Audio interface recommendations?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by rgprestige, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    #1
    Hey all, I have been shopping around for my first audio interface that I will be using with my mid 2008 macbook pro 13'. I want to step it up a notch from the built in mic and usb mics. I will be essentially using it to record guitar ideas and to record songs in garageband for fun. I don't see myself needing to record more than one instrument at a time for now. All I am really looking for is 1 or 2 XLR inputs and a DI input for bass and the ability to monitor what I record. So far I've been eyeing the M audio fast track pro and the Tascam us600. Anybody use these? If so, how do you like it? If not, can anyone make some more recommendations within the 100-200 dollar range? Again...this is just for fun. I am not trying to produce a platinum record here.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    #2
    My daughter has the M-Audio fast track pro and has no complaints. I have a Tascam US-122 MKll. It works fine. I use to use a Tascam US-122 for many years but it wouldn't function with Snow Leopard.

    I see B&H has the Tascam US-122MKll for $79.99 but you probably want the more compact Tascam US 600 or the M-Audio Fast track Pro.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    #3
    they all work and they all have good enough s/n specs.

    i've helped friends that have used the m-audio stuff, presonus and the tascam - they all work.

    i think the presonus has the slight edge in their software.

    if working with a minimal setup is your thing, i'd go somewhere where you can try the one you're interested and see if the headphone outputs are loud enough with your OWN headphones.

    YMMV.

    i had a negative experience way in the past with an m-audio FW410 (buggery noisy output - hum! unbalanced outs) so i sort of stay away from them completely.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    #4
    The MacBook Pro you have has firewire, is that correct?

    You might consider a TC Electronics "Impact Twin":
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=tc+audio+interface&_sacat=0

    Looks to be a very nice box.

    I'd also suggest checking out Echo Audio products -- such as the "AudioFire4".

    I use an AudioFire8 and it works fine. Before that I used a Presonus "Firebox", and it, too, was a good product. Presonus has decent boxes for either USB2 or Firewire.

    I'd suggest raising your target budget to about $300. More options that way...
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    #5
    echo-audio's products are pretty great. i'm a big fan from their pci card interface days. if they stayed as good in FW land, then they're a solid buy.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    #6
    I actually meant to mention that - I do have a firewire 800 port. From what I've read it sounds like firewire is the way to go. So you use Echo Audio products with your mac? No issues? I want to make sure what I order will work fine because I've read all sorts of posts from people who have problems getting these things to work (although I am sure most of it is user error/ignorance). Maybe ill surf craigslist for one of those AudioFires.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    #7
    If your getting up into the $300 range you might take a look at the Zoom R8

    It's got a lot of tacked on features that aren't great, they work, but aren't the best, but it does have quite a few really great solid features as well.

    48v/24v phantom power for condenser mics, Hi-z input so you can plug a guitar/bass in directly without an amp and use the onboard effects. Two really decent condenser mic built in. A built in tuner that can use the inputs, or the built in mics, and a metronome.

    It works as a really decent 8-track recorder that records to SDCards (comes with a small card, then you can later hook it up to your computer and it works as an SDCard reader, so you don't have to have a separate reader), OR it can work as a USB interface an record directly into whatever software you want. It comes with a power brick, can be powered by USB, and it has AA batteries, your choice what you use, and It also works as a MIDI control surface.

    I have the R24 (I don't think I've used more than two inputs) and I consider it to be one of my best purchases, right next to my MBA.
     

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