For discussion about setting up your studio and advice on the gear and equipment within it.
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By derMole Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:37 pm
I recently dusted off my old Tascam 688 and started to record and mix with it again... and it's just great. I've been using Logic for that past years and beside the problem that I often get lost in the endless possibilities it offers I never got it to feel right. Even with a control surface (still having a BCF-2000 collecting dust) it never felt as dedicated as the Tascam.

It would be all good if the way I make music wouldn't have changed. Today I'm recording a lot of live instrumentation. Basically I start with a small loop on the MPC, record some live instruments and process them, sample them on MPC, make the arrangement on the MPC bigger, record some more instruments and so on. It's a constant back and forth. The 688 can do this but it's a bit long-winded. Since it only has 8 tracks I don't want to waste 1 track to the MIDI sync signal. Therefore when recording an instrument I also have to record the MPC's output. The medium cassette also has its drawbacks: navigating through material takes time, there is no proper loop playing/recording etc.

That lead me to check out the current line of multitrack recorders... unfortunately there isn't much to check out. Is anyone still using these things? If so it'd be great if you could share your experiences and opinions to help me find a device that fits my needs.

Must have features:
- syncable via MIDI
- at least 8 inputs
- at least 16 tracks
- at least an EQ per channel. onboard effects would be nice
- aux sends for outboard effects
- motorized faders would be nice
- no deep menu diving

Only the Tascam DP-24-SD matches most of my criterias but it doesn't have MIDI sync. The predecessor (DP-24) does but I read that it has some flaws. From the older machines I've checked out the Yamaha AW4416 looks promising.
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By Ian Canefire Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:15 pm
I do all of my work on a VS2480.

I also own 2 VS2000's that I also use constantly.
a VS1880 that I use infrequently, Great unit. MF Doom used this as did Kanye.

I also use a R24 (excellent product)

THe Korg D32XD was the Princesses nipple!

I will not use computer DAWs. I stick with these boxes cause the sound and functionality is wonderful.

I have videos all over youtube of me comparing these and using them.
I help people locally all the time with learning them also.

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By Ian Canefire Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:28 pm
terry towelling wrote:i've been looking for a multitrack recorder and was thinking of buying the new tascam dp24. but after seeing this thread i look around for used gear and found a roland vs1680 for $100. i can't wait to get to work with it.

Hi Terry,
I would caution you on the VS1680. It is fine but for $200 more you can get something much more powerful and with so much more storage space.

From best to lesser(none of these are bad)

VS2480 DVD
VS2480 CD (You can convert this to a DVD)
VS2480 HD
Korg D32XD
VS2000 (best value for money if you can get it with the vga option installed for $300)
Korg D16xd
VS1824 better layout than the 1880 /1680 and it has cd installed)

By terry towelling Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:31 am
i think i spoke too soon -- looks like the purchase of the vs1680 has fallen through.
thanks so much for that list, ian. very, very helpful
i think i'll wait to find a vs24xx series unit. the 16 inputs will allow me to hook up my gear and effects units.
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By Ian Canefire Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:12 pm
The other recorder that works well is the Zoom R24. I bought one a few month ago mainly because I wanted the SD card capability.
The Zoom R24 has a few tricks that are serious time savers.
1) it has a built in stereo mic. So you can record a jam session or concert or a speech in a room easily.
2) It can be battery powered
3) You can store the tracks separately on an sd card. This is a big deal. Image you just recorder VOcals , drums, guitar, and keyboard on individual tracks. You do not have to play them all out one by one to get them individually. THis is a great improvement as the ROland VS units use CDs. CDs are fine but sd card is much faster, smaller and most computers have that type of port.
If you are electrical engineering adapt you can switch out the interna; CD rom with a ide enabled sd card reader. However it can get complicated.
With the VS units I tend to record out of it directly into my Olympus LS20M PCM recorder. This way my process is much faster.
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By Ian Canefire Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:00 pm
wavemartian wrote:The korg xd16/32 seems like an interesting "obsolete" multitracker, especially, has anyone used one, and what are the analog compressors sound like?,are they just a gimmick, or do they do an ok job?. I know someone here was using one to track his mpc 2500

The D32xd and the D16xd can use that little tube compressor that lights up and does indeed add a little warmth to a sound. Do not confuse this with say the sound you would get from a Teletronic LA2A . It is more on the level of say the electro harmonix "mic pre" box that you can get for $200.

If you are recording at 24bit 96khz, have a Neumann, have a vocalist like SEAL in your studio and you think you need warmth in vocals or on a guitar track, then you are in the land of serious nuance. The compressor on the D32xd will seem passe to you and more like a gimmick.

If you can tell the difference (and care) in your recordings done at 16bit 44.1 vs 16 bit 48hz then I can understand you wanting to try tube compressors and giving the d32xd tube a try.

In my real world experience, rappers and woman who can sing a little bit tend to be excited when they hear themselves through my inexpensive Rode NT1A mic and an electro harmonix "Mic Pre" box or my joe meek compressor then going into my digital mixer. So I am no tube snob. I go by what my customers and friends responses are at the moment.

This combination sounds better than the Korg D32xd tube to me. So I don't think you need to worry about getting the tube adapter when you can buy stand alone dedicated tube compressors, especially the super inexpensive ones from china -which are very good).

The only problem you will find with the D32xd and D16xd is that you have to over spin the jog wheel. It was not the best design. However that is minor. But a factor in why I like the roland VS units best - with a mouse and a screen. The Akai dps16 has the best layout due to the qlink knobs. However the screen can have issues with lines in it as they get old. My VS units have never given me trouble - even the really old VS1880 box.

Also consider the Akai dps16. The dps24 has some issues and freezes. The dps16 (os3) is very stable but has less features than the dps24. However they sound a bit better than the vs units. Not big time better, but on a scale of 1 - 10 the Akai dps24 being a 9.5 with great converters (that sound louder with an incoming signal). The VS2480 (VS2400 and 2000) and the DPS16 sounding the same at a 8. Note: if you are bypassing the converter on the VS and use out board pre's and such you then are recording at 10 (as would be the case with a dps24 also.)

To bypass you would either turn the analog input volume meter down a little as the incoming signal comes into the VS (in my case) from an outboard pre (joe meek, LA-2A or EHM Mic Pre in my case).
You would use the digital output from a preamp (joe meek in my case) and go into the VS digital input.

As you can see I am a big fan of digital multitrack recorders and I tend to get carried away in thorough explanations because all of this is what I wished I had known when I first started, to save time.