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Alternative To Using a Computer?
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jazzbox



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 122
Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:32 pm    Post subject: Alternative To Using a Computer? Reply with quote

I posted a similar thread yesterday but nobody seems to have any thoughts on it.
Basically I find the computer counterproductive in a practicing situation. It's ironic because I'm quite computer savvy. It's just that I'm tired of messing with settings and programs, latency, etc... I want something more instantaneous.

It's no secret that it helps a player's improvisation when you have backing tracks to jam along to. I have BIAB and some Aebersold stuff and they're great. But due to certain restrictions where I live it's best to use headphones.

I was wondering if there are any alternatives to using a computer? I saw the Boss Micro BR(that I mentioned in previous thread). It's extremely small and offers 4 tracks to record on. I was thinking of dumping a bunch of my backing tracks onto it and using it as an improv tool. I'm just wondering if there's any latency issues, etc..

Aside from that can anyone here think of other alternatives? I'm not looking to make high quality recordings. Just looking for something to practice with and do the occasional recording take.
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jlc



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that BIAB is good, and i almost took the plunge, but i have a keyboard and a synthesizer, and i just wanted all my music to be me, other than the drums , so i scraped the biab idea, bought the presonus firebox computer interface, which came with cubae le, and for a very economical price $ 299.00 i was in business. big standalone, roland or akai or whatever machines, will get outdated, are expensive to buy and maintain, i think a computer be it desktop, what i use, or a laptop is the way to go. i can record silently from a line out on an amp and use the headphones, or since i am in the boondocks use my studio monitors.

after a few days i was recording and burning the songs to a cd, everyone or anyone can afford this option with really good results, so i think computer recording (if you already own a computer) is the way to go, just check out the mfg forums to insure your computer is compatable, ie vista, or any other issues.

what i like is when my friends or family say is that all you, i can say yes other than the drum loops.

a small investment that does not tie you into somebody's expensive propriatery hardware.

just my opinion


peace
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TELCO1



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you thought and/or looked at the loop station route? I recently have and it's great for my purposes. I also have BIAB, but I like this better so far.

Lawrie
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Mr. Lawrie Mann: Toronto, Canada

Guitar Gear:
1968 Raven Semi Hollow
1970 Ovation Balladeer
SX STL-50
Roland Cube 60
Roland Microcube

Bass Gear:
SX SJB-75
Douglas WEB-825 NA
Markbass LMII
Bergantino AE112/HS210 Cabs
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C7 Melody



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 33
Location: East Texas

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jazzbox -

not sure if this item is helpful but i thought i would post anyway.

i use a 2 track Tascam Porta mkII mini studio for my guitar progression recording. it has a imput for guitar and two other imputs. it suits me just find for laying down a chord or a lead progression idea for a song. it uses a special but inexpensive cassette tape.
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jlc



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a roland rc 50 loop station, i can lay back ground, progression down on this and then when i input that into the firebox computer interface to record that. then i will play the melody on another track, maybe play another track with a few chord melody ideas here and there, and then another track with either a few fills from the keyboard, and possibly another track with the gr 33 synth as a sax or flute or something depending on the song and genre. It is really amazing to me what the results are with a little effort and a investment.

You just have to remember to leave space in your playing for the other insturments. It is very easy to add effects, pan certain instruments, and it really sounds very professional, i was amazed. I always record clean/dry so you can add effects if needed, you can actually audition the tracks with effectrs, a little reverb, chorus, tube warmth etc.


peace
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Gorecki
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 62518
Location: Davis, CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I dunno man. I'm thrilled with my DAW's! My practice area (aka WANKSTATION) is setup so I can do ANYTHING I can think of on the fly. Just play, record, multi-track audio, midi via keyboard or guitar and even master a CD if I choose. It takes more time to tune than anything else, just turn it on!

Unfortunately I think what causes all the tweaking to begin with is because Micro$oft puts so much on an install by default, but once that's handled..gosh, it's a dream come true compared to the days of being stuck with a tape unit.

Just spewing thoughts. Wink
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Fingerpicker



Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm rather puzzled by the thought of the computer getting in the way. I run my apps on a refurbished HP at 1.8Ghz and while I've had some issues with things not working as I expected, it has been a great aid.

I run BIAB, Cakewalk Guitar Pro 3, FLStudio and various other apps. The big advantage of computer based apps is flexibility and the ability to keep up with advancing technology. Aside from providing me with the ability to throw together backing tracking with ridiculous ease, I really enjoy the ability to score and arrange my music and to produce mastered tracks. And publish my music to the world. And to talk with you guys on forums like this. What's not to love??? Very Happy
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TELCO1



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fingerpicker wrote:
I'm rather puzzled by the thought of the computer getting in the way. Aside from providing me with the ability to throw together backing tracking with ridiculous ease, I really enjoy the ability to score and arrange my music and to produce mastered tracks. And publish my music to the world. And to talk with you guys on forums like this. What's not to love??? Very Happy


The computer doesn't get in the way at all for me. BIAB does a great job when I want to put jam tracks together quickly and easily for practice purposes. I'm very new to using a loop station (Boss RC-20XL), and have found that it starts where BIAB leaves off.

I've always been a jazz/blues guitar player, but I also play the bass. Decent bass players, especially for jazz, are difficult to find amongst the friends I jam with. As a result, I've been playing more bass then guitar in our jam sessions the last couple of years.. I enjoy it, but to a point. I'd rather be playing guitar in allot of situations. The loop station, with the addition to an octave pedal, allows me to do both with great flexability.

I've never had an interest in writing and/or recording original music, so my needs in that area are minimal. I have used Audacity once in a while to play around, but that's the extent of my recording. My main purpose as a serious amateur player is to just have fun and get better at the same time. I got together with my drummer last Sunday for a couple of hours to take the looping station (in fact, my whole new setup) for a spin for the first time. Not only did we have a great time, but it exceeded our expectations.

Lawrie
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Mr. Lawrie Mann: Toronto, Canada

Guitar Gear:
1968 Raven Semi Hollow
1970 Ovation Balladeer
SX STL-50
Roland Cube 60
Roland Microcube

Bass Gear:
SX SJB-75
Douglas WEB-825 NA
Markbass LMII
Bergantino AE112/HS210 Cabs
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jazzplease



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 130
Location: Nara, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I use a Boss micro BR for practice and Im happy with it. Its got drums, a metronome, a loop function, punch in recording, loads of effects for vocals and guitar and noiseless audio out.

I've taken to recording my nylon string guitar for chords as the mic is so good on the thing and the effects are really nice on it too. Then I plug my electric straight in and use that to jam single line stuff.

I also use an octave pedal to create some walking basslines and then jam on that.

If I could go back again tho, I wud probably spend the money on a loop station I think as I dont use it to record much...though its plenty capable of it. There are even mastering tools on the thing!
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Oldercloud



Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:41 am    Post subject: Portable Recording Reply with quote

Hey, Jazzbox. I just joined this forum, and I'm sort of in the predicament that you're in. I've been using BIAB for a couple of years, along with some Aebersold tracks.

I think that BIAB is a really good tool for working on improvisation, due to the fact that it the program enables you to transpose songs into different keys. When you combine this feature with the myriad number of sites that offer free tracks, I think BIAB is well worth the money - even if you purchase a version that's a couple of years old.

There are several digital 4-tracks that are almost small enough to fit into a guitar case. I think that Zoom and Line-6 have produced a couple of models. I even think that some models include software that will enable you to use the digital recorder as a converter.

I'm thinking of purchasing one of these units because they're a bit easier to use than either Protools, or Logic, in my experience. I don't know how much storage capacity these units offer, so I don't know how many tracks that you'll be able to store.

You'll definitely practice your comping skills, if you're creating your own tracks. Anyway, I'd definitely like to know what you decide to purchase. I would seriously consider purchasing BIAB; it's a useful tool.
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sunflower



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a sound engineer in my day job

For guitar practice I prefer as simple a system as I can get
So a Boomerang looper I guess these Boss looper would be fine too
But I got into this a while ago

This is purely because it records with 1 footswitch and then
plays back the loop with 1 footswitch THATS IT !

If I have to do ANY more than that
(mouse screen select things etc etc) then the music part of
my mind gives way to the tech part and thats not good for me.

I hate myself when I get hung up on tech latest features , upgrades
etc and find it a distraction from the guitar/music

For some here they can do both and thats cool ........

However for producing finished multitracks , I WOULD go for
a puter system , these softwares are mature tech now and are
all fine.

They all have a small learning curve !
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richyankee



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 6
Location: NH

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: computers, loop stations etc. Reply with quote

I'm new to this forum. I just read all the replies on this thread and maybe it's just that I've been around for so long, but it seems like I've been through all this with machines, computers, recorders etc.

I use BIAB and a DAW to create material for practice and for playing with friends (it's usually just me and a friend who also plays guitar.)

But the piece that makes this most usable and easy for us is the loop station (rc 50). I can start and stop the backing tracks (in the DAW) with the footswitch and can use the tracks on the looper either standalone or with the other material.

BTW - I do agree that the PC (and other gear) can get in the way of enjoying and/or practicing your music. When it starts to be a burden, I just shut it all down and play. But most of the time, I use the loop station to experiment and to provide me some backing tracks when I'm playing by myself.

I would say the loop station is the most valuable piece of all 3.
(I am planning on reviewing it in some detail for this forum because there are some 'issues' with it.)

Rich
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sunflower



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What octave down pedals do you guys use to simulate bass ?
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TELCO1



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunflower wrote:
What octave down pedals do you guys use to simulate bass ?


Best one I found is the EHX Octave Multiplexor. Here's a link to how I have the EHX and loop station mounted in my pedalboard. I use the FS6 to change channels for A/B sections of a tune.

http://picasaweb.google.ca/lawriemann/GuitarGear/photo#5211645190751678914
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Mr. Lawrie Mann: Toronto, Canada

Guitar Gear:
1968 Raven Semi Hollow
1970 Ovation Balladeer
SX STL-50
Roland Cube 60
Roland Microcube

Bass Gear:
SX SJB-75
Douglas WEB-825 NA
Markbass LMII
Bergantino AE112/HS210 Cabs
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richyankee



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 6
Location: NH

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="sunflower"]What octave down pedals do you guys use to simulate bass ?[/quote]

I don't have an octave pedal. I have used a guitar synth (Roland).
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