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Is There Such A Thing As A "GOOD" Portastudio? - Page 2 - Gearspace.com
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Is There Such A Thing As A "GOOD" Portastudio?
Old 6th February 2009
  #31
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Space Station's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spenceroo ➡️
Does anyone make a decent 8 or 16 track portastudio? I just can't seem to find anyone that's happy with the current models. Either the hard drive is really noisy, they record terrible or the preamps need goosed to the max to get any signal, not to mention problems with burning cds and on and on. I just need a good dependable tool to write and arrange songs. I don't want to end up spending big bucks on outboard preamps just to get a good signal. Is there anything out there that's portable and dependable? XLR's are a must.
I use a VS890 for demoing all the time, it is the later 24bit version of the 880 with better input flexibility. They can be had for around $120 on ebay. They are brilliant. Easy to use, good sounding machine. I have mine set up in my front room at home...I have a roland TD8 electronic drum kit in there too..Just whack a beat down, overdub DI guitars, synths whatever and wail over the top...you can imagine heh. Quick and easy.

Funny to think the original VS880 cost nearly $3000 on release in 1996, but back then it was revolutionary I guess. For $100-$150 it's ridiculous value and still completely useable and very portable(Roland made a case for it).

Not XLR but still balanced on TRS jacks. The CD drive is optional but cheap too.

PS: I had a yamaha AW4416 too...it was rubbish compared. Really noisy. Took it back to the shop.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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A LaMere's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deeper ➡️
For more tracks and a very analog sound, I upgraded to an Akai DPS-24 and it's totally awesome. The best kept secret in the audio-world. A totally professional sounding all-in-one DAW. Akai stopped making them only because they didn't have a clue what a gem they had created. Their marketing department failed them. But the machine itself is a work of art.
I don't know about the "best kept secret" part...
but, I do agree that the two akai machines have a particular "sound" that is good.

I just realized, I have a sample of the Akai at my other myspace site: Aaron LaMere on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos

The song "Guess you know" was recorded with the Akai recorder, a rode NT2 mic and an sm57. It was recorded a looong time ago, and I only used the onboard pre's, effects, compression etc on that recording...

I still listen to the recordings I did on the Akai and think that they sound somewhat "analog" and that they sound pretty good..
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #33
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
My studio has been based around a Yamaha AW4416 for eight years now and it has performed admirably. Eight decent pres, although I have out board pres that I send to the yami via lightpipe. Full automation and patching. It also has the waves y56k card with the rennaisance suite. Wave file editing. The noise issue had to do with the onboard cd burner fan which I dissconnected and now it's quiet. Sixteen track, 128 virtual tracks. IMO plenty of machine for a songwriter. I've produced quite a few cds for bands on it. I see them on ebay regularly in the $500 range. Also, for me, having a tactile board that runs like a tape machine is perfect. Doing everything with a mouse is drag.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #34
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius ➡️
Doing everything with a mouse is drag.
A click and a drag!
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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musicalnyc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Bump - How about those Tascam SX series machines?
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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kojak's Avatar
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
as long as you don't need discreet tracks, even the handheld portable recorders sound frighteningly good these days...the zoom H2 or H4 are very hip, and one or the other of them (i forget off the top of my head) and record in surround, so if you put it in the middle of the room in a rehearsal room, you can still have a modicum of control if you want to mix a little bit after the fact. and they fit in your guitar case!
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #37
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
IMHO


In spite of the increasing trend and proliferation of computer based recording there is still many musicians whom are attracted to, are navigating back to or at certain time still prefer to use a Dedicated Multitrack Recorders to capture, cultivate and create their musical ideas verses a Computer Recording Software solution. Here are 10 reasons why.

1)Ease of use. Most Recording software is extremely powerful but there is generally a much steeper learning curve that comes with it as compared to a Dedicated Multitrack Recorder. The Legendary Producer Bruce Sweden recently stated that much of today’s music makers are focusing to much on the technology, get sidetracked and forgetting that great music is an emotionally centered experience and not a technical based one. Many musicians still find the computer experience with its many, many options much more daunting than they bargained for. Although it comes easy to some and has its place not every one is a tweaker and many musicians prefer to remain primarily players. Dedicated Multitrack Recorders are simple by design so the average musician can get the musical results they so desperately seek. For the many plugging in, recording, and hear it play back is the primary function and a Dedicated Multitrack Recorder can give you the required focus for the sound and music at the right time.


2)Less Technology more Music. What do Operating System updates, Compatibility, Conflicts, Drivers, Latency and Virus’s has to do with making music? Absolutely Nothing. With Computer Recording it’s almost a given you will be dealing with many if not all of these issues at some point. This can be a huge distraction and time suck from ones creative energy. With dedicated Multitrack Recorders ongoing computer issues like the ones just mentioned are Non Issue’s. Even when used to its maximum potential the Dedicated Multitrack Recorder typically soldiers on without clips, pops or drop outs and with stability more akin to a Digital Mixer.


3)Portability. We live in the age of the independent artist. Many international artists now prefer to record on their own time in comfortable environments that allow them to access their best creative moments with no time constraints or budget limitations. There is no substitute for a properly engineered and constructed Recording studio however the fact is in today’s world technology is more affordable than the physical bricks and mortar spaces. With a Dedicated Multitrack Recorder moving to and capturing your performances in a variety of awesome acoustic spaces you could not typically afford to build yourself can be done on a whim. Record in your church, auditorium, living room or just about anywhere. As the Legendary Joe Meek stated “If its sound right it is right”. If the space won’t come to you you’re more likely to go to the space if it easy to do so. Dedicated Multitrack Recorders do this with ease and by design.


4)Format Standards. It used to be that Dedicated Multitrack Recorders used proprietary File formats that made blending content or collaborations with other studio’s very time consuming, a pain in the ass or not worth doing at all. Many of today’s more advanced Dedicated Multitrack Recorders have adopted the native Windows WAV. Format so moving audio files back and forth from Dedicated Recorder to Computer over USB 2.0 is no more complicated or time consuming than transferring your pictures from your Digital Camera to your Facebook page. Do a quick mix in the computer DAW, transfer to the Portable Recorder, Take to exotic sound location, Track several guitar takes on your friends vintage amp stack with multiple mics, Transfer back into Computer DAW. Pick and choose best performance elements, Mix and Master. You can also Back up your data to the computer with ease. Portable Recorders now work in concert with the computer DAW to allow the creation of unique sonic signatures and sound scapes which is an element that is essential and typical on many classic recordings. This approach can also save time and money, reducing liability and not to mention is fun to do.


5)Tactile Control: There is no substitute for Real Faders, Knobs, Switches and Transport controls. Let’s face it doing most of the basic audio functions on a computer with a mouse is a drag. With a Dedicated Multitrack Recorder these come as standard features where as with a Software/Computer based solution they only become available when you purchase additional hardware controllers. With Dedicated Multitrack Recording you can grab a fader, change a volume, solo a track and punch in and out as you would with a real mixer and a tape multitrack even if your by yourself.


6)Multi Purpose Use: Modern Dedicated Multitrack Recorders are more than a one trick pony as newer more advanced ones serve dual duty and offer tighter integration with the computer. They come bundled with Recording Software for your Computer and provide advanced Tactile Control for computer Recording software. When it comes to Editing and automation stages of music production this is clearly where the Computer Software solution excels. Although the stand alone Recorder facilitates editing functions they are no match for the WYSIWYG, vast Plug-In Effects and Automation a Computer solition can provide. However newer Dedicated Multitrack Recorders can greatly enhance the computer experience by morphing into a dedicated physical control surface for recording applications. The hardware Faders, Switches, drum pads and transport of the Multitrack can instantly control the virtual ones on the computer screen. Once you have experienced this it’s hard to ever go back again to mixing with just a mouse and keyboard. Tactile Control over software can drastically improve your workflow and productivity in the studio and is no longer financially out of reach to the average musician when it comes included with your Dedicated Multitrack Recorder.


7)Creative Tools: Dedicated Portable Multitrack Recorders come loaded with easily accessible Guitar/Bass Modeling and Effects, Drum Sounds. Loops, Drum Patterns and Delay, Reverb and Mastering Effects. For some these might be the best or only access to these devices that they have. To others they are merely convenient substitutes at a time when they can’t access their pro studio, be with the band or have to create in an isolated environment. Whether you are your passing time in a hotel room, traveling down the hi-way in the tour bus or just wanting to flush out some ideas at a friends house or at the cottage you can be up and running with a guitar, a mic and a set of headphones creating songs where ever the inspiration strikes. You always have the option to go back later and re record and replace tracks with better equipment and under better circumstances if you choose. With its wide palette of Drum sounds, grooves, effects and amp modeling it can also push artists to explore the musical road map where they might not normally travel with their standard gear or other musicians. With a little care and the fact most offer 24 bit AD/DA the recording quality can be amazingly professional. There are many tools in the world and the Dedicated Multitrack Recorder can be a Swiss army knife for many when they venture into the musical backcountry.

8)Capture and Release: Music is just as much about Listening as it about playing. It is becoming more and more apparent to musicians with modern recording devices that there are big benefits if one listening to ones self on a more regular basis. It’s never been easier to pack along a Recorder to the gig, patch out the subgroups or inserts of the mixing console, capture and later listen to what happened. Yes, you can take a laptop and an audio interface to do the same thing but you’re less likely to do it if it’s more complicated to operate while performing and more painful to replace if it gets lost or stolen. If some of the performance was great you can have it uploaded and released on you’re my space page for your loyal fans by shortly after midnight. Overdub more tracks on top of a great groove or vamp at the studio at a later date. Use it to critique yourself and find out where you need to improve your performances. Listening to yourself is the best music teacher you will ever have and the best never stop learning.


9)Go Live: The Portable Digital MultiTrack is generally though of as just that, a Recorder but for many musicians they can serve other useful and sometimes necessary and convenient function. With Multiple inputs, Faders and Effects processing on board they can make an excellent Mixer for live performance or rehearsal. As long as you can live the input count, likely 8, Bob’s your uncle. Because it is Digital it also has the added benefit of storing and recalling preset scenes that remember every parameter including EQ, Level and Effect settings. You can capture and recall exacting Reverbs, Delays and intricate mixes for every song in your repertoire. Use the Multi Outs to drive a separate monitor mixes. Why lug the guitar amp to the rehearsal if you can use the convenient onboard amp modeling and effects. Use electronic drum pads to trigger the onboard drum samples through MIDI. Rehearse with headphones to better hear and fine tune your vocals harmonies or lower practice volumes. Use the onboard Sampler and Pads to trigger pre recorded or downloaded sound effects in real time at the church or school drama production . Stay in Tune with the built in tuner. Improve tempo or Lock the groove with a metronome, casaba or tambourine pattern. Many young and old musicians have limited time, resources or finances. A Dedicated Multitrack Recorder can serve them well as their main PA mixer, introduction to Effects, rhythm coach, Amp Simulators, etc. on top of its primary function as a Multitrack Recorder. The uses are many which can be a tremendous value to the busy musician.


10)Affordable; There is nothing you can’t generally do and not do well with the Computer if you have the time, inclination and all the necessary parts. However if you add up all the parts required by a computer to offer a similar feature set as the Dedicated Multitrack Recorder one can easily see the dedicated recorders costs compares favorably to the computer. For example: here is a basic cost analysis:

Laptop Computer with CD Burner; Windows $600 - $900 Apple $1100 - $1600
8 Channel USB Interface with software $500 plus
8 Channel Compressor on inputs. $300 plus
Multi Fader Tactile Control Surface $300 plus
Drum/Bass Machine with Touch Sensitive Pads $250 plus
Reverb Processor $100 plus
Delay/Chorus Processor $100 plus
Mastering Effects $100 plus
Guitar/Bass Multi FX Processor $100 plus
Patch Cables $100 Plus

Note: All prices are estimates in Canadian Dollars as that is where I live.


By comparison some of the new Dedicated Multitrack Recorders with advanced feature sets with 8 XLR inputs street for well under $1000.00 Cdn. They are affordable enough that several people in the same or different bands can conceivably each afford them, making for new exciting and empowering collaborations. It doesn’t surf the net, help do your taxes or record your favorite TV program but it does one thing well and with out distraction. Many musicians still prefer dedicated devices for different tasks. They like their computers for email and their Recorders to make music. As a musician you may already own or have a complete professional Computer based Studio at your disposal, however, as you can see the addition of Dedicated Multitrack Recorder might empower you and access your creativity in ways you might not imagine and for a relatively small investment. Its not uncommon for musicians to report a huge increase in there writing and creative output when they use a dedicated recorder verses a computer. Bottom Line: It may be where you start your recording Odyssey or just another tool to reach for at times as a convenience, but Dedicated Multitrack Recorders clearly have their place in many modern musician’s life.

If you make music fun it’ can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences and enjoyed by many.
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Space Station's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'll always keep my VS890 till it blows up..such a useful creative machine for writing.
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #39
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firby's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This thread is real timely. Right now I am formatting a new drive in my Akai DPS16. I am going to take it to a rehearsal space and record the band which I am currently playing. The DPS16 has 8 inputs that you can use at once. I am bringing a API 3124+ and some dbx pres to frontend it. I can't imagine that I will not be able to get good enough tracks to get the band gigs which is the purpose of the recording. If you have one of these machines and you need software or manuals forums to lurk through or whatever there is an excellent group on Yahoo Groups called akai DPS12 or something like that.

This tracker sounds great. The bitch of it is getting the files out of it to spread out in my DAW. I don't care to mix on it. You can do it and you can probably get good results but I won't do it if I have a real mix environment at home. There is a export as wav function in the 3.02 software that I use to accomplish this.

The dps24 and the yamaha are the ones to get imo. But the mackie hard disk recorder with a network connection and ftp access is full on dreamy for a remote recording gig.
Old 28th February 2009 | Show parent
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
There is hope in the upcoming Zoom R16.



8-track simultaneous recording
16-track playback
24-bit/48kHz PCM WAV
Hi-Z input/48V phantom power
Battery/USB power
Built-in effects
Undo/Redo
Connect 2 via USB for double recording/playback

24-bit/96kHz PC interface
Acts as a software control surface
USB host for quick copying of files
Old 28th February 2009
  #41
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I had the Tascam 788 with the Version 2.02 upgrade and with an 80 gig hard drive I installed and it's been a workhorse for the last seven years. I prefer the portastudio over the Mac/software for cost and ease of use. A hobbiest, I prefer to put the bigger wads of cash into instruments, amps and some into mics and pres. When I'm feeling creative I don't like hitting a wall. I want to turn on the machine and get on with it. Eventually I disliked the "wall" presented by the 788 of having the ability to work with only eight channel strips at a time. That's a pain come mixing time as I usually end up with 14 or so tracks. I recently moved to the Tascam 2488 neo. Knowing the 788, the 2488 neo was an easy transition. The few things different from the 788 seem to be user inspired and it's very easy to work with. I haven't had a chance to use the new mastering effects but that's coming. I'll be giving the 788 to friend so we can collaborate.
Old 28th February 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I can hardly call the DPS24 a "portastudio"...but, it sounds fab.

It's FX are weak as hell...but, for tracking, who cares? I wil cop to the fact that I use outboard pres and converters...but, the built in ones really do sound a cut above the competition. The channel compression and EQ are nice, too. Editing is a breeze. The time stretching algorithms are on par with Cubase 4's MAPEX...and much easier to use. I don't know if it's auto crossfading or what--but, I can make splices there that it takes me longer in Cubase to get seamless and pop free.

The VS1680 was my first digital recorder. I was all analog up until it's release. It was solid as a rock...but, the mixer sounded AWFUL. Dreadful. Once I exported the track to a software app or the Akai, you could hear they sounded fine...mixer and mix tools (EQ/compression)--not so much.

If you're wanting to use it for live tracking, though, you should know it only powers 4 channels of phantom power. Always thought that was a slight design flaw--12 really good preamps, but only 4 with phantom. Could it have cost them that much to run the wire/trace all the way across the PCB? Anyway...

It's a big boy, but it sounds good. Import/exports BWAV or AIFF files. From CDR, or slower USB1 connection to Mac or PC.

It was a good design...I would've loved to see a version two...but, don't be fooled the "mk2" version is the same beast with a couple slight hardware diffs...and loaded with the (reportedly) buggier v2 OS. Not really an improvement in design--just in name.
Old 6th March 2009 | Show parent
  #43
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger ➡️
Yeah - but there must be a whole generation of people like me who have burned out on [email protected]#$ software DAWs and just want a return to some simple hardware that works.

For the tracking stage that is.
Hello! Check me in as part of that "generation". Some people think these hardware units only appeal to technophobes, but that couldn't be less true. I've done my hours in protools-based studios, and my day job involves programming in C/C++ for most of the day.

I just loathe the work-flow of tracking to a computer DAW. The cut and paste nature of it. The "grid" that everything is locked to. It's about the most uninspiring environment out there.

Dedicated engineers have different roles, and they like to have as much control as possible over the creation of the recording (and I'm tempted to think that way when I record other people), but for anyone recording themselves, workflow is very important when you're wearing both hats as artist and engineer.

So I completely agree with everyone here who vouch for the idea of tracking on one of these "portastudio" things.

They're a dying breed though, the top-end (24 bit) ones left are really the aforementioned Akai DPS series, the Roland VS, and the Korg D3200 (previously the Korg D32X and D16X).

I've got a D3200 I use at home, and I'm very attached to it because it brings about the most productivity in me than any other recording setup (I've used Protools, Cubase, Tracktion). Yes, I use outboard pres, and effects. The knobs, the immediacy of riding faders and quick mixes during tracking, or even doing final mixes. It's such an enjoyable and intuitive experience, I wouldn't trade it in for anything. And you know what, it sounds great! Warmer, and more pleasing to my ear than any of my previous home PC setups (that is, the more affordable PC setups with M-boxes etc, rather than the Apogee's I've used in studios).

I think alot of people overlooked the most recent generation of these units because the market has almost completely faded away and everyone only cared about computer-based setups. I don't think most people know what they're missing.

There's a great article and shoot-out/review of all the current day "stand-alone multi-track recorders" here:
Getting Personal

Very comprehensive, and excellent break-down of the pros and cons of each. Have a good read!
Old 15th March 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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Speeddemon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Interesting thread!

I've recently sold my Korg D16, which I loved, but it lacked phantom power, multiple auxes (I still use hardware fx) and it never was the same, after I replaced the tiny 2,5Gb hdd with a 30Gb. Lots of hiccups when doing multi-tracking. Although, when optimizing disk/track, it was good for a while.

Anyway, I bought a Yamaha AW2400, which sounded better and gave me all the functionality I needed (4 aux outputs, balanced monitor outs, inbuilt CD-R, decent harddrive), but the downside is the learning curve and the lack of a touchscreen and dedicated pan-potmeters.

Also, I'm constantly battling with the different layers; input, master, track. The Korg was straightforward with track selection and arming; no light=track muted.
green light=track plays.
orange light=track input active
red light=track armed for recording.

I'd like to have a sort of sketch-pad recorder now, that has all the functionality of the D16, maybe with only 8 tracks, but with dedicated knobs (maybe not EQ, but at least pan!), a decent (touch)screen (no luck there with the current smaller recorders!) and a 10Gb or larger harddrive. Build that for $300-500 and I'm a happy camper.

Yes, the Yamaha is a better machine, but I'm less inclined these days to sit and record a few rough guitar tracks for ****s and giggles. Too much menu-surfing and settings. The Korg D16 was a breeze in that department and it sounded pretty good too.
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
YetiHunter's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I don't have time to wax poetic on the vs880, but I would if I could; pm me if you want details later in the evening.
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #46
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I bought a Korg D3200 recently.
I did look at the computer recording route, but tbh found the whole thing so confusing, expensive and ultimately impractical, that I felt the stand alone route was much more bang for buck.

I need multiple inputs to record a drumkit , with enough to manage a whole live band.

I`m very much a beginner , but even with initial use, its clear I`m only scratching the surface of what the D3200 can do.

It took me a little time to learn the basic operations, and I have a few conclusions.


1. the screen is annoyingly small, but you do get used to it.
2. The onboard effects are rubbish, but easy to modifiy and save
3. the quality in 24 bit 48khz is brilliant.
4. once set up, its a breeze to use
5. the studiotrax user forum has been a brilliant source of help and hints


Its a shame that the demand is fading for this type of unit, but, it has a place.
I bought a fitted flight case for mine as I see it being used in true portable mode many times in the future.

Nothing comes anywhere close on features for price...if you can live with the lack of screen output and mouse input.

It does seem that this is probably the end of the road for stand alones , but for simplicity of use, they are hard to beat and for home users not wanting to bankrupt themselves, they are a great piece of technology.
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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BudgetMC's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by feckinedgit ➡️
I bought a Korg D3200 recently.
I did look at the computer recording route, but tbh found the whole thing so confusing, expensive and ultimately impractical, that I felt the stand alone route was much more bang for buck.

I`m very much a beginner , but even with initial use, its clear I`m only scratching the surface of what the D3200 can do.

It took me a little time to learn the basic operations, and I have a few conclusions.

2. The onboard effects are rubbish, but easy to modifiy and save
.
I've had my D3200 for a couple of years... and I'm still discovering all the fun stuff it can do.

And, while ai wasn't initially all that impressed with the effects, they have really grown on me. Don't rely on the presets (some of which are quite silly), and get in there and adjust the parameters. There are some very very good sounds to be found that way.
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #48
Gear Addict
 
Gulliver's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
+1 on the Roland VS

still rockin' my VS840, everything on it still works perfectly. Some very useable effects, compressors and eq section. Most any parameter you can think of is tweakable. It sits in the lounge with a clean zip disk, ready to capture client's ideas, and actually gets used some. It's not that complicated to use. I've been pretty proud of some of the stuff I was able to do on that thing back in the proverbial "day"..
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Addict
 
Coldbricks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have used a Yamaha AW16G for like 7 years. Put a few good pres and mics in front of it, and I highly doubt anyone could tell a difference between it and a good protools rig....the biggest downfall of the portastudios is the preamps and the ability to patch in outboard effects.....but if you put some good outboard pres and be creative with internal effects, you can be very, very convincing.
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #50
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
korg 3200 can be had for @ $700-900 on e-bay.

that is a great price
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #51
Gear Addict
 
Saxon-of-a-son's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I regret selling my Roland VS1880. The thing just rocked. At 16/44.1, the files it created sounded as good as anything I've converted to CD-quality from a computer-based DAW. The fx were excellent on those VS cards. The "mastering suite" had an enhancer that brought everything forward in the speakers. I've never been able to duplicate that with outboard eq's or enhancers/exciters. The guy who bought it off me 5 years ago still loves it.

I think one thing that sunk the standalones was their refusal or inability to give us 24 tracks at 24/96. Another is the limited number of outputs. With stereo bus outputs and more track outputs, they could have been more easily used to track before mixing/fx in a computer.
Old 23rd July 2009 | Show parent
  #52
Lives for gear
 
headwerkn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
That ZOOM R16 looks like a ripper for the money... obviously not in the same league as the Roland VSs and so on, but as portable, rehearsal/songwriting recorder - wow. I just hope they build it properly and it sounds reasonable (previous experience with ZOOM stuff has not been the best).
Old 23rd July 2009 | Show parent
  #54
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jinksdingo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I got a KorgD3200 and still use it. It'll record 12 tracks 24/48 if you include the s/dif inputs. USB 2 transfer to your PC or Mac for mixing ITB if you prefer but very well apointed FX, automation. Excellent value!
Easy to replace the 80gig HDD. Quieter too! Very portable! No fans needed PSU design. It's only bugbear is the tiny screen, though you soon find your way around.
The Korg D888 is a 8 in 8 out recorder better suited for those who like to go thru their consoles.

The Akai DPS24(deeps) is the more Pro machine but not so portable. It's got 8 ADAT stock and 8 optional. Will record to 96khz. Someone wrote an app to use PC as a plugin DSP though processing latency bugs has most mixing ITB. The mark II version is not that old though now out of production. Pretty well same as the original. Flying fader automation.

If your going to mix the recorded files ITB either is a great choice with something like an affordable E-MU 1212m soundcard you got the best of both worlds though with the deeps you'll need want an ADAT card.

Studiotrax forum is a helpful and friendly place to get more info on standalones;
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Old 2nd January 2010 | Show parent
  #55
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Zoom zoom zooooom

I'm a classical musician.
First I did buy an external 8-channel soundcard/interface.
Just trying to make it work was allready difficult (drivers, exploring the interface, finding the right daw for me, ... ).
I was just spending more time with the laptop than with my piano, harpsichord and others.
Now I sold the thing, planning to buy this Zoom R16.
Just for recording this should be a dream (want to keep open the possibility to record on more then 2 tracks in the future), I don't need all the extra features of an external sound-card. Some correction can be done on the computer afterwards.

No fan noise, no long boot time, no extra interface, recording by just pushing some "old-fashioned" buttons, etc.
Some advantages of portable studios from the point of view from a simple musician ...
Old 2nd January 2010 | Show parent
  #56
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
There is no way any all in one unit is better than a macbook with garageband and a cheap 8 in usb interface like an M-Audio.

Obviously sound quality is not a concern. Forget any talk of converters, preamps, 24 bit recording, quality of onboard effects, etc. Neither Garageband nor a portastudio will give you good enough sound quality for a commercial CD release, so it's a write off in that department. The issue here is functionality and interface, and there are things that a simple DAW like garageband will always do better than an all in one unit. Neither is designed to sound good, and why does it even matter since all you need is something to nut out ideas and experiment with arrangements/structures.

A DAW gives you proper editing functions. For example you can copy and paste to make a double chorus in 2 seconds. Quickly remove a bar in a verse to see how it sounds, quickly overdub and A/B between takes. You get a trackpad and a large screen on which to see all of this information and navigate quickly. Then you bounce to mp3 and email it to your band. And forget that whole "a DAW is too complex" argument. Unless you're simple or you have no arms and no legs, Garageband is easy to use.
Old 2nd January 2010 | Show parent
  #57
Lives for gear
 
Space Station's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I bought a Yamaha AW4416 new when they came out. I sold it very quickly..hated the sound of it and found the pre's to be terribly noisy...bought the VS1680 and sonic equilibrium was fully restored.

I still use a VS2480 as a tape machine(bypassing convertors and pres)...for which it is brilliant.
Old 1st June 2010 | Show parent
  #58
roc
Lives for gear
 
roc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great tread .

Any new MTR out there worth mentioning ? I luv those boxes but the new ones seem kinda cheap and the classic one well there starting to get old.

I don't want to use a DAW and you can't make me! ,
can you ?
Old 2nd June 2010 | Show parent
  #59
Lives for gear
 
Speeddemon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well, I sold my AW2400 and found a used DPS24 (MKI version).
It's layed out a bit better IMO. I'll give the AW2400 that it's very uncluttered, but I really missed the pan-pot per channel and the fader-layers weren't the most logical.
Old 2nd June 2010 | Show parent
  #60
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinksdingo ➡️
The Akai DPS24(deeps) is the more Pro machine but not so portable. It's got 8 ADAT stock and 8 optional. Will record to 96khz. Someone wrote an app to use PC as a plugin DSP though processing latency bugs has most mixing ITB...
You can use any VST host and an audio interface to achieve that with the DPS24. The "Frankenstein" setup consisted of an audio interface with ADAT (namely RME Hammerfall DSP9652) and a VST host (Console Sound Modular Studio which was chosen at the time because of it's low cost). This can be done done with a RME RayDat (to further cut down on latency) and Reaper.
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