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Best DAW Front End for under $1800??

Discussion in 'Recording' started by undermind, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. undermind

    undermind Guest

    I've been researching many front end options. I've read about them individually, but haven't seen them discussed together, compared/contrasted. I really only need 2 channels. I'm not opposed to more, but I imagine a 2 channel setup will yield better quality per channel.. My needs are pretty basic. I'll be mixing in the box. I would like to be able to use outboard gear for reverbs and such after tracks have been recorded. And of course monitoring. Do I have to have D/A conversion? The reason I ask is because of the digital I/O on some gear like the Kurzweil Rumour. I need to use midi, but I suppose I could do midi I/O on a seperate card. I want 96kHz, but don't plan to use 192kHz.

    Some all in one type units:
    -RME Fireface
    -Apogee Mini Me
    -Grace Lunatec V3

    I've also researched several stereo A/D converters:
    -Lynx Two
    -Mytek Stereo 96
    -Lucid AD 9624
    -(used) Apogee Rosetta 200 and Rosetta original w/96kHz

    My only obstacle in searching for converters are 2-channel mic pre's. There seem to be a few decent single channel pre's for $500-800, but would need suggestions on 2 channel units. If I went with seperate pre's and converters, I would plan to spend $800-1200 on converters and $500-800 on pre's. Should I be thinking the other way around?

    I would also like to have the ability to throw on a 8-channel interface in a pinch, preferably through litepipe, but that all depends.

    I'm basically looking for the best possible pre's and converter's I can find within my budget. New OR used...

  2. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    i.e. Apogee make best converters/clock only for 16 channel version.

    Think about IR reverbs for mixing. I prefer "dry" monitoring, without reverbs. That's more controlled situation and push you to play better.

    Yes. You need it for monitoring.

    If you have good A/D/A converters, mix ITB, and audio CD as last destination, 24/44.1 would be enough.

    I vote for Lynx (quality, driver compatibility) with two channel Sebatron pre. Later you could upgrade converters to really good = Lavry Blue. :cool:

  3. undermind

    undermind Guest

    I don't understand your statement. Maybe you misunderstood mine.. What I meant was: if I spend the same amount of money on a 2 channel interface as I would on an 8 channel, I would assume that the 2 channel would have better quality pre's. That is the only reason I am leaning toward a 2 channel interface..

    Actually, DVD-A will be a destination in addition to redbook, so I will need 96kHz at least.

    Thanks for your reply!
  4. undermind

    undermind Guest

    By the way groff...

    You were referring to the VMP2000 right? Unfortunately at about $2200 with the Lynx that would put me over my budget. And for that price, I could get the Apogee Trak2 which can be had for about $2000. I'm far from an expert on pre's, and don't know the difference in quality between the Trak 2's and the Sebatron's.

    Any other suggestions on 2 channel pre's?
  5. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Contact Sebatron directly. Sometimes they offer factory second, only with small scratches. That's cheaper.

    IMO, it's better to invest more in preamp than A/D/A.

    Some other solutions:

    Groove Tubes -The Brick (x2)
    SPL - Gain station 1 (x2)
    TLAudio – 50... series
  6. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Track Two is pre + A/D only. D/A is optional. Also, you will need another PCI slot card with digital in/out to connect Track Two.
  7. undermind

    undermind Guest

    Well, I just got a really good deal on a Trident S20 Pre today. Not as good as the Sebatron, but it will work for me in the meantime.

    Now I need to decide on converters. I just can't think of anything that will give me A/D/A better than the Lynx Two for that price.

    I noticed on the Lynx website, they mentioned using the Lynx Two B for 5.1 and 7.1 projects. I get how the 5.1 would work with six outputs, but not the 7.1. Can someone enlighten me? The Lynx Two A model sounds pretty good with 4 ins and 4 outs, but I need to be able to monitor 5.1.

    Also, can anyone suggest a good midi interface for getting midi into the computer?

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