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Ignorant to the World of DAW (sorta)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Davedog, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Hi guys. In the very near future I'm gonna finally break the chain and get a Digital Audio Workstation. (yay) Its all going to be on a shoelace beginning which is fine since I'm going to have to school myself in this platform. Which ever its going to be.

    As you may remember , I won the Sonor8 Producer software a while back. However it only runs on a PC. I'm getting a machine second hand but its a good one. Not the latest but still a very powerful Mac. G5 dual core, Leopard OS 4mgs ram and a big assed HD. Firewired and ready to go.

    So heres my plan. Please shoot holes in it or whatever so I can get my direction together for this.

    I have a complete analog studio based around a Soundcraft Ghost into an Alesis HD24. Some outboard, patchable easily....etc etc.

    I want a Hybrid setup. I dont have much money....From the looks of it, I can use the converters in my HD24 and thus the inputs as they are from all my gear if I use the optical in/outs on the Alesis and an interface such as a Motu 2408. It has three sets of opticals and looks to be a thru-put matchup to the computer from all my junk.

    I think......So....???

    My goal is to increase track count, edit easily, and probably mix ITB until I can get a surface. I have mixed projects in PT HD and I like it but am aware there are other things that may suit the situation better. But then theres the cross-platform thing.....I want to be able to take my projects to other, better rooms, and most are PT based around here.....So....?

    Assuming that I'm not crazy and can hook this up like I think I can.

    I need at least 16 tracks at a time due to the high count on the drums.....always 10 plus....more if I can get em....AND I want the analog front end.....which I already have... The 2408 is 8X24 analog but I'd be using the lightpipe ADAT on the Alesis....which the Motu apparently sees correctly...... So...??

    Okay. Help me. Opinions. Real life experience. ETCETC No bashing allowed.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Dave, Imma onna droidx currently so will answer more later.....but what is the sample rate you project to want? 24 i/o at 44.1k or 88.2k? 12 tracks is easy, 24 takes some planning at 88.2
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I'm 48/24 now @24 tracks with the HD24. I'm not going to record with the HD24 in this setup I'm simply wanting to use its converters through the lightpipe thru the interface to the computer, so theoretically 24 at a time at 96khz if possible
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member


    I'm sure you can get a great hybrid DAW setup with your gear! I think you can run the HD24 smux (4ch per ADAT pair in/out @96k) I would download the MOTU 2408 manual and double check, but I am pretty sure your on the right path for 12 in/out @96 on the HD24, AFAIK the HD24 cannot do 24 in/out at 96k/24bit since you need double the ADAT connects for each set of eight. I have a buddy of mine who looked into that and was disappointed to find that running HD24's at 96k lead to half the tracks. I'm sure they still sound great though. You could always stick to those 12 ins/outs as your mainstay and run the extra 8 in/out on the MOTU at the same time giving you 20 tracks? If you have a decent A/D/A converter you can add another 2 tracks if need be through the spidf/AES if the MOTU will allow?

    I run a presonus firestudio now with a digimax fs smux @96k and LOVE IT! I've had a real battle with the presonus firestudio 26x26 but ever since I sent it back to get the firmware fixed its running like a champ. I'm running an Intel Mac on Snow Leopard now and all seems good now except that my computer is the only thing holding me back now.

    This summer I picked up a Soundcraft 600 that has been modified by Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades in California, I'm really super happy with Souncraft consoles, they are real workhorses for sure!
  5. joh6

    joh6 Active Member

    For a guy that's completely dumb to the idea of a Hybrid, But Seriously Interested in it. Could I possibly see a schematic or pictures of how this works... I'm super intrigued but I'm still just at the Interface to computer stage. I'd love to know/see how to setup this kinda thing up, even if you guys have a site you could direct me to that would show me how this works.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Basically, in Dawg's current idea, he would run from the direct outs of his board into the analog inputs of his HD24XR. Then he would run out of the ADAT optical ports (3 sets) into his interface of choice. The interface then runs into the DAW program. Think of it all as gozinta and gozouta in a very linear fashion.

    Unfortunately the number of channels available on ADAT optical is 8@44.1K, 4@88.2K, and 2@192K per bank. Obviously it follows then that the HD24XR will only have 12 channels available at the double speed rate (88.2K/96K). If you had two HD24XR machines then you would be golden since they can be synced via the 9pin and double as redundant pristine backup. Except. The MoTU 2408 unfortunately would suffer from the same ADAT restriction as the HD24XR.

    The elegant solution of course would be something like the ZED GS24. A different idea would be to go with PCI converters like the a pair of Lynx Aurora16 or similar. Honestly, the cheapest solution might be to purchase a second HD24XR, link them via midi, and import the tracks via the HD24Tools into PT9 or Sonar or whatever. Kind of a blunt club as opposed to the Lynx but cheaper to implement. Then if you needed to overdub or add tracks, the MoTU would work to punch in etc. Or get one of them fancy schmancy Apogee Mac head type thingies <grin> for punching i/o. I'll think some more on it, but 24 tracks is a not inexpensive puzzle.

    If the Fireface 800 were dropping in price due to the new UFX then you could link three of those babies. But they seem to be holding their value pretty well. I have a pair myself and have been waiting for another steel to pick up a third. I use the FF800 as the converter and run out to the HD24XR as the backup.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    So you're saying that I would have to select my bit-rate with the HD24 even though I'd simply be using it as a set of converters to go optical into the Motu? And I could still do 48khz at 8 channels per section? I know the Motu has two types of cards....the pci324 and the pci 424 and both will run in a MkII and MkIII 2408. I'm not certain but it seems the ONLY difference is the 424 card goes full tracks (24) at 92khz....But if you're saying that my rate is limited by the Alesis as far as track count then maybe I need to think of this differently.

    Perhaps having the HD24 as a secondary recorder would be best....or simply operate @24/48 as I always have and simply build the track count in the computer.

    A second HD24 is almost cheaper than any of this and I would rarely get above 48 tracks....ever.

  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Here is my basic rig http://www.spl.info
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    OK, I read up a little on the MoTU converters. It looks like a good system. I especially like the PCI/PCIe card DSP. To get to 24 tracks at 96k in your projected setup you would need to run your mixer into TWO HD24XR's 12 channels each. From there you would run from the Alesis into two 2408 units. Both the 2408 units would then run into the 424 card. You could use the 324 card same same as it will also do 96k but you might as well go large. Basically two parallel 12 channel pipes. It is modular enough that you could buy the additional HD24XR and 2408 at your leisure too. You could take the HD24's out of the loop but you lose your redundant backup of the audio files.


    Attached Files:

  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I use a pair of HD24XRs in my transportable rig, but I rarely connect them as live converters into a computer. However, I know of studios that use HD24XRs purely as multi-channel I/O, as they are (were) probably the best value for money 24-channel quality I/O available.

    You should not have any problems interfacing an HD24XR with a Motu 2408 interface as long as you use external sync, as the internal HD24 clock is stable but slightly inaccurate at 44.1/88.2 KHz. You can expand to a second HD24XR if and when you need more than 24 channels at the lower rates or 12 channels at the higher rates. If you just use them as I/O with external sync, you don't need to interconnect the HD24XRs as master/slave. However, make sure you fit a 75 Ohm terminator resistor on the BNC wordclock cable end as the middle HD24 can be sensitive to reflections on unterminated cables.

    Although HD24XRs were discontinued by Alesis a year or so back, in practice they are just as available second-hand as they ever were because of people moving to ITB recording and mixing. Do check the power supply on any second-hand XR, as the XR I/O boards place a higher demand on the PSU than the standard I/O boards.
  11. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    I checked Avid's website -- I don't think you will be able to run ProTools 9 on a G5 Mac; dual-core Intel only. Protools 8 will run, but requires a Digidesign or M-Audio hardware unit.

    Apple's Logic Studio (Logic Pro 9) will run, as will most other audio applications (Reaper, Cubase, Digital Performer, Nuendo). Personally, I use Logic. Because you have been running an analog console, you might check out Harrison Mixbus.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'd seriously think hard on the OS before you invest in anything.
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The Mac is free. As are the two monitors. If I were to go with PT it would have to be 8.... this I am aware of. A huge amount of records have been and are still being made with PT8 and a Mac with Leopard level OS. This is my training tool for the future. I am far behind in this technology but advanced in recording skills. One will balance the other. I can get an LE rig so cheap and while it limits my track count, and some plugs wont be available, It will do the type of editing I want and give me memory for mixing. The HUI surface makes it more tactile for me.....this is still in the planning stage. I know I'm backing into this, but its how much I can afford at the moment.

    Bos...This is what I thought was able to do. It seems logical. My HD24 is not the XR and I'm not sure that an upgrade of the converters is necessary at this time. At 24/48 I still get 24I/O through the lightpipe and with an external clock the jitters are controlled.

    Thanks to all who care to participate. More ideas are welcomed. Maybe PT is NOT the platform I will use. At this time I simply dont know, but training myself on this format will open a lot of studios in the area for me without the need to hire an engineer for my productions.This is my ultimate goal.

    A lot of writers/singers are finding out that they NEED that extra set of ears as well as a person well-versed in recording techniques to truly flesh out their material to a higher level. And studios need indie engineer/producers to bring clients to the table that have modest budgets and quality talents. This is a niche that I forsee to be one of the offshoots from the demise of the industry as we have known it.

    So I need the training and would like to edit easily as well as mix with memory in my little room.

    If I wanted to go full out I would get a 'real' console and go old school with a computer at the end of the chain and a tape machine for capture. This is still the ultimate in sound. At least for me.
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Dave, if you do purchase a second HD24 make sure it is the XR or EC2 as then you would for sure have 12 good tracks at 88.2/96k. I sold my original two units years ago in a low point financially and I have kicked myself since even though I got a great deal when I replaced one of them.

    I am really very interested in how you like the MoTU 2408 if you go that route. As you know, I am a fan of RME but I couldn't figure out how to create a similar PCI setup for similar money and I really am looking to purchase a rackmount desktop/PCIe solution in the next year.
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    John. I have a friend running Nuendo with the 2408's and a pci card with a Soundcraft 1600. He's on a PC so I cant use his program. He has zero complaints about the MOTU stuff.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    So after talking to several 'friends in the business' I'm getting the impression that my computer is going to be the stumbling block to what I want to achieve.

    Thoughts? The specs are in an earlier post..Suffice to say its a Mac G5 dual core non-intel chipset 4gigs of ram harddrive is whatever I put in it...sata drives, I'll be using firewire external drives for the sessions.....I havent chosen a platform yet....Probably PT....
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I think a G5 is going to be strained to the breaking point for 24 tracks @96k. And while I didn't research it myself, it was suggested PT9 wasn't going to work on it. I'd probably recommend purchasing a newer Mac. GDoubleu might chime in with some pertinent info but I haven't seen him around lately.
  18. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    I know GDoubleu used a mini, not sure if that is still what he swears by these days but they (mac mini)sure are much better these days now that you can add up to 8gigs of ram to them. The new iMacs look decent too, but if you can hold off for a bit longer I would highly recommend it since the rumors are that the "sandy bridge" processor with light peak technology will be coming by second quarter this year and to the Mac Pro by the end of the year.

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