Foray into Recording

This weekend I bought a Roland VS-840 digital multitrack recorder from eBay. Ever since I’ve done audio work for Gimme 5 I’ve been wanting to do my own recording stuff and this is the first step. I plan on using it to do some simple live recording stuff at first and as I gain my own experience I can go on to other things. I still need to buy about $200 worth of microphones, stands, cables and a submixer before I can really make use of it. Obviously, for about $400 I am not going to have a studio-quality setup, but it should be good enough for a beginner who will be recording high school band demos at best.

Until then, I’ve been reading up on the mods you can do with it. A hack that interests me is replacing the Zip 100 drive with a 2 GB hard drive. It’s relatively simple: you upgrade the firmware and use a desktop to laptop IDE adapter to install the hard disk. However, the firmware upgrade is somewhat hairy: it sometimes fails and can render the recorder useless. In addition, it’s a pain to remove the internal drive to transfer songs from the recorder to my computer.

I plan on making an external enclosure for the hard disk and the Zip drive so I can switch between the two and hook it up to my Windows box easier. If I get it working I’ll post a howto sometime. In any case, I look forward to posting about my experiences with starting out in recording.

4 responses to “Foray into Recording”

  1. Hallo, where did you find the description of how to make a modification to a harddisk ? I have one of these VS 840’s I bought 6 years ago and the zip drive has stopped working (never really worked well anyway). Sounds like there is hope after seeing your post. Can you help?

    Chris Larsson
    a swede working in Panama

  2. Chris: I would recommend the VS-840 forums at Search around for what you are looking for and you’ll probably find it. If not, just ask, the people there are very nice and friendly.

    Sorry for the delay for me getting back to you… I have been very busy lately with school.

  3. […] I recieved my VS-840 multitrack recorder a few weeks ago and it’s a nice little machine. I am getting started with recording and this will be the heart of my setup. Despite not having anything the plug into it yet I’ve already gotten used to some of its features. However, the total time I can record on a Zip 100 disk on medium-high quality is 49 minutes between all tracks. That means for a simple stereo 2 track recording I can only record about 25 minutes at a time. That doesn’t sound too good because I plan on using this to record long concerts sometimes. […]