Toss my Cassette 4-track recorder now that I found Audacity?

A long time ago, I bought a used FOSTEX 4 track cassette recorder. Just for simple recodings of vocals, piano, guitar, and drums - I’m not a profession musician (or even a good one, HAHA). I just found Audacity online this morning, and I have been playing around with it for the last couple hours.

Is there any reason I shouldn’t get rid of my FOSTEX 4 track cassette recorder now that I have Audacity? Thanks.

If you have a need to record 4 tracks simultaneously then keep the Fostex – assuming you can still find cassettes to feed it!

Without a special external audio interface (and possibly some wrestling with Windows sound drivers), Audacity will record a maximum of two channels simultaneously. If what you want to do is record one instrument then overdub another and another, then Audacity should be all you need, and the quality should be much better than with the Fostex. Audacity has virtually no track limit, so you could conceivably have 20 or more separate overdubs as opposed to the 4 track limit of the Fostex.

Here’s a tutorial on overdubbing with Audacity:

– Bill

Thanks for your reply Bill. Yes, I just record myself on piano. Then I add some vocals. Third I add a little guitar. All separately. Non-simulataneuosly. Sounds like I don’t have to use the Fostex-cassette recorder anymore. Yay!

Before you get all excited over this, getting your microphone into the recorder and getting it into your computer can be very different jobs. Windows Computers are not known for their sound quality. How are you getting your voice into the computer?


How are you getting your voice into the computer?

A cheap omnidirectional mic. I’m not a pro, and I don’t need to sound like one. Thanks.

So you weren’t using the extensive talents of the recorder at all. Yes, you can probably put the recorder in the garage.

I would warn that even though it seems you can easily substitute the computer for the cassette machine, the techniques are a little different. For one big difference, the cassette machine gives you a hard copy of the performance that you need to go to extra effort to damage. Not so the computer. Most people’s natural method of editing, filtering and production is to work on the original capture file, repeatedly, saving work on top of work on top of work. If the power went off right this second, those people have lost everything right back to the original song performed into the microphone. Periodically save the work as new, different projects as you edit the show and if possible, make copies of all original work.

Oh, poo, I can hear you say. Nothing of mine is work that kind of effort.
We would just as soon not see you back here trying to rescue a damaged show because you got used to bad housekeeping.