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  1. Registered User

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    Default Tascam Portastudio vs DAW?

    Hi,
    I'm looking for some input. I recently converted a small bedroom into my practice studio which I want to use for home recordings. I have the kit mic'd with a basic 4 mic set up going into a Yamaha mixer. Sounds good. Now I want to start recording. I'm not new to recording (home or studio) but my first thought was to buy a Tascam DP-03SD for recording because I used an older Tascam 4 track that was easy to use. I would send the signal from the Yamaha mixer to the Tascam and add guitar tracks from there. Then I started reading about DAW which caught my attention because of the flexibility and seems to be the way now for home recording use. So I 'm looking for input (pros and cons) of each set up and recommendations on a DAW. Any input or feedback is appreciated.

  2. Playing since 1976

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZXfan View Post
    Hi,
    I'm looking for some input. I recently converted a small bedroom into my practice studio which I want to use for home recordings. I have the kit mic'd with a basic 4 mic set up going into a Yamaha mixer. Sounds good. Now I want to start recording. I'm not new to recording (home or studio) but my first thought was to buy a Tascam DP-03SD for recording because I used an older Tascam 4 track that was easy to use. I would send the signal from the Yamaha mixer to the Tascam and add guitar tracks from there. Then I started reading about DAW which caught my attention because of the flexibility and seems to be the way now for home recording use. So I 'm looking for input (pros and cons) of each set up and recommendations on a DAW. Any input or feedback is appreciated.
    For me, changing from archaic-style recording to digital recording using a DAW, it was a huge learning curve. I got help from a friend on the forum; without his help, I would've given up and gone back to using my old CD burner. Now that I understand how to use the new equipment, I really like it. It's still complicated, but there is much more flexibility on the mixing end of the process.
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  3. Registered User

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    Recording with a DAW is certainly the way home recording has gone. I used to use an analog TASCAM 16 channel console into ADAT for years. I think you would like the flexibility hard drive recording brings. I use Studio One Pro and recommend it for it's workflow. Cons would be you are dealing with computers and we all know their fickleness.
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  4. Registered User

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    Thanks for the feedback. I have a Dell XPS laptop that I would use specifically for home recording. What about the sound quality when using a DAW?

  5. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZXfan View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I have a Dell XPS laptop that I would use specifically for home recording. What about the sound quality when using a DAW?
    I don't know what your input is to the laptop but the choice of audio interface can make a big diff in the production from a DAW.
    Pearl Masters Maple Complete Vermillion Sparkle
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  6. Cymbalminded fool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZXfan View Post
    Hi,
    I'm looking for some input....
    Hi there!

    I definitely recommend going the DAW route if you have the compute power to handle it, and preferrably a pc or laptop to dedicate to it if you can. It is so much more flexible, and being completely modular you can add on bits and change things around as you see fit once you get the hang of it. You can start out with a dual input or even quad input DAC and get going, and daisy chain on more input modules later as your setup grows. Eventually you won't need the mixer in the loop anymore either, as you get full per-track control on the pc. I strongly recommend using a DAC instead of your built-in sound card for sound quality reasons, as well as bandwidth for multitrack recording.

    It's no big deal right at the beginning, but a bit further down the line you'll certainly notice the difference in sound fidelity and transparency with cheap vs. expensive analog-digital converters, especially once you get down to the good stuff with mics and preamps.

    The recording itself on a DAW is just as simple as on digital multitrack recorders: Arm the tracks you're recording onto, adjust the input volume gain, and hit record. The bit where it gets a tiny bit complicated is setting things up for the first time, and creating project templates. Depending a bit on which software you end up using, starting a new recording session can be a breeze once the recording computer has recognized and is getting along with all the gear you have hooked up to it.

    But if you just want to get a stereo recording directly from your mixer, you won't need full-blown DAW software and instead a basic sound file editor with recording functionality (such as Audacity) will do the trick with minimal fuss. All you need is a digital audio converter with stereo inputs plugged into your computer either via USB or Firewire/Thunderbolt, make sure the recording software recognizes it as an input device, and hit record.

    What you don't get in a DAW that you do on a multitrack recorder is ultimate portability and hassle-free one touch recording, but you stand to gain pretty much every other imaginable function you could want to perform on a recording. Especially if you're composing stuff, having the freedom to edit and restructure songs you've already recorded without re-recording them is really useful. If you just want to demo stuff for your own use, a recorder is probably more convenient. But if you aspire to produce your own music, DAW is the only way to go.
    Last edited by Akahito; 03-13-2019 at 03:46 PM.

  7. Registered User

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    ^^^ Thanks for the great response. I play guitar and write my own original songs as well and want to be able capture those inspired moments as quickly as possible with minimal fuss, so I do need something with production capabilities.

  8. Cymbalminded fool.

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    It sounds lke you need both eventually. A stereo portable recorder, rather than a digital multitracker, is probably the easiest and quickest way to record acoustic demos, and can get your recording setup going for quite little cash.
    Something like this:
    https://m.thomann.de/gb/tascam_dr05.htm
    Some of the more expensive models even have XLR inputs for use with your own mics, but consider carefully whether it would be worth the investment, as that money could also go toward an audio interface.

    For serious composing and production work though, use an interface with mics set up the way you want them and re-record your demos in high fidelity. That setup can then be expanded later and is compatible with DAW softwares better suited for editing, composing and producing.

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