I'm looking for thoughts on how to get that portastudio vibe - I'm looking for ideas in terms of both technology and workflow.
Basically, I'm pining for the days of my cassette four track. I'm sure you'll all be familiar with the scenario - I thrived on the limitations; it forced me to make decisions on arrangements and song structures, and my sparse selection of gear drove me to do push hard to find new sounds (but you could do a lot with a Juno 6, combo organ, Amiga with a sampler, some drums machines, guitars and basses).
I also loved the progression from having an idea and recording a demo, and then eventually moving to the stage of recording a finished product in a studio with a producer and a budget. This last phase reopened the creative process all over again, and going in to work afresh on an idea already formed from a finished but rough demo was really exciting. I'd like to reintroduce a version of that workflow.
Ideas I have to experiment with so far:
- Get a secondhand four track deck - it would be fun and I'd also be able to play my stacks of four track cassettes again (a friend 'borrowed' my last unit some years ago), but most are probably knackered by now and chrome cassettes seem to cost about £90 a pack.
- Start using Garageband instead of Logic and limiting myself to 4 or 8 tracks - this might replicate the 'demo' phase of the creative process and encourage quick work through fewer options. I could move the ideas into Logic after the 'demo' phase. However, I'm not sure I'm disciplined enough to limit my track count and not start dicking around in Logic prematurely.
- Start using Sonoma Wireworks Fourtrack app on my phone. This might be the best option so far, but I'm not sure if it lets you bounce in real time, muting tracks, riding the faders and using effects sends while doing so. If not, then that's an essential part of the four track experience that's lost - but I've not tried it yet so may be OK.
- Buy a Zoom 4 or 8 track recorder. This is quite appealing for a number of reasons, but I can't quite bring myself to purchase more gear that provides an inferior replication of capabilities I already have via Logic.
Any thoughts? Any techniques, workflows, gear or software you'd recommend? You might just tell me to get man up and get some discipline back into my life, which would be completely fair.