This Dinosaur is getting back in the Ark.........

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Gretschmen65, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Alanqa

    Alanqa Gretschie

    Aug 22, 2019
    Lancashire UK
    I use Logic but I started on Reel to Reels. Love them but the media is SO expensive. I use Logic very much like a tape recorder. But it's what you get used to I s'pose.
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  2. MotorCentaur

    MotorCentaur Gretschie

    May 11, 2016
    I hear you.
    I just want to go back to my old Tascam Syncassette 234. It has a cheap tape stuck in it, that I haven't been able to get out. I remember as it sounding really good though.
    Also have an old Roland VS 1824 that was good in it's time, and you could burn cds with. However it was limited and you cant export files in .wav or something useful.
    I have a couple old TEAC 234's but not much tape.
    I really like Reaper DAW, but it is still quite the process to record, and I spent a small fortune getting hardware to interact with it (Focusrite interface, powered monitors, midi keyboard, dbx eq's...
    I just want to get that old Tascam going, for quick takes and having fun...then plug anything worthy into a DAW....
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  3. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Yes, Mine should arrive this week as well. :)
  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Gretschie

    Jan 11, 2019
    I had a Fostex 4 track cassette back in 1984, managed to knock up plenty of rough demos. I did venture into using a midi computer based program so I could add my poorly played (and then corrected) keyboard parts to a sync code on the 4 track. Those songs were technically quite tight and produced, but a bit bland...

    Many years later I bought a Boss 8 track that uses a ZIP disc (remember them?), but the ZIP disc drive became faulty. I tried using an interface and a DAW, but it was too much for my dinosaur brain too despite that I work with computers and have even been known to build them.

    These days I use a Tascam SD32: It has 8 mono tracks and 12 stereo tracks, which record onto an SD card. It does things way too advanced for my brain, so I just treat it like a tape deck. The most advanced thing I do is punching in a solo or maybe using the 'virtual' tracks to try different takes without losing earlier ones. It allows me to master to WAV format and has some preset mastering compression, eq and a level 'normalising' function. The results sounds pretty decent and it doesn't distract me too much from the music making side. I take the SD card out afterwards and copy the master stereo WAV file onto my PC so I can convert to MP3 to send via email/Whatsapp and I can upload the WAV file to things like Soundcloud.

    I gave up programming drum machine parts for similar reasons: I'd just get the excitement sucked out of me and produce very 'stiff' sounding songs. I use a Roland TD30 electronic kit and it's realistic enough for my needs and playing abilities.

    I spent last night recording a demo of a song I'm working on with my cousin: It took me about 60 plays of the song (various parts) to get it on 'tape', but in the process my drumming, guitar, bass and vocals all got better. I treat it as a way to improve my playing skills rather than my computer skills.

    Reading this thread, I'm glad to see I'm not the only dinosaur. :)

    Of course I used my Gretsch on one of the guitar parts. ;)
    Gretschmen65 and new6659 like this.
  5. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Curious. Would you explain further how you use Logic like a tape recorder? I THINK I get what you mean, but want to be sure?
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  6. larryr

    larryr Synchromatic

    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    Full review please. I've been looking at the 8 and the H4N pro. The four can be had used for decent price and I don't need a lot of complicated stuff. Simple tracking. Anybody use the four and the eight and can compare
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  7. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    I'd also like to hear more about the R8.
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  8. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    That is so similar to my sentiments. I’m not a luddite, or afraid of programming: I do it all day long; but that’s work. I take music seriously, but I consider it a counter-stress to my day job. Music frees my mind from my work.

    I had the Boss BR8, with the Zip Drive. It had limitations, but I could use the built in rhythm guide and create a track very easily. I used a Jazz Bass to lay down a bass line and then added guitar parts on top of it. If there was a good take with one bad note, you could punch it in and it was undetectable.

    I remember doing some cool stuff, like Les Paul multitracks, where I played multiple harmonies. The thing I remember most was that it was easy to use and I didn’t have to refocus my mind away from the music.

    Then I bought a newer version, a BR-800, and the rhythm feature wasn’t so easy. Truly, all I need is a metronome, so I can sync the track to measures.

    The ultimate plan is to create a series of backing tracks, which can be used with the band. Just a way to bring more complex material into the repertoire, without adding additional band members.

    Well see how I like it, tomorrow.
    KelvinS1965 and Gretschmen65 like this.
  9. Alanqa

    Alanqa Gretschie

    Aug 22, 2019
    Lancashire UK
    I basically record everything in single takes (ok with the odd drop in). If I make a mistake I will usually retake the whole track. I don't use much in the way of plug ins or start editing at waveform level in fact I probably only use only 15% of the features of Logic. There are whole menus I have never even looked at.

    So it wasn't much of a learning curve. Just need to make sure it is communicating with your audio interface. know how to create a new audio track. How to arm and record, delete and all that stuff. If you are not sending the audio out on separate channels to a mixer then how to mix inside the daw. That's basically it.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
    Gretschmen65 and KelvinS1965 like this.
  10. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Gretschie

    Jan 11, 2019
    That's interesting: I tend to leave reverb as 'post' so I can hear it while I'm recording the part, but it's not recorded onto the track, so I'm free to add or remove it in the mixdown.

    In terms of guitar effects I do tend to use those on the recording stage; whichever overdrive pedal or maybe some tremolo or chorus. More because it might make me play the part in a particular way, but also because I haven't got an easy way of adding that effect to just that track during mixdown. I do leave the EQ flat though and tweak it per channel at mix down if needed, after setting the basic 'amp simulation' mode up.

    I always plan to re-record the guitar parts through a mic'd amp and speaker at some later stage, but that's not possible at the moment: There is a hall we rehearse in that has amazing reverb. My Champ clone sounds superb in there, just cranked up and no effects apart from the natural hall reverb: I'm definitely going to re-record some guitar parts there when we can get back out again.

    My Tascam only allows me to add one type of effect at mix down using the internal effects, plus there is another external effects loop that I've never used. There might be a way that I could bounce a clean guitar track through an effect and record it onto another track I suppose to try different options. However, that's starting to get into the 'too much fiddling' aspect that I seem to struggle with.

    On a different track: Does anyone else find that if they listen to a mix the next day, then you seem to spot things that weren't obvious during the heat of the first mixdown? I also play it back on my laptop which has quite small tinny speakers as this helps spot a mix that has an over prominent part, or vocals too muffled. I have to mix on headphones to preserve my family's sanity, but I do check on my main AV system which has pretty neutral monitor style speakers (same as George Lucas uses apparently, so I'm in good company).
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  11. lathoto

    lathoto Gretschie

    Apr 23, 2020
    My mobile studio has gotten significantly leaner over the years. You could say I'm a singer/songwriter Presonus kind of guy. Eight (8) analog inputs and a six (6) channel stereo headphone mixer. We record live directly to 500 GB SD's at 96/24. The latest version of Studio One 5 virtually eliminates latency if you don't load up a bunch of plugins while recording. With reverb and delay sends used sparingly we capture live music to the best of our ability. A quick rough mix in a good set of headphones, EQ/compress the individual tracks through the monitors to push stuff down in the mix, and then hit the highway to tweak the final mix. I sometimes contemplate mastering with an analog recorder but it's really not necessary.

    I am resolved to the fact that maybe someday my grandkids will rifle through the shoebox, find an antique CD, and give a listen. "Did Grandpa used to play that old Gretsch?"
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  12. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    So do I.
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  13. S.R.Cash

    S.R.Cash Gretschie

    Aug 29, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    I bought a Scarlet Solo and downloaded a couple programs that were recommended. Once or twice a week I'll give it a go, but thus far the Scarlet is a coaster.
  14. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Gretschie

    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin
    Different brains work differently. I had a career in electronics and software and went through several DAWs until I found one I like (Reaper). However, my work is fundamental, and I have set up a few templates so all I need to do load one and go. A quick check to ensure all is good, hit the record button and turn my back on the system. I also have it set so I can start recording my using my phone so I am away from the computer but that requires some geekery to set up. It’s hard to be the recording engineer and the artist at the same time.

    Having said that, I do like the inspiration that having a vocal reverb upfront that I can adjust with a knob. Same goes for input levels. So…. I have a Mackie mixer in front and just got an old reverb unit off the shelf to try in front. (Mixer/Focusrite 2i2/Computer going to try Mixer/reverb/Focusrite/Computer) The downside is that while I can add effects via software, I can’t take them out if they are in the front of the chain.

    I don’t find recording fun or inspirational, I find it fiddly work and exasperating. Mixing down? Talk about ear fatigue. But….. worth the effort.

    For quick ‘idea sketchbook stuff’, I use Apple’s free Music Memos app on my iPhone.

    Bottom line: go with what works for you.
  15. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    I've ordered the Zoom R8 but it hasn't arrived yet.
    There are however complete manuals in PDF available on the net which tell the whole story.

    This thing has almost a complete recording studio inside apart from the drum machine.
    new6659 and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I’m a strong believer in single takes, as well. Most recordings that I am satisfied with are first takes. However, I do use editing in assembling a track from scratch.

    For example, I might start by laying down a simple rhythm track of bass track which will never survive to the finished product, but is just a simple way to lay a framework for the song. These tracks might be looped, just as a way of saving time. So I might lay down a looped bass line, record the guitar part, then go back and record a bass part in a single take.

    It’s funny, because I actually enjoy engineering recordings, but that is completely separate from performing music. This may be somewhat a side effect of the task oriented aspect of my nature. I like to perform a task, get it finished, and then go on to something else.

    Im the same way in my work. If I am working on cost analysis, I don’t want to switch to another task, until I am done, or at least until I can’t advance the project any farther. Then I might work on a network engineering task or something of that sort. Sometimes I have to switch tasks, but I prefer to stay focused.

    My Zoom R8 arrived today and I hope to give it some quality time in the next week. It looks good as the controls seem durable. What little I’ve done so far has proven easy and intuitive.
    lathoto likes this.
  17. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    I just recorded some percussion parts with one of these, and the. We’ll drop the track into the daw when we mix and slide it into place.

    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  18. Roger49

    Roger49 Country Gent

    Feb 18, 2015
    For someone who has long since thrown in the towel trying to get audacity to work, I too long for the days when a simple 2 or 4 track mixer coupled to a reel to reel tape machine gave them everything they needed.
    I sold my 2-track Technics 1500 to my mate who had a 4-track Teac - I regret that decision to this day!!
    Here's my machine (only mine had tape threaded!)
    2-track, max 15ips (38cm/s)

    I loved that machine!!!

    Technics 1500.jpg
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  19. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    I have found audacity very useful for editing and mastering once you have the tracks and mix down completed on a recorder.
    I'm not interested in using it or any other DAW for tracking etc.
  20. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    The difference is where in the process it comes into play. As I see it, the more simple and intuitive the process is at the point of production, the easier it is for a musician to do their job effectively and remain focused on the right-brain tasks. Post prod, you can switch hats and do the engineering tasks and your mind is able to focus only on those left-brain activities.

    I do my first Zoom tests today. It’ll be simple, because I don’t really have any musical ideas begging to be let loose, but I just want to try a simple overdub scenario and maybe some looping.
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.