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Old audio interface died, need advice on picking a new one

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  • Old audio interface died, need advice on picking a new one

    Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on a new audio interface replacement.

    What I'm replacing: M-Audio ProFire 2626

    My initial concern: Currently I record in 32 bit (float) / 48 kHz. Am I going to run into issues on my currently unfinished mixes if my replacement interface can only do 24 bit? I've never done a downward bit conversion like that on an active/unfinished project, and I am really scared of compromising what I've already spent a ton of time on.

    What I need out of an interface: I currently only use the interface for vocals, guitar (through FX pedal), and a bass guitar (DI). Vocals are the most important aspect of my music, so having a good sounding and clean/low noise preamp is a must.

    My computer set up (just in case that is important): i7 processor, 16gb RAM, Windows 10, Cubase Pro 8 DAW, KRK VXT6 monitors

    My budget: I probably want to keep this under $1000, but am not opposed to going over for something that would might be considered crucial.

    Lastly, I'm currently using an Audio Technica AT2020 mic for my vocals. If anyone has some recommendations for a mic upgrade as well as the interface, I'd love to hear it. I've heard good things about Rhodes, but not sure what to expect in terms of quality improvement.

    Anyways, that kind of sums it up. I searched for hours online yesterday to find a replacement, but quickly became lost in a sea of positive and negative reviews for every product under the sun, without any verifiable way to tell if one really was better than any other. Also, I'm not in a great position to get out and test or hear equipment. So, testing mics and/or interfaces before I buy isn't really an option...not ideal, I know, but that's the reality of the situation.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks ahead of time for any input. I greatly appreciate it!
    M-Audio ProFire2626Cubase 5Izotope Ozone 52.8GHZ Quad Core Intel Processor4GB RAMKRK VXT-4

  • #2
    I've used M-Audio stuff for about 10 years so I know they're capabilities pretty well. The differences between many interfaces are pretty small now.

    I picked up a 6 channel Tascam US-1200 for $80 for doing solo stuff and it sounded much better (better preamps) then the M-Audio.
    I liked it so much I bought another used one off EBay for remote stuff.

    I plan on buying their 16 channel US-1600 pretty soon so I can replace my PCI card setup I've been using for a long time now. The 1600's sell in the $250 range wheich is fantastic for the quality and features. They have 8 mic preamps and 8 balanced/unbalanced line inputs. I think they have 8 outs too if you do surround mixing. They are by far the best bang for the buck and built super solid in metal rack units.

    Focusrite makes some good units. They use differential preamps which can cancel out noise making them very quiet, but they are very expensive. I'm not convinced its because they're quality is that much better, Its simply because they flooded the market and advertise with the big retailers heavily. They're 8 channel is three times the cost of the Tascam and its only got 8 channels.

    15 years ago I had planed on going with a MOTU system. They has some very good stuff over the years. I just set up a high end laptop with a 64 bit system which also has VST3 and Thunderbolt ports. I'm probably going to bide my time and wait till the interfaces come down in price before using anything better then the Tascam on that one. It smokes even running USB2 so I have no need to use anything better with that one.

    The only thing I could use is a stronger preamp for my ribbon mics. Most ribbons are low output so any interface is going to have the same issues. I can get by with a cloud lifter using those however so its not a major priority.