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Advice for new interface?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Drewslum, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Drewslum

    Drewslum Active Member


    I am in the process of rethinking/upgrading my recording setup. The main focus for me is finding a new interface. My rig currently consists of a Macbook Pro and a Firestudio 26X26 which I use with Logic 9 and a Mbox Mini which I use with ProTools 8. As you can see, I am limited with my Mbox Mini in the number of recording channels (1) when I record into PT. I am also limited when recording with Logic by only being able to use the Firestudio as a combo (Interface/Mic Pre Unit - I Don't know if I am able to use the optical input on the FS for additional non-Presonus pres...).

    What I am looking for now is an interface that will be compatible with both Logic and Pro Tools LE so that I don't have to switch interfaces at any point when using both DAWs (I guess this means a DigiDesign or M-Audio interface becuase Logic is compatible with most all interfaces...PT is the picky one).

    // I am also wondering if I will be able to bypass my current Presonus Firestudio as an interface and use the optical 8 channels via light-pipe out with a new interface. But this is not a necessity. //

    What I am thinking of getting is a newer version of the Digi 003 Rack. I'm thinking this because I can use this as my interface it does have 4 internal pre's (as backup). I can add additional/nicer pre's via line inputs and it will work with both ProTools and Logic. ( =

    Anyone have a similar setup or advice on something else that might work better? My budget is around what a 003 unit would cost, but I'm open to suggestions.


  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The FS2626 will accept any ADAT optical data stream regardless of brand. You could get a set of 8 preamps with ADAT and run 'em on in.

    As to ProTools, you either get Digi, M-Audio, or a Mackie iOnyx mixer. If you're set on PT my vote is for the Mackie 1640i.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yeah, but he already has PTLE, so that's Digidesign only. An upgrade from the Mbox Mini to an 003 (Rack or Factory) would bring the sole advantage of an ADAT input (8 channels) and an S/PDIF input (2 channels). Forget the 003 mic pre-amps, and the dedicated line inputs aren't much better.

    You could plug an ADAT-output 8-channel pre-amp and an S/PDIF-output 2-channel pre-amp into either the 003 or the FireStudio (no difference in quality - it's digital) to give you 10 high-quality channels plus any others you can use via Logic in the FireStudio.
  4. Drewslum

    Drewslum Active Member

    Thanks TheJackAttack and Boswell,

    My main concern is being able to use one interface for both DAWs, which means I am going to get a Digidesign interface then. Has anyone successfully hooked up the Firestudio pre's via light pipe to a 003?
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Yes. Set the FS clock to slave and the 003 to master. Or vice versa, whatever. They should work just fine. Well, I say that. As long as the FS can work in stand alone mode. I don't have one and am too tired to download a manual to look. (tuned 3 pianos and 7 piano shaped objects today)
  6. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    The FS is supposed to work just fine in stand-alone mode. You just have to set it before you disconnect it.
    It will recall the previous settings when you power it up again.

    That said, I've got a bit of a beef with the FS and related products lately.
    For the most part, they've been absolutely fabulous workhorses. They're my core.
    But I have had enough issues w/ clocking/synching/other to be a little frustrated.
    Presonus was very helpful via phone and email. However, their final solution to my problem was to send it in for repair - the firmware on the FS itself was damaged!
    Unfortunately, this would shut me down in the interim, and that's not a possibility.
    I should also add that I suspect an eebay bought digimax may be partly to blame.

    Regardless, beware that there are some issues when it comes to getting the FS to play nice w/ other devices, in my experience.
    I really do love it and my digimax's, but the problems I've encountered have come at crippling times. Usually when a paying client is waiting to record.
    If you have the time to play w/ stuff should an issue arise, you'll be fine.
  7. Drewslum

    Drewslum Active Member

    Which however, is better than flipping burgers. ( =
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    It's true, pianos only make your back spasm after tuning too many-not your colon like too many burgers.
  9. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    I'm with you Soap, I have the same issue with my firmware, my FS will not playback / record at 96k properly, so I don't use it at that setting.

    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I would like to know:

    Soap, if you don't mind me asking what is the scoop on using the FireStudio with the Digimax FS? Do they both have to be matching firmware's? I know that PreSonus really needs to get their firmware issues in control because I no longer feel safe updating firmware on these boxes!
  10. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I use Digimax LTs, so I can't comment directly. Theoretically, as long as the FS is up-to-date, almost any external device should connect and sync properly w/ it.
    My one LT works dandily, the other refuses to play nice. Like I mentioned, it was bought used, so the unit itself may be problem.

    On a related note, my mentor used to use a MOTU 828 w/ two Digimax's, and after a year or so of frustration, ditched the DMs altogether.
    So you and I are not the only ones who have had problems w/ Presonus regarding clocking/syncing.

    The thing that really bothers my about the Presonus FS/Digi's is the lack of consistency.
    SOMETIMES all 3 play nice. Sometimes just two. It can change during a single session, and certainly from day-to-day. Luckily I rarely need channels 17-24.

    These units have served me very admirably over the past couple of years - in fact, I've recommended them a few times on this very site.
    However, like I mentioned, problems seem to occur at the most inopportune times, and I'm at the point in this venture where reliability is KEY.

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