Hands-On Review:There's never been a better time to free yourself from the limitations of tape.
The introduction of the remarkable MX-2424 earlier this year may in retrospect prove to be a sign that that the glory days of tape-based recording are drawing to a close. A pretty sweeping statement, huh? Well, this is a pretty amazing piece of gear that's going to change the way a whole lot of professional, project, and home studios capture and manipulate sound. With its immense recording, editing, and storage capabilities coupled with an incredibly reasonable dollar-to-track cost, the MX-2424 is quickly emerging as the front runner in the hard disk recording sweepstakes.
Even analog freaks will feel at home
Just a bit bigger than an ADAT deck, the MX-2424 has a familiar control layout that should make the analog and DAT recordist feel right at home. Its solid feel and instant tactile feedback gives you a real sense of control. Though its features and capabilities can be optimized and extended by connecting it to a Mac or PC, the recorder offers most of its advanced features as a standalone recorder.
Configure, expand, and extend to your heart's content
The MX-2424's killer specs and capabilities aside, maybe the most impressive aspects of this unit are its configurability, expandability, and extend- ability. Options for setting your recorder are practically unlimited. You can chain up to 32 MXs using the TL-bus that carries common sample clocking and time position information. The optional TL-Sync synchronizer will link the MX to any DTRS, ADAT, MMC, or Sony 9-pin serial device as well as TimeLine's Lynx-2 modules.
I/O connection possibilities are also formidable. You can use the analog I/O card plus any one of the optional digital cards simultaneously. And that's in addition to the built-in 2-channnel AES/EBU and SPDIF I/Os. Since each card handles 24 channels, you can work with 24 channels of digital and 24 channels of analog I/O on one machine at the same time!
Incredible power and convenience in one box
Tascam has equipped the MX with a Smart Card flash ROM slot on the front panel as well as an Ethernet port. Downloading future software revisions and updates should be a piece of cake. The built-in 9.1GB drive can hold about 45 minutes of 24-track, 24-bit audio at 48kHz. But with its Wide SCSI port plus front panel-mounted 5.25? drive bay, you can have all the recording time or backup media you need, including DVD or tape drives.
The MX-2424 offers three control options. The included Java-based ViewNet MX GUI is a delight to work with when you want to control the recorder from your Mac or PC. The software supports DAW-style editing of audio regions and the onscreen menus simplify system setup and virtual track management. It also allows you to set up 8 macros to record frequently-used keystrokes. But if limited space demands a standalone solution, the MX-2424 will readily fill the bill. All recording and editing functions can be accessed on the front panel. With an intuitive array of dedicated editing function buttons, you'll work more efficiently and comfortably. And finally, you can run your rig with the optional RC-2424 remote unit.
Did someone say compatability?
Tascam has built a ton of comparability into their recorder. The MX-2424 handles Sound Designer II files on Mac-formatted disks and Broadcast Wave files on FAT-32 PC-formatted disks so it integrates readily into your existing setup. For those users who require full-blown 96kHz recording, the recorder offers a 12-track/24-bit mode. And with the optional I/O cards sold below, you can interface it with all manner of gear.