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Just curious... what's everyone using for their audio interfaces?


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profire 2626. I also have a digimax D8 and toneport UX2 plugged into it digitally (running 18 inputs and 8 out with this setup).

 

 

Things I like:

 

Being able to monitor 16 of those said inputs at once with no latency (well not enough to matter) through the DSP mixer.

 

Having pads on all the analog channels of the profire and all the channels of the digimax.

 

Having the option of having pre fader or post fader meters on the DSP mixer, also having settings for how long the peaks hold (infinite, 3 sec, 1 sec, and off)

 

Having a say what inputs are put first in numbers, I could have the profire's analog inputs set to inputs 11-18, the toneports to 1 and 2 and the digimax's to 3-10 if I wanted to.

 

Having 26 inputs and oututs, it's plenty for my needs.

 

Being able to label all the channel strips on the DSP mixer and save those settings for later recall.

 

Having 7 auxs on the dsp mixer (more than I need personally, I only use 4).

 

Things I wish were different:

 

I don't like that all of the knobs on the profire have this kick in area before they come alive, it's like turning up the master volume on a tube amp there is an area of play before it comes alive. The digimax and the toneport do not have this issue.

 

Wish the phantom power switches on the digimax were on the front, it's rack mounted so I have no option but to leave them all on at all times.

 

Wish the headphone outputs didn't have to be on the same outs as analog 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. However the master volume knob can be assigned to any of the output pairs so that's the work around. The reason I don't like this is when you have your master set to analog out 1 and 2 the volume capability of headphone out one is dependent on the volume of the master knob, which pretty much renders it useless.

 

 

 

Overall I like it alot, it has been considerably less buggy than the presonus firepod I upgraded from a few years back.

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I'm interested in what folks have to say about the various audio interfaces as I am in the market for a new unit myself.

 

Currently using -

 

Eleven rack

 

Pros - Amazing guitar tones - one of the better echoplex recreations I've heard.

 

Cons - Limited input options. The mic pre has been okay for voiceover work, but I wouldn't recommend it for recording semi-serious vocal tracks.

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Zoom R16

 

I like:

- It's quite compact and intuitive to use, with sliders for each channel

- It has 8 inputs and you can use them all at the same time, I think it's one of the most affordable recording devices that allow this. So nice if you want to record with a band.

- Dedicated Guitar input for direct recording.

- I can also link it to my mac and record straight to Logic, but I like that I can record with just the R16, everything into a memory card, don't need to have a super computer to start with. Makes the recording more simple, great for quick recordings to catch ideas.

- I could even use it with batteries! (Recording in the middle of thr mountain anyone?)

 

I didn't care about:

- The internal effefts and mixing stuff included onboard. I'm sure it can be useful but would be a nightmare to use with that one wheel and 2 bottons, too many sub-menus!. Again, I see it as an extra, most people won't use it.

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I have an old Mbox Pro, which I haven't used in a little while, but has done me proud for many sessions. It's very no-nonsense, as many ins and outs as I've ever needed.

 

My lady bought a Prism Sound Orpheus for recording her album. It's gorgeous, lovely clean pres, top notch all over really. Her producer was so impressed he bought one himself.

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Line6 UX2. My recording setup is purely bare bones stuff for doing demos for my own use, not "serious" recording- just the interface, a PC running Cubase and a cheap LDC that I hope can serve for vocals, acoustic guitar etc. I wanted something that I could plug anything in to that I was likely to want to- so line, guitar and XLR inputs, that had phantom power, would be easy for a complete recording n00b to use and didn't cost much. I also wanted the POD Farm stuff to save mic'ing amps and worrying about noise etc. and I liked the direct monitoring capability because I didn't want to be dicking around trying to fix latency issues.

 

For my purposes I'm perfectly happy with it. If I was a more serious home recordist no doubt I'd eventually discover its shortcomings, but I'm not. As it stands, it's all in cupboards and out of use because kids under two and home recording don't really mix.

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2 presonus inspire 1394

 

pros:

small and transportable and cheap

you can cascade them with firewire cables to increase inputs

easy to handle

for my needs good enough/great quality

 

dislikes:

latency on playthrough while playback or not playing anything. latency is handled correctly when you record, but not when you do some tests or adjusting the meters before hitting record (i don't know if this has to do with the interface, with cubase or in general with all interfaces)

 

laptop has only small firewire connector, so no power is coming from there, and both inspires need there own powersupply, even tough they are connected with a big firewire connector cable (i should invest in a pcmcia firewire card with big connector, so i would need no extra powersupply at all)

 

missing additional outputs to have the possibility to make inserts, but i guess at this price level you can't have all

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MOTU 828 mk2 USB.

 

It gets the job done. I like the latency free monitoring options, and it's been a pretty stable recording interface even when pushed to the limit - I frequently use all 10 inputs, at the moment I'm bussing things through the 10 outputs and recording back simultaneously and it's doing it without a hitch.

 

It does have some downsides. The LCD screen started to go dull after only about 18 months, and at this stage (4 years after I got it) it's basically too dark to see except in low light at just the right angle. The two built in mic preamps are abysmal, they're noisy and cheap sounding, so I only tend to use them for things I know will be quiet in the mix like Hi hat/ ride spot mics. With my current set up I can't get it to work at 88.2 or 96khz, I don't know if it's a driver or hardware problem. I use it at 48 because it does sound better than 44.1.

 

In the past I've felt it's got a texture to it that keeps sound from being totally clear and present. I hate using such ambiguous terms, but the sound is a bit dull/ smokey. However, that's improved a lot since I started making an effort to leave plenty of headroom.

 

In all, if I had the money I'd probably spend a grand or so on two or four channels of higher end ad/da, but I'd still use the Motu for extra channels when recording a drum kit/ full band.

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Eleven Rack

 

Pros: Sound and relative simplicity. Fits my needs.

 

Con: A problem with unplugging from the computer, and plugging in again at another time. It doesn't show up under audio interfaces, and requires a driver re-install and a reboot. An annoyance that dampens the plug-and-play aspect of it.

 

I just use two clean settings; one for guitar and one for bass, and use pedals for dirt. Didn't like the default presets much.

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I'm using multiple methods:

 

1. M Audio Delta 1010 / Windows 98SE / Cubase

2. Alesis ioDock / iPad 2 / Garageband

3. Fostex MR8 MKI

4. Tascam 424 MKII

 

The 1010 is great because it has switches for balanced/unbalanced inputs. The downside is that it is PC only. I've been using this system since 2001 without any internet connection or OS upgrades. It has been completely stable for all these years, and boots up as quickly as a MAC. Go figure. Granted, it isn't cutting edge and the software is all way outdated, but I'm not a cutting edge recording engineer trying to cut a Grammy nomination. I just need a reliable way to sketch my ideas into audio files. Most of my effects are pre-interface anyways. I'm not afraid of commitment.

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Presonus audiobox usb 2x2 with garageband. I haven't spent enough time with it to give a decent review, but I can get serviceable sounds running line in, which is good for when the kids are sleeping. Reasonably priced as well.

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RME Audio Hammerfall DSP Multiface II : http://www.rme-audio.de/en_products_multiface_2.php

 

The reasons I bought it:

- It's PCI Express so more than enough bandwidth for large amount of simultaneous tracks recording etc.

- RME are known for their rock solid drivers, never had a single problem.

- Fit's in my 19" (studio) rack and has 8 in's and out's and a host of other connecting options.

- The internal routing in the mixer is brilliant and extremely flexible.

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