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Best audio interface sub-$500?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by nsilva, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. nsilva

    nsilva Active Member

    Hey guys, I need some help choosing an interface to buy for recording a band.

    Right now I'm using a Mackie CFX12 Live mixer (which comes with preamps) to record, but I plan to use the mixer for a drum mic kit soon and I want to buy a good size audio interface to house the mixers output, at least 2 guitars, 1 bass(Which will be miked through an amp, not directly recorded), and if I did that with an 8 input interface I would obviously have 4 left for vocals or anything else. I was wondering if anyone could suggest me Interfaces sub $500 or around that price that would be able to fulfill what I am looking for.

    I so far have been looking at the M-Audio Fast Track 8r, ProFire 2626 and Delta 1010 since they are all supported by Protools.

    Thanks.
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Of the three you mention, the Profire. Mackie 1220i? Still works with PT M.
     
  3. nsilva

    nsilva Active Member

    What do you mean by, "Mackie 1220i? Still works with PT M."
     
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you could stretch your budget or find a deal. Protools will work with the Mackie Onyx-i series.
     
  5. nsilva

    nsilva Active Member

    What would be the advantages of the Mackie over the ProFire? I'm assuming on the Mackie there are only preamps on the first 4 channels.
     
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    With the Onyxi series you need to purchase a patch from Mackie for it to work with M-Powered. The Delta 1010 doesn't have preamps. The Profire gets decent reviews but I haven't personally used one.
     
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Mackie Onyx has very nice preamps-the best Mackie makes IMHO. If your budget were bigger I'd be steering you for at least the 1620i if not the 1640i. The Delta is an ok card but as Hueseph pointed out has no preamps of it's own-basically an AD for line level signal. The 2626 is decent enough for M-Audio but I've not been happy with their interfaces in a long term way.
     
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think the 1640i is the best way to go for the potential to mix hands on. It allows you to route back your channels to the mixer so you can mix using faders and knobs, either to an external recording device or back to two new channels in your DAW. Whatever that DAW may be. ProTools M-Powered is nice if it works for you. A lot of people have had issues with it though. . 8.01 is the most stable version as of yet. 64 bit OS is not supported yet. They have a beta running right now but buggy afaik. There are other more stable DAWS. Cubase Essentials, Cakewalk Home Studio/Guitar Tracks, Reaper, Samplitude SE 10. These are all good entry level DAWS for $150 or less. Usually under $100. Plenty powerful enough for most people.

    Of course if you're stuck on ProTools for whatever reason, you'll have to stick to an approved interface. Whether that be M-Audio, Digidesign or the unofficial Mackie Onyxi.

    The Presonus interfaces are also fairly decent. FP10, Firestudio/Project.
     
  9. nsilva

    nsilva Active Member

    Yeah I think I've decided to go with a Presonus Firestudio 2626
     

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