Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hardware Multitracker vs DAW

It goes without saying that for many people DAWs suck. Do they have to suck? Probably not. Do they have to be buggy? Probably not. Do they have to be extremely difficult to learn and navigate? Probably not but you have to remember, a lot of geek assholes use DAWs and even bigger assholes design them but what are real musicians saying?

Check out this thoughtful discussion on Gear Slutz .

Here are some excerpts:

Kevin G asks: As I integrate more hardware into my set up, I'm wondering about the advantages of recording directly into a multitrack as opposed to a DAW. I know a DAW will have far superior editing abilities, but has anyone here eliminated the computer from the recording equation? Any advantages in doing so? I'm interested in the immediacy and simplicity of going directly into a multitrack as opposed to say setting up a session in a DAW. I also want it to be about playing music (and the inherent spontaneity involved) as opposed to viewing/editing/writing clips in software.

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Christian Rock Responds: I've always worked with multi-tracks. From the mid 90s until 2001 with ADATs, and then I bought me a 16-track 1-inch reel tape multitrack recorder.

I probably wouldn't go with most digital recorders because the AD/DA will suck compared to a computer with a good interface. Having said that, a lot of music that people loved in the 90s was made with those ADATs. But once you can hear how much those converters muddy up the low end and steal the shimmer from your highs, you can't really stand them.

The one exception to this rule, I think, would be an Alesis HD24XR with upgraded AD/DA from Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades... but you'd also need a good mixer to go along with that.

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WWJD responds: I have DAW, and NEVER use it. Sick of computers. Just bought a Zoom R24 recorder and am loving the limitations and focusing on music and writing again!

Thanks to computers most music, to me, sounds exactly like effortless, cut and pasted boring repetitions, instead of PLAYED, soul-filled MUSIC.

"Warmth" is simply coloration (coupled with really bad inaccuracy). You can add that back in to anything digitally.

I would never got back to tape again - and I still own a 16 track tape machine. Yeah, tape adds "something", but digital does 172 other somethings that are way better... so.... 1 vs 172.... yeah.


That said, I master on computer.

The thread is long but very interesting and informative. Read more on Gear Slutz. They discuss tape, audio interfaces,  and digital media.

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