Firewire Interface for Live Performance?
Looking to start gigging soon as an electronic leaning duo, something wholly different from my experience playing in rock bands. I'm craving greater control of the sound at the live shows, and DSP'ing seems to be getting me there. So far I've been pleased with using a single laptop set up, triggering soft synths with midi controllers and using a duet for two vocal mics + master output to the mediocre rehearsal space PA (Wow! immersive sound with total gear weight about 15x less than in my older bands). I assume that laptop toting DJ's at electronic shows are only giving stereo outs... but with our songs still vocal-driven pop arrangements performed live without backing tracks, I figure it would make the most sense to provide sound-men with independent channel control (?). Believe I need an interface with more I/O.
I've been poring over threads debating firewire interfaces from Focusrite/M-Audio/RME/Apogee/etc., but I'm having a hard time making a good decision since my interface will be getting a lot more use on stage than for recording.
As an audio tech ignoramus, I don't really know what features will be most essential in getting reasonably good sound out to a sound guy (versus studio-use). Relative importance of A/D? D/A? Clock? Plug-ins? Sample-rate live? Black Lion Audio mods? Will I get that much better results at a noisy gig by dropping 2k versus $500? New tech vs. 7 year old (Ensemble)?
Anything else I need to consider with this type of live set up? I'm certainly weary about Murphy's Law considering the whole show is CPU driven... maybe gonna need to have an acoustic guitar sitting onstage for emergency purposes.