Interface up to $200...

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by JDW3, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. JDW3 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    I want to use my Garageband and I'm willing to spend up to $200.00. I'm a very experienced player and have recorded a lot in the past. I looking for at least 4 XLR inputs and possibly a couple 1/4 inch.

    What brands would give the best bang for the buck? It would also have to have phantom power for a condenser mic.
  2. newuser2310 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010

    Look at firewire interfaces for recording.


    All make good interfaces
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    As the previous poster warned, AVOID USB.

    Go Firewire (assuming that you have firewire on your Mac).

    But it's going to be very difficult to find an interface with four XLR inputs in your price range. The most you'll see is [probably] two of them.

    I'd like to suggest the Echo "AudioFire4". It's over the $200 price (about 299), but is worth spending the extra money on. I have the AudioFire8 (more $$$) which is similar but has a few more ins/outs on the back. Clean converters, nice preamps, good sound, no glitches (one of the easiest peripherals I've ever connected). Highly recommended.

    For 2 additional pres, pick up a "preamp on the side". I use an FMR "RNP".

    If you absolutely have-to-have 4 pres, you might check the M-Audio "Fast Track Ultra". It's USB2, though. Check YouTube - there are some videos on it, including a good one demo'ing how to hook it up on the Mac and use it with GarageBand.
  4. JDW3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
  5. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    I've used a M-Audio fastrack USB which as worked perfectly. In fact, it was even USB powered.

    Granted, the quality wasn't as great as it could be but I don't see any issues with USB. In fact, RME have released the Fireface UC which is USB and works well.

    For $200 it might be a little tough for 6 simultaneous inputs. Evaluate if you need that many and then look around at the interfaces.

    Biggest worry I would look into is DRIVER support! I've had a lot of issues with different cards so my advise is read around and check out when drivers were released and see if they are ok..
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    The OP needs six channels of input, four mics and two line level. Was your M-Audio fastrack able to send six tracks over USB? While also sending two channels of monitor output?
  7. Gigazaga macrumors newbie


    Apr 8, 2010
    I agree with all of this. I have had excellent results from both Fast Track Pro and Fast Track Ultra units. Lots of USB interfaces are problematic as others have pointed out. I also need Pro Tools compatibility. I run several DAWs and PTM is one of them.

    I have had tons of trouble with PreSonus Firestudio units under OS X Snow Leopard. PreSonus has been slow to release new drivers for the entire line. My FW based Fire Studio Mobile is finally working with beta drivers but I would check any potential unit for released SL drivers before purchase.

    I have had excellent results with the USB based Apogee ONE as well.

    With a MacBook for me it has been challenging to get my external drives and FW interface to work well off the single FW800 port.

    If you have a MacPro with multiple FW ports then you will do well to dedicate on FW Port to your audio interfaces and another to your external drives.

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