#1
Hey, I didn't find any threads that answered my question specifically, but if anyone posts a link to something that does, I'll be happy to delete this thread.

So I don't have a band, but I want to record the music I've written. I want to record drums, guitar, bass, other stuff (percussion i.e. maracas), and possibly vocals although I'll need someone else to sing. I'll be playing all the instruments, which means laying them down one at a time.

So my question is, is the Tascam DR-1 a good basic recorder to let me do this?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Tascam-DR1-Portable-Studio-Audio-Recorder?sku=241890

The reason I'm not using my computer directly is because my music stuff is in my basement while my desktop is in my bedroom, two floors away.

Is this the cheapest way to do this, and will I get usable (I know not great) sounds from this? Also, could I transfer the files to Audacity afterwards to edit them a little?

Thanks,
Ketchup.
#2
Those little units are fair, the Zoom H series are more popular actually but I would go for something with a mixer on board such as the Boss BR-600.

The Boss is a very popular beginner MTR and even has on board drums and FX so its a nice unit to work with.
#3
Quote by moody07747
Those little units are fair, the Zoom H series are more popular actually but I would go for something with a mixer on board such as the Boss BR-600.

The Boss is a very popular beginner MTR and even has on board drums and FX so its a nice unit to work with.

But then I have to buy a mic and an SM57 is $99 so even with a cheaper mic the price is already $450 instead of $300.
#6
Quote by moody07747
the BR600 has some on board mics which are fair...
but as always, outboard mics will always work better on ANY setup.

Ok, so I looked more into the BR600, and I'm very interested now. Is the cheapest I can get it for (with SM57) really $450 though? I mean, it's not like I'll be using a whole set of mics for the drums and such, so the quality of the recordings won't be great anyway.

Is there any way to lower the price at all? I don't mean to sound cheap, but you know... $450 is a decent price.

EDIT: Wait... is the SM57 phantom powered? Because the BR600 doesn't provide that, which means I couldn't even use it.

EDIT2: What's the deal with this?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fostex-MXL-MR8MKII-990991-Digital-Recording-Package-?sku=240308
Last edited by KetchupLad14 at Jun 3, 2008,
#7
You dont NEED the 57 IMO unless you plan on micing amps, and even still, the on board mics may work just fine.

the br600 has on board drums so you could program them in instead of trying to mic a kit...or once again, use the on board mics.

SM57 - Dynamic mic. It doesn't require phantom power, just an XLR - TRS adapter to plug into the 600 which that unit comes with out of the box.

I wasnt aware that MF was offing a set of MXL mics with that Frostex recorder.
IMO the Boss unit is the better buy but if you are on a budget the Frostex is the way to go as you get a set of MXL mcis with it. I have the 990/991 set myself and like it a lot.

If you got that frostex set you should be set to record out of the box assuming you have some cables and stands.

I dont really suggest this mic too much being its very low in price and tends to break up at fairly high volumes but if you really must have a mic and are on a tight budget, its the way to go IMO:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/OnStage-Stands-MS7510-Mic-Pro-Pak?sku=270619
Last edited by moody07747 at Jun 3, 2008,
#8
Quote by moody07747
You dont NEED the 57 IMO unless you plan on micing amps, and even still, the on board mics may work just fine.

the br600 has on board drums so you could program them in instead of trying to mic a kit...or once again, use the on board mics.

SM57 - Dynamic mic. It doesn't require phantom power, just an XLR - TRS adapter to plug into the 600 which that unit comes with out of the box.

I wasnt aware that MF was offing a set of MXL mics with that Frostex recorder.
IMO the Boss unit is the better buy but if you are on a budget the Frostex is the way to go as you get a set of MXL mcis with it. I have the 990/991 set myself and like it a lot.

If you got that frostex set you should be set to record out of the box assuming you have some cables and stands.

I dont really suggest this mic too much being its very low in price and tends to break up at fairly high volumes but if you really must have a mic and are on a tight budget, its the way to go IMO:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/OnStage-Stands-MS7510-Mic-Pro-Pak?sku=270619

I was actually hoping there was a $50 mic or something, as opposed to $100.

But anyway, the more I think about it, I may be willing to go $450. I'm pretty sure I want the Boss unit. I do want to check out the drum sounds, but (with my little experience) when recording practices with some groups, one room mic did much better than I thought it would.
The thing with the Fostex is that even with the MXL mics (which I do hear are great) I don't have a dynamic mic to use for non-vocals/acoustic guitars.

Since the Boss doesn't provide phantom power, I'm assuming I'd have to use the dynamic to pick up vocals, right? How is the SM57 with that?

I do want to think about my monetary options a little more before making a final decision.

Thanks for all your help, by the way.
#10
I am geting that small Frostex MKII in soon and will have a review posted soon after on what I think of it.

These two units have their good and bad points.
- The frostex can track 4 inputs at one time where as the boss only has two inputs and they are not even XLR...
- Boss gives you a built in drum machine and amp/FX modeling for guitar or bass.
- The Frostex does have some amp modeling but its not all that great and thers no on board drums with the Frostex unit.
- Boss runs with media cards, Frostex uses on on board HD
- Frostexs' HD offers more storage space than any compact flash card for the Boss.

If you are planning on using a computer program or drum machine to get your drums done, you should go with the Frostex IMO.


I know someone a while back posted about those 4 input Frostex units. He got one used on ebay and was very happy with it.
Last edited by moody07747 at Jun 17, 2008,
#11
Quote by moody07747
I think the BR600 has more features and works a little better, it is boss so it should have good drums.

I am geting that small Frostex MKII in soon and will have a review posted soon after on what I think of it.

I'm not necessarily worried about the drums, because I play them, so I'd only use the drum sounds for certain effects.

I'm just interested because it has more inputs, phantom power, and all that stuff.


Is there any reason to get the MKII instead of the one I posted? Or is it just that the MKII is cheaper?
#13
Quote by moody07747
Check my edit...sorry for that delay

If you want to mic drums, go with the Frostex, the 4 inputs will be a good thing to have.

I'm undecided about which one to get. The bass modeling on the boss may come in handy, but I could also just borrow my friend's bass.

I may also end up wanting the drum machines. I'll have to think about it.
#14
just thought I would put in a few words about the Frostex MKII I got in today.
I looked at it thinking it could not be "cheap" sounding but I actually thought it worked quite well for the price.

It was easy to figure out but going though the manual is a good idea still. Sound quality was good for something of this price range.
I didn't like the feel of the faders though, they seem to be stiff as if they they are rubbing against the plastic case.

I think if you went with the frostex HD unit, you would be happy with it.
HD based units have a lot more storage space than the CF cards as well which is something you will need with a lot more tracks.

Edit:
I also did a short audio sample

I used my Roland drums to put down a drum beat and then used the on board amp models with my PRS SE to put some guitar lines into a short song. Nothing great but it gets the point across on how it sounds...and yes I know the volume is too low...

http://www.tindeck.com/audio/my/zpvi/Frostex-Demo

the amp sims are a little noisy and dont give much distortion but they sound fair...


ONE LAST THING
If you go with the Frostex (which I still think is the best) get yourself some external preamps (youll need 4 for your inputs) as the ones on board the MKII are just lousy...
You have to turn up the gain to 8 out of 10 before getting any spikes on the meters and after 9 you get some noise...
now this is all with a condenser mic that I normally give half gain though my Yamaha MG mixer...
So yea, other than the cheap preamps on board its a nice unit

The SMPro Audio PR-8 8-Channel Mic Preamp is just $100 but should work better and save you money.
It does sound like a few problems come up in the reviews such as shorts to stop channels from working. If you dont know electronics, get the extended coverage.
Last edited by moody07747 at Jun 21, 2008,