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Maximum simultaneous channels on DAW?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by thanmad, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. thanmad

    thanmad Guest

    First off:

    Hi all, I'm a new member trying to find answers to a question that has plagued me for months.

    I'm looking to put together a small studio system that will be able to record 24 tracks at once to disk (like many I've had enough with ADAT tapes).

    My first thought (well really my first thought was that ProTools is still too expensive, then my second thought....) was to go with an all-in-one device similar to Mackie's HD24/96 recorder (24 tracks, limited editing built in, etc). However since I am a geek and have a sizeable investment in my PC already I could easily see myself going the DAW route instead.

    However, for the life of me I cannot find any devices that will let me go over 16 inputs at a time. Is this a known limitation? I know the Presonus Firepod claims that they will be able to chain more than 2 devices with an upcomming driver update. Is there anything else out there that will do 24 that I haven't seen yet?

    Then of course the next question is which SW will be able to support the device? From what I've read, Cubase/Nuendo seems to be the staple around here, and I assume most everything is compatible with it.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. DaveRunyan

    DaveRunyan Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    I use a MOTU 24/IO with Sonar 4 and can easily record all 24 tracks at once.
  3. thanmad

    thanmad Guest

    Sweet! That's the kind of answer I'm looking for! Thanks DR! Anyone else using something different?

  4. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    I've do 16 ch all the time with a motu 828 mkii-
    the 828 can do up to 20 tracks at a time- I used to have a 24 Io as well in my old studio, plus a 2408 (both motu) and I did as much as 32 tracks at one time- of course, you have to watch it with so many tracks at one time and don't use many (if any) plugs at tracking time if you can help it.
  5. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    RME 96/52 PCI card will allow 26 Digital ins/outs via ADAT and SPDIF with ZERO CPU load, but you need external AD/DA conversion.

    The RME FireFace800 is simular, but it is a Firewire device with 8 analog ins/outs, and retains 16 channels of ADAT I/O and 2 channels of SPDIF I/O.

    I like RME, can you tell ;) ?

  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Frontier Design makes the Dakota and Montana PCI cards ...

    Dakota link



    * PCI interface card for Mac and PC

    * Compatible with most popular software applications via ASIO

    * GSIF support for GigaSampler and GigaStudio

    * 16 channels ADAT lightpipe in

    * 16 channels ADAT lightpipe out

    * 2-channel S/PDIF on coax or optical cables

    * 2x2 MIDI on standard MIDI cables

    * SMPTE using any compatible digital audio converter and its analog I/O

    * ADAT sync input for sample-accurate, multi-machine sync

    Montana Link



    * 2 ADAT optical inputs
    (16 additional channels)

    * 2 ADAT optical outputs
    (16 additional channels)

    * Input for video sync or word clock (adapter included for RCA or BNC input), audio can directly lock to NTSC or PAL video at standard frame rates

    * ADAT 9-pin sync output

    * Includes internal cable for connection to Dakota

    * Dual-slot layout allows installation in either a PCI or ISA computer slo

    The Dakota and Montana together, coupled with 8 channel lightpipe A to D box's like the Alesis AI3's, make a complete system capible of 32 tracks recording in one pass ... The complete system is capible of locking to ADATs and have BNC word clock and ADAT sync connectors.

    I have had the Dakota card in my set up over 2 years and have never had any problems with it ...
  7. amochupo

    amochupo Guest

    okay, well i want to either get a self contained unit loke the korg 1600, that has 8 track simultaneous, but i know using the "sizeable investment ive already made in my pc" would save me money. i'm a guitarist in my early twenties, i had a four track some of my life, and i can do sound, but i need to learn digital recording.

    are the self contained units that much different than a computer-based system, in terms of what you are learning how to do?

    are the computer based systems, at this level, much cheaper??
  8. MrPhil

    MrPhil Guest

    The Soundscape32 with three connected I/O units would do this I think. :)
  9. gnarr

    gnarr Guest

    i've got 3x delta 10/10 = 24 channels. And my samsung disk handles it well.
  10. thanmad

    thanmad Guest

    To answer your question from what I know:

    The "all-in-one" systems I'm looking at right now are the Alesis 24 track and the Mackie 24 track hard disk recorders. They run about $3k. The Mackie does have some non-destructive cut and paste abilities for tracks which is very nice. Ultimately using the all-in-one solution I would still have to dump it to some sort of recording software to do mixdown and add FX/EQ anyway.

    From the computer-based side.....Considering I already have a computer that can handle that many tracks in software my only investment would be in extra disk space and the interfaces to connect to my PC. Right now it looks like FireWire is the direction I want to head so I'm not limited by PCI slots. The average price for 8 tracks of FireWire (8 mic pre) that I've seen is between $520 and $1000. Which means I'm looking at $1560 to $3000 for 24 tracks.

    I'm sure someone will correct me if I missed something. :)


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