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Rating and Reviews: Cymatic Audio LR-16

Live recording from the board? Leave the laptop. This audio interface records 16 line inputs directly to WAV files on your USB hard drive -- no DAW required.

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"LR-16 Does The Job" submitted December 14, 2014

By Rick Smith in San Antonio, TX
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Professional guitarist, 50 years.
Music Style: Rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: The LR-16 faithfully records what you send it. The recording quality is completely satisfactory. You may want to use the built-in pads for a channel that's coming in too hot but, so far, I've not had to do this. We usually record our sets with four video cameras and the LR-16. It's absolutely awesome to see your video synced to an audio track with NO audience noise. In fact, you may want to set up a house mic just to get some room ambience to add to the mix to keep it from being too sterile. But now it's your choice. Feature: The product doesn't have a lot of features. But then, its simplicity is what's so beautiful about it. It's designed to do one thing -- record up to 16 channels of your music, live, on 16 individual tracks. This means that you get to mix your sound after the performance. Didn't catch enough drums? Bring 'em up in your post-mix. Keyboard player overpowering? Turn him down. Some Valley Girl sitting next to your recording mic talking all through the set about her last manicure? Not a problem since your sound is coming straight off the board. You will need a DAW like Pro Tools or Adobe Audition to do the mixdown. The LR-16 doesn't come with any software. But if you're wanting to do this sort of thing, you probably already own this software. Ease of Use: The product is really plug-and-chug. Just plug one end of a TRS-to-TRS snake into the insert jacks on your mixer and the other end into the inputs on the LR-16, attach a fast USB 2.0 portable disk drive with a USB cable, plug in the power cord, turn on the LR-16 and press record. That's all there is to it. Quality: At this price point, you can't expect bullet proof. It's not shoddy, by any means, but it's consumer grade and so you do need to exercise a bit of care with it. If you're going to pack it with other gear, I would suggest buying a case with pick-and-pull foam for it. I also wouldn't pack it with the input cables attached. For some more coin, you can buy the uTrack 24, the rack mountable big brother to the LR-16. It's a more professional product and records up to 24 channels, but it's over twice the cost of the LR-16. Value: I don't think there's any product out there right now that can touch the LR-16 for the price. If you are recording your performances, this is the best bang for the buck for getting real quality audio. Manufacturer Support: There is a firmware upgrade for the LR-16, available from the Cymatic web site, that allows you to specify how many of the 16 possible tracks it will record. Without the upgrade, the LR-16 always records 16 tracks, regardless of whether there is any input for a track or not. After installing the upgrade, you can control how many tracks are written to disk in even multiples. The Wow Factor: How about if you could correct clams in your performance AFTER THE FACT? With a DAW and the LR-16, in some cases you can! Since the instrument tracks are isolated, you can punch in after the fact and re-record a muffed passage or just cut a similar part from another section of the song and past it over the screw up. Overall: Tired of trying to record your band with just one or two mics placed around the room? You always get too much of one thing and not enough of something else, and there's nothing you can do about it. The LR-16 solves this problem quite handily at a price that's very reasonable.
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