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I'm new to the recording world. I need a decent interface to record a full band, (guitar,bass,drums,etc) In the 300-400 dollar price range. Can anyone help? Also i have a mxl 990 what other mics should i be recording my guitars with?

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RemyRAD Tue, 01/31/2012 - 11:59

Your answer is simple, you need something like the Pre-Sonus Fire Studio, FireWire computer audio interface device. This provides 8 class A microphone preamp and/or instrument/line level inputs. That device is approximately $500 US and includes a very nice multitrack audio & MIDI software package. A great bang for the buck. If you need more than 8 simultaneous inputs, you would need a second unit. Unfortunately that would exceed your budget. Some analog & digital mixers have the ability to output a multitrack signal via FireWire of 16-24 inputs but you're talking $1500-$3500 for one of those. So that ain't doable on your budget either. Of course you would also need a desktop or laptop computer with a IEEE 1394 FireWire port. Numerous adapters are available if your computer does not have a resident FireWire port. Only one of my desktop computers has a built-in FireWire port and the others required FireWire PCI cards. My primary laptop had a 4 pin FireWire connector but I also purchased an external FireWire card I could plug into the laptop which had 6 pin FireWire jack which I also wanted. So in your budget, that's about it.

You'll be tracking soon.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Flyinace1 Tue, 01/31/2012 - 12:24

If you are using electric guitars I would not suggest using the mxl. You should get some dynamic mics like the sm57 or i5. Since they cost about $100 each that would break your budget so you may want to find some one you can borrow them from. You may also want to find a good 8 channel usb interface if you dont have a firewire input so that will be one less thing to buy, but a good 8 channel runs closer to $500.

aj113 Tue, 01/31/2012 - 13:36

This is what I use [[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Product: M-164UF | TASCAM[/]="…"]Product: M-164UF | TASCAM[/]

Discontinued now but you can still get them if you look hard enough. As far as I know it is the only mixer that can record up to 16 tracks simultaneously through USB 2.0 - no sound card needed, no mixer, no interface, and 6 phantom power inputs to boot. This does it all. No wonder they discontinued it, it was probably detracting from their high-end sales.

RemyRAD Tue, 01/31/2012 - 14:12

AJ113 has a bitchin', entry-level device that would fill all of your needs. So you might want to start hunting for one on eBay. You might even find some stores that still have stock even though it's discontinued? And he's probably right why it was discontinued. That was too much bang for the buck. Not high end but 100% adequate in the right hands or left. But Pre-Sonus & $500 will get you something even better sounding even though it will only record 8 simultaneous tracks with a FireWire interface & Port on the computer. As AJ 113 pointed out, that device is USB 2.0 so it can stream 16 simultaneous tracks to the computer where USB 1.1 devices are generally restricted to a maximum of 4 with 2 being standard issue. The Avid/Digi M-Box 2, which I also have, is USB 1.1. It only comes with 2 inputs & 2 outputs but is capable of handling 4 inputs provided you include an additional 2 Channels on a single SPDIF, digital input from another outboard analog to digital converter. I think I utilized it that way all of 2 or 3 times, in the past few years I have owned that piece of crap. That's because it's not my primary outboard recording interface. It was only the way a guy could inexpensively afford to have ProTools and it cost $450 at a discount music store. But now you can obtain ProTools 10 which will allow operation with anybody's hardware. Of course the software itself costs $600 without any audio interface. So you are in the depths of being in the depths of being in the depths.

Nothing is ever as easy as you would like it to be unless you're wealthy.
Mx. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Thu, 02/02/2012 - 15:06

Good is a relative term when talking about TA-SCAM equipment. One really isn't any better than another within their product line. The 1800 is simply a computer audio interface where the one AJ 113 has, is an analog mixer, with all the features a small mixer has to offer along with its ability to record up to 16 simultaneous tracks. So it all depends upon your usage & workflow that best suits you. Both deliver relatively equivalent audio quality or the lack thereof. These are decent entry-level devices. With adequate experience & capabilities, you can deliver professional recordings with either of these devices. They are not stellar nor boutique oriented but they are usable professional pieces, in the right hands.

Not something to write home about
Mx. Remy Ann David

Capi Fri, 02/10/2012 - 21:10

I use the mackie onyx series ...

Remy, What do ya think of the Mackie Onyx series mic pre's? I am new to this forum so If I placed this in the wrong location I am sorry, forgive my noobness!) We mainly record hip hop, and after investigating some well known artists mic chain, Ive concluded that I wont have a u47 or u87 mic any time soon, nor will i have a neve console... or be recording to a studer is there any recommendation to get "Closer" to that sound? One step I took was getting the kel audio hm7u mic...And it was well worth it... Please any advice ?

RemyRAD Sun, 02/12/2012 - 02:29

I have no problem with those Mackie units. They actually compare favorably in quality to my API & Neve's. They don't sound like those that they do have a good quality of sound that only has nuance differences. If that microphone is getting you the sound you want, then it's the right one. If you think it could sound better? Try a SM58 with an additional foam or nylon stocking lollipop, pop filters. You should know that many of those classic recordings with that classic sound were utilizing old-school, classic, transformer coupled input microphone preamps. The Mackie is a transformer less unit which also has its pros and cons and generally a far different sound than any transformer coupled, old-school design microphone preamp. So if you're looking for a similarity of sound to capture, you really have to put yourself technically into the same place. Which would mean anything other than old-school style sounding equipment, will have a bigger, fatter sound than perhaps any transformer less device would provide for. So understanding the kind of equipment utilized to obtain those old-fashioned sounds sometimes requires the use of similar style equipment. Otherwise it's apples and oranges. So you could only best try to emulate from what you have. And I can pretty much guarantee, it will never sound like the older classic equipment. It will have that newer more 21st-century sound to it. It's inevitable. How could it not?

The sound is always dependent upon what you want the final product to sound like.
Mx. Remy Ann David


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