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Moving to a computer based recording environment, help?

Sorry to make this my first post but I'm sure it won't be my last.

I'm currently running a 24track ADAT studio with a Eurodesk and a bunch of Compressores, Effects, etc...

Now, I want to move into a computerized situation. Here's what I'd like to do.

I need to have atleast 10 tracks recorded at once (8 drums, 1 guitar scratch, and talk/vocal scratch). Is it possible to record onto the ADATs and then move the inital drums & scratch tracks to a computer environment and finish up there with a Qbase or Protools, etc program. OR eliminate the ADATs all together?

This should eliminate basically all of my studio gear but make mixing a lot easier. I noticed stuff like: Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio, Mackie Spike, Focusrite Saffire and Firepod. Are these what I should be looking at? I see they come with a beginner(?) level program. I want to keep the inital purchase low and grow into something more advanced but I would like to be able to complete a full band demo recording project with it.

Sorry for the long post. Any help would be greatly appreciated - John


Pro Audio Guest Mon, 03/13/2006 - 15:44
RemyRAD, I was reading into the MOTU 2408 mk III and it's great. I love the fact that it's so versatile. I have a few questions that aren't made clear in the description, I'm running on PC for now. Any help would be appreciated

1. How does it hook up to the computer and/or does it come with a PCI?
2. Will this also handle my monitoring out (to amp & speakers) so I can listen while recording/mixing.
3. Will this work well with Cubase SE and/or does the Motu come with any recording editing software.
4. Are the above two items(Motu/Cubase) enough to get me up and running? ...for starters that is.

Sorry for the inexperienced questions.

RemyRAD Tue, 03/14/2006 - 17:58
Yes in answer to your first question, the 2408 is supplied with a PCI card that must be installed into a desktop computer.

In answer to your second question, all monitoring and monitor mixing is accomplished through MOTUs own software applets which control its extensive albeit confusing input and output monitoring options and configuration.

The unit will operate with most any popular multitrack oriented software for both PC and Mac.

As far as your fourth question is concerned, that unit and your software will certainly get you up and running but unlike some other audio interfaces, it contains no microphone preamplifier's, just line level inputs and outputs along with the extensive 24 track digital interfaces for both ADAT optical and TASCAM D sub 25 pin parallel port like connector.

Right off the top of my brain-damaged head, if I recall correctly, I believe they included some Macintosh software but nothing for PCs? Mark of the Unicorn is better known for their Macintosh oriented software and only ported some of their hardware for us poor old cheap PC losers. Lucky for me.

Still reeling
Ms. Remy Ann David
(not really just an expression of speech)

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 03/14/2006 - 19:02
Thanks for your help. As it turns out i'm going to need a new computer. I've been reading into the MusicXPC Pro C3, This seems to be the best for the buck right now. Also the Cubase SX3 and the Motu 2804 and I should be fine. That is... it looks good as far as specs go. I'm going with the SX because I don't want to miss anything I may be used to with the analog setup.

I already have the mics: sm57(12), beta52(2) and a bunch of other higher end mics & compressor mics that I can't remember right now. I plan on using my Alesis 16 track board(love the pre's on this board!) for the mic pre's and go through the ADAT's > Motu > computer.

At some point, I may sell 2 of my 4 ADATs, (10)Dbx266xl, Behringer 24track Eurodesk, & maybe the (4)Alesis multi verbs. If you think I should keep something please let me know. At this point I assume everything I need would be computer based. But I will hold off until I'm shure.

What do you think?

You've been so helpful, thank you - John

RemyRAD Tue, 03/14/2006 - 20:24
Well, you know things have come somewhat full circle when it comes to computer recording and mixing. Many people now feel that an analog summed mix sounds better than a digitally summed mix does in the computer. That would mean that you might want to take a multitrack analog output from your computer into your analog desk, coming out the stereo bus and back into a digital two track recorder. So I would not unload your analog desk immediately but what experiment between doing your mix ITB and OTB through the analog desk. You can still do all of your compression, equalization and other DSP within the computer so that your mix is still automated, just summed differently.

It seems like you have a great roster of equipment to use? I still wouldn't unload all of my analog compressors. I still like to use some analog compression while tracking as it provides a different character from not using it in trying to do it after-the-fact within software.

Hybrid professional
Ms. Remy Ann David

ghellquist Sun, 03/12/2006 - 22:30
Hi and welcome.

And yes, it is definitely possible to do it all inside the computer. You will have to relearn a few things, and most of all learn quite a few new things. Once learned though, I think you will never want to look back.

I agree on that you should take small steps at first, both in learnng and in investment. Recording equipment tends to become rather expensive to say the least, so it is a good idea to take small steps.

I would recommend you to go with one of the well-known recording programs. As there are a few to select from the choice is not that crystal clear. Just maybe one start could be the smaller versions of Cubase (think they are called SE). Stay off the (really old) Cubasis though.

Second you need some kind of sound card. As you already have preamps and ad converters all you would need is a digital interface. Just maybe the RME Hammerfall LE 9636 would be one choice. That card allows you to connect two Adat optical channels, giving you 16 channels in and 16 out through your ADAT-s. In that case you could use them as only converters, not running the tape. Or if you like that better, track to tape and then import. Check prices at

As there are probably a hundred different cards to choose from it is sort difficult to guide further. Do check a bit on the used market to see what moves, and look around forums a while more before committing.

Anyway, have good luck.


RemyRAD Mon, 03/13/2006 - 10:56
The MOTU 2408 mk III is what you want. It offers 3 ADAT light pipe inputs for 24 tracks simultaneous record and play back. It also offers 8 analog line inputs, that can also be used in conjunction with the other digital inputs but only up to 24 total at any one time.

That unit is also TASCAM TDIF (TASCAM digital interface) compatible and I use the MK II unit for dumping back and forth from my TASCAM DA88 units. As I recall off the top of my analog head, the mk III is also capable of 24-bit, 96kHz on the mk III?? I think my head needs a "relap"?

Going to the hair cutery
Ms. Remy Ann David

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 03/13/2006 - 11:52
Thanks for your help. Ironically, I'm a programmer and my home recording studio is ancient.

Both of your replies are great the MOTU sounds great but a little out of the budget for starters but I can see myself going in that direction. I'll do some extensive research in the next week or so before purchasing. I'm going to go with the Cubase SE for now and the RME Hammerfall LE 9636 sounds great too (but I'll read up on it more, does MOTU offer a lower channel product) Since I only need so many tracks dumped in at once the 16 channels is fine for the price.

The one thing I just thought of is a PCI with RCA outs, maybe digital outs too, for accurate listening. Any suggestions? I'm looking foward to making the jump and getting all that space back.