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Logic audio lots of channels / firewire

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by mikeymike, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. mikeymike

    mikeymike New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Just registered here as I have a significant project coming up which I need some advice about.

    The basic scenario is recording an Orchestra & chior through a console to get line level and then recoding this directly onto Logic audio.

    I will need to record 128 tracks at the same time and was thinking about using 16 of the the Motu firewire boxes to get the 128 channels into the Mac.

    Obviusly I think I will need a pretty poweful MAc to do this but I wondered had anybody tried recording this many channels at the same time via firewire before?

  3. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    I wouldn't mess around with FireWire for so many inputs. Look into the apogee symphony card with the DA16 I/Os. Or look at similar options from RME which uses MADI.

    If it were me, it would be Apogee for this.

    Any of the current mac pro line will handle this, though i have a sneaky suspicion that the entire Line will see a processor update in June...
  4. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with Bob, PCIe would be a better bet.

    Bear in mind though, that is still a huge amount of input. It would Max out two Apogee symphony 64 cards, and require 8 AD 16X converters.

    I would actually suggest contacting Apogee about this.

    Given the scale of the project, it would also be appropriate to have a second backup computer system running. If you want to be very safe, split the 128 Mic signals right after the preamps, sending them to two sets of AD converters running into seperate computers. I presume that a project like that is not running on a very tight budget and this would be one of the lesser costs.

    kind regards

  5. bambony

    bambony Administrator Staff Member

    Wowee that's a lot of tracks...

    Not really what you are asking but is it really necessary to record so many tracks? Can you not record soloists separately and group 1st, 2nd and 3rd violins, sopranos, tenors, baritones etc?

    That sounds like a logisitical nightmare to me and a tad over-ambitious.

    Sorry if that's not what you want to hear (read).

  6. mikeymike

    mikeymike New Member

    Thanks everyone for your answers and Tony - there's no way the recording can be grouped. They all have to be discreet for mixing later and editing. Also - will be needing to run some recordings at 96k with the same firewire setup - I realise I won't be able to get 128 tracks and 96k on the firewire link but anybody know what I should expect in terms of firewire tracks at 96k?

  7. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    I must confess to a little curiosity - under what sort of an acoustic environment do you think you can have 128 (!) open microphones recording an orchestra with choir and still achieve sufficient seperation in order to be able to edit? Crosstalk, phase problems, off axis colouration will be horrific issues with that number of sources, quite apart from managing the whole thing. Also, in my experience, the most vital part of an orchestral recording is the main microphone system - there is a reason why all the others are referred to as "spot" or "stutz" microphones. Tony is right - usually, you will gain more by regarding the first violinists as one source, second violinists as another single source etc.

    Or is this a live stadium or outdoor concert where sound reinforcement is requiring the individual instruments to be spot miced with clipons and you want to track all of these seperately?

    I have recorded up to 24 tracks through 3 FW devices (2 MH and one RME) at double sampling rates without issues. Can't say from my own experience whether more are possible.

    kind regards

  8. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    6,400 feet of mic cable?

    Can't help chiming in on this one, MikeyMike. Either this thread is meant to be a farce, or you are nuts! How much do 128 mics cost at $1,000 each? How long does it take to set them up and string them each with 50 feet of cable? How much for a 128 channel mixer? How much can you sell the recording for when you are done?

    Royer mics has a very impressive CD demo. There is one track with an orchestra recorded with a single stereo ribbon mic. It sounds teriffic. Time for a reality check.
  9. robgb

    robgb Member

    Gotta say this, but recording 128 tracks seems ridiculous to me. Why not mic each section of the orchestra -- strings, brass, winds, percussion -- and the choir, pump it all through a nice console and mix down to a manageable amount of outputs. Sure, this won't give you the same amount of flexibility, but you'll avoid a logistical nightmare that could easily become a disaster.

    I'm sorry, but I can't believe that they can't be grouped. The cost and logistics alone far outweigh any mixing/editing benefits you might get on the back end.

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