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Alesis HD24 XR users: please tell me about your workflow
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andychamp
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5th September 2009
Old 5th September 2009
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Alesis HD24 XR users: please tell me about your workflow

You know, stuff like
- punches
- edits
- comps

How easy is it to work with? On its own/ with a computer/ DAW

I understand the Fireport is a must-have for decently quick file transfers.

How reliably does it sync with other digital (non-ADAT) equipment?

Anything else I should know about?

TIA,
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5th September 2009
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The Fireport is NOT a necessity. There is a freeware program called hd24tools that you can use to get files to your computer. All you need is a hard drive dock, which might set you back $20-$30 bucks, or you can even pop the hard drive in your computer and do it. Just be careful not to format it accidentally! That'll save you a bit of money.

I never do any editing or punching in on the HD24 so I can't help you there...
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5th September 2009
Old 5th September 2009
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Non-XR HD24 here... and I don't take advantage of the auto-punching or anything either, 'shamed to say, just use it as a big 'ol "tape deck," then move everything into Digital Performer and start comping from multiple tracks. Back in the blackface ADAT/BRC days, I did all the locate point/track offset stuff...
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5th September 2009
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I use mine pretty much like Joel; that is, kind of like a tape machine. While the HD24 does allow auto punch in and out, I always do it manually, and it works flawlessly.

I also dump the files into the PC to do any editing and then bring them back into the HD24 for mixing because I prefer to mix OTB.

Like Corran mentioned, HD24tools is the way to go these days. Alesis has pretty much abandoned any further development on the HD24 and the ancillary components, but there are folks stepping in the fill the vacuum. The latest being someone who now offers caddies that work with SATA drives.

Check out the HD24 Yahoo group for some excellent feedback and info about these machines:

hd24 : HD24

Cheers,
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6th September 2009
Old 6th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Non-XR HD24 here... and I don't take advantage of the auto-punching or anything either, 'shamed to say, just use it as a big 'ol "tape deck," then move everything into Digital Performer and start comping from multiple tracks. Back in the blackface ADAT/BRC days, I did all the locate point/track offset stuff...
Huh. That's my exact workflow too, even down to Digital Performer. Use it just as I'd use a tape machine.

I transfer either using hd24Tools or realtime using a Presonus Firestudio Lightpipe.
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6th September 2009
Old 6th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post

How reliably does it sync with other digital (non-ADAT) equipment?

TIA,
The Adat sync out works well with most Motu interfaces under DP.
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7th September 2009
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I've used mine with a console, ITB with hardware inserts and stand alone and never had a problem
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7th September 2009
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just got mine, paired it with a 24 channel inline console... its like the ultimate portastudio experience.
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7th September 2009
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I use mine basically the the same with an analog console. Also use the loop/auto return to work sections as with a sequencer. ( ie.. verse, chorus, etc..)...The punching in manually is ok also.. I only wished Alesis would make an upgraded board that would allow 24 track recording @ 96khz via the analog in tho..!...
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7th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatchman View Post
I use mine basically the the same with an analog console. Also use the loop/auto return to work sections as with a sequencer. ( ie.. verse, chorus, etc..)...The punching in manually is ok also.. I only wished Alesis would make an upgraded board that would allow 24 track recording @ 96khz via the analog in tho..!...
Would be nice. Though they are so cheap that buying an additional machine would probably be the same price as any 24 channel x 96k upgrade. The EC1 upgrade for non-XRs is expensive enough.
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7th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatchman View Post
I only wished Alesis would make an upgraded board that would allow 24 track recording @ 96khz via the analog in tho..!...
How many can you record at one time at 96 (analog in)? And can you playback all 24 channels at once at 96?
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andychamp
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7th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
How many can you record at one time at 96 (analog in)? And can you playback all 24 channels at once at 96?
I think at anything above 48kHz, simultaneous i/o is limited to 12 tracks.
But the XR has better AD/DA than the standard version, so even a 48k project (especially through a decent desk) should be plenty OK.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
How many can you record at one time at 96 (analog in)? And can you playback all 24 channels at once at 96?
You can record 12 @ 96 analog in..As far as 24 channels playback @ 96, I'm not sure since I've never tracked anything ( except a couple channels to experiment with sound quality) to see if it would.. Basically everything I've tracked has exceeded 12 tracks...
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8th September 2009
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I record directly onto it and utilize the punch ins/outs. Punching works very well on the machine if you take advantage of its capabilities. I then use a Fireport to send the tracks to the computer where I perform modest adjustments/clean-up, and then back to the HD24 for mixing/summing. This way I avoid the computer for 95% of the process which is what keeps me happy.
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8th September 2009
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I record to it pretty much as a tape deck. The only thing different I do is when doing overdubs over a few takes is I put the machine into single-input mode (take audio for all channels from input #1) then patch my pre to just channel 1. Makes doing multiple takes a snap.

I do manual punches, sometimes auto-punch, sometimes auto-play loop for getting those toms eq'ed.

I do quite a bit of editing on the front panel - comps, some alignment, some word fixes by copying a word from another chorus. If it takes more than ten or fifteen edits on the front, I'll usually suck it into a computer. I use Audacity as an editor and use a Fireport. I always put it back to the HD24 for mixing - I mix OTB on a beast of a Soundcraft 2400.

If the song promises to have a lot of overdubs or lots of comps (ugh), I'll sync up my rack of DA88's using a JLCooper MTC to SMPTE converter and feed that to a DA88 with SY88. I'll then record the backing tracks (off-the-floor), then do a rough mix or two onto a couple of HD24 tracks for overdubs so you're not waiting for shuttling of tape. Then after overdubs and comps, if there's enough tracks left over, I'll move everything from DA88 back to the HD24; if there aren't I'll just mix using the groups on the console flipped. The 2400 can be set up for 52 inputs plus 12 stereo effects returns if you do the routing properly.

I use the HD24 analogue unless I'm doing a bounce from the DA88's.
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8th September 2009
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HD24XR.... I use mine as a tape deck as well. I don't use auto-punch but the manual punch-in is great, never a problem.

I have the Fireport and transfer files to my computer, then perform editing and overdubs in PTLE. I also only have 2 channels of good ADC into the 003 so I'll create stems and put them back on the HD24XR if I need to. The firewire transfer ability makes this a piece of cake.
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8th September 2009
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We use two HD24XR's at the studio I teach at. We basically use them as tape machines as well, paired with a Sony 3056 console. We generally track to the machines through the console and then dump the files to Logic and do edits and some processing in the box. We can then either mix on the console or ITB.
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9th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon View Post

Like Corran mentioned, HD24tools is the way to go these days. Alesis has pretty much abandoned any further development on the HD24 and the ancillary components, but there are folks stepping in the fill the vacuum. The latest being someone who now offers caddies that work with SATA drives.


Cheers,
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can you link me to the new caddies that work with SATA drives?

thx
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9th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croaker View Post
can you link me to the new caddies that work with SATA drives?

thx
Older DataBridge caddies work - these look like the company that made them for Alesis. Newer ViPowER caddies work too and are easy to find.
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9th September 2009
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databridge? you mean the original caddy?
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9th September 2009
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I use mine as a straight tape machine for location recordings. Press record and go.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croaker View Post
databridge? you mean the original caddy?
Yeah. Databridge manufactured 5.25" drive caddies and chassis. I happened to have some of them in a couple old servers laying around, which was convenient because I stuck one of them in a Firewire enclosure so I could use with Fireport FST/Connect software. This is the caddy that Alesis used, and Databridge may very well have made them for Alesis.
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9th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dale116dot7 View Post
I record to it pretty much as a tape deck. The only thing different I do is when doing overdubs over a few takes is I put the machine into single-input mode (take audio for all channels from input #1) then patch my pre to just channel 1. Makes doing multiple takes a snap.
So you arm a different track for a different take without having to repatch your pre, is that what you mean?
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9th September 2009
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Anyway, I use mine just like a tape machine.

I use the ethernet port to transfer to a computer, I have a DAW that I can use to edit stuff if I want to but I don't feel the need to do so.
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9th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
So you arm a different track for a different take without having to repatch your pre, is that what you mean?

I think that's what he means - that's cool! Learn something new every day. I admit I haven't really gotten into all of what the HD24 can do!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockstar_josh View Post
I think that's what he means - that's cool! Learn something new every day. I admit I haven't really gotten into all of what the HD24 can do!
Yeah it's a good idea.

I didn't go really far with my HD24 neither, I really like to use it just like a tape machine, the workflow is great and it helps me to focus on the music itself.
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9th September 2009
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HD24XR

I use my two HD24XR like tape decks. I love that there is no way to have any latency so the timing of things is rock solid (the way it always should be).

I never sync them. I bought two for live recording work, I feed both in parallel simultaneously so I have a backup in case one eats a drive. I've only lost a couple of drives in years of HD24 use, the first time I had no backup (ouch), the second time I did so I got paid for all my work.

My first HD24 was not XR. It sounded good for recording rock bands but I upgraded to the XR and there was an improvement to the sound quality.

I have a Fireport. It works ok but it's not as friendly as you would hope and for transferring hour-long, 24 track live shows, it can be a killer because you can end up with this monster 24 track thing to deal with in DAW software.

Mainly I use Fireport to transfer a single song to the DAW. It's about 4x as fast to transfer this way compared to realtime transfer.

For live shows I use a Motu interface and transfer each song in realtime via lightpipe. This lets me select which songs get transferred to the DAW, I can leave behind the ones that are not worth editing further.

I don't really use the HD24XR to record myself anymore, I'm totally into Logic on Mac. When I was using HD24XR, I did use loop to rehearse a section but I always punched in manually.

I really wish Alesis would keep this machine alive. The old tape deck interface is so friendly. I've enjoyed my machines and they have paid for themselves many times over. I've helped over a hundred bands and artists record and preserve performances with these recorders. It's a great feeling when you record a live show, mix it, and then see that look on the customers face when they hear how good it turned out.

cheers
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12th September 2009
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Maybe this will help.

For example to copy paste a part of a song you have to insert a start locate point and an end locate point, then you copy, go to the destionation and paste.

It's pretty simple as long as your HD24 is not at the bottom of your rack or somewhere hard to access.

You might have to read the manual but it's easy to read so it's no big deal.
You should download it and read a little bit of it, you'll see.
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12th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Yeah it's a good idea.
To do this, patch your preamp into input #1 - usually it's where I put the kick drum so I have a Neve-style preamp patched into #1 anyways. Press and hold the input select button (you have to hold it and keep it held). First it'll say 'Digital' then go back to 'Analog' and light up the monitor indicators in the level display bargraph. Hit arm track #1 and all of them (except #1) will go out. Now you can let go of the input select button. Any track you arm will now get audio from input #1. Great for multiple takes. To go back, press and hold the input select button, and when track #1's monitor indicator goes on, hit arm track #24 and all of the indicators will light up - and input #1 will only go to track #1 - back like a normal tape deck. You can do that with inputs #1 and #2 if you want to do multiple stereo takes - odd on #1, even on #2.
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12th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dale116dot7 View Post
To do this, patch your preamp into input #1 - usually it's where I put the kick drum so I have a Neve-style preamp patched into #1 anyways. Press and hold the input select button (you have to hold it and keep it held). First it'll say 'Digital' then go back to 'Analog' and light up the monitor indicators in the level display bargraph. Hit arm track #1 and all of them (except #1) will go out. Now you can let go of the input select button. Any track you arm will now get audio from input #1. Great for multiple takes. To go back, press and hold the input select button, and when track #1's monitor indicator goes on, hit arm track #24 and all of the indicators will light up - and input #1 will only go to track #1 - back like a normal tape deck. You can do that with inputs #1 and #2 if you want to do multiple stereo takes - odd on #1, even on #2.
Cool thanks for the tips, it might be useful at some point.
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