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Last GAS of the year

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sshack, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Thinking about either taking a chance on the new UA 4-710d or the API A2d. The flexibility of the UA sounds excellent, conversely, everything I've ever heard about APIs are top notch.
    This would primarily be used on drums, though I would utilize them wherever and for whatever. For now I've just been using the pres in my FF800 for drums, and while they have been just fine, I have a chance to upgrade before the end of the year, so I wanna go for it.

    Having 4 channels on the UA to conceivably get a variety of tones/sounds is quite attractive to me. Of course, with the API, I only get two channels, though I'm sure they'll be great.

    Lastly, the UA would max out my capacity on my FF inputs, but alas, I can link in up to 4 other device, so you could argue that it would give me the ability to expand.

    Just thinking out loud; your feedback is well appreciated...thanks.
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    DRUMS??? API !!!! Anything else is pure anarchy!
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I agree with Moonbaby's premise but disagree with his conclusion.

    Step 1) UA 4-710D
    Step 2) API 3124+

    Eight channels, digital out about $4,500. < $600 per channel.

    Oh, and if you have four analog channels open on your FF800 you can reverse the steps.
  4. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Man o man have I thought about that 3124. I'd have to save up for a few months, but maybe it's worth it?
    However, I don't think that I have room for 4 more inputs right now. I haven't explored it yet, but even if channels 9 and 10 on the front of my FF800 can be used as inputs, I'll still be one shy for a 3124. The RME documentation mentions using 9/10 for headphones, but I haven't connected anything to the front inputs check things out yet.

    This is one of the reasons that I strongly considered the 4-710 as I could pull some hardware off of the interface, link them into the UA and free up some room on the RME to grow. One could argue that the API would sound better than the UA, but I'm trying to think a little beyond just the sound aspect...as stupid as that may sound to some.

    None the less, maybe you can help me see something that I've overlooked. Here's how I have things loaded on the FF right now...

    Input 1: EQ R24 (L) (Out)
    Input 2: EQ R24 (R) (Out)
    Input 3: ADL 600 (L)
    Input 4: ADL 600 (R)
    Input 5: Great River
    Input 6: LA-610
    Input 7: DRAWMER 1968 Channel 1 (out)
    Input 8: DRAWMER 1968 Channel 2 (out)

    Output 1: Monitor (L)
    Output 2: Monitor (R)
    Output 3: EQ R24 (L)
    Output 4: EQ R24 (R)
    Output 5: Lexicon PCM70
    Output 6:
    Output 7: DRAWMER 1968 Channel 1 (In)
    Output 8: DRAWMER 1968 Channel 2 (In)

    It should be known that INPUT 7 is also playing double duty as the input for my PCM70. I have to juggle things around a little with my I/O, but I've grown used to it really.

    However, I'm always open for an easier, more efficient way.

    Comments are welcomed. Thanks.
  5. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    If you could find a cheap ADAT unit that has true bypass on the inputs AND analog I/O, you could expand your analog I/O greatly.
    The Presonus Digimax line is a great example (be careful - the LT has no analog outs!).

    Of course, for $500 in the bucket, why not just wait and get another FF800?
    Then you have 16 analog I/O, plus 4ch of the FF preamps.
    That'd be about $4100 for the 2nd FF800 and the API 3124+.

    The UA unit looks nice, and may combine the ADAT for I/O and better preamps, though.
    You could use 9/10 as a stereo output on the FF800, while the inputs work just like 1-8.

    While my outboard gear pales compared to yours, I have similar issues, and have been weighing my options as well.
    Since the 3124 has been on my short list for over a year now, that's the way I would go.

    Sorry, that's pretty discombobulated. Hope you can make sense of it
  6. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    No need for apologies...you make good points. The reason I'm going for an end of the year grab is because I'm about to quite my main 'money maker' band situation that I've had for 7 years, so the funds are about to dry up. I've been fortunate enough to have the 'extra' income to pay for the gear, now I want to stay home and use it more. :)

    The other option that I've considered is dumping the Drawmer and freeing up 2 inputs. I really don't use it that much and it could be a little extra cash towards the API.
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Now, I say this without having heard the UA 4-710 preamps, but it sort of looks like the way I'd go is with that unit now. This gives you 16 channels now with room for four more analog inputs in the future. Get the 3124 down the road. I love the 3124 but it's not like you wont have great preamps to record drums through.

    Of course, part of this is the question of work flow. Are you really running out of inputs when you track or are you just avoiding swapping cables? (In which case, maybe you need a patch bay more than new preamps.)
  8. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    I haven't run out while tracking, no...not yet. I don't have to swap cables either, everything is accessible via a click of the mouse.

    I COULD run out inputs though if I had to record much simultaneously (drums, guitar, bass, etc.), but I'm mostly a one man show, so it hasn't been a problem yet. Now, I could sacrifice something like a drum mic to make up for something else, but the 4-710 may be a good way to alleviate the pain. Plus, I would be getting some cool tonal options for the drums as opposed to the straight FF pres.
    Ultimately though, I would like to expand recording other people and, who knows, maybe even make a buck or two. So if that means 2 or 3 people at the same time, then yes, I would run out of inputs.
  9. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    what about a Vintech 473, I loved mine for drums. Kick and snare covered!! Plus killer for high gain guitar sounds. Just through the FF like you would if you bought the 710's
  10. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Great suggestion, but I'm trying to keep the cap at around $2k. Sorry, I didn't mention that before.
    I've used the X73 Vintech before; it's quite slick and did rock on electric guitars...no doubt!
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    For the record, 78 speed, the RME FF800 has 10 analog inputs. Line input 9 and 10 are on the front of the unit. 7 and 8 can be either front or back. There are 8 conventional analog line outputs. 9/10 OUTPUTS are the headphone jack so I usually don't count those. Please flip the 78 and continue with your regular programming...ing...ing...ing...ing...ing..ing...ing...ing...ing...ing...ing...ing...ing...
  12. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    This is how I understand and operate the unit right now, though, I'm not sure of the difference between the inputs on 9/10 and all of the others. You've stated that there are 8 analog inputs (which I know), how are 9/10 different? Is it that they just run at line level?
    Since I use 7/8 on the front and back, I like to fool myself into thinking that I have 2 additional inputs (again, using the front for 'double duty' for the PCM70)...I just can't run them front and back at the same time.

    And the last contender that I failed to mention is the TG2. I just dream whenever I read about that unit.

    Still haven't heard back from my local Pro Audio store on details of the UA.
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    9 & 10 also have mic premps. So if you have six other mic preamps you could run those into line inputs 1-6 and then use the in built preamps for 7-10. All this simultaneously. Then if you needed more than 10 you could add a set adat preamps or chain a second FF800 via firewire for an additional 10 analog inputs.
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    7-8 are the same front and back. Two locations doesn't add track count.
  15. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Inputs 9 and 10 on the front panel always go through a pre-amp. There is no equivalent line input jack that by-passes the pre-amps for these two channels. However, on the odd occasion I have had to use 9 and 10 as line inputs, their quality is such that I have not been conscious of a sonic difference between them and the line inputs of other channels on the rear panel that do by-pass the pre-amps.
  16. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    @ Jack - yea, I know...but it is convenient to just keep things patched in up front.

    @ Boswell - thanks for that tip; this is good to know.

    If I end up using all of the inputs in the back of the unit with pres, I'll just keep the front to use for my EQ, verb and comp. Again, a bit of a funky work flow and I may eventually have to patch some cables around, but I think I can make it happen without too much issue.
  17. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I forgot to mention that at minimum gain the FF800 front panel line inputs can accept 3dB higher maximum levels than the rear panel line inputs (even in their lo-gain mode). This is sometimes useful, but it still means that I have to use 12dB attenuators to deal with the outputs of pre-amps like my API 3124+ when I'm looking for a bit of transformer crunch.
  18. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Thank you everyone for the comments and advice. After much research and mental debate I pulled a 'right turn Clyde' and decided to go with the Sebatron VMP2000e.

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