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Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

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Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby R_A » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:31 am

Hi,

I've been happily working on my MBox2 for about a decade and have decided to treat myself to an upgrade. I work on a Windows 7 64bit PC computer that is of a similar vintage to my audio interface.

My criteria are:

a) Four or more audio inputs (two for my Roland Integra-7 and two for my EMU-5000 Ultra).
b) I've a vague idea that I would like to own an old reverb processor (such as a PCM70), so it would be nice to be able hook something like this up as well as recording four inputs simultaneously.
c) Great build quality and reliability.

Could anybody recommend me some options?

Thank you!
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby forumuser653351 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:26 am

There's a really nice RME Fireface 802 in the classifyed ads..

https://www.soundonsound.com/readersads ... aces-cards

:)
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby R_A » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:53 pm

forumuser653351 wrote:There's a really nice RME Fireface 802 in the classifyed ads..

https://www.soundonsound.com/readersads ... aces-cards

:)

Thanks that looks like a belter,

Digging a bit more into that brand, their Hammerfall DSP 9632 or perhaps their 9652 might also be an excellent solution. Do any forum members have experience of using either the Hammerfall DSP 9632 or Hammerfall DSP 9652?
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:51 pm

R_A wrote:Digging a bit more into that brand, their Hammerfall DSP 9632 or perhaps their 9652 might also be an excellent solution. Do any forum members have experience of using either the Hammerfall DSP 9632 or Hammerfall DSP 9652?

While those Hammerfall DSP cards are still supported, I wouldn't recommend them for anyone thinking about the future as they use the PCI bus which is now obsolete. I'd think about what you'll be replacing your current computer with and take a look at the PCIe equivalent or one of their external USB cards.

If you are happy with a card that uses external convertors (the Hammerfall DSP cards are mainly digital IO) then take a look at the RME Raydat card or, if you want to go USB, the RME Digiface USB. If you partner these cards with something like a Ferrofish Pulse 16 you have plenty of line level input and output channels. If you want mic level inputs then look at the Audient ASP800.

If you are on a tight budget you could go for the Digiface USB and the Behringer ADA8200 preamp with the idea that you can expand your system with better quality convertors later.
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:23 pm

Might be useful to suggest a preferred budget, as there's a potentially huge range of options.
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby R_A » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:24 pm

James Perrett wrote:While those Hammerfall DSP cards are still supported, I wouldn't recommend them for anyone thinking about the future as they use the PCI bus which is now obsolete. I'd think about what you'll be replacing your current computer with and take a look at the PCIe equivalent or one of their external USB cards.

Thanks James I was unaware that PCI was going to become obsolete.

blinddrew wrote:Might be useful to suggest a preferred budget, as there's a potentially huge range of options.

Good point - I've had a tremendous amount of value out of my MBox2, so I'm comfortable spending anything between about 600 to 1200 excluding VAT. Though if there's other good cheaper options I'm very happy to consider them.
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby Paul Isaacs » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:11 pm

You might want to check out the brand new Sound Devices MixPre-6M.
8-in, 4-out USB audio interface, built-in effects including reverb, and built-in multitrack overdubbing recorder.

https://www.sounddevices.com/products/r ... /mixpre-6m
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:46 pm

R_A wrote: I'm comfortable spending anything between about 600 to 1200 excluding VAT.

In that kind of price range I would definitely be looking at something by RME. They design their own hardware and write their own software and they seem to support their products for a long time. Their drivers are also amongst the best performing and most reliable in the business.

The choice of model depends on your priorities - do you want everything in a single box or are you happy to add additional boxes to increase the number of channels? Most RME interfaces have ADAT optical connectors to allow for expansion although some of the more expensive ones have MADI connections for 64 (or more in some cases) additional channels. I like the ADAT optical route as there is a very wide choice of gear that supports this standard.
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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby ef37a » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:43 am

Paul Isaacs wrote:You might want to check out the brand new Sound Devices MixPre-6M.
8-in, 4-out USB audio interface, built-in effects including reverb, and built-in multitrack overdubbing recorder.

https://www.sounddevices.com/products/r ... /mixpre-6m

I too lust after something from this range of goodies but was rather disappointed to see that Sound Devices had not fitted MIDI I/O?
I agree the surfaces are pretty crowded but I think there is room for a "D" breakout connector al la M-A 2496 (maybe S/PDIF as well?), even if not the 3.5mm stereo jack is becoming an option. Having moved into the "Music AI arena" odd that they should forget MIDI? That delightful young lady in the July issue is, I am sure thinking, "yes, nice but how do I record the MIDI data?"

The OP's box does of course have DINs.

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Re: Recommend me an audio interface (4 or more inputs)

Postby R_A » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:13 am

James Perrett wrote:In that kind of price range I would definitely be looking at something by RME. They design their own hardware and write their own software and they seem to support their products for a long time. Their drivers are also amongst the best performing and most reliable in the business.

The choice of model depends on your priorities - do you want everything in a single box or are you happy to add additional boxes to increase the number of channels?

Thank you - yes RME's record of supporting products is very reassuring. One box would be preferable. So I think that leaves me with a choice of either:

RME Fireface 802 vs RME Fireface UCX vs RME Fireface UC

Is the RME Fireface UCX grounded with a metal earth pin or is it a floating earth (and grounded through the computer)?
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