Far from MADI crowd – build a PC for the RME HDSP Madi card and Micstasy or use my Olympus LS-3?

I’m all too aware that I love complex solutions to simple problems, it’s just the way I am. I have a simple gig coming up, I could in truth cover it with my Olympus LS-3, well if I could find it. The Olympus is so pocket sized that I regularly lose it, in a pocket somewhere. However I could probably compromise and stick a decent mic on a stand and record the gig to a Nagra LB or Fostex FR2. Much better – I can be remote from the action and still have decent monitoring and a better mic and a better windshield. The physicality will be much better. And hopefully the audio too.

LS-3However, I quite fancy capturing some of the choral singing that will also be going on. Ah, now that is trickier. But I could pack my Audio Developments AD 147, six channel mixer, and run a pair up a tall stand, mix the speech and the music down and on to the Nagra. Job done.

Well nearly. The location is a traditional Anglican church and I don’t really want to be crouched in the front row of the pews with a pile of kit while the event goes on around me, and being a lazy so and so I don’t want to drag a thirty meter multicore with me either.

So instead of these eminently simple and appropriate solutions how about an over complex solution, that may not in fact be suitable at all!

I have an RME Micstasy that will give me eight remote mic preamps and the ability to stuff them all including Midi over Madi down a nice light (and cheap) fibre cable. I can get thirty meters for $40 and carry it in a plastic shopping bag. What’s not to like? Well, I don’t have a Madi equipped recorder and the the matching RME HDSP Madi card normally lives in my studio PC and I don’t really want to drag that out on the road. I can’t afford to break that, I need a suitable substitute. And it has to be cheap.


So what about the case that use to hold a home pc before my son made off with the motherboard? Ideal, it has a decent, very quiet power supply and a couple of quietish SATA drives. That’s a start. I’ve just ordered a used combo mother board/CPU/Ram from Ebay. An old ABIT Pro 35 with a Q9300 and 4 meg of ram. This has three PCI slots and comes with a ZeroTherm silent cooler. I’m stick this lot in the case and see how rugged it is – maybe hot glue the cables in. Has anyone does this – is it easy? Could I cold silicon them in instead? Also I could use Waves Tracks Live, the new multitrack recording software release by Waves. It would be nice to have a one of their DiGiGrid Madi boxes too, but you can’t have everything.

Anyway, motherboard should arrive later this week. I’ll give you a full update. But in the mean time, where is that Olympus LS-3, and why haven’t I written anything about it? Maybe that is next.






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