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Laptop Multi-tracking

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Samsson, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. Samsson

    Samsson Guest

    Good afternoon, recording experts. Am in need of a little guidance, if you could be so kind.

    Am looking to record a live, multi-instrument-to-multi-track session on a laptop and am having trouble sleuthing a way to record more than two-tracks simultaneously.

    Am currently using Sonar Home Studio 6 (software) and a M-Audio MobilePre two-channel USB pre-amp, but am considering upgrading the interface to a Alesis Multi-mix 8 USB (which I learned of through this forum---thanks!). This will give me additional simultaneous channels, but it seems like it will still only record to two stereo tracks.

    My co-conspirator in this endeavor seems to think it's a limitation of our sound card. Either way, I've been having difficulty finding information on how to work around this problem so that I can record and ultimately mix 8 distinct tracks on our laptop.

    Any advice?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    Yes, an 8 channel interface, firewire if your laptop is compatible. Something like this
    or this
    these are not chosen for any particular reason other than they are 8 channel or more depending on what you send thru them. You don't need a mixer, these units send everything digitally via firewire to the computer as seperate tracks, all mixing is then done in the box (on the laptop.)
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    The Multimix is not good in my opinion. I don't like the converters and I have tried to help several people with driver instability issues unsuccessfully. I would recommend something Presonus, Mackie Onyx, or my personal favorite RME Fireface instead.

    Your USB mobile pre is not sufficient for real multi track recording and despite its label, neither is the Multimix.

    Now, the Alesis HD24XR is a whole other ballgame. The converters are very good and it is rock solid stable. You would just need pre's to go into it. It's the only Alesis product I can recommend currently.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    For sure, don't go with the MultiMix. It's simply the wrong product for this job, both in function and sonic quality.

    You don't give an idea of your budget, but whatever it is, it has to cover more than just the 8-input interface. For the mixing phase, you will need at least a stereo output and a pair of good monitors.

    Does your laptop have a FireWire interface? If not, you will need to look at getting a PC-card plugin FireWire board.

    From there, you have a choice of reasonable-quality 8-channel interfaces, most of which sport at least two channels of output as well. Check out Presonus, MOTU, Focusrite and others. Use the search facility on this forum for opinions on the various models.
  5. Samsson

    Samsson Guest

    Thanks, y'all, for the helpful replies---you have given my search purpose! Cheers,


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