Until someone builds a dedicated box for this, you could provably solve the problem with an old Motu 828 USB and a raspi with a few buttons tacked to the top of it (record, stop)
(I was brainstorming building a similar concept about 9 months ago, but completely lost focus on it - couldn’t pin down a simple feature set without ballooning into “what if it did…”, so I’ve put it on hold for a while. It’s interesting to hear specific needs around the same space though)
I need this two channel always on recorder hiding in my studio.
I would like to attach a very large hard drive to it and then basically forget about it.
Which makes me think it would be neat if it detected extended silences and paused recording, but kept a record buffer running, so that as soon as sound re-enters, recording resumes without missing a ms of the action.
Would need to split files now and then to keep things usable. timestamped file naming.
OK, I have officially expanded the scope. My aversion to hitting “record” is not necessarily in need of a complex technical solution, so please feel free to ignore that bit about silence detection and pre-record buffer… a big red button connected to a big hard drive would be quite useful.
i keep an iOS device and a scarlett 6i6 patched to the outputs of my small studio mixer - takes up very little space and is always on, ready to record. i like the app “AUM” for it’s clean signal routing UI and basic recording features.
If the aim were to have something in my studio… I’d have plenty of options - many mentioned here.
The difficulty is rehearsals and gigging: I’ve got to be in some arbitrary space, get the equipment there and set up with many more time / packing / space / logistics constraints. It’s a hard précis to fulfill: rugged, but small, simple, but flexible, foolproof, good quality, enough features to not need additional gear, but not so many as to make it big or overly complex.
If I had to put together a spec set (in signal flow):
12 channels. 8 of these could treated as stereo pairs throughout the pathway. Or even all 12! Don’t have much mono. 16 channels if you’re feeling generous.
1/4" inputs - TRS inputs for the stereo pairs would be acceptable if saving space helped.
Input gain trim: Everything feeding this box is going to have a volume control on it (audio interfaces, synths) - Perhaps just declare “gimme line level” and be done. Perhaps just s +4/-10 switch.
Input, post gain (if any) metering: simple, but not minimal: I need to know that I’m recording a healthy enough signal - and that I’m no wheres near gonna ever clip. So three small leds each?
Need to be able to enable/disable inputs for recording (so there might be an input which is played to the mix, but not recorded - or an input just not used)
Files: stereo pairs should be stereo files. mono should be mono. What if you want to gang two mono inputs as stereo? dunno… maybe this is an argument for just having stereo pair inputs!
44.1kHz / 48kHz and 16bit / 24bit – only choices needed. Actually, I’ll only choose 44.1k & 24 bit.
USB stick? USB drive? - widest range of options… but I don’t want to lug the damn drive around as a separate thing.
SDcard? not as many options, but very convenient.
I love this “on, rolling buffer, silence greater than 10 sec. gets chopped, and a new file started” thing… but also good with press record… new file set.
Stopping should take two buttons: shift + rec or some such - stop button or ‘press rec again’ is to easy to do accidentally in a small gig
Playback is nice, because you can playback a previous recording to set house levels without having everyone standing there. Also nice to “know you got it” - but ultimately not important: I never play back on my zoom recorders.
Generally, we are going to record everything an nice hot levels - but the mix to the house needs some tweaking. Part of me says, nope - you got a volume knob on your synth / interface - use it. And just sound check at hottest levels, record at 24 bit so you don’t care, and turn down what you’re sending to make the mix right.
But that may not be practical? So a volume setting per input channel (mono or pair as above). What is this? a fader? a small fader (like those ones on buchlas)? a knob? sure… pick one. control per channel please. Okay, you want to get whacky? put WiFi on this thing and control it by MIDI over IP… then I can do it from my gear stand.
Mutes? maybe? can these done by doing double duty with the rec. enable mechanism so fewer buttons?
Optional: offer an independent monitor mix…but maybe we’re getting too fancy. certainly at two or more aux mixes, there are mixers aplenty on the market to handle those situations.
Main stereo outs on two sets of jacks: balanced XLR, and 1/4". Same thing, both outputs. Let’s you have an easy stage monitor. or not worry about having the right adapter.
Metering on the main mix output. Need to see that we’re sending good signal
Optional: headphone out with same mix - and separate volume control. Just as a way of checking things before they turn you up!
small metal box
if controls (faders, knobs) were recessed, then all the better - or rails to protect 'em - I just want to throw this in my gear bag!
power needs to not have the chance of falling out: if standard DC barrel connector, then please the little wings on the side that let you wrap the cord so that tugging the cord doesn’t tug the barrel out.
So, spotted 2 new 4ms modules at Moogfest: a 4channel mixer with headphone, stereo line out, level and panning in 10hp; a companion WAV recorder that handles 24/96 in stereo on a front panel accessible SD in about 6-8hp. Will record for 6 hours and can use large SD cards for multiple recordings.
I’ll take a picture if I make it back in to the modular shop.
I’m messing around in Ableton to start recording and I had a few general questions. I have a K-Mix that I’m using as my mixer and interface and I’m a little confused about how you use both when using Ableton. I’ve followed the quick start video Keith McMillen has and I have my input and output set to the K-Mix with my audio tracks using the inputs. I set the trim on the mixer and adjust my levels and audio is coming through which is great. However, if I turn the levels on the mixer down and track and master levels up in Ableton the sound still comes through. Also, if I turn them both up I have the overlap of the audio coming from Ableton as well as the raw output of the mixer. I’m just a bit confused as to what the proper workflow for this setup is, hearing overlapping audio seems wrong, especially once I start applying effects in Ableton.
Also, an even more basic question: I’m running patch cables directly into the quarter inch inputs on the K-Mix from the outputs of modules on my synth. Since this means audio is constantly coming out of the synth, the audio is always playing in Ableton. If I only want to hear the playback of recorded audio is my best bet to just turn the synth off?
The Zoom Livetrak L12 should in theory fill the needs being discussed here, and I would have bought one already if a little Amazon reviews research didn’t reveal that it seems to have some input crosstalk/bleed problems