You are here

Help me pick an interface please!

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:47 am

Got to scrap my old Tascam FW1804 as the bastards aren't supplying Mac drivers for it any more. So here's my shortlist. Any thoughts, worries, recommendations? As you can see, I'm looking for 8 ins into a Mac. Don't care if it's FW or USB but FW seems to be dead now.

Mackie Onyx Blackbird Firewire £298
Focusrite Saffire Pro 40FW  £399
M AUDIO Profire FW 2626 £399
Tascam US2000 USB £371
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB £399

Thanks for your help, chaps. 8-)
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:47 pm

Do you need eight mic inputs, or just line ins? I think all of your short listed interfaces have been reviewed, but you could also check out MOTU, Presonus, Roland, Steinberg and Echo in that price range.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1989
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:00 am

 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby The Elf » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:51 pm

RME's newer Fireface does USB.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10101
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:02 pm

I think all of your short listed interfaces have been reviewed,


Not the Scarlett as far as I could see. It's the newest one too which maybe why. I read all the others but wanted any additional user feedback. The Tascam for example had XLRs which wouldn't release on your test model!!! Anyone bought one/know if this is fixed? (Having said that, altought the Tascam has the most ins, I'm very unimpressed with their support as per my OP. Don't want to get another one which becomes redundant almost overnight). Don't need 8 mic amps, necessarily. Currently have 4 line ins (one stereo, two monos), three mics and one channel for DI guitars. Why is the Mackie £100 cheaper than the others for a v similar spec?
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Skerrick » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:18 am

i have a scarlett 2i4 and the quality of the unit is immense, based on that id go for focusrite or motu or presonus. trust the industry standards.. given that a lot of other companies buy parts made by focusrite to go into their units, that should speak volumes on what your final decision should be.

look at focusrite rednet (not sure of the price) but that uses ethernet to pretty much eliminate latency.

having said that the 2i4 obviously wont have enough inputs for what you want but company/brand/quality wise i did a lot of research before buying it and focusrite cameout on top... theyve also teamed up with novation recently just by the by so im expecting big tings.
User avatar
Skerrick
Regular
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby The_BPP » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:01 am

I have the focusrite unit you're referring to, and it is of excellent quality. If you only require 4 inputs, you could also consider the Roland Quad Capture.
User avatar
The_BPP
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Lincolnshire

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Skerrick » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:51 am

The_Big_Piano_Player wrote:I have the focusrite unit you're referring to, and it is of excellent quality. If you only require 4 inputs, you could also consider the Roland Quad Capture.

almost bought a duo capture.. heard lotsa good tings about roland too. :)
User avatar
Skerrick
Regular
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:31 am

look at focusrite rednet (not sure of the price) but that uses ethernet to pretty much eliminate latency.


One look at the prices and I had to go and lie down in a darkened room!
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby pa28 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:52 am

I have the Focusrite Pro40FW can't recommend it highly enough.
pa28
Regular
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:00 pm
Location: u.k. London

 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby The_BPP » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:08 pm

Skerrick wrote:
The_Big_Piano_Player wrote:I have the focusrite unit you're referring to, and it is of excellent quality. If you only require 4 inputs, you could also consider the Roland Quad Capture.


almost bought a duo capture.. heard lotsa good tings about roland too. :)


I have both the Roland OctaCapture and the Focusrite 18i20, and the Roland has slightly better pre-amps. Both have an onboard DSP mixer, but the Roland has latency-free reverb, and compression on each channel.
User avatar
The_BPP
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Lincolnshire

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby chris... » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:21 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:Do you need eight mic inputs, or just line ins? I think all of your short listed interfaces have been reviewed, but you could also check out MOTU, Presonus, Roland, Steinberg and Echo in that price range.
MOTU 8pre might be worth a look.

( has mic inputs, not just line ins )
User avatar
chris...
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2720
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Glasgow

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:39 pm

Thanks for the suggestion but it doesn't have an instrument DI.
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Leo Janssens » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:48 pm

After careful select, I went for MetricHalo. Never regretted it. Check it out.
All the best.

Leo
Leo Janssens
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby chris... » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:26 pm

Huge Longjohns wrote:Thanks for the suggestion but it doesn't have an instrument DI.
According to p10 of the manual the 8pre has:

"Eight rear-panel combo (XLR/TRS) jacks with
preamps, phantom power and 20 dB pad let you to
connect a microphone, guitar or any quarter-inch
input. The XLR jack serves as a low-impedance mic
input, and the TRS jack serves as a high-impedance
guitar/instrument input."
User avatar
chris...
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2720
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Glasgow

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:45 pm

Well researched, Batman, I stand corrected. But a guitar input on the back of a rackmount unit is about as much use as..well, a guitar input on the back of a rackmount unit. Unless you have a patchbay, or course, but I dumped mine about ten years ago! Looks like a nice piece of kit though.
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby chris... » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:40 pm

I'm gonna need something similar in the not too distant.

I don't need guitar inputs, but would prefer all the mic inputs on the back, which the MOTU has, whereas the Focusrite 18i20 has 2 on the front, and only 6 on the back.
User avatar
chris...
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2720
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Glasgow

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Skerrick » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:58 am

Huge Longjohns wrote:
look at focusrite rednet (not sure of the price) but that uses ethernet to pretty much eliminate latency.


One look at the prices and I had to go and lie down in a darkened room!

hahaha yeah man! seeeerious business, cant be beaten though in terms of latency and quality man, cant wait for ethernet tech to become cheaper haha!

im a hobbyist man so i cant afford/dont need anything more than the ability to capture more than two inputs at once..
ergo, i only went for the 2i4..
really want a VRM box just for the portability.. ;)
User avatar
Skerrick
Regular
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:54 am

I don't need guitar inputs, but would prefer all the mic inputs on the back,


Yes, I don't really get interfaces with 8 mic inputs on the front. If it's in a rack it's just not practical and looks a right mess too. I'm sure there must be a good reason to do it but I can't think of one at the moment. :beamup:
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby mhaigh » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:38 pm

maybe add in the Fast Track Ultra 8R - around £325, has 8 preamps and is USB - I know the PC drivers have had pretty good reviews for low-latency...
User avatar
mhaigh
Regular
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:00 am
Location: Hockley, Essex

 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:34 pm

Not sure who's handling the Profire these days, they kind of split the range between Avid and Inmusic when the brand change hands, so you may want to look into who holds it and what support is like currently.

Focusrite FW since MixControl 3 (when TC did the driver rewrite) are top notch now. I'd probably go for either the Scarlett or the Sapphire out of that list just for the UK based support team although I do like the Onyx from the admittedly limited time I've spent with it.
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2563
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:51 pm

maybe add in the Fast Track Ultra 8R - around £325


Yes, cheers, that fits the bill. Looks like it's discontinued as it's not on the M Audio site anymore. Makes a bit nervous after my lack of support issue causing the forced purchase in the first place!
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby mhaigh » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:31 pm

Huge Longjohns wrote:
maybe add in the Fast Track Ultra 8R - around £325


Yes, cheers, that fits the bill. Looks like it's discontinued as it's not on the M Audio site anymore. Makes a bit nervous after my lack of support issue causing the forced purchase in the first place!

ah sorry didn't realise that,it's a shame as that was a good product. it's on the Avid site under legacy products so unlikely to get further OSX updates, so i'd leave it....
User avatar
mhaigh
Regular
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:00 am
Location: Hockley, Essex

 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Russell B » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:44 am

Well I recently invested in 2 Steinberg Yamaha interfaces and I am extremely happy with them. They might not be the best DA/AD converters on the market but the advantage of the Reverb that comes with them has made a big difference to my mixes, my 4 outboard reverbs stand idle in the rack.
The quality of the sound in my studio took a big leap forward (IMO) when I changed from Motu to Steinberg

Just my 2cents worth

Cheers Russell
Russell B
Regular
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:00 pm

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby mhaigh » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:18 pm

Russell B wrote: They might not be the best DA/AD converters on the market
The quality of the sound in my studio took a big leap forward (IMO) when I changed from Motu to Steinberg


Cheers Russell

lol
User avatar
mhaigh
Regular
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:00 am
Location: Hockley, Essex

 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:51 pm

I had been using the Tascam US1641 for about 4 years with Cubase4 and then Cubase6, and after I changed my OS to Windows 7, the driver was starting to show signs of age and the unit started acting a bit wonky.

I preordered the Focusrite 18i20 as soon as it was available and received one of the first units shipped -- what was that, 5-6 months ago? Combined with my OctoPre, it gives me 16 channels of mic/line inputs and 10 out (though I will be getting an ADAT line expander soon).

The Mix Control software has a couple of very minor annoyances with my system, nothing that I would classify as a deal-breaker.

Sonically, the 18i20 BLOWS AWAY the older Tascam unit (I always felt the Tascam's preamps were kind of weak and thin sounding). The build quality is also superb and the signal routing is really versatile.

I currently have all 10 line outputs feeding a Mackie 1604 desk for analog summing/mixing. This piece is still waiting for vocals, but here is a quick sample of what I have achieved using the 18i20 thus far.

[ROUGH MIX], https://soundcloud.com/as-follows/p1-analog-test-mix6
Ben Asaro
Regular
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am
Location: NYC

 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:01 pm

Hmmm, the Scarlett is now sitting smugly at the top of my shortlist following this thread! 400 smackeroos. Thanks so much for all the suggestions. Thanks TO for posting the track, nice.
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2396
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Gallifrey

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" – Mark Twain


 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Skerrick » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:02 am

^ focusrite is the way to go man.
User avatar
Skerrick
Regular
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby bonesinc » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:16 pm

Huge Longjohns wrote:
maybe add in the Fast Track Ultra 8R - around £325


Yes, cheers, that fits the bill. Looks like it's discontinued as it's not on the M Audio site anymore. Makes a bit nervous after my lack of support issue causing the forced purchase in the first place!

AVID took over M-Audio (or part of it, don't know) and still releases drivers for it. It's working smoothly over here.
Too bad they are discontinued. It fits the bill for me exactly and I thought about getting a second one. If I really needed it and therefore could spare the money I'd still try to find me another one, immediately.

Matt
User avatar
bonesinc
Poster
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:00 pm
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

 


Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby Carlo0910 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:43 am

I had a Tascam us 144 MKii a friend gave me that but the sound is so thin I want to replace it thanks for this thread ill go for scarlet 2i2
Carlo0910
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:00 pm

Re: Help me pick an interface please!

Postby niallharp » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:05 pm

Do yourself a favour and check out metric halo. Extraordinary sound quality, feature set, support, and future proof to boot.. They'll soon be bringing out USB interfaces with a proprietary inter-box communication system that looks likely to be the mutts nuts. Upgrade will be user serviceable... My 2882 is 12 years old, upgraded once, and still state of the art.
niallharp
Regular
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:00 am


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests