I use a Korg 16 track digital recording studio, the D1600mkII, for my work. This unit produces sound quality that rivals that of full audio studios in the 1960s, and you can carry it with you. For about $900 bucks, you can have a multi-track studio at your command! All the songs listed on the right column were recorded on this unit.
Digital signal processing (DSP) has improved dramatically in the past few years. But, you will still need some outboard equipment to get the sound you want. High quality microphones are a necessity for vocals and acoustic instruments, but those cost big bucks. I’m falling a little short there. I used Shure 58A Betas, a good stage mic, but somewhat short in terms of a studio mic. Make sure that you use some type of preamp with your mics.
The D1600mkII includes a drum machine with a wide variety of tracks. Once you get the hang of it, programming the drum machine is a cinch. It does not feature good country tracks, a remarkable omission. I don’t know if it is possible to add drum tracks, but I plan to register at a third-party support site to find out.
Easy to use, the D1600mkII includes a CD burner. Well, it’s easy to use if you understand the basics of studio production. Don’t expect to learn all of the features at once. Learn the basics, from the well written manual, and add functions as you go along.
I’m still trying to understanding the Insert Effects function. That one really puzzles me. Most of the time I use the Master Effects, solely for reverb on vocals. For my guitars, I pump them up in an outboard amp, then use a direct out line to connect them to the recording studio. Electric guitars do not produce a big enough output signal, and you’ll be disappointed if you plug directly into the board.
A bass can theoretically be plugged directly into the board, but I don’t recommend it. Once again, I pre-amp my P Bass so that I have more control over the EQ.
Mixing is easy. Just change the recording mode to “Bounce,” set all your sliders and record to the first two channels. Some more expensive machines offer automated sliders, but I don’t really have a use for that. Not yet.
You can spend a lot more and get incredible results, but if you are a songwriter and sound producer, the Korg D1600mkII is a great buy.