beep beep beep beep beep
I've just replaced my old twin sync'd Boss BR1600 recording rig with a Focusrite 18i20 / Reaper combination and I'd mothballed the Boss machines. On that old setup I'd gone to two midi sync'd Boss units a decade ago because one just didn't have enough inputs to track a full band with acoustic drums. I already had one and they were going quite cheap second hand at the time so it was a much cheaper option for me to get another 8 inputs than the replacing it with the computer / interface / DAW way. While they're only 44.1/16 bit, they've got all those good Roland COSM effects and amp sims built in so they were always useful in that respect. They worked fine for many years as long as you understood their limitations. They've also got midi in & out & sync and SPIDF stereo in & out - and so does the Focusrite 18i20. I though I couldn't use them with the Focusrite 18i20 because I generally use 44.1 / 24 bit on that and the Boss's are 16 bit. But I now find that SPIDF is always 24 bit (which I didn't know) and if the BR1600's are outputting SPIDF they pack the extra bits with zeros so there's no problem SPIDF connecting them to a Reaper session via the 18i20 SPIDF input into a 24 bit session. Despite this being my home studio in my house, I always want the ability to close mike a 5 piece drum kit and that takes me 8 mikes and uses up all the analog inputs on the Focusrite leaving none left for guide tracks or anything else. I was intending to get another 8 Octopre ADAT mike pres so I could record a band with a drum kit (and I'll probably still do that) but because the 18i20 can record 10 in if you use all 8 pres and SPIDF I can use one BR1600 SPIDF'd in (or both if I chain them together) and track up to 2 sim'd guitars digitally through those or have up to a 16 in 2 out digital sub mixer. So guide tracks are now no problem. I've given it a go with both BR1600's chained up to the 18i20 ) and it works fine as long as the last Boss unit in the chain is clocking the Focusrite. Leave the Focsurite on it's internal clock and the BR1600's glitch slightly but noticeably. I probably won't do it but it's nice to know if I wanted to I could. So, still maybe some love left for these old units yet.