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  • First of all, I'm surprised the MBox Pro reviews are "horrible." I was not a fan of the older MBox interfaces, but I think the new ones are very good. There's a Pro Review of it where I analyzed a lot of the specs, and they are excellent - as is the construction. They are, however, more expensive on average than other interfaces.



    However, you need to define your needs more precisely. One of the big advantages of the Octa-Capture is that you have eight mic inputs - but do you need eight inputs (are you miking drums or live concerts, for example)? If not, then a Quad Capture might be a better choice. Do you have a laptop because you want to do portable recording? Then you need an interface that's bus-powered and as small as possible.



    This is really a review of the Octa-Capture so I don't want to get into an open-ended discussion on interfaces, but you're welcome to drop into other forums here, like my Sound, Studio, and Stage forum, and start a discussion about interfaces in general. You really need to be specific, though. There are so many interfaces for so many niches that just saying "which interface should I buy" is like saying "which car should I buy."
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    • I just saw a few people say the Mbox does not work well wit MAC and it will crash a lot. Also my friend back home told me " don't get the Mbox for the free protools, the sould quality could be worse than a much cheaper M-Audio. I don't know if it's true since I don't really have chance to try it, so Mbox is still one of my option.

      You were right about the inputs.. I don't really need 8 at the time. I need at least four--- My voice, my friend's guitar, my guitar, and my a keyboard. And I often just do home recording. My need is simple-work well on both MAC (logic) and PC ( protools), I have Win7 installed. I do have performance, but I don't need to provide my own equipment now.



      Could you just give me several options? Which interface has deeply impressed you especially with the sound quality? I am just a girl who love singing, I don't have a band and barely have knowledge of this, the way I know Octa-Capture is from my professor. So I would trust some experts like you

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      • Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
        View Post

        Okay...I finally have your answer for you.



        First, unless Roland knows something I don't, the Octa-Capture has to be the timing master, and the VS-700 has to be the timing slave.



        Second, you can use the SPDIF connection to carry audio. I verified this by sending an output from Sonar though the Octa-Capture SPDIF out, inserting a second track, and setting its input to the VS-700 SPDIF in. The second track received the audio no problem, and by assigning its output to the VS-700 headphones jack, I could monitor the signal.



        So there you have it




        You're the best thanks alot!



        I'll try to figure how I'll use it now

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        • Quote Originally Posted by etunity
          View Post

          For the past few years I've been using a Mackie Onyx 1620, which I thought was a decent device; but, after hearing the Quad Capture, I don't know if I'll ever use it again. I'm wondering if this is simply the march of time – maybe the Blackjack sounds vastly better than my 1620 – or is this something specific to the Roland?




          A lot of it is "march of time." Interfaces get better and better...the Onyx is fairly old at this point. But, there's no question Roland has done a really good job.








          In another forum (GS) your review was being discussed, and someone pointed out that you'd only compared the Octa-Capture to less expensive interfaces – i.e. the $150 Blackjack (I think he was referring to your posted graphics, not the discussion).



          I've covered lots of interfaces here at HC. What I linked to was reviews I had done at the time of the post with those links, and specifically, those that used the same test procedures. Since then I've also reviewed the Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 and Avid's MBox Pro, the latter of which is considerable more expensive (especially on a per-channel basis) than the Octa-Capture. I put the information out there, but if people don't read it, there's not much I can do...



          However, that's also kind of a dumb comment because the Blackjack is a 2 x 2 interface with two mic inputs. At the time the review was written, it was selling for $200 street and the Octa-Capture for $600 street, but the Octa-Capture has eight preamps so on a cost-per-channel basis, the Blackjack was more expensive than the Octa-Capture. Even at today's discounted price of $150 for the Blackjack, multiply that by four to get eight ins, and you're looking at the same current street price as the Octa-Capture.








          Now I'm wondering: how does the sound of the Roland compare to, say, the Babyface?



          I haven't had a chance to check out the Babyface, sorry.








          Well, whatever the answer to that question, I'm still (at one third the price) a very happy camper. And I haven't even started recording yet…



          I predict you will become addicted to Auto-Sense
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          • Can you bypass the preamps????

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            • Quote Originally Posted by varsity
              View Post

              Can you bypass the preamps????




              Only by reducing the gain. As preamps contribute hiss in proportion to gain, that's not much of an issue as the preamps are very low noise.
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              • Craig, thanks for the amazing review. Any plans to compare this with similar powered units from Motu, Presonus, etc?



                There seems to be a lot of choices in this realm of interfaces with 6 to 10 inputs , effects, low latency, good preamps, USB, etc in the approx $400-$700 price range.



                There's also the gravitational pull from the Presonus 16.0.2 that's working hard to get me to up my budget!



                Thanks! (I am an original EM subscriber and only recently threw out all your articles for customizing a CZ101 - that I sold years ago...)

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                • Quote Originally Posted by wolfereeno2
                  View Post

                  Craig, thanks for the amazing review. Any plans to compare this with similar powered units from Motu, Presonus, etc?




                  There are other pro reviews on interfaces (like the MBox Pro) as well as reviews on the "content" side of the site, in the Articles Library. But, there are no plans to do head-to-head comparisons within a single pro review, although if you look back over previous posts, you'll see there are comparisons to other interfaces I've reviewed.



                  There ARE a lot of interfaces, but the more narrowly you define you needs and what would be an ideal interface for you, the easier it will be to narrow to search down to a handful of units.
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                  • Hasn't been so easy! Requirements are 6-12 inputs, some built in mixer functions, good preamps, midi, either USB or firewire, Win 7 support, compact, $400-$700 price range..



                    My shortened shopping list has about 12 units!

                    Presonus 1818VSL

                    Focusrite

                    Motu

                    Roland octacapture

                    Mackie onyx mixer or blacbird

                    M-Audio Fasttack ultra

                    Echo

                    Apogee

                    A used RME



                    Anyway, I'll keep digging. Thanks again.

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                    • I've used the OC for several months now and overall I'm quite happy with it. It is not perfect in every way and here is my list. Not sure if these points have been mentioned before, but I don't recall reading about some of them before I bought one. They are not deal breakers, but strange workflow issues for me:



                      1. To change sample rate, the software cannot control the OC. One must go to the front panel of the unit to change it, then power off & on.



                      2. The OC software control panel/mixer does not show any levels. This is quite inconvenient during live gigs when the OC is not in a convenient place to see the lcd display.



                      3. No midi control of the OC mixer. I'm surprised that this is left out on other interfaces as well. (RME allows this and it is very helpful).



                      4. This may just be my problem, I have the OC connected to a usb hub. If I have to reboot, I also need to power cycle my hub, and I also cycle the OC simultaneously. If I don't do this, the OC is not found after the reboot. I haven't tested cycling the hub alone yet though.



                      5. To change latency, usually have to exit the DAW first or else sometimes it has problems.



                      6. If the compressor is used, it will be recorded. Some situations it would be nice to have the option to record the original, but monitor the compressed.

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                      • Quote Originally Posted by ezang
                        View Post

                        I've used the OC for several months now and overall I'm quite happy with it. It is not perfect in every way and here is my list. Not sure if these points have been mentioned before, but I don't recall reading about some of them before I bought one. They are not deal breakers, but strange workflow issues for me:



                        1. To change sample rate, the software cannot control the OC. One must go to the front panel of the unit to change it, then power off & on.




                        Yes, that's correct. I tend not to change sample rates much in the middle of recording, so it was never much of an obstacle for how I work.








                        2. The OC software control panel/mixer does not show any levels. This is quite inconvenient during live gigs when the OC is not in a convenient place to see the lcd display.



                        I find that inconvenient as well, but as I usually have a recording program open, I look at its meters instead.








                        3. No midi control of the OC mixer. I'm surprised that this is left out on other interfaces as well. (RME allows this and it is very helpful).



                        Just out of curiosity, how do you use this feature? I do my automation within the DAW, so the OC levels are "set and forget." Is this mostly for live mixing or using the OC as a keyboard mixer?








                        4. This may just be my problem, I have the OC connected to a usb hub. If I have to reboot, I also need to power cycle my hub, and I also cycle the OC simultaneously. If I don't do this, the OC is not found after the reboot. I haven't tested cycling the hub alone yet though.



                        I highly recommend you not use a hub. An interface wants the most direct path to your computer as it's shuttling a lot of data, and the hub can be a bottleneck. I used to have a variety of USB issues with interfaces (like interference from hard drives), so I bought a PCIe USB card and dedicated it to interfaces - the hard drives connect to the motherboard USB. Everything became quieter, more reliable, and less glitchy the minute I installed that card.








                        5. To change latency, usually have to exit the DAW first or else sometimes it has problems.



                        Not going through a hub might help this.








                        6. If the compressor is used, it will be recorded. Some situations it would be nice to have the option to record the original, but monitor the compressed.



                        What I'd REALLY like is for the compressor to be pre-A/D so you could set the compression to avoid any kind of input overload. I think the compressors are decent, but I hardly ever use them because I rarely "print" with compression anyway.



                        All good comments, and thanks for sharing your observations (but do try getting the hub out of your system!).
                        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                        • Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
                          View Post

                          Maybe he should try listening before coming to conclusions



                          As to Mbox, I absolutely did not like the preamps on the original Mbox, but the new Mbox Pro has great preamps. Companies DO learn over time...the latest generation Roland preamps are a step up compared to the past ones, but most companies could say that. The new Presonus Xmax preamps, for example, are light years ahead of what they were using several years ago. Ditto the Mackie Onyx preamps.



                          I'd be willing to bet that if your friend did a blind A-B test between the Focusrite and Roland, he would not be able to tell the difference.




                          Great Review. I've also read your review of the Phonic 808. I'm considering the Phonic 808, MOTU Audio Exspress 6X6, the Roland Octacapture in this review or the PreSonus 1818vsl. In a previous post you mention the Presonus xmax preamps. I'm wondering if you have any input on the presonus 1818vsl. I have not been able find any good info on that unit and it seems like it would be comparable to the Octacapture.

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                          • Thanks for the great and detailed review of Octa-Capture.

                            Do you notice any differences in latency when you use Octa-Capture together with VS-700?

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                            • The latency doesn't seem any different. The Octa-Capture and VS-700 have separate USB lines to the computer, so I assume they're not really dividing bandwidth.
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                              • Thanks for the great review.



                                Firstly I was just wondering about the AC adapter on this unit. I live in Europe and don't want to have to use a step-down converter with my audio interface. Is it possible to switch between voltages for this unit and if so could I just order an EU adapter from Roland for my American bought machine?



                                Also, regarding the auto SENS. How does this work exactly? Do I plug in a keyboard, press a button and play for 5 seconds and then it sets the level for me?



                                Also, I'm worried that I will find setting the gates and compressors for all the individal inputs a little overwhelming. I only ever use one analog synth, a bass guitar, a keyboard for pads and an old drum machine with 6 individual outs. How would you recommend that I set up the settings for the pre amps? I don't want to have to mess around with compressors and gates every time I want to jam, but neither do I want to be worrying that my signal is being worsened by having the wrong settings in place.



                                Finally, I wonder about the onboard reverb. What exactly is the point of this? I use keyboards and electronic percussion modules and when I add reverb its there to stay. It seems that this reverb is only audible in the headphones? Is this more of a singer-songwriter thing?



                                Thanks!!

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