Mackie, Tascam or what? Mobile recording.

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Guitarman, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Hey guys,

    I'm looking for an opinion here. The situation, I need to record a minimum of 16 tracks live for a tour(I could use 24 with ease). I am wondering which format is the most reliable at best. I would like to be able to pull drives from the machine and open in PT. I like the Tascam unit on paper because of this feature.

    Obviouslt cost is a factor but I need it to be rock solid and road worthy, as I will try too purchase the unit straight out as opposed to renting one for the tour. Anyone have any opinions or experiences?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;
  2. I have owned a Mackie SDR unit - not reliable enough. I now own an HDR which is rock solid - but maybe too pricey? I saw Kings X over the weekend, they use the Alesis unit - seem happy with it.
  3. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Thanks for the reply Reignman.

    I will look into the Alesis model. As I will defer the cost of the unit into the fee for the engineering and recording of the live shows for the tour, I guess I would put myself in the $4-5000 range. I wouldn't mind being cost effective but I really want a rocksolid unit. We travel quite extensively and the unit should be able to handle it.

    I will compare the HDR to the SDR and see what I like. I really don't need all the bells and whistles just rock solid recording and "road whorthiness" as I will be tranfering to PT for everything else.

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;

    Some guitar stuff. "Desert Rose" at #1 in the Progressive Rock Catagory(Don't ask me why though.hehe)
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    The Alesis would be the simplest in this context ..and since it records its data in aiff and wav files it is a lock to dump these into whatever machine you deem.Also the Alesis becomes a server on command and uses the ethernet out on it for just such a function.If simply removing the harddrive is what you want then its right there in the front and includes a second removable harddrive for back-up.It uses IDE drives that are available most anywhere on the planet.For another $500 there is the new upgraded version which records @192khz and 24 tracks.
    I have found my HD24 to be as trustworthy as an old dog with no loss of data since its purchase 18 months ago.It has a ton of hours on it.With a decent well padded rack it should give you no problem.The converters are okay,and it comes with TRS I/O in a plug and play package.
  5. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Thanks Davedog,

    After checking the stats online and reading your posting it looks like Alesis is the way to go. I really like the ethernet connection for transfer etc. Not to mention I found them for $1700USD on ebay. For what I was thinking on spending I could have a pair. But one will suffice. :D

    Thanks again for your input.

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;

    Some guitar stuff. Enjoy.
  6. One issue with the Alesis is that it doesn't have undo functions, it is a "destructive record" type of thing. The Tascam is nondestructive. I did some research and found the Tascam to be my personal fave. Mackie has software issues, and hard drive cost issues. David
  7. timstoel

    timstoel Guest

    The MX-2424 is an incredible box, although often overlooked because folks think it costs more, but really does not once the converter cards are bought. The box is rock solid in terms of stability and road ruggedness. I have used 24 tracks at 48kHz in live settings and it punches in and out tight and flawlessly. Transfers to a PC are a breeze with the network connection. The coolest thing is you can pull the hard disk out and plug it into a pro tools rig or a nuendo rig and open everything right up with NO conversions whatsoever. The A/D and D/A converters are quite nice for the price of the unit. The interface is also nice, and so is the remote capability and the ability to link lots of machines up for a massive rig suitable for film scores. If anyone has specific questions about the MX-2424, feel free to contact me privatley.

    I am not affiliated with Tascam, nor do I sell equipment. I just have found this box to be an incredible value because it enables me to focus on recording music instead of technical hurdles.

    Tim Stoel
  8. Eddie

    Eddie Guest

    I got the Alesis for just that purpose.The unit is very easy to understand,I thumbed through the manual on the way to its first gig. The drives are dirt cheap and you can find them anywhere. Backing the drive up is easy as well. Using the network interface for transfers is slow but it works as stated. The fireport is on the way and its blazing compared to the ethernet. No cards to buy just some cables :)
    Plug it in, format a drive and go!
  9. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Holy Moly,

    Thanks guys. Now I am thoroughly confused. ;)

    My first choice was the Tascam MX2424, and then the Alesis due to the price factor.

    I wish this was something that could easily be purchased and returned in thirty days or so of a tour.hehe

    I would have to say overall on paper the Tascam would be the better buy just for the fact it is a quicker move to the PT rig. And after Tim's props to the machine as to being road worthy I will most likely lean toward the MX2424.

    Thanks guys for all your opinions they are greatly appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;

    Some guitar stuff. Enjoy. ( o}===;;;
  10. white swan

    white swan Guest

    I'm thinking about the same kind of set-up for myself. But I was just figuring to put together a PT rig with a laptop, something like the 002.

    Since you want to dump to ProTools eventually anyway, what would be the disadvantages of that plan, as opposed to buying a Tascam, Mackie, Alesis, etc.?
  11. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Hey WS,

    I guess I am looking to get something with all matched pre-amp and or A/D converters. I was also thinking about a 002 rig but then I would have to invest in 2-3 8channels pre's like the Prosonus etc. So since I already own a PT rig I figured it would be easier to purchase something with all the inputs matched etc., not to mention it would be racked and ready to go without setting up a comp etc. Just plug and play.

    After which I would bring the drive as into the PT rig for editing and mixing. Those are my thoughts. Besides I am not moving up to the 002 just yet because I would lose tons ofplug-insor incurr a considerable cost upgrading those not included with the newer unit.

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;

    Some guitar stuff. Enjoy.
  12. Omega21

    Omega21 Guest

    I really don't need all the bells and whistles just rock solid recording and "road whorthiness" as I will be tranfering to PT for everything else.

    I have owned a Mackie SDR unit - not reliable enough. I now own an HDR which is rock solid -

    The MX-2424 is an incredible box, although often overlooked because folks think it costs more, but really does not once the converter cards are bought.

    Mackie has software issues, and hard drive cost issues. David

    Did you think about maybe trying to find a used Mackie MDR? This is my thinking about why:

    #1 Removable HD slot- The tray & an additional dock for a 5 1/4" drive bay are under $30 from They are the exact same dock that's in the face of the HDR & MDR. It's the lian li RH-58 in black.

    #2 Removable HD pt 2. The drive is a plain old IDE drive you can get at staples...or pirate from your PC like I did. There are some issues with drive size ie:32 gig max, 4:30:00 record time approx, but a bios upgrade is being developed by Mackie to change that if you want a bigger drive. I jumpered my 40 gig Maxtor drive down to 32 and it works flawlessly. You can buy the mackie m-90 drive for $200 or build one for $70-80.

    #3 Removable HD pt3. Build/buy one of these for your mac/PC and you have a hot swappable drive from the MDR to the PC/mac:

    I built my slick. E-mail me if you want pics & specifics.

    #4 OS 1.3 records in the broadcast .wav format..which would allow your protools rig to lock up to it's timestamps and be 100% sure everything is aligned right.

    #5 The MDR is an HDR without the GUI and editing capability. Basically the same idea as the Alesis box..but much less $$$$ involved.

    #6 No proprietary BS or formats inside the machine. If you break it on the road, the parts to fix it can be found at Circuit City, Best Buy, Staples or wherever. If you smoke a processor, it's a Celeron. If you cook a mem chip, it's a PC133 dimm. If you nuke your internal HD, it's a 20gig IDE drive formatted to fat 32. The power supply is plain old ATX supply.

    #7 The MDR came with the AIO-8 cards already installed in it & from what the MDR & HDR users on the mackie forums say, you'd be shelling out some serious cash to get any better converters.

    #8 The older software revisions did have little 'nuisances' in them, but always operated just fine. Nuisances like a new .wav file started every 15 minutes per track, machine not recognizing imported .wav files if they were longer than the original file, no time stamping..etc etc. The OS 1.3 added a rendering feature, and added timestamping.

    #9 Mackie stopped making the machine, yet is still developing software for it & not hanging you out in the cold.

    Just my $.02
  13. Omega21

    Omega21 Guest

    Sorry..didn't mean to write a book. Can you tell I like my MDR? :D
  14. timstoel

    timstoel Guest

    Just a question, but WHY did they choose the Celeron?!?
  15. Omega21

    Omega21 Guest

    Dunno. I would imagine because it's a dedicated machine, the demands on the processor were pretty well known & not going to change. From there..if the Celeron does the trick, then why put a Pentium in it?

    Just my guess.

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