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Daktari

Recording direct to computer or BOSS 600 ???

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Hi there,

I just joined this forum yesterday and already I have a technical question to ask. I am experimenting with playing soukous guitar music from Africa and I am in the process of recording a few pieces, more like a sketch pad really. I am using a BOSS 600 for this which I am just about coping with. I then will have to send anything I record to the computer before I can burn cd's or download onto a site like this for example.

My question: Would it be easier for me to record direct to my home computer and therfore cut out the BOSS 600 stage and if this is possible, what gadgetry would I be needing. Although I have been playing for around 40 years, the technical side/recording I have always been slow with and I fully admit to being a computer blockhead. How does that work. Is there software with virtual guitar amps and effects and how does the guitar signal get converted to a digital signal? HELP.....

Any suggestions for this approach or would I be as well sticking with the BOSS 600 method. It does seem to get pretty good results whether recording direct in or by using the built-in stereo mics to hopefully capture some of the room ambience. I play all my stuff through a BOSE L1 pa system which is great for detailed and accurate reproduction of sounds.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Gordon.

P.S. I forgot to mention. As well as guitar for these African style recordings, I also use a djembe drum, a Tacoma acoustic bass, various percussiony things, a bouzouki, auto harp and hopefully soon, a gyil (christmas gift maybe). Thought these extra instruments might effect the computer recording possibilities.

Thanks again, Gordon.

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Welcome Daktari Do you mean one of these BOSS BR-600 Digital Recorder :: Overview

If it is, it uses a usb connection to a computer. Is that what you do? I haven't checked out the specs of that myself but there are others on the forum who have experience of separate recording units and pa's and they'll be along soon.

Meanwhile, I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for - probably my ignorance of the unit and pa set up you use. But if you check out Tekker's free lessons about recording here: http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/tekkers-lessons/

you might find what you need.

Also check out the Home Recording Forum on this site for threads about connection to computers for recording.

I noticed that when I googled for the Boss 600 there were a few links to recording forums asking questions about it, so that might be useful to follow up.

And if none of those leads are what you need, maybe wait for someone who knows something to turn up here! Or ask more questions :winkthumb:

I'm a world music fan, and look forward to hearing some of your music - you could be a great resource in the colab section of the site!

Edit: I just found your other thread in The Home Studio forum, so if anyone reading this wants to read on they should go the the other thread http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/home-studio/24843-recording-direct-computer/

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The whole point of a BR600 is that it can do all the stuff you need it to do. You can use it as your sketch pad, as you're doing.

If you don't own a mic, you might want to buy one to record the other weird and wonderful stuff you've got going on in better quality.

The BR 600 has built in effects ready to go, so no need for software effects unless you want to, but no need. It's a recording studio in a little unit. You can synch tracks and export them ready to upload or save to your PC.

So yep, just a mic (although it does have one built in already too), and a USB cable if it wasn't supplied, but I'm pretty sure you already have all you need. You just save the mp3's the BR 600 produced to your PC.

OK, so in short to go "direct" to PC you'd need a box to convert phantom power (for condensors), mic/ guitar/ MIDI to USB, and a mic. But your BR 600 already has all that stuff except MIDI.

The only reason I didn't go BR600 is it looked hard to use to me, so I'm going for a plug'n'play for dummies device, which seems foolproof from a local store. It's a USB mic for $400 Australian, but you've already effectiviely got something better than that.

You're good to go. Good luck.

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I think you probably have what you need already.

Recording into computers can be painful, with driver conflicts, latency , crashes etc. If your system is already giving you what you need, stay with it.

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Hi there,

Thanks everyone for the replies. Because I have never tried the direct to computer recording method I just thought I might be missing out on a real simple way of recording.

Now I'm beginning to realize that the Boss BR600,(sorry for not getting the name right originally), is indeed quite a handy piece of gear and as one of the posts mentioned, it does do just about everything. It is a little complicated to use and I am at the stage where I can fumble through but I have to keep referring back to the manual. I guess that's what manuals are for.

Thing is, If I tried the computer recording method, I would be starting from scratch with a whole bunch of new stuff to learn.

I will get some of my music posted on here as soon as I have it together. At this stage, I am using the Boss as a sketch pad, mainly so I don't forget what I've been working on. It's great for quickly getting down maybe 45 seconds of a riff ,rhythm or chord seq just as a reminder for next time. At the moment, that is what I have, a small collection of musical sketches and I'm loving working at it. Next stage, to take some of these ideas and develop them into finished pieces. Then I'll try and post something.

All the best, Gordon.:winkthumb:

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Hey Daktari,

I wouldn't give up on computer recording just yet. ;) You can try getting your feet wet in computer recording without spending a dime to see if it's something you'd like do.

You can use the existing sound card on your computer and free recording software (or demo versions) to record with. So the only thing you have to loose is a little bit of time.

I also have made several tutorials that cover all the basics of getting started with recording.

http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/tekkers-lessons/13004-lesson-index-start-here/

The free recording program Audacity is really easy to use. I told a couple 15 year old girls at my church who are writing their own songs about Audacity and they were able to get it all working with the USB mic from Rock Band without any help from me. We also have several Audacity users here that can help with any questions you may have.

So before throwing in the towel on computer recording, I would give it a try and see how it goes. :winkthumb:

-tkr

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Hi there

Just looked at this question myself. I went down the computer route rather than the Boss (my Boss convinced me I couldn't afford the Boss!). I was impressed by the Boss unit when demoed in the shop though. The down side of computer is you need it on and ready when inspiration hits so I use a Boss looper to record odd licks and play these into the computer later

I found computer recording a breeze once I had it setup (but perhaps not easy for an absolute beginner) - I use Line 6 Studio GX. I have not experienced ANY latency with this system (good job too because it's one of their selling points). One wierd thing I did find was it worked better when I temp disabled the wireless internet connection.

8 track recording software came with the Line 6 and I found this impossible to use without RTFM so I give another thumbs up for Audacity - very simple, intuative and effective. And Free!

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RTFM? I'm not sure what this is - and welcome to the site PH. I had a few guesses: Right to Free Music? Ready to Flub Music? Really Tired From Marching (unlikely). Random Thread Filling Mania? :whistling

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Hi there,

Quote: " I'm a world music fan, and look forward to hearing some of your music".

Carol, don't know if you checked it out already but in case you missed it, I posted two short clips of my African style experimenting in the recording section. Both were recorded using the Boss BR600.

Hoping to get some more ideas down soon, maybe a little longer next time.

All the best, Gordon.:smilinguitar:

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howdo Daktari.

i use a Boss BR864 for recording, i then EXPORT the tracks via USB

and send them as a WAV file to PC (cubase recording software)

easy peasy !

i only use the drums on BR864 as a guide. then use EZdrummer

plug-in with cubase to build a drum track.

this gets best results for me - better than BR864 alone and better

than PC alone.

the boss digital recorders are great stand alone units, i just think

it can sound a bit too digital ?? or something.

anyway i would suggest you don't give up on the idea of PC

recording. once you understand a few things it's not that

confusing.

i also have M-audio Black Box which does too much to get into

but does allow me to connect guitar to PC (USB) and get

zero latency (delay) and direct monitoring.

i don't record this way although i do use amplitube this way,

but record signal to BR864. then send recorded audio to cubase

as mentioned above.

hope this helps.

cheers....

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Hi there,

After considering the computer route I decided to stick with my little Boss box. At first I was put off because this thing has so much built in there it seemed a little daunting at first. However, once I realized that a lot of the stuff was trimmings that I might never use anyway and I peeled all that away, the basic recording procedure is pretty straight forward, even for me!

Thing is, I'm not a techy person and don't wanna be. I work as a designer as my main job and so I'm sat in front of a computer day after day anyway. The last thing I want to do is arrive home and spend hours sat in front of another computer.

The Boss is good because it has decent quality stereo mics built in so for a very simple, spontaneous type recording, I just play live through my Bose L1 pa and stand the recorder on a chair about 6ft in front and thats it done. A complete recording in however long the song lasts. All I do then is connect via USB to the computer which sends it across as a WAV file. All I need do then is convert to an MP3 file. Job done.

Course, the Boss has all kinds of tricks and effects built in for recording everything in separate takes. This is the more complicated route and I do still need the manual for this method sometimes. Also, for someone like me who usually performs live as a one-man set up, I find myself having to arrange songs and pretend to be a band. I have to be careful to hold back sometimes and not attempt to crowd out the music by forcing too much in there.

The Boss afterall will allow the recording of up to 64 tracks if ever needed. Each of the 8 tracks has 8 virtual tracks which can be bounced around, saved or deleted as you go.

I am slowly getting more confident with the recording side so now I can start to pay more attention to the playing/vocals, ha, ha...

All the best, Gordon.

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Heres an observation re Boss, and maybe someone can put me right if I am wrong. Had hoped to be using Reaper by now but the pc I got for it turned out to be second hand trash, so for now back to the BR900. Problem I'm having now is microphone. If you use just external mic the recording level is so low that you end up yelling at the mic to get a playback level You are supposed to use the external mic in conjunction with the internal mic. You get stacks of volume but even with sensible levels the vocals sound as though you are singing in a metal bucket. Anyone come accross this?

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Heres an observation re Boss, and maybe someone can put me right if I am wrong. Had hoped to be using Reaper by now but the pc I got for it turned out to be second hand trash, so for now back to the BR900. Problem I'm having now is microphone. If you use just external mic the recording level is so low that you end up yelling at the mic to get a playback level You are supposed to use the external mic in conjunction with the internal mic. You get stacks of volume but even with sensible levels the vocals sound as though you are singing in a metal bucket. Anyone come accross this?

i use br-864 and have encountered this, although just about coping with it.

not sure if a vocal pre-amp would help you.

i'm looking to invest in behringher valve pre-amp.

i also find br-864 reverbs etc can be a bit too much so record my vocals dry.

another thing i do is turn volume of playback tracks down and send output to power amplifier ( any hi fi would do ) to make up overall

volume. this helps with recording/monitoring vocals.

i don't have a problem with volume once tracks are recorded.

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Hi there,

The Boss recorder I use is the BR600 8track and the mic input is great on that. What are the differences between the 900 and the 600, (besides 300)?

Gordon.

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Hi, you got me there. I do not know. I googled the 600 and essentially it seems the same. 64 tracks (inc V's), burning capability,

drums, effects etc. Maybe its like a GT6 and a GT8 effect pedal. Not much dif unless you are pro. More effects maybe. Tell me, do you have an internal mic on the 600 and if so do you have to activate it to use with an external? Sheraton doesnt use the effects on his 846 but I found an effect on mine that increases volume and strength and does not sound too bad. (bit echoey but nothing like using the ext. mic.) It has taken me a year to get to half understanding this unit and be able to use it. Also had to buy the dvd version of the manual at about 35 dollars. Its not nearly as bad as I thought it was at first but I reckon I should get a job with Bill Gates if I ever manage to use it all. The rythm section is still a mystery to me. I still think the visual thing with pcs would be better for me. Just need a dedicated computer.

Best wishes

Mike

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Had hoped to be using Reaper by now but the pc I got for it turned out to be second hand trash

What's wrong with the PC? What did you get?

If the computer is totally useless, then checkout some local computer stores and see if they have any rebuilt computers. These will often be sold pretty cheap. Or take yours down and see if they can fix it.

-tkr

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i'm sure the 600 has (like my 864) 4 faders doubled up.

where the 900 has 8, 1 for each individual playback track.

michaelcreese. forgot to say you need to turn off internal mic, if you are using an external mic. (in system settings somewhere)

i'm pretty sure this will solve your problem.

i still say boss & PC. rather than boss Vs PC.

cubase 5 is 'the dogs dangly bits', it's great to have a visual reference of your music. it also has more plug-ins tools fx etc than you should ever need. converts 16bit (BOSS) wav files to 24bit, not that i can tell the difference but it's a higher number so must be better.....lol.

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Hi Tecker. I got what I deserved. Someone gave me the tower and a monitor the size of dustbin. I would have put up with the monitor for a free pc but when I got a guy in to sort the router out we found out that it had mickey Windows installed and with one thing and another I decided I would wait and get a tower and a monitor together. I had bought a line 6 UX1 interface and was set to start up. Never mind, another day. At least I am learning more about the Boss and some of the stupid things it does. Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to check out your stuff on panning now.

Hi Sheraton. Here's the mad thing. I quote from the manual that "when the internal microphone is not in use it should be turned on". Might be a typo but elsewhere it says that when using external mic the internal mike must be turned on.. So, you wind up with external only = pitiful recording level, or both = steel bucket on head effect. I asked in the music shop and I am now starting from scratch trying to learn about dynamic and condenser mics. It may be that a condenser mic might work with phantom power from the Boss. (it says it can supply it) but I am a bit bogged down with the technical side. I have found that copying the vocals to another track and playing both, boosts overall playback volume but have found another fun thing here. All is well until towards the end of the track when all of a sudden you can hear two voices, or the same voice twice. I have made sure that the equalising is the same on both tracks but its there alright. It may be pitch, it may be slightly out of syc, I havent figured it yet. Why on earth should it do that?

Truly the Boss device is beyond the wit of man. But as I said here once before, its easy to knock, and I would still prefer pc, but when I think of all the things it can do instead of all the things it cant do, its pretty remarkable.

Thanks all

Mike

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i still say boss & PC. rather than boss Vs PC.

I say the PC with a good audio interface. :thumbup:

I've never been happy with the sound from the "studio in a box" units I've used. I worked with a friend a few years ago recording on a $1,600-$1,800 Roland unit and wasn't at all impressed by quality of the recordings, even after transferring to the PC.

In fact, there was another thread here a while back that was talking about the Boss unit, so I looked up some audio examples of it on youtube and then made a recording on my PC for a comparison.

Here's the video I found of the Boss BR900, check out the distorted tones that start at 1:30:

And here is a short clip I made using my 11+ year old Behringer mixer, my on board sound card, and a FREE guitar amp simulator plugin.

http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/tekker/Using%20Effects%20and%20Plugins%202/Medium-Heavy%20Distortion.mp3

My setup was a total low-budget setup, but IMO the Boss unit wasn't even close in sound quality... And I didn't even use my M-Audio recording interface or my commercial amp sim plugin (which would blow the Boss unit out of the water a million times over LOL).

This is why I'm such an advocate for PC recording. In my experience, the studio in a box units don't come anywhere close to the sound quality or the flexibility that you can get on a PC. There are literally an unlimited amount of options, effects, editors, etc. that you can get for the PC and many of them are free or cost very little. :) You can get some amazing results with a good interface (which can be found for the same price as the Boss unit), Reaper ($60), and a handful of really good free VST plugins.

converts 16bit (BOSS) wav files to 24bit, not that i can tell the difference but it's a higher number so must be better.....lol.

There is a difference if you record at 24bit, but converting from 16bit up to 24bit doesn't make a difference unless you are going to be doing further processing... In which case the effects you add will benefit from the 24bit file.

but when I got a guy in to sort the router out we found out that it had mickey Windows installed

"Mickey windows"? Does that mean it was a cracked version of Windows?

-tkr

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Hi there,

I found time last night to check out the differences between the BR600 and the BR 900. The first thing I noticed is that the 900 has a built in cd drive which is handy I guess but not necessary as most folks transfer their songs to a computer anyway and cd's can be burned from that stage.

I have to disagre with the last post. I think if enough experimenting and care is taken, some of these stand alone digital recorders are capable of amazingly high quality productions. Personally, I can only speak of the Boss BR600 which I am still learning to get the best from. When there is so much on offer in such a small package, it is a little complicated but even myself, a complete dunce at techy stuff can now produce decent sounding recordings. Everything I have posted on here under the name 'Daktari' is recorded on the Boss BR600.

I have no technical reason for choosing this method. The fact is, I spend Mon-Fri, 8.30 through 5.00 sat in front of a computer monitor. (I design custom rugs and carpets for a living). The last thing I wanted was to get home and in the evenings sit in front of another computer. Also, the Boss is very portable, I can go anywhere in the house, I've even recorded some bass and guitar tracks outside on the deck which is not so easy with a desktop computer, maybe with a laptop.

Check out some of my recordings and see what you think of the quality. I can't guarantee the quality of the playing or the vocal but the overall sound to me sounds pretty good.

All the best, Gordon.:yes:

p.s. A few of the recordings were done using the internal stereo mics. For this method I played live through my Bose L1 pa tower with the recorder set maybe 9 ft in front on a chair. This picked up the top end from the tower but also some bass from the two bass modules I use. This is the set up I use when I play live in local bars and restaurants... It gives a pretty good idea of what I sound like in a live situation and literally took about 15 mins for the whole process. I have attached an example of one of these live recordings to see what you think. My version of 'All Shook Up' , the Elvis song, (which I changed out quite a bit).

SoundClick artist: Daktari - I mainly play one-man reggae usually in local bars, restaurants and private parties. Also getting in

p.p.s. Just realized that although the rhythm guitar, the vocal and the foot tambourine are live, in this example I did over dub the second guitar. It still gives a good impression of what can be achieved by the in-built mics though I think. All the best, Gordon.

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