I've taken the plunge and picked up a new laptop in the sales. Unfortunately it doesn't have a FireWire socket or card slot so it's time to retire my FireWire interface. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for a good USB 2/3 interface with at least 2 stereo outputs?
I'm looking to upgrade my interface (M-Audio fast track pro II) to something with at least four inputs. Looking at Thomann, there's two pages worth of gear. I'm currently looking at M-Track Quad, mostly because I have a good track record with M-Audio, but thought I'd get some of you dudes to weigh in. I know a fair few people have the Akai EIE, but from people who record bands a lot, I haven't heard the greatest things about it.
Anyone have any recommendations, and why? What does yours do better than the others, or was it just one you picked and stuck with? I should say, for the moment it'll have to be USB, as it'll be a long while until I get to build myself a new desktop to put in firewire.
Id recommend either a used MOTU 828 MKII USB or a MOTU Ultra Lite Hybrid MK3
With MOTU you are getting prestine sound, low noise inputs and outputs, very, very usable pre amps and solid MIDI. You didnt mention a budget, but as I upgraded my setup and needed more I/O I kept buying interfaces I couldnt grow into and was buying and selling them constantly.
Also, my MOTU 828 MKII pushes enough signal I dont have to crank the gain/volume anywhere in my signal chain risking unwanted distortion. Having owned several entry level interfaces I can say this was an issue I discovered after switching to the MOTU--I get a nice clear signal and at much lower levels.
The more I buy better gear and stray from entry level products the more my signal chain improves the more Im convinced spending the extra is usually worth it. And considering the number of products to choose from these days plus a healthy used market I wouldnt mess around with average gear.
Motu use what they call 896 preamps..and the focusrite I was referring to has the dual Liquid channels( which emulates their preamps from the ISA's amust other brands) and Presonus uses the Xmax preamps..s step down from their Channel strip pre's....
“A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.”Frank Zappa
“Hell is full of musical amateurs.” -George Bernard Shaw
I went for the Focusrite SaffirePro 24 DSP... 2 advantages for me..
It has an ADAT interface and I also used an ADAT converter with 8 channels to add drums and guitar floorboards so I ended up with a lot more channels than just the 4 basic ones...
Further the DSP part in the interface allows me to listen to the mix as if it was played on other speakers in different rooms...
Is that a perfect simulation of the real thing? NO, but it does give you a broader listen to your mix so you can try to find out where weaker parts are, and it sort of 'clears your ears' by not just hearing the same sound all of the time
For low end the NI stuff is nice, built like a tank and okay sound quality.
If you want to get serious get an RME
the Fireface UFX is brilliant, but not cheap, at $2500
As far as I'm aware the only real difference between the UFX and UCX is the number of ports? A UCX would suit most people and is half that price. Not many people going to need the number of ports on a UFX unless you're running an entire band through it or a drummer who is *very* serious about getting mics on everything
I might be wrong on differences though as not looked it up.