Help Going From Tape To Digital

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Derrick
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Help Going From Tape To Digital

Post by Derrick » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:07 am

I want to know about swapping from my 8 track reel to reel to a digital capture for more tracks and reliability. Please don't tell the analog people that I'm here or they?ll sent out teams to hunt me down... actually, by keeping everything analog except for the capture unit (reel to reel in my case) I can stand to be digital. My band's studio is primarily used to record indie or self releases and do good demos as well. I am currently fully analog with a vintage Soundtracks board, some tube preamps, Symetrix and Ashley compressors, and decent dynamic and condenser mics into the reel to reel.

My reel to reel is acting up so I am forced to decide on what to replace it with. I don't want to spend the $$$ on another used reel to reel so I figure I may as well dump the $$$ into a digital thing but I don't know a lot about it... enough to choose at least.

I have been looking at the Aleasis HD which would easily just plug in place of my reel to reel and give me 24 tracks. Cool, but I don't want to spend that much on an all in one unit. So then I see that two of the interfaces that get attention are the Digi002 and the MOTU (Black Lion mods sound good). Are these two the best choices or are others good for about the same $$$ (new or old/used)?

Also, my board is 24 ch. Would the MOTU or Digi002 only give me 8 in and 8 out? I want more if it's not too pricy. I don't know how much I want to spend... I will probably end up going with whatever seems like the best bang for the buck (which is why I say I consider old/used) to get good sounds. I am frugal in that I like to find ways to get great sounding stuff cheap (like buying an old Soundtracks board!). From what I gather, this is only an issue for me because I don't want to mix in the box?
Thanks!!
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Post by sonikbliss » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:56 am

Have you checked out the MX2424? It's similar to the Alesis but it may be coming down in price because they have a newer 48 track version on the way. If you only need a 24 track digital multitrack and not all of the fancy plugins and stuff it's a great deal.

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Post by ledogboy » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:40 pm

Yeah-
If you really don't care about mixing in the box, and want to retain your analog workflow, I would strongly consider one of the digital mulitrack moxes like the MX-2424. Mackie, Alesis and Tascam all put out products like this that are somewhat similar. I don't know too much about them, as I'm a PT HD kinda guy, but I know of folks who I respect who have had good luck with the Mackie and Tascam products. Although I have heard that Tascam's product support is lousy, especially for discontinued items, so you may want to consider that. Good luck with whatever you choose!
Ryan

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Post by Mark Alan Miller » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:41 pm

If you're going with a console and outboard gear and looking at a stand-along rcorder-editor thing like the MX2424, consider a used Mackie HDR 24/96.
Excellent converters and the best multitrack editor I've used.
Sounds great interfaced with analog console. I've got two here, and a friend's studio has one that they use with a Mackie 8-buss desk. Works great for them, too.
Make sure if you find one used that it has the analog I/O cards, though. Many come with different flavors of digital I/O (or none at all!) and the analog cards aren't available any?longer.
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Post by Derrick » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:10 pm

OK, well I need to check out these options. I'm not set on just how many chanels I need, but 16 would be great. 24 would be a dream. I'm also not married to wether I need to have a contained unit (like the Alisis HD) or get a computer and i/o partnership (like the Digi002 rack). Are there benefits to going either way?
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Post by ledogboy » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:17 pm

Well, I have a 002R for my band's use so that we can go back and forth to my studio with a consistent format. The downside for you with 002 is that you aren't going to have as much analog I/O as it seems you might want. If you are sticking to 44.1 or 48, I suppose you could add more channels via external convertors. Check out the specs on the digi unit for yourself and think about if it will work for you. Cheers,
Ryan

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Post by kayagum » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:49 pm

I'm sorry that you think the HD24 is too expensive, but consider these advantages:

It's a single unit replacement. No extra cables, I/O, cards, computer peripherals, chips, wireless, etc.

You don't have to fight with your OS. The HD24 is very stable. cgarges rates it 2nd only to his iZ Radar, and that's several grand.

You can have it both ways: if you get a Fireport (which I would highly recommend), you can mix ITB as well. Or wave edit, transfer it back out, play it back for your mixdown.

I wouldn't call it portable, but it's definitely transportable. Try setting up a remote rig with a G5. Or a laptop (and watch it freak out).

A/D/A : It's probably not an Apogee, but the quality is more than decent. I've recorded classical concerts with it, and it sounded great! You can always upgrade it to the HD24XR.

24 channels simultaneously, basically no latency. Enough said.

Somebody on Buy/Sell/Trade is selling theirs for $1K even. I'd jump on it. In the long run (since it's self contained), it may work out being cheaper, and you'll have a professional quality recorder.

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Post by Derrick » Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:15 am

I'm sorry that you think the HD24 is too expensive, but consider these advantages:
It's not exactly that it is too expensive, it's more that I can get computer stuff pretty cheap of free around here so if I do that and get a A-D/D-A converter I spend half the price. Plus I can upgrade any part without having to get a whole new system (like if I want a larger hard drive or it breaks. Plus I can do it myself).

OK, the MX-2424 and the Tascam suggested are like $3,ooo to $4,000! Not shure how this ends up being a better choice then the HD24 which is $1500. Anyhow, I am trying to figure out what are the best converters with a good amount of analog ins/outs for the cheapest $$$. There are so many choices now (both old and new) that there has to be a great sounding converter that will work with my need for ins/outs. Am I looking at things correctly? All I know about buying a digital recording unit is that you want good converters and the proper anout of ins/outs. Is this the case?
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Post by sonikbliss » Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:45 pm

Derrick wrote:
I'm sorry that you think the HD24 is too expensive, but consider these advantages:
It's not exactly that it is too expensive, it's more that I can get computer stuff pretty cheap of free around here so if I do that and get a A-D/D-A converter I spend half the price. Plus I can upgrade any part without having to get a whole new system (like if I want a larger hard drive or it breaks. Plus I can do it myself).

OK, the MX-2424 and the Tascam suggested are like $3,ooo to $4,000! Not shure how this ends up being a better choice then the HD24 which is $1500. Anyhow, I am trying to figure out what are the best converters with a good amount of analog ins/outs for the cheapest $$$. There are so many choices now (both old and new) that there has to be a great sounding converter that will work with my need for ins/outs. Am I looking at things correctly? All I know about buying a digital recording unit is that you want good converters and the proper anout of ins/outs. Is this the case?
Well, at this point you're rally going to have to be more specific about what components you actually need and what your budget is.

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Post by Derrick » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:04 pm

Well, what I need is something that will basically take the place of my tired old 8 track reel to reel machine. It would be nice to get more then 8 tracks since I'm going digital, but not absolutely necessary. So the components I need are just something to take place of the tape unit. But I want good converters. It seems like it ma be cheaper to get an interface and use a computer rather then a all in one unit... plus I can pugrade parts if I use my own computer. So it looks like interface may be the way to go for me.

As far as my budget, I don't usually decide how much I can spend... rather, I usually see how much I can get for how little and make a choice based on the tradoffs. If I can get enough quality from a used interface for $300-$500 or a new one for $1200 that spending more wouldn't justify spending $2000 to $4000 then hey... That's what I did with my mixer. Instead of getting a newer Soundcraft for well $1500, I got a vintage Soundtracs for under $1000 with as good or better pres, EQ, and quality. So I am trying to figure out what that unit might be.
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Post by Derrick » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:09 am

Alright, after looking into this a bit more... I wonder what units are available with more then 8 ins and 8 outs for a price range from about $500 to $1500? It looks like the Motu and Digi002 both are 8 ins and 8 outs max without buying a second unit or whatever you need to do.
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