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Home Recording - Know something?


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Anyone have advice on a basic recording setup. I have two daugters 14 and 9 who sing and write and play acoustic guitars. We don't have any experience or equipment yet - need recorder, mic, etc. I'm looking in the $200-$800 range, maybe go more? We've looked at minidiscs, 4-track tape recorders, digital 4-track. I'm mostly confused. They're both bursting with desire to create. Have to help them catch this wave and ride it into adulthood.
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Well, I'd say the best deal going right now for you and your daughters is the new Fostex MR-8 . It's an 8 track digital recorder complete with effects and everything you need, now on sale for $299!


Also, Musician's Friend has a package deal which includes the MR-8, a microphone, mic cable, and headphones for $349!


No I don't work for Musician's Friend or Fostex. :D But it's kinda hard to beat that deal and Fostex makes good stuff.


For another hundred bucks you can step up to the Fostex VF-80 , which is also 8 track but has more storage space, more features and an option to add a CDRW drive so you can burn CD's right from the machine. With the MR-8 I think you have to connect to your computer via a USB port and record to a stereo WAV file, which you can then burn to a CD assuming your computer has a CD burner.


But I'd say either of these nifty little boxes would be a great place to start.

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Thanks for the info. Also, I had a musician recommend the Zoom MRS-4 ($250),a Behringer

B-1 condensor mic($100), ART-OPL pre-amp($100)and a 128MB Smartmedia card($75). But...you can only store about 1 hour of good quality music. I can't imagine that would last long with any normally obsessed song writer. Could possibly dump it to our Win98 computer via a Smartmedia reader($25),and burn it to disc. Zoom says it records in "V-Take" format (their own?),then is converted to AIFF or WAV files. They said the process can also go in reverse with a Smartmedia reader/writer ($?-haven't found one of these yet).


Well, I'm going to check out the Fostex machines. Thanks again. :)

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Well, you're not going to have huge amounts of storage with any of these units - digital audio eats up a lot of megabytes! What you have to do is back up stuff to your computer or to CD's and then you can delete some of the material on the recorder to make room for new stuff. Of course you can also buy extra SmartCards and swap them out when one gets full.


The VF-80 does have an actual hard disk drive in it, not just the SmartCards. I don't know how big the stock drive is but hard drives are cheap and you may be able to put a bigger drive in.

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I think if I was in your shoes I would get one of Cakewalk Home Studio 2002 (check for OS compatibility), and a m-audio sound card with whatever type of inputs you will need.... IF you you have a decent computer that can run the software. It's going to be to your benefit to read up a little on your options, and figure out if you want a standalone recorder or a computer based system.


If you already have a computer that can handle the software and soundcard, you will be MUCH better off going the route- the digital multitracks that are being referred to are fine for demo work, but you will be able to get much higher quality results out of the soundcard/cakewalk combo. You may also want to check out pro tools digi 001- there are some great deals on that system right now, and you might be glad you spent the extra couple of hundred in the long run.


You definitely want to get yourself an external pre and a decent mic, but it looks like you have a handle on that. Look into MXL mics as well.

Want mix/tracking feedback? Checkout "The Fade"-



The soon-to-be home of the "12 Bar-Blues Project"

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