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Comparison: Hard Drive Recorders? (stand alones)
Old 11th December 2002
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Comparison: Hard Drive Recorders? (stand alones)

I am looking for some user comments and comparisons of the Alesis HD24, Tascam 2424, Mackie Hd24, Radar's contribuion to the same field.

So far I had been thinking about the Alesis model. Now I hear that the Mackie has just dropped price dramatically.

Which one of the above (or others) should I get as a most bang for the buck?

Woods
Old 12th December 2002
  #2
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subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Mackie's SDR2496 is the cheapest at $1300.
Alesis' HD24 is less of a bargain now and more difficult to use external converters with (no input mapping.)
Mackie's HDR2496 is more of a complete workstation (sans plug-ins and summing), but makes you choose between analog or digital connections.
Tascam's MX2424 is similar to the high end Mackie, with the same i/o choice limitation.
IZ Technology's RADAR project 24 is the best sounding entry in this price range, having the same converter set as their high end 48k system, and lets you use analog and digital connections at once. It's $6,000 analog i/o only, $6500 with digital i/o added.

I'd choose between the RADAR and the SDR2496 for the biggest "bang for the buck." It just depends on what kind of bucks you have. HTH
Old 13th December 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
From where I'm sitting there are way more Radar and Tascam systems out there then Wackie. Still, at $1300 I'm half tempted to buy one.
Old 13th December 2002
  #4
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Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by subspace
Alesis' HD24 is less of a bargain now and more difficult to use external converters with (no input mapping.)
Not so. There are several different "normaling" options for routing inputs internally to destination tracks on the HD24. As of right now you can't access digital and analog inputs simultaneously (which hasn't been a particular problem for me) but there's been talk over on the HD24 group about a future update to change this.

To their credit, Alesis has been reading ,posting , and acting on the suggestions and requests made by the members of the group. The latest OS release included a feature update I brought to there attention a few months ago. So they are indeed listening. I'm not aware of Mackie or Tascam doing anything like this though I may be wrong.

I bought my HD24 a little over a year ago and have had nothing but love from and for it. The converters sound really good and it's a total breeze to use.
Old 13th December 2002
  #5
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3 Reviews written
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After I typed that yesterday, I felt compelled to stop by Guitar Center and look at the SDR. The floor model was $1099, so I asked the sales guy I know if he could wire it up for me to listen to on Saturday. I'm mainly looking at it as a 24 channel D/A from my 2408, so I'll bring my current Swissonic converters to compare.
I've been tracking into a MOTU DAW for the past two years and I'm ready to go back to a "real" recorder. Something that can do a proper punch-in with input switching (apparently, the SDR doesn't do that nifty input mute after punches that the older Mackies did.) I'll probably go with a third party A/D for my 8 primary tracks and all overdubs, but I need more D/As out for mixing on my Trident.
The other thing I want to listen to is the fan and hard drive noise. If it's loud enough that it distracts me from comparing the two D/As, it won't be getting near my control room.
Old 13th December 2002
  #6
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3 Reviews written
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim L
Not so. There are several different "normaling" options for routing inputs internally to destination tracks on the HD24. As of right now you can't access digital and analog inputs simultaneously (which hasn't been a particular problem for me) but there's been talk over on the HD24 group about a future update to change this.
I was referring to using an external converter for 8 channels while using the built-ins for the rest during tracking. This is kind of important to me, and the reason I wouldn't consider the HD24, HDR2496, or MDR2496. Of course if the SDR2496 sounds terrible or is noisy, I'll wait to see what comes down the line next...
Old 13th December 2002
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by subspace

The other thing I want to listen to is the fan and hard drive noise. If it's loud enough that it distracts me from comparing the two D/As, it won't be getting near my control room.
When I tried the Mackie HDR in my room the fan was pretty damn loud. Louder then a PC, maybe a bit louder then my JH-24 but at least as loud. I was pretty suprised by it.
Old 13th December 2002
  #8
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sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I also have the hd-24...after much research and trial including the mackies and the tascam i opted for the alesis....its easy and they really do listen down at the factory....the fan noise on the mackies was very lous and in my environs a problem...also the converters on the mackie or should i say lack of em was an expensive upgrade IMO...the alesis outputs in aiff and wav and if you simply use it for storage with a daw its perfect...it also becomes a server for your ethernet dumps of files....you did ask for "bargain" and between all those choices...the alesis is the bargain.....
Old 13th December 2002
  #9
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wait, so the Alesis writes in standard wav files? Could I cut on that and then pop the drive into a computer and have it read the files? What about exporting PT files to wav and playing off the Alesis deck?
Old 14th December 2002
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by subspace

Tascam's MX2424 is similar to the high end Mackie, with the same i/o choice limitation.
How so? Please elucidate. I have two MX2424's, one with a 24 CH A/D/A card and a 24 ch AES/EBU digital card. Going in one (any/either) card puts signal on both corresponding analog & digital outputs simultaneously.

NYC Drew
Old 14th December 2002
  #11
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Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Wait, so the Alesis writes in standard wav files?
Yup, both aiff and wav are available for transfer to your DAW.
Quote:
Could I cut on that and then pop the drive into a computer and have it read the files?
Yes you can, but not the way you're thinking. The drives are formated with the Adat FST™ file system. You can't just pop it in and have the drive appear on your desktop. Alesis is about to release a Firewire docking station called the "Fireport 1394". The Fireport comes with sofware that allows an Adat FST™ format drive plugged into the bay to come up on your PC so you can just drag and drop sound files (aiff or wav) back and forth. Basically, this is there answer to the painfully slow 10 baseT ethernet that comes with the unit . Only one problem... it's only supported in Windoze™ at the moment... fuuck
Quote:
What about exporting PT files to wav and playing off the Alesis deck?
No problemo... just ftp the converted wav files (or drag and drop using the Fireport) to the right spot in the drive directory with the proper file name and you're off an running.
--------------------------------------------------------
Added 12/14

Small Correction:

After reading the latest PDF on the Fireport it seems that you can't actualy "drag and drop" files back and forth on your desktop. There are seperate windows used for importing and exporting.
Old 14th December 2002
  #12
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by NYC Drew
How so? Please elucidate. I have two MX2424's, one with a 24 CH A/D/A card and a 24 ch AES/EBU digital card. Going in one (any/either) card puts signal on both corresponding analog & digital outputs simultaneously.

NYC Drew
I'll plead ignorance on that. The salesman I talked to said that I wouldn't be able to mix and match inputs from both analog and digital cards at once. I didn't play with the unit myself to confirm if that was true.
Old 14th December 2002
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
While we're at it, does anyone know what "mix mode" on the MX2424 is? And are the Mackie units, the Radar and the Alesis capable of doing this?

NYC Drew
Old 17th December 2002
  #14
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Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by NYC Drew
While we're at it, does anyone know what "mix mode" on the MX2424 is? And are the Mackie units, the Radar and the Alesis capable of doing this?
I don't know about the others but I've never come across anything like that on my HD24. Perhaps you can download a PDF of the manual from Tascam if they have it available.
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