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> Ditech The Line6 Pod X3 Live And Get Me A Zoom R16, or?
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MickeM
post Sep 5 2009, 12:11 PM
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Here's the Zoom R16

So in another thread I was on the look for a loop station, it was suggested the Boss BR-600 digital studio and I've always been keen on the idea of having a portable digital studio for catching ideas and possibly make full demo songs.
And after that I transfer to the computer and finish/rerecord the song there.

Why complicate things? Yeah, well, I never found the computer to be a teriffic recording device in the means of ease of use and getting the recordings down fast. I rather record to some other device and then transfer to the computer for mixing. May seem odd but that's just how I feel.

Right now I have a POD X3 Live as my sound interface, it's not ideal but it contains everything I need to make simple recordings. But for better guitar sound I will have to mike or line my Blackstar HT5 anyway.
With that in mind it'd be better to just have a small sound interface with the right connections and a portable studio for the first recordings.
Looking at the Zoom R16 it's both a sound interface and a digital recording studio, on top of that 8 inputs for simultanious recording.

Hence I'm thinking the Zoom would be more useful to myself as I prefer the recorded sound from the Blackstar HT5 over the amp models in the POD anyway.
But I'd lose a lot too since I've been quite happy with the POD X3's capability to record guitar/bass and vocals rather well. And get the POD farm for free. I never been this satisfied and pleased with a product from Line6 before but rather thought they were blood suckers with all the expensive addons, while with the X3 everything came included and later the POD Farm came for free.
So as a soundinterface it has everything I need, but I never use it for live performances and I thought the sound I get from preamp or direct input to an amp sucks.
With the Zoom I'd lose them Line6 amp simulations and effects though it has quite some built in aswell. I'd have to move the Zoom between where I'd sit and record to it's digital studio part and then plug into the computer when I need it as a soundinterface again. A little bit of a hassle.

This is what I'm thinking.
I'll sit down comfortable, away from the computer, with the Zoom digital recorder and get my ideas down. Possibly with a cool drum machine since the Zoom lacks a built in ditto. What happens after that is a bit unclear, I either transfer it to the computer for finalizing since I suspect cutting, moving, pasting in the zoom is more difficult than in the computer.
In some way I suppose I would record with the Blackstar HT5 but if that's in a rerecording phase on the computer or directly into the Zoom in the first phase idk, time will tell. I never worked with a digital studio like that before so I don't know.

I'd appreciate some input to support my desicion. smile.gif
I would just hate to see the POD and later find that the Zoom was all wrong for me.
And don't forget to vote wink.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 5 2009, 10:46 PM
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Hmm, tough choice man..

I think this Zoom device is very interesting indeed, but I find it's function a bit confusing. I mean, it's portable multitrack digital studio. If you use it as that alone it is good, but after it you again have to go to the PC and do all the work once again. I think recording and mixing all at once on PC is much easier, so possibly getting some good USB 8 channel interface would be a good option.
On the other hand if you do need a portable 8 track studio that you can carry around, it may be a good option.


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MickeM
post Sep 6 2009, 12:01 AM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 5 2009, 11:46 PM) *
but after it you again have to go to the PC and do all the work once again. I think recording and mixing all at once on PC is much easier

That's exactly my problem. I find recording by the computer a bit tideous and weary. I just don't know why since it's a teriffic tool for just that but I can't put my finger on exactly what it is.
Yes, this Zoom R16 would be for catching ideas and getting it all down to 75% finished. It lacks a drum machine. Maybe from that aspect a Boss BR600 is better, also with a bass built in. Or I add a Alesis SR18 which also has a bass.
For better result I belive I have to finish it all in the computer, but that job will be easy then when everything is more or less finished.
The Zoom R16 has one advantage though, recording 8 channels simulatneous which coule be useful.

Man I'm split about which road to take! huh.gif


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Mister_Riff
post Sep 6 2009, 07:17 AM
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You could also keep the Pod X3 AND get a Zoom R16 wink.gif

That way, you would get the best of both worlds: i'm not 100% sure but I think you could connect the POD X3 to the Zoom R16 and record your guitar sounds within the Pod X3.

I do the same with my Boss BR 600. I just turn off the internal effects and plug in my POD 2.0. You would have to monitor the inputsignal (that it is not too high) but things would work out.

And about transporting to computer: you could transport each track individually(after you're finished with it) to the computer, clean up the track and do your mastering, mixing from there. wink.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 6 2009, 03:06 PM
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What exactly do you want to use this unit, that may be the good question to start from. If you need all the 8 channels for recording and need it on terrain, it may be a very good option.


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MickeM
post Sep 6 2009, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 6 2009, 04:06 PM) *
What exactly do you want to use this unit, that may be the good question to start from. If you need all the 8 channels for recording and need it on terrain, it may be a very good option.

My main use would be at home, one instrument plugged in so I don't really need more than say two inputs ro record at the same time. I could line the guitar into a portable studio and mike an amp at the same time at the most.

1'st I want to make a drum beat, preferably the entire song at once.
2'nd add bass (a bass built into the portable studio or a drum machine)
3'rd Guitar: add melody and rhythm
4'th copy/paste etc until there's the shape of a song with intro:verse:chorus:bridge:outro
5'th mix
6'th master
7'th celebrate smile.gif

I keep teeling myself that with a portable digital studio, like a Boss or the Zoom with a drummachine, I will get my ideas down quicker compared to booting up my laptop, open the DAW, get started on EZD and so forth.
I con't care so much if the result is not as good as computer recorded, it's merely to get the full song idea down.

After I present it to the band it will change anyway as everyone will add their touch. And there's where 8 mikes input and simultaneous recording come in handy, BUT... that part isn't my problem really. I should foremost buy something I can make use of.
And about that, today when we make a song, we're two in the band who come up with the ideas, the one with an idea for a song will play the chords and melody for us and then the rest will join in a viola, out of the mix of everyones styles a song is born. Seldom it's exactly what you were thinking but that's expected whit this free way of making songs.

Now, we have a slightly new band situation, a new start with a slight change of ppl, and we want to steer the whole thing a bit more and we need to present songs that are more or less finished.

The result from a Boss f.ex may be that good I don't even have to rerecord in the computer. That' be just great. We'd still be finalizing it with the band and then take it to a studio. We hope to get a new rehearsal room next to a studio so we can quick and easy make records.


By the way, I have found a few used portable studios. If you or anyone else has input on these that'd be teriffic since I'm new to these gadgets.
http://www.bossus.com/gear/productdetails.php?ProductId=571 (has drums but lacks bass) I could get a used drum machine aswell
Then I saw the Boss BR Micro at half the new price... but I think it's too small.

I'm looking for:
- 8 channels
- Drum machine and Bass (that automatically adopts to the beat of the drums)
- Mastering options
- Phantom power would be good but not a must

Boss BR1200 seem to have everything I look for in a portable studio. But it's way way too expensive. And if I get a Boss after I sell the Line6 I still lack a soundcard whereas the Zoom R16 could function as both.
Boss BR600 looks alright concidering it's functions vs it's price. Can't spend much more than that on something I'm new to and don't know for sure it's right for me.




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audiopaal
post Sep 6 2009, 09:45 PM
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I'd keep the Line6 and buy a better soundcard instead.
That way you can keep the tones of the Line6 for recording through a better dedicated soundcard with all the possibilities of the Zoom and more smile.gif

I'd do that at least smile.gif

How much is the Zoom?
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 7 2009, 11:22 PM
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It's a bit confusing, cause here you are at home needing only 2 channels for recording, and you can get a cool audio interface just for home recording I guess.

Getting a cool interface and switching to Cubase 4LE (bundled with the interface) coudl be a great option. I mean, you can always make templates for projects. I have bunch of templates made, so I don't have rearagne everything every time I being with a new project. I have the drums already up and running, all the software modelers and all the plugs, so everything is already 50% produced. I even have record enabled on the guitar track, so all I have to do is click record and off I go with recording.
As for recordin 8 tracks in studio, you need a good room and 8 microphones for that, and the results will not be that great. No point spending money for that. If you need to record something go in the real studio, record drums and record everything else @ your place. Much better and cheaper.



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jdriver
post Sep 8 2009, 01:04 AM
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I own a BR-600 and here is some information you should know. And from reading the specs it seems to apply to the 864 as well.

1. You can only record 2 tracks at the same time, or one stereo pair.
2. Maximum memory card size is 1GB, which is plenty big but still, wonder why not 4, 8 or more since they are so cheap now.
3. They don't record directly to wav or aiff. When you want to move tracks to the PC, you have to "convert" them. It's pretty slow on the BR-600, but there is a free utility on their website that allows you to process the conversion on your PC while in USB mode, which is way faster.
4. It is VERY handy for location recording, and the built in microphones actually do a decent job of recording a room, provided nothing is making noise close to the recorder, like clinking beer glasses, people talking, etc. It's also more discreet than a laptop.
5. You can use the free rythm editor for the BR-900 so you don't have to program drums directly on the recorder.

I hope these notes help with your decision.


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MickeM
post Sep 8 2009, 08:33 AM
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QUOTE (audiopaal @ Sep 6 2009, 10:45 PM) *
How much is the Zoom?

398€

QUOTE (audiopaal @ Sep 6 2009, 10:45 PM) *
I'd keep the Line6 and buy a better soundcard instead.

Can you suggest a good USB soundinterface to me?

QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 8 2009, 12:22 AM) *
Getting a cool interface and switching to Cubase 4LE (bundled with the interface) coudl be a great option. I mean, you can always make templates for projects. I have bunch of templates made, so I don't have rearagne everything every time I being with a new project.

I never thought of making different templats to speed things up. I could definitly spend a few hours setting things up to make computer recording less tideous.
Today I always start from scratch with everything.
Can you recommend a good external USB soundinterface?

QUOTE (jdriver @ Sep 8 2009, 02:04 AM) *
I own a BR-600 and here is some information you should know. And from reading the specs it seems to apply to the 864 as well.

1. You can only record 2 tracks at the same time, or one stereo pair.
2. Maximum memory card size is 1GB, which is plenty big but still, wonder why not 4, 8 or more since they are so cheap now.
3. They don't record directly to wav or aiff. When you want to move tracks to the PC, you have to "convert" them. It's pretty slow on the BR-600, but there is a free utility on their website that allows you to process the conversion on your PC while in USB mode, which is way faster.
4. It is VERY handy for location recording, and the built in microphones actually do a decent job of recording a room, provided nothing is making noise close to the recorder, like clinking beer glasses, people talking, etc. It's also more discreet than a laptop.
5. You can use the free rythm editor for the BR-900 so you don't have to program drums directly on the recorder.

I hope these notes help with your decision.

The small memory is indeed a limitation and I had no idea you need to convert the files moving to a computer. That's someting I'll get irrotated over sooner or later, probably sooner wink.gif
Location recording will not be my main thing but rather maiing songs at home. At some point we'd want to record the band. But we're hoping to get a rehearsal room where there's a studio in the same complex, at not too much money run by staff so recording there would be a much better solution.



To sum my feelings up for today. And I've read a lot about different portable studios the past few days the thing I can't cope with, which I of course also realized from the start, is that a portable studio is a contained environment where you're stuck with the drumsoundss, effects and amp models included. I don't need a million different reverbs, but I only need one good one. Same with amp models and drum sounds, I don't need a bunch but onle a few good ones.
With the Line6 POD X3 I have a million options to create a few good sounds. So like audiopaal and Mister_riff suggested keeping the POD could be the best option. Which is in line with Ivans suggestion aswell to work with the computer instead and get a good soundinterface possibly with a LE DAW which will be good enough for me and my weak laptop.


Like the Poll suggested I will then keep the POD... it's wasn't a suggesting poll but a leading one, I'm forced to follow the outcome wink.gif
I'll change it soon enough to contain sound interfaces instead... yet again a leading vote for some drama. ohmy.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 8 2009, 12:57 PM
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QUOTE
Can you recommend a good external USB soundinterface?


you kiddin? thats my favorite question on the forum laugh.gif


1. whats the budget
2. what sources will you record
3. what DAW platform are you aiming at (Cubase, Sonar, ProTools)

PS I recommend Cubase/Nuendo


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MickeM
post Sep 8 2009, 02:24 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 8 2009, 01:57 PM) *
you kiddin? thats my favorite question on the forum laugh.gif


1. whats the budget
2. what sources will you record
3. what DAW platform are you aiming at (Cubase, Sonar, ProTools)

PS I recommend Cubase/Nuendo

Ooops, I kind of knew that wink.gif

1) Budget: between 200-300€, the closer to 200€ the better
2) Guitar, bass, MIDI keyboard, XLR mike, POD X3, Line a Blackstar HT5 amp
I will want to connect headphones and active monitors (with teleplug)
3) No DAW is a friend of mine. I had Sony Acid and liked it's format, but it chewed up all resources so it's uselss. Reaper works fine. Ii tried a demo of Cakewalk and liked it but it was too expensive. Cubase is not my favourite, I didn't get along at all with the demo I tested.
So it's Reaper for me but I'll take any LE version that's included with the sound interface. No problem.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 8 2009, 04:06 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Sep 8 2009, 03:24 PM) *
Ooops, I kind of knew that wink.gif

1) Budget: between 200-300€, the closer to 200€ the better
2) Guitar, bass, MIDI keyboard, XLR mike, POD X3, Line a Blackstar HT5 amp
I will want to connect headphones and active monitors (with teleplug)
3) No DAW is a friend of mine. I had Sony Acid and liked it's format, but it chewed up all resources so it's uselss. Reaper works fine. Ii tried a demo of Cakewalk and liked it but it was too expensive. Cubase is not my favourite, I didn't get along at all with the demo I tested.
So it's Reaper for me but I'll take any LE version that's included with the sound interface. No problem.


OK, so here's what I'm thinking:

- For that budget it will be a bit hard to find a new solid 4/4 interface that will enable you to have nice comfortable number of analog inputs (so you don't have to switch everything when doing recordings)
- However things can be simplified a bit, if you put connect the PODX3 via S/PDIF digital connection:

1. Guitar (1 Hi-Z input)
2. Bass (1 Hi-Z input)
3. MIDI keyboard (MIDI input)
4. Mic (1 mic input)
5. POD X3 (1 digital input)
6. Blackstar (1 line input)

Two interfaces cross my mind in this case, and both are not ideal:

M-Audio Fast Track Pro (185EUR~1920SEK)




This unit has 2 instrument/Hi-Z inputs, 2 inserts, MIDI I/O, and S/PDIF. Here's the problem: If you are comfortable enough with using only 2 analog inputs this device is very good. But the problems may arise if you eventually want to connect more than 2 sources to these inputs. For example, suppose a bass players comes to you and you want to record your guitar, bass guitar and vocals at the same time, or you want to record guitar, bass, and line from Blackstar all at the same time. This will be a bit difficult.

If you can stretch out a little bit more, I think the next device would be ideal:

M-Audio Fast Track Ultra (358EUR~3600SEK)



If you ask me, it would be definitely worth it to stretch out a bit and get this one, since it will solve practically all your recording needs. You can connect all the sources you wrote and still leave room for additional source (this is very handy in some situations).
What I like about this unit is that it has a very flexible I/O configuration, so you can do lots of things with it, for example:

You can record dry signal from the guitar straight into the interface, route the signal into the Blackstar, then insert it again into the card into insert 1. You can keep all your gear connected at the same time, guitar, mic, line in from Blackstar, and leave the space for a bass player to plug it when he comes as well. You have 2 headphone outputs for monitoring, so both you and the bass player can do silent rehearsals when needed etc..

Let me know what you think about these, I will put more suggestions if these are not exactly what you are looking for.







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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 8 2009, 05:39 PM
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Just to add mate, I checked and Reaper has project templates as well. I haven't tried them myself yet, but I'm sure this could make a job lot easier for you when recording. Spending one day making several templates and adjusting them a bit as you go along the way, will mean a LOT later when practicing.
For example I made bunch of templates for all kinds of music and backings, so if I want to make a ballad, I just click on the ballad template that I made. Drums (already produced, with reverb on snare, compression group track etc) added, Trilogy bass for ballad added, one FX track for clean rhythm, inserted chorus, one guitar track for solo, distortion and delay... you get the picture smile.gif


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MickeM
post Sep 8 2009, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the comprehensive, detailed reply smile.gif

I get the point about that the more expensive soundcard will last me longer. The expensive one is almost twice the priceso I will just debate with myself if it's worth the extra money.

I'm selling my Peavey Classic 30 since I'm not using it anyway, maybe it'll be an equal trade for a new M-Audio Ultra biggrin.gif


EDIT: And I will definitly start working on my templatesin whatever LE DAW that comes with the sound interface or Reaper.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 9 2009, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Sep 8 2009, 09:05 PM) *
Thanks for the comprehensive, detailed reply smile.gif

I get the point about that the more expensive soundcard will last me longer. The expensive one is almost twice the priceso I will just debate with myself if it's worth the extra money.

I'm selling my Peavey Classic 30 since I'm not using it anyway, maybe it'll be an equal trade for a new M-Audio Ultra biggrin.gif


EDIT: And I will definitly start working on my templatesin whatever LE DAW that comes with the sound interface or Reaper.


I agree mate, they are both "extremes" if you will sad.gif If only there was one "between" them if you know what I mean.. smile.gif



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