JoeCo was showing off their BlackBox 24-channel recorders as well. New at NAMM was the Dante interface for easier interfacing with digital consoles. This model joins models that have balanced analog, ATAT, and AES/EBU I/O. I saw these single-rack devices about 6-8 months ago and was immediately intrigued. To use, you simply connect a USB hard drive of your choice to the box, and you're ready to record and play back 24 tracks. The BlackBox features a bright, color LCD screen and a scroll wheel modeled after the click-wheel on an iPod.
- These could be a great way to do virtual soundcheck, depending on your set up. We were told a MADI version is in the works, and since up to 4 of them can be daisy chained together, it would be easy to record up to 96 channels at 24-bit up to 96K audio. And since it records in the Broadcast Wave (BWV) format, you can plug the drive right into the DAW afterward (no proprietary formatting to deal with!)
- They've also done some really cool things like normal the inputs to the outputs in all modes except playback. So that means if you're working on an analog desk using the insert jacks to go out and come back in, even if the power to the BlackBox goes out, your audio remains intact in the PA. That's smart. And when the unit is recording, you have to press Stop for 2 seconds before it will actually stop. Also smart. The BlackBox can be found for somewhere between $2500-3500 depending on I/O.