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

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

  1. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Tonight I did a test recording with my new Zoom R8. The project was nothing to brag about, just a 12 bar Blues to test the onboard drums and multi-tracking.

    I am very impressed by how straightforward this process was. I am not at all versed in using this unit and was operating the R8 with one hand, holding the manual with one hand and playing the instruments with my other two hands :), but this this is dead simple to use. It’s roughly the size of a 9.7” iPad, albeit about 4x as thick. I ran this on two AA cells, which means that you can use this without being tethered to a power supply. I did the entire project from an easy chair.

    Probably the most important part, to me, was that the built-in rhythm function was so simple to use. When I had my Boss BR-800, the “Rhythm Guide” took all of the fun out of it. Even if the drum machine will never be heard on the final recording, I like to use it as a way “bootstrap” my way into a recording, where a proper drum part can be overdubbed later. To me, the utility of a recorder is compromised if you have to program a drum track up front. When I have an idea, I want to lay it down now, and not interrupt the creative process with a bunch of programming.

    So, I would make the preliminary statement that this is a pretty decent way to make simple multitrack recordings. Now, I must point out that I have not exported any projects as of yet, and that could prove to be a sticking point, if the process is not to my liking. Time will tell.
     
  2. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Glad it's working out.
    I'm pretty sure all you need to upload the recording is: plug into your computer. The R8 will be recognized as a file device. You should be able to drag and drop to a file you have on the computer.
    Or, using something like audacity , just plug into the input of the computer and the file will run out in the DAW.
     
  3. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I’ll give that a try, probably tomorrow.
     
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  4. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    LA-ish
    Tascam makes both an SD 24 and and SD 32 Track. They are set up fairly old school, on purpose. It does the basics real well. It doesn't do tons of fancy selection and options but that is also it's virtue. You don't spend weeks learning and forgetting. A couple of 3 or 4 hour sessions and you should be fairly comfortable. Then you build upon that as you decide. Your point about 8 track is well taken. A lot of great music was recorded on 2, 4 and 8 tracks.
     
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  5. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    73
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I thought the Dinosaurs died out because they couldn't fit on the Ark.......:p:D
     
  6. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Oh Gawd, hadn't thought of that, I mightn't fit in again. But I'm evidence that we didn't all die out...;):D
     
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  7. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I just requested a refund from Amazon. As nice as it was to record on, the only thing you can export is a .wav file for each track and the drum track appears only as a .seq file. In order to make it into anything useful, I still have to do a bunch of post-prod work, which means I will have less to do overall just using a DAW.
     
  8. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    I use this little beast for recording anything anywhere now, a Roland R-05... And it does the job perfectly, no hassle, no multiple menus nor pages !

    upload_2020-11-26_12-48-15.jpeg

    A+!
     
  9. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I spoke too soon. Tonight I was able to successfully export a simple project, including the drum track and converted it to MP3 format. This meets my desired results, so the R8 remains in my collection and will likely get a fair amount of use.

    The Blues I recorded as a test is 28 seconds long and I doubt that I have two minutes of production time, basically the three tracks at roughly a half-minute per track. That is exactly what I was looking for. I could create backing tracks with this recorder, or use it as a platform for woodshedding.
     
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  10. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Great news, I held off replying to your first because I felt this was the case.

    With a little experience with the machine I'm sure you can get a fairly well produced project which won't need too much tweeking in a DAW.
    Hope that's the case. This Ark has gone too far out to sea for me to jump off now.
    I still haven't received mine. :(
     
  11. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    It came down to semantics. The Zoom manual has a section on Mastering, which I take to mean setting levels so that a group of recordings will present at a consistent volume and energy level something you’d do with an album. In Zoom’s terminology, Mastering means reducing the various tracks to one stereo wave file, which can be exported to a computer. The cause of the misunderstanding was probably nothing more or less than my being in a hurry.

    Anyhow, I now have a short, four track recording, mixed to stereo and it sounds pretty decent, considering that I am still learning the unit. My motive for buying this is to copyright a couple of compositions and maybe make some backing tracks. The idea of the backing tracks is to have modular recordings so that I could perform live with nothing but a backing track, or a track lacking bass, lead guitar and vocals, or just a bass part in case the bassist can’t make it, but I have a drummer.

    Also, I wouldn’t mind some backing tracks which add instrumentation to the trio, so we can do more complex arrangements. I have a pretty decent electronic piano, a set of drums and a trombone, in addition to seven guitars, a Bass VI, a Melobar 8 string lap steel and two basses, one fretted, one fretless. With all of that, I should be able to create a lot of cool stuff.

    I still need two pieces of gear; a decent vocal mic’ and a re-amper, which allows you to record a clean signal to the recording device, then pump the output of that track out to your amp and pedalboards, so you can add a track post-prod and still keep your pristine, effects-free track in reserve. I haven’t done much with the built-in effects on the Zoom R8, as of yet, but I may bring those into play as well.

    Now that I have learned how to export what I want, I would say that I’m pretty satisfied with the R8. It’s simple, and us dinosaurs want simplicity. Besides that, Noah doesn’t want any computers on the Ark. :)
     
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  12. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Yes, this is how I see these little machines.

    I've used the previous one to produce backing tracks which I've used alone and with a duo.
    I could always get the mix right in the recorder and used audacity to normalize the tracks and to ensure the levels were identical track to track.
     
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Perfect! Does anyone make a case for these units?
     
  14. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Yes, I believe its called "Porta Brace" and advertised by B&H Photo video as carry case for Zoom R8
     
  15. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Not bad.
     
  16. afire

    afire Country Gent

    My dad is a tech freak. He forced me into digital recording as a kid when all I really wanted was an 8-track reel-to-reel. I think I may hold some distinction as being one of the earliest users of recording software to be so completely detached once it became commonplace.
     
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  17. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    It looked like there was a substantial lead time for that case, so I ordered on of these instead.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Z5OUJV6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I did my first digital recordings back in the ‘90s. I was smitten, at first, but as things have gotten more complex, I have become less smitten.
     
  18. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Actually looks better.
     
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    It has removable foam blocks, so it can be adapted to the R8 with room for a case to hold memory cards.
     
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