Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

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Phil Owl
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Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by Phil Owl » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:22 am

Ina while, I am looking at purchasing a Korg D-12 or D-1200. I'd like to hear from anybody who has used them, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Also, would love to hear comments on any other currently available digital units of this type (like Boss, Roland, Akai, Zoom, Tascam etc. Fostex I won't even think of touching with a 39 1/2 foot pole)

Fire away------------------------

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by mexicangrady » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:25 am

I got a Yamaha aw2816 that I like alot.Full automation and and decent
I/O.I've seen them new on Ebay for a grand.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by Auxillary » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:31 am

All the recordings Ive heard on those standalone units are shit. Im sure you can get decent stuff going, but the limitations of digital technology right now do not benefit the standalone market. A good 8-track will sound much better, and a computer + interface better as well. Problem is the fact that you're bundling so much into a package at such a small price with no internal competition. For every component you add into an all-in-one package, quality has to be sacrificed for price. IN the computer world, there is alot of competition for plug-ins, interfaces, software and other components, in the stnad alone world you get what you got. And that's it. So they can afford to put out shit and have people buy it because it looks like the only choice.

Just my opinion, I thought about buying one of the rolands for a while. When i realized using outboard is almost impossible to do efficiently, and the internal effects suck; that's when I ran away. My only break in hate for those things.
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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by inverseroom » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:43 am

Akai DPS16 is 24-bit, sounds fantastic, it's easy to swap out the hard disk, and you can get them for a grand on eBay. Also you get sixteen separate faders, which is a major point for me.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by flatcat » Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:39 am

I have a Roland VS-1680. But I also have Sonar and CoolEdit 2K on a computer, and I mix using an analog board. For me - the level I'm at and the kinds of projects I work on - I like it a lot. I have the ability to take tracks out of the Roland and into .wavs so they can be used at spiffier places than mine.

Overall, I like the fact that it's portable, that you can get good sound quality on it (especially if you use the digital ins - 24bit), I personally don't think the effects are so bad (but I don't use a lot of effects), and it's stable.

I personally think that mixing on it can be hard, because of headroom problems; and using analog gear while mixing down is harder than it needs to be. My way around those problems is to use an external board, the advantages of which outweigh the extra trip in and out of the digital domain. I'm more comfortable working on the analog board anyhow, and I actually think it sounds better taking the extra trip.

It also depends on what you're doing, I think. I tend to do more acoustic guitar-based stuff (folk stuff, some Celtic stuff, some pop/rock where acoustic plays a big role in the mix), and for me, it's just right. If I did a lot of techno or dance music, it seems to me a computer would be a better choice.

If I can ever justify it, I'd move up to a 24 track hard drive system, like the Alesis or Mackie, or RADAR if I could possibly afford it. For me and for now, the Roland unit is just right.
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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by wardshorsehead » Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:41 am

there is always something better...

but for the money, and depending on how you use your gear, i've had great luck with the roland vs gear. i used to use an 880, now i have a 1680.

i agree that recordings can sound like shit on these machines. but that's more a product of the user than the gear. most users don't get very deep into the machine to use its features, and only use the damn presets on effects. Rolands effects can be alright, but the presets are so over the top, that the notion of subtle isn't in the presets vocabulary. the proper use of outboard gear, better preamps, and decent mics make all the difference in the world.

for an example of recordings that don't sound like shit on a 1680, check out the latest Victor Wooten CD, (not my cup of tea, but doesn't sound like shit) and for a more indie flavor, the Solex stuff. Elisabeth records to a 1680 in her studio, and the Wooten recording was done on 3 1680s synced.

It's portable, functional, and reliable. In the past 5 or so years, I've never had a VS crash, freeze, stall, lose data, or otherwise fail. I never worry about optimizing my PC, and my time is spent recording, not tweaking a computer. Do I sacrfice some flexibility? Sure. I live in an apartment, but have 24 hour access to the 100 year old building (a school) that I work in. I can fit all I need to record in the backseat of my car and be off in about 15 minutes to use that space.

For me it works.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by Al_Huero » Thu Oct 09, 2003 1:50 pm

I have a Korg D1600, which can record up to 8-tracks at 16-bit; 4-tracks simultaneous at 24-bit. I'm happy with it. It records on a removable hard drive, and you can export individual tracks as .wav files for upload to a computer editor--I use Protools LE.

The Pre's aren't any good but you can get around this somewhat by using a mixer or other stand alone pres. The portability and ease of use are big plusses.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by rauri76 » Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:26 pm

Aaay man,
I'd think twice before blowing all that cash on that thing. A friend brought one of the Yamaha 16 track stand alones over and we did a demo in a weekend. The guy had Neumans and Grace (Gracie?) pres and you'd think it should have turned out amazing. I was horrified with the results. I coulda done better on my Tascam 464. Maybe it was cause he just got all that stuff didn't know how to really use it and I could run circles around him with my 464 and a 57.
Anyways they are portable which is nice, and its all in one package... but that is kinda limiting. Ya can't really add on or swap stuff out and it isn't going to resell at any decent price. Mostly what I really dislike about those things is when it comes to editing or mastering etc. yer stuck staring at this little LCD screen about the size of yer finger for hours and hours. Fuck that.
Seriously man check into a lap top system if it needs to be portable or a tower system. Advantages include all sorts of software, softsynths, plugin swaps with friends, you can move onto editing videos doing musicvideos, shit just being able to edit with a monitor does wonders for ya, man the possibilities are endless with a computer. Seriously think about it.
I know about a week ago someone was selling a G4 and digi001 rig in the buy sell trade section fer like a grand or something.
Do some price comparing man fer real.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by adam » Thu Oct 09, 2003 4:28 pm

I also have a D1600 (couple years now) and love it. Eventually I would like to move to something like the HD24, but for now I use a Soundcraft M12 and the Korg. The only internal effects I use with the things though are some of the final effects, and sometimes the EQ.

Submixing drums etc through the M12 make a world of difference, as individual tracks on the D1600 can sometimes seem sterile and isolated from the rest of the mix. But for the price, this thing is incredible. Simple operation, several effects if you're in a pinch for them, and very good sound. It's no RADAR system, but it's no 488 either. I've had this thing a couple years now and am still impressed with it, especially considering the price.

biggest complaint is that there are no direct outs, so you're forced to either mix internally, or export to a PC. There are other shortcomings, but depending on your budget, experience, and intent - it can keep you happy for quite a while.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by bern » Thu Oct 09, 2003 8:52 pm

I've owned a D1600 for a couple years now, and I've really don't know whether I love it or hate it. THe recordings could be better. It's a bit transparent, and thin sounding, but the editing is exellent for a start-up unit. I'm currently going to an analog/digital setup. But for the money, the D1600 has been a sound investment.



-Brian

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by NewYorkDave » Thu Oct 09, 2003 8:54 pm

I don't have the room for an analog multitrack, so I bought a Roland VSR-880. I use it just as a multitrack; all my mixing and processors are outboard, analog. I don't bother with any of the internal mixing features. It sounds good and only takes up two rack spaces; but sadly, the model was discontinued a while ago.

One thing I would suggest is that if you should buy one of those "all in one box" recorders, get one with directs ins/outs for each track so that you're not locked into using only the internal mixer and effects.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by rtopia » Fri Oct 10, 2003 11:14 am

rauri76 wrote: ...you'd think it should have turned out amazing. I was horrified with the results. I coulda done better on my Tascam 464. Maybe it was cause he just got all that stuff didn't know how to really use it and I could run circles around him with my 464 and a 57.
very likely the case
Anyways they are portable which is nice, and its all in one package... but that is kinda limiting. Ya can't really add on or swap stuff out...
if you were referring to a Yamaha AW (2816 or 4416) you can add expansion cards (more inputs, mLAN, WAVES compressors, etc), swap out the HD and bypass the pres.

my $.02

- r

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by inverseroom » Fri Oct 10, 2003 11:28 am

akaromeo1 wrote:if you were referring to a Yamaha AW (2816 or 4416) you can add expansion cards (more inputs, mLAN, WAVES compressors, etc), swap out the HD and bypass the pres.
Right on. If you want really good sound, use outboard pres--or, preferably, outboard everything. I still haven't used a single effect on my DPS16--I basically use it as a portable HD with mixer.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by Elvis Debarge » Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:56 pm

If you're not going to use the internal effects/mixer, you might be better off with an Adat HD24. I haven't used one myself, but I imagine the A/D converters are probably about the same quality as anything you'd find on any of the standalone multitracks, and you get 24 tracks simultaneous recording at 16/44.1 or 12 at 24/96.

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Re: Stand-Alone Digital Multitracks---Your Thoughts?

Post by @?,*???&? » Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:48 pm

If you're going to spend the time learning to use a complicated recording device, make the best use of your time and learn Pro Tools- the industry standard. You'll have much more flexibility through updating your computer and running Pro Tools on it than you'd ever have with a standalone unit. Too many negatives with a standalone unit that make them very uncompetitive with regard to what you get in a Pro Tools setup like the 001 or the 002.

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