Multi-Mic recording on PC

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Member Since: May 07, 2008


I just read swervegarden jr's thread about multiple M-Audio Delta 1010LT cards and I must admit, I'm impressed. I was looking for something somewhat similar:

I was asked to build a small "language laboratory", actually a language test center, to record multiple (24+) microphone inputs into individual tracks/files, while streaming one audio signal to every participant... I hope this is comprehensible!

Bear with me, I just a beginner.

I was wondering if I could just get a decent computer, stuff it with a couple of M-Audio Delta 1010LT cards and, voila, have my recording station.

As OS I would like to use Linux - I read in a different thread that Ardour does a good job with multi-track recording. Although I would prefer a more non-professional solution.

I would like to avoid buying 20 computers to build a real full blown language lab since they would just be used to record audio twice a year.

Is there another (even simpler) solution? Any help with this would be great.

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Hold 'Em Czar
Since: Dec 30, 2004

May 07, 2008 08:36 am

hmmmm yeah it looks like you're gonna need a few things....24 mics, 24 preamps, into 24 individual inputs is a heafty rig to run for a beginner.

i worked at a studio that had a setup that was something like was a Mackie D8B mixer (only has 12 pre's but you can work around that) that ran 3 ADAT outputs (8 channels each) into an RME card that had nothing but ADAT ins and outs (i think it was called hammerfall or something) so we could take 24 individual inputs and record them all seperately into the computer....a rig like that wasn't all that expensive...the RME card was like $600, you can snag a used D8B pretty cheaply (or even get a newer digital board, the d8b is kinda outdated) but plan on dropping 1 or 2k on the board. then get some software that can handle it....the mics need to be more durable than 'high quality' studio type, as the people handling them won't care for i'd budget say 50 bucks a pop for them.

all this can be done with one computer by the way.

good luck, and welcome to HRC!


Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

May 07, 2008 01:00 pm

You could run three Motu 8pre's for the 24 channels input no problem. Behringer makes an 8 channel mic amp which you could also stack. The only spot I see getting somewhat tricky is routing your mains to 3 seperate mic amps, i'd throw in a patchbay and I think it would be pretty simple overall. This would be a mixerless setup of course and less than $2,000 as far as interface and routing goes.

Since: May 07, 2008

May 08, 2008 06:27 am

Thanks a lot!

Looks like I have a lot of reading ahead of me. Right know I don't have the slightest idea how I get this to work, but you guys pointed me in the right direction, at least I hope so.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

May 08, 2008 06:29 pm

I don't think Linux is the way to go. They're making strides with multitrack audio, but I don't think high-count inputs are on that list. I may be wrong, but from what I've experienced, read, and gathered, there's still quite a bit of user-tweaking required to do audio in a good way.

I think I would looking into the 8pre route first as well. All your preamps and outputs are all in a single box (or set of boxes). Windows XP too, not Vista.

On sweetwater's site, I've seen where they get ~100 inputs simultaneously with mac PCs and MOTU interfaces.

Here it is:

Read the white paper, it explains more of what's what. (well, maybe not much more )

Serious show for not serious dough.

Since: May 07, 2008

May 14, 2008 02:41 am

Thanks again!

I will try the MOTU 8pre setup, with a Mac... we'll see how far I can get.

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