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Audio interface

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by juhani, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. macrumors member



    I need a little advice. Namely, so far i've been creating music using GarageBand, V-Amp2 into the 1/8" built-in input and prerecorded loops. But honestly that sucks. Especially recording stuff. So now I'd like to buy my first audio interface and also move to Logic.

    It doesn't have to have millions of channels and like real studio thing because the money is issue, but it definitely has to be decent and be capable to manage with the following...

    I've got 2 projects. One is a 4 instrument funk-rock band; that is one guitar, one bass, drums and vocal. And we'd like to start to record our first decent demo soon. Right now I play with Gibson LP Studio and have Egnater TOL100 all tube head and 2x12" guitar cab with Celestion Vintage 30s inside. My bassist has a Yamaha 5 string bass and Hartke 2500 head and XL 4x10 cab.

    The second project though is a real experimental one, which probably made me to search for a good audio interface. And as we also need a keyboard i've thought about Ozonic by M-Audio. That would also be the highest prize i could pay. I've got a singer who already has a Samson Samson CL7 Condenser Mic and lots of acoustic instruments. Like those eastern drums and other instruments i can't even name right now. We'd also use acoustic guitars.

    So what do you think about that Ozonic? Or would you rather suggest anything else?
  2. macrumors member


    Or should i get FireWire 410 and a cheap keyboard with it instead?
  3. macrumors 6502a


    My advice is this: if you don't get the Ozonic DO NOT get a cheap keyboard with the money that is left from buying the 410 but instead use all of those $600 to buy a better interface (like the 1814). You can't get much of a keyboard for $200 and although the Ozonic isn't much of a keyboard either (it only has 37 keys and doesn't have any built-in sounds), you can pair it up with good sequencing software like reason or even with the built-in instruments logic has.
    I have not tried any of the products mentioned in this post, lol :D , however, I think M-Audio has a good reputation with audio interfaces and the ozonic seems like a good deal. When you buy an interface, make sure it doesn't have any latency issues, bad latency will make an interface useless no matter how good its recordings sound.

    **Edit: oops you are in Scotland :D , I was using US prices, dunno how much it would be in pounds
  4. Moderator emeritus


    Personally I'd look at the Saffire box from Focusrite and Logic or the M-powered Protools with either a 410 or an 1814 M-audio interface.

    Don't bother with the new M-box, it's not as good as either of the above solutions.

    The Saffire has on-board DSP that helps with heavy processing in the audio domain.

    There are loads of cheap USB keyboards around, but none that have the kind of audio capabilities you'll find in a good interface.
  5. macrumors member


    Thanks for your informative replies. Right now i think i'll go with M-Audio's FireWire 410. 1814 has too many options for my needs right now i wouldn't use anyway, and then i still wouldn't have a keyboard which is really essential come to think of it.

    So i did some research and found quite many keyboards that fit into my budget. Do you have any experience with Evolution keyboards? Like MK-449C? I turned away from Ozonic 'cause when choosing that i wouldn't have option to upgrade just an audio interface later on...

    Would that setup work fine with Reason and/or Logic?

    I'm not in UK any more. Back in my country now... :rolleyes:
  6. macrumors member


    Midiman / M-Audio products are all very good, and very well priced. Apple offers a Garage Band + MIDI Keyboard for $99 - an M-Audio Keystation 49e ( or they have an 88 key @ $200!!! )

    Recording: I "think" USB has a maximum of recording 2 tracks at a time. ( with USB 1.1 it did, dunno if a USB 2.0 device exists ) So, based on what you wrote, 4 people recording....you'd need more track inputs or a 2nd? ( Or you can use a Mixer ( Behringer might have a $20 one ) then make two tracks.... ( Then again Tascam said up to 4, but not stereo = and Apple said "We don't advise more than 2 at a time".

    Of course, you didn't say, are you planning on recording everyone at once??? If not, USB is an option -course you can record all in one track as well....but we usually like the option of editing, tweaking each separately.

    OK, so Firewire 410 will be fine, and again, M-Audio, is not only sold by Apple, but recommended! Every GB display at like Comp USA has at least one to demo.... I think they use the stock MIDI driver & USB = so it wont require any driver ( but I know the Core Audio/ MIDI guys & they said they are all fine )

    That would work well... and All Audio is handled by Core Audio. So Reason, Logic, anything can control anything in MIDI - and Audio can be routed to/ from any App - Yes all MIDI/Audio devices work with all Audio/MIDI App's - it's a Mac!

    ( Just curious, why upgrade your Audio interface? If you "think" it's low quality, it isn't at all... The "Sound" is as good as any Apogee or Pro Tools product - it should be fine - or do u need more inputs?? )

    Hope that eases your mind,
  7. macrumors G5


    Do some googling on the M-Audio FW410 - there has been a rumble of problems with it.

    You neeed to decide how many simultaneous tracks you want to record. If you are doing the band members one by one, a 2-analog-in I/F is fine. If you expect to record 4 players to their own tracks simultaneously, you need to investigate the capabilities of the I/F very closely. A 10-input interface does NOT mean you have 10 microphone inputs and can record 10 tracks at once.

    If you have more than 2 microphones, you may need to investigate an outboard mixer. Behringer makes inexpensive ones, but none usable at $20 I know of - more like $100 and up. Make sure you know whether/how many of your microphones will need phantom power.

    For interfaces, the Focusrite Saffire looks the bizness. Also check the Edirol line.
  8. macrumors 68030


    If you are recording live drums you need more inputs or you have to mix down to stereo through the 410 and a mixer.

    At least 4-6 mikes for the kit.

    One bass and a rythm guitar track and you're up to 8 inputs minimum pretty soon.

    This is why I'm thinking of returning my 410 and looking at the new M-Audio Project I/O control surface.

    Then there's mikes and software.

    If everyone pitches in $500, you'll have a nice beginners project studio.
  9. macrumors 65816


    since you're asking

    IMHO, I don't think you'd ever be able to get an acceptable drum mix using only two mic inputs, so my advice would be to skip the M-Audio thing and buy an actual mixer instead. I've got a Mackie DFX-6 that I use for recording in GarageBand, and it has served me very well indeed. It has both Low-Z and Hi-Z inputs, plus a phantom power source for use with condenser mics. It also has some very nice built-in digital effects i.e. delay, several different reverbs, and it has regular RCA inputs for CD and/or tape looping. The other nice thing: you can plug it right into your PA system and use it at live gigs as well. Granted, it would not be suitable for a concert hall, but for smaller clubs (where all you'd ever really mic is the vocals) it is more than able to do the job. For the money you'd spend it's a much better value than the computer-use-only M-Audio 410.

    just my opinion...
  10. macrumors G5


    Ummm, wouldn't they still need a USB/Firewire interface to record into the Mac? Heres the Mackie page http://www.mackie.com/products/dfx6/
  11. macrumors 65816



    not necessarily. A couple of adapters at Radio Shack would allow you to plug the 1/4" main outs on the Mackie into the 1/8" stereo input on the laptop. It's the setup I use and it works quite well for me.
  12. macrumors G5


    OK, but the OP has tried the 1/8" input and wanted something better.
  13. macrumors 65816



    that's a fair point, though I suspect his dissatisfaction has more to do with the Behringer V-Amp2 than with the input on the Mac. One solution is here:
  14. macrumors 68030


  15. macrumors regular

    First off, switch to the M-Audio Firewire 410. Second, buy the Abelton Live 5 software. This will allow you to use VSTs'. Garageband is very limited in the amount of software, (jampacks). VST's are virtually endless.ABelton Live 5 is up there with Pro-Logic. It's a great program with endless possibilites.

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