Sweetwater Sales Engineer Nika Aldrich recently did a recording project in the Seattle area and as a result came up with the following question and answer as a result of the work he was doing.
Question: I have a Mackie HDR24/96 and I recently did a recording on it of a bunch of tracks. Because they’re .WAV files I thought I’d just transfer them in to my DAW via FTP. I have several pieces of software to do this with, but none of them seemed to work (Digital Performer, Logic, ProTools, various conversion apps, etc.). What gives?
Answer: The Mackie digital products do not write a “complete” .WAV file when they record, thus they can’t be opened by some computer applications. What you need to do on the HDR24/96 is “render” the audio tracks. This will burn .WAV files onto the Mackie hard drive. Then you can FTP the rendered .WAV files to your workstation and import them into the application of your choice. There are also some file conversion utilities that will make usable files from the Mackie without you having to render them. The one we know for sure works is Barbabatch, by Audio Ease. There are some others that appear to work, but only create a 16-bit final product.
The reason the native Mackie files don’t work is due in part to its allocation of hard drive space. They break the drive space up into small parts so even when you record one, long continuous track (file) the Mackie is breaking it up. This enables them to avoid certain types of fragmentation problems. These smaller files don’t have all the header information a typical .wav file has. When you render on the Mackie it creates one large file from those pieces that has all of the .wav info included.