound now.

But, until then, I've been mic'ing my amp with a 57 going through a behringer compressor then through my mackie mixer into an EMU soundcard. I always turn my monitor off - it's almost amazing how much noise disappears after that.

Same setup for bass. Acoustic is the same as well, only I mic the guitar itself.

Out of all of that, the compressor is probably the most underrated, most useful in that chain. With the noise gate, you increase your signal to noise ratio. And with the dynamics squashed down with the compressor, everything sounds more "blended" and together.

Sounds like your Boss is just fine, although a little work intensive IMO. And I have no idea how those A/D's are compared with my EMU card. When I talk with experienced studio folk, they tell me my EMU is basically crap - so I guess it's all relative. Oh well, it was 100 bucks and it sounds great to me.

They only thing I'm doing different now, is I'm using a behringer DI box with cab simulation. It cost me 30 bucks and it sounds awesome. It captures the natural sound of my amp better than any mic'ing I've done. I've been high on this stupid little box for months now because I just can't believe Behringer, of all brands, could make something like this, so cheap and work so well. The rest of the chain is the same as before, only now I can record full blast at 3:00 in the morning and my kids don't hear a thing...

Edit: Oh, sorry if my voice sucks...I'm still working on it
Yes you can do that. You need to be sure you keep stereo / mono straight though. You wouldn't believe how many people screw this up. Most outputs from amps and such are mono. Most soundcard inputs are stereo. So you need to be sure you get adapters that are made to receive the correct signal.

Radio Shack has a 1/4 adapter that converts 1/4" mono to 1/4" stereo. Then you use another adapter on that one that changes it from 1/4" stereo to 1/8" stereo.

Obviously you can do that several ways, just be sure to use the correct adapters and it will sound fine.

The thing is, you have a gamer card from Creative. Creative is going to be cheap about the A/D D/A conversion - and why not? It's not a music card so there would be no reason to put quality converters on the card. Creative doesn't really make anything "good" for music recording. I don't care how much money you spend, they just don't manufacture it. Believe me, I tried.

That said, I used a creative soundblaster for 10 freaking years recording. The recordings weren't very good, but I was learning and I doubt the card had a lot to do with it - it was more about poor mic'ing, mixing, signal processing, technique...

I would just use the card you have for now and play around with it. When you're ready to get a little more serious about it, then go buy another card. It won't kill you. It's actually an excellent idea. You'll have one card for your serious audio recording setup. And then you'll have a different card for your gaming. I wish I had that setup. Audio cards are awesome quality - but they don't have the kind of gaming sound you might want. They are specialized cards designed for nerdy audio dudes...like us.
no i think the vox are pretty good, could actually be a bit louder...

- for a compressor, couldnt you just use software after you record, or is that not as good?
- i think you said you use a 58 for vocals, im wonderin how you go abuot getting such a good vox sound with that..u got any EQ tips or is it all the compressor, becuase you dont have a mic pre, which i thought were pretty important???
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For a compressor, I could use software - theoretically anyway. This is where we get into personal preference. I prefer hardware compression - probably just all in my head, but I record all of my instruments and vox with hardware compression in the chain. I guess I just like the idea of the signal being that much more consistent on the initial recording. I still add compression with software as needed on a track by track basis, after the fact.

Compression is a chapter in and of itself. I try to use it sparingly, because I've pushed it too much before and created weird, undesirable effects with it - like super thick "s's" and popping "p's".

I actually do use a mic pre - the mixer. I told you wrong on that chain. For vocals I go through the 58, into the mixer (where it gets pre-amped) and then into the compression loop and into the soundcard. I would actually like to get a vocal pre-amp instead of using the mixer, but it works. The only EQ'ing I do is mild stuff on the 3 band mixer channel - I trim the mids, add a little on the trebs and I leave the bass alone.

I'll try to remember to post some stuff on EQ'ing and vocal tracking that I found online a few years ago. Just some basic guidelines that really helped me alot.

I don't consider myself too good at vocal recording, so I'm a little surprised. I will say, going from the 57 to the 58 seemed to help. Even though I used a windscreen on the 57, it still didn't sound as round as the 58. Again..that could just be in my head.