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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Hello folks,

I was about to pull the trigger on a second hand Tascam Neo 2488 but now feel very drawn to the Yamaha range of standalone recorders in particularly the AW1600 primarily as it has USB and the others in the Yamahas range that have USB seem to be a bit out of budget on the second hand market.


I plan to record a solo acoustic album and produce this myself on whichever standalone recorder I go for and will be recording in the same room as the recording unit. Please can anyone share any experiences with regards to the fan / hard drive noise created by the AW1600 and whether it would be suitable for recording in the same room as the unit?


Many thanks in advance!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:46 pm
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Location: Netherlands
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Machine type: AW16G
Hi Fylde and a very warm welcome to you.

You can hear the HD of the unit, but it's a very very quiet sound. In the past I made a number of recordings with a highly sensitive large membrane condensor mic and I don't hear it on the recording. In earlier recordings the mic was about 3 ft away from the unit, now I have a "vocal booth" (which probably is something you want anyway when you're recording acoustics). My vocal booth is not completely closed and it only has a few cheap sound absorption panels in it and it works well.

So, no problem there. Just recently someone managed to put a solid state disc in it and get it to work. They're affordable as you don't need a big one, 32 or 64 GB is big enough. No sound whatsoever. Personally I don't think it's necessary when it comes to HD noise.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Machine type: AW4416
Hi and welcome Fylde , same as Robbie, I`ve recorded all my stuff in the same room and I can`t hear any noise from the aw1600 that affects any recording.
As far as the Tascam Neo 2488 is concerned, I think there will be very little difference (sound wise) except for 24bit, 24 tracks and 3 band eq both have fairly similar spec.
Though I`m sure I read somewhere that the usb transfer to pc on the NEO was slow ????.... but I may be wrong.
There are a load of reviews on the net of both machines to help you decide.
If you do end up getting the AW1600, you can be sure you will get the friendliest help and advice you need on this forum !!

Good luck.
T.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Hello and thanks for the speedy replies!

Thats good to know about the solid state hard drives, which did you buy?

The Tascam 2488 Neo and Yamaha AW1600 both go for around the same price second hand on ebay as far as I can see.

The Tascam Neo has more tracks available in 24bit than the Yamaha but I was under the impression that the Yamaha is a much higher quality machine in terms of its reliability, quality of analogue circuitry, preamps, effects, channel dynamics and A/d D/A converters. Would you say that this is true? Otherwise it makes no sense if they are both the same price second hand and the Tascam offers alot more tracks in 24bit mode.



Cheers!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:58 pm
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Machine type: AW2400
I believe the biggest difference in the neo and the 1600, short of 8 tracks, is this support unit right here. There are a plethora of knowledgeable people with most things Yamaha who can point you in directions you never considered.

With that said . . . I have owned several Tascam products. These are my thoughts alone and reflect no one else on this site or anywhere else in the given universe. The greatest product for home users Tascam ever made was the 388. I must say, that was my most favorite unit of all times. It was pure analog 8 tracks of 1/4" reel to reel in one neat compact unit. I still have it to this day, though it sits covered in a closest on a table. My first foray into the digital recording realm was a Tascam 788. Oh boy did I make a mistake. I never could wrap my head around the workings of the unit. Granted, I'm a bit slow to comprehend, but I just never, ever felt good about it. I did 2 recordings and sold it on ebay.

I was browsing a local music store and saw the AW16G. For the next few weeks and months or so, all I could do was dream of this unit. I had to have it. It was a bit strong for my budget, but the sale of the 788 tempered the price. For someone who had no clue with that Tascam 788, I dove in to the 16G. I had a few songs under my belt in no time flat. The main reason for that was the recording 101 that you can find right here.

Knowing what you'll get with the 1600 is important. Yes there are 16 tracks, but 4 are paired. You can use these in a variety of ways. Keyboard, drum machines and the like have stereo pairs which integrate nicely with one of the 1600's paired tracks. You can also bounce mono tracks over to each side of a stereo pair for extra space. Know that each side of a pair can be recorded on, but the volume of the fader is for both and are not separable for audio adjustment. Good news is, you have individual compression or dynamics on each fader (note I didn't say track), and a 4 band eq. FX are fine, but the preamps are questionable. Therefore, with the 1600, I recommend a separate mixer with decent preamps which will solves several areas. 1st you can run your mic's through the mixer if you want. Also, if you like extra inputs, a mixer is a grand way to go.

If you choose the 1600, which is a smashing idea btw, you will hear some hd sounds, but, if you set your room up accordingly, there should be no trouble. Using DI of course is easy. Just get a foot switch for easy on off of recording and set the mic as far away as you can in the room.

Good luck with your decision.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:00 pm
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Many thanks again for the replies.

I am about to pull the trigger on a Yamaha AW1600 and I wondered if you would be so kind as to answer a few more questions I have?


- Can the SPDIF output be dithered down from 24bit to 16bit? I have a DAC in my monitoring system that I would like to use that only does 16bit but I wish to record in 24bit.

- I will be getting an Audient Mico preamp with SPDIF output, this should connect to the Yamaha AW1600 SPDIF coaxial input, are there any compatability issues to be aware of?

- Can the phase be reversed after a track has been recorded? I would like to do some recording using the mid side mic technique which requires copying one figure of eight mic to two tracks and reversing the phase on one and panning each hard L & R.



Many thanks indeed!!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Machine type: AW16G
I don't know anything about the spdif so I can't help you there, but I do know that phase can be reversed. See page 84 of the manual.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:26 pm 
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The 1600 is a versatile unit, but the hard drive CAN be heard, depending on mics and placement. I use a homemade iso gizmo and it does eliminate extraneous noise to the mic inside the booth, but I've had to abandon use of overhead SD condensors as they pick up the hd even from the far side of the room (20 feet :shock: ). The amount of noise is obviously going to be relative to the direction of the mics and distance. I record accoustic instruments most of the time, so noise sensitivity is a thing for me.

The 1600 is still worth it. I've had mine for several years and had absolutely no crashes or latency issues whatsoever. AFAIC, it's the mud buggy of stand-alones.


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