Hardware recording?

I’m getting sick of my computer. I hate all the faff of it. I like the instant-ness of my hardware. I press something, its on and doing it. The computer is used for plenty of things and I’m getting sick of having to logging into my music profile to set up and later pack away to then set up again…ad infinity

Do any of you do hardware recording? If you do what do you use? Can you recommend something basic?

Im thinking of doing this to lay stuff down as fixed stuff, no fiddling “worts and all” as they say and if I want maybe later import into Ableton and make edits.

Funny, I don’t use Ableton, but I always see people who use it looking for a better way to record.
I would suggest looking into the wide, wild world of hardware digital recorders.

You will want a multitrack one most likely. I would suggest getting one that uses either SD cards or USB sticks. You can still find ones that will only write to CDs. That just seems silly to me. They are all very similar though.
I would suggest seeing if they “crash” often. That is to say, how often they are recording, but then freeze when they go to save the recording. This can cause you to have to record the same sound again. I am not sure which brand is better or not. You will have to to your research, but that is an issue seemingly with all of them. It happens rarely, but it happens.
Or you could go reel-to-reel tape. You’ll want to get a “high end saturator” to put before your tape machine to counteract the “high end relaxation” inherent in tape.

I used Logic as Tape recorder and exchanged it with a E4x. But all i do is occasionally fly in some Vocals……

after having one of my patented gear odysseys about this issue a few months ago, I decided the answer is really simple: Dedicated music computer, all your controllers plugged in, running a DAW capable of syncing to external clock, and an audio interface that can handle your HW that is always hooked up to a patch bay with all your gear plugged in at all times. No bullshit, just music making.

Unless you need to, leave the Wifi off. Don’t sync your email accounts to the computer. Don’t have a single file on there that isn’t related to the reason you bought it.

Give your laptop a break.

That’s my plan anyway.

But I will say decent analog mixer into a small recorder is a nice way to record jams and go back and listen later to isolate stuff you like.

I’ll save you a lot of time:

there isn’t a reasonably priced multitrack recorder or recording system that’s really up to the task. (they’re mostly meant for guitarists, TBH.

For example, If you want a multitrack with MIDI sync that isn’t a Tascam DP24 monstrosity with a CD burner (like AH said), or a $3,000 field recorder meant for film production, good luck.

The other option is a high end digital mixer with a USB or Firewire port meant for dropping your mixdown track/first master on to an HD or USB stick.

Problem with those is, $$$$.

I’m talking just a stereo in from the mixer. Press go. I wanted to move away from the computer when I got the hardware. Spent too long looking at presets changing effects. Not bothered about midi sync. Like I say if I want to overdub, ill then chuck it into the computer.
Limitations breed creativity.

I did have a seperate laptop at one time and that was ace but my “daily” laptop bust and I decided to spend my money on old music gear thats already out of date rather than computer tech that will be useless in 2 years.

Yeah, my talk - but multitracking is a necessity for working !

Something like this ? I’ve considered buying one solely as a sketch pad so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing and fire up cubase. Always loose the moment doing that.

Thats the kind of thing I have considered. I just wondered if anyone knew of a basic version?

There are some simpler ones by yamaha I think. Go for $99 or less. Is imagine those are quite simple. This pushed me to get one so I’m going to GC today. I’ll report back my findings…

Cheers. :slight_smile:

A couple of weeks ago I got Zoom R16 and I like it a lot: 16 channel playback, 8 channel simultaneous recording, dubs as USB audio interface and mixer/transport control unit. The only drawback is that there is no way to sync it to MIDI. So yesterday I got another Zoom R16 for cheap (input 1/9 is dead) and since these guys can sync to each other using USB connection I want to try sniffing USB link between them and try to figure out the protocol to start/stop the device. If this works, i’ll build a small box with MIDI I/O that would simulate R16 USB and start/stop it on MIDI Start/Stop events.

You Sire, are totally crazy!

He’s crazy, and brilliant. There’s a big demand for something that removes the only thing keeping the Zoom R-series from being perfect products.

Wouldn’t you have more chance directly hooking up on the start/stop buttons? I wish I knew enough about mechanical engineering to make simple MIDI control “knob twisters” and “button bangers”…

Wouldn’t you have more chance directly hooking up on the start/stop buttons? I wish I knew enough about mechanical engineering to make simple MIDI control “knob twisters” and “button bangers”. A little OT but Ive been thinking a lot about the new XT - All the encoders, pots, buttons - could they be used for a little controller?
Back on topic - I was thinking about this exact problem last night and what Im going to do today is create a new user and name it “music” to be super original, and then when Im producing Ill log into that account and when Im just cruzing log into this account. No Firefox (Firefox was hitting 100% of my CPU at times in the activity monitor - I had Live and Firefox open and Firefox just sucks resourses like nothing. Also turn off spotlight entirely. No need for a new/different computer

I use a humble Zoom H4n with it´s 4 channels. Use stereo mostly and also mostly noodling and the like.

Love to have my laptop away in such cases (have very little space anyway).

I might/will do what RyanA4 here suggests once I upgrade my day-to-day Macbook pro to a newer model and leave this one for music making permanently.

Yep, my thoughts exactly. Using a computer and a DAW is way too visual and hardly ever spontaneous. Check out the Tascam stuff, they have a good portable 8 track for $250 and some higher end multi-tracks and lots of stuff in between. Can’t go wrong.

I have a DR-40, I can field record with it and overdub.

FYI, the DR-40 is $140 at Guitar Center.

@pish, I picked the DR40 up. It’s excatly what I was looking for. It does have a lot of features for it’s size, but it’s actually cheaper than some of the simpler models. For some reason, there are 2 prices for it. Most places are selling it for $140 but some are selling it for $199. It’s totally worth it. Even though there are a lot of options, it’s easy to just have it sitting there and hit the record button on the fly.

The only con (so far) is it doesn’t have a DC Power Jack. But, it does run on USB Bus Power with the batteries removed, so either have it connected to a computer or solder up a USB jack to a 5v power supply.

Other than that, it’s awesome. It has some decent reverb built in too!

Oh, and the built in stereo mic’s sound really good too. Can’t wait to get some field recording on.