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So, is a multi-track recorder the equivalent to a sequencing program?


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Do you have a unit in particular you are thinking of?


When you say multi-track recorder I think of sound recorders not midi recorders. Most of those can't even record midi, which is a pity. (I once asked a Roland rep if his unit could record midi and he began to patiently explain that you had to run it through a module first --- aaargh. Couldn't seem to get him to understand that being able to capture the midi would often be useful.)

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Almost. A multi track recorder records audio. A sequencer records MIDI data. MIDI data is information about what note you hit, how hard, for how long, and other stuff like pedal and wheel data. It requires far less storage than audio data and allows numerous editing advantages. MIDI data must be played back through a MIDI capable instrument. Most sequencer programs record both MIDI and audio tracks these days. Recording MIDI allows you to fix clams, change sounds and such before your final mix.


Goodness, you are new to this stuff. Google "MIDI" and read for a while. Have fun.

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Sonar and Cubase aren't just MIDI sequencers. They're Digital Audio Workstations. They're roughly equivalent to hardware external multi-track units, IF those external units have features up the wazoo. Hardware units rarely have feature sets comparable with even the "budget" DAW programs like n-Track, Multitrack Studio, and Tracktion. I suspect most hardware digital recorders don't support MIDI record/playback. Certainly not the less expensive ones.


And frankly, there's not much distinction between the expensive DAW programs and the cheap ones, except every GUI is different so use the one you like.


Note that to record multiple tracks at once (e.g., recording live or "live in the studio", or 8 channels for a miked drum kit), you need a multi-channel soundcard with a DAW program. However, except for drums, the vast majority of recording (even in big studios) is done one track at a time. Hardware DAWs have the same division: some can play back lots of individual tracks, but can only record a limited number at once.


If you already have a computer that's not already feeling crippled to the point of no return, I highly recommend the computer-based DAW approach as far cheaper and better in most cases. However, it takes more fussing to get set up right in the first place, and has much different reliability issues. It's also not as quiet as a dedicated hardware unit.


If you're interested in setting up to do recording, let us know and we can point you to some good forums for that.

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