Audio Technology / Recording / Recording Devices / Hard disk recorders...

Hard disk recording is usually associated with expensive recording studio multi-track recording devices connected to SCSI hard disk farms and racks full of processing hardware. However, recently, small USB devices have appeared on the market. USB Pre 1.5 is an impressive piece of hardware ( PHOTO>> ). It features two independent studio quality microphone pre-amps, phantom power, 24-bit A/D converters, 106 dB dynamic range and a variety of inputs and outputs (tape, line, instrument, microphone, and S/PDIF). The device is powered through a computer USB port and can be used with most modern PC and Macintosh machines, including a variety of laptops. Recordings obtained with USB Pre are superb. Whenever the recording situation allows the use of a laptop, USB Pre (or a similar device) should be used to acquire speech signals. At the time of writing this article, USB Pre is one of the best USB digital recording devices, though Digidesign has just released a similar product, the Mbox , which offers similar features to USB Pre, in addition to being fully compatible with Pro Tools 5.2 LE software.