The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Options for 16 track simultaneous recording? Digital Converters
Old 30th July 2014
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Options for 16 track simultaneous recording?

I'm currently running a Presonus Firestudio into Studio 1 on my comp, as we like to record live off the floor, however the band is growing and as is my need to upsize to something that will allow me to record 16-24 tracks simultaneously live off the floor. I'm wondering what my options are, and how much I'd be looking to spend.

Thanks so much in advance!
Old 30th July 2014
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Oh and I had a reply from this guy that I can do so with this unit, but does that look right?

Mackie 1642-VLZ PRO 16-Channel Mic/Line Mixer with Premium XDR P | pro audio, recording equip | Markham / York Region | Kijiji
Old 30th July 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 

You have several options.

Is this just for recording or are you meaning to provide monitor mixes as well?

Do you already have a mixer with that many preamps? If yes...do the channels on the mixer have direct outputs for each channel?

What is the purpose for the recording? Are you releasing this stuff?

If you are strictly looking for a way to record and need 16 preamps, obviously money is the big question. I am going to make the assumption that you want as low cost as possible. In that case I would suggest the Behringer ADA8000...get two of those and link them via ADAT and you have got yourself 16 channels of convertion into your computer but also 16 channels of preamp. Those cost anywhere from $200-$300 depending where you go.

If you have a mixer and if that mixer has 16 channels and if those 16 channels all have mic pres and all those channels have direct outputs then you don't need your converter to have preamps. You could simply plug all your instruments into your mixer...and then use it to bus monitor mixes for rehearsal or recording and then take the direct out into a converter with 16 line inputs. Truthfully, you could still use 2 Behringer ADA8000 units linked via ADAT cause those also each have 8 line inputs giving you 16 line inputs.

That's a pretty cheap way that will allow you to work without having to purchase any additional gear ie. mixer (instruments and microphones excluded of course) but that can also be used in tandem with gear you already have ie. a mixer if you have one.

For me to give you any further advice you must first answer those few questions I asked.
Old 30th July 2014
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Korbin already gave a good answer, but i would like to add some things.

I personally would probably go for the new upgraded version of the Behringer ADA8000, the ADA8200 which cost slightly more, but have the Midas preamps which should be a significant upgrade and if i dont remember wrong the powersupply has also been redesigned/improved so its seems like a no brainer. Here in Europe the ADA8000 is 166 Euro at Thomann while the ADA8200 is 219 Euro.

The Presonus Firestudio has 2 ADAT inputs, so it can be expanded to 24 analog channels using two ADA8200 (or ADA8000 or other similar unit).

I have personally used the ADA8000 and an MOTU 828 mk2 to expand my Focusrite LS56 that we used in our band studio, we tracked 20 tracks at once or so regularly without a hitch when we recorded drums (drums+ line in scratch tracks) i never had any problems with the ADA8000 which was used for some of the drum channels.

Again, unless you can score some ADA8000 dirt cheap perhaps used i would go for the new ADA8200 version.
Old 30th July 2014
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks very much! To answer some of the questions,

I do not currently have a mixer, just the Firestudio running directly to my PC via FireWire. The recordings are intended for personal consumption amongst the band, and we record every rehearsal, then I go back and edit parts that were sub par (I'll redo some vocal sections, try a different bass in some parts)
Money totally is a factor and I'm a little perturbed that the folks at my local music shop didn't suggest this method (they tried to automatically suggest I upgrade to a $2100 board).

I'm going to research the ADA8000 and 8200 today. Thanks so much to you all, I love this site!
Old 30th July 2014
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Just wanted to clarify - I have the Presonus Firestudio Project, does this still have the ADAT X2?
Old 30th July 2014
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwweird View Post
Just wanted to clarify - I have the Presonus Firestudio Project, does this still have the ADAT X2?
Unfortunately the Firestudio project doesnt seem to have ADAT at all, the search i did was based on just the "Presonus Firestudio" that you posted originally.

This is the Presonus Firestudio PreSonus | FireStudio
and this is the Firestudio project PreSonus | FireStudio Project

What i did for recording on stage live performances as well as recording pre production live demos at our studio/rehearsal room was to get at Zoom R16 porta studio which has 8 XLR in mic preamps of which i used three on drums two guitars, synth, bass and lead vocals. This worked great for both uses and was much easier to handle than a DAW and we incluided a couple of live tracks on our last album recorded with the R16. You can even sync two of these for 16 channels.R16 | ZOOM

This might possibly be a low cost option to expand as well, dont know if its the best though, quoted from the Presonus site Firestudio project page "Still, as you develop your recording rig, your I/O needs may grow. No problem: you can daisy-chain the FireStudio Project with a second FireStudio Project, or with any interface in the FireStudio family, for up to 52 inputs and outputs. With FireStudio-series interfaces, your rig can expand to match your growing needs."


Anyway if you are looking to replace what you got i can recommend the Focusrite LS56 which i have, maybe not the cheapest interface, but far from expensive especially for what it is, you get alot for the money.
Old 30th July 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
lovekrafty's Avatar
 

A great 16 channel hybrid console like Allen and Heath Zed R16
Would be perfect for your needs.
They sound good too.
Old 30th July 2014
  #9
I Chose to buy the Focusrite Pro 40 and the expansion MKII unit. 16 inputs plus zero latency mix control software and good sounding, (really clean) pre's (8 with pretty decent front end compression). I also have a TB12 and an ART Tube MP that I use line-in for some color on certain sources like vocals and bass. I find that 16 inputs is barely sufficient to record a full band simultaneously. Drums usually eat like 8-10 mic inputs, guitars if you have 2 guitars each with an sm57 = 2 inputs (I'd rather have 2 mics on a cab but I've also had successs using 1 input and using Amplitube 3), then bass I'll use two inputs (one mic'd cab, one DI) then that only leaves you with 1 input for one vocal and one for talk back (Depending how many mics you use on drums... I always record vocals and guitar or keyboard later so they all get the shaft for their "Simultaneous performance". All depends on what you plan to record and HOW you plan to record. To me, The only things I want to ensure I keep in the full band simultaneous recording is drums and bass. To me, those two should be done simultaneously so the rhythm is solid and natural. I've always come back to redo guitars and other instruments like keys, flutes, vocals etc. so they are tight with the rhythm and given the best performance and attention to detail. THe focusrite only has 16 inputs but they are quality and Iwouldn't trade the mix control software for anything, plus I get 8 channels of really transparent compression that has been super valuable... Choices choices!! More inputs are better, but not if you're compromising the sound... Get a huge 24+ input board/console if you want to literally record everyone at once and have all your favorite micing techniques! I personally don't do enough full band recordings to justify the cost hence my choice... Hope this helps!
Old 30th July 2014
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proche3 View Post
I Chose to buy the Focusrite Pro 40 and the expansion MKII unit....!
The Focusrite LS56 is the very similar "Big brother" of the Pro 40 and has two ADAT for 16 channel ADAT and a total of 24 analog IO (with ADAT interfaces)plus stereo SPDIF IO, it also has some nice aditional features over the Pro 40 as well. The Octopre MKII ADAT unit is almost double the price of the ADA8200 at least on Thomann, i highly doubt it is much better.

I agree about the drums, i think we had 16 channels or so on just the drums, but we used spot mics on cymbals, room mics, dual bassdrum mics etc. We never recorded real tracks of instruments at the same time, just line in scratch tracks played live as support when tracking drums and then overdubs with the other real tracks recorded much more properly often with not only one mic, for guitars 3 mics (one room) +line.

That said, i could get some great result with just the 8 channels of the Fostex R16 when we recorded live pre production demos or live gigs. In some ways i actually liked it better since it was more natural sounding.

Conclusion: Its not so much the tools as what you make with the tools !
Old 30th July 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I didn't realize there was an upgrade to the ADA8000...Not surprised that it's not too much more costly. I would have to agree it's likely worth your extra money for the better preamps...especially if you ever intend to try to record something to sell at your shows. Although...if money is really a factor...then saving $50-$70 USD or more per unit is probably going to be more up your alley with the ADA8000, and truthfully you likely will be happy enough with the preamps. That really depends on your budget. Not sure if you have mics and all that stuff yet...so if you need to buy some of that stuff...saving some money on the converters might be nice.

While preamps are very important...I'd rather spend money on a better mic than upgrading from ADA8000 preamps to ADA8200 preamps (although the 8200 are certainly better than the 8000). An SM58 through the ADA8000 will sound better than a $30 radio shack mic through the ADA8200.

So if your budget allows it...I agree the midas pres in the ADA8200 will likely be significantly better than the ADA8000 pres...But is buying the ADA8200 means you have to sacrifice on microphones, then I would suggest going with the ADA8000.

Do you have a budget in mind?

Let us know what you have and what you need. How many instruments/vocals do you have? How many drums are you micing up? How would you like to record these instruments...ie. Bass guitar through an amp or do you want to go direct in? Does the bass head have a DI out of it? There are a ton of questions that seem complicated but really aren't.

The BEST thing you could have when doing this though is a plan! Feel free to PM me with a list of what you want to do and I'll gladly help you out with the logistics of it all
Old 30th July 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I didn't realize there was an upgrade to the ADA8000...Not surprised that it's not too much more costly. I would have to agree it's likely worth your extra money for the better preamps...especially if you ever intend to try to record something to sell at your shows. Although...if money is really a factor...then saving $50-$70 USD or more per unit is probably going to be more up your alley with the ADA8000, and truthfully you likely will be happy enough with the preamps. That really depends on your budget. Not sure if you have mics and all that stuff yet...so if you need to buy some of that stuff...saving some money on the converters might be nice.

While preamps are very important...I'd rather spend money on a better mic than upgrading from ADA8000 preamps to ADA8200 preamps (although the 8200 are certainly better than the 8000). An SM58 through the ADA8000 will sound better than a $30 radio shack mic through the ADA8200.

So if your budget allows it...I agree the midas pres in the ADA8200 will likely be significantly better than the ADA8000 pres...But if buying the ADA8200 means you have to sacrifice on microphones, then I would suggest going with the ADA8000. If you have all the mics and all that already...Then spring for the midas pres.

Do you have a budget in mind?

Let us know what you have and what you need. How many instruments/vocals do you have? How many drums are you micing up? How would you like to record these instruments...ie. Bass guitar through an amp or do you want to go direct in? Does the bass head have a DI out of it? There are a ton of questions that seem complicated but really aren't.

The BEST thing you could have when doing this though is a plan! Feel free to PM me with a list of what you want to do and I'll gladly help you out with the logistics of it all
Old 30th July 2014
  #13
KEL
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwweird View Post
Thanks very much! To answer some of the questions,

I do not currently have a mixer, just the Firestudio running directly to my PC via FireWire. The recordings are intended for personal consumption amongst the band, and we record every rehearsal, then I go back and edit parts that were sub par (I'll redo some vocal sections, try a different bass in some parts)
Money totally is a factor and I'm a little perturbed that the folks at my local music shop didn't suggest this method (they tried to automatically suggest I upgrade to a $2100 board).

I'm going to research the ADA8000 and 8200 today. Thanks so much to you all, I love this site!
How big is the band, how many pieces, how many vocals? These are demos for you guys only? How do you play out, by only doing gigs with supplied sound systems?
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump