Your first real working home studio

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
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IncarnateX
KVRAF
3681 posts since 25 Jan, 2009 from Forgotten Realms

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:34 pm

Hi
I have made this thread because blah blah blah
Never mind, just tell me about your first real working home studio for the sake of it.

The first working studio worth mentioning in my case was my and a band mate’s little synth studio from medio 80s:

A Korg DW6000, a Korg Poly 800II, a Yamaha RX5 drum machine and a Tascam 4 track recorder. We could record a sync signal from P800ll to one of Tascam’s track and then feed it back into P800II, which would sync the other devices via midi. Now we could play our synths in sync and make use of P800II little sequencer to make some tight bass tracks. Further, we could bounce as much additional voices as we liked with the 3 remaining tracks.

And it was a live studio too. When playing gigs, we simply had drums, bass, effects and some basic voices on Tascam, while playing our own synths synced to its signal. At that time, this was to be considered very handy, and and upgrade from just playback a tape from a plain taperecorder and pretend you played, like others did it before these selfcontained home studios became a reality.

The first real upgrade from this studio was when I got my first workstation, an Ensonic 1, but it was limited to 8 seq track, though I had a Boss DR550 drummachine to supply it. In principle, we could bounce more track with the tape studio, but of course it was more cumbersome to work with.

Now, your stories, plz. 8)
Last edited by IncarnateX on Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jancivil
KVRAF
17542 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:42 pm

It wasn't mine, but I worked with a 4-track cassette setup in 1986-87 with its little mixer and little sends to little things with the tiny basis for most things being a stereo recording from the little Sony Walkman pro. There was a DX7, actually I owned some Yahama drum machine, and an Ensoniq Mirage.
The computer was a MacIntosh which ran off a floppy afaict and the MIDI went out some other kind of port. From a notation program. At one point later there was MOTU Composer but I think I never used it. To edit, to loop a sample meant describing it in hexadecimal which I'd never even heard of. Some time in the middle of this era they came out with software for that Mac which was a lot better than doing this on the tiny display on that Mirage. Sometimes I would make field recordings with the Walkman and port it into that sampler. 8 Bit.

This was all in the drummer's bedroom which was also the rehearsal space for the band. I wasn't in the band but these tapes turning up make it look like I was because we jammed incessantly and there was tape exchanging widely back then.

In my room, which was actually the dining room, I would occasionally make mix tapes on an Otari mastering machine borrowed from elsewhere, with razor blade and greasepaint to mark edit points, doing for real scrubbing and splicing on its little editing surface, on the machine. I learned that because SFCM had tape and my focus was tape for that one semester.
Most of the 4 track tape was performed music, though, With weird overdubs like off that one Jackie Gleason record with many marimbas.

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
11112 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Beginning of 90's:

Fostex X-28H 4-track, Boss dr-660 drum machine, Yamaha 19" 1U multi-fx unit (Can't remember model number), Korg DW8000 on long-term loan from bandmate, Shure SM58 mic, Sony headphones.

Good Times! :tu:

tapper mike
KVRAF
4952 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:23 pm

I had the first Sony 4 track cassette deck that was specially only to take certain cassettes. Because they were afraid you might copy the wrong thing. I remember having to jury rig it so it could accept standard cassettes. I played almost everything on my ES-335 and an original JB Player. Back then JB Players were a USA made product. Mine was strat like with a Kahler type bridge and necik through construction. I got a Korg Poly 600 two years later. Any and everything were my drums back then. Eventually I got a LinnDrum. Everyday was an adventure in recording. I'd pour my soul into writing songs.


...and then the unthinkable happened.

I went to recording school. After you've sat in front of an SSL console with all the trimmings and recorded onto a Studer A80VU 24 it crushes your soul. It took over a decade to get a "decent" studio and shortly thereafter prices dropped like mad. I never made up for the financial loss of going pro in the quickly changing market of the 90's

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Hink
Rad Grandad
28043 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:37 am

felt like superman around 1983 with this and one of those yamaha drum machines that had no song capability, like 5 patterns (rock, disco, waltz, samba and something else) a couple pads on it and of course no midi.

Image

this machine recorded and bounced, no eq not even an xlr (I needed a transformer for my sm57) but it was reported to have amazing heads and it did sound good. I had my little bottles and swabs, took the cover off the transport and cleaned it daily like it was a tascam r2r and I was a serious engineer :hihi:
Albert Einstein may have been a genius but his brother Frank was a monster

Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
10793 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:41 am

Image
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
23674 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:09 am

My first home studio was built around a Tascam 244 and an SM58 microphone. I used my guitar pedals (Boss Chorus, Aria Digital Delay & Yamaha Flanger) as send effects, and the reverb from my Peavey Bandit (it featured an FX loop). The only keyboard I had back then was a Casio VL-Tone.

tapper mike
KVRAF
4952 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:47 am

Hink wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:37 am
felt like superman around 1983 with this and one of those yamaha drum machines that had no song capability, like 5 patterns (rock, disco, waltz, samba and something else) a couple pads on it and of course no midi.

Image

this machine recorded and bounced, no eq not even an xlr (I needed a transformer for my sm57) but it was reported to have amazing heads and it did sound good. I had my little bottles and swabs, took the cover off the transport and cleaned it daily like it was a tascam r2r and I was a serious engineer :hihi:
After my Sony broke I used to rent that exact same model. I forgot how much for but it was fairly reasonable. I do remember it sounding leagues above the rest of the market which were all about getting things done on the cheap.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2026 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:12 am

The moment I could call it a studio was when I got the Fostex 8-track. I had an Apple ][ compatible, later replaced by a custom 68000 computer called Gepard. A DX-7 and a Poly 800. The mixer was a Mitec 16-channel... A pair of passive JBLs which are still in use on our TV...
Later a FZ-10m and an Akai 612s came to the pack...

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The Noodlist
KVRian
562 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from Dingleborough UK

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:52 am

Tascam Porta One.
Later a digitizer and Ensoniq keyboard with cartridges and a midi drum module.
later followed by Cubasis, free from Computer Music and a Yamaha DX21.

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Bombadil
KVRAF
2996 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Far From the Twisted Reach of Crazy Sorrow

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:12 am

Two DBX tape decks, ping-ponging with a 6 channel Radio Shack mixer, 2 RS dynamic mics, 2 Sears mics that came with an earlier Dolby B deck. The Sears mics would be used for the drums, one in the kick, one overhead, one RS mic would be on either an amp or acoustic guitar, as the first thing we'd record would be drums and a rhythm instrument. Then we'd do overdubs, going from tape to tape. The sound is surprisingly good, even when I listen to the tapes today. We learned to mix. because there was no going back, really. Had 1 electric guitar, a bass, a 6 string acoustic, 12 string acoustic, upright piano, then a dinky Casio keyboard.

Then we moved to using a 4tk DBX deck, ping-ponging to a DBX cassette; then 2 Porta 424s.
Last edited by Bombadil on Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“We're an Anarcho-Syndicalist commune”
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Hink
Rad Grandad
28043 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:35 am

Bombadil wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:12 am
Two DBX tape decks, ping-ponging with a 6 channel Radio Shack mixer, 2 RS dynamic mics, 2 Sears mics that came with an earlier Dolby B deck. The Sears mics would be used for the drums, one in the kick, one overhead, one RS mic would be on either an amp or acoustic guitar, as the first thing we'd record would be drums and a rhythm instrument. Then we'd do overdubs, going from tape to tape. The sound is surprisingly good, even when I listen to the tapes today. We learned to mix. because there was no going back, really. Had 1 electric guitar, a bass, a 6 string acoustic, 12 string acoustic, upright piano, then a dinky Casio keyboard.

Then we moved to using a 4tk DBK deck, ping-ponging to a DBX cassette; then 2 Porta 424s.
I excluded the two deck two mic technique because the results were never good enough to call it real :hihi: Far better was a couple of rat shack pzm's recording the band live.

As far as ping ponging to a mixdown deck I did that two but later on I actually did it with a nice stereo 4 head vhs, I found the sound quality to be better than cassette. I did this too with a Tascam 388 before stepping into an Akai dps 12 digital 12 track :)
Albert Einstein may have been a genius but his brother Frank was a monster

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IncarnateX
KVRAF
3681 posts since 25 Jan, 2009 from Forgotten Realms

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:03 pm

Remember that we at one point replaced our Yamaha RX5 drummachine with a Roland TR707. Ever since we got the Korgs with midi, our old analog gear was down the drain. My big fat cumbersome Roland JP4 was sold for peanuts. But with the TR707, we could get our SH101 up running again, because we could use TR’s rimshot output to control the rhythm of SH101 by cv. However it was only the rhythm, so I had to play the notes manually as we already did with arpeggiators before sequencers arrived. Arp playing ain’t that easy as you may think; fck up the timing within a 16th note and you got yourself a new arp rhythm to tame. Further, since sh101 had no presets, it was always the same bass sound we used. In the end this limitation got it out of our equation again, and bye bye sh101, sold for peanuts too. Analog didn’t mean shit these days, but synths with midi and presets meant everything. It was the core of a working selfcontained synth studio.

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rotku60
KVRer
24 posts since 31 May, 2004

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:26 pm

From the mid 80's, Roland JX8P, Matrix 6, Prophet 600, Ensoniq Mirage, Mirage rackmount, Yamaha TX7, 2 Yamaha FB01's, Oberheim DX, Roland R-8, Tascam 38, Dr T software on an Atari 520 ST computer. Plus a bunch of other stuff came and went along the way. I really prefer my more streamlined virtual studio now. Of all the keys I would want back, it would be between the JX8P and the Prophet 600.

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bluedad
something special
8450 posts since 16 Mar, 2002 from Birmingham, Alabama

Re: Your first real working home studio

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:22 pm

I had that same model Cutec also!
Hink wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:37 am
felt like superman around 1983 with this and one of those yamaha drum machines that had no song capability, like 5 patterns (rock, disco, waltz, samba and something else) a couple pads on it and of course no midi.

Image

this machine recorded and bounced, no eq not even an xlr (I needed a transformer for my sm57) but it was reported to have amazing heads and it did sound good. I had my little bottles and swabs, took the cover off the transport and cleaned it daily like it was a tascam r2r and I was a serious engineer :hihi:

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