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Firewire Audio interfaces...which one to get on a budget?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by knightgopher, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. knightgopher

    knightgopher Guest


    I'm new to posting here. I have been recording Choirs for the past 4 years. Starting with my college choir and now the High School group I direct... I have been going from mics to a small berhinger mixer and then to mini disc. I am thinking about upgrading and going from the mics to a laptop for pure digital...that way I can do all my editing and tweeking without have to transfer media. I am thinking about a firewire interface and wondering what you guys would suggest?


  2. I would have to say keep the mini mixer you have and either get an Mbox w/Pro Tools LE for $449 street, or go for the MOTU solution which I believe starts with 828 MkII.

    On the budget end, M-Audio has a few products.

  3. knightgopher

    knightgopher Guest

    Thanks, Could there be lags with the usb connection? From talking to a friend of mine, he says that firewire will offer uninteruped recording, where the usb could lag if the system lags?
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Lagging (latency) is only an issue if you are monitoring live .. and most devices will provide a live monitoring soulution.

    The real issue is the USB type interface can only provide 2 inputs to the recorder. If you want to be able to mix the different mics later this can be an issue. Metric Halo makes a nice 8 channel interface just for laptop live recording .. look into that at

    Mobile I/O 2882
  5. knightgopher

    knightgopher Guest


    would you recomend going with firewire or usb, I know that the usb devices are considerably cheeper than the firewire...?
  6. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Re: so...

    go with firewire! much more stable and with better options!
  7. knightgopher

    knightgopher Guest

    that's what i was thinking, but I am try to stay around the $500 range for equipment, but that seems like it is going to be hard to do.
  8. tha sun god

    tha sun god Guest

  9. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    If you plan to record two mics directly down to digital in, USB really is fine. You really want to have 24 bit at 44.1kHz and two channels of that fit on a normal USB bus.

    A good solution is the Digidesign MBox. It has decent mic pres with phantom power and on the whole a decent sound. You will need nothing else but the mics and cables, no extra power supplies. I´ve had one a while and done a bit of recordings using two Neumann KM184 on a high rise stand. Good quality small condensor cardoids can be found used. The MBox price includes software, Protools LE, that does the job, but if you wish you can use other software. Using the MBox you can sell the mixer.

    For more than two channels you have to go for firewire. (There are some boxes that sport 4 channels, and also a few USB2 devices, but right now I think 2 is the aim).

    I´ve also recently got a Motu 828mkII with an 8 channel pre and a few more mics. Sort of divided on that, lots of more stuff to invest in and lots of more stuff to carry along. Not quite sure it really will make that much of sound difference, will see in time. If you are a Mac user a decent application is included, on PC you have to find (and pay for) something usable. That application alone can be quit a bit of money, although there are low price alternatives such as n-Track sync. My choice here is Samplitude, see http://

    Good luck and have lots of fun.
  10. knightgopher

    knightgopher Guest

    i currently have the sony programs, sound forge, acid, ect... I have been trying to find something that will fit in my buget, that's why i am stuck between usb and firewire...
  11. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    either you spend some bucks or you'll never be satisfied! why get something that in a really short time will be obsolete?!
  12. Does anyone have any opinion on the presonus firepod? it has 8 mic preamps. I just want something that will record better than my Soundblaster Audigy that sounds awful when recording.
  13. I've been trying to convince a burgeoning engineer I work with of the same issue.

    If you have the PowerBook already to go, I'd roll with Kurt: go for the extra bucks and get a more stable FireWire interface!

    You can either buy an inferior product and PC and be frustrated, or spend the bucks and get a mobile recording rig that works. IF you are really on a budget, find a used Emu DARWIN hard disk recorder they are 8 tracks and go for under $400 on eBay. (DARWIN also does not require a computer!)
  14. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Ssssshhhhhhh! Keep the Darwin a secret. I'm always looking for cheap ones for remote songwritting work that I keep at various practice places so I don't have to lug one around and for spares support in case I need parts for the five I own now...
  15. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    I'm using an M-Audio FireWire 410, has two microphone preamps which is really handy when on the road. Fits the computer case along with laptop, adapters, microphones, etc. Haven't had any trouble with it this far - the latency is low, the sound is clear and crisp, and the preamps ... well, they do work, but don't expect them to be much better than the Behringer pres. I haven't experienced any technical issues, driver problems, IRQ trouble or anything, and I'm even using it with a fairly slow computer at times.
  16. knightgopher

    knightgopher Guest

    are you suggesting a seperate pre amp on top of the 410, or what would be you reccomendation?
  17. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Not necessarily. Just like I don't find Behringer's preamps as horrible as everybody seems to, they're not exactly flattering. One might argue that the preamps built into the DigiDesig MBox are way better than the M-Audio pres, but I think they're OK. Follow this link to a Danish site where I've knocked up a few sound examples of a pair of Røde NT5 through the M-Audio preamps: http://www.christianellegaard.soundvenue.com
  18. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    to be honest i think the preamps in the 410 suck big time. i once recorded with one and when we switched to the mic pres of a mackie 1604, not even vlc, the difference was more than noticeable. the mackie mic pre's, though they might not be stellar, sounded much sweeter...!

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