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A few questions!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DrummerDan, May 9, 2011.

  1. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    Hello again!

    I have one question that has to be knocked out a little quick. I have two options. Either go with computer mixing and headphone mixing, OR using an outboard mixer that uses its inserts as directs outs (ONE CLICK), so i can make my own hardware mix, and not rely on the computer to process it. the problem isnt money, as there is only about a 20 dollar difference.

    HOWEVER, the interface that uses its own mixers is the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, and the other interface, is the Focusrite 18i6, and the PreSonus Mobile Studio. As you know, one is FireWire, and the Other is USB 2.0. Nowadays with updated drivers, and fast computers (My rig is getting custom biult by IBUYPOWER) is FireWire really better anymore? With just my small project studio that im going to start, is it nessesary? The 18i6 has ADAT in, is that useable with USB 2.0 and the PreSonus has another firewire port, which im guessing i could add on another unit?

    I just want a little expandability so i can if i ever needed to. Which of these is more expandable? I know it does seem like I change my mind alot, but im going to buying this stuff later this year so i want to explore ALL my options.

    One thing is do like, however, about going either the 18i6 or the PreSonus is that 1. it lets my monitor outboard, so i dont have to use any CPU, and two. they both come with DAW software. From all my research, I cant find anywhere specifc to say if the PRO 40 comes with DAW software.

    Thanks for any replies, (if you can understand my rambling)
     
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    With only a quick scan of the stuff you're looking at I'm a bit confused. Where will you send the 10 analog outs of the Saffire pro to be 'hardware mixed'? - into a further mixing desk? And then what would you do with the final 2-channel mix? And how would you add effects?

    I'd suggest you went ITB - mixing levels itself isn't going to consume masses of CPU power, most modern computers and especially a custom build if done right, can handle this and plenty of mixing, and then you can just print to disc in the box.

    But really the answer is that if you are working with existing recorded material, you don't need any of the extra channels and should just go with the best 2-channel D/A you can to power your monitors (what monitors/headphones do you have/will you use) - something like a Lavry or a Duet. For the cost of the Focusrite stuff you might just be able to get something a bit better in 2-channel.

    If you plan on using the interface both to record with and to power your monitors as a mixer you really want to save a little more and start with something better in the first place. In which case we need to know the usual stuff - how many simultaneous channels, what application, what else you are using.

    More info pls.
     
  3. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Oh and as regards DAWs don't worry too much, just get Reaper.
     
  4. nightjar

    nightjar Active Member

    One big advantage to the Saffire Pro 40 is the 8 mic pres.... it's really a more capable interface than the other two...
     
  5. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    it does have more onboard, but i was thinking with the smaller interfaces using an outboard mixer to mix the channels and make my headphone mix. and then send the outs to the 10 analog inputs
     
  6. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Using an outboard mixer will allow you to make a monitor mix, and then you'll just be sending the mixers' preamp signals to the line inputs on the smaller system. This obviously means you are limited to the mixers' preamp capabilities.

    You're not going to be able to make a zero-latency mix in the computer anyway so it sounds like this is your method. I'm just concerned your Saffire channels aren't going to be very good quality.

    However getting 8-10 good channels, costs a lot. A Fireface 800 is the best value that I know of pro system and you'll only get 4 pres with that. But using that in conjunction with the mixer you have, if you can afford it, would give you 4 RME preamps plus 6 from your mixer; you can actually double up scratch channels to make up to 14 if you want but this loses the RME pre benefits. You can use the RME's direct monitoring to make a zero-latency headphone mix and bus that back out to your mixer and the quality will be worlds apart. Depends on budget though.
     
  7. nightjar

    nightjar Active Member

    I actually think the Saffire Pro 40 has pretty decent mic pres. And the DSP mixer is pretty impressive and has such low latency that it is negligible. Forget the outboard mixer....
     
  8. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member


    lol my budget isnt quite there... RME is a little (a lot) out of my range.
    if i could...i would.
     
  9. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    thanks for the reply, i can see what you mean, from what ive heard its got great pres, but i still cant seem to trust a comkputer to mix without latency, especially for drums.... i wish i could try these in person.!
     
  10. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member




     
  11. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    If you are worried about latency consider using computer recording software that allows for direct monitoring such as Cubase. That's the only software that I'm familiar with that allows for this. Perhaps the other members know of other software that can do something similar.
     
  12. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    would the saffire 40's DAW have direct monitoring?
     
  13. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    I am not familiar with the Presonus Saffire Pro 40. When you refer to the Saffire 40"s DAW are you saying that the hardware interface comes packaged with its own recording software?
     
  14. nightjar

    nightjar Active Member

    The Saffire 40 does have a built-in DSP mixer for low-low latency monitoring.... It will be fine for tracking your drums...
     
  15. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    alright, now because when i get the interface, im not going to have enough money in my budget to buy a DAW separately. And I plan on saving up to get Pro Tools 9. Does the Saffire have a "lite" edition DAW that it comes with In the meantime?

    And thanks man, do you have any experience with the Saffire, what do you think of it?
     
  16. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Reaper is $60 and free with a lower track count I believe. So you don't need to have much budget for a DAW.
     
  17. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    Alright, I thought it was 150? Oh well. But still even though I probably will purchase it, that one question still hasn't been asnwered.
     
  18. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Generally it's the hardware and/or the hardware's included monitoring software that provides for low latency monitoring, independent of the DAW being used.
     
  19. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member


    hm, well is the hardware for the saffire good enough?
     
  20. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    It comes with Pro 40 Control, DSP-based input monitoring software that should do the trick for monitoring stuff during tracking. Despite what I read on one retailer's site it is not true zero latency, but it's probably good enough. Pro 40 Control is for monitoring only as it is not a DAW. I couldn't tell if the Saffire comes with a DAW, but I'd be surprised if it didn't.
     

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