I am preparing to purchase a Tascam US 1641 16 channel USB 2.0 interface for recording my worship team. I am writing to ask A. if anyone has successfully used Audacity to record 8 channels of sound simultaneously using the Tascam (or similar) unit and B. if they can share the details of how this was accomplished…(any special cabling, software configuration, etc…)
I would be running Audacity on a Dell laptop with 3Gb of memory and Windows XP Pro. I would intend to use XLR splitter cables (1 female to 2 males) to feed each instrument/vocal signal to both the Tascam and to our Behringer mixing console during live performance.
Thanks in advance for any help.
<<<I would intend to use XLR splitter cables (1 female to 2 males) to feed each instrument/vocal signal to both the Tascam and to our Behringer mixing console during live performance.>>>
There is one analog and one digital problem. The digital one is easy. Audacity doesn’t support ASIO software drivers. If Tascam uses those to perform its miracles, then there will be a good deal fewer miracles. The “Usual” way to cleanly manage multi-channel recording is for the mixer to create bunches of Stereo Devices. OneAndTwo, ThreeAndFour, FiveAndSix, etc. Audacity will only record one of those stereo pairs. It’s rough to know ahead of time what it’s going to do, but those are the questions to ask.
I’m on firmer ground with the splitters. You might get away with that on the instruments, but the microphones could be very amusing. Are any of your microphones “phantom” powered? You need to know that because the battery voltage goes up the microphone cable “the wrong way” and could damage the other sound mixer or cause distortions if it hits a “Y” cable.
Microphone signals are in the order of millionths of volts. Not very powerful at all. They’re very delicate. If you have any interference or buzz or hum in the performance, it may be impossible to tell where it’s coming from. It could be as exciting as one mixer is plugged into the west hall wall socket and the other one is plugged in the east.
Certainly try it, but if it starts creating noise problems, it may take an engineer to figure it out. Nobody will be shocked to find that everything worked OK until Sunday when all the house lights are on. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
“Where did that come from!!!”
I agree with Koz on the difficulties of doing that. In fact, I’d go even further and say don’t even try. I can’t think of any professional who would even consider doing that.
Is there a reason why you need to capture 8 channels during recording? Is the mix out of the Behringer not good enough?
Capturing a multi-track recording of a live performance usually involves the mics going to the mixer then using either the direct outputs of the mixer to feed the recorder or using an 8-bus mixer to feed the console.