A bit new to digital recording, need advice on hardware plz.

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Gooch, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Gooch

    Gooch Active Member

    Jan 13, 2006
    Hey there,

    I have worked as a "live" sound tech for years, have a good ear and understanding of the basics. I build p.c.'s, and have a good knowledge of computers.
    Here's what I have:

    Super fast/new cutting edge amd p.c. - everything is top of the line, except stock 5.1 audio card. I am running win xp pro corp, and using Sonar v. 5 producer edition for digital audio recording. (Just got it yesterday and trying to learn it)

    Here's what I need to know:

    I need an audio interface that will allow 8 xlr and at least 4 1/4 inch inputs to the p.c. that will allow the p.c. to recognize all inputs as seperate, and be able to assign them to and record to seperate tracks. (Basically I need a decent sound card and patch bay of some sort with xlr and 1/4 inch inputs) I would prefer to use an external sound interface rather than an onboard card.

    Can someone please point me in the right direction? I have no clue what can do the job, and be good quality as well. I am on a budget, and need to keep cost below $600.00 if possible. I am planning to use the system for home based demo recordings for bands.


    Thx in advance :)

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    If I were you, I would save up a few more dollars and go for the MOTU fire wire interface albeit only 4 XLR inputs and has just about everything else you want.



  4. Gooch

    Gooch Active Member

    Jan 13, 2006
    No offence kids, but i'd rather not have people post to try and convince me to use what "they" use, and suggest alternate software, etc. The last poster here was not even relevent, and didn't answer any part of the question I asked. It seems to be a theme on this forum - people not answering the question, but going on about what they prefer to use..... Can anyone just read the question here, and answer with good advice relevent to the question?? If you don't know the answer, the courteous thing to do would be not to post anything!! I asked a very direct question here, it just requires a simple answer, anyone else want to give it a shot now?? Please, all morons kindly avoid this post, thank you.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Well Grumpy Goochy,

    In previous posts on RO, I've seen reference to the Presonus Firepod which appears to have 8 XLR inputs from other people's descriptions but I have no idea as to the cost of that unit as I am not in the market to purchase anything currently and have not investigated it myself?

    Are you feeling better now?

    Grumpy Old
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    I read your question that you need
    8 x Mic preamp input
    4 x Line inputs

    giving a total of 12 AD converters.

    This is a bit further than the main crop of equipment that often has 8 inputs, only some of them with mic preamps (an example might be the Motu 828mkII with 2 mic preamps and 8 line inputs).

    The solution to this is often enought to combine several boxes. A basic sound card, added with extra AD-s connected through AD and some extra mic preamps to round it out.

    Quite often you see people using a mixer, as it gives you a few preamps and also solves another problem - how to get monitoring to the artist. There is a special problem with computer interfaces that they generate a bit of latency, or in other words delay. Monitoring yourself through much latency can be quite annoying. Now, this is generally a solvable problem but should be taken in consideration.

    This discussion above is partly because, maybe you have a bit of the equiment available anyway. As the budget is 600 it does not really reach to the top level, indeed if 12 channels is the goal we are more on the very basic level.

    Just to make an example:
    One way to get 8 channels of mic pre and AD converter is the Behringer ADA8000. This outputs its signal as an ADAT signal (goes on so-called Toslink lightpipe optical cables). If you had a Motu 828mkII you would then have full use of its 10 inputs, of which 2 has mic pres. Sadly though I guess this will end up a bit above your budget though. (Just to be clear, I have used this combination myself and can vouch for it working. I moved away to more expensive equipment after a while though)

    There probably are quite a few interfaces out there, too many for me to even think of. So just maybe a visit to a local music shop could help a bit, I think they tend to have catalogues from various sources which might help you out.

    I also strongly advice you to go and buy a few magazines. These will definitely have ads from several companies helping you along to where to search. The thick one is Sound-on-Sound here in Europe, and it has a really good website with lots of reviews (they publish them on the net a few months after they have been in the newspaper).

    Sorry for not beeing able to give more specific help.

  7. Gooch

    Gooch Active Member

    Jan 13, 2006
    Gunnar, thx for the reply - finally some helpful advice. :) I was actually looking into that Behringer unit initially, and was a good candidate for doing the job. The only thing i'm lacking is a sound card with adat input from the Behringer unit to my p.c. The local music stores haven't been much help on the sound card end, and still looking to find what I need as far as that goes. I can go as high as $250.00 - maybe $300.00 for the audio card, and that should set me up.

    *** Edited ***


    Grumpy here...lol.

    Thx also for the help, I have looked into the MOTU products you suggested and they are quite nice but a bit pricey. I may buck up a few more $ and purchase the "traveller", which seems to be quite a handy all-in-one unit for home and mobile digital recording. It also has tons of featured/extras like seperate db gains for all inputs in 1 db ajustments, midi in/out, level monitoring with live mixing controls, bundled mixing software, etc. making it a pretty handy all-in-1 unit. If I had even more money to play with, the MOTU HD192 is about as nice a unit as I have seen yet, hosting 12 +4 db xlr in and outs, with audio wire sound card included, etc. I am very impressed with their gear, and am pretty much sold on one of these units now. Thx for the advice, much appreciated everyone. :)

    (Note) - From my experience, cheap is not any good, and good is never cheap. I will spend the money, and get something I will be satisfied with. Good advice I think!

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