What gear should I use to get tracks into my computer?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by groovemonster951, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. I know, newbie question but heres my deal. I'm a drummer looking into offering "drum overdub" type of services. Occasionally do recording of bands, etc on site only. Currently have Soundcraft Spirit Studio 16ch board and 2 ADAT LX-20s with some other outboard gear. I bought the ADATs off EBay with less than 500 hours each and one is giving me errors and taking my tape, etc. Good thing is I got them fairly cheap... so... here is the question...

    Do I take both ADATs in, have them completely serviced and/or repaired? ...and if that $ figure seems high compared to buying some new gear to just go into my windows xp pro computer... what is recommended in that case? I haven't been at this long enough to spend anything to get the signal from my ADATs to my computer yet, and in this case may be a good thing. I guess I should have listened to my friend who said don't buy the ADATs and get the gear to go direct into your computer instead. Would have saved a little money at least :(

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Alesis used to make a PCI card that would allow you to take the 8 track optical output from the tape machine and allow you to dump directly into your computer. Of course you'll also need a multitrack audio program such as Adobe Audition but this perhaps would also give you the opportunity to use the old Alesis A/D converters as a front end to your computer and vice versa? So you wouldn't be using tape anymore but you would still be utilizing the electronics of your machines. There are probably other cards out there that would allow you to take the optical "TosLink" outputs from your machines into your computer?

    Remy Ann David
  3. Thanks Remy. I appreciate the info. I ended up opening both ADATs and comparing the circuit board on the "bad" one to the "good" one. I found the bad one had a component wired in line where on the good one it didn't exist. So I took the component out of line on the circuit board and suddenly everything works! I guess those electronics classes in high school finally were worth something.

    Thanks again, and I eventually plan on getting two of those ADAT cards so I can bring the audio into the digital realm. Right now running analog mix out from the board to my sound card for mastering. Not pretty, but functional.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Dear groovemonster,

    Sounds like you have completed the technician 101 course? Excellent!

    You may also want to look into the MOTU 2408 mkIII as it offers 24 Channel light pipe ADAT inputs/outputs. Along with 8 analog inputs as well. A little more pricey than the single Alesis light pipe card but does so much more. I think MOTU makes some wonderful products and I personally own a 2408 mkII that I like very much. That coupled with your 2 ADATS could afford you 24 simultaneous inputs/outputs and voilà, you're 24 track overnight.

    Strangely though, people have been mixing within their computers for some years now but recently a resurgence of dumping tracks out of their computer, individually into passive analog summing networks is becoming the rage. People have realized that due to internal computer latency issues, their mixes don't sound the same as when they do them from an analog desk. Well DUH! Isn't that like taking your tracks out of your computer/digital recorders to the analog outputs and mixing them through a analog console to DAT or a computer input via 2 track?? I think so.

    In the end what's old is new again (can you say noisy old tube microphones?). Things do have a tendency to come full circle click to come full circle click to come full circle click.....

    Maybe There Is Nothing Wrong with Doing It Your Current Way. The Only Advantage inside the Computer Is to Be Able to Accomplish Some DSP (digital signal processing) which is more difficult, if not impossible outside of the computer. Then once you have modified, repaired, enhanced your tracks within the computer, you can dump out analog to your console and voilà! You are now state-of-the-art!

    Groove to the motion of the monster!

    Ms. Remy Ann David

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