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Alesis HD24 Users , You Happy With it ?
Old 26th May 2013
  #1
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Alesis HD24 Users , You Happy With it ?

I'm tossing around the idea of ditching the DAW and getting an Alesis HD24 . Is it pretty reliable ? Any hard drive issues or anything like that ? What hard drives work best with it ?

Pretty much any advice , what its like using an Alesis HD24 as the center of a studio would be great ! Thanks ,
Old 26th May 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Very happy with it. Have had it for several years without any problems. Tracked a couple of albums thru it and in the middle of our latest one now. It sounds great, easy to use, there is minimal editing but you can do basic cut and paste. What else would you like to know?
Old 26th May 2013
  #3
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idylldon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There is a wealth of information here: hd24 : HD24

I've owned and used an HD24XR for almost a decade now and it's been rock solid and sounds amazing. Frankly, the converters are pretty damn incredible and I won't qualify that by saying "for the money." They hold their own against pretty much anything out there in their price range and beyond.

Unfortunately, Alesis has dropped the ball on it and never released a full-featured remote, which would have been nice.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 26th May 2013 | Show parent
  #4
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon ➑️
There is a wealth of information here: hd24 : HD24

I've owned and used an HD24XR for almost a decade now and it's been rock solid and sounds amazing. Frankly, the converters are pretty damn incredible and I won't qualify that by saying "for the money." They hold their own against pretty much anything out there in their price range and beyond.

Unfortunately, Alesis has dropped the ball on it and never released a full-featured remote, which would have been nice.

Cheers,
--
Don

Thanks for the link . I sent an application to join the group .

I'm gonna read the HD24 manual and see how much info I can get from that .

Just trying to wrap my head around how it would be actually working with one and ditching Pro Tools .

How much are the hard drives and are they readily available ? ...all those little fine details...
Old 26th May 2013
  #5
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Rob Coates's Avatar
 
19 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
It's all I've been using since I stopped tracking to tape about 7 years ago. I love it and see no need to put a computer in my studio. Very easy to use. Very much like using a tape machine.
Old 26th May 2013 | Show parent
  #6
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idylldon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
How much are the hard drives and are they readily available ? ...all those little fine details...
They use regular PATA (IDE) or SATA hard drives, which are more common than dirt. Since Alesis (and a few other folks) have released SATA caddies, there aren't any immediate concerns over having hard drives that work with the HD24.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 26th May 2013 | Show parent
  #7
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon ➑️
They use regular PATA (IDE) or SATA hard drives, which are more common than dirt. Since Alesis (and a few other folks) have released SATA caddies, there aren't any immediate concerns over having hard drives that work with the HD24.

Cheers,
--
Don
Thats Awesome ! Now the HD24 is sounding even better to me .

The other question I have is Mix Down . I mix on a console then record the Final Stereo mix to say tracks 23 & 24 of the HD24 . Can I then go out the ADAT OUT of the HD24 into the ADAT IN on my Digi 002 to transfer digitally my final mix into Pro Tools ? Technically it sounds like that should work , but wondering if theres any compatibility problems with the HD24 connecting to a Digi 002 . Then I don't have to worry about buying another high end 2 channel A/D converter to mix down to . Just trying to figure out my budget and all the gear I would need .
Old 26th May 2013
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
It's a realy nice unit, have one for ten years now, very stable and reliable and the XR converters are also nice.
And there shouldn't be any compybility problems connecting the HD24 via lightpipe to a Digi 002.

Old 26th May 2013 | Show parent
  #9
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates ➑️
It's all I've been using since I stopped tracking to tape about 7 years ago. I love it and see no need to put a computer in my studio. Very easy to use. Very much like using a tape machine.
Thats why I wanna go this route . I've come to realize I think for me the work flow and mentality of the DAW has made me not enjoy making music as much as I used to . My music just lacks what my old recordings had which was life and excitement , enjoyable to listen to . I've gotten lazy and I think alot of people have as well being able to do 50 takes and then comp them together to make the "perfect" but kinda lifeless music . I've never been a huge fan of Pro Tools , the mentality and sound seemed to always make sterile music . Theres an excitement when you gotta nail the song in one or maybe just a few takes . When you can't rely on a computer to fix everything , if you want it to sound good you gotta mic the source right and nail the take . I know you can take that mentality and just record that way with a DAW , but listening to my old recordings even on just a 4-track cassette brings back a nostalgic feeling , and sound and workflow of having fun recording . There was no computer , no mouse and keyboard . Just a mixer , a tape machine , or even one of the old Roland 1680 machines , a couple compressors , a couple effects boxes and thats it . If you want to make great sounding music you had to play it that way . I think the computer , using a DAW and all its editing tricks , usually sucks the life out of music . We stop listening , we stare at a monitor for hours tweaking everything to perfection . The DAW mentality is you record a million takes and then use the computer to piece it all together to make your music , create your sound . Whereas a setup like the HD24 and a console is a limitation to where YOU have to make the music/sound , theres no way around it , theres no fix it in the mix or using a computer to piece together a performance . Its the old analog studio tape days mentality . I think making music is way more fun that way and the music is maybe not "sonicly perfect" like a DAW , but it makes much more interesting and enjoyable music .

So thats my DAW rant and why I wanna get an HD24 . Instead of sitting at a computer all day tweaking sounds/plugins , get up and start making real music instead .
Old 26th May 2013
  #10
PMF
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I still have one too and I'm quite happy with it. Its about 10 years old. A while ago I also stopped tracking directly to its hard drives. Since then its been hooked up to my PC with a RME Hammerfall DSP 9652. Still works like a dream.
Old 27th May 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
HD24XR here, and I love it. I moved to it from three DA88's. I also have a Stephens 821b which sounds amazing but the HD24XR is no slouch and is certainly a lot more convenient. I use it for 90% of my sessions. If you can get it with the XR converters, that is a worthwhile upgrade. I only go to the PC if I have complex edits to do. Quick edits and cleaning up takes and even some amount of comping can be done on the front panel pretty easily though I try to get a good take with punch-ins if needed right then. I mounted mine in a small rack (along with my preamps) right by the console so I don't need a remote. I mix to an Alesis Masterlink but your proposal is fine, too. Although I haven't liked a bunch of the Alesis gear (mixers and compressors) for studio work that much, the HD24XR and Masterlink are two products I think are (were) great. I love the workflow with an HD24; I find only the iz RADAR units are in the same ballpark of ease-of-use and workflow, if something happened that I couldn't use my HD24 I'd get one of those systems.

With the SATA caddy I found that when I use 10,000 RPM server drives I don't have any problems. Some of the lesser drives don't work reliably with the extra time delay of the SATA to EIDE converter.
Old 27th May 2013
  #12
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sameal's Avatar
my rig, though constantly ****ing mothballed as it may be, consists of an hd24 and a delta 200 down to a masterlink on the outboard and reaper with an audiofire on the more itb end. relatively cheap and very effective.

i sold my trusty yamaha aw1600 and a few other items to pick up the cash for the alesis and was hesitant at the time, but after my first tracking situation i was immediately at ease with the the transfer. easy to use, sounds great.

i don't know about the xr or other peoples opinions, but the regular hd24 has some amazing converters in my opinion, so much so that I'm not exactly sure the ec-2 upgrade price warrants the quality increase you would receive. BUT I HAVEN'T HEARD IT, SO NO FLAME WAR HERE!

i would however suggest that you get the hd24XR and never wonder. because if the base model is this great i CONSTANTLY wonder what the xr sounds like
Old 27th May 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Other then not being 'happy' with anything (remotely connected with audio production) I've been using the HD24 for 7-8 yr. Purchased an additional used one last year to hopefully extend the life of the overall platform. Initially I used it primarily for tracking live shows (everything with a higher track count then 'chamber stereo') in the environments one would expect. I typically replace stock fans with ones that are quieter, with claims of moving more air . . . frequently will use a small outboard fan as well. Heat can be an issue. A matter no so much of Alesis build merely of unavoidable issues with the tech.

Once I upgraded to the XR converters I used unit interchangeably tracking in studio and for remote work. I don't have any particular issue with recording, editing, mixing digitally w/o a board straight to/from 'computer' but in any case the HD24 integrates seamlessly with process. While HD24 does not support all the functions of the BRC one did seem to enhance some useability. By & large I can now control most of the remote functions from a computer so even that is not an issue.

Nor have I ever used it as a mixdown intermediate. I can see no reason why a digi002 can't 'do that' via ADAT connections . . . I'm just more content with a slightly different, & shorter, pathway.

There does seem to be some variability in performance of some available SATA caddies. I still have a reservoir of PATA drives If I forward a project to client via a drive they typically supply it and their data is transferred from the recording drives. This lets me to continue to reuse drives with which I have a track record. The SATA caddies I use actually stick out from front of unit, don't latch (securely), so I tend to avoid them in live, field recording situations.

Mention some of these points because like any other recording/audio process/chain there are things that are different from any other. Some of those things are unique to me some are inherent with the specific hardware.

I tend to be someone who is never unhappy about not buying something (even now when if I had bought 'that' 30 yr ago for $500 it would not be worth $20,000 according to the stories) . . . but after more then 7 yr. I still consider the HD24 to be a reliable cost/benefit asset.

good luck
Old 27th May 2013
  #14
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
You can always use Protools as a dumb disk recorder ... there is no law that says you have to use all the features ...

I doubt going backwards is going to help your real issues ...

I'm not convinced the world is ready for one-take warts and all recordings anymore ... maybe you associate with very high class of musicians ...

And if you do, tracking live drums is pretty much a good incentive to get it right in one take ...
Old 27th May 2013
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Hi
May I ask what's making you unhappy with a DAW ? Are you mixing in the box ?
Old 27th May 2013
  #16
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Sofa King's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
I'm tossing around the idea of ditching the DAW and getting an Alesis HD24 . Is it pretty reliable ? Any hard drive issues or anything like that ? What hard drives work best with it ?

Pretty much any advice , what its like using an Alesis HD24 as the center of a studio would be great ! Thanks ,

yes, reliable.
It will work with just about any cheap drive.

But Im not so sure about the stability of the company.

I had some Adatsync questions a while back.
I had a difficult trying to get in touch with anyone one at Alesis/ Numark / Akai who knew alot about the machines.

best,
Sean
Old 27th May 2013
  #17
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JoaT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
On my second HD24XR here... The first one didn't break or anything, I just had to sell it because of the personal life events.

It was the one piece I missed so much I bougt another right when I could.

This one is staying as long as it lasts, or as long as I have a studio. Radar's are few and far in between around these parts of the world, and I just like to have a "tape machine" around. No need to turn on the computer when tracking, and this thing doesn't have Facebook or GS.

No complaints, despite the aforementioned lack of full featured remote.
Old 27th May 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Wow I didn't know that Alesis themselves has made SATA caddies available!!! I knew about the one dude offering them...but I always thought they were expensive...and I rarely use mine standalone so I never found it necessary. BUT! Thanks for letting me know, I'll have to buy before Alesis decides to pull them.

I personally would not consider the regular HD24 if you are going to that route. You definitely want the HD24XR, for 96khz and for higher quality converters (even when not at 96khz). I got a fantastic deal on mine a few years ago ($600), and its paid for itself over and over. I use it for 2" tape transfers, as well as a redundant recorder in live concerts (I stream the ADAT I/O to an M Audio Profire Lightbridge into my laptop and record into Pro Tools simultaneously). In my every day setup it serves as AD and DA. If I could find a second unit at a similar price I would jump on it for 24 tracks at 96khz...

1. You definitely want to format your drives before every long running session, if you plan to record to it. The only issues I have had with it have been when I did not. May be fine in non-concert recording situations, but when you have to count on it to run for an hour or more straight its worth the hassle.

2. You also want to look up the rubber grommet trick when installing hard drives, which makes a more secure connection and is better when vibration could be an issue. I have had the recorder stop in the middle of a set due to what I thought was probably vibration also...which is why I redundantly record to Pro Tools also.

3. Picking up an M Audio Profire Lightbridge is way handy for transfers from the unit via ADAT, and costs the same as the fireport caddy, and is a better workflow for me (naming conventions and such).
Old 28th May 2013 | Show parent
  #19
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi ➑️
You can always use Protools as a dumb disk recorder ... there is no law that says you have to use all the features ...

I doubt going backwards is going to help your real issues ...

I'm not convinced the world is ready for one-take warts and all recordings anymore ... maybe you associate with very high class of musicians ...

And if you do, tracking live drums is pretty much a good incentive to get it right in one take ...


Thats a good idea just using a DAW as a disk recorder .

Whats the cheapest way to get 24 channels of ADAT audio from the HD24 into the PC ?

Is there a cheap audio card with multiple ADAT connections ?


I don't mean it HAS to be all one take . But still the majority of the track , 90% is a full take . The world is not ready because they like crap , robotic , soulless music . I don't care what they like .

I'm not trying to be a commercial studio , I just wanna make the best music I can make and have fun doing it and the DAW is a buzz kill for me .
Old 28th May 2013 | Show parent
  #20
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by willi1203 ➑️
Hi
May I ask what's making you unhappy with a DAW ? Are you mixing in the box ?
Just the overall workflow , staring at a monitor , mouse , keyboard , waveforms , plugins , analizing everything too much .......

I rather just listen , move faders and tweak knobs and listen , listen , listen , instead of all my brain power staring at a monitor editing the hell out of everything .

I also think it sounds better . I did some tests one time , mixed ITB and then mixed the same song OTB and the OTB one came together so quickly and sounded better . Better separation between instruments , the low end rang more , it like resonated together better .

I know theres tons of debate over ITB vs OTB . All I know is from my personal experience the sound and workflow of OTB is much more enjoyable .

You just gotta try it for yourself .
Old 28th May 2013 | Show parent
  #21
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JoaT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️

Whats the cheapest way to get 24 channels of ADAT audio from the HD24 into the PC ?

Is there a cheap audio card with multiple ADAT connections ?

.
There are actually plenty of choices available. All you need is 3x adat lightpipe for ins and outs. Depends on your computer, but the cards fitting that spec has been available for a long time already. My studio computer is rather old, and I'm using SonicCore scopes for the I/O. When I upgrade, I'll probably ditch those in favor of something more modern. Still, they have served me well.
Something like RME HDSP 9652 or HDSPe RayDAT should fit the bill nicely (no personal experience, but read a lot of praise for these). There are also other options, so I'll suggest you search for the one fitting your configuration.
Also, if you just want to move the recorded tracks from HD24 to your computer for editing, Alesis fireport 1394 is a nice thing to have. Makes transferring a lot nicer than using HD24:s built-in ftp server.
Old 28th May 2013
  #22
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
This is not making sense. IF you want to avoid using a DAW and just go one-take into an ADAT (assuming you have a tight band with real drums) and mix OTB - then why would you possibly need to get 24 channels of ADAT into your PC? For trolling perhaps?

Everything i've ever owned or tried from Alesis has been a cheap noisy P.O.S. I don't know why they don't have a reputation like Behringer. They had one or two great innovations in their day, but that day was a long time ago. IMO.
Old 28th May 2013
  #23
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JoaT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kiwi: for me it's about the ability to choose. I like the tape-like workflow. But when I want to incorporate DAW based editing or VST instruments I like to be able to do it with as little fuzz as possible.

My experience of Alesis products is quite different from yours. Alesis seems to make great products that are often somewhat torpedoed on the final stages by insufficient quality control or in some cases too early release.

For the HD24 the two downsides of that particular product are already mentioned in this thread. The caddy issue that causes the drive to unmount easily if the unit is moved and the lack of full feature remote.

Other than that the unit sounds great, offers 24 tracks of SIMULTANEOUS recording or playback and is a rock solid performer.

To quote Jim Williams: "The unit can be modified to sound as good as Iz Radar. Without modifications it already sounds better than most of what's out there". He is speaking of HD24XR model, and last I checked is doing the mods only on XR models anymore.
Old 28th May 2013
  #24
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JoaT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
After writing the previous I felt the need to google and found this from Jim Williams considering the converter opamps and the general converter layout:

"MC33079 quads, same as the MC33078 dual. The 33078's are used in the nyquist Radar 96 and both the Radar and HD24XR use the AKM 5393 a/d converters. So the input side is nearly identical. The difference is around $13,200.

The D/A's use 4393 AKM's and the same opamps, the Radar 96 uses AD1855 dac's and 5532 opamps. Silenx is the fan I use. Radar should use them, it's a very noisy beast. The clock is ok. If you extenally clock, you will generate more jitter through the cables than the HD24 generates on it's own. If I compare the same tracks with the AKM's and the exterior BurrBrown's, I don't notice any timing related problems as the reclock on the dac's prevents it.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades "
Old 28th May 2013 | Show parent
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoaT ➑️
There are actually plenty of choices available. All you need is 3x adat lightpipe for ins and outs. Depends on your computer, but the cards fitting that spec has been available for a long time already. My studio computer is rather old, and I'm using SonicCore scopes for the I/O. When I upgrade, I'll probably ditch those in favor of something more modern. Still, they have served me well.
Something like RME HDSP 9652 or HDSPe RayDAT should fit the bill nicely (no personal experience, but read a lot of praise for these). There are also other options, so I'll suggest you search for the one fitting your configuration.
Also, if you just want to move the recorded tracks from HD24 to your computer for editing, Alesis fireport 1394 is a nice thing to have. Makes transferring a lot nicer than using HD24:s built-in ftp server.
Hi Everyone,

I picked up this thread from a web search - an interesting and helpful discussion so I registered with Gearslutz.

I would like to add my praise for the HD24XR. I got mine back in 2004 having looked into a DAW setup. At the time I it deemed it the best option as I figured staring at a computer screen wouldn't help the creative process (or my eyes). I shipped it out to Nigeria as part of a studio I set up there and flew back with it in a suitcase when the project folded. I've not used it a great deal but it's always been reliable and I'm still using the same drive.

The only problem I'm having now is transferring data on to a computer for further processing. Because of the age of the machine the FTP server only recognises upto Windows Millennium. Being rather computer illiterate (and financially challenged) what might be the best option for me? I have a basic laptop with Windows 7. I've noticed the Fireport 1394 is no longer available.

Cheers
Old 28th May 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
 
JoaT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
FTP server is not dependant of the client computers OS in any way. You just configure the server in HD24 as instructed in the operating manual. After that you can use any FTP client software (google, there are plenty. Filezilla or CoreFTP to name a few) to log in to your HD24 with the IP address and password you set when configuring your HD24.

It should show you the contents of the audio drive and you can just download from there.

Another option is to purchase a caddy bay that you can install to your computer and just insert a caddy to your computer as you would to the HD24. Fastest way also.
Old 28th May 2013 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi ➑️
This is not making sense. IF you want to avoid using a DAW and just go one-take into an ADAT (assuming you have a tight band with real drums) and mix OTB - then why would you possibly need to get 24 channels of ADAT into your PC? For trolling perhaps?

Everything i've ever owned or tried from Alesis has been a cheap noisy P.O.S. I don't know why they don't have a reputation like Behringer. They had one or two great innovations in their day, but that day was a long time ago. IMO.
I only see one troll on this thread.
Old 28th May 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
He's probably just had some bad experiences with Alesis but the fact is EVERY brand out there has a few gems and even the most stellar of brands like Neve has a few dog products. The trick is to judge gear on it's own merits.

The Alesis HD24 and especially the HD24XR are gems. Buying used they represent the best bang for buck of decent converters. If you need a lot of converters like for a hybrid setup using a large analog desk or a rack of outboard they really can't be beat. Team them up with RME 9652 PCI cards (the newer version with 2 midi I/O) and you get for roughly $1500 (used prices), 24 channels of conversion and I/O. Add more HD24XR units and RME cards for easy expansion (other brand options far greater limit expansion) so getting three units of each for only $4500 you have 72 channels of decent conversion and stellar I/O. You can get new motherboards with 3 PCI slots so building a new computer rig with a new CPU is still no problem (there are non-overclockable new motherboards that have 5 PCI slots available).

What else out there will let you do this at that price? You could go the SSL unit route but I've not heard reports of people using three of those units together, just 2 units (48 channels plus cost of their MADI card) which again is a lot more money. The new Antelope units really are not competition at $6k for two units plus $1k for a third party Madi I/O card (their built in USB interface barely works with just one of their units and their drivers have a way to go with latency compared to using the RME I/O's), so with them its $7k for 64 channels of conversion and I/O.

Obviously the Alesis HD24 and HD24XR fit a needed niche for us slutz, they are worth an audition despite what you feel about the brand name.
Old 28th May 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi ➑️
This is not making sense. IF you want to avoid using a DAW and just go one-take into an ADAT (assuming you have a tight band with real drums) and mix OTB - then why would you possibly need to get 24 channels of ADAT into your PC? For trolling perhaps?

Everything i've ever owned or tried from Alesis has been a cheap noisy P.O.S. I don't know why they don't have a reputation like Behringer. They had one or two great innovations in their day, but that day was a long time ago. IMO.
You don't have to do one take songs if you don't want. I have comped drum takes and do overdubs all the time easily with this machine.
Old 28th May 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I *LOVE* my HD24. My only regret is that I did not grab more caddies. Anyone know a good source?
πŸ“ Reply

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