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Preamps/Interfaces

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Guitarfreak, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    First off, is there a difference?

    And second, I am looking at the Presonus Firebox, and would like some advice on how to properly use it.

    Thanks
     
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Yes there is a difference.

    A pre-amp takes a mic level signal and outputs a line level signal. It's the first stage in amplification.
    Pre-amps also can offer phantom power to provide power for mics that need it.

    An interface is usually a analog to digital converter with some sort of plug you can stick into your computer, firewire or USB.
    Interfaces usually have pre-amps built into them, also they can accept line level and sometimes instrument level. They also usually have a digital to analog converter in them so you can play back your music.
    Interfaces are all in one units for handling mics, lines and instruments, recording and playing back.

    To use the Firebox you buy it, read the manual then install the drivers and software, plug it all in, turn it on and use it.
     
  3. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    I thought I was done posting on anything involving this, but c'mon man, like ten minutes on Musicians Friend or Zzounds and you could have figured that out.


    Just get the interface, dick around with it, and come back with better questions.
     
  4. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    The presonus firebox @$250.00> is a great product but it is a firewire interface and I am not certain if your Mac (I'm PC) is firewire compatable. It can record up to six inputs (2 by line level 1/4" or xlr.)Accepts instrument or line level inputs.

    Has seperate main and headphone outputs and can produce mixes for monitors and phones. It has zero latency (so playback and recording are fully synched) when using the interface through headphones or monitors.

    There are other brands, some that use USB as the connection. All intefaces have a minimum requirement for processor and ram but be aware that is for the interface and the attached software recording programs chew up both.

    I am not familiar with Audacity but some will work with almost any software others are more specific.
    Post your computers specs and I am certain one of the Apple users can help.
     
  5. mattcalgary

    mattcalgary Guest

    I'm using an E-MU 0404 USB and having a lot of success. For now, it does everything I need it to. I only wish it had balanced outputs for my monitors though but at 250CDN, I can't get everything I want:(
     
  6. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Latency has nothing to do with syncing playback and recording. If your DAW is set up correctly your recordings will be properly synchronised even when monitoring through your DAW with latency.
     
  7. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I am not certain if your Mac (I'm PC) is firewire compatable.

    in the back there are two firewire ports, so I should be fine right? or is there something else involved?
     
  8. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    All you need is one of those FireWire ports -- you are good to go! I use PreSonus equipment and Macs with no problems.

    Good luck with your recordings.
     
  9. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Thanks :D

    also about the thread question, I am just looking for basic how to, levels and stuff, how to set the input volumes and etc.
     
  10. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    All that kind of thing is covered in the equipment manuals but on the Presonus stuff it is pretty intuitive, keep the led's from going red.
     
  11. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    ok thanks.
     
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Apple invented FireWire. Otherwise it's known as IEEE 1394. Columbus discovered America in 1492. The Americans blew up the Japanese in 1945. Nixon went down in 1972. A new era was born in America in 2008 or, was that 2009? It's been so long I forget.

    Forget me knot
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  13. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I know apple pioneered firewire but I remember reading here in the forums that certain new Mac laptops don't have firewire, I just did not want to assume his did.
     
  14. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Apple decided to be LAME and exclude firewire on the latest macbook.

    You also don't get more than one FW800 port on their new Pro model, where as the previous MacBook Pro came with both 400 +800, Another LAME decision from Apple! Look for more lame updates to come!
     
  15. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    An interface is an all-in-one recording device, and they usually come bundled with semi-professional recording software (like Cubase LE). A preamp is not what you want right now. An interface is required for good sound, a preamp just polishes the sound (I think that makes sense...). You really don't need more than the ability to record one stereo track at a time, which means you don't really need firewire, but multiple inputs and firewire are certainly nice to have. Just buy a cheap interface.
     
  16. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "A preamp is not what you want right now. An interface is required for good sound, a preamp just polishes the sound"

    A standalone preamp polishes the sound when you use it to feed the interface's line level input.

    The interface's cheapo preamps are what you really want, and the ADCs will be far superior to your onboard soundcard.
     
  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Huh??
    A preamp polishes the sound??? How about, a preamp amplifies the mics lower level signal....
    An interface will often *have* a preamp - the quality of which varies.

    A good preamp into a sound card may work fine. However, you're likely better off with an interface if this is your first foray into computer recording.

    IIRS-
    If I'm not mistaken, the comment about latency may have been regarding 0-latency mixes for fold back. When a singer is recording a vocal track and the signal has to go into the software, then back out to the vocalist, it's at the mercy of the system's (system=interface+computer+software) latency. If you can run a low buffer (128 samples or less), you may not have a problem. If you're running high-buffers, you will.

    Cheers -
    J
     
  18. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Wait. I thought you had experience in pro studios? Anyway, the manual. Yes the "getting started" manual is your best friend. And after that, the pdf manual that comes with Cubase LE included with the Firebox. Use the index for specific questions. When all that has finally failed you, this forum or Steinberg.net will be your next resource.
     
  19. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I meant that a preamp is more of a one-trick pony, and that interfaces come with usable ones anyway, so better to get an interface, because it can do more than just a preamp.
     
  20. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    The foldback issue was what I was talking about. Was I incorrect to call that latency? Is there a better terminology to use regarding this?
     

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