Hello. We have a full analog studio but are getting eaten alive by the cost of reel tape (not to mention the long lead times to get the reels) and so want to convert to a digital recording set-up. We have the opportunity to purchase (at a very nice price) two Roland VSR 880 rack mount systems but quite frankly have no idea if this is the best way to go. What we are hoping to accomplish is to record into the digital system, then pull the tracks into the rest of our existing gear for mixing and mastering. Does anyone have any advice to offer?
Also I'm a little concerned about the 6 Gig memory in the Roland...doesn't seem like this would be sufficient to record a full CD's worth of songs (12 songs with a 5 piece band). By my rough estimates this will only handle about 3 songs at a time (?). Once again, any advice/recommendations/cautions/etc. from somebody with more experience would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks to all!
The VSR880 does not look like the best way to go for you, as a maximum of 8 tracks and 6 GB memory per unit would quickly become very limiting.
An Alesis HD24XR (if you can find one) or the new JoeCo Black Box recorder (if you can afford to wait) would be a better choice. The HD24XR will record 24 channels at 48KHz or 12 channels at 96KHz via balanced analog I/O to caddy-mounted IDE drives up to several hundred GB. Several boxes can be slaved together to get higher track counts. Unfortunately, the XR model seems to have been discontinued by Alesis, but they are still around if you look closely. The Black Box will run 24 channels at 96KHz to an external drive, but is not yet widely available, at least with the balanced analog I/O that you would need.
To the best of my knowledge, the EC2 upgrade is still available. This would in essence give you the HD24XR but of course probably costs more than the original price spread. One of the many reasons I don't think much of Alesis even if I love the HD24XR.
The EC-2 was discontinued along with the HD24XR, but they can still be found in dealers' stockrooms if you hunt hard enough. Second-hand HD24XRs come up regularly as people migrate to direct computer recording.