I'm upgrading my audio interface from an mbox 2 mini to either one of these firewire interfaces and I was just wondering how these compare against each other? The main selling point for me are the preamps. I plan on recording a lot with the guitar, bass, and voice so I'll probably buy the one with the better preamps. I hear a lot of good things about Focusrite preamps but I also hear good things about PreSonus preamps. What is the better interface in this case? I'm leaning more for the Focusrite interface but I want opinions from people who actually used them before.
Also, are there any areas those interfaces don't perform so well at?
Dont know if you understand anything about electronics,
but Focusrite uses Differential preamps.
A differential amplifier helps to increase the common-mode rejection ratio which in turn helps avoid
unwanted signals that couple into the input to get propagated. IT also helps to increase the signal to noise ratio.
Furthermore it provides larger output voltage swings.
In other words, the design of the preamps block noise, gives a wide dynamic range and has a strong output.
Theres also less coloration because they dont require the same coupleing caps between stages used in other
preamps. Transparency is a key in recording. You want to capture exactly what the mic hears and
not have frequencies added or removed by the analog circuitry.
The idea is to capture realistic sound weather it be good or bad without any alteration before its recorded.
If sound is filterd prior to tracking by the analog circuit its lost forever and all the EQing in the world wont get it back.
Its not to say the sound might need EQing later mixing to remove the bad sound captured. You already have filtering
or coloration from the mic itself. A mic is not an eardrum connected directly to the brain. Mic diaphrams will resonate
better at some frequencies better than others and the frequency spectrum it produces will already have altered hills and
valleys before its amplified and converted to digital. If the tonal alteration is limited to the mic only, with no other bottlenecks
then it just comes down to matching the proper mic to the sound source and you'll capture what you hear through that mic.
The other item with presonus istre are allot of reports of connectivity issues.
I've experienced these myself on my buddies setup. It may be a driver issue
or something hardware related I dont know because my experience was with the 8 channel
firebox on a laptop running win 7 64 bit and the drivers were vista which should have worked.
The device kept loosing its ability to see the drivers.
I've read about many others having glitchey problems so my choice would likely be the
Focusrite over the Presonus. I just havent read any bad reviews on the focusrite stuff.
Be sure you use a firewire card with a TX instruments chipset with either though.
It may be the cause of the presonus glitches I've read about and has nthing to do with
the drivers or unit itself.