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  #1  
Old 08-14-2009, 11:10 PM
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Toad Toad is offline
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Default Recording cheaply - pc versus digital recorder?

Before I get to my question, some background...

For years I've been using $50 cassette tape recorders to record myself playing drums to the stereo. They're a little step up from the tiny cassette "voice" recorders. I use 4 mics (1 for each bass drum and 2 overheads). I got them all running into 1 input. I KNOW that's not cool but that's what I do. At my level I can't justify the big bucks for equipment.

I take the cassette player to the pc and put the songs on the pc for editing, converting, listening, criticizing, enjoyment, etc. Sounds pretty darn cool on the good computer desktop speakers with the subwoofer and Winamp with EQ.

I'm happy except I'm tired of the unreliability of cassette tapes and the machine. Muddy sounding if the tape was in there a tad crooked or whatever. No treble sometimes. Plus other problems which ruin the whole sitting. Not going to buy a $400 cassette deck, too much money (for my purposes, as I said).

So now I am thinking about a Zoom H2 or a Tascam DP-004. I will do the same wrong thing I have been doing which is try to run all 4 mics into the one input (possibly 2 on the DP-004, not sure if it records 2 inputs at once, the info is a bit confusing to me, I'll know about that if I buy one).

I won't be doing overdubbing. I'll just record one take "live" like I've been doing. I won't be using headphones. I won't need any software that's on the machine, I'll just take the recordings right to the pc and do all my simple editing there.

Now, it occured to me... I could simply record on a computer using the mic input and recorder software... no need to buy a Zoom H2, etc. I spend zero new dollars.

The pc I would be using to record with is a desktop, not a laptop... but it looks like the sound card is one of those built-in to the motherboard types, if that matters. I haven't lugged it to the drum room and tried it out yet but I have plugged a mic into it and done a quick test near a stereo while beating on my practice snare drum so I do know it will record and function and the playback sounds decent enough.

So my question is: Could I simply record on the computer using the mic input and the computers' recorder software and get just as good results as using a digital recorder? Or would the DP-004, H2, etc., sound better?

I don't mean to cause anybody to have to type a big answer. If you simply say, "The digital recorder will sound a lot better than using the pc", then I am sold right there.

Thanks for readin',
Toad

-- -- -- -- --

To Pollyanna regarding chewed up sticks (if it's ok to go off-topic for a sec) - but they say fiber is the "broom" of the digestive system! Of course by that reckoning I should eat my spare tension screws to get my daily minerals!
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:37 AM
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makinao makinao is offline
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Default Re: Recording cheaply - pc versus digital recorder?

If you intend to keep cramming four mics into one input as you do now, I'd say the H2 and a PC would be even.

But here's another option. If your mics are decent, another suggestion would be to get yourself a mixer. You can get a cheap four-mic, two-stereo line input mixer for half the price of the h2. The mixer can balance the sound from your 4 mics independently, and this can be fed directly to anything with a line input like a computer.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:12 AM
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Toad Toad is offline
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Default Re: Recording cheaply - pc versus digital recorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by makinao View Post
If you intend to keep cramming four mics into one input as you do now, I'd say the H2 and a PC would be even.
That makes real good sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by makinao View Post
But here's another option. If your mics are decent, another suggestion would be to get yourself a mixer. You can get a cheap four-mic, two-stereo line input mixer for half the price of the h2. The mixer can balance the sound from your 4 mics independently, and this can be fed directly to anything with a line input like a computer.
Ya know I didn't even think to look into a mixer like you describe.

Thank you for the education and the input. (pun intended hehe)
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:16 AM
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Default Re: Recording cheaply - pc versus digital recorder?

http://www.music123.com/Behringer-EU...53481.Music123

Like that?
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:45 AM
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makinao makinao is offline
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Default Re: Recording cheaply - pc versus digital recorder?

If you have 4 mics, this has more inputs for just $20 more.

http://www.music123.com/Behringer-EU...53479.Music123

I have an earlier equivalent model (eurorack mx802a). I got it in 2003 for home, and occasional pro-bono location recording. It still works today.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Recording cheaply - pc versus digital recorder?

Yeah I'm liking that one.

Thanks a lot for the help. Between you and my son I got a grip on what things do and how they work and what I need.
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