JoeCo Introduces the BlackBox Recorder
(AlexV | Posted 2010-07-03)
JoeCo Limited announced the addition of the BLACKBOX RECORDER last winter at NAMM and has been on the up and up ever since. Joe Bull, founder of SADiE, started JoeCo limited a few years back and recently created his newest masterpiece.
The BLACKBOX RECORDER is a high performance multi-track capturing device designed for the 21st century. Aimed primarily at the live music market, it records 24 channels of hi-res audio directly to a USB2 drive. It can be plugged directly into the insert points on any console and can also provide Virtual Sound Checking facilities. Recording to standard external USB2 disks formatted with FAT32 (as can be bought almost anywhere nowadays) in Broadcast WAV file format (BWAV), any material can be instantly used in a studio Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) without any need for time-consuming file conversions or transfers.
Providing 24 channels of 24bit/96kHz recording in a 1U box, the BLACKBOX RECORDER has extensive synchronization facilities and a keyboard interface via which you can easily rename recordings before using them in your workstation. Clocks can be synchronized to an incoming AES/EBU or SPDIF clock signal whilst LTC (Linear Time Code) can provide recordings with a time stamp from other equipment. In addition, the MIDI input can serve both for synchronization (MTC) and MIDI machine control (MMC) purposes. The unit can accept 9-pin commands as well utilizing the standard Sony PII protocol. A footswitch can be connected to the unit to easily mark the intervals between songs in a live set creating separate recordings for each song.
A headphone output allows for individual monitoring of each input and can provide a rough “mixed” output for confidence checking. Eight of the analogue inputs are looped through to aux insert points allowing external equipment to be placed into the live signal chain.
Physically, the BLACKBOX RECORDER is housed in a 1U rack-mounted box with 24 channels of metering and a full color LCD display. The front panel touch sensitive controls are supplemented by a data wheel which doubles as a scrub wheel when locating material for playback. The user interface has been designed for ultimate simplicity allowing the live engineer to concentrate on the live mix secure in the knowledge that the BLACKBOX RECORDER is capturing the performance.
“For many bands, taking a complete workstation on the road is not practical and laptops can be notoriously fragile in the live environment,” says Joe Bull, managing director of JoeCo. “The BLACKBOX RECORDER has been designed to address these issues by making it robust, rugged and very simple to use. It’s ready to record within seconds of power up and being able to use the material immediately in your DAW afterwards saves so much time.”
The BLACKBOX RECORDER is a full-service recording station on wheels. The only negative I have been able to see so far is it’s limited 3 x 25 way female D-Type analog connectors. This will make it less compatible for the smaller guys systems therefore limiting itself to larger-format live sound engineers. If they could find a way to create an addition rack-mountable unit that converted 24 XLR or TRS inputs into the 3 x 25 way female D-type, they would open themselves up to an entire new world of costumers. Other than that, this unit looks great. We are hoping to receive one for review in the next few months so check back for updates.
From a press release