The BLACKBOX RECORDER plugs into any standard live mixing console via the normal insert points and not only allows for the capture of the performance but also will record the sound check to help set the foldback mixes and allow the performers to hear the live mix for themselves. In difficult acoustic spaces it also lets the sound engineer achieve the best balance without exhausting the band with endless rehearsals before the gig.
The BLACKBOX RECORDER provides 24 tracks of audio recording directly onto a removable USB2 disk drive that can be immediately plugged into your Digital Audio Workstation after the gig.
Recording the audio at up to 96kHz and at 24 bit resolution into standard Broadcast Wave (BWAV) files on a standard FAT32 formatted drive allows the user to replay the material on any workstation. Just unplug the disk from the back of the BLACKBOX RECORDER and plug it into your workstation as an external disk. No copying or reassembling your studio is required and you have every mixer input recorded and available to create the perfect live remix.
For really large multi-track recordings, multiple BLACKBOX RECORDER units can be chained together and operated from a single control surface.
The unit has been designed to be as simple as possible to operate, recognising that during a live performance the sound engineer will naturally need to concentrate on the sound for the audience and the performers.
Consequently, having connected up the unit to the desk the BBR1 defaults to all tracks being armed ready for record; just pressing Record will start the recording. If the record button is pressed again whilst in record, the BLACKBOX RECORDER will automatically start a new recording so that each song can be easily identified later. To end a recording requires the STOP button to be held for 2 seconds to ensure that the recording cannot be stopped accidentally.
A foot switch input is also provided and can be set up to duplicate the record button function so that the engineer doesn't even have to move away from the console.
The BLACKBOX RECORDER range has been designed to be very simple to operate. The front panel contains the familiar transport controls that every piece of recording kit contains so that basic operation can be very simply understood. This is important as the engineer's primary task during the performance has to be to concentrate on the live sound. Having plugged the unit into your console, the unit defaults to having all tracks armed and ready to record; just press record to begin the recording. Simplicity itself.
The LED meters show you the relative levels of each input so that you can make sure that you're not recording too "hot" (or too "cold") and can adjust the mic amps on the desk accordingly. Although there are only three LEDs on each channel, their brightness varies according to the level giving a much more accurate representation.
The main screen displays how long you've been recording and how much space you have left on the disk. The meters also have a sticky peak feature so that you can see how loud a recording has been and whether you have overloaded the inputs without having to study the unit while you're setting everything else up. There's even a keyboard input so that if you have time you can name every track and even every song to make life easier when you come to use the resultant recordings on your workstation to mix them.
In addition, there are 4 function buttons "Menu/Ok", "Loop", "Mark" and "Back" and a data entry / scrub wheel which control the more detailed settings of the unit and set markers for loop points so that you can loop round a particular bit of a sound check while you get the sound in the venue exactly right.
One very important feature of the BBR1 is that the inputs are normally looped directly to the outputs via relays in all modes except during playback. This provides an additional level of safety so that even if the power were to fail on the BBR, the audio through the PA will not be affected.
Inside the menu structure all the key variables can be modified: the sample rate, which tracks to arm when you press record, whether to use timecode, setting up the digital audio clocks, naming the recordings, setting your input and output levels, and setting up loop points.
By default, the unit enters "playback lockout" mode as soon as you enter record to make sure that you don't accidentally start playing back the soundcheck in the middle of the performance!
- 24-track audio recorder
- Virtual Sound Check Facility
- 3 x 8-channel Lightpipe inputs
- 3 x 8-channel Lightpipe outputs
- 24bit/96kHz conversion
- Simple user interface
- Keyboard input for naming tracks and songs
- Data entry wheel for navigating menus and making adjustments
- MIDI Machine Control (MMC)
- AES/SPDIF word clock
- Linear time code (LTC) and MIDI time code
- SONY PII (9-pin) control
- Records to standard USB2 drive in BWF format - instant import into DAW
- Multiple Black Box units can be chained for large multitrack recordings