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Reality Check - How much difference will it make?

Okay, so I am looking for a reality check.

Over the past couple weeks, I have been researching, thinking about, and agonizing over which hardware/software setup to upgrade to. As of right now, my primary projects will involve recording/mixing live audio --- acoustic guitars, acoustic bass, vocals, and lots of backup vocals. My budget is around $2,000 or so dollars.

So far, I have more or less narrowed my choices down to the following two:

(1) Digi 002/003 with Pro Tools

(2) RME Fire Face 400/800 with Logic Pro

As near as I can tell, the benefit of going with the first option (Digidesign) is that I would get (1) a control surface and (2) Pro Tools (which, from my experience, is the simplest program for live audio recording and mixing). The downside, of course, is that the A/D/A converters and Preamps in the Digidesign stuff isn't all that great while the RME stuff is supposedly fairly high quality.

So, I guess my question is this: recording at home, in a non-professional environment, will I really notice the difference in converters and preamps between the Digi stuff and the RME Fire Face stuff?

Should I sacrifice the Digi control surface and ease of use of Pro Tools for the superior sound quality of the RME units?

I need a reality check here --- as a non-pro who just wants to make really clean recordings, does any of this matter?

Any thoughts, comments, complaints, suggestions, observations, reservations, revelations or visitations from God would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot.


gdoubleyou Sun, 03/04/2007 - 14:50
Depends, If you are doing more pure tracking, PTLE. Be aware that the 002, 003 faders only work in PTLE.

In my opinion Logic is more of a compositinal solution, if you are more of writer it's the one to get.

As far as a more full featured powerhouse Logic Pro, 255 audio tracks, surround mixing, a buttload of instruments and effects, that doesn't require additional 3rd party plugs. As system that can grow, you can add more interfaces for more real time recording tracks.

When you look at capability Logic Pro is more comparable to PT|HD, if you have a machine that has the powr.


IIRs Sun, 03/04/2007 - 15:40
Get the RME, but buy Tracktion instead of Logic: with the difference you can get yourself a hardware control surface and / or some DSP accelerated FX to make up for losing the Logic plugs.

Or get a Mackie Onyx interface of some flavour and get Tracktion thrown in for free...

Don't think of it as a compromise: Tracktion is more than capable of everything you require, and is actually better than PT or Logic in some ways.

freesignal Wed, 03/14/2007 - 20:18
Pro Tools LE Sucks Bawls. Go with the RME and Logic or go with the Onyx and Tracktion. Either is gonna be better than LE. I use Logic Express and cannot really say anything bad about it. Plus, like gdoubleyou said, you have room to grow with something other than LE. That was probably what steered me clear of the Digi series. I don't like being controlled and limited by a corporation that is not willing to make things as easy and convenient as possible for their customers.

JoeH Wed, 03/14/2007 - 20:50
I'm glad to see so many folks recommending Traction & the Onyx solution. IMHO, it's a great, affordable way to go. The preamps are more than what you'll need, the price is right, and you'll have a built in converter that's darn close to the big boys. (In many cases, you won't hear any difference at all.)

Add to that the free Traction software, and you're ready to go. The nice thing is that this whole thing works on either platform: MAC or PC.