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prism audio orpheus or good Preamps + AD/DA what road is smarter to take Audio Interfaces
Old 22nd November 2012
  #1
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prism audio orpheus or good Preamps + AD/DA what road is smarter to take

I am a seasoned guitar player, who is doing this job professionally. I have also some experience with DAWs and Production gear, but rather on a basic level.

I have decided producing my own music at home, where I will start from an absolute scratch; all I have right now is a computer with a high performance, guitar processors and equipment.

Furthermore, I will produce music RARELY with live and simultaneous sessions/situations. i.e. I probably will never record drums by myself, or a bands music.

All I would do is to produce with a synth, rather electronic music... maybe SOMETIMES a guitar into it. Not more, not less.

As I have a music background and aim the WORLD CLASS, I thought I shouldn't bother with the mid-range Audio interfaces. So going Hi-End would pay off more at the end of the day, I guess.

the more I read here on GS, the more I am getting enlightened, so much that I see now there are better solutions than RMEs and Apogees.

During my research, I become very much symphatized with the Prism Sound Orpheus as a single allrounder solution. I have a 3000-3500 £ to invest, it buys only the Prism audio orpheus, and nothing more.

To my knowledge, with an Orpheus, a PC or Mac, a DAW, few Plug-Ins and a midi controller I can depart and start flying from there on. Am I correct?

So for me, I guess it comes down to invest in all-in-one solution, OR thinking into future and to invest in separate modules for PreAmp + AD/DA + a cheaper audio Interface as the master (do I really need an audio interface after getting the preamp + ad/da?).

Another question I would like to raise is, in my case, is there any use of a preamp, unless I dont plug in any instrument and use only some VST instruments to make electronic music? (I know I am sounding way tooooooo novice here maybe because I am.)

Again, What would be the smartest setting for me to start producing music, with giving possibly NO compromise on sound?

j.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #2
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You will need an audio interface to connect to computer (be it via pcie, USB, FireWire, whatever) as not all high end ad/da's have an interface built in. If you're just working with virtual (software) synths I would say you don't need to worry about a preamp unless you want to run out of the computer into the preamp and back into the computer again to get a specific colour or saturation from the preamp. However as you're probably gonna do some guitar playing as well you could also consider the lynx aurora 8 for about £2k as a step below the prism but still a great adda and interface nonetheless and then have about 1500 left for a good preamp like maybe an Api 512c in a lunchbox.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #3
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I see, I will check the lynx aurora and api combination, thx for the recommendation..

What would be my advantage with the PreAmps + AD/DA combo over Prism Orpheus?

With the orpheus I would have an all-in-one solution without compromise on sound afaik, so what would be my benefit of choosing instead a pair of "more moderate" preamp + ad/da? does it give me a better sound in total ??

which is the way to go in my case?
Old 22nd November 2012
  #4
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Get the Orpheus. It is INSANELY better than the Lynx. Go with your gut, get the Orpheus. I currently own or have previously owned Lavry Blues, Lavry Golds, Burl Mothership, Lynx Aurora 16, Lucid 8824. The Lynx is the worst of the bunch, the Orpheus is better than the Lavry Blues.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #5
From the sounds of it, the Orpheus will do exactly what you're after, especially if you don't want to compromise on sound. The onboard preamps are excellent, and when you have enough cash you can buy some other preamps for different "colours" if you require.

You could also consider the UA Apollo that is a very similar design to the Orpheus but has the added benefit of the built in very high quality powered plugins.

I haven't heard the Apollo so can't comment on its sonics, but I'd wager it's pretty good, not Prism level but not too far behind.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #6
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yep, I was thinking about the Apollo too,

had the question, say, for the same money,
if I get an uad apollo quad + some uad plug ins,
would I have more flexibilities and a better flavored sound at the final stage??

but then I probably wouldnt be anymore in the hi-end world, would i?

when I think, if I have to sacrifice from quality in that case, then I think I would still want to keep sticking to the orpheus option.

I don't know guys, quite confused about that ::
Old 22nd November 2012
  #7
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If you want uncompromising quality I'd go prism and then get specialist coloured outboard preamps when you have the money. I was just thinking lynx and API cos lynx is a little cheaper so you'd have money for an API pre which has been the preamp of choice (sometimes switched by a neve 1073) for electric guitars on all the higher end sessions I've attended and has a lot of history as the preamp of choice for guitars, doesn't mean there aren't other great options, just that its a great bet and won't get you an unfamiliar or poor result
Old 22nd November 2012
  #8
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Orpheus has a lot packed into it that would cost a lot to buy separate. If you are going to mostly do synth and guitar based production I think Orpheus makes a ton of sense. The instrument DIs sound killer and you get overkillers on every input. Plus very clean mic pres, two headphones jacks and a bunch of other stuff. It works on pc and Mac. You can plug a guitar / old synth into the DIs, mics into 3/4, synths into 5/6 and still have 7/8 available as well in case of a drum machine etc. Going with separate converters is probably more flexible down the road if you want lots of I/O.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #9
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thanks guys. the combos were worth to check though.

i had concerns especially with regards to why UAD apollo quad + UAD plugins sound cannot beat orpheus. but I guess they not really in the same league.

any further opinions and aspects are still very appreciated..


j.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by once a roadie View Post
Orpheus has a lot packed into it that would cost a lot to buy separate. If you are going to mostly do synth and guitar based production I think Orpheus makes a ton of sense. The instrument DIs sound killer and you get overkillers on every input. Plus very clean mic pres, two headphones jacks and a bunch of other stuff. It works on pc and Mac. You can plug a guitar / old synth into the DIs, mics into 3/4, synths into 5/6 and still have 7/8 available as well in case of a drum machine etc. Going with separate converters is probably more flexible down the road if you want lots of I/O.
exactly.. no, I have said, I am only looking for baking my own cake, no producing for or with bands, or recording drums.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazztropist View Post

Furthermore, I will produce music RARELY with live and simultaneous sessions/situations. i.e. I probably will never record drums by myself, or a bands music.

All I would do is to produce with a synth, rather electronic music... maybe SOMETIMES a guitar into it. Not more, not less.

...I see now there are better solutions than RMEs ...


Again, What would be the smartest setting for me to start producing music, with giving possibly NO compromise on sound?

j.
Your needs for conversion seem modest. RME excels as an interface maker, it is very hard to beat their drivers or support, and when they release a product it is usually in the market place for many years, and supported for many years. That makes their interfaces a great value. But indeed, there are better converters.

For someone with minimal needs, I would suggest something like an RME Babyface as an interface, combined with 8 channel higher end converters. RME makes other options if the Babyface does not have enough features, options that rely more upon external converters.

Prism converters are a bit pricy, but I found that for my needs, Mytek fit the cost/performance curve. You might also consider the Lynx Aurora, another good option in performance/cost. Lavry is another good option.

One big advantage to having separate converters is that you can start off with a less expensive converter set and upgrade when and if you decide that you need to do so.

You would also need some sort of mic pre or small console.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #12
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jazztropist, I'm a Prism Orpheus user, it's a great all round package, with fantastic preamps and conversion, but I mainly only use 2 channels, I've never needed to use 8. But luckily for you Prism are shortly releasing their new Lyra interfaces, which have the exact same conversion and preamps as the Orpheus but in smaller channel count. The Lyra 1 has 1 mic in and 1 line in, whilst the Lyra 2 has 2 channels that can be each be either mic or line in. It sounds like the Lyra 1 is exactly what you need! Much cheaper than the Orpheus. Here's the link... http://www.prismsound.com/music_reco...php?story=0296
Old 22nd November 2012
  #13
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And then for all your midi concerns I'd just get a Midisport, then you'd have a great setup, Amazon.com: M Audio MIDISPORT 4x4 Anniversary USB Midi Interface: Musical Instruments

The Midisport could sit nicely on top of the Lyra too, similar size and colour. No need to rack them.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazztropist View Post
thanks guys. the combos were worth to check though.

i had concerns especially with regards to why UAD apollo quad + UAD plugins sound cannot beat orpheus. but I guess they not really in the same league.

any further opinions and aspects are still very appreciated..


j.
The Orpheus and the Apollo are very much in the same league. Same converters with a similar analog design. Having used and owned both, I couldn't really tell you what was what. IMO each interface will have it's characteristic timbre, but as far as the quality of A/D, D/A is concerned, neither box is leaving anything to be desired.

To be completely honest, if these were the two contenders I would just go with what suits your budget better. If you've got the extra cash, then grab the prism. It's a great box. If budget is a concern, grab the apollo. It's also a great box. Apollo has a lot of extras that the prism doesn't have. However, maybe simplicity is your thing? That's up to you.

If you can, rent both and get them in your room. That's the only sure-fire way to tell what's going to work for you. Especially when it comes to the software and workflow each company offers. Makes the user experience that much more intuitive, or that much more a pain in the a$$.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #15
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Starting from the same place 10 years ago I have worked my way through a range of interfaces and preamps and ended up in Metric Halo land. Couldn't be happier.
For what you want a ULN 2, LIO8 loaded with 4 pres or a ULN 8 might be perfect.
You get good preamps, good conversion, a summing mixer, good plug ins, software monitor controller and headphone mixer in one.

good luck!
Old 22nd November 2012
  #16
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Also been on this journey for a long time and arrived at the Orpheus as the best I could get. It is a magic box.

With the additions of a Fearn VT1 and a RND portico II, I feel there's really not much I could better in my little audio world.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
One big advantage to having separate converters is that you can start off with a less expensive converter set and upgrade when and if you decide that you need to do so.

You would also need some sort of mic pre or small console.
Well, I definitely agree that RME stuff is a great value for what it is. Only afaic Fireface products are not aimed at the high-end production industry. Not sure though.

My main concern is not having to upgrade 1 year after, thats the thing. That will cost me more at the end of the day. Or having to sell my gear for getting another. I dont wanna go that way personally.

What do you mean by small console? can you give me an example?
Old 22nd November 2012
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Avery View Post
And then for all your midi concerns I'd just get a Midisport, then you'd have a great setup, Amazon.com: M Audio MIDISPORT 4x4 Anniversary USB Midi Interface: Musical Instruments

The Midisport could sit nicely on top of the Lyra too, similar size and colour. No need to rack them.
This combination is a very good idea James. I will add to my options.

about Lyra, I must say it looks just brilliant and the box is promising a lot.. though, to be honest, would you self want to be a beta tester for a new product and risk your money with that?
Old 22nd November 2012
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
The Orpheus and the Apollo are very much in the same league. Same converters with a similar analog design. Having used and owned both, I couldn't really tell you what was what. IMO each interface will have it's characteristic timbre, but as far as the quality of A/D, D/A is concerned, neither box is leaving anything to be desired.

To be completely honest, if these were the two contenders I would just go with what suits your budget better. If you've got the extra cash, then grab the prism. It's a great box. If budget is a concern, grab the apollo. It's also a great box. Apollo has a lot of extras that the prism doesn't have. However, maybe simplicity is your thing? That's up to you.

If you can, rent both and get them in your room. That's the only sure-fire way to tell what's going to work for you. Especially when it comes to the software and workflow each company offers. Makes the user experience that much more intuitive, or that much more a pain in the a$$.
yep, I agree, trying the gear is a great idea.. I will look into that.

yes, at this level of production, I dont know if the end music listener will be able to distinguish the quality at all...
Old 22nd November 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel saunders View Post
Starting from the same place 10 years ago I have worked my way through a range of interfaces and preamps and ended up in Metric Halo land. Couldn't be happier.
For what you want a ULN 2, LIO8 loaded with 4 pres or a ULN 8 might be perfect.
You get good preamps, good conversion, a summing mixer, good plug ins, software monitor controller and headphone mixer in one.

good luck!
thanks man, LIO8 is surely a great alternative there. I have watched a video about that gear and it is definitely professional, it has tons of good quality I/O and is aimed at the larger projects...
Old 22nd November 2012
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automatom View Post
Also been on this journey for a long time and arrived at the Orpheus as the best I could get. It is a magic box.

With the additions of a Fearn VT1 and a RND portico II, I feel there's really not much I could better in my little audio world.
yep, that's where I possibly like to get.. So as a happy user, can you provide us one or two simple results of orpheus?
Old 22nd November 2012
  #22
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actually anyone who could provide with some samples of Orpheus/UADor LIO8 would add a great value to this thread.. highly appreciated if it's possible for you..
Old 22nd November 2012
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazztropist View Post
actually anyone who could provide with some samples of Orpheus/UADor LIO8 would add a great value to this thread.. highly appreciated if it's possible for you..
For samples of the Apollo, take a look through this thread:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...er-review.html

Username "Cowboycoalminer" has a ton of tunes he's done with the Apollo since it got released. It's all country, but shows a little of what can be done with it.

Not sure of the others.
Old 23rd November 2012
  #24
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thanks.. yes, in GS we see quite a few samples from UAD stuff, but there are not much results here of Prism Audio or MH products, although everyone is talking about how amazing these gear are.. I know these are less affordable gear, but still I am sure there a plenty of people using these devices and afaik not sharing many results really, why?
Old 23rd November 2012
  #25
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wish there were a number of demos of orpheus or some other comparable hi-end gear here in GS..
Old 23rd November 2012
  #26
Old 23rd November 2012
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazztropist View Post
Well, I definitely agree that RME stuff is a great value for what it is. Only afaic Fireface products are not aimed at the high-end production industry. Not sure though.

What do you mean by small console? can you give me an example?
You miss the point... the INTERFACE doesn't have a sound. RME, used as an interface, is hard to beat because their drivers and support is superior to most anyone else out there. The RME piece that I use has no converters at all. You can't get more 'professional'. I believe that Bob Katz is using an RME interface... I think he's considered 'high-end'. The RME MADI gear is certainly high end, few home gamers need 128 tracks.

Now, converters have a sound. And I suggested good converters in my previous post

You'd have to have a preamp or console in front of the converters. I've been using microphone preamps instead of consoles since the mid-1990s. The studio had 36 preamps, I replaced three consoles. My home system has 8 channels of preamps, 2 John Hardy, 2 Great River NV, 2 Midas, and 2 vintage DataMix.
Old 23rd November 2012
  #28
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Here are some mastering tests I did a while back using the Orpheus vs some other high end options.

Directory Listing of /adda/

The client ended up using the Orpheus AD/DA for the official release. I am quite sure that the other interfaces listed would not be competitive versus these other high end options. I've heard metric halo stuff and it doesn't sound as nice as people on these forums let on. There is no hype with Orpheus. If anything, it is under-appreciated for all that it can do.
Old 23rd November 2012
  #29
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Comparing the preamps on the orpheus to other preamps show me that they are not that great,
in fact I consider them as rescue preamp.
They are lacking real body/density I think and don't transcribe nuances of sounds in a natural way.
The rule "Don't go for the boxes that do all" is quite true...
However I like the converter better than Lavry blue (which I had) and it's why I bought it
So I would say Orpheus plus good preamps!
Old 23rd November 2012
  #30
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I haven't used an Orpheus, but I've owned The Symphony I/O, Apollo, Lavry Blue, UA 2192, Steinberg MR816 and now own a Lynx Hilo...
I can tell you - as a general rule - you get what you pay for. The Apollo is a really good piece and is a bargain for all that it can do...but in no way does it have as high a quality AD or DA as the Symphony or Hilo. Believe me, I desperately wanted it to sound as good so I could save money, but it doesn't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
The Orpheus and the Apollo are very much in the same league. Same converters with a similar analog design. Having used and owned both, I couldn't really tell you what was what. IMO each interface will have it's characteristic timbre, but as far as the quality of A/D, D/A is concerned, neither box is leaving anything to be desired.

To be completely honest, if these were the two contenders I would just go with what suits your budget better. If you've got the extra cash, then grab the prism. It's a great box. If budget is a concern, grab the apollo. It's also a great box. Apollo has a lot of extras that the prism doesn't have. However, maybe simplicity is your thing? That's up to you.

If you can, rent both and get them in your room. That's the only sure-fire way to tell what's going to work for you. Especially when it comes to the software and workflow each company offers. Makes the user experience that much more intuitive, or that much more a pain in the a$$.
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