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Personal Recorder (Zoom, Tascam,..) - Opinions?

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(@bloos66)
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Hi,
here is some background - lately I've had a bit of time and started to practise a lot sitting in the garden (hot Australian summer) with my acoustic. What I really want to do is to share the time between my acoustic and my Tele, so I decided to look at buying a small guitar amp like the Vox AC-30 Mini Headphone amp so that I can at least hear the Tele through headphones. It's cheap and should do the job nicely.

Then I thought that perhaps it'd be better to spend a bit more money and get something that can record my guitar and loop it which would allow me to play along to it, whilst still playing through headphones. I dug out some guitar magazines and found reviews of the Zoom H4, Tascam DR-1 etc in it. Good reviews and they seem to be able to do the job, but these gadgets are not cheap.

I was wondering if any of you had some experience with the Zoom/Tascam/similar and would like to share them. There should be some other looper/sequencer tools out there as well. My requirements are pretty simple - play guitar through headset, record guitar, play back (loop) and play along to it. Everything else is a bonus.

Many thanks, b.


   
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(@joehempel)
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I got to try out a Zoom H4 Sam Ash Music and I really enjoyed it. I may get the step down version the H2 at some point

I haven't tried the Tascam, but the Zoom H2/H4 products are great in my opinion.

You may also want to look at the Boss MicroBR, it's a 4-track recorder as well, and it includes built in drum tracks and guitar effects. I think that runs about $230

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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(@bloos66)
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Thanks Joe. Did some more research, Tascam also have 2 Guitar Trainer products, they might be more appropriate. I wonder if anybody uses them and provide some info.


   
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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 22 years ago
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I have the Boss Micro BR and think it's really good. the Import/ Export WAV/ mp3 functions are buried on page 120-something or thereabouts of the manual, but it's fairly intuitive in use.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@gnease)
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have a Zoom H4. I've used it for live stereo recording and it does the job pretty well. still have not used the four-track capability, and I would never even consider doing track mixdown on the unit. I use my laptop + Firebox + real audio editing apps for all of that.

my only real issues are tiny display (mostly significant to the over 40 crowd) and the clumsy user interface. the latter is serviceable, but could have been much better even with the same HW (knobs, buttons, wee lil display) and similar complexity SW. I suspect the UI design was done by Marketing and SW Engg instead of someone who actually knows a thing or two about human factors. haven't tried the competition to see if they are any better.

I believe Zoom has introduced a successor to the H4, plus competition has stepped up. I smell price reductions ...

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@bloos66)
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Thanks for your replies.
I had a look at the Boss Micro-BR and it looks great, certainly has all the functions I am after - and a few more. I think it's going to be a race between the Boss Micro-BR and the Tascam GT-R1, both are specifically geared towards guitar/bass and should provide enough functionality for years to come.


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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I've used the H4 to record a large choir with excellent results. Really impressive for such a relative cheap unit.

Something entirely different: do you have a laptop? If so you dont need to buy any hardware, just get some proper programs.


   
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(@bloos66)
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Topic starter  

Something entirely different: do you have a laptop? If so you dont need to buy any hardware, just get some proper programs.

Hi Ignar, yes, I've got all that for both PC and Mac - and put it to good use.

The only reason I am looking for a portable unit is so that I can play anywere anytime, especially sitting in the garden and playing over headphones. I never really considered guitar trainers/recorders, but the recent heat wave in Sydney (30-35C every day) drives me out of the house in the cool and shady garden. Recording, looping etc are really bonus functions, but having them would mean that all I needed to take with me was one small unit plus headphones, far more practical than the laptop.


   
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(@joehempel)
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After reading this post, I had to go out and get me a Micro BR.....*sigh* so much gear, so little money :lol:

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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(@bloos66)
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Impulse buying - gotta love that :D

Joe, please let me know you like the Micro-BR. I studied the user guide, it's looks a tad complicated with all these buttons and functions. The Boss seems a bit cheaper than the Tascam as well, at least here in Oz with our inflated prices.


   
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(@joehempel)
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There is a very steep learning curve with the Micro BR, the manual is pretty worthless from what I understand. But once you get the hang of it, best you can by for the money in my opinion. I actually had this when I was first picked up a guitar a year ago, but took it back because it was too much, and I didn't think I would need any of it, but now....I went back to it.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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(@dondiego2000)
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Hi everyone... just to throw another one in the mix...

I've been looking at the Boss Micro BR, but also the Tascam DP004. Here in the UK they are the same price, and I'm going to buy one or the other. Can't really afford either tho, so need to make sure i pick the right one! Have seen loads of reviews of each independently, but can't find any comparisons between the two (possibly because the DP004 is new?) ... any ideas?


   
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(@bloos66)
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Just did a quick comparison between Boss Micro BR and Tascam DP004 by looking at the user manuals (all online).

The Boss is geared towards the guitar player and is perhaps more a practise/trainer tool than a mixer. The DP004 seems to be a mini mixing studio for general recording purpose.

Additional Boss features that the DP004 doesn't have: built-in rhythms, built-in effects, MP3 player, MP3 play-along (all features a guitarist might want). The DP004 seems to have a few more mixing functions and it also looks like a mini mixing console.


   
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(@alangreen)
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Agree that the Boss Micro BR can be complicated, but most of the fuctions you only have to do once to get your head around.

I'm struggling to get the rhythm track out. I understand that I've got to bounce it to another track, but that's where it falls over. I'll get there eventually.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@joehempel)
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You're ahead of me Alan, I can't find a rhythm track that I like out of the 248 of them available.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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