Multitracking a band on my laptop

Discussion in 'Computing' started by koolcheez, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. koolcheez

    koolcheez Guest

    I would like to record my band, live, in a multitrack format with my laptop using Sonar as my software. I've determined that I need some type of interface in-between my mixer and my USB port, the majority of which (USB interfaces) seem to only have 2 inputs. Is this maneuver even possible considering that the drums will take 6 tracks, 2 guitar tracks and a bass? The vocals I would lay down afterwards. Should I be considering the purchase of a "stand-alone" digital multitracker? If so, do I then record the tracks from the "stand-alone" into my PC via an interface, (2 tracks at a time), to master them in Sonar? Thanks for any help anyone may have!
  2. Spy

    Spy Guest


    Greetings koolcheez,

    You haven't mentioned what make/model your laptop is (and I don't own one myself), but I believe that they can be expanded by the use of PCMCIA cards.

    If this is the case with yours then something like this connected to one of these could be just up your street (depending upon your budget, of course).

  3. xian

    xian Guest

    There's also the M-Audio Firewire 1814. Spy's right, you'd want to go with a Firewire device. Check if your laptop has a firewire port (IEEEE 1394). If not, getting one of those PCMCIA Firewire cards should do the trick. Also, make sure your computer can handle 12 or 16 tracks at once (you may need a faster external hard drive - I hear Firewire is a good choice here too)

    The 1814 is expandable to 16 channels (that is, you can simultaneously record 16 channels into Sonar), which sounds like what you need. You'd need to buy a ADAT 8 in A/D converter on top of the 1814, but for your money, this may be the best bet.

    You're probably still looking at roughly $1000 all said and done, maybe a bit less.
  4. koolcheez

    koolcheez Guest

    Thanks for the response everyone! My laptop is a Dell 2650 with a Pent. 4 processor, 1.70Ghz, and 512 MB of RAM. Are there any other "stats" I should check on my laptop to make sure I don't end up spending more on PCMCIA firewire/interface gear that my PC won't be able to handle anyway? I wish I was more computer literate than I am cause I do tend to get overwhelmed by some of the lingo. For example, the ADAT type of input, is this kind of a multi-pin type jack, like a midi jack, into which a converter gets plugged? Spy, I looked into the items you linked and it's starting to make sense now. Nice equipment! Can I get your input on something like this E-MU 1616M. Other than a ADAT converter, it looks to have a lot of what I need.
  5. xian

    xian Guest

    I should clairify this, the 1814 by itself will do 8 tracks I/O and if you buy an 8 In ADAT A/D Converter then it expands to 16 tracks via lightpipe connection.
  6. GentleG

    GentleG Guest

    Presonus Firepod?

    Works for me on my XP notebook
  7. Spy

    Spy Guest

    There's also the Echo 8 & 12 i/o cards, the latter of which received a good review from a trusted (by me at least) source.

    Best of luck with your final purchasing decision.
  8. Another possible option is buying a firewire-adapted mixer, such as the Mackie Onyx series, Alesis MultiMix Firewire series (not USB), or the Phonic firewire series. They allow all individual mixer inputs to be recorded independently via a firewire connection and come in 8,12, and 16 input models (depending on manufacturer).

    I don't have experience with any of these individually, so I'm just pointing out another option to look into. However, the Mackie would probably be the best choice since it is the most expensive and usually highest quality of the 3 companies listed. The 12-input Onyx mixer can be found on ebay for $530 and the FW option card (required, but sold separately) is $400.
  9. huub

    huub Guest

    and if your internal harddrive is 54oo rpm (wich it most likely is) , you'll probably need an external 7200 rpm disk...these are supercheap nowadays though..
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