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upgrading interface.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by smashbox, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. smashbox

    smashbox Guest

    Hey..new to this site ! Just looking for some opinions.

    My current setup includes...Mackie hr824 monitors...Universal Audio la610 Chanel strip...and a mackie 24/8 mixer run through a Delta 1010 rack (pci) soundcard with pro tools m powered.

    I have no problems with the quality of the delta 1010 however it limits me to 8 quarter inch balanced inputs and does not allow adat or multiple soundcard operation within protools. I am getting ready to make a change over to another audio interface that will allow me more inputs.

    My problem is....I like the use of the mackie mixer for its pres and eq along with its ability to have amazing freedom with headphone mixes during recording and playback. I also like the fact that the 1010 does not have its own preamps so I can use my la610 directly into it and also run other lines directly from my mackies direct outs on each channel.

    I have looked into such things as the 003 mixer and it seems to limit me in these areas...especially the headphone mix.

    Any suggestions on a soundcard or interface that suits my needs?
    Anyone notice a difference in sound quality in pci v.s fire wire?
    Should I just suck it up and change my way of mixing?
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    If you want to stick with ProTools LE in its various forms you are pretty limited for choice in interfaces: M-Audio or Digidesign.

    The sort of flexibility you are seeking is indeed available in interfaces such as the RME FF800, Mackie 1200F or even some of the MOTU boxes, but these offer no direct interfacing with PT. You have to choose carefully if you want to improve on, or at least maintain, your present audio quality, which many would say rules out using the analog paths though Digidesign lower-end products.

    You could consider getting an M-Audio Lightbridge, which would be compatible with your existing PT M-powered, and then going into it via the ADAT outputs on the FF800, 1200F or other boxes. I know of studios that have bought an Alesis HD24XR specifically to get a high-quality 24-channel A-D and D-A conversion system with ADAT interface. It's about the best value 24-channel A-D-A system, and you get hard disk recording thrown in for free.

    Even though the Lightbridge has 4 ADATs in and out (32 digital channels at 48KHz), PT M-powered (and LE) limits you to 18 concurrent channels.

    The other route to consider is a multi-channel Firewire interface (like the FF800 or 1200F) and perform your recording and tracking with software other than PT. You could then import your .wav files into PT for post processing in the way that you know and love.
  3. CDSoundMaster

    CDSoundMaster Active Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Home Page:
    I'm new to the site as well, so howdy!
    I would suggest deciding your ideal routing first, and then go on the equipment hunt from there.
    ADAT connection is a good way to connect your outboard mic pres, as it won't have as much of an impact on changing or limiting the sound of your quality gear going in, as can even subtle changes via sound card analog in's based on good but cheap IC's. Choosing a high quality ADAT converter set to add to your sound card choice at a later date gives you an upgrade path that is most likely to keep you up-to-date with current sample rates/bit depths via smux connection.
    Mic Pre -> ADC -> soundcard ADAT connection.
    Then, the card's extra channels are open to the Mackie or whatever else gives you your extra channels and monitoring.
    Hope that helps!

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