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"Dumbest" software for multi track recording


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I frequently do 32 track live recordings of theater performances. I've used Adobe Audition and Studio One. Both work fine, MOST of the time, but even when working well there are 99% of the screen space and features that go unused, and neither is great for the basic things I need when tracking. I mix in Studio One as my DAW and love it. But when tracking I just want something simpler that just "works".



What is the "dumbest" piece of software that can do these things?


  • Show meters for all 32 channels simultaneously on one screen
  • Show how many hours of recording time remains on the writing drive
  • Has somewhere that I can type a name for what this take # and song name are BEFORE I hit record, and this will then become part of the recorded file names.
  • Ideally looks like it came from Windows 95 without a lick of superfluous feature set or fancy graphics that wastes hardware resources.


Thank you!

Edited by RSM
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It's not what you asked for, but I have been doing multi-track recordings under Linux using a couple of very simple tools plugged in to Jack (the audio routing daemon).

Recording itself is handled by the console program jack_capture https://github.com/k...n/jack_capture. This provides basic PPMs, but only once you start recording.To get better meters, I use JACK Meterbridge http://plugin.org.uk/meterbridge/ which provides whichever sort of meters you want, independent of the recording process. I have mine set up as PPMs, with the reference level adjusted well down so that the top of the meter is below digital full scale. You can adjust the meter layout, I can get 24 PPMs on 1366x768 screen, so you should get your 32 on without too much trouble.

This records rock-solid from a 10-channel Roland UA-101 to a prehistoric Acer Aspire One 722 notebook PC (upgraded with SSD and 4GB of RAM, but fundamentally still a dual core 1.3GHz AMD C60 processor! Part of the art is not trying to configure for low latency, when you are only doing one direction at a time it doesn't matter!

I have also used this rig to play back the 10 channels for analogue domain mixdown, with some real-time reverb effects patched in along the way.

Commands if anyone is interested:

jackd -d alsa -d hw:UA101 -p 4096 -n 3 -r 44100
meterbridge -r -26 -t ppm -c 3  ${ports}

jack_capture -c ${rchan} -p "${port}" --format aiff --filename "${1}" --dB-meter-reference -14

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I'm going to suggest Reaper. It is very efficiently coded and, in my experience, very reliable. I've used it to record live shows running 32 inputs via USB from a Behringer X32 a few times and it has run all afternoon and evening with no issues. In my case I start and stop recording for each act but it can also handle long continuous recordings too. You can set up templates and also set up file naming in the preferences - you can use the project name in the file name but I'm not sure that you can use region or marker names (although I bet someone has created a script to do this as Reaper is very extendable).


As an example of how efficiently coded it is, I can run 24 44.1/48kHz or 16 96kHz inputs on an ancient Acer laptop with only 768MB of memory - this is limited by my audio interface rather than the computer. I've not tried this old laptop on the X32 but I suspect that it will work if the particular X32 interface has XP drivers.


There is a specific live recording view on the mixer panel which gives you meters with track names under them and just a few basic controls and you can set it up so that the remaining disk space is shown in both bytes and recording time for the current recording format.


It is free to try and, once the demo time has expired, the only difference that you will see is that there is a wait of 5 seconds before you can start using the program so, even if you decide not to buy, you will still have access to your session files (the audio is recorded in standard .wav, aiff, flac or a few other formats which are almost universally readable).

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I'm going to suggest Reaper. It is very efficiently coded and, in my experience, very reliable.


+1, I don't think we've had a recording fail with it yet.


We did do some ridiculous tests when we first set it up, including recording 48 tracks on an i3 notebook, which it seemed to cope with just fine.

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