Uncertain of what recording equipment to use.

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by usalabs, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. usalabs

    usalabs Active Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Arizona, USA
    I'm the keyboardist of a local hard rock band called Hells Fire, we just had a studio built, at the lead guitarists house, using his garage, and they elected me as the sound engineer, but the quandary is.......

    We tried using a 24 channel digital mixing desk with grouping to 4 channels of a Roland VS880 digital work station, but if I group channels I can't tweak the instruments during playback, what I would like to do is have a piece of equipment that can record all the channels from the board, that are being used simultaneously, then when the song is played back, the band can listen and suggest maybe a little more umph on the kick bass, or a bit more highs on the lead, then when the sound is as good as it gets, the final down-mix can be sent to a backup device on a single channel, ready for burning to CD, but grouping channels, I can't do that, is there such a machine that can do that without grouping?

    If we're using 16 channels on the board the recorder would need to record all 16 channels simultaneously, then re-route them back to the board during playback, then the EQ's and volumes can be adjusted, on-the-fly, or an instrument track can be cut and re-recorded, then the final down-mix is output to a CD burner.
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    The Alesis HD24 hard disk recorder?
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    What is the digital board? Why are you 'grouping' to 4 tracks on a recorder that will do 14 simultaneously?
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    What type of mixer do you have or are considering getting for this task?

    A purely analog mixer should have a "direct out" on each channel so that the line-level output of every channel can be taken to something like the Alesis HD24 (or better, the HD24XR) hard disk recorder, as Jeemy suggested. For mixdown, the outputs of the recorder can be routed to the line inputs of the mixer and a 2-track mix then either sent to a couple of spare tracks on the recorder or a separate 2-track mastering recorder or to a high-quality interface on a computer.

    By contrast, digital mixers (such as the Yamaha "O" range) normally have ADAT lightpipe outputs that can be routed to the ADAT input of the HD24 hard disk recorder (the HD24XR version affords no advantage for digital inputs). The mixdown process is similar to using an analog mixer, but the data is transferred via ADAT lightpipes.

    The interesting option is an analog mixer with digital interfacing. Examples of these are the Allen & Heath Zed-R16 and GS-R24, and Mackie 1640i series. Using this type of mixer, you can be performing a fully analog mix but be streaming all the digitized channel data to a computer fitted with a FireWire interface. The mixdown is analog, but the data travels to and from the computer via FireWire.
  5. usalabs

    usalabs Active Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Arizona, USA
    The VS880 can only record on 4 tracks simultaneously, even though it has 8 tracks total, when 4 of the 8 tracks are in record mode, pressing record on any of the other tracks does nothing, but switch between line and playback.

    The make and model of the digital mixing board is a Behringer SX2442FX Eurodesk (check out specs at link below).
    Behringer SX2442FX Eurodesk Mixer and more Unpowered Mixers at GuitarCenter.com.

    I used 4 groups, 1-2, 3-4, here's the layout of the input channels on the board:-

    1 through 7 = drum mics, 8=lead guitar amp mic, 9=bass guitar amp mic, 10=keyboard direct, 11=lead singer mic, 12 & 13 backing mics, 14=rhythm guitar amp mic

    (Drum Mics)
    1xFloor tom
    1xbass kicker

    1 = channels 1 through 7 (drums)
    2 = channels 8,9 & 14 (guitars)
    3 = channel 10 (keyboard)
    4 = channels 11,12 & 13 (vocals)

    Then I route each group output to the first of the 4 of 8 inputs on the VS880, thus all 4 groups can be recorded on the Roland simultaneously, which means, I can only tweak the EQ's and volumes on the Roland during playback, which would only adjust the overall sounds on each of the groups, not each of the 14 individual channels.

    I may look into the Alesis HD24 unless there's a cheaper way of doing it?.

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