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Audio Device with 16 Analog input other then Ptools HD

hey guys i was wondering if there is any device available in the market with 16 Simultaneous analog input. firewire or usb does'nt matter...


Pro Audio Guest Wed, 07/05/2006 - 15:30
shezan wrote: hey guys i was wondering if there is any device available in the market with 16 Simultaneous analog input....firewire or usb does'nt matter...

Hi shezan, you should perhaps give more info about what kind of device you are looking for. Like, live mixer digital console, just generic live input to computer without recording capabilities, mixing and/or mastering system, computer workstation HD based recording, standalone HD recorder, portable recording system, matrix system for spatialization and audio channel routing, multi channel microphone preamplifiers with digital interface? If looking for a system that hooks onto a computer, you should check the software compatibility i.e. whether the hardware actually supports the DAW software that you want to use.

There are plenty of multichannel channel audio "cards" out there, providing A-D conversion, D-A conversion or both. Most of them are firewire based and come with no more than 8 analog inputs and/or outputs. In most cases, the expansion to 16 or more channels I/O is achieved by chaining to further devices through a digital connection like for example a light-pipe cable, using the ADAT standard or others. There are a few that come with 16 channels in one unit though, like the Lynx Aurora ADDA converters. The Audiobox AB64 by Richmond Sound Design goes up to 64 channels in one box, but it is a relatively specialized device.

Quality and price vary greatly from Brands or makers to look into are (in very approximately ascending price and quality order):
MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn)
Lynx-Aurora (Lynx Studio Technology)
Other (specialized) systems (more used for live shows, theatre, big installations, museums and the like):
AudioBox by Richmond Sound Design
Level Control Systems (LCS)

So it all depends on what you want the system for and how much you can afford to spend.

Iannis Zannos

JoeH Thu, 07/06/2006 - 00:06
USB 2.0 is actually a little faster than Firewire 400 protocol. (Firewire 800 is of course twice that, but it's still a newcomer...)

AFAK, Firewire has almost become the defacto standard for multitrack inputs, while USB 2.0 is more often used for peripherals, including Hard drives, cameras and chip reading devices, etc. (However, there are plenty of USB 2.0 audio input devices, too, esp 2, 4, 10 and more channel devices.)

For writing to hard drive and moving data around, I have been using either one almost interchangably, depending on what port is open on the computer at hand.

For i/o on the mixers and preamps, it's been firewire exclusively for me.

As always, YMMV.

JoeH Thu, 07/06/2006 - 09:05
Not sure after all these posts what you're looking for exactly, but here's the Alesis analog 16 input on sale at Musicians Friend online for $599.99:

(Dead Link Removed)

Like the Mackie, it's 16 inputs, each available via a firewire output, with a stereo return to monitor back from the computer. Unlike the Mackie, these sends are post EQ, which is a big issue with some folks. (Remember though, this is an analog mixer with digital sends, it's not a digital mixer per se.)

They claim it has the same A/D converters as their 24 track recorder.