Hi everyone,

I was looking at those all-in-one multitrack recorder things, and I've noticed that although they may have ****loads of tracks, they only have up to 8 inputs. Most of the smaller ones only have 2.
Now, the convenience of a all-in-one multitrack machine suggests that it would be great for recording gigs, and I'd assume that each instrument gets its own track for later mixing.

So why do you get, like, 8 tracks, but only 2 inputs?
Why do you have to pay a huge sum of money for a bigger multitrack just cos it has more inputs?
Do they seriously assume you'll never want to record several things at once?
If you want to record a gig, go through a mixer first, and then go from the mixer to the recorder. That way you can listen to the mix through headphones so you can mix it right.
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More inputs means more hardware; jacks, mic preamps, A/D converters, etc. It also means more DSP horsepower for the digital "channel strips" for each input. All of this stuff adds to the cost, not to mention the massive amount of data being recorded on the hard drive. Most hard drives have a strict limit as to how much data they can simultaneously record and retrieve. This limit is a lot lower when the drive heads are constantly moving between the areas on the disk where different tracks are being recorded or played back.

To equate this to the analog world, a 24-track tape recorder is only a transport mechanism for the tape. Getting 24 tracks simultaneously recorded requires a 24-track mixer and suitable effects for each of those tracks. That mixer and all of those effects in the channel strips adds a lot to the cost.

Most of those digital recorders with 8 recording inputs may say that they have a gazillion tracks, but there's a strict limit on how many you can actually play at once. Roland/Boss calls these extra tracks "virtual tracks". They usually give you 8 or 16 virtual tracks for each playback channel (e.g., slider and channel effects), but you can only select one of them to play at a time. It's still really useful because you could, for example, record multiple takes of a lead track, and with a button press you could audition each of them in the mix.

I have one of those Boss/Roland 8 input recorders. You can still record a live performance with them. Just run all the mics into a mixer, and use the submixer channels to select no more than 8 submixes to record. This doesn't give you ultimate control during post, but it's a lot better than have only a stereo recording.

In the studio, I can record a full drum set using all eight channels, and then mix that down to a single stereo channel when I'm ready to add guitars and vocals. I have to reuse the 8 channels for guitars/vocals, but I use different virtual tracks. That way I can keep the original drum tracks in case I decide the drums need to be remixed.
If 4 is enough look at the boss micro BR
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