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  • #46
    FYI, PreSonus is sending out the replacement Inspire 1394 on Monday! That will let me finish things up.
    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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    • #47
      Hey there, great review on the inspire so far.

      A couple of things I was confused about.

      Is the outside of the box plastic or metal, it appears to be plastic from the pics but I can't really tell.

      Also I originally thought that all 4 inputs were mapped to the connectors in the front; ie the xlrs are channels 1 and 2, and the 1/4"s are channels 3 and 4, and the rca lines in the back were alternate inputs for 3 and 4, but it sounds like it might be a different configuration, where inputs 1 and 2 are mapped to the front, where there is an xlr and 1/4" for each, and then inputs 3 and 4 are solely the rca lines in the back. Which of these configurations is correct?

      Thanks again for the great review, perhaps there are others with the same predicament as me.

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      • #48
        <<Is the outside of the box plastic or metal, it appears to be plastic from the pics but I can't really tell.>>

        Good question. The box itself is all-metal, BUT there's a plastic "shell" around it that's actually pretty tough.

        <<Also I originally thought that all 4 inputs were mapped to the connectors in the front; ie the xlrs are channels 1 and 2, and the 1/4"s are channels 3 and 4, and the rca lines in the back were alternate inputs for 3 and 4>>

        No, that's not the way it is.

        <<but it sounds like it might be a different configuration, where inputs 1 and 2 are mapped to the front, where there is an xlr and 1/4" for each, and then inputs 3 and 4 are solely the rca lines in the back. Which of these configurations is correct?>>

        The second is the one that's correct.
        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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        • #49
          I got a box from UPS with a replacement Inspire 1394. The omens were favorable: This box didn't look like it had been used for a quick pickup game of football.

          So it was time for another try. I unpacked the new one, plugged it in place of the old one, and booted up on the dual G5 Mac. I plugged into the front panel FireWire jack, and although there was an improvement, it was not as much as I'd hoped.

          But I then I plugged it into the rear FireWire jack. Whoa!!! Big difference. It was far quieter. The only way I could hear noise was to enable Boost on the mic preamp, put on headphones, and crank the volume up. And it wasn't much more than you'd expect from a standard mic pre, except that there was a trace of that "firewire whine" to which people alluded on the Mackie thread.

          Onward to Windows...
          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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          • #50
            nd this is where I realized that the real issue had something to do with Mac vs. PC. Or at least, the Mac and PC in my studio.

            I plugged the Inspire 1394 into my ADK dual core Windows machine, and went through the same kind of tests I did before: Mic, guitar, input shorted, with gain, with boost, etc.

            First, it was clear that the first unit must have suffered some problem during shipping, because out of the box, the new one was quieter. With the mic pre gain at max (but Boost off) and a dynamic mic plugged in, the noise floor was a respectable -55dB, as indicated by Sonar's meters. These levels were confirmed in Wavelab as well.

            With these gain settings, I was able to reach full scale on vocals, at "non-screamer" levels. In my judgement, this is the typical performance you could expect with the Inspire 1394, using standard mics and singers. There was occasional spiking higher levels (around -40dB), but although I could see these on the meters, I couldn't hear them.

            Puzzled, I did a spectrum analysis and saw that this noise energy was happening between 20 and 40Hz. No wonder it wasn't really registering on the headphones I was using to try and hear as much detail as possible.

            With the instrument input, the results were excellent: Setting the gain to drive the input to full scale gave a noise floor lower than -80dB. Again, this was mostly in the under 40Hz zone.
            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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            • #51
              So why the difference between the Mac, where I could hear some noise and whine (especially with the front panel Firewire jack), and the PC, where any noise was essentially inaudible with the instrument input, and low enough for all practical purposes with the mic input? Beats me. Maybe sending audio over FireWire is a bit more complicated than people realize, and there are "analog electronics" issues (leakage, grounding, etc.) that don't show up when you're shuttling data but do show up in audio. But I also noticed that my PC laptop performed like the ADK as well, and a Mac G4 performed about the same as the G5.

              In the Mackie 400F thread, as I recall it was mostly people with Macs who complained about the "FireWire whine." (Sorry, I don't have one of the new Macintel machines for testing to see if there's any difference.) I wouldn't consider the levels to be unuseable for demo-type materials, but they certainly don't come close to the performance obtained with a Windows machine.

              It's late, and I'm going to mull this over and perhaps think of some other possible tests...but for now, here's what I'm thinking:

              * Inspire 1394 works really well with PCs.
              * It may work well with some Macs, and it may not. But at least with mine, performance was clearly inferior to running on any of the PCs I tested.
              * Although there is some noise when running with PCs, it's mostly in the 40Hz range and below, whereas with the Mac it's more audible. Adding some sharp highpass filtering on mixdown (which is a good idea anyway, the Inspire isn't the only source of low end energy in a digital system) brings the meter's residual noise reading way down.
              * The mic pres are okay, but not as clean as the ones in the Firebox. For most applications, given the price of the Inspire and its intended audience, they'll do just fine. But if you want to up the quality level, feed a mic pre into the instrument input or the 3-4 line level inputs.

              More tomorrow...
              N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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              • #52
                First of all, I want to thank you for this awesome review. It's really helping me to make my decision about which recording setup to purchase for my PC. I have some concerns, however, that are related to the earlier discussion of 4 simultaneous line level inputs. Forgive me if my question seems somewhat redundant, but I'm still a bit of a noob in the area of audio recording, and I don't fully understand things like line level vs. Hi-Z vs. mic inputs, etc.

                One of the things that I hope to be able to accomplish with the Inspire is to tranfer some 4-track recordings from my TASCAM Portastudio onto my PC to revive some of my "classic" old recordings. The Portastudio has 4 line outs (one for each track) which I'd like to record onto the PC simultaneously. Now, I'm fairly certain you answered my question about whether this is possible with the Inspire when you responded to rc3's question regarding four line level signals from his external pre-amps:

                <<The inputs on the rear of the unit (3 & 4) obviously accept line level, but could the front “instrument” inputs (1 & 2) also be used the same way without “boosting” or affecting the signal?>>

                <<I threw a bunch of line level signals into inputs 1 and 2, no problem as long as you don't turn the gain way up. So I would say that yes, you could definitely use Ins 1 and 2 in the way you describe.

                However, I just want to make sure that this also applies to my 4-track transfer situation as well. What follows are a few of my additional concerns:

                Would the 500k impedence rating of the instrument inputs affect the line level signals I am inputting? If so, how?

                Also, a fellow at my local shop suggested that I should run those line level signals into the mic inputs, not the instrument inputs, but said that I would need to pad the signals to bring the levels down? Is there any advantage to going this route? It seems like more of a hassle to me, if I can just use the instrument inputs as line ins.

                Any feedback you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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                • #53
                  Good questions.

                  << However, I just want to make sure that this also applies to my 4-track transfer situation as well. What follows are a few of my additional concerns>>

                  It should work fine.

                  <<Would the 500k impedence rating of the instrument inputs affect the line level signals I am inputting? If so, how?>>

                  No. This has an effect only with high output impedance sources, which your Portastudio is not, as long as the cables aren't too long (e.g., under six feet).

                  <<Also, a fellow at my local shop suggested that I should run those line level signals into the mic inputs, not the instrument inputs, but said that I would need to pad the signals to bring the levels down? Is there any advantage to going this route?>>

                  No, in fact it will likely produce a noisier result. The instrument ins on the Inspire are really "multi-purpose" kinda inputs that work for a variety of signal sources, including line ins (as long as you keep the volume down).
                  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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                  • #54
                    I have one of these and it sounds great but I never could figure out how to overdub. And sometimes my recordings came out as only static and couldn't be replayed by windows media player until converted to a mp3. Any suggestions?

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                    • #55
                      I have one of these and it sounds great but I never could figure out how to overdub.


                      There's a video on our site that covers recording a track and doing a basic overdub. It's called 'Watch a Recording Example with the Inspire1394."

                      Hopefully it will be helpful to you:
                      http://www.presonus.com/inspire1394videos.html

                      If you still have problems, call us and we'll get you going.

                      Regards,
                      Rick Naqvi
                      www.presonus.com
                      800.750.0323 x0641

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                      • #56
                        << I don’t know if using more units causes a latency hit or other problems, and whether you can still use bus powering for, say, four units or whether you need to get the power supply into action. Hopefully someone from PreSonus is monitoring this and can comment.

                        However, for some reason I couldn’t adjust the preamp gain controls in the Mac Win Shade, but could in the Windows version. I thought perhaps the gain was changing in the Mac applet even though the knobs weren’t moving, but that wasn’t the case. All the other controls in the Apple applet are functional, which leads me to believe this is a bug. For what it’s worth, I’m running Mac 10.4.6, so maybe it’s one of those Mac OS things that seems to trip up designers from time to time.>>>



                        rick??

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                        • #57
                          To my knowledge, chaining multiple Inspires does not increase your latency. In fact, if you record all sixteen inputs at 96k, the latency should actually go down.

                          You can also chain four of them from a single 6pin firewire port with no problem. You will not have to use powersupplies as long as you are not using a 4pin firewire jack like you find on PC laptops commonly. The only exception to this is if you use a Firewire PCMCIA card, you will have to use the powersupply. Even though it's six pin, it doesn't send power through the extra 2 pins. (bummer for PC laptop guys; you Mac laptop guys have a really nice deal because to my knowledge you are the only ones with a 6pin FW port on a laptop)

                          Regarding your Mac Control Panel weirdness: That's a first for me to hear about this. I've demo'ed it at every tradeshow that we have done since we introduced it on a Mac and never saw that problem. I will check with Scott Harrell, our digital products manager, about that one. I'll PM you when I find out something.

                          Cheers,
                          Rick Naqvi
                          www.presonus.com
                          800.750.0323 x0641

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                          • #58
                            that applet problem happened with craig. I was only curious to see what could be wrong with the mac version.

                            thanks for the reply.

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                            • #59
                              So I bought an Inspire...a couple of issues, though. I'm primarily interested in this as an input device for a guitar and mic or guitar and guitar, simultaneously, using GarageBand on a Mac.

                              I have a Mic in Input 1, panned left in the control panel; a guitar in Input 2, panned right in the control panel. I have created 2 new "real" instruments (i.e., one for each) in GarageBand, one for the voice, and one for the guitar. But no matter what I do (assign Line 1 -- in GarageBand -- to the Mic, and Line 2 to the Guitar, etc.), the output for both shows up in both "instruments" in GarageBand.

                              Before I put this on eBay to sell, can anybody offer a suggestion? Perhaps I'm not getting the control panel set properly...I would really appreciate the help, or suggestions for a link.

                              if not, I'll be back with a good sale price on a used-once Inspire!

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                              • #60
                                <<Before I put this on eBay to sell, can anybody offer a suggestion? Perhaps I'm not getting the control panel set properly...I would really appreciate the help, or suggestions for a link.>>

                                Unfortunately, I don't have Garage Band. But I assume that if it's like other recording software, you can assign track inputs to specific hardware interface channels.

                                The applet is all about monitoring the inputs; this is the "zero latency" mixer aspect of the applet. Meanwhile, those four channels are being carried down Firewire into your Mac -- think of it like a PA snake, and you then need to assign the right signals to the GarageBand tracks.

                                The mic/guitar ins are channels 1 and 2, and the are two more channels (3 and 4) for the line ins. With Cubase, the first thing you do is enable these as VST inputs. Once you've done that, with a stereo track, you can choose inputs 1+2 or inputs 3+4. If the track is mono, you can choose among inputs 1, 2, 3, or 4.

                                My guess is that with Garageband, what's happening right now is that each track is stereo and hearing both channels 1+2. Is there some way you can specify a mono track? Failing that, is there some input selector where you can select In 1, In 2, In 1+2, In 3, In 4, In 3+4?

                                In Windows, it often works that way: all possible combinations are available to a program's track input.

                                Don't sell the Inspire just yet, because you may very well have the same problem with other interfaces...let's see if we can figure this out first. Maybe you could do a screen shot of how inputs are assigned?
                                N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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