Secrets of the Adat Optical Link
ADAT Optical compatible equipment - Links
PCRECORDING.COM - Soundcard Table
This card looks like a good deal: http://www.mtlc.net/main.php?a=Products&ShowItem=186&b=All. It's expandable to 32 tracks of ADAT Optical i/o by adding this: http://www.mtlc.net/main.php?a=Products&ShowItem=187&b=All - they're being sold as a bundle for $499.
Mostly-analog studio project in progress
Now that I have a no-brainer, non-fiddly, non-computer tracking setup, I'm setting up a PC-based editing system; I'll probably use Cubase as the software, running on win2K on a real screamer Stephen is building for me.
Now I need to get the tracks off of the HD24. It can be mounted as an FTP device via a built-in Ethernet port. This sounds like a perfect solution, but really it's only good for managing the files on the HD24 from Windows. The tracks are stored as individual .aiff files in a file system broken up by songs and projects via folder metaphor. So (and I've only read this) the tracks need to be manually, individually inserted into Cubase. Eek. The other option is to play the tracks into the computer in real-time, which keeps everything synched up, but requires 24 audio inputs on the computer (thousands of dollars).
Fortunately, the ADAT has 3X Optical ADAT outs which means 24 tracks total can go out via 3 wires. Now I'm trying to find a PCI card to go in the new computer which has 3 ADAT lightpipe ins and doesn't cost a fortune. It might be cheapest to go with three separate cards, each with one ADAT port, but that will take up a lot of slots. This is the cheapest one I've found so far:
Hammerfall HDSP 9652 PCI Card
Since the A/D converters in the HD24 are of very good quality, I don't need to have any A/D converters on the card, just the ADAT optical interfaces. However, there aren't very many competing products to choose from since most manufacturers are focusing on direct-to-computer all-in-one interfaces (e.g. one unit with multiple mic pres, A/D converters, and some kind off super-fast data connection e.g. Firewire, USB2, etc). This article lists the major competing brands and the site has other useful info on digital recording/mixing:
The Personal Computer Based Music Studio
A Brief History of API
An Overview of Multi-track Recorders
Digital Recorder rundown
recording consoles... .net
Pieces of a potential HD system
$1,199.00 Alesis ADAT HD24 IDE Hard Drive Recorder
$199.97 Alesis Fireport 1394: a hot-swappable docking station for HD24 caddies with an IEEE-1394 (FireWire) connection to the PC, and FST/Connect software that lets you manage ADAT/FST-formatted hard disk drives on the PC