I've just rented a house with a 30 sq control room and a 30 sq playroom. Both rooms need no work on the acoustics. I want to record simultaneously on 16 tracks and mix up to 32 not on pc but on the desk. I have in mind using Allen Heath Zed 436 and a PC for recording using Sonar which comes with the desk. Mostly bands with rock sound generally focusing on live takes and adding vox or reamping later. My recording style is a bit old fashioned; non destructive dynamics processing, minimum use of EQs and compressors, based on good backline, good average mics and very good performances.

I would appreciate any recommendation for desk, recorder and monitor and any good mics, dynamic or condenser at the price of a beta sm58. Mo money for U87 or C414 but I believe any mic can do a decent job for certain occasions. Openminded may mean cheap but decent way to do things without winning the lottery.


  • Which sound card/ AD/DA converter do you plan on use? the 32 channel allen heat you showed is a 32 channel mixer which would probably allow you a easy setup based on split mixer design, but the USB facility will only convert signals from Matrix, etc, not from Direct Out. What exactly are you trying to ask, if the desk would be a good choice for the value?
    – jlebre
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 22:57
  • you are very right zed436 needs interface to work with direct outs
    – user535
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 17:38
  • perhaps you should take a look at sweetwater.com/store/detail/StudioLive24 and consider if you can deal with only 24 channels
    – Corey
    Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 5:18
  • Not really sure about your mixing console, but check out RME interfaces. They have lots of i/o options and formats. So you could couple one of those excellent interfaces with a console. Of course RME's AD/DA are very good as well. rme-audio.com
    – d-_-b
    Commented Feb 26, 2011 at 5:56

1 Answer 1


This isn't really a recommendation, just some input. I got a second hand Tascam 2524 and I use an M-Audio Delta 101LT interface. Together that cost me some 500 Euros a couple of years ago, and sounds awesome.

It's not a recommendation because:

  • The M2524 only have 24 ins, you want 32. OK, each channel on the Tascam is actually two channels, so you get 48, but then it gets confusing, because you have 24 channels on faders and 24 on knobs.

  • The Delta 1010LT was a mistake because it has a snake of outputs in the back with is a pain. The Delta 1010, that has a rack unit for in/outs should do better, but is way more expensive, and you'll need two. Then again, all others are expensive too and it seems hard to find just plan 16in/16out expansions. And if you plan on a "hardwired installation" then you could probably solder cables from the patch panel directly to the D-SUB of the 1010LT, which then would be a good value for money in/out.

Just my cents.

Update about "hardwired":

I don't know if that's the official term, maybe "fixed installation" is more common. Anyway many studios use patch panels that have rear solder points. That means that the cable between for example an outboard reverb and the patch bay is a custom cable that has a plug for the outboard in one end, but is soldered directly into the patch panel in the other. When you do this, every single cable you use in the installation is soldered by hand by the guy doing the installation (ie you) and in that case you can just as well solder a 25 pin dsub for the audio card. That pretty much solves the problem with the messy snake.

But if you plan to instead use standard cables that you bought, which is less work but more expensive (if you know how to solder, that is), then the 1010LT is not for you, although the 1010 may be, it has a nice rack that contains the connectors.

  • its funny cause i just found m2524 for 400eu but id really like to use allenheath zr16 if of cours can do the job.i find it hard to get a convertor/sound card to allow me having at least 24ch in my desk for realtime mixing.the combo you tried sounds very nice but i didnt exactly follow the hardwired installation.i saw the delta 101lt and it was quite scary to solder the snake.in the comment below my first question i explain how i imagine the setup any helpif this works i would appreciate
    – user535
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 17:53
  • @vagx: I updated the answer with regards to the "hardwired". I don't know Allen & Heath, but I've never heard anything bad about them, so they probably will do well. And 32 channels is nice. I personally have no use for more than 24. Loads of ins/outs for a PC is evidently quite expensive. I'm slightly surprised the prices hasn't come down I must say. Making an AD/DA isn't that hard.
    – Lennart Regebro
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 22:06
  • WRT the Delta1010LT vs. the Delta1010 w/ breakout box: The main advantage of having a breakout box is not convenience. It's cleaner audio. The internals of a computer are full of electromagnetic fields which affect the AD/DA. You really want the AD/DA happening out side the machine.
    – d-_-b
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 7:51
  • @sims: In theory, at least. But I've checked and the 1010LT sound has no discernible artifacts like that. There is some noise, yes, but that's ordinary white noise. It seems it blocks out any digital interference. My card is located last, meaning that the nearest card is on the "backside" of the 1010LT card, which is then being shielded by the earth-plane. Having say a graphics card on the other side might make a difference. That said the 1010 may very well have less of the white noise as well. :-)
    – Lennart Regebro
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 9:15
  • it's true. I only mention this if pristine sound is more important than budget. Some interfaces have shielding around the PCB. I think Echo had this on their older cards.
    – d-_-b
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 1:47

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