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Old September 9th, 2004, 11:14 AM   #1
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Any experience with Aardvaark USB 3?

I'm thinking aobut purchasing and Aardvark USB 3 laptop audio captuer device. Does anyone have any experience with it?

I'm shooting community theater (30-100 performers) in both open-air and traditional theaters using 2-3 Sony TRV900/950's. Tomorrow nights musical has ~85 performers, 12 wireless mikes, about 10 other stage and sound track/effect inputs all going to the sound board.

I typically attach my laptop directly to the sound board and take the front of house straight to my hard drive. Post production I use the sound board track as my master synch track for the tapes from all of my cameras. I then will mix most of my sound from the sound board with "flavor" from my camera sound tracks as appropriate (or in the case of failure of the house sound system - which has happened).

My problem - I often times want to re-mix the house sound. For some reason some sound techs seem to feel that the singing by the actors is optional in the FOH feed and what is supplied is 90% music and 10% vocals. These boards could supply me a vocal bus and a music bus, but my laptop only has one input port.

The Aardvaark box http://www.aardvarkaudio.com/products/usb3/ has two inputs and a monitor. So I could take a vocal track, a music track, set my own gains and monitor simultaneously (what an improvement!). It also runs off USB power so I wouldn't need to find 110V for anything.

Anybody tried anything like this? Have any better thoughts?

Thanks!
jc
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Old September 9th, 2004, 11:57 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the ardvark, but with any decent interface/converter (midiman, motu,nuendo, etc.) You can do multitrack recording direct to the lap top.Most of the interfaces allow for 8 inputs, which means you can have 8 individual mono sources comming in. Of course you need a decent program for doing the recording. We use Cubase sx by Steinberg, and it's a great program ( easy to use). There are cheaper programs like Cakewalk, but I don't have any experience with them.
We've recorded larger venues ( orchestra) with 24 inputs using 3
converters ( motu and Nuendo) and it worked well.
If you want more info, you can email me off line:
yarock at aol dot com.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #3
 
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8 channels over USB would/will never work. Period. Too many resource conflict potentials. This is why most of the USB devices like the Aardvark offer only 2.
However, PCI card, Cardbus cards, Firewire devices can all manage this due to dedicated resources. If you're on a Mac, buy a MOTU or Echo device. If you're on a PC, buy an Echo, M-Audio device.
Aardvark has not been the most reliable company of late, IMO, Echo, M-Audio, have both been extremely solid and reliable. What application are you using for input?
The M-Audio FW410 is my fave of late. We've used one of these around the world. If you've got a laptop with a 6pin connection, you won't need external power, either.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #4
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Bruce/Douglas - thanks for the quick replies.

>>What application are you using for input?

I'm assuming you mean which software product - Vegas 4.0 (5 is on order and somewhere in the UPS system). BTW - I have your Vegas 4 book Douglas, guess I'll have to get the new one now.

I have both Firewire and USB on my laptop (IBM Thinkpad running XP). I was unaware of these other products and will give them a look.
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