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


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A long time ago I purchased a TASCAM US-224. The learning curve on Cubase was annoyingly steep, the driver issues then extent with Windows (Me! 2000! XP!) were atrocious, and I gave up on recording to a computer. I bought a TASCAM DP-008 and went back to linear (though it stores things digitally).

 

Honestly, I find the whole "interface and software" thing a massive frustration. If I am smart enough to:

* Understand full scale 24/48 track studio soundboards running 2" tape

* Have a management position with a SAAS ("Software As A Service") company

* Bias amp tubes with a multimeter and set intonation on a guitar

* etc. etc. etc.

 

... I shouldn't be facing a 10 hour self-help session to {censored}ing record to a PC. Yeah, I bought a "For Dummies" book - it was useless.

 

I know things have progressed since, and I get annoyed with myself for not simply making the jump, but honestly, I like the TASCAMs so much (thinking of the DP024) why should I bother? If I'm careful, I can still get great sound and use the same sad skills I learned back in the 80's, when I had TIME to invest in such things. Nowadays it's "learn this, learn that" ... frigging FaceBook thinks I have the time to relearn their damn interface every three months!

 

OK, rant mode: off. I would LOVE an interface that employed the following features:

* quiet as possible, 24-bit recording

* at least four simultaneous inputs (must have choice of XLR or 1/4" and phantom power for all)

* true plug and play

* higher-quality controls - no plasticky sliders, thanks. One nice thing about the DP008 - it's a rugged little bastard.

* Portability. This should be a primary consideration - needs to fit in laptop bag with laptop.

* Foot controller included for start/stop at least

 

I'm thinking that someone could put that together for $200 and do a real nice job on the electronics and build.

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I think mine is considered pretty old now. I use an Echo Layla 24/96. When I got it I was soooooo happy. 8 simultaneous ins and outs was a dream for me. I could finally do live separate drum tracking. The UI is pretty no frills but the driver is stable. I don't update my studio computer because everything works and it is not connected to the internet. Don't screw with a stable computer in the studio... I'm using Cubase 4 studio software.

 

Other than that I run through an Alesis Studio 24 mixer then direct out the channels to the Layla. I have a little rack with a couple pieces in it. I use a patch bay to plug them in where I need them. I have 2 pre-amps, a Joe Meek VC-6 and a little Bellari MP110 tube pre. Both are single channel. I use the Joe Meek more for vocals and the Bellari more for acoustic instruments.

 

All that said, I might completely re-work the studio this year and go Mac and look for an 8 in/8 out interface for that.

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Tascam US-1641

 

I like that it has up to 14 simultaneous channels (8 xlr, and 6 1.4"), ad/da converters are usable, and there's plenty of gain and headroom with a decently low noise floor. Works great for tracking everything from guitars to full drum kits, I use 3 dual channel behringer preamps (1 stereo, 2 dual mono) to utilize the 1/4" inputs as best as possible, especially when tracking drums. I also like that 2 of the 1/4" inputs can be used at guitar impedance so you can track scratch guitar and bass tracks while putting the real drum tracks to tape.

 

I do not like that only 10 of the inputs (8 xlr's and 2 1/4") have gain controls and 4 of the 1/4 just have a pad, also the knobs seem a little cheap and sometimes flimsy, other then that no issues.

 

 

We also use a Digi002 into protools for tracking alot of the stuff for the band i'm in right now, the sound quality is nice, and the fact that it leaves alot of memory and cpu power for the computer is nice, but like every single Digi002 i've ever used the pot's are scratchy as heck, and it's stability and reliability is that of a stoner working at a burger joint.

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Firestudio%20Mobile.jpg

 

I love how it sounds! I had heard good things about their preamps and have not been dissapointed. It's been reliable. Doesn't randomly crash like my Delta 44 did. Has MIDI. Have not played around with routing, but it seemed flexible-ish.

 

My only gripes are minor.

 

1. I don't like "stepped" potentiometers. It feels weird. Give me smooth action please.

 

2. Firewire is becoming increasingly irrelevant with USB 2 and 3. My new computer's motherboard doesn't have integrated FW so I needed to buy a PCI card for it.

 

3. Becomes really hot on top when plugged in. Even if you're not using it. Phantom on or off doesn't seem to impact the heat.

 

Overall very happy with it.

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I use a Zoom G3 effects unit, it's not a 'real' interface, and it's not intended to be, but it surprised me with how useful it is. I'd like a proper interface so I can go 24 bit and output to monitors properly.

But as a tool for putting down ideas, or even demoing tracks, it's pretty good.

 

It's a pain to get decent level for vocals though as there's no XLR in.

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Mbox 2

 

I was taking a recording class at the local community college and i learned basic protools there so I wanted to get the software I had some use on. Cheapest (at the time) protools system I could get with with MIDI. It is easy to set upd and break down which is great since I have no space for a music spot and I can take it with me when I go to play with people.

 

the down side is it would be very difficult to record drums or a full live band if I ever wanted to but since it is just me it has not been an issue so far.

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Lexicon Omega. It's a pretty old unit by now, but still works. USB 1.1. :freak: I've always used some version of Cakewalk with it, currently on Sonar 8.

 

Likes: phantom power built in, 6 inputs, good audio quality

 

Dislikes: 1) No Windows Vista support (not an issue now), but I bought a Vista laptop to do some recording at a friend's house, couldn't downgrade to WinXP due to Vista-only SATA disk drives. Fuuuuuuu..... 2) No ON/OFF switch, and wall-wart powered. 3) LED meters aren't working correctly - not a big issue because I monitor the input levels on the DAW.

 

I had some weird flakiness issues with this box, and was going to send it to Lexicon for repair, but just kind of blew it off. Hooked it up again later, probably to a newer computer, and it's worked great since then.

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I'm using a pair of Digidesign 192 interfaces (one regular and one digital). The digital one goes to a Tascam DM-3200 for monitoring and it's my control surface in ProTools and my external pres go to the analog one.

 

I keep them in the closet because the fans are noisy:

 

11-6.jpg

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i use a presonus firebox. it works with my imac/logic and i havent pushed the limits of the computer/DAW yet.

and i only really record 1 mic at a time...thou ive been starting to try out 2 mics.

it has 2 other inputs (total of 4 which i can record simultaneosly...havent yet) which need preamps, but i just plug DI into them with amp modellers

 

id like to get a nice mic preamp, just dont know if i can justify it for what i do (youtube demos, occassional song writing/scratch tracks)

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Tascam US-800. I got it because of the price and features. Got it for $99 new when they were blowing them out. I like all the inputs and the preamps are pretty dang good. The number of inputs makes it easy to experiment with mic placement with one take. I also like the two headphone jacks. That defeats the need for a headphone amp for my uses.

 

Only con was the useless software that it came with and the difficulty getting it to work with Win 7 (wasn't really that difficult though).

 

tascam-us800-main-660-80.jpg

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M-Audio Profire 610

 

It seems to deliver nice sound quality at a reasonable price.

 

Occasionally I've had to restart it, though as it will lose sound every once in a while. Not sure why.

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I have used an mbox 2 and recently downgraded to a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 which is more than plenty for what I use it for

 

Major concerns are always clipping and latency as well as driver support, I use it mainly to play into Amplitube 3

 

I also use a Apogee Jam for the iPad and the new version of AmpliTube for iPad supports it. However comparing it to my PC set-up is doesn't really compare latency or quality wise. I can't seem to get the Apogee Jam to work with my Windows PC although it does come with a USB connector. It is supposedly supported in MacOS.

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I use the cakewalk/Roland vs-100. I finally abandoned my mlan Yamaha 01x setup to get into something more portable and not FireWire. The vs-100 is small, sounds great, has up to 8 inputs, has useful control-surface functionality, and integrates with sonar (which I decided to switch over to).

 

Didn't see myself recording bands anymore, so I thought of it as a downgrade. But here I am, tracking drums with it for my new band, and the sound quality is more than merely acceptable. The pres are ok on it, but they are not my go-to. I use some outboard preamps and I'm getting fantastic results from this thing.

 

I was excited by the on-board digital mixer functionality, but it's only bear bones.

 

However, you can record two tracks stand-alone, without using a computer, which is a cool feature!

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Apogee Duet (the old Firewire version)

 

Outstanding sound quality, built like a tank. Only 2 channels, but if I need more I just borrow an Ensemble. No fuss / no muss with Live and Logic.

 

On the down side, it took Apogee a while to get Maestro ported over to Lion and I can pretty much guarantee they will not support it through another OS revision cycle. FW800 means either sticking with my current MBPro or dealing with a goofy Thunderbolt dongle to use it with anything newer.

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omega.png?1337115696

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+s

Perfect for my use, solo acoustic recording. Good audio quality. Phantom Power.

 

-s

About the only complaint is an issue with the system losing something in the installation/operation software and so periodically requiring an un-installation and re-installation.

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Mackie Onyx 1202 w/ firewire card

onyx1202.jpg

I've had this for a couple years now. Previously had a Presonus Firepod (which was pretty good). The biggest improvement over the Firepod is that this is a fully functional mixer. I bought it with the purpose of using in both studio and live environments, and it definitely works well in both. The pre's have a decent amount of gain, and there are a lot of routing options with the auxes inserts. It runs great along side my MBP and all the software I use...

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