budget firewire interface

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by jmezz, May 17, 2006.

  1. jmezz

    jmezz Guest

    Hello--I recently picked up a Mac mini G4, and I want to try recording with GarageBand (first, and go from there). Never done any kind of computer-based recording before (though I have done recording in pro studio with ADATs).

    Anybody have an opinion on the best firewire A/D interface for $300 or less? The M-Audio stuff looks chintzy, and from reviews, they seem to have a kind of spotty record. I was leaning toward the Presonus firebox, which comes with a lite version of Cubase, but that box doesn't seem to get anywhere near to a great rating, either.

    I really just want something for doing acoustic guitar/vocal, with the option to go in afterward and put in some guitar and rhythm tracks. So, I'd like to get a decent sound with as few computer hassles as possible, as little latency as possible (though I haven't yet experienced it for myself), and enough preamp quality to make it worth my while with an SM58 (that's the only mic I can afford to use now, since I already own one).

    So, am I dreaming, for $300? (That's what I'll pay for the Presonus firebox or the M-Audio 410).

    Another option I've been mulling--find a MOTU 828 or 896 firewire on ebay. Is 44k alright (the 828), or should I be going for the 96K?

    Okay, I've spewed out a lot for my first post--my apologies, I'm an absolute newbie!
  2. xian

    xian Guest

    Get the Firebox, and I doubt you'll find a really noticable difference between 44k and 96k, not for your needs anyway. I've got a Mackie Onyx 400f which goes all the way up to 192k and I've yet to set it that high.

    A friend of mine owns the Firebox, another friend owns a Firepod, both friends are very happy with how they perform. It's second hand experience, I know, but I have to agree with you, the M-audio stuff does seem a little chintzy.

    Can I make a mic suggestion? I recently ordered a Kel Audio HM-1 and I love it on vocals and to get the warmth from an acoustic guitar, I use one coupled with a plain old SM57 and I can get a sound from an acoustic guitar that I really like. The HM-1 is $99 USD including shipping, I'm not sure if you'll find a better deal than that.
  3. xian

    xian Guest

    There you go: (Dead Link Removed)
  4. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    $300, or less? Yes, you're dreaming... So what? Get the "pretty one" and start recording! When you outgrow it(If ever) get something "better".

    Whip that credit card upon them!

  5. jmezz

    jmezz Guest

    budget interface (thanks)

    Thanks for the advice, Christian and TG. I think the firebox is definitely the best bet. It's off to the Guitar Center I go (they have a "don't pay for fifteen months" credit card offer--a deal with the devil, I know, but it's the only way to clear this with the wife!). Have you guys used Cubase? The firebox comes with a stripped version of it...

    Christian, thanks for the advice on the mic, too--I hadn't heard of that one. I did have my eye on one of the lowest-end AKG condensers, which I think lists for about $150. Any thoughts on those entry-level AKG mics?

  6. xian

    xian Guest

    Cubase is awesome and really easy to use. I havent used any of the lower end AKG's, Audio Technica makes really decent low priced LD condensers though. I'd seriously consider the HM-1. Do a search for it on here and read what people have said about it.
  7. jmezz

    jmezz Guest

    Thanks, Christian--I will definitely take a hard look at the HM-1. I'm looking at a Rode, too, that lists for $200. I'm going to try and actually demo these before buying.

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