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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,159
I have a Motu and also a Mackie Firewire interface and as mentioned before I run the 702 behind a 302 and then coax connected to the Mackie along with auxiliary (ie individual instrument) mics direct into the Mackie then a MacBook with Cubase

I've never had a problem with anything crashing but I usually run the everything on an APC UPS power supply as well as an additional Sony D-50. After a recording session a couple of months ao I forgot to shut down the Mac and three days later everything was still up and running, although not recording. Just for the heck of it I hit record and everything picked up right where I had left off. Cubase seems to prevent the system from going to sleep somehow.

I've been in the computer biz long enough to be very paranoid about backup and redundancy.

That being said, if you take pains to protect against problems, today's hardware and software is fantastic compared to what we had when I started out in 1959. Would you believe programming satellite orbital analysis routines by wiring plug boards for relay based machines?
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:18 AM   #17
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Chelmsford England
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I'm not a pro, but I do use a computer to record. It's a UMPC which is not much bigger than a zoom. I happened to have it already, so I bought a Behringer UCA202 USB audio adapter, and record using Audacity. If I was a pro I'd buy a zoom.

The UCA202 has a headphone jack for monitoring input/output, along with 2 very clean line inputs and outputs (plus optical out). It costs around 20-25 shipped. I record straight to a memory card, so a HD crash can't take out my files. If anything goes wrong during a take and the file is not written properly, Audacity has a good recovery feature that works well meaning no recorded data is lost..
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:51 PM   #18
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Location: Elgin, Illinois
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when using a computer to record, I use a sound devices usbpre with good results. It does not work with 64 bit os, so it is showing its age. Still, a great piece.
John Hartney
Elgin, Illinois USA
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 08:40 AM   #19
New Boot
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 13
It works as well as a standalone recorder, but you need to have an interface of some kind to it right, which costs more than a standalone recorder in many cases. So you'd probably be better off buying a standalone recorder so you don't have to worry about where to put your laptop on a crowded set.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #20
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 3
Laptop + MOTU + Marantz recorders

I have a rig that's used primarily for feature film production; a few commercial spots here and there. I'm running a 12 channel Mackie mixer with a fairly complicated patching sequence that puts up to 4 channels through two Marantz PMD 671 flash recorders for up to 4 isolated channels of audio. The outs on the Marantzs go to a MOTU 828 that provides up to 12 inputs into a Macbook pro running Logic 9. The normal configuration is to run both of the Marantzs for 4 channels and the MOTU as backup on those 4 channels, though with the correct routing, this system can record up to 16 channels, but with no backups, or mix down 12 channels into 4 discreet channels, etc. It's very versatile depending on the requirements. The 16 channel setup is really only appropriate for doing large crowd scenes or something where you might want a large number of dead hung mics for getting a lot of ambiance or need to have a lot of concealed mics (two actors walking around a pool in bathing suits, having an animated conversation in a wide shot or other nightmare scenarios...). The advantage of this scheme is that it's all built into a custom fitted cart complete with an 8 channel headphone amp, etc., but you can pop the Marantzs off in order to do run-and-gun; plug 2 wireless lavs into one recorder, a shotgun and a third lav into the other and you're good for most out-in-a-field or moving vehicle kinds of setups.

Using the laptop as a backup is great, but I would never in a million years use it as my primary recording device. On a shoot last week that was renting my kit, I had to go out on set when the laptop started crashing every few minutes with the grey screen of doom. Turned out the battery was shot (?!) and that was the root of the problem, but because we had the solid state recorders we never missed a take. I also will occasionally switch out the Marantzs for Fostex FR2s with the timecode cards and slave the MOTU to them if I have to deal with TC slates. The Marantzs are a bit more rugged, though and since you're not generally relying on their preamps, they do a nice job up to 24/96 which is about as high as I ever need to go.
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