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onyx or 8pre?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Mice256, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    Hello everone!

    I am pretty new to recording and have learned lots from reading your posts, but now i have a question for everyone. I have a Windows based Laptop and an emu 1616 audio interface. It had worked great for my own projects but now i have abdn to record and i need a new interface. I was looking at the Mackie onyx 1640 mixer with firewire card which has 16 inputs and great pre-amps from what i hear, OR 2 Motu 8 pre which i hear are also good. they are both about the same price but i wanted some opinions. thanx i appreciate the responses.

  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    You can contimue to use the E-MU 1616 if you still want to use a laptop by using the ADAT I/O ports of the MicroDock. Behringer & Presonus to name a few, make such units that have both 8-mic preamps and ADAT ports.
  3. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    thanx but io'm looking into upgrading and i wantd to see if i there are any reasons for choosing one or the other
  4. vdrummer

    vdrummer Active Member

    I think it is important to consider your situation and what you want to accomplish. In my case I have a small hobby studio where I write the songs and arrange the guitar, drums, and vocals, so I really think a firewire mixer was the ticket for me. That way I could have all my channels for live practice (when all my musician friends are there) all connected to dedicated recording channels. I currently have 8 drums channels a stereo for my vocal processor, stereo Marshall Guitar input, Bass, Rhythm and back up vocals. I chose a Phonic Helix 24MKII, I can record simultaneous 16 channels at a time and it was cheap with a 3 year warranty. So far I have set up my channels and am very please with the preamps, all my gains are very low with strong signal strength. I don't have a need currently for an outstanding pres but figured I would get them later. I still have yet to record with it yet but will get a chance soon to record the latest song I wrote. After all it is a hobby!
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hmm...well I think Gaff's response is on target.

    If you're "upgrading" your plans as you describe them are actually moving sideways, not up.

    In otherwords, you're trading one limiting technology/device for another. Instead, you can take advantage of what you already have and use the ADAT inputs (as Gaff suggested). This will bypass the converters in your modest card and allow you to move to something outboard. For example, you could get a good set of 8 pres with a lightpipe output (say the Onyx 800R) and 2 years down the road when you've upgraded your interface, your pres won't be out of date and need to be cast aside. You can continue to use your preamps and simply upgrade the computer interface to something better.

    Going with the likes of a dedicated piece of hardware which contains "the whole solution" such as pres, AD, computer interface and software is setting yourself up for a financial loss in the future.

    In other words, listen to the Gaff, he knows what he's talking about.
  6. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    well i want to record a live band which i will most likely end up overdubbing becaue i don't have a good rom to track all of them at once. I want to get good recordingsanks so that eventually they will go on CD. i was leaning more towards the motu 8pre because i hear the onyx doesn't really get along with windows operating systems, which i also hear for the motu but with the ASIO4all driver it worked fine for a friend of mine. I think either would work well for my uses but i wanted to hear the opinions of those who had experience with either to give the pros and cons. Thanx again :)
  7. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    you know what my choices were incorrect. I'm sorry about not taking into account because what you have said has been really helpful wheni looked into it. That onyx 800r sounds like it will suite my needs better. Since i am going to overdub anyway i dont't need 16 channels of simultaneous recording. those 10 channels should be plenty for now. 1 more question is it possbile fo rme to add another onyx 800r in the future to the rig in order to get more inputs? thanx again
  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    If you mean can use two Onyx 800 with the E-MU 1616 MicroDock, then yes. But you only have 6-analog inputs to the MicroDock. One Onyx could be used with the MicroDock ADAT ports and the other as a mic pre only with it's analog outputs connected to the 4-analog inputs on the back of the MicroDock and the two inputs of the front of the MicroDock.

    FYI: The ASIO4ALL driver does not provide low latency as it sits on top and is in addition to any audio interface driver.
  9. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    thanks for your replies they are helpful! Like i said im new so fogive me if i ask tooo many question, but is there an interface that would let me connect 2 onyx preamps and record to seperate tracks on the program? what i really need is something that can record at least 10 tracks at the same time into seperate tracks in the DAW, which is y i was looking at the motu 8pre, but if there are better solutions im open. thanks

  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    The RME series of interfaces is a good way to bring lightpipe into the computer. Of course, any interface with lightpipe inputs would be fine. Motu offers some, Emu and M-Audio do as well.
  11. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    i was leaning more towards the motu 8pre because i hear the onyx doesn't really get along with windows operating systems

    Absolute total nonsense, probably passed along by someone who didn't know how to hook theirs up properly. I've been using the Onyx DI card interface for several years now, with various PC and Mac systems, with only one serious issue - caused by the computer, not the card.

    As for using two Onyx devices at the same time, it's possible with the Onyx mixers/interface cards, no idea if it works the same way with the stand-alone pre's. You'd be better off going to Mackie's website and perusing their very good users forum. Just about any topic is avialable over there, and if you don't see it, you can ask their membership or a tech. I'm fairly certain you can do just that - run two cards or AD/DA's at the same time.

    With the Onyx mixer DI option cards, each has it's own unique ID number. You simply intall the software for each, one after the other; up to two seperate devices are allowed a time. It's explained in the owners manual a bit fuzzily, but it works. (In theory, you could run two 1640's at the same time, giving you 32 tracks, if your system could handle it.)

    If you only need 10 inputs, you could also get one of the smaller Onyx mixers as well; they come with 16, 10 and 4 mic pre's, depending on the model - 1640, 1620, 1220, etc.

    Last but not least, I don't think you mentioned "quality" of sound from one of these against the other. (Thank you!) For what you're doing, you won't hear any appreciable difference between most of the items you're thinking about, it's mostly convenience and connectivity at this stage of things. They are all on roughly the same level, sonically. Your Onyx, MOTU and RME pre's will give you excellent results, but don't expect the same specs as a Grace or Millenium, etc.

    FWIW: I've had an original MOTU 896 (pre the MKII version) that was a bit buggy with early versions of WinXP (and 98 before that), but these days, it's a happy camper, working nicely in the background as a spare digital input device in my DAW transfer rack for reel to reels, cassettes, VHS, TT and other odd-ball analog devices that need to get into the digital world for restoration and such.

    Good luck whatever you choose.
  12. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Do you what you want to do, but as I have already told you, you can easily get 10-inputs with your current E-MU 1616 interface by using it's ADAT ports. And they now make a PCI card that you can get for the 1616 MicroDock so you can use it on either your current laptop or a desktop PC via a PCI slot.

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