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Dedicated HD Recorder for CPU Relief?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by deanp920, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest

    I'm currently running DP on a Mac G4 with a MOTU 2408MKII. I tend to run out of CPU headroom a little earlier than I would care for on most of my mixes.

    I was wondering if anyone here knows what the benefits would be by using something like the Alesis HD24XR in conjunction with the computer and mixing software, to take over the read/write duties in the recording/mixing process.

    One thing I know is that this would open the door much wider for the addition of an optional analog mixer, while also giving me some good options for data backup.

    I'v also read a lot of comments from some of the heavy hitters here that the HD24 is a very good sounding recorder to build a pro quality system with.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. Chance

    Chance Guest

    For what it's worth, I bought a Mackie HDR 24/96 at the winter NAMM show in 1999 (N ot A vailable M aybe in M ay )
    For years all I ever did was 2" analog. I am so happy with this machine and the support . I have never had any problems at all ! I also like it because it is a dedicated machine for recording only
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Oh Yeah.For the price of the HDR you can buy three HD24 Alesis.....okay okay I exagerated.Only 21/2.AND.there's the fact that Mackie is soon to not be supporting the HDR24.Very soon.Maybe now.And they have a priority OS.The Alesis is based on the ADAT tchnology and uses yer plain old IDE drives found at most computer stores for a nominal fee.There are other comparisons.Do a search on here to get more info.

    I almost bought the Mackie.Instead I bought the Alesis and a Soundcraft Ghost.It was either the HDR and a crappy board or what did happen.
  4. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest

    My question is really more about how much strain it will take off the CPU in my DAW during mixdown and tracking by using a stand-alone HD recorder while mixing inside the computer via software.

    I picked the Alesis as an example, because I've heard a lot of good comments about it.
  5. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    You might try the DAw forum. There are people there that can answer you
  6. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    dean, I track on a Mackie SDR2496 and mix either through my board or in Sonar. Nice to be able to track 24 at once if I ever needed to. SDR comes with analog i/o cards installed. I fly tracks to PC using an external drive in a firewire case. It's also USB2 and lightpipe compatible. $1,300. I'm happy with the sounds I'm getting (as are my clients) and I've had no trouble with the deck at all. My 2 cents.
  7. Chance

    Chance Guest

    The Mackie HDR DOES use plain ol IDE drives. I believe up to 120 gig. I simply slide the removable drive / bay out of the HDR, and slide it into my MAC G-3 for various activities
  8. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest

    O.K., so does this mean that, when you are mixing in Sonar, that the PC can't access the audio tracks directly from the Mackie's hard drive?

  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Thanks Mr.Chance for clearing that up for me.The Mackie site does not own up to this fact at all and in effect suggests the using of the Mackie Media drives which seemed to be priced way up there.Its nice to know that they can use the IDE drives.Thanks again.But then again, maybe we're talking about the removable drive and not the built-in internal drive??!!....Which is it?
  10. shredfit

    shredfit Guest


    There are advantages and disadvatages to both the mackie and alesis machines.

    The mackie machine records nondistructively... much more like a DAW... which can be a real plus with the punch-in oops we sometimes have.

    If you get the analog converters with the mackie machine (it's an option if ya need them)... they seem to sound better to my ears than the alesis machine... Not much better but I could hear a difference... I guess it depends on your working habit's which one you choose... both are very capable IMO

  11. Stag

    Stag Guest

    lmao!!! I can also buy 20 Vauxhaul Vectras for the price of a ferrari!

    The Alesis is more comparable to an SDR24/96 for features, the HDR cost more because it is a full graphical editing suite if a monitor, keyboard & mouse are conected, you can't do that with an Alesis. I like Alesis, they are a good manufacture of audio gear, I use the Alesis Masterlink ML-9600 & it's a great burner & has some nice functions, BUT I bought the HDR24/96 for use with my D8B after realising it wet all over any other 24 track recorder in its class IMO.

    I am upgrading my PC to a Carrilon Core 2 running Digi-002 PT LE, but I am sure I will still track with my HDR.

    What does it matter? If you can stick a 120G drive in the Drive Bay & record direct to it then I see no difference? You can record to the internal drive & copy to the external or record direct to the external, then stick it in your PC/Mac or put it in a box & ship it to the studio on the other side of the world who want it to do a mix from also.

    My humble opinion :D


    BTW, Mackie Support is second to NONE! There are hundereds of users like me who check the Mackie forum daily to see what help new users need & to see what GENUINE tips & friendly chat we can benefit from. I had my D8B go wrong under warranty, I phoned Mackie explained my desperation, drove it to them & picked it up from the engineers house fixed the FOLLOWING EVENING!! I do live close so I had no shipping delays to be fair :roll:
  12. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest


    I do not have a setup such as you are suggesting but from what i understand people who use HDR recorders in conjunction with a DAW generally treat it like a front end to their setup. Meaning they track to the HDR because it is an inexpensive way of getting a lot of inputs (24!) and it has far more predictable/stable performance during tracking (e.g. it's not going to freeze up or crash 5 seconds before the end of the band's perfect take).

    They then transfer ("fly") the tracks to their DAW setup (via network, firewire, usb connections or by swapping the HD) and load it into their software of choice so that they might access the more extensive editing features offered there.

    I have not heard (which doesn't mean it doesn't happen) of anyone using the HDR in parallel with a DAW as you are suggesting. To do so you would have to slave the HDR to your DAW so that the 2 could run in sync. As far as i know there is no way to run the tracks on the HDR 'through' your DAW. HDR's operate using their own software so the best you could hope for would be to get that software operating in sync with your DAW software.

    This might be possible but it all sounds a little messy to me. You would have audio files on 2 different drives/machines for each project. If you did any editing on the DAW that affected the timing you would have to jump over to the HDR and edit all those file to match up... sounds like a bit of a nightmare.

    You may be better off sinking your cash into upgrading your DAW if you are looking for improved performance from that part of your setup.

  13. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

  14. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest

    Sounds like a plan.


  15. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dean, Whether it's a HD recorder or DAW based application, it's going to need its own set of data files to corrolate to the .wav files, so it's always best to transfer .wav files to your DAW for mixing...not as painful as it sounds. It takes a few minutes for a 24 track tune. I record on the internal drive (the SDR can handle up to a 2 Terabyte drive) then copy to an external drive, which I use to dump files to DAW. The transfer speed there is up to your system's horsepower. I also archive tracks to DVD to be able to free up disk space when needed.
  16. jeeper

    jeeper Guest

    I don't generally track to my workstation. I usually track to my Mackie MDR here and then transfer to my workstation either with removable drives for most or via FTP for small transfers. I'm useing Sonar and a Windows 2000 based PC here. I do not have any problem importing the Broadcast Wave time stamped files into my application either.

    However, I must admit I'm not a DP nor Mac person here but many of the Mackie users are using Macs without any problems. Before buying any dedicated recorder make sure that your application will import files from it. If not then consider that you will have to obtain another application that will even if its for an intermediate use to get to DP.

    One advantage to the dedicated Hard Disk Recorder reguardless of what you find is right for you is that you can take that sort of machine to any location job you may get. That's what I do here is mostly remote work using an analog board and my MDR.

    BTW Mackie support is good when needed. Most of my problems and questions I'm able to iron out with their documentation and a quick search or post on the Mackie users forum. The folks on the Mackie forum are perhaps the best group on the net. You never see a flame post there.

    Good luck and hope you make the right choice for you after all your the one that has to use it not us.
  17. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    location recording is a good reasong to have a dedicated HD recorder- Iwouldn't want to carry my daw around- too fragile and also takes a while to set up- lap tops I guess are ok but they don't quite have the power of desk tops and a dedicated HD recorder would do the job just fine- but CPU relief alone is not a good reason to get a HD dedicated recorder in my book- (been there, done that!)

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