Many multi track recording

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Member Since: Jul 09, 2008

I can't seem to find a way to record more than 8 or so tracks digitally at a time. What I would like to do is record my band live in multi tracks so that we can edit each track after a performance. We have 8 drum mics, 3 vocal mics, 2 guitar, 2 keyboard, 1 bass, 3 hand percussion, 1 synth guitar and 1 harmonica mic. Adds up to 22 tracks. Am I dreaming? Is such a thing possible for under the cost of a new yacht?

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Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

May 13, 2010 01:56 pm

You can link many 8 channel interfaces (with pre's unless you wanna purchase them seperate) via firewire or fiber optic. Most USB interfaces I have looked at are not usually capable of daisy chaining.

A couple options
3 x Motu 8pre (seen a couple going on ebay ~$300 - normally around $550)
3 x Presonus FireStudio (Around $500 new, have not checked ebay)

Not cheap at $1500 (let alone cables/mic stands) but far less than a new yacht.

Another route, do what most of us with 8 channels do for our band.

1. Record scratch guitar to a metronome.
2. Record your 8 channels of drums to scratch guitar.
3. Record guitars, bass, vox, etc. after drums are tracked. One at a time or as many as possible on said 8 channels.

Last but not least, what are you micing on the drums? Don't underestimate the power of a room mic for drums (or guitars for that matter). That reason alone is enough to warrant either tracking drums seperate, having them seperated out from the band in a different room, or having your volumes of everyone 100% perfect and the room mic in the perfect position for everything.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

May 13, 2010 02:13 pm

1 thing comes to mind: MAC and MOTU.

Sweetwater had an article (which I can't find now) about them setting up a G5 with a bunch of MOTU interfaces, and he was tracking 100+ channels.

Another option, is to try and get 4 delta 1010s running in 1 PC. I know they'll do 2, but I believe they'll do up to 4 PCI cards in 1 PC. er, good luck finding a Motherboard with 4 PCI slots =]

Synth guitar?

er, OK, the Mackie boards have a FW interface card, you can plug into an Onyx board and get 16 channels via FW. I believe this to be true, but I'd have to look.

Ok, I just did. Read down on this page: and see where it's got 2 mixers plugged into 1 mac laptop. 32 channels on FW in 1 PC. Nice.

If you go that route, you could sell your old mixers, and buy 2 of these, and do all your live mixing on them, and also save to PC during performance. Nice. You were in the market for a new board anyways, right ?



Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

May 13, 2010 02:15 pm

Good call Cpt, 3x 8 input FW interfaces. That should do the job nicely.

Though the Mackie boards would be more fun =).
Since: Nov 11, 2007

May 13, 2010 02:21 pm

Yup, quality will depend on what you buy though...

You could get something like the Behringer XENYX 2442 $350 and 2 Nady 8 input Pre-amps for $130 each. Reaper is a free DAW. That would end up around $700 total after shipping and handling/tax in the US.

I would highly recommend researching the quality you'll get vs the quality you expect...but it can be done!



Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

May 13, 2010 02:31 pm

Actually, I've read here and there about people using the ADA8000, i think, from behringer. 8 input ADAT feeding various MOTU devices, that accept ADAT.

That may work as a decent solution too.

This : has 2 optical inputs, which I'm pretty sure would be the ADAT. So 16 channels in on ADAT, and 8 in from LINE inputs (or 4 preamps). That wouldn't be too bad.

I've heard that MOTU on PCs is a struggle, and their support is almost non-existent. I've heard MOTU on MAC is a dream though, but take this as hearsay =).

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

May 13, 2010 03:20 pm

I had the mackie 1640 FW interface, it sucked horribly and was the most unstable driver I have ever used no matter which PC I was on. I even added on different dedicated firewire cards and it was still doo doo.

I also had the Nady 8 channel pre, it was horrid. I would go with the ADA8000 over it any day. Beings it's lightpipe and dirt cheap you should be able to link it to any decent interface with lightpipe.

On the Xenyx 2442, you could probably get away with adding only one more 8 channel pre (18 preamps total) as 6 inputs could use line in (4 for stereo keyboards, 1 for guitar synth, 1 for direct bass). Problem is, the USB interface is stereo (2 track output to PC) only and would not allow you to tweak each instrument independantly.

6th bullet point down states "stereo usb interface"

Not saying you couldn't get a decent recording with it, but it's not the level of control he seeks.

Since: Jul 09, 2008

May 13, 2010 04:32 pm

So many acronyms! We run everything through our 32 channel mixer now (Peavey 32fx) so if I am understanding this right we could go from each of the inserts on the main board into 3 daisy chained 8 channel interfaces into a computer. Right? If so, when I'm looking at interfaces, are they going to say somewhere in the specs that they can be daisy chained? If so, is there something specific that I am looking for or do they actually call it daisy chained? There was mention of USB vs. Firewire and that USB may not work for this. Would that also include USB 2.0? I really appreciate the number and speed of your responses.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

May 13, 2010 06:52 pm

Well now, a 32 channel mixer running from the inserts would enable you to bypass all the pre-amp BS on the actual interfaces and just get one with line in/converters.

Motu 24 I/O would probably work well without daisychaining but is spendy, PCI and from researching they seem finicky on some machines. (~$1500)

Echo Audiofire 12 (two of em) would be fantastic. From experience and research they are rock solid performers with great stability and driver support. (~$1200)

Me personally, if I had the 32 channel mixer and all the pre's I needed I would go the Echo route. They sound great and are stable, exactly what an engineer wants. Not very mobile though imo. I would verify 100% that they will daisychain or that a computer can see both, if you call Echo you can ask them because.... a person actually answers!!

I'm sure there are other (cheaper) options available but... I have to get back to work. Someone else can chime in.

Since: Jul 09, 2008

May 14, 2010 09:12 am

Thanks Tripps. That Echo deal looks really good. I will call them today and ask about daisy chaining.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

May 14, 2010 12:04 pm

Cool beans,

Daisychained or both plugged in, as long as there are 24 inputs to select.

Was reading through the reviews on zzounds after I posted that. 27 people rated with a 10/10 average, not bad, makes me want to go echo again.

Also, one of the reviewers states he did daisy chain with no issues, sounds like a winner.

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