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Advise Please #3017481 11/26/19 04:19 PM
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jimmac Offline OP
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I finally threw my hat in the ring again after about 30 years and joined a group of guys that are putting together a band. One thing I want to do is get some kind of decent recording device so I can record some practices secessions and be able to listen and practice with the recording when appropriate. I am the type that studies the choices a lot before buying stuff and I know some of you are very knowledgeable on this stuff. I kinda lost track about time transistors were giving way to MOSFETS and chips. Some of you may recall that I am about to retire after 35 plus years as an engineer and I have done side jobs all my life so I can afford a pretty good recorder but do not want to get foolish and buy something too complicated or too big to easily carry. I am thinking of spending around $100 or $150 but would consider double that if I am convinced it would be worth the difference. Size wise I am thinking laptop computer or smaller. Last one I bought that my son has is much smaller but I never really used it much and did not think the sound was that good or easy to adjust. I see one that claims to have multi tracks that you can do dubbing and repress tracks etc. Thanks in advance for advice and comments. Yea and I know I have to practice now to get the fingers from baby soft back to in shape. Jim

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Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3017490 11/26/19 05:47 PM
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Dannyalcatraz Offline
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I have one of these:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GTR1--tascam-gt-r1

They’re no longer in production, but the used market has a few, like this one.
https://www.ebay.com/c/2255362597

Last edited by Dannyalcatraz; 11/26/19 05:50 PM.

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Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3017492 11/26/19 05:53 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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For simple archiving a handheld stereo recorder will be all you need. There are a lot of these on the market, in various price ranges. On tour the people I work with (Kronos Quartet) carry a Zoom H4n. That's a basic & reliable device, maybe a little more involved than you want, since it can do 4 tracks as well as stereo. Zoom also has a couple simpler less expensive stereo only units, the H1n & H2n. Tascam has a few, which I'm unfamiliar with. For my personal use I have a Sony PCM D50, much more expensive than the Zooms, but a little more refined, for delicate nature recording. I'm sure there are others I'm unaware of. For band rehearsals I think you'd be very well served by one of the Zoom devices.


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Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3017498 11/26/19 06:07 PM
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I have a Tascam DR40, they've updated it but it is still available.
https://tascam.com/us/product/dr-40x/top
Under $200.

Notable features - the mics can be set XY or AB. It can be used as an audio interface with a DAW, there are two combo jacks and USB. Since it is capable of 4 track it can also be set so it records two 2 track sessions with one set either 6 or 12 db lower than the other. If somebody turns up and overloads your normal setting, the lower gain one will still have usable renditions.

I've used it many times, love it. Records to an SD card, will record up to 24 bit 96khz or down to an mp3 file, your choice. I can drop either of those files directely into my DAW or iTunes.
The project I am playing with now started at a Thursday night "Steak Night" in a club with a nice stage and good sound system. This became our "practice place."

Instead of discussing the things that could be improved, I recorded our sets on the Tascam. I just put it on a decent tripod and stuck it in the far corner of the dance floor.
The recordings sound very clear, very full range, pretty much what you would have heard if you stood in the same spot.

I'd burn a CD and give them to the band members. Everybody was good enough to hear and correct their own mistakes, myself included.
No egos, no "impressions", just a simple recording telling the truth.

I did a field recording of a friend's band "featured act" at an open mic Sunday. In the context of being in a noisy barroom environment, it sounds really good and they will all be able to clearly hear themselves in the context of the overall mix.
There is enough good stuff there to edit a "demo reel" for them so they can go out looking for gigs. Club owners love cell phone videos but this sounds better and will do fine to get them out there. I shot some live photos too, a package.

If I did not have my DR40 I would buy another without any hesitation.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3017527 11/26/19 09:06 PM
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Dannyalcatraz Offline
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I’ve heard good things about the Zoom products. like


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Re: Advise Please [Re: Dannyalcatraz] #3017534 11/26/19 09:51 PM
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+1 on the Zoom recommendations. My bandmate has one, and records all of our rehearsal sessions on it.


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Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3017562 11/27/19 03:43 AM
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Being a world class procrastinator, I have put off buying a Zoom H1n for a while now, but when I finally quit making excuses, that is the hand held audio recorder that I am getting. You can record onto an SD card, and it takes just two AAA batteries. Sweetwater sells it for $119.99, and I'm sure other retailers are right in that ballpark.


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Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3017567 11/27/19 05:32 AM
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Larryz Offline
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I use my DigiTech Looper. The newer models are a little over your budget Jim, at about $279 these days... cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3017698 11/28/19 01:36 AM
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Scott Fraser
Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3018131 12/02/19 03:25 PM
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jimmac Offline OP
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Thanks for all the feedback. I went to guitar center in Lansing Michigan black Friday hoping to read some boxes and get some show and tell from staff. Maybe even find a sale price. The selection was pretty slim so I came home to study some more. I am teased to go a bit higher price seeing the Tascam 24 and 36 track portstudio type stuff that implies it could be moved fairly easy and have lots of growth potential if I want to record some demos. My concern is I want something that is easy to set up to record and that can be played back using the devices own systems so I can practice with it. I do not want to have to download a file them wire into an amp or other device to hear the playback. (Obviously I am out of date on this stuff), I will definitely check out the Zoom at Sweetwater. I feel they treated me well in the past and would not hesitate to spend my money with them again. I will continue to update as I decide what to buy. BTW my fingers are starting to harden a tiny bit but I already hear the tone change. Jim

Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3018133 12/02/19 03:57 PM
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@ Jim, glad the fingers are getting back in shape...keep us posted on the new band (i.e. genre, practices, PA equipment, gigs, tunes, the look, # of members, instruments, etc.). Good luck and don't forget to have fun with the guys! thu


Take care, Larryz
Re: Advise Please [Re: Sharkman] #3018150 12/02/19 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharkman
Being a world class procrastinator, I have put off buying a Zoom H1n for a while now, but when I finally quit making excuses, that is the hand held audio recorder that I am getting. You can record onto an SD card, and it takes just two AAA batteries. Sweetwater sells it for $119.99, and I'm sure other retailers are right in that ballpark.


I bought a red one as a deal of the day for $79.99... took it to a gig to use for the first time, didn't have time to set it up so never took it out of my guitar case... and now I can't find it! I have the box and everything... a mystery... but I bought one of the Zoom video recorders with stereo mics on it a few months later on sale... haven't used it yet but haven't lost it, either...

Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3018262 12/03/19 03:37 PM
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jimmac Offline OP
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This band is working on older country songs. Some I can think of Mama Tried, Folsum Prison, Neon Rainbow, Watermelon Crawl, Take me home country roads, Cadillac Ranch??. I am planning on just being a soldier in this band but so far I do not really see what audience they are aiming at. Another one was a theme song from an old tv series Branded Man. That last one is OK but what gig is that a good fit for?

On the recorder front I talked briefly with a Sweetwater tech and the Tascam 24 needs separate mikes and speakers to record and play back so too clumsy for a portable for me. I continue looking. Jim

Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3018268 12/03/19 04:34 PM
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Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted by jimmac
This band is working on older country songs. Some I can think of Mama Tried, Folsum Prison, Neon Rainbow, Watermelon Crawl, Take me home country roads, Cadillac Ranch??. I am planning on just being a soldier in this band but so far I do not really see what audience they are aiming at. Another one was a theme song from an old tv series Branded Man. That last one is OK but what gig is that a good fit for?


I can't stand new country and/or hip hop country and really appreciate classic country and country rock. My old band played in country bars, grange halls, fair grounds, dance halls, Barn Dances, Fund Raising Ranch parties, etc., at a time and in a area where country gigs were in hot demand (circa 1979 - 1983). It's getting hard to find a radio station that plays classic country. Hopefully you have some night spots in your Jackson area that would appreciate dancing to some real country (what we called outlaw country). TV themes like Branded or Rawhide, Dukes of Hazzard, etc., will fit right in. Movie tunes like East Bound and Down go over well too. On the Road Again, Waltz Across Texas, Hank Sr., Hank Jr., Waylon, Willie, and the boys, Cash, etc...lots of good music out there to draw from. Make it fun and find the dance halls in your area. The Outlaw country will never die much like classic rock and roll...We wore our boots and cowboy hats, levis and western shirts just to get in the mood! We limited the number of drinks and waited till the drunks all got pulled over before leaving the clubs LOL! Good luck and good gigging! thu


Take care, Larryz
Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3018509 12/05/19 01:13 AM
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And now the Tascam stuff goes on sale at Guitarget...

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Tascam...J1LOrDC4IzrEP1QHwn6HweHzxeaBklz-VgaeIW0M


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Advise Please [Re: jimmac] #3018952 12/09/19 08:18 PM
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I think I will end up buying a Zoom H5 after a lot of comparing. I also want a light that will clip on the music stand to help my old eyes!!! Likely order later this week. If the Tascam 24??? had built in playback speaker and mic's I would do that but maybe later. I will update about the band as it develops. Right know the singer is still recovering from his hand surgery and the lead player needs or just had shoulder surgery so might be a few weeks before another practice. Jim


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