Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

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ygagnon
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Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by ygagnon » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:08 pm

I recently purchased Auria LE for my IPad 2 16gb unit. I've done some initial experimenting with it and am very impressed and excited to see what I'll be able to produce with it. However, .. before I spend any more money on upgrades, plugins or hardware, I just have a few questions.

For starters, .. I've been considering purchasing the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB audio interface, mainly because it allows for up to 8 simultaneous mic inputs (each with their own pre-amps), and because it supposedly works without requiring a powered USB hub. My first question is ... even though a powered USB hub supposedly isn't required for the 18i20 -- does the unit itself still require that it be connected to an external power source (meaning do I still need to plug it into an AC outlet)? Or will my IPad's USB port be enough to power the unit?

My 2nd question is ... is it realistic for me to think that I'd be able to record 16 different tracks simultaneously using my IPad 2 16gb unit (assuming that I have enough free space, and that I'm not running any other apps in the background)? For example, .. the ideal scenario would be to be able to simultaneously record the following LIVE instruments ... each on it's own track -- using my IPad 2 16gb unit (and using whatever external USB audio interface would allow for this many simultaneous inputs):

1 - kick drum
2 - snare drum
3 - high hats
4 - ride cymbal
5 - tom 1
6 - tom 2
7/8 - stereo overheads for cymbals
9 - bass guitar
10 - electric guitar
11/12 - stereo keyboards
13 - saxophone
14 - lead vocal
15 - background vocal
16 - background vocal

How possible / realistic is this scenario? Would I need one of the newer IPads in order to accomplish this? Or is this entirely do-able with an IPad 2 16gb? And if I wanted to also be able to apply realtime EQ and Compression to some of those input channels (using the PSP ChannelStrip) -- would that be feasible? Or am likely to tax the IPad's CPU and crash the whole damn thing?

Thanks in advance!
- Yvan

Rim
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by Rim » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:12 am

iPad 2 should easily handle 16 tracks of recording simultaneously with the 18i20. Just keep your sample rate at 44100 and you should no issues.

Rim

ygagnon
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by ygagnon » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:53 pm

Thanks Rim!

Also .. does anyone here know what the answer to these questions are?

even though a powered USB hub supposedly isn't required for the 18i20 -- does the unit itself still require that it be connected to an external power source (meaning do I still need to plug it into an AC outlet)? Or will my IPad's USB port be enough to power the unit?

If I wanted to also be able to apply realtime EQ and Compression to some of those input channels (using the PSP ChannelStrip) -- would that be feasible? Or am likely to tax the IPad's CPU and crash the whole damn thing?
Thanks!
- Yvan

supanorton
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by supanorton » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:01 pm

even though a powered USB hub supposedly isn't required for the 18i20 -- does the unit itself still require that it be connected to an external power source (meaning do I still need to plug it into an AC outlet)? Or will my IPad's USB port be enough to power the unit?


The iPad won't power it. You have to supply power.

Strizbiz
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by Strizbiz » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:35 pm

To answer your first ( although rim Already did ) I haven't recorded 16 tracks at once but I've done songs with at least 30 tracks and I'm on an ipad 2 16 gig. I has no problems with adding the psp channels strip to most and I didn't have to freeze all of them but freezing does help out a LOT!!
But let me strongly recommend upgrading to the full version, I guarantee you won't be disappointed. After looking at the features of the full version vs the le version I went straight for the full version. I hesitated for a long time on getting this because I had everything else and considered this a little pricey but after getting It I wanted to kick myself for not getting it sooner lol.

As for having to power the interface your talking about I'm only guessing but if your running that many mics at once and some are condenser mics I don't think the ipad would be able to power it.
IPad Air 2 128 gb Apogee Duet Ipad/Mac

ygagnon
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by ygagnon » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:30 am

Thank you all for your feedback! I understand that it's possible to record and mix 16 or more tracks using an IPad 2 16gb unit. But can anyone here confirm that they have successfully recorded 16 or more tracks simultaneously using an IPad 2 16gb unit? And if so, .. were you able to apply realtime EQ and compression while recording without any hiccups? Sorry to be such a stickler ... but there's most certainly a difference between how many tracks you can "have" in your mix vs. how many you can record simultaneously.

Also .. do ALL of the audio interfaces that are listed on this page require AC power?

http://www.auriaapp.com/Support/auria-audio-interfaces

I was hoping to be able to find something decent that has multiple ins and outs that doesn't require an external power source, .. but I'm realizing now that this notion might be ridiculous.

BTW -- I initially compared the LE version with the Full version, and concluded that the only additional features that the full version offers that I might benefit from are the ability to freeze tracks and the Convolution Reverb. And even then, .. I can just wait until I hit an actual bottleneck and then upgrade to the full version through the app for $25 :)

- Yvan

mrufino1
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by mrufino1 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:46 am

You probably will need to change the disc buffer to large. Also make sure you have enough free space on your iPad, not just for the tracks but working space too.
Also, I think I'm correct in saying that using the channel strips while recording will not write those changes to the track unless you bounce afterward. I could be wrong, but I think that's true. If so, the only thawing you'd be doing is not delaying a decision, but it would still be non destructive. I know IAA apps such as bias can write to the track, and obviously things through audiobus.
I don't have an interface to track 16 at once, so I can't help completely, but I know recording has more to do with disc speed than processor, I track 16 simultaneously through my 7 year old MacBook Pro, and before that a core duo think pad with no problems at all into reaper.
Disjointed answer, hopefully it helped a little!!

Rim
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by Rim » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:42 pm

iPad 2 can definitely record 16 tracks at once. In fact, during our original testing, we recorded 24 tracks simultaneously on an iPad 2. As mentioned, there's a disk buffer setting in Auria's settings that can be set to high if you run into any issues.

Channelstrips can be recorded if you wish. Just set each channel to Record Effects (press and hold the record enable buttons).


Rim

ygagnon
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by ygagnon » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:42 pm

Thanks for your response! So I guess I won't know until I actually try it for myself. I'm beginning to suspect, however, that Auria isn't really being used in quite the manner I'm inquiring about .. at least not widely .. or not yet, anyways. My guess is that it's mostly geared towards the "one-man-band" type musician, with more emphasis being placed on it's mixing capabilities .. rather than it's recording capabilities. Still, I think it's an amazing piece of software, and I'm eager to see what I can produce with it. If someone showed it to me back in the early 90's when I was studying sound engineering in college (working with and splicing noisy magnetic tape) .. I think my head would have exploded.

The only reason I'm asking about the ability to apply EQ and compression while recording is to ensure that there's a decent headphone mix for the musicians. If I was forced to commit those effects to the recorded tracks, then I probably wouldn't be applying any EQ or compression at all while recording.

It seems that all of the USB audio interfaces that are compatible with Auria are all bloated with useless SPDIF, Optical and MIDI ins and outs. The ideal unit for me, I think, would have 16 mic inputs (each with mic pre-amps), 16 balanced outputs, and maybe 4 headphone outputs. Does such a unit even exist? And if so, what' the price tag for it?

Thanks!
- Yvan

brooks501
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by brooks501 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:58 am

Hi

The most I have recorded is 8 tracks with the 18i20, I record live bands and it works well, you can add more tracks with the Focusrite OctoPre which will take it up to 16 tracks, for the money the Focusrite kit is good, if money is no object then there are a few around but your going to pay heaps for them.

When I record I don't generally eq anything, I like to get the best sound at source and then eq in the mix if I have to, I might have a bit of light compression on vocals just to keep a bit of control but apart from that it's all flat, some times the bass player or keyboard are plugged direct in and so need a headphone mix which I can send from Auria back out through the 18i20.

Although there is a official list of interfaces that work with Auria I've tried all sorts of USB audio devices from mixing desks to audio recorders and I've yet to find something that does not work.

On a side not I always turn on Airplane mode and do a reset before I record, it does help on a iPad 2 with the CPU.


Hope that helps.

Katherine_Focusrite
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by Katherine_Focusrite » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:49 pm

Hi Yvan,

Thank you for your post.
It seems that all of the USB audio interfaces that are compatible with Auria are all bloated with useless SPDIF, Optical and MIDI ins and outs. The ideal unit for me, I think, would have 16 mic inputs (each with mic pre-amps), 16 balanced outputs, and maybe 4 headphone outputs. Does such a unit even exist? And if so, what' the price tag for it?
I don't believe I have EVER seen a unit with 16 Mic Pres on it from any brand, other than a Mixer.

This is always done by the ADAT Port.

Just get another 18i20 in Standalone Mode, or Octopre and via the ADAT In Port you will have 16 Mic Pres.

Most people prefer the ADAT Port as it gives them options for their added channels.

For example, you may find you prefer a high end ADAT unit like our 828 for sound quality. Or a much less expensive unit like a Behringer to keep the cost down. ADAT offers this flexibility.

As for headphone outs the 18i20 has 10 Line Outputs on the back of it. You can certainly use these for your headphones. Using my computer rather than iPad I often plug headphone straight into the Line Outputs on the back and control the headphone volume via the MixControl Fader for the Mix I have sent to that particular Output.

For an iPad use you may want a headphone box such as the ART HeadAmp 4, PreSonus HP4, Behringer MicroAMP HA400, or any other brand you prefer, as you would not have the MixControl, but just be sending Full Line Level Output.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
Katherine Kaplan // Focusrite Technical Support

http://www.focusrite.com/answerbase/en/

Strizbiz
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by Strizbiz » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:54 pm

Rim wrote:iPad 2 can definitely record 16 tracks at once. In fact, during our original testing, we recorded 24 tracks simultaneously on an iPad 2. As mentioned, there's a disk buffer setting in Auria's settings that can be set to high if you run into any issues.

Channelstrips can be recorded if you wish. Just set each channel to Record Effects (press and hold the record enable buttons).


Rim
Wow, had no idea you could hold record and record effects and also set the input level ! Thanks for that info!
IPad Air 2 128 gb Apogee Duet Ipad/Mac

ygagnon
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by ygagnon » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:52 am

Again .. thank you all for your excellent advice!

Based on all of this information, I'm concluding that I would be able to record 16 tracks simultaneously using my IPad 2 16gb unit ... but that it would require more than just a single audio interface. I'm still not clear as to exactly what hardware I would need (ie: 18i20 + Octopre + ??) .. but so far, it all sounds very expensive.

Katherine --are you saying that the 18i20 and Octopre devices can somehow be linked/fused together (via the optical ins & outs?) Or is some other/additional ADAT specific piece of hardware required?

Sorry .. it's been like 20+ years since I first learned all of this stuff, and needless to say, I'm a little rusty :)

Thanks!
- Yvan

mrufino1
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Re: Recording 16 tracks simultaneously using IPad 2 16gb?

Post by mrufino1 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:07 pm

Octopre is an 8 ch preamp with adat output and would plug into the 18i20 to give you your other 8 mic preamps. Make sure you set one device as your master clock (ask me how I learned that! Twice...) I don't know the octopre well, but if it only has an adat out then it will need to be the master. But auria will see 16 ins from your 18i20, not see them as 2 separate devices. That would be true of any similar device. If you want 16 mic pres in one unit the you're talking about one of the class compliant mixers, such as the presonus or the behringer.

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