Simultaneous track recording

Hello All,

I was wondering how many of you go about simultaneous track recording (i.e. - recording 8 or 12 tracks at once). What sort of gear would I need?

And how would I go about setting it up? I am on a short budget so the cheaper the better. I just want to go about being able to record a drum kit and send each mic to a separate track.

I am using n-track 5.0.1 I believe. My computer is an AMD Athlon 1.8 gHz, not so great SoundBlaster Live (probably 10 years old). I am running Windows 2K.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

You’ll need preamps and converters, essentially.
You can get them together in a package; new, about as cheap as it gets is this:…=241398

You really want to go cheap, look for used soundcards/audio interfaces.
There are lots of configurations, firewire, PCI cards, USB…hey, if you really wanted to go cheap and didn’t care that the company is out of buisness, you could get an Aardvark q10 with 8 mic pres for cheap off Ebay…

You could get a used Delta 1010 for 150 usa dollars on Ebay, but then you’d still need the preamps.
I guess you could get something like this:

Hey you guys who have the Delta or something like it, is that the right setup?

Recording drums in an art.
Tom had some good suggestions…don’t know how affordable they would have been for ya though.

going cheap?..

you could get something like this:

Alesis MultiMix 8USB 8 Channel

I think you could get 4-8 tracks with that, provided you had a preamp or two or other mixer you may be able to use the aux in for a few more (like two panned mono tracks that would be six? it says it’s 8 channel though so I have to assume it can send 8 at a time…

Current bid is $51…ends in one day.

Here’s another one NEW in the box 12 channel $126.

Behringer Xenyx 1204 Mixer w/ USB
What did I see the other day?..oh yeah a delta 8channel box for $99…then ran across a stack of philips preamps (12 in all) for $99 as well.

Tom is right, once you figure out what approach you are looking to take you can find the right devices that are affordable for you.

keep shinin’

jerm :cool:

All good suggestions on audio hardware. Just one comment on the computer end. 7200 RPM hard drives are a must. Also I have found that the WDM driver with heavy buffering has worked best for recording multiple tracks at once. This assumes you don’t need the live input or low latency of ASIO drviers. I have been successful recording 8 tracks for 1 hour plus wihtout a hitch on a laptop (1.5 GHz Centrino, 80 GB 7200 RPM drive and a Motu 896HD interface. Don’t use an USB hard drive, firewire is much better.

I can record 24 at a time on my laptop using 3 Firepods no problem.

Hi, Ive got a Delta 1010 and a soundcraft folio F1 mixer (both secondhand).As I see it the advantage of using a mixer is you can set up different monitoring feeds for the musicians on each of the aux sends, and for tasks like this I find physical knobs are better than software mixers.I’ve recorded a jazz trio ,bass,guitar,drums all at the same time with this setup.

I feed the 8 delta inputs from the mixer insert jacks, using specially wired cables,
and bring the previously recorded tracks from the computer into one of the mixers stereo inputs so I can add it into the monitor mix.


Thanks for all the ideas guys.

I currently have a 280 gig 7200 rpm drive which is partitioned ay 80 gigs for my OS and other programs. The remaining 200 gigs is purely for .wav file storage - that’s where I keep everything I record. However, my computer does not have firewire so I would have to get a card for that.

I have heard about the idea of running multiple soundcards but I am not positive I want to go that route - had a buddy who tried it and he seemed to run into a lot of headaches there.

I don’t really need to be able to record a full band in one shot as I have rarely ever recorded that way. Just want to be able to lat down a 5 - 6 piece kit and then, subsequently, bass, guitars, keys and vox - all at separate times. I have a good chunk of experience recording drums (micing, gating, compressing, mixing, etc.) so I am not worried about that. Problem is I have not done a real kit on my DAW - all of my experience has been analog tape machines. I have recorded drum machines (1 stereo track), mic’d guitars, bass, keys and vox with n-track for many years now. This has only required me to use my outboard mixer as a pre-amp since I have never recorded more than 1 stereo track at a time - I am now trying to step it up since my new band wants to do a recording and I really don’t want to sum the drums to a stereo track when recording (not to mention I don’t have nearly enough outboard gear to do them properly that way - I will be relying heavily on using the Waves bundle for gating and compression of drums once recorded).

So, summing up - it looks like I could get a USB mixer or I could get a firewire card and go something like the firepod route. That leads me to my next question - How would I go about setting these to feed to separate tracks in n-track?

Again, thanks for the suggestions and help everyone.


Be wary of the cheaper USB mixer jobbies. Most of 'em only send a stereo feed to the PC and return a stereo feed to the mixer.

I’d consider a FirePOD on eBay or something… or a FireWire enabled mixer that does true multi-channel audio.

How to set it up in n-Track? Well that kind of varies a little depending on the hardware you choose and which driver you select. Pick out some hardware and the folks here will have you up and multi-tracking in no time at all.


What to do, what to do? There seem to be a lot of options but it would be nice if there was one option that seemed to be, for lack of a better word, more “popular” than others.

The Delta 1010 route will need external pre-amps, correct?
While with a USB mixer I still may not get multiple outs? My analog mixer can send a stereo signal to my sound card inputs so that would be no difference than where I am at now. It’s looking more and more like I am going to have to buy a couple of pieces of kit to do this. Convincing my wife could take months as she is still recovering from the purchase of my last bit of kit.

Am I correct that, buying new, I am going to be into this for at least $500 USD? It seems that way.

According to the Alesis website - it sorts of intimates that the MultiMix can do multitrack recording by listing in the requirements that, for standard operation you need a 4200 rpm drive but preferred is a 5400 rpm for multitrack recording and playback.

Mine is 7200 rpm so, if this will support multitrack recording, I am in the clear for $250 - $300 USD.

Can anyone confirm or deny?

Thanks so much for all the help everyone - sorry to ramble on here.


This one will do true multi-track audio 10 channels > PC 2 channels PC > mixer.…=801473

This one, will not. It is 2 in 2 out.…=630166

"Choose wisely grass-hopper!" (Sorry… Kung-Fu flashback… :p


One of the problems you have is that there are so many options to achieve what you want. Here’s a setup that has worked great for me.

Delta 1010 sound card. 8 channels but no preamps. Get the version with the external box. These are the workhorses of the industry. They sound very good and they are built like tanks. You can get a used one on ebay for around $200.

Mackie 1642 VLZ mixer. This is what I started out with and I still have it. The mixer is setup with direct preamp outs on 8 channels so you can hook up the mixer to your Delta 1010 and have 8 decent recording channels. Eventually you will probably want to upgrade by getting a few channels of outboard preamp but the Mackie pres are clean and work fine. I made a bunch of excellent recordings with the Mackie and the Delta 1010. You can pick up a Mackie 1642 VLZ used on ebay for under $200.

These two pieces will keep you under your $500 budget and will give you quite a bit of flexibilty for upgrading down the road.

If you get the Delta 1010 go to M-Audio’s website and download one of the newer drivers. Don’t use the latest one, however, because it has been reported as buggy. They have several driver versions available and use the second newest one.

So, it looks like the first one will do up to 10 tracks at once? Am I getting that right?

Only 2 for monitoring?

10 would be plenty for anything that I needed to do really.

My bass player has a Korg D3200 stand alone recorder and I am wondering if that will function this way or not? Since I am recording with him I could use that for the time being if it functions that way, which I doubt.

I think, if we used the Korg, we could use it for the inital capture of the drum tracks, dump a rough mix stereo drum track to the PC to sync with and then dump each individual track in to the PC and edit them to line up with the sync track. However I don’t know what the transfer system would be (I am guessing USB). I do know that it will import and export WAV files so there must be a way to do it without losing any clarity.

Is this possible?

Sorry to bug you and thank you.


From Korg’s web site regarding the D3200…


• The first 32-track digital recording studio designed to deliver professional quality at an affordable price.
• Exclusive Session Drums™ feature works in conjunction with our Knob Matrix, allowing you to intuitively create realistic drum tracks.
• The recorder engine features uncompressed 24- or 16-bit recording / playback at 48 or 44.1 kHz, with up to 69-bit internal processing.
• Record up to 272 tracks (including 8 virtual tracks per track), all with sophisticated digital editing functionality.
• Record up to twelve tracks at once, using 12 balanced 1/4” inputs – 8 are also equipped with XLR inputs and individual phantom power. A convenient guitar input jack is also provided for guitarists.
• The powerful, flexible 12 bus, 44-channel mixer offers a four-band EQ on channel 1 through 24, and a master four-band EQ as well.
• Automated mixing lets you record and play back fader, pan and other mixer events. In addition, 100 scene memories provide more detailed automation. Mixer parameters may also be controlled via MIDI.
• The Knob Matrix, ClickPoint™, and cursor keys provide quick and intuitive operation. The high-resolution 320 x 240 pixel tilt-up LCD uses four-level grayscale shading and backlit illumination for enhanced visibility, providing a clear and easily understandable display.
• A total of eleven high-quality effects can be used simultaneously as inserts, master, and final effects, and are easily controlled via the Knob Matrix.
• High-capacity 80 GB internal hard drive
• Built-in CD-RW, Master Track and Album CD Project features allow you to produce a production-ready CD with ease.
• USB 2.0 connectivity allows a smooth exchange of data with your computer-based DAW software. Use the PC drive partition on the internal hard disk to share data with your computer.

I’d say the Alesis used as an audio interface for your PC would make a nice pairing with the Korg. You would have enough I/O on the Alesis to do overdubs and stuff and with the USB connectivity of the Korg, dumping tracks from it to your PC would be a snap.


I just downloaded the MultiMix USB 8 manual off Alesis site. Sorry to tell you the USB out to the computer is a “stereo out” meaning only two channels. The 10 channel input is to the mixer, not to the computer.


Oops! I just realized I downloaded the wrong manual. The MultiMix 8 USB 2.0 does in fact send each channel as well as the main out to the computer through the USB. This is a cool find.


Yep. You got Paul… that’s not a bad deal really. If they work as well as advertised.


That may be my option for the time being, given my budget. Thanks for all of your help everyone - I really do appreciate it. I am sure I will be posting on how to set everything up once I get whatever option I decide on.

Again, thank you.