Anyone know about a virtual hard disk recorder?

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Snarl 12/8
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Anyone know about a virtual hard disk recorder?

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri May 06, 2011 2:49 am

What I'd like is something that replicates the functionality of one of those Alesis or Mackie 24 track, hardware multitracks, but in Windows software. If I had the money I'd just buy a hardware one, but I don't.

I just want to be able to arm or listen to any number of 24 tracks (16 even) and have some transport buttons. That's it. No plugins, no eq, no mixing capability. Before I buy a book and learn how to program this, I thought I'd ask if it already existed. I'm sick of the hassle of setting up sessions, etc.

Does anyone know what programming language this would be the easiest in? I'd be learning from scratch, so it doesn't matter which one really. I might as well learn the most audio friendly one. From what I've been looking at, most of the audio languages and libraries are geared towards synthesis or processing. Not just taking streams of data on and off the hard drive and keeping them synced to each other.

Thanks.
Carl Keil

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Post by jhharvest » Fri May 06, 2011 5:04 am

Maybe you could do a recording template to your DAW? Writing this kind of application will be difficult, especially if you have no prior programming experience.

If you do intend to write this, I recommend Cocoa on Mac. The Core Audio framework is pretty useful and with Cocoa you won't waste all that time doing interface programming as it takes care of most of that side. It will be a steep learning curve regardless of which language you pick.

Here's a Core Audio example of audio recording:
http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/ ... Intro.html

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Post by apropos of nothing » Fri May 06, 2011 5:27 am

I am completely aware of the sentiment you express.

I solved it with Reaper and a template, which is as close as I've gotten to what you describe. From boot to tracking is about 3 minutes, most of which is Windows startup. Reaper instantiates in about 15 seconds on my lappy.

Previous solutions included a Roland VS-1880 (great, except for getting stuff off of the platform) and a Zoom H2 (still in use) with a hardware sequencer.

You might also look into Tracktion.

But really, if you want the real deal, save your pennies.

Still, Reaper's free to download and inexpensive to use after the demo period, so give it a try.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri May 06, 2011 7:44 am

Pro Tools.

:o WOT?

Turn off in the views, everything.
On the transport, make it "minimal". Never use the mixer window.
No one said you HAVE to use plug ins, the faders, nothing at all.
All you need is the strength of will to not use them, and you're done.

Cheers
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Post by The Scum » Fri May 06, 2011 8:01 am

Does anyone know what programming language this would be the easiest in?
Easiest? Maybe visual basic. It's easy. It's also a dog for high performance apps.

Thus leading us to:

C. Widely supported and good for app execution efficiency.

And then its more modern derivatives...for Windows and Linux, C++, and for Mac, Objective-C. Cocoa/Carbon et al are Obj-C toolkits for making Mac applicatrions, not languages on their own.

The shortest path would be to take something like Ardour, and cut it down to meet your needs. Alternatively, learn how to use the ASIO drivers, and read/write files from them. I could probably cobble together a DOS-mode version in a week.

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Post by apropos of nothing » Fri May 06, 2011 9:11 am

The Scum wrote:
Does anyone know what programming language this would be the easiest in?
Easiest? Maybe visual basic. It's easy. It's also a dog for high performance apps.

Thus leading us to:

C. Widely supported and good for app execution efficiency.

And then its more modern derivatives...for Windows and Linux, C++, and for Mac, Objective-C. Cocoa/Carbon et al are Obj-C toolkits for making Mac applicatrions, not languages on their own.

The shortest path would be to take something like Ardour, and cut it down to meet your needs. Alternatively, learn how to use the ASIO drivers, and read/write files from them. I could probably cobble together a DOS-mode version in a week.
This. +1

Another alternative might be MAX/MSP or its pal, Pure Data, which are languages optimized for audio processing.

But really, pre-built solutions are nearly always less expensive than custom when you figure in your hourly rate.

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Post by KoffeeKommando » Fri May 06, 2011 11:41 am

I asked about just such a thing:

http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=75969

Sonic Core has a virtual ADAT but it only works with their hardware. Really expensive.

I think the Reaper guys could make one easily. Just use all their back end code and slap a new face on it.

Think Tascam X-48 look with 24 meter bars on screen.

Ardour....yeah..but the Linux audio driver situation is horrible. Especially for Firewire devices.


If I had spare cash I'd pay somebody to build a crude Windows version of this.
Simple software could replace a lot of hardware boxes out there. And get more people into recording the old school way, meaning, YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY.

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri May 06, 2011 1:44 pm

I guess a couple more data points about my situation are in order. I sortof wanted to start off open ended to get a breadth(sp?) of ideas, but that often leads to the "you don't really want to do that" set of answers.

First off, like I said, I have no budget. Maybe for a book on programming or two. My interface is not supported by Linux, so even though I'm very familiar with Linux, I can't really go that route. I've got a Ramsa DA7, going into a MOTU, into my computer. I like mixing digitally on the DA7. Right now I'm using Reaper and I do have the"discipline" (it doesn't really take me any) to not use the mixer, plugins or eq. I do have a template set up, but I do have to search around (a tiny bit) for the arming buttons, and watch the waveforms get drawn, etc. I would like to keep the meters. This discussion is making me think about "skins" for reaper. I wonder if there is one (or one could be easily created) to hide all the stuff I want hidden. I don't know how deep their skinning system is, or if it's just, basically color palettes.

I have been thinking that a command line interface would be just fine. I could type 'rec 1-8 play 9-12' to hear back channels 9-12 while recording to 1-8. Boom, nothing to look at and it would probably load really fast. Something that kept all the wave files in a directory together and named them something would be cool too.

Finally, I do have some programming experience. I did Fortran in college and PHP/ColdFusion and Javascript professionally for years. I know, in a lot of ways, those languages are completely irrelevant to what I'm trying to do, but at least i'm not starting from scratch with data types, if/then loops, etc., etc. I don't really panic when I look at c++ code, or python or what have you. Mac is not an option. My mac is dog slow, and like I said, zero budget. I really wish I'd bought an HDR when I bought that mac, I'd be sitting pretty right now.

My hourly rate doesn't figure into this. Music is a hobby and I'm looking for excuses to expand my programming abilities. I did think about cutting Ardour down to size, but there's the whole Windows limitation.

Does anyone know of a cheap 24 track TDIF to computer interface that gets some good Linux love? Something I could trade my 2408 for?

Thanks again people.
Carl Keil

Almost forgot: Please steal my drum tracks. and more.

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Post by Spark » Fri May 06, 2011 10:08 pm

Hmmm... Its for OSX, but its pretty simple, how about Boom Recorder?

http://www.vosgames.nl/products/BoomRecorder/

(if for nothing else than an example of what your thinking of, or am I looking in the wrong direction?)

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri May 06, 2011 10:17 pm

Spark wrote:Hmmm... Its for OSX, but its pretty simple, how about Boom Recorder?

http://www.vosgames.nl/products/BoomRecorder/

(if for nothing else than an example of what your thinking of, or am I looking in the wrong direction?)
It's not clear to me that you can overdub with that. If you can, it looks pretty perfect, aside from the OSX thing, which is actually a dealbreaker for me. I just can't get a different comp.
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Post by wren » Fri May 06, 2011 10:17 pm

If you're interested in programming your own, you might want to look into Supercollider, which would be a little friendlier to that kind of concept and interface than Max or PD (from what I've seen; I've only done very minimal programming in Supercollider, but from what I've seen other people do with it it'd probably be better for your purposes than Max). And it's free, and cross-platform.
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Post by KoffeeKommando » Sat May 07, 2011 2:07 pm

Great tips. Boom Recorder is a great find! That guy has thought of most of the backend features (RIFF64/BWF etc.)

I also found out that Presonus makes something exactly like I asked for. It only works with their new digital live/recording mixer. It's called "Capture"

http://www.presonus.com/products/Softwa ... ftwareId=1

Interface is a bit ugly. Seems the guys that did the Kristal recording software got bought by Presonus. They may have made this thing.

I want a program exactly like Capture but with no waveform view. It needs to have huge timecode display on top, 24 meters next with arm buttons below them, then transport control in lower center. Needs to lock to fullscreen too, just like NI Guitar Rig.

And it should be very "mouse optional". Punch a few keys to get everything armed and get down to business. Edit later on one of the MANY carbon copy DAW programs.

Even Jack White would approve!

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Post by KoffeeKommando » Sat May 07, 2011 6:21 pm

Here is a visual:

Image
capture_large by Reality Based Engineering, on Flickr

That's about all you need. Every button on the screen has a corresponding key or key combo. Input and output buttons open windows with pulldown box selection of all the ins and outs detected on the system.

There should be a few more buttons. Like, between all meters that can do channel linking. Mono and stereo pair tracks easily generated.
The setup menu allows you to name a session and put it in a folder. Session name would appear in the fake LCD along with current sample rate.

These kind of interfaces were the best:
Image
yamaha44face by Reality Based Engineering, on Flickr

Set your levels, arm, hit record.

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Post by Spark » Sat May 07, 2011 7:42 pm

Snarl 12/8 wrote:
Spark wrote:Hmmm... Its for OSX, but its pretty simple, how about Boom Recorder?

http://www.vosgames.nl/products/BoomRecorder/

(if for nothing else than an example of what your thinking of, or am I looking in the wrong direction?)
It's not clear to me that you can overdub with that. If you can, it looks pretty perfect, aside from the OSX thing, which is actually a dealbreaker for me. I just can't get a different comp.
Hmmm... Yah, I havent used it a lot (I demoed it a bit a while back), but Im pretty sure it doesnt do any kind of overdubing. Its just a straight up capture program. Oh well.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun May 08, 2011 5:23 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:Pro Tools.

:o WOT?

Turn off in the views, everything.
On the transport, make it "minimal". Never use the mixer window.
No one said you HAVE to use plug ins, the faders, nothing at all.
All you need is the strength of will to not use them, and you're done.

Cheers
Man,
What are you talking about?
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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