Looking for input on my multi-synth setup with Akai DR8 recorder

Discussion in 'Digital Recorders' started by BrianHintze, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. BrianHintze

    BrianHintze Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Hello,

    I would like some input on how best to cable all my synths (5) to the Akai DR8 hardware recorder.

    Please look at the attached image link [​IMG] for all the details.

    Any help is most appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Brian
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Hi Brian !
    The rear panel features eight ¼-inch TRS analog input jacks that accept either balanced or unbalanced signals.
    So if your synths are all stereo, you'll be missing 2 inputs.
    I'm just curious as to why you would want to record with a unit that old. 16bit. 8 tracks in and out seems a bit limiting.
    When this was popular, studios had big mixers and they would sync many recorders to have 24 or 48 or more tracks.
    Then the would playback the recorders to do a mixdown to a single stereo recorder.

    What kind of setup and project are you aiming to ?
     
    kmetal likes this.
  3. BrianHintze

    BrianHintze Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Hello. Thanks for replying.
    1.) I will run the synths in mono, as I want to practice mixing with mono, panning, fx, etc.
    2.) I want to use a rack-mount recorder, to save desktop space and to not use a computer..and I already have this behemoth that I got off Reverb for about $100.
    It's pretty cool to use something this old, yet built like a tank and works very well. Back in the day it costs $4995.00..which is crazy I know.
    3.) 8 tracks will be enough...it's just me in the man-cave messing around. A few synth tracks, drum track, guitar...all fit into 8 pretty easily.
    I don't need to separate out drums or anything..just using drum track from iPad or the JD-Xi.

    I like the idea of running the synths dry into the recorder, and then each track out of the recorder into separated inputs on the mixer.
    This way, I can listen to all recorded tracks, and then pan each one as I see fit, add fx and eq if want, etc.
    I would then use the master stereo outputs of the mixer to feed into iPad DAW to record a stereo mixdown, if needed.

    Only issue with this, is that each "song" is not imprinted with the setup, so would have to complete everything in one song, before moving on to another.
    It's also hard to keep track of everything on the mixer, unless I use temporary masking tape and write the track and synths used, for each input.

    I know, I know....it's like why do this in today's tech, right?
    I've used many DAWs on the computer and iPad...while they all work fine, I just trying to get away from the computer as I use one all day at work (marketing).

    I also have a Roland VS1824, which is ok too, but takes up good amount of space and is not the most intuitive piece of gear to learn (but all things take time, I know).
    I like the simplicity of the Akai DR series.

    -Brian
     
    Kurt Foster likes this.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    There are several folks on this forum who use the Alesis HD24 and HD24XR hard disk recorders, some in a similar DAW-avoidance way to what you describe. The HD24s have 24 inputs and tracks instead of 8, are 24-bit rather than 16, and are designed to function very much like a tape recorder. As with the DR8, they ceased manufacture some years ago, but it might be worth checking ones that come up on Ebay.

    PS The image link in your first post has a big red cross through it, and will not open.
     
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    there are also several very affordable stand alone analog mixer / digital multitrack porta studios on the market like the TASCAM Models 12/16/24 or Soundcraft's MTK series . many of them have become quite sophisticated with lots of features like compression and effects on every channel/track. most also will act as an interface or have the capability of simple track transfer to a DAW for editing. i kind like these things.
     
  6. BrianHintze

    BrianHintze Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    I had thought about another rack-mount recorder like a Mackie or Alesis, but I think I will stick with my Akai, since I already have it. I should learn to use it to the best of my skills, just like pros did back in the day when they paid $5000 for this crazy thing.
    Here's the image of my setup...as I have it now.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    That's great that you want to take that route.. It would seems very limiting for many but sometimes limits force us to be creative and master many other skills..

    As for the cables, like I said, it supports TR and TRS cables.. But some keyboards aren't TRS, so any TR instrument cable will do (like guitar cables)
    Have fun !
     
    BrianHintze likes this.

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