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NOTE: Moderator; Please quickly read this post and then go to the post below for more accurate description of my dilemma.

I have a RME multiface and have been more than happy with it. I have been using it with the PCMCIA card into my laptop but have just bought a dual G5.

I now need to buy a PCI card for it but I am seriously looking at the fireface. I have used firewire in the past but that was with a digi002 and was not real happy with it.

Can anyone tell me about there experiences with the fireface? Would they recommend the upgrade and how do they find the preamps in the box. What quality are they and what would you recommend using and not using them for.


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anonymous Wed, 05/11/2005 - 15:30

Seeing as I got no response I have to elaborate a little to perhaps generate a little interest. I will be more specific.

Presently I am using a RME multiface into my toshiba Centrino laptop. All 8 inputs plus spdif are presently taken with my AKAI MPC2000xl and EMU SP12 (if your jaw drops I can asssume we are from different schools of thought and kindly ask you not to be sidetracked by that).

Anyway, I have just bought a G5 desktop and am planning on buying some pres to record vocals, stringed instruments, wind instruments (all types), guitars and bass, drums and percussion.

I predominantly produce abstract hip-hop and 95% of my sounds are sampled (I don't use loops but rather grab sounds and make synths out of them or tweek things so no-one will recognise the original source) but I grew up playing guitar and bass (jazz, metal, classical, reggae, folk) and have extensive experience in live music.

I have always loved hip hop and once I got my MPC I never turned back. Necessity dictated that I only had turntables and vinyl for a number of years and this is what I used to make my music. The mother of all inventions as they say. Now I am about to get back into recording my live instruments with fellow musos and I can'T wait.

So, I need preamps and more inputs cause I don't wanna unplug my samplers they are always in use and I mix them in TOTALMIX.

Now this is where it gets tricky. To get to the stage where I can add inputs I will need a PCI card and I am looking at getting the RME AD 8 (the 24 bit/96khz one) to get my preamps in via ADAT into the Multiface. Otherwise I will get the ISA 428 plus ADAT card. This will give me an extra 8 inputs at 24 bit 48khz or 4 inputs at 24 bit 96 khz but when I add up the cost I of getting those items it works out much the same as a Fireface.

So I am thinking of getting the Fireface and keeping my old set up and using the G5 exclusively for live stuff. Then I still am utilising everything I currenlty own and getting more inputs (total) at higher quality and still being able to do everything I need to do but over two systems.

I was planning on getting the ISA 428 instead if the RME AD8 and using its AD card but I have heard it overheats. I want to get as many possible ins at 96k as I plan to record jazz at this level on top of that I have come around to the Sebatron products after reading nothing but glowing reviews. Other than the ISA I was thinking of the DBX 786 but am now balking because it does not have 240V (Australian Voltage). As I wanted the best of both worlds with transformer and tube PREs.

This all stems from the idea of maximising what I already have (I hate unplugging things ) and getting the best quality conversion rates and timbres into my DAW's.

So it probably breaks down to this as my setups .

1. Get the REM AD8 and Sebtron VMP2000 plus DBX 786 plus RME multiface PCI card.

2. Get the ISA 428 lplus ADAT card and SEB VMP2000 and RME multiface PCI card

3. Get the Fireface plus sebatron VMP2000

Options 1 and 2 give me less inputs at the higher conversion rates (only one ADAT in on the RME) and means my laptop will wait around doing not much except for my location recording gigs ( which are becoming more frequent) but I get the pres on the ISA or the DBX 786 which both, from all reports, have great sound, while option 3 gives me two great systems utilising excellent AD conversion but I loose out on the pres in terms of the Fireface.

However option gives me the Fireface with two adats in and that allows me to later get he items or others from options 1 and 2.

So what I really need to know is how much will I be loosing out with the Fireface pres as opposed to the ISA or DBX. I plan to use them mainly for overheads and the like as the Sebatron can look after the rest. But may be it will be good on everything that I wish to record.

I would really appreciate some educated detailed responses and advice. There are so many options but I don't wanna go much passed this. I will also be using the G5 for film and film sound.

I am a newbie tho this forum and I know this question is quite involved but I think it goes to the heart of what a lot of people wanna know at the same time. I have been an avid reader of this forum for quite a while and can thank many of you for helping to arrive at where I am now, otherwise I would be lost. Anyone who wants to express an opinion on this please do. If the pres in the fireface are crap let it rip. If the ISA is overated let it rip. If you have a better idea let me know. PLEASE remember this though I arrived at the idea of the fireface through economics but secondly it has mad converters, two ADAT'S in and out, great drivers, FW800 and 64 bit technology and is highly upgradable in terms of linking them together. BUT the PRES are the discussion point.

And if anyone can have a detailed analysis of the why they think the fireface pres will cut it or not don'T hold back. This will go to the heart of many threads I have seen posted at this forum.

Thankyou very much.

AudioGaff Tue, 05/24/2005 - 18:21

Computer related stuff belongs here. Post a questions in Pro Audio specific to Pro Audio gear only. In fact why don't you make use of the search function before you post any question. When it comes to preamps it has all been talked about many times before.

I heard and seen enough to know I am quite leary to trust firewire as it is now.

Unless your talking about the dbx 786 Blue series, dbx is the about the last company I would by a mic pre product from.

At this point in time, 64-bit OS and products are highly over rated in terms of what you really get in performance and are more likely to give you twice as many problems and issues as the current 32-bit stuff.

Reggie Wed, 05/25/2005 - 10:04

Wow that is quite a post to absorb. If opinions is what you are looking for, I will give you mine.
I like option 2 the best. Six good pres, room for two more on the ADAT converter card, plus you could always unplug your samplers or whatever they are from the analog input channels if you need even more ins. Don't forget you have a couple channels of SPDIF to expand with later if you need.

anonymous Wed, 05/25/2005 - 14:17

Update for those iterested. I went with the fireface after much discussion with those that know more than me (total Mix is now a midi interface:- this thing is unreal) and will be getting the sebatron vmp4000e very soon.

I spoke to the techs at Sebatron and seb himself, they were excellent and never put on a sell but adviced me about the nature of the pres in all and the I spoke to someone that knows the RME devices very intimately.

The RME interface will be excellent for location recordings that I do of small orchestras and this is where I earn bucks. The pres are totally transparent with no noise because of their design and proximity to the AD conversion which is most excellent. This is what you want from this type of pre. Apparently a multiple award winning recordist (grammy?) of classical music had a hand in their design. The Grace Lunatec (also respected for its traspency) is $200 dearer. Figure. So the RME pres appear to be the best in its class. Trasparent pres cop a bit off a bagging but realistically they can serve a very good purpose and certainly have their place. Trasparency and conversion is important.

With the sebatron I will cover many bases/basses and I can't wait. Next will be the dynaudios. I will keep this thread running and let those who are interested know how it goes. Cheers.

anonymous Fri, 05/27/2005 - 17:06

Reggie. 'Trasparent pres cop a bit off a bagging' means that transparent pres aren't favoured by many and receive a lot of criticism.

Maybe I can school you up on some English that isn't 'American English'.

I never realised that something not understood by someone was 'rediculous'. Did you mean ridiculous?

Anything else you have trouble with just give us a yell and I will do my best to help you out mate.

Reggie Mon, 05/30/2005 - 01:14

Ha ha, that's funny. I expected it to be an Aussie phrase. They are always saying fun stuff like that too.

And I'm not saying you or england or whatever is rediculous; it just sounded like a rediculous* phrase to me, being ignorant of its meaning.

*Sometimes I interchange "rediculous" and "awesome"


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