USB interfaces?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Falcon1, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Falcon1

    Falcon1 New Member

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    So what would you all suggest? I just recently got a new MacBook Air and plan to purchase Logic Pro X. I really enjoy recording music and writing songs but always had trouble trying to get good quality sound due to a very difficult DAW and cheap USB interface. I want to stay within a budget of 600 bucks and need something with 8 mic preamps. Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I've been looking at the Focusrite Scarlett line recently, and heard a lot of good things. Over the weekend I went to buy one, but the dude at GC apparently didn't want to make a sale that day, told me it wasn't that great and tried to sell me a $5000 recording setup. Followed up on TGP to see what the real deal is, and so far everyone loves them. Although I don't know that anything in the Scarlett line has 8 mic pre's.
     
  3. Falcon1

    Falcon1 New Member

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    The only one that i have found in the scarlett line with 8 mic preamps the 18i20. It is rackmount. Interesting that the guy you talked to at guitar center said they weren't that great. I called guitar center at columbus and the person i spoke with said that it is excellent. I didn't know anything about them until he mentioned them and told me the specs. Hmmmmm. Makes you wonder.

    Can anybody chime in on the focusrite Line or have any experience with them?
     
  4. MOBirds

    MOBirds New Member

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    Biggest issue you need to look at is compatibility with MacOS X version on new MacBook. I've heard Focusrite is better at driver updates with OS upgrades, but I've had too many fits with the Avid/M-Audio gear. They appeared almost hostile to the Mac platform, suggesting I downgrade the OS because they didn't want to update a driver. You can't downgrade the OS version the machine comes installed with. I moved to an Apogee interface - outstanding quality and support, but very high priced.
     
  5. Falcon1

    Falcon1 New Member

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    So with apogee, how would i be able to mic and record drums? You are not the first person to mention Apogee.
     
  6. themike

    themike New Member

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    I honestly was going to mention Apogee yesterday until I saw your budget and how many mic hookups you needed. Apogee and Mac go hand and hand together as its the exclusive OS for their hardware. I have a duet and love it.



    The quartet interface is more expensive but provides 4 INs and 8 outs.
     
    #6 themike, Feb 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2015
  7. zappyad

    zappyad New Member

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    I have a focusrite scarlett2i2 that I've used to record some acoustic guitar into mac and PC. Have had no problems and the audio was fine for what I needed it for. Wish I had bought something with more inputs though and the 18i20 was the thing I was looking at next. Guitarist magazine in the UK did a review of it a while back and they liked it.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Focusrite makes quality equipment, most particularly the mic preamps are very good for the money. They started out as a company with Rupert Neve designing their circuits for a console that cost a cool million dollars, branched out into high end discrete-transistor, transformer-based separates (the Red and ISA series), and then came out with the Platinum and Scarlett stuff that is IC based. In other words, their designs were top-down, not bottom-up like some companies.

    Regardless of your price point, they do a nice job with their stuff.

    Recording drums or a live band will be a problem with an interface that only has two inputs. If you want quality audio, your $600 price point is probably unrealistic. You'll probably have to go closer to $1000 to find an interface that will be able to record a drum kit, unless you're a "put one or two mics in front of the kit and record the kit separately" guys, OR you can submix the drums and/or other instruments through a small mixer, and record its outputs to stereo.

    We live in a world of pretty amazing technology, but your budget isn't going to allow you to do what you say you want to do unless you already have the mixer.
     
  9. MOBirds

    MOBirds New Member

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    +1 to what Les said. To record a full drum set with individual mic preamps, you're looking at way more than $600.

    I have the Apogee Quartet, which is actually overkill for what I'm doing, but I was so frustrated with driver issues I decided the peace of mind was worth it. I did trade some unused gear in towards purchase, but it retails around $1400. The difference in recording quality is immense compared to the M-Audio interface I was using. I know the Apogee Duet - basically half the Quartet - is at your price point, but it's only 2 in and 4 out. If you're recording each track separately, and like Les said, can mic & mix drums via the mixer, you can get drums in stereo out from mixer into the Duet. Then other instruments are mostly 1 in anyway, so that may be all you need.
     
  10. Sekunda

    Sekunda Music is life

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    I'm still using some older tech with a MOTU 828, it only has 2 mic pres, but I also run a PreSonus DigiMaxLT 8 mic pre into the light pipe/optical connection for 10 mic inputs. Plus I can use standalone mic pres into the several 1/4' inputs as well. MOTU just released all new versions of their interfaces, just something else to check out. Do a lot of research, there are so many options out thereā€¦ good luck!

    Personally, I still love my Tascam 8 track 1/2" recorder. Unfortunately it's near impossible to find tape for it anymore...
     
  11. Falcon1

    Falcon1 New Member

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    Thanks a lot guys. Considering my budget, I'm all for getting something that will make my recordings better quality. Startin to consider if I can do drum replacement.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Well, drum replacement is always a possibility, and the software that allows triggering samples is not only getting better and better, it's standard procedure on a lot of hit records (and you'd never know it, because the triggers are nearly sample-accurate). So you can have the best of both worlds.

    Just remember that you'll need to mic the kick, snare, and whatever else separately so that the right sample can be triggered cleanly.

    However, if recording drums is a serious consideration, even triggering samples, I still think you'd be a lot better off being patient and finding the right interface, perhaps used. Something like a MOTU 8-pre might be a worthwhile thing to investigate used, etc.

    One last thought:

    I create ad music for a living, but decided long ago that if I'm going to cut drums, I'll book an outside studio for however long it's needed, and do it there. If you do that, you'll get better sounding drum recordings anyway, and the need for more inputs is obviated.
     
    #12 LSchefman, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  13. lefthandagenda

    lefthandagenda New Member

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  14. Falcon1

    Falcon1 New Member

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    Ahh...yes. The fire studio project. I have considered this before.

    Who knew that I could turn this topic into rocket science? Lol!

    Starting to figure out that there are endless possibilities.
     
  15. lefthandagenda

    lefthandagenda New Member

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    I will openly admit when it comes to recording I'm about as dumb as they come. It was purchased as an interface to use as I teach myself/learn to use recording software, but like I said, I've managed to make a signal pass through it, haha. I don't have tons of expert knowledge to really offer up the positive and negative aspects of this particular interface, but it's served it's purpose for me so far, I just have nothing to honestly compare it to. With exception to a super cheap USB interface I used with my pc using pro tools light or some crap. It sucked. I have only used GarageBand so far for my simplistic recordings, but I like that I can at least import directly into Logic if I go that route. I have used 7 of the 8 inputs to record drums though, and aside from issues with bleed through, which I knew I'd encounter with my method of recording, it was a fairly simple setup to get working.
     

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