Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon May 14, 2018 2:32 pm

I’m gearing up to update my mobile rig. Thinking about stream lining things with an HD24 and leaving the laptop out of the picture. What are peoples opinions of these in 2018? I know they’re old tech but they more than meet my requirements for most mobile gigs (mostly stand-up comedy and live podcast gigs). Are they still viable in this day and age? Things to watch out for?

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by kslight » Mon May 14, 2018 3:58 pm

I’ve got a cute little rack with an HD24xr and 24 channels of JBL/Urei preamps for mobile recording gigs. Works great, though almost never use it in this capacity. I more frequently use it for dumping 24 tracks from 2” Tape.

I would also generally take the Adat outs of the hd24xr into my computer simultaneously so I have somewhat redundant recording.

I think it sounds decent. In a live situation the recording device is rarely gonna be the biggest variable in the final quality.

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon May 14, 2018 4:39 pm

I guess the real question is reliability. My current live rig (Digi002, laptop) has been fairly bulletproof but both of the major components are aging and one will likely shit the bed any day now.
I really like the idea of not dragging a laptop and external drive along.

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by kslight » Mon May 14, 2018 5:07 pm

Well I’ve never had any reliability problems, but i haven’t given it a lot of heavy workouts. I have let it keep recording for hours at a time and it was fine. And it’s really just a computer so I imagine if the power supply died or something it wouldn’t be that tough to replace it.

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by TapeOpLarry » Mon May 14, 2018 8:05 pm

We used to have a 002/laptop rig with 2 Presonus Digimax preamps and could do 18 channels live. I'd never try it again! I love the idea of redundant capture, and Adam Lee who works here has an RME interface that records right off itself while you also run a laptop - we used that for some comedy live tracking (Rooftop via Audible) and it was awesome! These live sessions are nerve-wracking, so anything one can do to make it easier and less stressful...

PS: I even ganged it up with a Digi MBox2 pro and tracked 2 Death Cab for Cutie shows, joining their tour for 2 days. It worked but was slightly out of sync, MTC and word clock were slightly off!
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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by kslight » Tue May 15, 2018 5:26 am

Depending on how many inputs you actually need, and how much you want to spend, a real slick setup would be one of the Behringer x32 racks with the new expansion card that lets you record to an SD card. Out of the box there’s 16 computer less inputs, with preamps....expandable to 32.

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by emrr » Tue May 15, 2018 5:46 am

The HD24 I owned never lost a recording, or interrupted one, but I found the drive carriers very finicky and prone to load errors, and transfers over to DAW later also had intermittent failures. I was happy to see mine go, but plenty of others like them a lot. I don't know the availability of drive carriers and suitable drives at this stage, it was a growing problem at one point.

I'm not sure what I'd pick as a standalone currently. JoeCo, Tascam, Sound Devices and others all seems to have boxes with varying capabilities and track counts.
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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue May 15, 2018 8:09 am

Does anyone here have experience with the Cymatic Utrack 24? It appears to retail for around the same price as a used Alesis HD24 (around $750 CDN). The idea of something new, with warranty vs a 16+ year old Alesis is fairly attractive but the low price point and modern build quality on most budget gear makes me a little nervous

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by markjazzbassist » Tue May 15, 2018 9:31 am

tascam dr 680 new is in your price range. i had a friend that used it on movies a lot and never had issues.
Recorded on a Tascam 388 - http://earthtone.bandcamp.com/

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue May 15, 2018 10:17 am

markjazzbassist wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:31 am
tascam dr 680 new is in your price range. i had a friend that used it on movies a lot and never had issues.
I came across that in my search. It looks good but I’d go for more inputs. One of my regular gigs is a live talk show with a house band. I usually end up at 16 ins for that one. 24 I/O is pretty appealing just to safeguard against future demands.

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by markjazzbassist » Tue May 15, 2018 10:31 am

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:17 am
markjazzbassist wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:31 am
tascam dr 680 new is in your price range. i had a friend that used it on movies a lot and never had issues.
I came across that in my search. It looks good but I’d go for more inputs. One of my regular gigs is a live talk show with a house band. I usually end up at 16 ins for that one. 24 I/O is pretty appealing just to safeguard against future demands.
gotcha, i used to work at tascam hence all their recommendations. Others in that arena are the X48 (newer), mx2424 (older). Used on both is in your price range i think. Comparable to the HD24
Recorded on a Tascam 388 - http://earthtone.bandcamp.com/

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by bluesman » Tue May 15, 2018 1:29 pm

I own two HD24 units. I have recorded literally thousands of hours on them without a single issue. I keep one in a 4-u SKB case & carry a bag of insert cables for recording in clubs directly from the house mixer in discreet multitrack (or at least as discreet as a night club performance gets). The other one is mounted in my studio rack with all of my outboard pre's & compressors. It's very much like using a tape recorder, so for me there really wasn't much of a learning curve. You do have to check with Alesis to make sure that you are buying a hard drive brand and modle that is compatible with the HD24.
If something happened to either one of mine, I would buy another HD24 to replace it.
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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue May 15, 2018 2:41 pm

bluesman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 1:29 pm
I own two HD24 units. I have recorded literally thousands of hours on them without a single issue. I keep one in a 4-u SKB case & carry a bag of insert cables for recording in clubs directly from the house mixer in discreet multitrack (or at least as discreet as a night club performance gets). The other one is mounted in my studio rack with all of my outboard pre's & compressors. It's very much like using a tape recorder, so for me there really wasn't much of a learning curve. You do have to check with Alesis to make sure that you are buying a hard drive brand and modle that is compatible with the HD24.
If something happened to either one of mine, I would buy another HD24 to replace it.
Good to know. What are you using to monitor your tracks when you're recording club gigs?

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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by bluesman » Tue May 15, 2018 4:09 pm

Visual reference only. Since live recording is dependant on the FOH guy. If it sounds ok (not a distorted mess) In the room, then there is no problem. Occasionally is ask for some gain staging to get me out of the red on the kick and snare.
Other nights I am the FOH....no issues.
Great bands sound great on playback. I mix in the box at a later date at home & monitor on Klipsck Kornerhorns.
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Re: Alesis HD24 - Still a decent option?

Post by bluesman » Tue May 15, 2018 4:20 pm

By visual reference, I mean the segmented LED VU for each channel. I'm sure you know what I mean, just trying to be clear. Even when bumpping the red zone, I find the HD24 to be very forgiving....not clipped. But I never slam it.
"The digital future sucks the boils off my white ass." McHugh

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