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8 pre's and a control surface---Firepod vs. Tascam fw-1884

Discussion in 'Consols & Control Surfaces' started by KeithXK, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. KeithXK

    KeithXK Guest

    Hi guys, I'm new here.

    I'm to the point where I need to upgrade from Garageband using a used MBox with no Pro Tools---into something a tiny little bit higher end.

    I need more XLR inputs for full band recording. At least 8. I'm definately on a budget.
    I'm not using Pro Tools, because it's just too expensive and limiting in the 4 input, 32 track max Digi LE setup.

    The two options I've narrowed it down to is the Presonus Firepod, and then down the line picking up the Mackie Control Universal---or buying a Tascam FW-1884. The seperate Presonus preamp system and Mackie Control board come out to about the same cost as just the fully integrated Tascam board, but I'm not sure I can lay down all that cash right now for the Tascam, rather than getting the inputs now, and a control surface later.

    I'm also concerned with how good the pre's are in the Firepod vs. the Tascam.

    Is this choice kind of 6 to 1, half a dozen to the other (IE, basically the same?)

    Obviously I'm using a Mac, and all of these things seem to be compatible with my choices of software, and my other concern is using the control board with Final Cut Pro, but I know that both the Mackie and Tascam are comaptible there, so it really comes down to cost right now, and pre quality.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Hey KeithXK - Welcome to RO!

    In general, I'm a big fan of seperating components where possible. Meaning, not integrating 2 devices into 1 chassis (such as a DVD/TV, or a CD/Stereo, etc.) In that case, I would recommend your seperates solution with the PreSonus/Mackie. Having used all of the hardware you've mentioned (to varying degrees), I can safely assure you that this is the route that I would personally take.

    The PreSonus preamps and A/D conversion are very good. They're not amazing or stellar, but quite good. The AD conversion in the Tascam is also quite good but the preamps are so-so. My problem with the tascam (and I owned 3 or 4 of them) was they were inconsistent performers on the faders. I had problems with every one of my units and Tascam refused to admit there was an issue!

    Ultimately, I sold the Tascam and never looked back!

    I'm also curious - you're planning on using Final Cut Pro...are you going to be doing video as well? If you're just planning on working on Audio, I would strongly encourage you to reconsider using Cubase or Logic, etc.

    Cheers -

  3. KeithXK

    KeithXK Guest

    Oh, I won't be recording audio through Final Cut. I already use Final Cut Express for my video needs, and even in Pro it's sound properties aren't killer. I will however be doing both in the future as the goal is to provide full audio/visual options for whatever project a customer needs.

    I AM currently deciding between Cubase and Logic. I'm a pretty big Apple fan, and read lots of great things about Logic (I'd be starting with Express) so at the very least, I'm going to download the demo and try it out---but Cubase comes with both the Presonus AND the Tascam, so I know I'd have that option too.

    I've read decent things about both, but everything I read also came with it's share of bad reviews as well, so I decided to bring the question here and I really appreciate your input. Anyone else have some opinions on the subject?
  4. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Distinguished Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Be aware that the current Express demo is PPC only and will not work on a MacIntel.

    I recently upgraded to Logic Pro from Express, nothing wrong with express it gets the job done.

    If you upgrade to the Final Cut Pro suite, Soundtrack pro contains all of the Logic pro effects.

  5. KeithXK

    KeithXK Guest

    Yeah, and I have a PPC, so I'm all good there.

    Although I AM curious. What is the difference between Soundtrack and Logic?

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