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Audio Interface advice needed

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by Hendrik Jan Veenstra, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Hi gang,

    Sort-of-back after 7 years of rearing my twins (for those that remember me). And this time I have questions instead of answers... having been out of the (logic) loop for way too long...

    And the first question probably is an often-asked one: which interface should I buy for my modest home studio?

    - Machine: 2x2,26 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon, 8 GB ram, 2 x 1TB hd, with 2TB Time Capsule
    - Latest version of Logic
    - I'll be relying on softsynths heavily, so low latency probably is desirable.

    I need something like a 4 analog in, 4 analog out interface, at least one mic preamp, firewire, with midi i/o. That's the basic assumption. Research has led me to consider these interfaces (all in the 250-350 euro segment):

    - Presonus Firestudio Mobile (cheap, but has only 2 outs)
    - Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP (or the no-DSP variant?)
    - Echo Audiofire 4
    - M-Audio Profire-610
    - TC Electronic Impact Twin

    Everytime I think I have a clear winner, I find a review from someone who's very dissatisfied with the interface I picked, so I start to give up and now turn to your collective wisdom...

    I tend to scrap the Presonus from the list -- too many bad reviews and too few outputs (although there are quite some good reviews as well). The M-Audio Profire gets rave reviews, although I read some things about bad drivers (might be a PC/Windows issue though). The Focusrite pre's seem to be very good, but I read the same about the TC Electronic pre's... So... help... :) It seems as if there's not *one* deciding difference between e.g. the Focusrite/M-Audio/TC Electronic... or... am I mistaken and should I definitely avoid the one and/or pick the other?

    Thanks in advance for any and all replies,
    Hendrik Jan (glad to be back)
  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome HJ, nice to have you back :)

    I can't say much about the interfaces you listed, as I haven't used any of them, no doubt others will be able to offer you some good advice. Having made many years of good experience with two brands, I stick with RME and Metric Halo, albeit they are in a different price category. Apart from Midi, the fireface 400 would more than cover your Audio I/O requirements very nicely:

    Don't you have an older Midi interface that might be OK for your needs? I still use a Unitor, AMT and MT 4, they still work great with Logic 9

    kind regards

  4. Thx, glad to _be_ back :).

    I'd love to get one of these, but it's about 2x/3x the price I had in mind. Oops... Sidenote: it does have MIDI, so I don't get your "apart from MIDI" remark...

    Yes, I do -- an old MOTU interface that I managed to get working (to my amazement, I should add). I would like to reduce the number of external boxes however, and since almost all interfaces come with MIDI as well nowadays...

    Thx for your fast reply,
    Hendrik Jan
  5. I just had a chat with my local dealer (Apple, and audio/video pro), and he recommended the MOTU Ultralite Mk3. A bit more expensive than the others I'm considering, but if everyone here raves about it, I might have to reconsider the budget... :). Any takers?
  6. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

    MOTU UltraLite

    I love my MOTU Ultralite. All around the best bang for the buck in the audio interface world. Sounds fantastic, plenty of ins and outs for you (including MIDI) some very nice, very useable mic pre's, and MOTU's driver support is always way ahead of everyone else. I just updated my Mac Book Pro with a Lion partition and Logic and the Ultralite are playing together very nicely. It even has some onboard DSP, and I find that the latency is extremely tolerable (I only use softsynths at this point...mainly Maschine and Komplete) - all this in a very portable package at a very good price. The only thing that I wish was different is the way the front panel knobs work, and their size... but I'm really used to them by now.

    I really doubt you'll regret buying the UltraLite : )

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