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Newby Driving Self Crazy

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Anonymous
March 1, 2005 1:56:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've been wrestling with this for some time, learning everything I
could about the field and the products, and I don't know enough to come
to a decision. I've reviewed the archives for this group and lurked
for a while hoping the issue would present itself, but it hasn't in
exactly the the same way. So I thought I'd ask you guys (and ladies)
straight out.

I'm 1/2 of a folk (yes, folk) duo that performs live locally in the San
Fernando Valley, and am the 1/2 tasked with the audio chores. For live
performance, we run a Behringer Eurosound 3000 powered mixer, driving
15" mains and 10" wedge monitors. Mics are Shure SM58's for vocals and
MXL 993 pencil condensers for acoustic guitars. No drums, no bass
player. We're quite happy with our sound (although I think the 993's
are not cardiod enough and we're on the edge of feedback more than I'd
like, but that's another question for another day).

Here's the problem: we want to record. Now, I can and have dumped a
stereo monitor feed from the Behringer into a good cassette recorder,
and some times we get a decent result that way, but want I really want
to do is to digitize and stuff the 4 main tracks into my computer and
then tweak and mix them from there at my leisure.

I have a good desktop PC and a good PC laptop, both with USB 2.0,
neither with Firewire, so I have toyed with something like the Lexicon
Omega, Edirol UA-25, Tascam US-122, or the Behringer 2000 series.
However, it is my understanding that only the Omega will send four
discrete channels to the computer for storage and that the USB 1.0
connection is too slow to permit real-time monitoring of that feed.
The others appear to deliver stereo to the computer after a mix at the
A/D converter and therefore include a lot of controls I probably don't
need (since the live mix would probably be about right). But none of
the "stereo output" units seem to allow me to preserve the individual
tracks for later handling. Finally, I'm also not sure how I feel about
having to haul my laptop around to live venues, along with a more-or
less delicate A/D interface device. After visualizing various
scenarios, I've just about decided I'd prefer one of the hard drive
recorders out there, providing they retain and will let me download
multiple discrete tracks to my computer for later processing.

My price lid is $500-$600 to get this solved. I have been offered the
Lexicon Omega for $260 new, including Cubase.

I'm sure that I've screwed up this analysis, based on my ignorance of
(a) sound and (b) the marketplace, and would appreciate any input,
gentle correction, and advice that anyone could offer.

Don

More about : newby driving crazy

Anonymous
March 1, 2005 10:20:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike:

Thanks for your helpful response. Please forgive my ignorance, but
when the Tascam US-428 says that it is 4 in and 2 out, does that mean
that it passes four channels through to the computer for storage while
allowing me to hear 2 channels for monitoring purposes? I am beginning
to understand that units of this type are even more valuable in
providing real-world controls that operate the computer's mixing
programs, instead of doing everything with the mouse. As to the Omega,
it seems to have pots and controls on the outboard interface: are these
of more limited usefulness either on the way in, or to control the
computer's function when reworking the stored tracks?

Don
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 10:22:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hank:

Assuming I could go to $1,000 (extra bonus this month), what
changes/solutions would you suggest?

Don
Related resources
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 10:43:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1109703374.414770.10990@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> dcerickson@sbcglobal.net writes:

> Behringer Eurosound 3000 powered mixer

> Here's the problem: we want to record. Now, I can and have dumped a
> stereo monitor feed from the Behringer into a good cassette recorder,
> and some times we get a decent result that way, but want I really want
> to do is to digitize and stuff the 4 main tracks into my computer and
> then tweak and mix them from there at my leisure.

First question is - does your mixer provide individual outputs from
the mic preamps? I don't see a Eurosound 3000 mixer on the Behringer
web site, but there's a Europower PMH3000. Is that what you have? That
model has insert jacks which can be used as direct recording outputs.

> I have a good desktop PC and a good PC laptop, both with USB 2.0,
> neither with Firewire, so I have toyed with something like the Lexicon
> Omega, Edirol UA-25, Tascam US-122, or the Behringer 2000 series.
> However, it is my understanding that only the Omega will send four
> discrete channels to the computer for storage and that the USB 1.0
> connection is too slow to permit real-time monitoring of that feed.

TASCAM's original USB 1.1 series handled six simultaneous streams at
44.1 or 48 kHz, configured as four inputs and two monitor returns. The
TASCAM US-428 is their current product. There's so little information
on the Omega floating around that I would hesitate to recommend it.
Lexicon makes great signal processors, but they have a rather spotty
record when it comes to computer recording interfaces.

I've been playing with the Mackie Onyx mixer with its Firewire
interface and I, too, don't have a computer with a Firewire port, but
I found (after getting a new driver for the internal network card -
"What the hell, it's a Dell") that my laptop worked fine using a
PCMCIA Firewire adapter. I went through three of those cards with
clicks before I started looking elsewhere in the computer, and ended
up with an Adaptec 3-port Firewire adapter that, with the sale price
and rebate, cost all of $20, so don't let not having a Firewire port
detract you from getting a Firewire interface if that better suits
your needs. The TASCAM US-428 is really cool, though, because it also
functions as a control surface for your computer's recording software
which makes mixing on the computer much more like mixing on the
console. It works well, sounds pretty good, and you may find it handy
for other applications than live recording. Just one caveat - while it
has two XLR mic inputs, it doesn't provide phantom power, so if
you want to play around with it for recording at home you'll have
to do that externally, either with a separate power supply, an outboard
mic preamp that supplies phantom power, or dig out your Behringer
mixer.

Most of the Firewire audio interfaces are 8 channels. Mackie has a
4-channel Firewire audio interface coming but I'm not sure it's in
production yet.

> none of
> the "stereo output" units seem to allow me to preserve the individual
> tracks for later handling.

For that, you'd need an interface with four inputs and four outputs,
but the idea of this game is that you use the interface to capture
what's going into the mics, then you do all your mixing and effect
processing on the computer. You obviously need a two-channel output so
you can hear what you're doing, but you can save the mix directly to a
file that you can then use to create an audio CD. Or you can record
the stereo output on a cassette if that's what floats your boat (or if
that's the only player you have ON your boat).

> Finally, I'm also not sure how I feel about
> having to haul my laptop around to live venues, along with a more-or
> less delicate A/D interface device.

Well, that's the rub. You gotta haul something. I've been eyeing the
Edirol R4 4-channel portable hard disk recorder, but that's a bit
outside your budget.

> I've just about decided I'd prefer one of the hard drive
> recorders out there, providing they retain and will let me download
> multiple discrete tracks to my computer for later processing.
>
> My price lid is $500-$600 to get this solved. I have been offered the
> Lexicon Omega for $260 new, including Cubase.

With the Omega, you'll have to haul stuff, of course, and mix in your
computer with the mouse. You can get a US-428 for $300 (and you'll
still have to haul stuff, but it will make your mixing easier). You
won't find a 4-channel hard disk recorder for $5-600 unless you're
willing to settle for a used Fostex or maybe Roland somethingorother.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 11:11:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Don Erickson wrote:

> I've been wrestling with this for some time, learning everything I
> could about the field and the products, and I don't know enough to come
> to a decision. I've reviewed the archives for this group and lurked
> for a while hoping the issue would present itself, but it hasn't in
> exactly the the same way. So I thought I'd ask you guys (and ladies)
> straight out.
>
> I'm 1/2 of a folk (yes, folk) duo that performs live locally in the San
> Fernando Valley, and am the 1/2 tasked with the audio chores. For live
> performance, we run a Behringer Eurosound 3000 powered mixer, driving
> 15" mains and 10" wedge monitors. Mics are Shure SM58's for vocals and
> MXL 993 pencil condensers for acoustic guitars. No drums, no bass
> player. We're quite happy with our sound (although I think the 993's
> are not cardiod enough and we're on the edge of feedback more than I'd
> like, but that's another question for another day).
>
> Here's the problem: we want to record. Now, I can and have dumped a
> stereo monitor feed from the Behringer into a good cassette recorder,
> and some times we get a decent result that way, but want I really want
> to do is to digitize and stuff the 4 main tracks into my computer and
> then tweak and mix them from there at my leisure.
>
> I have a good desktop PC and a good PC laptop, both with USB 2.0,
> neither with Firewire, so I have toyed with something like the Lexicon
> Omega, Edirol UA-25, Tascam US-122, or the Behringer 2000 series.
> However, it is my understanding that only the Omega will send four
> discrete channels to the computer for storage and that the USB 1.0
> connection is too slow to permit real-time monitoring of that feed.
> The others appear to deliver stereo to the computer after a mix at the
> A/D converter and therefore include a lot of controls I probably don't
> need (since the live mix would probably be about right). But none of
> the "stereo output" units seem to allow me to preserve the individual
> tracks for later handling. Finally, I'm also not sure how I feel about
> having to haul my laptop around to live venues, along with a more-or
> less delicate A/D interface device. After visualizing various
> scenarios, I've just about decided I'd prefer one of the hard drive
> recorders out there, providing they retain and will let me download
> multiple discrete tracks to my computer for later processing.
>
> My price lid is $500-$600 to get this solved. I have been offered the
> Lexicon Omega for $260 new, including Cubase.
>
> I'm sure that I've screwed up this analysis, based on my ignorance of
> (a) sound and (b) the marketplace, and would appreciate any input,
> gentle correction, and advice that anyone could offer.

Given your budget I think you're stuck with just tracking the stereo out
of your board and keeping keepers until you have product. If you want a
serious list of things I'd suggest you'd have to look right into the eye
of the money storm. I started to carry on about this, but no point
unless you can spend more. I would actually suggest changing a whole lot
of your rig for reasons of sonic improvement.

Otherwise, what is the cheapest standalone HD recorder with four tracks?
Instead of going to a computer, you'd tap each input at a direct out or
an insert and route each to a channel of the recorder. I just spec'd a
Tascam DP01-FX for some friends but it's only two tracks in. Maybe
thre's something from Zoom or Boss or someone out there.

--
ha
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 10:29:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Don Erickson" <dcerickson@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1109703374.414770.10990@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com

> I've been wrestling with this for some time, learning everything I
> could about the field and the products, and I don't know enough to
> come to a decision. I've reviewed the archives for this group and
> lurked for a while hoping the issue would present itself, but it
> hasn't in exactly the the same way. So I thought I'd ask you guys
> (and ladies) straight out.

> I'm 1/2 of a folk (yes, folk) duo that performs live locally in the
> San Fernando Valley, and am the 1/2 tasked with the audio chores.
> For live performance, we run a Behringer Eurosound 3000 powered
> mixer,

No detailed technical info on the web, but the PMX3000 which is either and
alias or a prequel has inserts for every mic input. Is this true of your
Eurosound 3000 as well?

> driving 15" mains and 10" wedge monitors. Mics are Shure
> SM58's for vocals and MXL 993 pencil condensers for acoustic guitars.
> No drums, no bass player. We're quite happy with our sound (although
> I think the 993's are not cardiod enough and we're on the edge of
> feedback more than I'd like, but that's another question for another
> day).

AFAIK 993s are fat cardiods or broad cardiods, just like their older
brothers, the 603s.

But what I get is that you have 4 mic feeds.

> Here's the problem: we want to record. Now, I can and have dumped a
> stereo monitor feed from the Behringer into a good cassette recorder,
> and some times we get a decent result that way, but want I really want
> to do is to digitize and stuff the 4 main tracks into my computer and
> then tweak and mix them from there at my leisure.

Moving from cassette to digital should be a night-and-day improvement

> I have a good desktop PC and a good PC laptop, both with USB 2.0,
> neither with Firewire, so I have toyed with something like the Lexicon
> Omega, Edirol UA-25, Tascam US-122, or the Behringer 2000 series.

There are such things as PC Card firewire adaptors, so maybe you shouldn't
stay away from Firewire hardware just because your PC lacks a firewire port.

Here's some technical performance comparisons:

http://www.ratocsystems.com/english/support/competitive...

The top-rate CBFW2 card is available for PCs:

http://newsite.pagecomputers.com/store/Product.asp?cata...

> However, it is my understanding that only the Omega will send four
> discrete channels to the computer for storage and that the USB 1.0
> connection is too slow to permit real-time monitoring of that feed.

Real time monitoring is always best done via the live mixer.

Remember, you get to remix the recording after the fact if you record
discrete channels.

> The others appear to deliver stereo to the computer after a mix at the
> A/D converter and therefore include a lot of controls I probably don't
> need (since the live mix would probably be about right). But none of
> the "stereo output" units seem to allow me to preserve the individual
> tracks for later handling. Finally, I'm also not sure how I feel about
> having to haul my laptop around to live venues, along with a more-or
> less delicate A/D interface device.

For good recordings of just 2 line-level channels at a low price, check out
the Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox 3 which is still available via eBay. Several
of us have them and they simply work.

> After visualizing various
> scenarios, I've just about decided I'd prefer one of the hard drive
> recorders out there, providing they retain and will let me download
> multiple discrete tracks to my computer for later processing.

> My price lid is $500-$600 to get this solved. I have been offered
> the Lexicon Omega for $260 new, including Cubase.

You can always do the mix downs using low cost software like Audacity or
N-Track.
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 11:53:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> I've been playing with the Mackie Onyx mixer with its Firewire
> interface and I, too, don't have a computer with a Firewire port, but
> I found (after getting a new driver for the internal network card -
> "What the hell, it's a Dell") that my laptop worked fine using a
> PCMCIA Firewire adapter. I went through three of those cards with
> clicks before I started looking elsewhere in the computer, and ended
> up with an Adaptec 3-port Firewire adapter that, with the sale price
> and rebate, cost all of $20, so don't let not having a Firewire port
> detract you from getting a Firewire interface if that better suits
> your needs. The TASCAM US-428 is really cool, though, because it also
> functions as a control surface for your computer's recording software
> which makes mixing on the computer much more like mixing on the
> console. It works well, sounds pretty good, and you may find it handy
> for other applications than live recording. Just one caveat - while it
> has two XLR mic inputs, it doesn't provide phantom power, so if

I'm looking too, for something to replace my Korg D1200, Now that I am
recording in the same place every week. BTW, the Korg, or something in
it's class should work in the OP's application. I bought it because I
didn't want to set up a PC on location every week. It works, although
it's not perfect- it takes about 12 hrs to move 2 hours X 4 tracks of
24bit / 44.1K audio from the Korg to a PC every week, using export to
wav and the USB 1.1 port. If only I had SP / DIF input on my PC, it
could go 4 times faster by copying the audio in real time. :-}

Anyway, the Korg D1200MKII and, I assume, some of it's competitors
are under $1000 street price.

I was really interested in the Tascam, until you mentioned the lack of
phantom power. What about the Presonus Firebox? That looks good, but
I don't recall reading any reports from the real world.

--
Phil Nelson
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 12:29:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1109733627.109808.273410@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com> dcerickson@sbcglobal.net writes:

> when the Tascam US-428 says that it is 4 in and 2 out, does that mean
> that it passes four channels through to the computer for storage while
> allowing me to hear 2 channels for monitoring purposes?

Yes. You can record up to four inputs while listening to a stereo
playback. This is important when overdubbing (adding new parts to an
existing multitrack recording) so that you can hear what you need to
play against. You use the DAW's mixing to get a stereo mix from your
recorded tracks.

> As to the Omega,
> it seems to have pots and controls on the outboard interface: are these
> of more limited usefulness either on the way in, or to control the
> computer's function when reworking the stored tracks?

The Lexicon Omega appears to have the same input/output capabilities
as the TASCAM (limited by USB 1.1). Its actual I/O configuration is
pretty confusing when your only resource is the web site. I think
they're trying to make you believe that it has more than it really
has. It may, but it may not have anything that's useful to you. You
might learn a little more by downloading and reading the manuals,
which are available on the web sites.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 1:23:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

To all:

I'd like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond and
explain things to me. In particular, Hank, Mike and Craig for their
responses in the group and off-line. I've decided to go with the
standalone HD recorder, which will give me no-hassle recording at the
venue, and the ability to remix at my leisure. Thanks again for the
help - you guys are great!

Don

P.S. I'll keep lurking to learn, and I'm sure other issues will arise -
they always do. Good to have some smart people to ask when they do . .
..



Don Erickson wrote:
> I've been wrestling with this for some time, learning everything I
> could about the field and the products, and I don't know enough to
come
> to a decision. I've reviewed the archives for this group and lurked
> for a while hoping the issue would present itself, but it hasn't in
> exactly the the same way. So I thought I'd ask you guys (and ladies)
> straight out.
>
> I'm 1/2 of a folk (yes, folk) duo that performs live locally in the
San
> Fernando Valley, and am the 1/2 tasked with the audio chores. For
live
> performance, we run a Behringer Eurosound 3000 powered mixer, driving
> 15" mains and 10" wedge monitors. Mics are Shure SM58's for vocals
and
> MXL 993 pencil condensers for acoustic guitars. No drums, no bass
> player. We're quite happy with our sound (although I think the 993's
> are not cardiod enough and we're on the edge of feedback more than
I'd
> like, but that's another question for another day).
>
> Here's the problem: we want to record. Now, I can and have dumped a
> stereo monitor feed from the Behringer into a good cassette recorder,
> and some times we get a decent result that way, but want I really
want
> to do is to digitize and stuff the 4 main tracks into my computer and
> then tweak and mix them from there at my leisure.
>
> I have a good desktop PC and a good PC laptop, both with USB 2.0,
> neither with Firewire, so I have toyed with something like the
Lexicon
> Omega, Edirol UA-25, Tascam US-122, or the Behringer 2000 series.
> However, it is my understanding that only the Omega will send four
> discrete channels to the computer for storage and that the USB 1.0
> connection is too slow to permit real-time monitoring of that feed.
> The others appear to deliver stereo to the computer after a mix at
the
> A/D converter and therefore include a lot of controls I probably
don't
> need (since the live mix would probably be about right). But none of
> the "stereo output" units seem to allow me to preserve the individual
> tracks for later handling. Finally, I'm also not sure how I feel
about
> having to haul my laptop around to live venues, along with a more-or
> less delicate A/D interface device. After visualizing various
> scenarios, I've just about decided I'd prefer one of the hard drive
> recorders out there, providing they retain and will let me download
> multiple discrete tracks to my computer for later processing.
>
> My price lid is $500-$600 to get this solved. I have been offered
the
> Lexicon Omega for $260 new, including Cubase.
>
> I'm sure that I've screwed up this analysis, based on my ignorance of
> (a) sound and (b) the marketplace, and would appreciate any input,
> gentle correction, and advice that anyone could offer.
>
> Don
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 7:18:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> mwood

> > For a few hundred bucks, you can pick up a used DAT or even a decent
> > ADAT if you look around a bit.

> Hey, why didn't I think of that? I must be poisoned by all of these
> computer recording people around me.

That's right, Rivers, you've gone and bought into the HYPE!!

> Used TASCAM DA38s (which sound better than the 16-bit ADATs and maybe the
> 20-bit ADATs) are going for well under $500.

Remember those Tonebarge mixes, where he kills some megabucksters mixing
through his Mackie 1604? Well, he tracked that stuff to ADAT XT's, which
are 20 bit, I think, and obviously good enough to do good work.

I'd avoid the blackface ADAT's, but XT's might be a good option. The
DA38 will record longer to its Hi8 format than the ADAT's can to their
VHS format, and sometimes that's a factor when recording live shows.

> Take it to the gig, plug it into your mixer, do your
> show. When you get home, plug it into your mixer and mix just like you
> were mixing the show.

What he said. One question is how to make sure the ADAT or Tascam DTR
one gets is in good shape, if one doesn't know much about these digital
tape recorders. And are parts and service still to be found for these?

--
ha
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 7:18:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> The Lexicon Omega appears

But if it's like the first Lex interface, it might all of a sudden
disappear, too. I don't think I'd buy into their DAW stuff after they
bailed on their first offering.

--
ha
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 7:18:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1gssexg.4ob5bv17vdgo5N%walkinay@thegrid.net> walkinay@thegrid.net writes:

> > The Lexicon Omega appears . . . .
>
> But if it's like the first Lex interface, it might all of a sudden
> disappear, too. I don't think I'd buy into their DAW stuff after they
> bailed on their first offering.

I warned the original poster about Lexicon audio interfaces, but he
still sees the knobs and the lack of large numbers after the dollar
sign. Noobees should learn to take the proven and reliable path so
they can lose their newbie status. When you don't know enough to
recognize what's wrong, it's not a good idea to stray from the
tried-and-true just because you think your lack of experience
justifies not spending a few extra bucks.





--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 7:18:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike:

Au contraire, my friend. The noobie has heeded the sage advice of the
village elders and rejected the darkling Lexicon device, opting instead
for the tried and true stand-alone recorder.

Don
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 8:48:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Don Ericksonwrote:

> Mike:
>
> Au contraire, my friend. The noobie has heeded the sage advice of the
> village elders and rejected the darkling Lexicon device, opting instead
> for the tried and true stand-alone recorder.

Not too shabby for a newbie!

--
ha
!