Jim Williams wrote:
The HD24XR is ideal in a fixed studio/overdub enviroment. It also does well live. Think of it as a reliable tape recorder that uses a hard drive.
I ran mine against a Radar Nyquist and my HD24XR had better low end depth and clearer top end transient details.
They are not too far apart in design as both used the AKM 5393 ADC chips and Motorola 33078/9 opamps. They are far apart in price, weight and operating noise.
Coming from a 500 lb analog 24 track background getting hauled around, this box fits under my arm and is the same size as my cassette and DAT recorders. Zero failures, can't say that for the old 24 tracker. You only have one chance to screw up a live recording.
12 sized rack? Not here. I use the HD24, the 16 track console (or mic preamps, 8 in one RU), a couple of bar stools and a set of headphones. Everything is set up so I can carry it in, no heavy cases, no casters, no dollies. I like light and easy.
I like the idea of the HD24XR, but it just seems like it may be too much for what I'm going for. Looking around at the mobile rigs that studios have for location recording in a cabin or rented space, I'm seeing a lot of Symphony I/O, Rosetta, Aurora, etc. Simple, compact converters plus a laptop or Mac Pro running ProTools. Either that or a tape machine, but I don't know that I really have the space for that right now.
While a console and HD24XR are perhaps lighter than a 12U rack, having the space to keep the console set up would be near-impossible in my apartment, whereas a rack of pres and converters can simply stay set up in the corner with a long FW cable to my laptop and cables out to my monitors for easy mixing at home.
I think the Alesis could be pretty cool, but I'm really thinking the console route may not be the best way to go at the moment. Plus I kind of like the variety offered by having a rack of a few different kinds of pres, and I'm still like to have some tracking compressor options at hand as well.
AndersonSoundRecording wrote:Might have missed it, but didn't see two really important things amongst the suggestions here:
1 - transformer-isolated mic splitters. You need these to do live gigs so you can share mic's with the PA. Get the best you can afford - cheap transformers suck. Take the direct side unless the live sound guy throws a hissy fit.
You'll need snakes too - a long one for you and short tails for the PA. If your splitters are your stage box, get fan->fan XLR.
2 - Of mondo importance: a redundant recorder. If you are planning on charging for your services, having a backup recorder is vital. You never want to have to apologize at the end of a gig.
Laptops (even MacBooks) are too finicky to be trusted completely. It only takes one Pro Tools hiccup to ruin your day.
HD24 is a great box, but unfortunately it does not look like Alesis will continue to make and support them. Forget Digi and MOTU - take a look at the RME UFX. It works as a standalone HDD recorder AND functions as an audio interface, so you have a built-in backup for your laptop right in one box. I know it's out of your proposed budget, but it's worth the extra bread.
Forget about lugging around outboard processing and TT patchbays - complete waste of rack space and money unless you are mixing live-to-air (and even then...). Spend your money on a good front end - good mic amps and good converters. Get good clean signal to "tape" and then you can do your processing in a better monitoring environment.
If you are concerned about rack space, invest in decent 8-banger mic amps. DAV and True Precision 8 are good middle-budget solutions for single RU 8-channel boxes; Presonus and Focusrite make cheaper and, perhaps in your situation, more practical boxes. Coupled with a UFX, if you have lightpipe outs on your mic amps (as the Presonus and Focusrite do), you could utilize the full 30 inputs that it offers.
If you want to go higher end on the conversion (makes a bigger difference as you go into higher track counts), grab a used Apogee AD16 (x or not). They can be had for a song nowadays. The sound quality and the soft limit feature make them a no-brainer for location work.
16 inputs is rarely enough, but it's good enough to start (even 24 inputs isn't enough half the time). Don't waste your money on cheap stuff: when you spend money, you are investing in yourself: spend it wisely with an eye towards good quality, proven performance, and expanding your capability down the road.
Thanks so much for your reply- I think you may have misunderstood my purpose though. It seems like there are too many terms for location/mobile recording that can all mean different things.
I'm planning on using this setup for tracking full records with bands in houses, rented rooms, and practice spaces. At this point I don't advertise for live concert recording, and though it would be fun to get into, its not at all a priority right now. My main concern is getting 16 great sounding channels into my computer to record. The redundant recorder is cool, but doesn't seem like a necessity for doing a bunch of overdubs and that sort of thing. While 16 inputs may be pretty low for a live recording setup, it should be more than enough for tracking small bands, at least for now.
I'd like to have the patchbays and outboard to give me some variety and allow me to compress on the way in, or mix with some hardware compression.
For reference of what I'm going for, maybe check out the Hangar Studio's 'Remote' system. http://thehangarstudios.net/remote.html ... lex Evans