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I need help choosing an Mac interface/software combo
Old 13th January 2007
Gear Head
penguin's Avatar

I need help choosing an Mac interface/software combo

Hello everyone,

I am currently using a Digi 002R w/ a Presonus Digimax LT and ProTools LE 7.1. This setup is strictly for live recording. I am in the process of downsizing my rack due to restrictions of my new car as well as for general ease and speed of setup during gigs. So I have been looking at firewire interfaces that are 1 rack space high and have at least 4 XLR type inputs (preferably on the back but this is not totally critical), easy to setup and use, good quality mic pre's (I never liked using the 002's pre's. I'd always go thru the Digimiax), compatibility with Mac based software (which I need advice on as well down below). I have narrowed it down to the following:

MOTU Traveler
Presonus Firepod
Presonus Firestudio
Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 i/o
RME Fireface 800
Apogee Ensemble

Digital Performer
What else is out there that you can suggest??

Based on your experiences and the specifications above, which hardware/software combo would be good for my needs?? Again, it is just straight ahead down and dirty live recording (2 drum overheads, 1 guitar mike, 1 vocal mike, 1 bass line (from bass amp), keyboard stereo left and right lines and bass drum mike for 8 total channels). I realize I am kind of making a sacrifice with this downsizing, as I have grown used to the superior ProTools interface and workflow. But I would like software that is just as easy to use, and the less bells an whistles the better (no virtual instruments or MIDI necessary, but plug ins are a must of course). Are there any hardware/software combos that are known for glitches??

As part of my research I have spent several hours going thru this site reading comments and I realized that without having used the hardware and software, its very difficult for me to come to a final decisions. Thanks for any responses.
Old 13th January 2007
Lives for gear
tnjazz's Avatar
Metric Halo 2882

Plus you can use the "built in" MIO record panel, which is much less CPU intensive than any of those other programs. Bring it home, dump the tracks to your main DAW and go to town!

Love mine; couldn't record live without it.
Old 14th January 2007
Traveller and DP5

Super Stable IMHO (once you update DP5 to DP5.1) and DP is super flexible when it comes to making it look the way you want in terms of layouts.
Old 14th January 2007
Here for the gear

I think we would be better informed if you could tell us exactly how you plan to record live -- is there going to be a mic splitter, are you setting up your own mics, are you taking the insert outs of the main FOH board...?

It's an important consideration, considering most live gigs you are there coexisting with the FOH guy... I guess I am expecting that you're gonna take a mic split before the FOH board, since it seems like you're planning on getting the source signal pretty early... otherwise you might like the firestudio because it can act as a mixer and provide FOH outs, and not the firepod, which can't do that. Everything else on your list can handle that too, but I don't know any FOH guy who would trust you on that...

Also, are you planning on ADAT'ing it, or using the converters on your chosen interface? I ask because the firepod doesn't have ADAT. The rest do...
Old 14th January 2007
Lives for gear
lozion's Avatar

Dump your 002R and get M-Powered with the new lightbridge: 650-700$us
Use your digimax adat to interface with PT7.3
You stay with the soft you like to work with and expand with more adat units up to 16 + 2 spdif or up to 32 adat I/O with another app.
Great combo for live recording.

Old 15th January 2007
Here for the gear
Another vote for M-H 2882.
Old 15th January 2007
Gear Addict
drummin4christ's Avatar

Just recorded a band live in Texas with a Firestudio and two digimax's. This is a great live recording rig and a great studio rig. The Preamps sound great and the adat works flawlessly with this new unit. I also used Cubase SX3 and have been on cubase for a few years now. I love the program, but the stock plugins aren't the best. I use a UAD1 card for great compression and eq. With the direct outs on the firestudio and digimax fs, you can use the units as a split snake as well if you get a few 8 channel 1/2 to XLR snakes. The dsp mixer allows you to send every input to any output. Very cool piece of gear.

I hope this helps.
Old 15th January 2007
Lives for gear
Jimbo's Avatar
Another vote for the 2882.

You can find one used for <= $800.

- Jim
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