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Thread: portable recording setup

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    Question portable recording setup

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    No one responded to my previous, more open-ended question, so I'll try a more focused approach.

    I'm considering the D1600, Yamaha AW16G, and Akai DPS16. The Yamaha is very new and there are not many user reviews that I have seen out there. I would like to know what people think of any or all of these.

    I'm looking for a portable setup that allows me to record live on location (mostly larger concert groups -- orchestra, concert band, choruses). I feel I need at least 4 simultaneous tracks recorded at once. What I want more than anything is uncompressed multi-track recording and the ability to upload to a PC for mixing/editing. These products are geared more towards all-in-one production, so they may be much more than I need. I could get use of the onboard stuff and I also don't know what the good alternatives are for uncompressed recording alone. If anyone has recommendations on other options for me, feel free to share them.

    My budget is $2000 for a recording unit, mics, etc. I have a nice laptop already, so if an alternative might be a good (stable) laptop setup, that part does not fall under my budget.

    Thanks!
    Brian

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    https://homerecording.com/bbs/showth...threadid=69096

    I just offered some laptop options on this thread. I think the motu would be inexpensive enough to leave some of your 2G's for mics/preamps/cables and such.

    miles

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    Brian,

    I am also assembling my own setup that is portable as well. I have had my fill of the PC dependent systems. (That is, a system that records directly to the PC hard drive). It seemed like every time I was in the middle of recording a number, Microsoft would have another moment and ruin the recording. That really frustrates an artist in the middle of a groove.

    I have completely abandon any idea of a plugin card or USB recorder due to the unreliability of the operating system. (It could be my PC, but I don't have 500 hours to debug the whole system).

    I looked at portable recorders and ran into similar issues as you. I could find a ton of 16 bit multitrack recorders that had lots of bells and whistles, but no efficient way to load into a PC. The hard drive selection was also whimpy. I just wanted something to "grab the jam" and allow me to use my PC tools "off line".

    I finally decided on an Alesis HD24. It is 24 track, 24 bit, uses any hard drive I can throw at it, and has a ethernet connection (slow). I chose the Alesis because it was in the price range of a nice, new, well equipped PC system ($1700). The signal to noise ratio isn't a great deal better that a 16 bit recorder (103dB) but I can rest easy not wondering if Microsoft will have another moment during my recording session. Most of my recording situations will not have stellar signal to noise ratio anyway. Live situations definitely will not be that "quiet".

    I have a portable rack case for the HD24 so I can record at any location I want. Then, at home, I upload the WAV (or AIFF) files onto my PC and work with them there. If Microsoft has a moment, I still have the original recording.

    I don't know if this is much help to you. I would agree that if you can find a workable solution for under 1k, then you have more $$$ for good mics and preamps. If it is a PC solution, be prepared to invest some debug time into it.

    JJ

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    JJ: cool -- I'll definitely check out the HD24. I have the same concerns about Bill Gates ruining a take. A lot of my recordings will be of live performances, so there are NO second chances.

    I would like a laptop setup because of the flexibility, but worry about how solid it is. It doesn't matter how good any of my equipment is (or how good I am) if the recording attempt fails.

    Miles: thanks -- I'm definitely still interested in laptop setups and I have evaulated the rme and motu stuff. I'll do some more research on these. I've pretty much ruled out similar setups with USB interfaces because of USB's bandwidth limitations.

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    If you want a seriously dependable rig then I would go with a HDR (Alesis, Mackie, etc) and a small mixer like a Mackie or Soundcraft M. You could put it all in a nice slant top rack case and you're ready to rock.

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    Brian,

    I agree with Tex. Just keep an eye on the total rack weight if you will be the only one hauling it. The HD24 is 21LBS.

    Also, definitely check out the other brands of HDRs. I was willing to sacrifice some nice features to meet my price range. And you never know, something new from another manufacturer may have come on the scene just recently.

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    Well, I' ve done a LOT of research on the HD24 and I like it a LOT. I'm really considering it, even though it is pushing my budget out. If I went this route, I am looking to start off with a Behringer SX2642A mixer and a selection of mics yet to be determined.

    However, a few people have managed to turn me back on to the D1600 (I still want more feedback on the Yamaha AW16G) and I am wavering back and forth between the D1600 and the HD24. Uggggh. I realize that these two products are vastly dissimilar, but I think both allow me to do the type of work I'm looking to do -- I just need to decide which one offers me the most versatility and fewest limitations.

    I should buy them both and play with them and return the one I like the least.

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    The D1600 has alot of features that make it tempting if your goal is to record practices.

    You are in a position to go alot of ways here but I see the decisions are kinda tough.
    I like your "Buy it all" idea if you can get away with it. Nobody knows your needs better than you and being able to try the gear first insures you will get something you can work with.

    Good luck!

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    I do this often. I have a road rack with both a Fostex D1624 and an Alesis Masterlink in it, and an Alesis Studio 32 mixer in the top. I can either record live-to-2 on the Masterlink, or multitrack stuff up to 16 tracks on the Fostex. In the latter case I can then just pull the hard disk out and transfer it into the D1624 that I have in my studio for mixdown. To move tracks to the DAW for editing, I fly them over in real time from the Fostex to a Hammerfall in the DAW using ADAT lightpipe. I don't see any real need to move files manually- I just play the tracks over lightpipe into Cubase.

    I use the DAW for no more than about 1/4 of the things I do. The rest, I just edit right in the Fostex, and mix in the analog domain. The DAW is very interesting and powerful, but frankly I still don't trust it for any work that you only have one chance at: and that's the definition of remote recording. And I doubt that I'll ever change my mind on that. The standalone HDRs are much more reliable, and *much* less worrisome.

    Get a small mixer and an HDR (and maybe a few choice pieces of outboard gear), and you have a a very functional remote rig that'll fit in one of those SKB gig-rig cases.

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    I realize that this is an old thread, but it addresses what I am interested in doing.
    Concert bands and stage bands, simple two mikes to start. I am looking at Rode K2's and will be using a Mackie board to a Lynx One pc card. Anyone have experience with simular equipment?
    Bytheway, I play with high end pro stuff at work, design systems but don't get to play with it on the broadcast side.
    Just a dad reliving his youth through his kids....
    GT

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