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A Multi channel pre/D-A ?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by took-the-red-pill, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Hi guys,

    Just starting out and looking at gear. I don't have unlimited funds and won't likely be doing this for a living, but one still wants things to sound good and get the biggest bang for the buck.

    I'm wondering if anyone makes a unit that is a set of 2 or 4 decent XLR pre's with phantom power, and D-A converters and everything so you just plug it in, hook up a mic, and badda bing, you're recording? Maybe under $1000 or so?

    any takers?

  2. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    I know that's essentially what you get with the digi 002R, with softare, for $1200 U.S. but I was just wondering what else is out there in case I want to run other software, like Cubase.

  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Keith!

    I'm assuming you mean a A/D converter? In that case, yes, there are quite a few. In most cases, you sacrifice quality on multiple fronts by combining these things, but some devices are actually pretty good.

    There are things such as the Focusrite OctaPre, the PreSonus Firestation (or whatever it's called??) and my personal favorite, the RAMSA WZ-AD96M. (One of which, I'm currently selling - if you're interested and you would like to, contact me offline and I can give you some details on it. It definitely fits your price criteria.)

    Another choice is the M-Audio Octane.

    Of course, in all of these cases, you'll need someway to take these digital signals into your pc.

  4. Costy

    Costy Guest

    Check out Kurt's post on Recording Studio forum on "Protools &
    why I hate digidesign'. There're 12 pages of discussion of what
    you are asking...
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Yeah, I second that. There's no secret on this board that I'm not a fan of ProTools. Cubase/Nuendo are great tools.
  6. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Thanks guys,

    Okay okay, it's A-D, not D-A. That was a slip of the tongue.

    So here's what I'm reading, based on Cucco's options:

    These are all the 8 channel units I could find.

    Focusrite Octapre-Seems to retail at $175 a channel I think. Phantom power, compression, and 8 in-outs, etc. Seems to be a decent unit.

    Presonus firepod-Comes with Cubase LE and retails for $600. So if my calcs are correct, once you take out $375 for the software, you're paying $30 a channel. Unless they've performed some major miracle I'll be staying away.

    M-Audio Octane-Seems to retail at $95 a channel. The review I read was that it was "okay" but not really great.

    The Panasonic RAMSA WZ-AD96M seems to retail at just under $300 a channel if the scant information I have is correct. I could really find almost no information on it, but it's probably a smoker if that is in fact the price.

    Remembering that I am of limited funds and seeking the biggest bang for the buck, logic would lead me in the direction of the Focusrite. It sounds like it's a good unit, and I wouldn't regret spending the extra dough.

    There is one other option. My brother is a wiz with a soldering iron, and 7th circle audio sells a kit that is supposedly based on the old Neve 1272 for 325 bones, or a copy of a 'Jenson twin servo" for $300. Since I don't neccesarily need 8 ins, I'm considering the possibility of a pair of those, and then as my needs increase, to buy 2 more, and so on. Seems like a pretty big bang for the buck, and then if I need to record a kit, I'd just rent a few more at the local music shop for that gig.

    Anybody see any major flaws in this thinking?

    Oh, and one more thing. I won the pre-amp lottery and accidently bought an old Altec Lansing 1567 all tube, hand wired pre-amp mixer at a garage sale for $5. It's a 4 into 1 unit, but I am right now having it converted to 2 into 2 by an electronics guy. It supposedly is a butt kicker of a unit, but it doesn't have phantom power, so that's why I was asking about something that did, to run condensers.

    Thanks again for your input and expertise.

  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    The Focusrite unit - that's opening a can of worms. Do a search on this site to see all the opinions on that. It's the device that earned the company the name "Focuswrong."

    The PreSonus - Cubase LE only costs a cool $100 on the open market and less when bundled.

  8. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    I think it's a decent unit. Decent, but not great...better that most of the other things in its price range, though. Keep in mind, though, that it won't interface directly with your computer...it's got an ADAT Lightpipe output, but you'd still need to plug it into an interface of some sort.

    They have a new one out called the OctoPre LE as well. Haven't had a chance to hear it yet. No compressors, and it's about $200 less expensive, but it also has D/A conversion and a few other bells and whistles. And one blue VU meter, which seems a little odd to me.

    You're probably thinking of Cubase SL if you're thinking $375 for the software. The software it comes with is more similar to Cubase SE, which sells for about $100, but if you're trying to figure out what it costs PreSonus to bundle it, figure in next to nothing, so figure it's about $75 per channel. But that also includes D/A converters as well.

    It's actually more like $75/channel. The preamps are about the same as the DMP3 preamps. Personally I like the sound of Focusrite's preamps more.

    That thing's been discontinued for years. It was a good clean preamp.

    If you're looking for an all-in-one interface that can plug directly into the computer, though, you may also want to look at some other boxes from companies like MOTU and RME.


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