I have need from time to time to multitrack multiple speakers and have found the Alesis HD24 recorder to be a great choice. I have one recorder along with a MOTU Digital Timepiece which accepts WC and TC and locks the Alesis to both. Use a TC slate or clapsticks for sync. What is nice is the Alesis records in its own format (FST) and you can then transfer the audio files into whatever format you need, SD, Wav, etc. The down side is it only records to one drive, so there is no backup, however throughout the day I typically mirror to the second drive. The recorders are cheap enough you could roll two at a time for your backup. Mixer wise, a Yamaha 01V96 gives you 16 inputs with 16 ADAT outs or a Yamaha DM1000 will give you 24 in and 24 ADAT outs. The cost for two Alesis recorders and 01V96 is a lot less than one SD 788T! On the other hand it is a bigger package. Managing the data is simple one track per person per day.