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MultiTrack for Live Purposes
Old 14th March 2006
  #1
Talking MultiTrack for Live Purposes

I've been searching for something so seemingly simple and yet I cannot find it anywhere.

What I need is a unit that can playback multiple tracks (8 minimum to be exact) at the same time and provides multiple outputs so I can route those tracks to a console during a live performance.

I don't need to record anything. I only need to playback already recorded material. I need this to be a rackmount unit if possible. The connections aren't that big of a deal (XLR, 1/4", RCA - doesn't matter to me). As long as it has multiple outputs it'll work perfectly. I definitely want to stay with hard disk since I also need it to handle markers (basically the drummer needs to be able to switch to the next song as quickly as possible). I don't need any editing capabilities, etc. All the tracks are already done. I just need to transfer them to this device and connect a snake to the console.

Any ideas would be most appreciated.
Old 14th March 2006
  #2
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

How about one of the old Fostex D series hard disk recorders? RCA outputs, ADAT in to transfer your stuff if needed, used on eBay would be cheap and I always found my old D series recorder to be reliable.

War
Old 14th March 2006
  #3
Warhead, that's a great option except that it's a pain to transfer the files onto it. I was hoping for something that I could drag and drop the files from the computer over to the unit. Mount the hard drive or something. Certainly it's possible to set it all up with the Fostex unit but it would take forever to load everything into place, and any changes that would need to be made couldn't be done from a laptop on the road, they would have to be done in the studio (unless I'm completely missing something).
Old 14th March 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

kittonian....
maybe i'm missing a need of yours...but.....couldnt you use a laptop with a firewire interface (firewire sound device with multiple outputs) for this application ??
ie...on tha laptop just set up each track to go out a seperate port on the firewire sound device ?? to the mixing console inputs ??
for markers you could set up say a midi click (midi converted to wave audio)..before each song starts
on a seperate track which only the drummer hears over his cans ??
so the audience doesnt hear it ??
Old 14th March 2006
  #5
manning1, yes of course we could go that route, however, with laptops you introduce the possibility of crashing, problems, etc. quite a bit more than a standalone unit that is designed to do nothing more than play tracks. we're trying to avoid that situation at all costs.
Old 14th March 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

kittonian....
well it was JUST a suggestion.
plenty of folks doing it.(YES ITS A RISK).
frankly any standalone unit with a hard drive can still go down.
or power supply go bad.
there isnt a unit ive seen where this possibility doesnt exist.
no unit ive seen is completely fault tolerant.
i guess you could consider an old adat possibly.
but then there are the transfer aspects, the digital tape could leech or mangle,
or a power supply go on you.
what we are talking about is the need really for a fully redundant playback device
in a live situation. frankly i think whichever solution you look at there are potential issues. unless you spend a lot on full redundancy.
all the best.
Old 14th March 2006
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
BruceTheProduce's Avatar
 

Hey Kittonian, this is a location recorder, but it may work for you. There was a review on Mix mag a few months ago on this, it is supposed to be very good. Check it out.http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/usa/hhbprod...rive/index.asp
Old 14th March 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Use a rackmount HD recorder -- Alesis HDR or E-Mu Darwin (cough, cough!!!) -- people are DUMPING these cheaply, 'cause, umm, this is about the only use left for 'em. Alesis HDR has Ethernet input. Of course, a lot of these have ADAT optical -- you could change & do transfers from a Digi 002 to the unit on the road without having to crack the manual.

Then save a track for SMPTE time code, and run a laptop chasing the timecode in "Jam Sync" or similar mode.

Put everything into a mixer next to the drummer or keyboardist/live sample person. Then, if the HD crashes, set it up so the track-person can un-mute the laptop outs quickly. Then your redundancy will always be sync'ed to your main source. Heck, if everything drops out, it might sound like you meant to do it for a bar.

Don't fool yourself. There is no 100% solution. Frankly, as long as there's a live vibe, you should be able to handle a crash and at least 30 seconds of downtime once every 20-100 shows. If you can't, then are you really an entertainer? If it's a dance concert, then make sure you're all set to beat-match the newest hit, then nobody will break a leg trying to look cool to your music.

Seriously, I'd use a laptop and have a condensed 2-track (Click one side, tracks on the other) on an iPod for backup. And I'd strip down the software on that laptop and NEVER use it on the 'net -- unless you're avoiding the "look" of a laptop on stage (which may or may not be cool with the group's vibe).
Old 14th March 2006
  #9
manning1, I apologize for my response sounding so harsh. I didn't mean it like that at all. I just re-read it to figure out your response and realize that it could've been read differently than I intended it to be. I do appreciate the response and every suggestion that has been provided.

The Alesis HD24XR would actually be perfect for this situation, however it's a bit pricey. After a ton of digging I found the Roland VSR-880 that does everything I'm looking for except it won't connect to a computer so I can easily transfer tracks. I would have to actually record the tracks onto the hard disk song by song to make that solution work.

Basically, if the VSR-880 had a firewire port or USB or something that would allow the disk to mount to a computer it'd be perfect. Any other ideas for me?
Old 15th March 2006
  #10
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian
manning1, I apologize for my response sounding so harsh. I didn't mean it like that at all. I just re-read it to figure out your response and realize that it could've been read differently than I intended it to be. I do appreciate the response and every suggestion that has been provided.

The Alesis HD24XR would actually be perfect for this situation, however it's a bit pricey. After a ton of digging I found the Roland VSR-880 that does everything I'm looking for except it won't connect to a computer so I can easily transfer tracks. I would have to actually record the tracks onto the hard disk song by song to make that solution work.

Basically, if the VSR-880 had a firewire port or USB or something that would allow the disk to mount to a computer it'd be perfect. Any other ideas for me?
The Alesis is spendy, but if you could find the base version as a used or demo model, the Firewire drive cradle is about perfect for what you're describing. The unit can live in the rack and you've got a very efficient transfer.

Michael
Old 15th March 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 

kittonian....
i admire a man who responds like you did.
sorry i took it the wrong way.
lol......having a beer in a pub face to face is so much easier than the net.
cos one can have a good chin wag.
only other idea was this boss unit.
but i suspect youve checked it out.
has usb....but i dont know about 8 physical outs....but the price is real cheap.
http://www.dcmusicstore.com/s.nl/sc....it.A/id.996/.f
also zoom seems to have some cheap units but only 4 playback tracks i think.
Old 15th March 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian
I've been searching for something so seemingly simple and yet I cannot find it anywhere.

What I need is a unit that can playback multiple tracks (8 minimum to be exact) at the same time and provides multiple outputs so I can route those tracks to a console during a live performance.

I don't need to record anything. I only need to playback already recorded material. I need this to be a rackmount unit if possible. The connections aren't that big of a deal (XLR, 1/4", RCA - doesn't matter to me). As long as it has multiple outputs it'll work perfectly. I definitely want to stay with hard disk since I also need it to handle markers (basically the drummer needs to be able to switch to the next song as quickly as possible). I don't need any editing capabilities, etc. All the tracks are already done. I just need to transfer them to this device and connect a snake to the console.

Any ideas would be most appreciated.
An ADAT
$250.00 on ebay (Oe Less)
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