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ideal budget usb/firewire multi track interface

Discussion in 'Musicians' Forum' started by GuitarGuy, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    whats the best multi track interface i can get for a budget price? also is there any benefit to using firewire over usb? I ask because I'd need to get a dedicated pcie card or usb adaptor if thats the case. ive already got most of my slots filled so yeah it wouldent be ideal. my motherboard has two pci slots and one of them is gonna have a new sound card in one of them, if i put a firewire card in the other I wouldent be able to go sli which I wouldent really be too keen on............

    looking to spend 100-150 pound range, may stretch slightly further if I need to but really, I only need to record acoustic guitar and vocals at the same time, ideally 2 pre amps. 3 would be nice because im considering picking up a pair of condensers to record the guitar in stereo left right.

    at the minuet ive got a behringer xenyx 802 and a numark stereo io and im really not happy with the sound quality. theres quite a bit of signal distortion at low gain levels and also I cant listen to the mix without loads of latency while im playing, so I have to play by metronome and just know where I am from where the signal starts on the screen which pretty much sucks....... (forgot to say specifically that i want a low latency headphone out which also adds the main mix from my daw to it (cubase 5). I'm more than happy to sell my xenyx 802 and probably will in order to cover some of the funds because im quite tight at the minuet. any suggestions?
  2. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 | DV247

    Easily the best you can get for that money at the minute :smashin:

    You won't find a card with 3 pre-amps so you'd have to jump up to 4 which puts the cost up a good bit (for a good one).
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  3. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    How much would I be looking at for four....?
  4. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    Actually 4 pre-amps aren't too common now that I look. I wouldn't highly recommend either of these 2 but they'd be decent enough if you really wanted 4.

    PreSonus AudioBox 44VSL USB Audio Interface | DV247

    M-Audio Fast Track Ultra High Speed 8 x 8 USB 2.0 Audio Interface | DV247

    Most of the better manufacturers go straight to 8 pre-amps which are great for recording entire bands. Really blowing your original budget with these though.

    Mackie Onyx Blackbird Premium 16x16 FireWire Recording Interface | DV247

    MOTU 8Pre Firewire Audio Interface with 8 Mic Preamps | DV247

    Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Firewire Audio Interface | DV247

    If it were my money I'd only be spending it on Focusrite, Motu or Mackie as they have the best pre-amps. (I have the older version of the Focusrite above). Only Motu do a 4 pre-amp unit but it costs the same as the 8 pre-amp one's.
  5. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    thanks for all of the info, whats the difference between using firewire and usb? and i think i may just get a 2i2. can I use two of them together simultaniously? would that work? and would there be much benefit in going to the saphire 6 over the 2i2?
  6. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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  7. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    That should be a decent piece of kit. It's by Avid who make Pro Tools software. You get the SE version for free which should do the business for home recording and save you a few quid on software. Looking at the examples I posted before this one seems to meet all of your requirements and if your budget can stretch that far then go for it :smashin:

    Also a review here with a bit more info
    M-Audio Fast Track C600 Audio Interface Review | Mix Author Brandon T. Hickey Reviews M-Audio Fast Track C600 Audio Interface

    Also worth noting that the older model has dropped to £220. Makes it £69 cheaper but has no software bundled with it.
    http://www.dv247.com/computer-hardw...gh-speed-8-x-8-usb-2-0-audio-interface--47568
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  8. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    I'm not after software tbh, I've already got cubase 5, got it heavily discounted through school.

    As for the c600 vs the fast track ultra, the c600 has better pre's as far as I can tell? Correct me if I'm wrong. Plus it looks like its more feature rich?
  9. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    Yeah the C600 will be better it's just that old chestnut of budget. If that's the budget you've decided on then I'd actually be inclined to go for the Presonus for the better preamps. Check out a review of their 8 channel card from a few years back:

    http://www.presonus.com/media/pdf/firestudio-mt-rev.pdf
  10. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    Their 8 channel card is around the 220 mark?
  11. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    Quick google search says its about 300 more.... Never mind that! 220 I can stretch to, ~ 500 is way too much
  12. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    The 4 preamp card is linked in post 4 and it's £259 compared to the C600 at £289. Was just linking that review to show you the quality of Presonus products :smashin:
  13. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    Ohh right I'm with you now, do you not think the £30 difference is worth it for the feature set on the c600 over the presonus? And how much of a difference in sound quality would there actually be?
  14. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    The point I'm making is that if you are going to up your original budget into this territory then the Presonus is £30 cheaper and has better preamps than the C600 :)
  15. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    How much better are they though?
  16. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    Also I'm planning on running pro tools instead and getting an SSD to run hackintosh on my rig, contrary to popular belief apparently they're relatively stable, especially so with the z68 chipset.
  17. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    It's difficult to say how much better just 'a bit' would be the only answer I could give. However you've just solved any dilemnas as Pro-Tools and M-Audio are manufactured by the same company. Go for the C600 and it should run like a dream with Pro-Tools :smashin:
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    ok I think ill sell my xenyx 802 and numark stereo IO (not bad bits of kit but i wanna step up to multi track), that should net me about 40 quid towards it. (hint hint ;) ) cheers for the pacience, i know i can ask a lot of questions and change my mind very frequently, found out my system runs like a dream in osx lion (know someone with the same set up, and it was in fact better than the mac pro I tried out in birmingham, faster and smoother, and didnt crash or hang like people think hackintosh's are supposed to or something :) ) getting the drives next week, then the interface in a couple months when ive saved up enough :smashin:
  19. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    No problem dude. That's why these forums are so good, with so many members there will always be someone who knows what they're talking about in any given forum :smashin:

    I got this beauty for £289 about 5 years ago, great bit of kit and the price was an absolute steal. Was just using it the other night to record a 7 piece band. 8 Focusrite preamps mmm :)

    Focusrite Saffire Pro 10 - Picture 1 - Wikizic
  20. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    Where did you steal that from then!? I take it that £289 was all you had at the time which you left because you felt guilty? ;) fantastic find.......... By that percentage price drop I'd be able to get that c600 for 20 quid! :L goodness me!

    But yeah cheers pal. I'd love to hear a recording some time?
  21. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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  22. duncfunk

    duncfunk Active Member

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    They are seriously budget mics. They'll do a job but it's a bit like asking if a Kia Picanto is a good car to drive :laugh:

    I would seriously recommend getting one good large diaphragm condenser mic and recording in mono. It's much more effective to double track a guitar than to record it in stereo. You'll also be able to use the same mic for vocals although not at the same time obviously. Have a quick read of this from SOS:

    Q. Can you advise on recording acoustic guitar in stereo?

    My suggestions depending on budget:

    SE Electronics SE2000 & Free sE Studio Pop Shield | DV247

    sE Electronics SE2200A & Shockmount | DV247

    Rode Rode NT1-A Complete Vocal Recording Solution | DV247

    The SE and Rode are good all rounders for the price whereas the SE2000 is a budget option. A pop shield is great for vocals too as it reduces the popping effect of 'P' and 'B' sounds. Some mics come bundled with one, like the Rode, but they only cost £20.
  23. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    I'm considering selling my ibanez afs 75t neo western black edition, I don't use it enough and they seem to be going for the 400 mark these days, I could also sell my other recording bits including my current large diaphragm condenser (was one I got for like £50 on ebay, not even sure what the model is) that should net me about 475, then I could go and buy a c600 and the NT1-A and possibly an sm58, while still leaving me the money to finally get myself that Logitech g940 flight sim set I've been dreaming of since I was about 15! :L
  24. GuitarGuy

    GuitarGuy Active Member

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    ok so ive sold my guitar and all, now im looking at the c600 and it looks like a lot of people have had problems with the channel 3 and 4 of the interface? think im going to get the PreSonus AudioBox 44VSL thanks for all your help.

    that said im torn between the presonus and an akai EIE pro at £200.....
    Last edited: May 15, 2012

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