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  • A bit of advice needed

    Hello All

    I wondered if the more technical minded amongst you could give me some advice.

    I am thinking of updating my set up, primarily my mixer and also investing in a cd burner, since my recording facilities only stretch to a dodgy tape machine at present.

    Perhaps I can address the mixer first. I can't scratch and my mixing is piss poor. However, I still harbour ambitions of mixing competently before my 40th Birthday, so I'm looking for something with a graphic equaliser if possible rather than a short crossfade scratch based thingy.

    My car only has a cd in it, so I'd like an inexpensive cd rewriter so I can do some mix cd's to listen to when Whispering Bob Harris does his country show on Radio 2. Plus it means I can pull my finger out and send some mixes to all the lovely people who have sent me some, such as Ladyboygrimsby, Si Cheeba, Blighty and Confident Bob.

    Any recommendations?
    He also contributed songs for the Jim Henson movie vehicle 'Muppets From Space'.

  • #2
    If you mean a cd-writer for the PC, then the current PC Pro magazine's A-List one is the Asus CRW-5224A, which costs £43.

    If you mean a stand alone one, then I have no idea, other than buying yourseld a cheap PC to put a burner in!

    manzo
    Don't call it a comeback... H, N, and the number 7.
    Ok, it's a bit of a comeback, I suppose...

    Comment


    • #3
      cd writers for the PC, as Manzo says, are really cheap and cheerful, certainly under 50 quid for an IDE (a little slow and unreliable) drive. if you want high performance, get a cheap Adaptec SCSI card and a SCSI CD writer (around a ton for an older model, some come with SCSI cards) and they very rarely burn 'coasters' (unlike IDE drives, which tend to screw up maybe 1 in 10 CDs).

      Nero is one of the better CD burning programs because it allows you to record a whole side of an album in one take, and crucially will automatically split that into separate indexed tracks on your CD without you doing any work. otherwise you have to split the tracks up on an LP side by hand in a wave editing program, which takes a while.

      fitting a CDR into a PC is a pretty simple task even for a beginner (don't know whether you have a computer - just need a phillips head screwdriver and a lot of patience). if you need advice on that just drop another note onto the forum.

      personally, if you're not a geek, I'd invest in the Phillips P600 (or something like that). it's a hi-fi separate CD recorder that Richer Sounds are doing at the mo for 150 quid - a bargain. sure, it's not the best on the market, but at that price it can't be beaten - and allows you to record comps a track at a time, just like a tape deck, or record a live mix if you prefer.

      note that these hi-fi separates CD machines will usually only write onto the 'audio' branded CDRs - the more expensive ones that have a copyright duty paid already. they won't write onto computer (cheap) CDRs.

      the way round this is to buy an Audio CD-Rewritable disk, write your comp or mix onto it using the hi-fi, then copy that Rewritable CDR on your PC onto normal cheap computer CDRs. once you're done, you can just reuse the same CD-Rewritable Audio disk on your hi-fi machine every time you need a new recording.

      oh, and if people are looking for excellent, cheap speakers, check out the Yorkville YSM-1. under 200 quid for pro audio, almost flat frequency response near field studio monitors, these are much better than the equivalent 'hi-fi' speakers, which'll colour the sound usually to compensate for crap CD audio. if you want to hear a record as close to the original recording as possible, these are the way to go without spening over a grand. a canadian brand with a very good rep, especially considering the incredible price.

      no idea on mixers though - over to the DJ pro's!
      http://www.blaxploitation.com
      Chops for show, groove for dough.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by [b
        Quote[/b] (theeman @ 07 June 2003,10:13)]cd writers for the PC, as Manzo says, are really cheap and cheerful, certainly under 50 quid for an IDE (a little slow and unreliable) drive. if you want high performance, get a cheap Adaptec SCSI card and a SCSI CD writer (around a ton for an older model, some come with SCSI cards) and they very rarely burn 'coasters' (unlike IDE drives, which tend to screw up maybe 1 in 10 CDs).
        I have to disagree with you here, Ed. Most new IDE burners tend to have some form of the "Burn Proof" technology, and I can't actually remember the last time that I lost a disc due to a buffer under run, or any other reason.

        I see no real need to go for the SCSI option these days, especially considering the price premium. I also don't see the point of the stand-alone hi-fi units, unless you are a complete computer phobe.

        I say, buy an IDE drive, and spend the money you've saved by not going for the other options, on records and beer! [This is otherwise known as the Brazilian Economic Model, and there's nothing wrong with their economy!]

        manzo
        Don't call it a comeback... H, N, and the number 7.
        Ok, it's a bit of a comeback, I suppose...

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the advice fellas!

          Now I've just got to get a pc sorted......

          He also contributed songs for the Jim Henson movie vehicle 'Muppets From Space'.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by [b
            Quote[/b] (Hadrian Elephant @ 06 June 2003,18:43)]Perhaps I can address the mixer first. I can't scratch and my mixing is piss poor. However, I still harbour ambitions of mixing competently before my 40th Birthday, so I'm looking for something with a graphic equaliser if possible rather than a short crossfade scratch based thingy.
            For mixers, the best one you can buy (IMO) for sound reproduction (it beats the crap out of the competition) is the Allen & Heath. ANY of the A&H, even the cheapest. But they are expensive. They've got good crossfade action, brilliant crossovers, sturdy, and a smart little sound processor.

            The best second bet for overall use is the Pioneer 300/500/600. The 300 starts at around 300 quid, I think. They have good crossfade action, decent crossovers, and some really good FX (depending on which model you buy). I've always found that the knobs fall off quickly (ooh-err), though, and the FX can be temperamental.

            Both of these companies have produced stuff that's got a bit more to it than the average scratch mixer.
            http://www.djhistory.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Those Allen & Heath mixers are cool (think they start about £500 for the scratch model).

              However there is another option for sound quality, Rane make some fantastic mixers and while not many companys stock them (sapphires.co.uk is one of the few) their stuff is all built like a tank, and have fantastic sound quality. They all have adjustable crossfader curve (so you can cut scratch style, or blend mix style) and also parametric eq's (think the A&H mixers have this as well) so when you cut say the mids, it doesnt affect the bass.

              The new model (56i) is about £600 (im saving my pennies) but they have older models such as the 52i or 54i which doesnt have all the features (no fx loop on the 52) but you could prob pick one up for about £250-300, and they do last
              working together for better bass and treble

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks gents!

                I'd never heard of A&H or Rane before.

                I'll check them out.
                He also contributed songs for the Jim Henson movie vehicle 'Muppets From Space'.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (theeman @ 07 June 2003,10:13)]personally, if you're not a geek, I'd invest in the Phillips P600 (or something like that). it's a hi-fi separate CD recorder that Richer Sounds are doing at the mo for 150 quid - a bargain. sure, it's not the best on the market, but at that price it can't be beaten - and allows you to record comps a track at a time, just like a tape deck, or record a live mix if you prefer.

                  note that these hi-fi separates CD machines will usually only write onto the 'audio' branded CDRs - the more expensive ones that have a copyright duty paid already. they won't write onto computer (cheap) CDRs.

                  the way round this is to buy an Audio CD-Rewritable disk, write your comp or mix onto it using the hi-fi, then copy that Rewritable CDR on your PC onto normal cheap computer CDRs. once you're done, you can just reuse the same CD-Rewritable Audio disk on your hi-fi machine every time you need a new recording.

                  oh, and if people are looking for excellent, cheap speakers, check out the Yorkville YSM-1. under 200 quid for pro audio, almost flat frequency response near field studio monitors, these are much better than the equivalent 'hi-fi' speakers, which'll colour the sound usually to compensate for crap CD audio. if you want to hear a record as close to the original recording as possible, these are the way to go without spening over a grand. a canadian brand with a very good rep, especially considering the incredible price.

                  no idea on mixers though - over to the DJ pro's!
                  I second the Richer Sounds route - I use the Phillips recorder (double decker - to make dubs as well) - my music room is separate to my PC, so I find this the best way - as Ed says, just like doing tapes.

                  Blank audio CDRs (record once only) can cost around 50-60p at Richers as well (or about 90p - £1 at HMV etc)

                  Probably best to use blank CDRW (about 30p more each) at first - so you can erase/record over/ etc - for a master copy - and then dub onto a normal CDR.

                  Comment

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