8tracks hookup

Then you can return the 8 tape tracks into the mixer again, depending on mixer and do your final downmix from the 8 tracks down to a 2-track analog or digital master recorder or you can send the 8 'stem tracks' into a PC for final mixing. If you are doing 'one track at a time', your choices are that you can input any line-level source direct box, mixer input, separate pre-amp one or two at a time onto the 8 tracks of the Tascam directly if you like what you hear this way.

Then your mixer becomes the end receiver of your 8 tape tracks and you can fiddle as much as you want before making a 2-track master or sending the 8 tracks into a PC for further manipulation.

These are just two basic scenarios, mind you, but they are pretty common so they should give you some ideas. Mikey, going straight into recorder sounds nice but a few things to keep in mind: Make also certain that you have the proper cables; 2 you'll need a way to monitor your work while recording or overdubbing, no matter if you're recording 1 or more tracks at a time and thus something basic, even like a headphone amp, would help or maybe your roland can be setup that way.

Ideally you should get a 4 bus mixer, at least down the road. Is It possible to hook a mixer to your PC? Do I need a special soundcard? Can I hook this recorder up to my analog mixer? It can be tricky to unravel the recording format.

Storage and Backup is another crucial issue. Hard disk drives are an effective method of storing data. Note the disk size. Removable media multitrack recorders are convenient and silent, but do not have the capacity of a hard disk. This is less of an issue if you intend to later transfer the recordings to a computer for finalizing and mixing, but if you intend to mixdown in the multi-track you may end up erasing old songs to make for the new. To avoid those issues, consider how each recorder is designed to backup your songs.

What you need to watch out for when buying an MTR

Backing up to an onboard CDR burner is a great way to go. How does it connect to a computer?

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Of course you can always connect to a computer the old fashioned analog way via soundcard line in jacks. USB2 makes it even faster. Does it have enough outputs? If you want to add outboard gear to your multi-track recorder, or integrate it with an existing home studio, check to see that it has as many aux outs as you need. Many of the really inexpensive MTR's only have main outs. If you want to attach an outboard compressor, look for inserts on the MTR. If you are connecting to a larger analog board look for evidence of direct outs.

The higher priced MTRs for professionals will have these features. Is the display big enough for all the information it conveys? Can you read it OK?


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This is an area where manufacturers may try to cut costs. Small displays are not necessarily bad if they are kept simple and readable. Keep in mind you will be doing a lot of work in that small area. You can find a digital multi-track in many different formats from 4 track Mini-disk and Removable Media solutions to massive 24 track hard disk modules like the Mackie HDR that offer 8 virtual tracks for every physical channel or virtual tracks.

So how many do you need?

Welcome to 8tracks!

Can you get by with just 4? The Beatles, as legend has it, recorded Sgt. Peppers on 4 track recorders. But if you do go for a 4 track, I assure you, you will be bouncing tracks i. So count 'em up. See they all fit! Wha, you wanted a separate track for kick, snare, overheads? And your 2 synths and sampler are all stereo?

Bite the bit man, go The Conga man needs a track, and don't forget the tabla player, the girl doing the HurdyGurdy, and the dudette blowing the Australian Didgeridoo, and the extra track you need to double the vocal in the chorus. Those of you doing full musical productions will benefit from An important point is that you can have a 24 track MTR but be limited to recording only 8 tracks at a time. Always check the number of inputs and mic preamps before you buy. Make sure the box meets your requirements. Once you add keyboards and a sequencer, things get a little more complicated.

If your keyboard has a sequencer, you can build your tracks there and when they are done, you can record them in time with the multitrack using Midi Time Code MTC to keep the sequencer and the deck in sync. You need to check the specs on the multi-track unit carefully to find out which are supported.

Then I highly advise you hit the users groups to find out which actually work with your sequencer. The Multi-track becomes the master and the computer or keyboard sequencer will follow it's commands as the slave. The audio outs of the keyboard go into the analog inputs on the mixer channels of the multi-track. And you simply record the sequencer tracks right into the multi-track. Perhaps one of the more complex setups one can do with a digital multi-track and a computer is to pipe audio back and forth.

However, for those that meet the challenge, there are many rewards. These are all multichannel digital data piping schemes.

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For example, using ADAT outs card you can send a block of 8 tracks of audio in sync, to and from your computer's audio applications assuming of course, that you have an audio interface equipped with ADAT. You could pipe tracks into Logic or Sonar, edit the track with any of the plugins on your system, then pipe it back to the multi-track. Used in this manner, the computer sequencer becomes less of a master arranger and more of an advanced audio editor.

Such a setup gives you full access to all the audio files, loops, phrases you have stored on your computer.

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You could pipe in tracks from older songs and remix them on the multi-track. Which high end MTR would you rather have?

However, over the past few years there has been considerable cross-fertilization and somewhat of a shakeout. The list goes on. Read the specs on any product you consider. Some only support ADAT is common on audio interfaces. It's too bad that the manufacturers developed competing proprietary interfaces for multi-channel digital audio. As a result, they and we are now paying the price. This has also given rise to a new product, the format converter , which sometimes costs more than some of the multitrack recorders listed here.

They really dropped the ball here in my opinion. Proprietary thinking is a dead relic of the 90's. The inclusion of a USB port on MTRs is a great development, and its now a "gotta have" feature if you want to transfer recordings to your computer. Typically, you plug in the cable and your MTR's storage area shows up as a hard drive on your computer's desktop.

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Then you drag and drop files to your computer's storage and import them into your sequencer. Korg's renowned D-series of digital recording studios welcomes the new D Digital Recording Studio. The D is the first in its class to provide up to 32 tracks of simultaneous playback and up to 12 tracks of simultaneous recording to support high channel-count projects — such as recording a live band.

I like the price for this power. You CAN keep all this simple and get an old style 4 track or 8 track cassette multi-track. Contrary to what you might think, you can interface cassette machines to computer sequencers by dedicating a track and recording a sync tone to it.

Before computers recorded audio, this is how many home studio's worked. And it still works. But keeping it simple, all you have to do is press record and play your instrument forget computers entirely. This is perfect for a songwriter just trying to play with different ideas. So whether you are just getting started and want to record a few tracks and overdub vocals, record your band, or want to add a multi-track to a large existing MIDI and Audio studio, there is probably a multi-track recorder tailor made for what you want to do.

What do I mixdown my final project to? Otherwise, you will need a device to record to. Midi Time Code, or MTC, is a method for synchronizing 2 sequencers or a sequencer and a multi-track recorder. One device is made the master and the other the slave. The data sent by the master includes tempo information, start, stop and continue commands and MIDI song position pointer SPP which allows the 2 devices to stay in sync.