You are here

Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby Vox Gnus » Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:38 pm

I picked up a Zoom H8 a few weeks ago, and it's great. Good preamps, works as a 12-in/2-out USB interface, great battery life. The Zoom mic capsules are good for the price, and the included XY module has a 1/8 stereo input, so 8-channel recording out of the box. Two of the XLRs are combi jacks, so you can DI instruments. Very flexible.

There's a module coming this summer with 4 more XLR inputs, for a total of 10.

I paid about $450 CAD, so probably under €350.

I'd highly recommend it, unless you absolutely must have more than 10 inputs. But only one line out, so monitoring is very basic.
Vox Gnus
Poster
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:21 pm

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby FMajor7add9 » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:50 pm

Vox Gnus wrote:I picked up a Zoom H8 a few weeks ago, and it's great. Good preamps, works as a 12-in/2-out USB interface, great battery life. The Zoom mic capsules are good for the price, and the included XY module has a 1/8 stereo input, so 8-channel recording out of the box. Two of the XLRs are combi jacks, so you can DI instruments. Very flexible.

There's a module coming this summer with 4 more XLR inputs, for a total of 10.

I paid about $450 CAD, so probably under €350.

I'd highly recommend it, unless you absolutely must have more than 10 inputs. But only one line out, so monitoring is very basic.

thanks, your price est. aligns with reverb.com listings.

The expander capsule looks like as proper pre-CG sci-fi movie miniature :)

Image

As pondered earlier, unless drifting and bleed (spill-over) between 2 or more stereo condenser mics becomes an issue, I think that combining 2 H4 or H5s is more flexible than 1 H6 or H8.

But I don't know how valid that is yet, it's just low budget logic that hasn't been real world tested. It would eliminate need for external phantom powered mics to save on purchase and battery power. Dynamic mics as externals only.

Or, if a good offer comes up, one of the other Zoom mic capsules as an X/Y alternative. The M/S on the H2n has been lots of fun, maybe the shotguns or X/Y cardioid could be as well.
FMajor7add9
Poster
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:19 pm

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby blinddrew » Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:29 pm

Depends how much time you want to spend in post lining up the drifting recordings. Mike's mentioned it above but don't underestimate how long it takes to sort this stuff out afterwards, because it's not a linear drift, it will increase as the batteries run down.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14829
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby FMajor7add9 » Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:40 pm

blinddrew wrote:Depends how much time you want to spend in post lining up the drifting recordings. Mike's mentioned it above but don't underestimate how long it takes to sort this stuff out afterwards, because it's not a linear drift, it will increase as the batteries run down.

sensing some trouble here....
FMajor7add9
Poster
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:19 pm

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby blinddrew » Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:32 pm

Yes indeedy...
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14829
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby James Perrett » Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:47 pm

Surprised that the drift is battery dependent as it should all be running from a stabilised supply - unless the supply gets warmer (or colder) as the battery runs down.

My experience of using separate recorders is that you need to resync them in post after every song or two if you want good accuracy. By resyncing, I mean lining up the start of the section and adjusting the playback speed of all of them to match whatever you've chosen as your reference. If you are happy with more than a few milliseconds of drift you may get away with resyncing them less often.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10769
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:27 pm

If you are buying knowing that you may need the extra channels then why not just buy something that can record sufficient channels in the first place. The only excuse for cobbling together a mish-mash of different recorders to record a performance is that you already own or can borrow them and you don't have a budget to buy something that will do the job.

Since the OP is asking what to buy and has the budget to spend in something suitable then rest is, perhaps, academic?
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15776
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:51 am

Please take this in the spirit in which it's meant... :)

Two separate, unsynced recorders - especially budget ones like the H2? Don't do it!

You really will have no end of grief... I spent literally hours trying to sync two simple recordings and in the end just gave up. I never, ever went down that route again...

You need the right tools for the job... two recorders ain't the right tools.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8267
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:36 am

Been there, done that. Two recorders - never again.

My solution was a Zoom Livetrak L-12 (and then an XR18/laptop). But I don't need battery power.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16747
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby FMajor7add9 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:45 pm

I'd like to acknowledge the fast and insightful replies everyone has added to the post. It was exactly the kind of replies I was hoping for to expand my initial ideas.

In particular the details about XR mixers not recording wav files per track and clock syncing issues between diff. recorders.

As far as budget decisions they're now on standby until the battery power supply option is determined. There's a portability factor involved there if I was to build such a rig and the total package should be compact enough to be lugged around without the need for a car.

I am still tempted to tempt collective wisdom above and order another Zoom and drift test them in a scenario with 5-10 minutes takes per recording. And will in any case take a closer look at the previously mentioned live recording (H2n and USB interfaces rec. simul.) to check the issue on a 50+ minute file. Please forgive me my utopian low budget stubbornness in that regard.

I may also look around for Zoom R16 and R24 competitors from the past 10 years. 2 phantom tracks only should be enough. I don't expect to find a sub 200€ unit with similar specs though. If that holds true a laptop with bus powered interface is back into play and the idea of relying solely on (safe) SD card capture to focus 96% on the producer / engineer role without looking at a computer screen during the session must be readjusted to that reality.
FMajor7add9
Poster
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:19 pm

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby jimjazzdad » Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:28 pm

Don't mess about - get a Sound Devices Mixpre 10 (T or M model, whichever suits). Pro quality recording device with proven battery options. Not much more than the Zoom F8N. Nice preamps, great track record. Wish I had one. ;)
User avatar
jimjazzdad
Regular
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:00 am
Halifax, NS, CANADA

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:55 pm

jimjazzdad wrote:Don't mess about - get a Sound Devices Mixpre 10 (T or M model, whichever suits). Pro quality recording device with proven battery options. Not much more than the Zoom F8N. Nice preamps, great track record. Wish I had one. ;)

Errm... not with his stated budget maximum of 500 euro...
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8267
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:11 pm

The Zoom F8 is around half the price of the Mix-Pre 10 II at £770 which is still well over budget. But if you want the right tools for the job you have to be prepared to pay the price.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15776
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby FMajor7add9 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:12 am

I hear you and 500€ is not gonna swing it for those quality kits mentioned so I need to start with something cheaper and lower grade and take it from there.

The Tascam 12 also appeared in a similar post around here, a nicely specd unit so it seems. 15v, low wattage, could possibly be DIY battery pack powered. 5-600-ish RRP now, sits nicely inbetween Zooms' L8 and L12.

In computer land I've been scouring the firewire used market after a guy on reddit mentioned his Focusrite Saffire units. They are dirt cheap now, 30-50€, and some have ADAT and S/PDIF alongside 4 analog mic pres. The refurb laptops I prefer are available with FW port or a express card port that can host a FW card. Can be found at around 150€.

So with a Behringer 8 ch ADAT mic pre at around 100€ used it's realistic to get 12 inputs and a laptop that can handle that at est. 300€ total. Add 100-150€ for mics, cables, stands, stuff and the undrifted DIY demo bedroom produced tunes will come flying. If there were used Zoom R16 and R24s available below 200€ I'd start there instead but the old buggers are still valued by their niche market.
https://reverb.com/p/zoom-r24-digital-m ... rice-guide

Very nice feature set in the old Saffires btw. Can be used standalone with fixed I/O settings (from a pre-defined preset stored on the unit). Dual headphone outputs. Loopbacks to route any signal to more than 1 PC application. 2 of them have DSP powered comp, fx, reverb on board (the 24 DSP and the Saffire). Some can be chained togethere into the same FW bus on the computer.

They can be bus powered when using 6 pin FW 400 or 800. Can be found as express card at least (6 Pin 1394a). The Behringer ADAT also needs some power so...back to the battery calculations if everything needs to be off-grid for a while.

https://resource.focusrite.com/en/answe ... e-saffires
https://customer.focusrite.com/en/suppo ... d_type=all
FMajor7add9
Poster
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:19 pm

Re: Demos, live recordings, video. 8-12 multitracks. Preferably battery powered. Cheap!

Postby FMajor7add9 » Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:51 am

Seems to be going in PC/laptop direction. Firewire interfaces (with ADAT input or 2nd FW host port for daisy chains like Presonus FireStudio Mobile) will involve the earlier discussed battery pack transformer DIY build. Then boxes like old mac minis and home theater PCs come into play, never considered that before. Sort of a poor-mans-botched-XR18 thrown into a rugged old suitcase. Quite appealing so far.

For the no fuzz discrete unplugged sessions with soloists and smaller groups I can't imagine anything else than a SD recorder with built-in mic and 2-4 mic pres like H4/5/6.

I'll open another thread re. choice of mics when thay day comes :)
FMajor7add9
Poster
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:19 pm

Previous