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Computer-based 8-12 track? Any suggestions?



Well, I'm really new to the whole recording deal, and I've browsed tons of gear, and I feel like I keep getting divided from what I think I should get. So what better place to ask.

I'm in a metal band with two guitarists, and I've been messing around with a few mics, a cheap mixer and an 8-track that is built into this guitar processor we have (using mono line out of mixer, into line-in on guitar pedal). And while the results are not grand by any means (and mono), it's a setup that works. So my question is this.

What would be the right peice of gear to record multiple channcels of audio to a PC (just like an 8 track) without going the firewire route?

Either USB, PCi, or something along those lines. I want to be able to record kick, snare, overheads as all seperate tracks (for mixing purposes) but I'm not sure of what limitations there are. Some are some usb devices showing as 2 simultinous tracks of recording, but I need something to capture the whole drum kit.

The way we've recorded the drums, was to play guitars into a mixer via pedals, with drummer using the headphones. This way it's played together and we aren't relying on the drummer for being dead on. Then go back and record guitars, bass, etc. We currently have only 3 mics on hand, but I will be upgrading these soon.

We don't have keyboards, or use tons of effects; so, a no-frills-peice of gear to capture the live sound.

I wanna be able to mic the drums and record the drums to PC, while using the cheap mixer we have to run the guitar pedals through (so it's played as a band) and also use the same mixer to moniter the drums from the computer (line out) when tracking the guitars.

I really dont know if this is making sense to anyone at all. But if you can think of any direction to point me, that's great.


Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2005
Why not Firewire??? Do you have an aversion to the little slot??

Firewire PCI cards are dirt cheap. It's just an interface. Firewire and USB both use the PCI bus. So there's no more advantage in one versus the other.

If you want PCI i'd go for the MOTU 2048 and Nuendo.


I just picked up a M-audio Delta 44. It's a pci card and it's 4 in and 4 out. So if you say that you want a snare a bass drum and two overheads to record the drums you have to inputs to do that. This get's fuzzy because you need four seperate outputs from your mixer to accomplish this. Since you have a "dirt cheap" mixer it might not be able to handle this. I'd be looking for a card with 4 mic pre amps so you can plug straight into the box and get the mixer out of the chain.

With that being said unless you mixer has subgroups you'll probably be better off with a fire wire or usb. Look for a box with atleast 4 inputs. The best route to take is to talk to a trusted music store and tell them exactly what you want. They will be able to show your what your buying (since those pictures in the catalogs and internet sites are confusing at best) research it online.
Hope this helped.