How many machines & formats do you record to at a gig?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Exsultavit, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    ...For me, the basic setup is:

    CDR recorder (for the client CD that day)

    DAT (2 trk safety- a clone of the signal the CD gets)

    multitrack 24 bit HD (each mic on it's track, plus 'hot' and 'safe-level' 2 trk mixes)

    Pyramix PC if I know there will be post work,(same signals as the 24bit HD).

    I'd love to hear what you record to at (your typical) gig!

  2. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    Currently my Sequoia/shuttle outputs via FW to a RAID 1 array from Digital Groove. It was the only way to get an identical backup I could afford.

    Because I am going straight into the box (no mixer) I admit that I am well and truly hosed if the computer goes down, so I split the main array into a Masterlink at live concerts. Beats having nothing but a red face if the worst occurs.

    For quick and dirty 2 mic jobs (or 4 thanks to the Benchmark 420) I will take the SPDIF out of the Masterlink and into an Audio Devices USBpre thence into a laptop. While the Masterlink has never hiccuped, HDs can fail at the most inopportune moment.

    Oh yes-- I ALWAYS use a hefty UPS.

  3. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    I have a Sequoia Shuttle system (like Rich's) that I use as my main. I also run a DA-78 on all of my gigs. For the 96K stuff, I bit split the DA-78 using the IF-AE8HR box. I used to use a masterlink, but I don't have it anymore. I also used CDR for a long time, but when it died, I didn't replace it.

    How I route really depends on the gig. Some gigs are mixed on a console and signal is sent independently to the different recorders. Sometimes, the mics go directly into the computer and my backup is the DA-78 coming out of the computer's main outs. After loosing power at the start of a gig (and loosing the start of the music because of it- stupid lighting people!), I now bring a UPS with me as well for the computer.

    I still have a couple clients that need DATs, but most don't anymore (thank God!). Mostly the voice over folks- not the music folks...

  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    My 2 main rigs are:

    System 1:
    Mackie ONYX 1640 w/Firewire interface to:
    Laptop with Sequoia/Samplitude for mulitrack & 2-bus safety.
    Tascam DA-78 8 tr. backup/safety (considering retiring this!)
    HHB Burnit Plus CDr for Client copy/safety copy.

    System 2 (all in one Odyssey rolling rack):
    Mackie 1642 VLZ Pro mixer,
    Fostex LV2424 24 track HD recorder (24/96)
    Tascam CDRW-7000 Recorder.

    And then there's "Systems 3 & 4" (backup/emergency/overbooked rigs)
    Mackie 1402/1202 VLZ pro mixer(s)
    Tascam DA-38
    MOTU 896 HD interface
    Panasonic DAT Recorder(s).

    I use only the preamps on the Mackies & MOTU 896 for tracking and I monitor through the rest for general listening purposes, and those "quick & dirty" 2-mixes for reference CDr's.
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:

    Where did you find an ONXY mixer. Our dealers here are saying next summer for shipment. Thanks!

  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:

    I had a long wait for the ONYX 1640. I ordered it in late spring, and my contact (sales rep) at Medley Music in Bryn Mawr PA kept me up to date: "Not yet....early summer....Not yet...middle summer....Not yet....fall!" etc. (Very similar to the delays from Samplitude V8....not yet...soon...not yet.....soon!)

    Late October '04, I was literally on the floor of AES SF, heading for the Mackie booth when my cell phone rang from this same guy (3000 miles away, back home) who said: "It's here!" Took another three or four weeks for the firewire card to arrive, but that finally came in as well.

    I'm told dealers are getting them, slowly, and it probably depends on where you are in the country, and what kind of relationship your dealer has with Mackie. I think the two smaller versions are out there in much greater quantities...the 1220 and 1420 or whatever their model number is.... I really considered those as well, but since I am frequently going over the 8 mic limit (sometimes even more than 10 for bigger productions), I just didn't want to skimp on inputs for my "Main" system. 16 seems to be about the max for even the biggest Oratorio or operatic things I have to deal with most times. Jazz gigs are (hopefully) covered this way as well. If I need anything more, I can drag out the MOTU 896 again....

    Someday, when my budget may allow it, I'm hoping to pick up one of the smaller ones as well.
  7. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    One cool thing about this kind of work (as opposed to studio work) is that each of us come up with our own unique rigs! A few more details on MY idiosyncratic rig:

    I use Millennia Media mic pres (for the first four mics), Neve 1272s for vocal soloists, then Mackie VLZ pros after that if I need more. Given my druthers, I'd use all GML or Millennia.

    I am (maybe needlessly) paranoid about having any one piece of gear be so central to my rig that if it suddenly died during a show I'd have nothing. To that end, I've set it up so that most of the recorders are independent of each other and would still get signal even if the others died.

    In typical cases where I have little/ no soundcheck I also usually setup two main pairs on the same stand. This is in case I decide I prefer one sound over the other later. Usually, the two pairs are DPA 4003s and Klaus Heyne modified Neumann M269s. The Neumanns (as you probably know) have continuously variable pattern controllers on their power supply, so I can change to cardiod (or whatever) if needed without having to bring the mics down to me. Usually, though, I have them on omni. As omnis, they sound about as different from the DPAs as two kinds of omnis can be!

    I got the Schoeps MK2H on the CMC6 body pair upon the recommendations of many respected recordists and failed to enjoy them at all for some reason. Go figure!


  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    2 Machines - primary and back-up.

    I never do a CD for the director/group/board/whatever. My reasoning is simple. I don't know the exact quality of that disc when I give it to him/her (I don't trust headphones or mobile monitors), so I'll promise a 2 channel sample quickly. I just really don't like giving out a product with my name on it that doesn't sound just the way I want it.

    The back up is cuz sh*t happens and I always us a PC or HD recorder as my primary. I just don't trust anything with an OS or a hard drive in it.

    The units I have are:
    Portable PC x 2 (Cubase for now, but Sequoia on one of 'em next week.)
    Alesis HD24
    Numerous DATs
    2 MiniDisc recorders
    Cassette Recorder (just in case I have to scrape the bottom of the barrel)

  9. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    Nagra V for main machine, backup to DA45, or Genex G8000. Most of the time, we do not use a backup with the NV, it is SO reliable.

    The Nagra V has a "DOS on a chip" PC on board which runs the simple FAT32 file system. Runs for 10 hours on a battery charge and writes to a laptop 40G drive.

    I agree that wherever their is a computer involved, irrelevant as Mac or PC, one should be very sceptical about relying on the thing.

    But the old DOS OS on the NV has been bullet proof.
  10. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Our basic rig is a Sony Vaio Computer with a DAT and CDR recorder backup.

    Front end is either a Presonus MP-20 or, and don't laugh, a FOSTEX digital mixer which has GREAT microphone preamps.

    I am still looking for a good firewire input device for the Sony VAIO and any suggestions would be most appreciated. (spdif or AES/EBU input and outputs to the firewire device - currently using a M-Audio Audiophile Firewire box )

    My remote rig is completely separate from anything we use in our mastering rooms and everything is checked thoroughly before the remote down to the individual cables and, if needed, the multipair snake. I don't like surprises (except on my birthday).

    We did have two power problems with remote recordings recently so we have added one essential piece of equipment, an uninterruptible power supply rated at 1250 VA . At one session the lights dimmed (power brownout) and we lost digital signal and all the recorders stopped dead and at the other session a young person, going to the bathroom, tripped over a cord that was into a wall socket and taped both on the floor and onto the socket but he managed to pull it out anyways. So the UPS goes to all recording sessions from now on.

    Our microphones and all equipment is packed into Caravan Cases for travel and all fit very nicely into the back of my Nissan Axxess Van or at least they did until my van blew its engine over the holidays. So I am in the market for a new VAN to haul my stuff in.

    Hope this helps.
  11. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Tom; I've had good luck so far with the MOTU 896. It might be what you're looking for. (it's not the HD version, either....simply the early version at 24/96, and it's fine, really...) You can probably find them used now, as well.

    I'm now using it in my garage for transfers OUT of the fostex 2424 (in the big heavy rack - I can't haul it down into my studio), 8 tracks at a time, via the ADAT Optical. While it rarely goes out on remotes anymore, I probably won't get rid of this any time soon, since it does so much...SPDIF, AES/EBU, and the 8 I/O's, along with the phantom power on each channel, etc. It really does a lot, and it's not a bad way to go - without a mixer, as well, (if you're brave enough!)

    Jeremy, I know what you mean about NOT giving out CDr's to clients. Even with backups on MDMs, there's always a chance something can screw up, and you just mIGHT need them for Backup during post production, or for even a simple repair.

    When I AM forced to give one out, it's with a strict caveat: They are ROUGH MIXES (and it sez so on the labels I use) and cannot be used for anything but reference. It does come in handy for situations where we're doing a rehearsal a night before, or two concerts in a row.... the conductor sometimes wants to just check tempo, or listen for something interpretive. With today's competitive market, I want to be cooperative and flexible to my clients' needs, while not giving away the store in the process.

    Of course, one guy - no matter how many times I tell him it's a rough mix - always has comments and "Suggestions" about the mix he's heard on the rough CDr. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.........
  12. Simmosonic

    Simmosonic Active Member

    Jan 13, 2005
    I'll 'back up' that sentiment for you, Mr Spearritt!

    I know I really ought to take a back-up system, but unless it's a vitally important recording, I am quite confident with the Nagra V.

    Heck, I've been slogging mine around Nepal, Tibet and the Himalayas in a laptop-style backpack for the last three months, recording the wind blowing at sub-zero temperatures on high mountain passes, bouncing around in the back of an alternately freezing/boiling jeep for days on end, running through the night in the mist/fog of the Nepalese jungle, recording amidst thick clouds of incense smoke in front of Jokhang Temple (Tibet) and it just keeps on working. As you can probably guess, I like it a lot.

    An insanely great machine, to paraphrase Steve Jobs...

    - Greg Simmons (who doesn't work for Nagra, but probably should)
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