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  • Best, most reliable audio interface under $300?

    I'm tired of my under-documented, complicated Roland VM3100pro interface. What is the best and most reliable audio interface under $300? I'm a composer and only record acoustic guitars and vocals - everthing else is VI. Any suggestions? Craig? I'm looking at the Line 6 UX2 but am open for suggestions.
    &quot;Admittedly, it is difficult to reason people out of positions they didn't use reason to attain.&quot; - Craig Anderton<br><br>Programmer's Logic: &quot; If I can tell you why it doesn't work it's OK that it doesn't work.&quot; - me<br>Tech Support Logic: &quot; If I can't tell you why it doesn't work it's not our fault.&quot; - me<br>

  • #2
    Which program do you use? If it's Cubase, I'd recommend the CI2 because it has controller functions as well as an interface. Also, do you ever need more than just three inputs? (I'm assuming stereo for guitar, mono for voice) - like do you record using room mics?
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    • #3
      Which program do you use? If it's Cubase, I'd recommend the CI2 because it has controller functions as well as an interface. Also, do you ever need more than just three inputs? (I'm assuming stereo for guitar, mono for voice) - like do you record using room mics?


      I use it with Sonar 8. I need the following:

      2 mic inputs
      stereo input for my Roland XP80 (record and monitor)
      3 inputs for my POD Farm (stereo monitor & DI)
      MIDI (i could possibly do gop with an outboard MIDI i/o))
      &quot;Admittedly, it is difficult to reason people out of positions they didn't use reason to attain.&quot; - Craig Anderton<br><br>Programmer's Logic: &quot; If I can tell you why it doesn't work it's OK that it doesn't work.&quot; - me<br>Tech Support Logic: &quot; If I can't tell you why it doesn't work it's not our fault.&quot; - me<br>

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      • #4
        If I get the Line 6 UX2 I would need 2 less inputs since it would monitor Pod Farm along with the DAW.
        &quot;Admittedly, it is difficult to reason people out of positions they didn't use reason to attain.&quot; - Craig Anderton<br><br>Programmer's Logic: &quot; If I can tell you why it doesn't work it's OK that it doesn't work.&quot; - me<br>Tech Support Logic: &quot; If I can't tell you why it doesn't work it's not our fault.&quot; - me<br>

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        • #5
          If I get the Line 6 UX2 I would need 2 less inputs since it would monitor Pod Farm along with the DAW.
          &quot;Admittedly, it is difficult to reason people out of positions they didn't use reason to attain.&quot; - Craig Anderton<br><br>Programmer's Logic: &quot; If I can tell you why it doesn't work it's OK that it doesn't work.&quot; - me<br>Tech Support Logic: &quot; If I can't tell you why it doesn't work it's not our fault.&quot; - me<br>

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          • #7
            Would the Apogee Duo be appropriate for your needs? Is it under $300?
            I'm thinking my Mac loving pal means a Duet, but that unit is Mac only and the OP is one of us quirky individualist Sonarites, and, so, a darksider.

            (See, this is the cool think about Sonar. You get immediate inclusion in an identifiable ethnocybergeocultural group, the Sonarites. What other DAW comes with that? Well, I did read someone refer to Logic users as Logicians, but the context seemed to imply a certain ironic distance. Cubasoids? Reaperers? Pro Toolians? Nah... but Sonarites. Everyone says it. )

            ‚Äč
            music and social stuff

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            • #8
              The new PreSonus FireStudio seems to have everything you need for $300.00, and the specs look great. I'm getting one myself soon and I use Sonar as well(currently with the older FireBox). Here's a link.
                <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;If Obama wins a second term I will leave the forum&quot;. - Visconti</div>

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                • #9
                  I'm thinking my Mac loving pal means a Duet, but that unit is Mac only and the OP is one of us quirky individualist Sonarites, and, so, a darksider.

                  (See, this is the cool think about Sonar. You get immediate inclusion in an identifiable ethnocybergeocultural group, the Sonarites. What other DAW comes with that? Well, I did read someone refer to Logic users as Logicians, but the context seemed to imply a certain ironic distance. Cubasoids? Reaperers? Pro Toolians? Nah... but Sonarites. Everyone says it. )


                  Yes, that was it. Duet. Wasn't sure if it were appropriate since I know little about it but Mac lovers seem to sing its praises. Sonarites. Nice. I've heard great things about that program.

                  BTW, while I do use a G5 Mac for my audio, please bear in mind that it was given to me and that I use a PC for other stuff. They're all just tools. I know that you didn't mention any of this stuff and I'm simply spouting, but no matter...I'm saying this because I can!!
                  Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Alndln2;37044434]The new PreSonus FireStudio seems to have everything you need for $300.00, and the specs look great. I'm getting one myself soon and I use Sonar as well(currently with the older FireBox). Here's a link.


                      Very interesting! This is exactly what I need. My only concern would be that many problems have been reported with the DiceII chips and Sonar - at least in the previous generation of PreSonus. I'd be interested in finding out who is using this with Sonar.
                    &quot;Admittedly, it is difficult to reason people out of positions they didn't use reason to attain.&quot; - Craig Anderton<br><br>Programmer's Logic: &quot; If I can tell you why it doesn't work it's OK that it doesn't work.&quot; - me<br>Tech Support Logic: &quot; If I can't tell you why it doesn't work it's not our fault.&quot; - me<br>

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                    • #11
                      BTW, while I do use a G5 Mac for my audio, please bear in mind that it was given to me and that I use a PC for other stuff. They're all just tools. I know that you didn't mention any of this stuff and I'm simply spouting, but no matter...I'm saying this because I can!!


                      wow, you got new curtains!

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                      • #12
                        Very interesting! This is exactly what I need. My only concern would be that many problems have been reported with the DiceII chips and Sonar - at least in the previous generation of PreSonus. I'd be interested in finding out who is using this with Sonar.
                        I hear ya. When it comes to Dice 2, I think it comes down to PC configuration/chipset and maybe some improvements on Sonars end and/or driver improvements. Iv'e seen posts over at the Sonar forum of some users using the TC Konnekt(Dice 2) problem free while others report problems, and a friend of mine uses the PreSonus FireStudio Project(Dice 2 as well) with Sonar 6 quite reliably on a Q660 Gateway destop with a TI FW chipset. Most stores like GC will let you take it back if it's not working out, and with these specs/features at this price range it's worth a shot, at least for me it will be. Other options would be the Echo Audio Fire 4 and perhaps the Focusrite Saffire LE(both $300.00). The older FireBox doesn't use Dice 2 and the price dropped to $199.00. I use it myself with Sonar currently problem free.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;If Obama wins a second term I will leave the forum&quot;. - Visconti</div>

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                        • #13
                          Very interesting! This is exactly what I need. My only concern would be that many problems have been reported with the DiceII chips and Sonar - at least in the previous generation of PreSonus.

                          These problems are always on the run, so what you read last week doesn't necessarily apply to you at the time you make a purchase. PreSonus has a list of compatible and incompatible Firewire chipsets on their web site, but it's not always simple to tell just what chipset you have. (why doesn't someone come up with a program to identify it?)

                          That's not an insurmountable problem, though, since unless your computer is out of space, there's a way to add an external Firewire interface, a CardBus or ExpressCard in a laptop or a PCI card in a desktop computer. And it's possible to find add-on Firewire cards that state what chipset they use.

                          For what it's worth, I've had two DICE-based audio devices here for review, an Allen & Heath ZED-R16 (DICE Jr.) and PreSonus StudioLive (DICE II I think) and both worked fine with Sonar (the A&H came bundled with a lite copy, which worked with the PreSonus) and the A&H worked with four different Firewire ports that I have here, two of which had chipsets on PreSonus' "good" list, one not on either list, and one with an unidentified chipset.

                          Still, people do have problems, and most of them get solved by throwing a little more money at the problem. Pick the interface that does the job you need, gives you a little room for expansion, and leave a little mad money in your bank account in case you need to buy another card or cable. 4-pin Firewire connectors (universal on PC laptops) are often a problem because they're so small and some don't fit snugly.
                          --
                          "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                          Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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