Doing it the hard way

I’m considering making some dance music, but not using a laptop. I want to use stuff I’ve already got so I’ll probably end up using a boss dr 770, the sampler on a yamaha aw16g, my guitar, some pedals. Might try and buy a second hand korg volca bass. I recognise there are far easier ways to do it in 2022 but quite like making it hard for myself. Anyone else like to do things the hard way in order to get results that sound different? What do you do?

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I use all hardware stuff and record to old 4/ 8 tracks

I’m going to have to give up on recording to cassette though - they break and no one knows how to fix them

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What 4 or 8 track do you use? I have always thought they would give a really cool lofi sound but don’t know if that is really the case.

Tascam 424s and 488s

All this stuff was recorded “live” to a 424, no overdubs


Feel like it encourages good habits which are valuable in any situation. I haven’t recorded to tape since I was at college but i’ve gotten better at using DAWs just to record into and not as a ‘5000 useless VSTs just to mess around with’ station.


I pretty much only use software for recording plus the occasional VST effect (would dearly love a hardware version of Valhalla SuperMassive).

I find no joy in manipulating stuff on a screen, far prefer a dedicated control surface so hardware synths are my thing.

Have toyed with the idea of picking up a cassette four track for ages, but they are so absurdly expensive now. Thanks Allesandro Cortini.

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Was itching to record a record properly (i.e. with producer, to 1/4") after doing 2 bedroom records solo and then 2 with band during the lockdowns. But then I got covid so these ‘proper’ sessions got cancelled.

Anyway, as an alternative, I’ve got the Tascam out again. So me and the drummer hired out a practice space today with a very simple 3-mic set up on the kit and my bass being DI’d from the amp into a mixer out to the 4-track. No idea how it’s gonna work out. I guess if it’s not quite right we’ll treat it as demos. Good to experiment though. Harder can be good for the knowledge building and the wallet. I love doing as much musicing away from laptops as possible. I’m not loyal to lofi really, but I’m interested in music with character, so 4-tracks, odd set-ups, second hand instruments fit in with that.

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This is the only way to make dance music.

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I wouldn’t say I do it the hard way as such but I tend to record a lot to a Tascam (digital) eight track recorder first and then use Ableton to clean it up / do additional stuff that I can only really do in that. I find it a bit easier if anything - every process being on the computer alwaus made me feel a bit jittery and inattentive


I tend to shy away from your crazy expensive boutique pedals but I’d happily pay through the nose for this


honestly took me until last year to get my head around using DAWs properly in the way you say - so easy to just get tangled up in endless virtual stuff without learning about blending sounds and mixing properly

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I just record onto my phone through the inbuilt mic like an absolute boss