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been studying for a few days looking for audio interface

Discussion in 'Recording' started by packrobottom, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

    Let me preface this by saying I have owned some decent gear in the past but due to some real life at the time I had to sell my whole studio save for my martin acoustic. I was using a TLM 103 and a focusrite red 7 previously.

    Well now I can't take it anymore I miss recording to much, I'm in a much better position financially and it's my birthday :) so my GF is getting me a sound card. Anyway I've done some homework to catch up. I'm not looking to spend as much as I did previously. I just want to track my acoustic and vocals decently and burn some dvda for vanity. I want to get a sound card and mic (maybe a pre). I'll be doing this on a mac G5 dual 2 gig. I haven't heard any of the gear below so I'll be relying on the good advice here

    I've been thinking about the following for sound cards both pci and firewire:

    Gina 3G
    audiophile 192
    presonus firebox
    I saw a rme pci card rebranded for nuendo on ebay for like 350 bucks
    is this good?

    studio Projects c1 (heard it's good but I don't like trebly hi end sounding mics)
    AT 4047
    what other mics should I consider?

    I'm looking to spend no more than 400 to 500 on sound card and around 300 on mic

    I guess I'm looking at best possible quality for what I wanna spend. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. poprocks

    poprocks Guest

    Welcome back to the dark side!

    If I were going to spend $300 on a vocal/acoustic mic, I would buy the ADK Vienna. You can get it for less from Pro Audio Toys. Ask them to email you their e-coupons. Great deals.

    RME supposedly makes great stuff. It's not cheap though, and I'd be wary of eBay. I really like my MOTU 828mkii, but it's a touch out of your budget too. Presonus gets trashed pretty regularly around here, but my impression is that they make respectable hobby gear. Why not the firepod? More i/o.
  3. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

    thanks for the welcome and response. I'll take a look at the adk vienna thanks for the tip. I don't need alot of i/o just 2 solid channels to record an acoustic in stereo and vocals. I overdub everthing. So the presonus stuff blows?
  4. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    I will second the RME stuff. I just upgraded to a Hammerfall HSDP 9632 and it is really a great sounding and flexable card.

    As for mic pre's The Brick seems to be the real deal a great price point. The pair I picked up has been a nice upgrade to my home room.
  5. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member


    I think I've narrowed it down to :

    Gina3g for sound card anyone here own this. Comments on quality would be appreciated.

    k2 or at4047 for mics which one?
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    If you're wanting to do dvda as you mentioned then you'll want a card that does 192 kHz sampling and the audiophile is always a good way to go. I use the Delta 1010LT and have always prefered M-Audio drivers over Echo driver (from experience) but know a lot of people that have had no problems with Echo drivers. For the money, and with your desire to want dvda I'd say the audiophile 192 is a great buy.

    If you're tracking a Martin acoustic and doing vocals the mic isn't going to matter as much as the pre-amp (IMO). For your Martin you'll probably be looking for a sound that's up close and personal. Intimate. That requires (in most cases) an all-tube mic pre and a little tube compression on the way into the box.

    For my Martin I get the best sounds (from any of my mics) through the all-tube pre's of one of my antique open reel decks, or the new Electro-Harmonix 12AY7 Tube Mic Pre. The new EH pre is a 200v tube pre that is a real close match to some of the richness I get from antique pre's and it's less than $200. It offers a lot of presence and warm, harmonic energy that even makes my CAD M37 sound great.

    The K2 is a great mic as is the 4047. They're both beautiful mics. But they will both sound a little brittle in the high end for vocals and your Martin unless they're preamped with decent analog circuitry. You might also want to consider a mic that gives you multiple cardioid patterns like a Rode NT2A or a pair of SP C4's or an Oktava MK-012 pair with the multi-pattern capsules.

    Multi-pattern mics (LDC or SDC, doesn't matter) will give you more options for ambient miking, lead and background vocal flexibility and proximity desire when tracking your Martin.

    For my OM16GT I don't know what I'd do without access to mutli-patterns. Same thing for vocal work.
  7. Norville

    Norville Guest

    I've been looking for someone to comment on the 828MkII under Windoze. So you find the drivers pretty solid?

    packrobottom... I'm debating similar choices, dithering between 828MkII, Firepod and E-mu 1820M. All are around the same price in $AUD. You might want to look at the 1820M as well.

    I bought a K2 a few months ago, and i'm loving the sound of it, although i have not used a 4047. For the record the K2 is multi-pattern - infinitely variable between Omni - Cardioid - Figure-8.
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I have both a 828mkii ans a rode k2 and I am happy with both- the k2 is very versatil as it has infinite variable patters between omni-cardioid and fig 8- I have found settings that work well for both male and female vocalists. have not heard the other stuff so I can't comment on it-
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    :shock: Dude! How is it that you always have the info on all the newest cheap gear? Do you actually go out and buy all that stuff?
  10. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Well, of course the Martin wasn't cheap...Hello?

    And yeah, I just got the EH 12AY7 tube mic pre. I'll spank you with it Foster if you're nice to me.

    The antique equipment I buy on ebay and you'd be surprised at the really cool (tube-driven) open reel decks you can find at local estate sales. They come in handy as line amplifiers and mic pre's for different applications.
  11. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

    anyone wanna comment on the echo converter quality.

    or k2 vs at?
  12. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    IMO the echo converter quality is the same as the others in that price range including the m-audio converters. Sometimes I can plainly "hear" the converters on my delta 1010lt failing to "keep up". But if the solution is to invest $600 or more in an outboard converter then I'll pass. And I do pass. The high end converters are certainly worth the money and the Apogee Rosetta seems to be recomended by anyone and everyone that writes about the quality of modern converters. But the consensus amongst even audiophiles is that even cheap converters today are better than a lot of converters from the 90's.

    So driver stability then becomes the real question since most converters in a given price range perform at generally "same level".

    For the most part I've been happy with the m-audio converters on my delta 1010lt, as I mentioned before. And I would say they perform as well as, but no better than, the converters on an echo mia card I ran for a bit only a year ago. But, the m-audio drivers are much more stable in my opinion and outperform the echo drivers. That's just my opinion though and there are plenty of people loving their echo cards and usb interfaces that are making great recordings.

    Also, you mentioned you want to try tracking at 192kHz and I can't help but say that you'll probably be really happy with the results, even with budget cards. I tracked at 96kHz for a while and was absolutely in love with the higher sampling rate. At those rates I didn't notice any loss in quality at the converters and am convinced that when it comes to AD/DA conversion, lower sample rates are the reason for hearing flutter.

    But I know nothing. Listen for yourself. It's a $200 investment and you can't really loose at that rate...no pun intended.
  13. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I just upgraded from an MAudio Audiophile 2496 to an RME Multiface. I needed more I/O points, as I was previously just mixing in Sonar, but now have need to track directly to it.
    The RME converters are noticeably better. I'm hearing things in tracks I did previously that I never heard before (fortunately no rude surprises!). If you can afford the extra $$, go for RME.
  14. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Same here. I went from M-Audio to RME and noticed a difference immediately.
  15. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

    something I thought about if I get the Gina3g and a preamp like the brick or something my signal would have to go thru the gina's preamps after the brick right :( I only see 2 inputs on it xlr amped.

    What is the best rme card to get for the money.?

    What other cards could I get in the 300 to 400 range that have atleast 2 inputs with good converters?
  16. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    How many channels do you need? I bought a pair of Bricks and an RME Hammerfall 9632 card with 2in / 2 out analog plus digital connections. The card was $600.
  17. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

    Should I spend less and get an audiophile 192 and spend more on my new mic or get the rme and spend less on my mic?
  18. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

  19. Ness

    Ness Guest

    packrobottom, ide say it all depends on what you are doing. In my opinion i would recomend the quality mic over the audio interface with a few more features. Yes, it will be slightly more inconvienient to have less features but the recording quality is all thats important when everything is said and done.

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