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  #41  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

The pres in the Presonus Fire(x) units aren't Neves, but they are good enough to get you going. Are they crystal clear? No, but they aren't wind tunnels either. I'd say the noise levels in those units are well maintained. Aside from my own personal experience, I've read mostly positive reviews of Presonus' interfaces. Those who didn't like them opted for something of higher quality (and cost), of which better results should be expected. I've heard plenty of great recordings made with them and I know some people use them in their small commercial studios. If you are really into recording, you should be adding on external pres to your setup as you can afford it. Engineers routinely bypass their console pres to use dedicated units- so can you. You could always buy a high quality dedicated A/D/A converter for your computer, then just use all external pres. I think the Firewire interfaces just offer something great to home recordists, and a nice foundation from which to build a better recording setup.

As for Logic, MFB is right. It just takes a little time to learn the interface. It is right up there in quality with all of the other big name programs such as Sonar, Cubase, and Protools. In any of those programs, you have complete control. They can be expanded with third party plugins which can give you so many options. There are lots of free and commercial plugins available. I use Sonar solely because I've been using Cakewalk software since Home Studio 6, which I bought when I was 16/17 around 95'/'96. I don't remember. It was a long time ago, and Cakewalk has pretty much kept the same layout but just improved the features, quality, and whatnot.

My band mate just bought an Apple notebook, and it came with Garageband. He's been doodling with it and it seems cool so far. I remember seeing it in use a few years back and was impressed with the quality. It's to be expected that it can't do everything the top programs can do. It's bundled with the Macs now because Apple knows everyone and their grandma are making records now so why not make it that much easier for them, and offer one more thing you won't find bundled with a PC (though plenty of free and cheap PC apps are available). It's about convenience really I think.

Now, my major problem is that I want my band mate to be able to work on mixes with me, on his laptop. Since he went with a Mac, we aren't compatible anymore. So far what I do is just burn a CD, then he rips it to his laptop and imports the stereo file into Garage band to do overdubs. This is not ideal. However, exporting each track in the mix out as a wav, then converting each to aiff is out of the question. Any of you work on songs cross-platform? Any tips? And no, I'm not buying a Mac. :)
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  #42  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

we've got a healthy preamp and mic collection at the main studio, so I'm just looking to setup my home studio so I can work on drumtracks when I'm here. I'd like them to be usable if possible, but most likely they'd be redone at the main studio if I can't find a mid-priced interface w/ decent pre's and converters.

I pretty much got the Macbook so I could do some work at home and trigger samples live.
My bandmates are up to speed on Mac, so I figured even though I'll have a lot to learn, I'm not on my own. Wish I had some cross-platform experience, but I don't really.
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  #43  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

I figure get the FirePod. For what you need, there's no point in buying anything more expensive especially if you have your own pres somewhere else. You'll spend a lot more getting anything better and at the price range, the FirePod really is top of the class.
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  #44  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

This is news today....give it a look



http://www.macnn.com/articles/07/11/...t.track.ultra/
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  #45  
Old 11-29-2007, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

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Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
I figure get the FirePod. For what you need, there's no point in buying anything more expensive especially if you have your own pres somewhere else.
I would agree. What you do at home can probably be used in the studio you have access to. Perhaps you could take a pre home or two for the weekend recording session. :)

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
This is news today....give it a look
M-Audio has done some cool stuff. Their Delta 1010 is still used and rock solid from what I understand. I'm tempted to get one of those when I have enough outboard pres to justify it. This new M-Audio interface looks interesting. There are 6 analog inputs, four of which have pres- and 6 analog outs. I'm guessing the other two analog ins are line-level in. Then there is SPDIF i/o if you have a digi pre or mixer. I'm not sure why they chose USB over Firewire. This is the first interface I've seen to use USB that can actually support more than 2 outs. The Firebox is pretty comparable to the Ultra (including the SPDIF connections, the Firebox is a 6/8 unit, not including headphone out).

There are two features on the Ultra that I think are cool. The first being two channel inserts so that you can patch in your favorite signal chain while you record. My Firebox has 6 outs that I can use to set up an FX loop of sorts, running recorded tracks through outboard stuff and then bring it back in. I haven't tried to do it while recording, but it may work that way as well.

The other thing I like about the Ultra is that it has two independent and dedicated headphone outs. I really wish my Firebox had that. However, what I plan to do is get a couple Y cables to plug into the back outputs, then hook the headphones directly to the Y cables. I can set up independent mixes for each set of headphones from within the software using sends. That comes in real handy when recording with your band mates.

I'm real curious to see the reviews about the Ultra after a few months. At that price point, it will be competing with the first gen Firepod and the Firebox. I'm sure it is a good unit though.
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  #46  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

There is a USB 3 in the making which will be faster that Firewire, so be patient.
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  #47  
Old 11-30-2007, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

what about bandwidth though- I hear that's the killer on USB;
the higher bandwidth of firewire results in less latency.
USB 2 is close enough to firewire speed as it is, but the bottleneck factor because of lower bandwidth on USB can cause higher latency.
anyone want to confirm that?
I haven't used any of these yet, so I'm still learning.
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  #48  
Old 11-30-2007, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

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USB 2 is close enough to firewire speed as it is, but the bottleneck factor because of lower bandwidth on USB can cause higher latency.
That was my understanding as well. USB 2 has the speed, much better than USB 1, but the bandwidth was lacking. I may be wrong too though. USB 3? Sounds cool. Obviously everything we use today will become obsolete. I can't wait for optical circuits to become the norm. However, I truly wonder when enough is enough. I mean, I get 2ms latency with my Firebox, even recording four separate channels at once, with a bunch of other channels and FX already in the mix.

Obviously faster and wider pipes of transfer will allow more i/o... but there are already solutions for tracking up to 24 (if not more) independent channels to a computer with no latency. New 64bit CPUs really offer a step up in performance, especially in the audio and video editing world. My next build will be 64bit, however, I'm going to use my current PC for as long as I can. For at least a few years I'll be able to source parts for dirt cheap if something does happen to take a dive. What spending money I get will go into more outboard gear. The more outboard gear I have the less plugins I'll end up using, freeing up more resources to allow more tracks- as if I really need more than 24 to 32 on a given song. The most I've ever used is about 45, but that was really pushing it.

24 to 32 tracks... That is so funny to think this is the way I think now. Ten years ago I was ecstatic to have a 4track cassette machine. I've gotten spoiled. That 4track is now a 3track thanks to a loan to a friend years ago. Maybe I should spend a weekend with it. Just one last time.

4track says, "Can I call you?"

I reply, "I don't think that would benefit either one of us."
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  #49  
Old 11-30-2007, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

USB 2 has the same transfer speed on paper as firewire, but USB will load your processor more. I use a 18ch firewire interface (Mackie 16+2), it records 18 ch in 24bit resolution with no problems on a laptop. I even store the data on a firewire disk on the same chain.

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  #50  
Old 11-30-2007, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

good info!

still educating myself- I'd like to ask this:
what is the output path to studio monitoring? Will the firewire interface work this way too, sending info from the laptop to the monitors?
How do you guys do it? I'm assuming the 'earphone' out jack isn't the optimal choice.
thanks
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  #51  
Old 11-30-2007, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

Most, ifnot all interfaces have output aswell as inputs. Your audio program (DAW) can be set up to send monitoring mixes to any output. Cubase 4 has a controlroom matrix that let you set up almost any source to any output, pretty neat.

/Oldie
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  #52  
Old 11-30-2007, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xush View Post
what is the output path to studio monitoring?
Since I'm using Altec speakers right now, and they use an 1/8" stereo plug, I plug them into the headphone out of my Firebox. I also plug my headphones in there. However, the Firebox has 6 outs, not including the SPDIF. For a while I had my PA hooked up to it simply by running two 1/4" speaker cables from the outs on the Firebox to the mixer on the PA. Worked great, but my PA speakers aren't great for mixing. I could set up a few different monitoring sources, and send them each a different mix.

As oldie said with Cubase, Sonar has similar features. There is the main track area where you have all of your individual audio and MIDI tracks. Then there is the BUS section, which can simply be used as AUX sends for FX or as monitor outs. Each bus can be routed to outputs on the Firebox or to another bus. I set up one main Master bus for everything. Individual tracks, submixes, and AUX returns are fed into the Master bus. I could also set up something like- Headphone 1 mix and Headphone 2 mix, and feed those to separate outs on the Firebox so my band mate and I could have separate headphone mixes. I can also assign a separate output for each individual track. This is very useful for setting up external FX loops with some outboard gear. Simply send the signal out of a specific output on the Firebox, completely independent of the Master mix, run it through whatever outboard gear, then bring it back on an input and record it to a new track.

That trick came in very useful on my current recording. When I recorded the bass, I did it through my Bass PodXT. I fed my PC the model output as well as the DI (unaltered) signal to separate tracks. Well, while mixing my band mate and I decided the bass needed more grit. So I sent the DI track out of the Firebox, back through the Pod with a different model, and back to the PC. The end result was a blend of the first and second modeled tracks. I'm going to reamp the guitar track to get some ambient room mics on it, and I'll set it up the same way.

If your software supports it, the nicer Firewire interfaces act as your mixer- not just an A/D/A converter. That's why I say there's no real need for a mixer when you are starting out with such an interface.
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  #53  
Old 02-16-2008, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Which Firewire Interface?

this is a stupid question haha, i want to buy the ALESIS I/O 26 interface, but I don't know if i can connect my drum mics with xlr mic cables, because the input in the pics looks kind strange.

thanks
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