Old 03-27-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
BlueMojo
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Default Hardware recording questions

This isn't exactly Reaper related..but will be 'cause that's what I'm going to use for the DAW.

Can anyone explain or point me to where I can find out the differences in computer recording hardware. I currently use a standalone recorder and then mix using Reaper etc. I don't use my computer to record because it's an old laptop with a crapola sound card with about a half second built in latency!

I want to build a computer based recording setup and would like some general guidance regarding hardware. A friend suggested firewire because it bypasses the soundcard and there is no latency...is this true? What about USB? I would like the ability to record 8 or more channels at the same time.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:18 AM   #2
Lawrence
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Any kind of digital recording - will - have some latency but firewire is tyically a good choice (as opposed to USB) for it's wider bandwith and greater throughput. A firewire device and bus (all things being installed corretly) should allow recording more tracks at once than USB or USB2.

You say your computer is old and crappy... what will you be attaching this new hardware to, laptop or deskptop? If laptop I'd go with a MOTU Ultralite for a little less than $600.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:32 AM   #3
bigwoody
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Hey Blue, I will chime in because I just made the transition. I was using a Fostex MR8HD (4 tracks at once) for a long time and then mixing in Reaper. I started looking at the next version of standalone's where I could do 8 tracks. These run around $800. For basically the same cost here is my new setup. An ACER 4200 dual core, 1G RAM for $600, and a Delta 1010LT PCI soundcard (8 ins and outs)$200. I run all inputs thru a mixer first for the pre-amps, but pull the signal before faders and EQ (which is what I did with the Fostex too). I cannot even begin to tell you how much better recording directly to the computer is. Not only the sound quality, but how amazingly simplified the workflow is. Multiple takes, fast editing, no more moving files back and forth...AWESOME! My Fostex has been gathering dust ever since. Unfortunately I do not have a Laptop setup, so if you need to portability hopefully someone else will chime in, but from a desktop perspective, and simply on the experience itself, I say I say get off that standalone, you will not be sorry!
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
Mradyfist
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Now that Delta 1010lts are available for $200, they're absolutely the most bang for your buck if you want to move analog audio to a computer and back. The worst thing about them is probably the breakout cable, which is irritating to deal with. However, sound quality is excellent, M-Audio's drivers actually seem better at low latencies (down to 64 samples!) than the drivers for the MOTU I'm using now, and as an example I'm using Delta 1010lts in a couple of computers that are doing live audio processing for the sound system at my church. I've got a Mackie 24:8 feeding a Delta 1010lt, which is crossing over the signal and feeding two QSC amps going to some decent EV speakers. With the amps up about a quarter of the way, and absolutely nothing routed to the master fader on the Mackie, there's a quiet hiss that comes through. When I drop the Mackie's master fader, it's gone. Moral of the story? The Delta 1010lt is considerably quieter than a Mackie mixer.
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:35 PM   #5
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Ya the breakout cable did look a bit problematic, so I got a RCA to 1/4 8 channel snake ($25 at MF), and I used 2 10' xlr's to inputs 1 & 2 from the main outs on my mixer. This left 2 channels on the snake that I bring back to my mixer, for absolutely zero latency monitoring. Works great and in the rare instances that I have to switch any plugs around I do it at the mixer not the breakout cable.
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