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Q. What equipment do we need to record bands?

My friend is going to be setting up a studio to record various bands (mostly rock in style) and then master them. He is looking for suggestions as to what recording and mastering equipment he will need, including brands and models. His preference is to record to hard disk, but I'm wondering if it would be worth getting a computer and doing it that way? Any suggestions would be helpful.

Jonathan Poate

Editor Paul White replies: If you want to record bands, a hardware recorder will be easier to manage than a computer. Depending on how much editing you need to do, consider the Tascam MX2424 or Mackie HDR 24/96 24‑tracks, or one of the simpler recorders, such as the Fostex 16‑ and 24‑track models. These will need to be teamed with a suitable mixer, but without knowing your budget it's tough to make recommendations. Alternatively, consider an integrated solution, such as the Yamaha AW4416 or Roland VS2480 workstations, which can provide up to 24 tracks with effects and mixing. Whichever route you take, you'll need to make provision for backing up your digital data — one area where tape still wins out. For mastering, a computer‑based system is really the best thing. A mastering package running on a Mac G4 would be ideal, and you could also run a MIDI + Audio sequencer such as Logic or Cubase VST on the same computer, for those clients who want to combine audio with MIDI. If I had some idea of your budget I could be a little more specific, but as it is your question is very open‑ended.