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Help me design my new multitrack setup.

Hello all! new to your board but not new to recording.

been reading past posts on the forum looking for a little help on deciding a new setup for my modest home studio.

ok, so i've been stumped about getting a new system for three years now. I was trained on 2" 24tk Studers, and have a bit of experience on Pro Tools HD and LE. but naturally i prefer the linear style recording format.

i've been working with Roland's VS-1880 for six years now. the 18 track machine partially provides what i like - no computers and portability. At the time i bought it it wasn't feasable to get a quality 8tk simultanious PT mobile setup, so that's what i got. I've been pleased with its functionality, and the sound-quality post-mastering of the final product, but a project in 2003 really ended up turning me way off to the setup. Since then, i've been balking on getting a new, improved setup.

My journeys in the real world at stores in the NYC tri-state area have taught me that music store employees don't know enough about either mid or hi end gear, only "inhouse" brands which raise their comissions more; or anything about Macs. i'm asking the internet for help. i'm so out of the loop with gear at this point that i cant even read the mags- they all reference gear that's too new for me to really know.

so here's a little more about what i need it to do, and what i do:

--I mostly work in the country, psych, 60's, folk, rock, classic rock, and all combinations of those four you can think of.
--My current setup is 8 inputs, 18-trks (VS-1880) and i am comfortable working with Pro Tools LE; I'm comfortable installing sound-cards and such; i'm just not comfortable with the hard-core configuring you really need to do in order to really work with pro tools le.
--I have a wide array of condenser & dynamic mics. Some i use on a daily basis: SM57s, AKG D112, AKG C3000s, Shure SM-81 etc. i'm pretty satisfied currently, plan on getting a Sennheiser MD421 soon.
--i mostly work with real instruments, and prefer them, but i am open to replacing the semi-functional MicroMoog i have...
what i need:

-portable or semi-portable recording system, able to record at least 16+ tracks. computer or analog.

--16 tracks simultanious
--be 100% Pro Tools LE, or compatible. this means i get a disc from one studio i can just dump it into my setup. ive seen those 24tk Tascam and MACKIE, and ALESIS units are they worth the $$$?
--I probably will be using an analog board and analog effects. i'll need some nice pre's in there, as i can probably only afford 1-2ch of nice tube pre. I've been thinking about an Allan & Heath for its pre's. or a 1604; something that could be rack-mounted is a big +.
--if its a computer, its gotta be Mac. what would the specs be? (i have a G4 887(?)mhz 12-inch PowerBook, fully blown-out ram i've been using for Bias Peak for 3yrs and i'd prefer to get a new computer, but if this one can handle 16trk simulatious PT LE, then i'll get a new
--obviously i'd need some recommendations for any i/o and ext hard drives.

i guess the components i would need:

-the recording software & any necessary hardware audio for I/O
-the computer.
-the mixer.
-2 channels of tube mic pre / Avalon combo type / or channel strip with eq, comp etc.
-2 ch nice comp
-4+ of decent compression.
-a decent reverb tank.

my budget is approx. US$1,000 - 4,000max. this $4k figure would include the computer, mixer, or mostly complete package.

thanks rich!


gdoubleyou Sat, 08/05/2006 - 16:05
Won't be any problem playing back 16 tracks as long as you have a external 7200rpm firewire drive.

The 002 has 8 analog ins, 2 SPDIF, 8 ADAT. I don't know if you can access all inputs at the same time.

To make use of the ADAT I/O you would have to purchase a device like this.

Digidesign recently released the Macintel compatible version of PTLE.

The new Core Duo Macs outperform the current dual G5 towers for most tasks.

Also the new macs all have 24bit audio with optical SPDIF, one man bands just connect a preamp through SPDIF.

You could also get more capability if you used an app like Logic Pro, or Digital Performer. Features like SMPTE sync (pay extra for that feature with PTLE) and surround mixing.

For me the 32 channel PTLE restriction is a showstopper, and I don't see the value of paying $600-$900 for their add on kits that allow 48 tracks.

I'm currently doing session of 32-48 tracks on a 1GHz powerbook using Digital Performer, and Logic Express.

Also Apple shoud be announcing the new MacIntel towers next week at the develpers conference.


skyy38 Thu, 08/31/2006 - 19:16
My humble contribution will be this if you want to ace the Micro Moog-

Listen to the EXR 5-

Scroll down to "Lyt til de indbyggede demoer (MP3)" and clonk it.

If you need nothing but the sounds,the EXR5s is just a deal and a half,that is,if what you hear above makes you happy!

Good luck with your studio!