Yes, it'll be for a "one man band" with several MIDI hardware synths, modules and drum
machines, so I suppose 8 line inputs would be a good compromise. For the time being I
don't need any mic/guitar etc. inputs but you never know if that might change (then again
I haven't seen an audio card without mic inputs). I also need MIDI.
I reckon with 8
inputs I could record a multi-timbral synth module or drum machine in one go with a track
for each sound source in the DAW.
I haven't quite figured out what the best
way to connect everything together would be (there's obviously more than 8 audio sources
in total with all my synths), for an efficient workflow and less need for re-arranging all
my audio cables, but I do have a 48-input line mixer (Roland M-480, not the "V-mixer"
currently available with the exact same model number (!!!!) -mine's from the early 90s)
and a Behringer audio patchbay (48 connection points I think). It's been years since I was
active making music so my apologies if the solution turns out to be elementary
As for budget; this will be for hobby use so I don't want to spend an overly amount of
money on this, but am willing to pay a little extra for quality and possibly wait a little
longer so I can afford that. The Behringer FCA1616 seems like a good deal but I've heard
an awful lot of bad things about the company, at least in the past. Having read some forum
comments and review though it appears to be a good piece of gear though. Then again I
don't understand all the terms and specifications...
Most of these 19" rack
audio interfaces with a decent number of inputs seem to go for around £ 200-400 or even
500 which makes buying a cheapo 2-input interface very tempting, but I believe that would
be a very short-term investment.
So USB is the way to go, even if you record 8
channels simultaneously along with MIDI? I always thought Firewire was superior to USB.
Are drivers not an issue any longer because current AIs use the built-in native support
of the computer OS? I've been reading about hardware like this becoming obsolete when
people upgrade their OS since the manufacturer won't update their drivers. I'd want to
avoid that if I can.