The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Best 8 Channel Interface - Drums Audio Interfaces
Old 7th June 2018
  #1
Gear Head
Best 8 Channel Interface - Drums

I am going to be recording alot of drums in the future and my Fastrack Ultra 8r isnt cutting it. I need something nice with 8 channels for 1000 or under. It can be new or used. I would like something with light-pipe so I can expand. I was looking at the clarets but what do you guys think is the best option?
Old 7th June 2018
  #2
Hi. I would also check out Universal Audio. Gets you some preamp emulations as well.
All the best.
Old 8th June 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
zvukofor's Avatar
They all "won't cut" until you get one with a preamps that sounds good overdriven a bit. But AFAIK only Burl offer colored preamps with AD in one box.

Otherwise, you can perfectly cut clean drums even with m-audio and using further DSP get a sound you need. It is the same with UA stuff, just on dedicated processor with own plugins.
Old 8th June 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
I have the Roland OctaCapture, and I think it's fantastic. It's got clean preamps, a good amount of noise-free gain to each channel, and most of all it's got the Auto-Sense detection where it sets the gain on each channel based off of the signal it detects. You simply set it, play for a bit, then push complete and the gain for each channel will be set to a level based on how loud each mic detected.

Or check out the nicer 8 channel focusrite, I think it was 800. The roland is 600 new.
Old 8th June 2018
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosajjao View Post
I have the Roland OctaCapture, and I think it's fantastic. It's got clean preamps, a good amount of noise-free gain to each channel, and most of all it's got the Auto-Sense detection where it sets the gain on each channel based off of the signal it detects. You simply set it, play for a bit, then push complete and the gain for each channel will be set to a level based on how loud each mic detected..

That sounds pretty convenient. Could be a real time-saver if you're tracking a band live.
Old 8th June 2018
  #6
Here for the gear
Hi,
I think that for your budget Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre is the best choice for your budget (around 700$)
You can also get ad Audient ID22 + ASP800. With this soluction you have 2 another preamp and 2 "super channel" avaible on the ASP800 with HMX and Mosfet saturation.(Around 1100$ if you buy all new)
Old 9th June 2018
  #7
Gear Nut
 

I have the steinberg ur824. It has latency free monitoring an it can be expanded to 24 inputs via adat.
Old 9th June 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk u View Post
I have the steinberg ur824. It has latency free monitoring an it can be expanded to 24 inputs via adat.
How have the drivers been behaving for you? I've been curious about the steiberg interfaces since I've been using Cubase for 6 years.
Old 9th June 2018
  #9
Gear Head
Any reviews on motu or antelope interfaces. It looks sweet and I know it's a little more but is it worth spending more?
Old 9th June 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
I just purchased a Motu 828es. It was chosen over the Focusrite because I have 3 Symetrix sx202’s I use as pre’s as well as a 24 channel Soundcraft 400b with direct outs. So I skipped pre’s in the interface. I plan to purchase the 16a and use the IEEC connection to expand to 24 i/o. It sounds fine to my ears. I’ve only just begun to experiment. I have not been using EQ on the way in but will begin experimenting with it soon. I’ve been using mic placement to get the best raw sound I can and using the 400b to EQ the tracks on playback. I mix otb to 1/4” tape and use modded outboard gear. I owned MOTU PCI 324 technology before as well as an EMU 2 channel PCI card. I’m a drummer and developed my own work flow to accomplish recorded drums. In the past it’s been mic placement, room treatment, good tuning, cymbals, and experimenting with EQ and compression that’s given the greatest results, not the converters. Motu has been good to me so I stayed with them. I plugged it in and was recording in Reaper in as long as it took to answer the questions and set up a template. I get a pretty good recording with the recorderman set up, mic on the kick, snare and 1 room mic. That’s 5 tracks. The OH’s are 98% of the drums and I use lots of light compression on the inserts, drum buss and mix buss. So right now they’re getting 2 to 6 dB of compression at each stage. I’d say an accumulative of 8 to 16 db. I have not heard the focusrite but imagine it’s a nice sounding piece of gear. I just didn’t need the pres and I don’t think you can bipass them.
Old 10th June 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosajjao View Post
How have the drivers been behaving for you? I've been curious about the steiberg interfaces since I've been using Cubase for 6 years.
Idont have any problems with the drivers. I used to have a Focusrite 18i20 and those drivers never worked properly. The steinberg just does what i want it to do.
Old 10th June 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

In my opinion only, Under 1K, Behringer ADA 8200. Clean, good headroom, great for drums - you would never hear the extra $ you would spend on something else. Drum tuning and the room sound are far more important.

Last edited by digibird; 11th June 2018 at 08:09 PM..
Old 10th June 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
If you can get a used Roland setup that comes with Sonar X3 Studio or Producer that would be ideal. The BlueTubes bundle has great drum processors and the Breverb reverb is incredible on drums as well. And if you get X3 Producer you'll get Melodyne and AddictiveDrums for free plus a lot of really useful VSTs and VSTis. You can easily produce an entire album start to finish with nothing but Sonar X3 Producer and an interface. Plus the higher end Roland interfaces are very high quality for the entry to mid level price range. If you can't get the sounds you want with that bundle then you should think about hiring a professional studio. Really.

I know this isn't the answer the OP was looking for, but recording drums is the most expensive recording gear situation there is. As a drummer that wanted to get into recording back in the 90s, I can say I've been down every road there is, and there is no real replacement for channel strips and outboard compressors with high end mics to track through, and outboard stereo buss processing equipment to mix with. Any 8-channel interface won't be enough to get suitable sounds unless it has those features. You need more than simply 8 preamps to get a nice drum sound down. And the gear is not to "fix the tone", you need great sounds and great playing too. The gear is to allow your drums to fit into the recording and still have headroom for mixing, something that plugins can do, but not better than real outboard, not with drums.

Last edited by psykostx; 10th June 2018 at 11:34 AM..
Old 11th June 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 
wilkinsi's Avatar
I sold my Audient ASP880 to get a MOTU 828ES. I am already regretting that decision and saving up for another ASP880. I need both.
Old 11th June 2018
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilkinsi View Post
I sold my Audient ASP880 to get a MOTU 828ES. I am already regretting that decision and saving up for another ASP880. I need both.
Please expound. I just bought the 828es myself but only have older MOTU gear to compare it to. Sonic differences? Ease of use? I’m still experimenting and with each step I’m getting better results.
Old 11th June 2018
  #16
Gear Nut
 
wilkinsi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
Please expound. I just bought the 828es myself but only have older MOTU gear to compare it to. Sonic differences? Ease of use? I’m still experimenting and with each step I’m getting better results.
The ASP880 just sounds "warmer" to me. It doesn't need a user manual either, because its so easy to use.
Old 11th June 2018
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilkinsi View Post
The ASP880 just sounds "warmer" to me. It doesn't need a user manual either, because its so easy to use.
I haven’t even tried the pre’s in the Motu. I assumed they wouldn’t impress me at that price point. I’ve been using unmodded SX202’s and the input modules on my Soundcraft 400b. Both soon to be modded.
Old 12th June 2018
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
I can say I've been down every road there is, and there is no real replacement for channel strips and outboard compressors with high end mics to track through, and outboard stereo buss processing equipment to mix with. Any 8-channel interface won't be enough to get suitable sounds unless it has those features.
I've been down every road myself, and I've come to the opposite conclusion. Certain outboard gear won't do what certain plugins do, but then again, plugins offer a level of fine-grain control you'll never get with outboard. Find me an outboard that allows me multiband with sidechain, adjustable knee, choice between opto and electro, auto or manual release, adjustable EQ slope and Q values as well as linear or mixed phase.

If you know what you're doing and have a real understanding of the parameters, you can find a plugin (or plugin chain) that will allow you to dial in the exact thing you need for a particular track, on a surgical level. You just need to know what the hell you're doing, and what needs to be done.
Old 12th June 2018
  #19
Here for the gear
 
drcmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilkinsi View Post
The ASP880 just sounds "warmer" to me. It doesn't need a user manual either, because its so easy to use.
Very true. I cannot spend any time in a manual. I used to have a Focusrite and it was so unintuitive and a huge time sink. The ASP880 was so simple, I thought I must be doing something wrong.
Old 13th June 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
I've been down every road myself, and I've come to the opposite conclusion. Certain outboard gear won't do what certain plugins do, but then again, plugins offer a level of fine-grain control you'll never get with outboard. Find me an outboard that allows me multiband with sidechain, adjustable knee, choice between opto and electro, auto or manual release, adjustable EQ slope and Q values as well as linear or mixed phase.

If you know what you're doing and have a real understanding of the parameters, you can find a plugin (or plugin chain) that will allow you to dial in the exact thing you need for a particular track, on a surgical level. You just need to know what the hell you're doing, and what needs to be done.
In my experience, drum tracking isn't about having fine control, and certainly doesn't involve multi-bands (*BARF*). It's about not hitting the converters hot. Pads will always make noise an issue later in mixing, and often are detrimental to fidelity and proper transient capture as well.

The only way to track a snare or kick perfectly is to compress or limit before hitting the converter, it's not a mater of precision or fine tuning, simply reducing the peaks pleasantly without compromising the attributes of the preamp being driven.

Overheads are less prone to clipping, but some styles of drumming will overdrive most converters even from the overhead signal, in which case a multi-band compressor could be used to not interfere with cymbals or vice versa, however there are plenty of stereo compressors, such as the Valley Dynomite or Manley Vari-mu that offer internal band-specific side-chaining for this exact purpose.

Yes all these things are available as plugins, but plugins can't do anything about optimizing the signal going into the converters, and most converters fold in fidelity of fast transients when confronted with even moderately high peaks, it may not be obvious until the end result, but it is at that point for sure.

I agree that having the skills to use the tools is most important, and I submit that perhaps you either have very very high-end multi-track converters, beyond Apogee, RME or Mytek, or did not fully realize the purpose of outboard gear for tracking. That purpose simply can't be fulfilled ITB, by its nature.

PS - most modeled plugins' only failing is the handling of fast and heavy transient peaks, they simply don't allow the same level of clarity through under compression that analog gear does. However in most other source conditions there isn't much of a noticeable difference, I agree, which does give plugins quite a few advantages over hardware. But it's not the case with drums, for the reasons I've stated and maybe then some.
Old 13th June 2018
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
In my experience, drum tracking isn't about having fine control, and certainly doesn't involve multi-bands (*BARF*). It's about not hitting the converters hot.
Mine have these nifty red indicators that tell me when they're being taxed. Pretty advanced stuff. I imagine I'd have to be using 8-bit converters from the 1980's to experience this fidelity loss you speak of on peak transients. That's a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Pads will always make noise an issue later in mixing, and often are detrimental to fidelity and proper transient capture as well.
Weird. Mine just lower the volume going in. Yours sound broken. You should really get those checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
The only way to track a snare or kick perfectly is to compress or limit before hitting the converter, it's not a mater of precision or fine tuning, simply reducing the peaks pleasantly without compromising the attributes of the preamp being driven.
Interesting. My preamps raise my mics to line level. And don't seem to be compromised by peak limiting. Which, by the way, is way more transparent in the digital domain. My analog limiters don't re-draw my wave forms. Nor do they have look-ahead. Except my psychic ones. Those were designed by Nostra Damas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Overheads are less prone to clipping, but some styles of drumming will overdrive most converters even from the overhead signal, in which case a multi-band compressor could be used to not interfere with cymbals or vice versa
I use mine to tame cymbals that are too brash sounding. A little goes a long way obviously. And this "certain styles" overdriving converters. I'll be on the lookout for that. I wouldn't want to tax my converter by throwing an odd time signature at it. I'm guessing certain styles prevent the red lights from blinking when yo clip them. Only explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
however there are plenty of stereo compressors, such as the Valley Dynomite or Manley Vari-mu that offer internal band-specific side-chaining for this exact purpose.
They'd be a lot more useful if they could clone themselves so I could put one on every channel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
I agree that having the skills to use the tools is most important, and I submit that perhaps you either have very very high-end multi-track converters, beyond Apogee, RME or Mytek, or did not fully realize the purpose of outboard gear for tracking. That purpose simply can't be fulfilled ITB, by its nature.
I must be exceptionally gifted. I track things using converters that don't have fancy names. And I simply track things with them. And they sound good. And then I process them. You'd seriously never know they suffered the unfortunate and disadvantaged fate of just having been tracked by sticking a mic in front of it and hitting "record." It's a miracle I can even get them to sound like drums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
PS - most modeled plugins' only failing is the handling of fast and heavy transient peaks
I must be using them wrong then. Because the weirdest thing happens with my tracks. I pass audio through them and what comes out sounds identical to what goes in. Unless I engage some sort of parameter. Then it sounds, again, exactly like what went in, only with something altered in some way.

Honestly, it sounds to me like whatever DAW you use is broken. I don't even want to know what make it is, but it sounds like a giant turd. You should get a new one. And DEFINITELY some new converters. Again, it sounds to me like you must be using 8-bit ones from the 1980's from the time of the Atari computer.

My plugins let me use unlimited instances. The gates have "look ahead" so they open before the damn stick or beater even touches a head. I've got unlimited side-chaining, so I can use my snare track to trigger the gate of my kick drum track and vice-versa. This results in a level of isolation and minimization of bleed I've never before experienced in my days. I can even side-chain my snare track through the multiband compressor instance I'll use on the overheads to tame cymbal harshness on loud crashes, without affecting the high end on the snare hits. Try that **** with outboard. You'll be spending all day plugging wires on your patch bay, you'll feel line one of those old-fashioned telephone operators.

And my plugin compressors. My god, I can not only choose between hard or soft knee, but I can actually dial in the exact knee value. I can select opto or electro, auto or manual release. And this is the real kicker here. Brace yourself for this one. If I dial something in and I decide later that I hate it, I can go and change it. Trust me, I've searched all over for the "undo" button on a Manley or a Fairchild, and still haven't found it. And once I do find that magical setting, I can give it a name and save it so I can use it on other tracks.

It's all pretty amazing stuff. Once you get past the whole "pointing mic at source and hitting record without your converters suddenly getting all ****ty-sounding on anything with a transient." That must really suck, and my sympathies go out.
Old 13th June 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
The gates have "look ahead" so they open before the damn stick or beater even touches a head.
Doing a lot of 80s headband rock? Gates?! Haha. Why wouldn't you simply edit, that's the best part about DAW workflow, no?

Software gates are actually a great example of where plugins fail to handle transients without ruining fidelity, the only plugin gate I've used that sounded halfway decent on any drum recording is the SSL Duende channel strip, and that's not an analog model it's from a digital desk algorithm.

And simply because the converter isn't clipping, doesn't mean there's no distortion occurring. Raising the bit-rate doesn't change the analog circuit's input characteristics, and most line level inputs designed for tracking start seeing distortion at +4dBu, or around -18dBfs after conversion. So again, unless you have a rack full of THX certified Prism converters at $1500 a stereo channel, I can guarantee your transients are smudged a bit, either by pads, which change line impedance and thus circuit performance at various frequencies, or by peaks slightly overloading your converters.

PS - you should consider getting variable attenuators instead of fixed inline pads, much more transparent.
Old 13th June 2018
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Doing a lot of 80s headband rock? Gates?! Haha. Why wouldn't you simply edit, that's the best part about DAW workflow, no?

Software gates are actually a great example of where plugins fail to handle transients without ruining fidelity, the only plugin gate I've used that sounded halfway decent on any drum recording is the SSL Duende channel strip, and that's not an analog model it's from a digital desk algorithm.

And simply because the converter isn't clipping, doesn't mean there's no distortion occurring. Raising the bit-rate doesn't change the analog circuit's input characteristics, and most line level inputs designed for tracking start seeing distortion at +4dBu, or around -18dBfs after conversion. So again, unless you have a rack full of THX certified Prism converters at $1500 a stereo channel, I can guarantee your transients are smudged a bit, either by pads, which change line impedance and thus circuit performance at various frequencies, or by peaks slightly overloading your converters.

PS - you should consider getting variable attenuators instead of fixed inline pads, much more transparent.
Dude, I know this is low end and all, but intervention time. Your gear sucks.

Your gates can't even handle a simple task like silencing sounds that fall below a given threshold without imparting massive levels of "suck."

Your converters distort like crazy just by passing audio through them at modest levels.

Your pads don't attenuate volume without giving you all sorts of impedance issues.

No offense, but get on Sweetwater. Musician's friend if you're on a budget. Your gear sucks.
Old 13th June 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
Dude, I know this is low end and all, but intervention time. Your gear sucks.

Your gates can't even handle a simple task like silencing sounds that fall below a given threshold without imparting massive levels of "suck."

Your converters distort like crazy just by passing audio through them at modest levels.

Your pads don't attenuate volume without giving you all sorts of impedance issues.

No offense, but get on Sweetwater. Musician's friend if you're on a budget. Your gear sucks.
Right. That's not at all what I said, I'm talking about nuance. Need I even facepalm emoji? Because it feels like a natural response to your post in any context.
Old 13th June 2018
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Right. That's not at all what I said, I'm talking about nuance. Need I even facepalm emoji? Because it feels like a natural response to your post in any context.

Take an audio class, newb.
Old 13th June 2018
  #26
Lives for gear
 
zvukofor's Avatar
Variable attenuators are technically worse than fixed pads.
Any good modern converter and preamp will do way less harm to any transient than old Neve/whatever which is used to squash transients more often than not, and i agree that this is a good way to record rock drums. Definitely you can use DSP to get the same result after recording clean transient-heavy drums. You just need to know how, that is a main problem.
Old 13th June 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
Take an audio class, newb.
Old 13th June 2018
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
I'm totally serious about the audio class. They might give discounts to the mentally disabled. Just tell them you're a drummer. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!
Old 13th June 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
I'm totally serious about the audio class. They might give discounts to the mentally disabled. Just tell them you're a drummer. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!
I already know how to make beats in Reason. Thanks.
Old 13th June 2018
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Who uses Reason? Do they still use Fruity Loops? I remember back when I recorded a lot of the rappers and hippity-hoppers, they'd stroll in to the studio with their Fruity Loops tracks. Pants falling down to their ankles. Most of the time, they sounded pretty bad, but occasionally, I'd do the double-take.

Edit: Looks like they're calling it "FL Studio" now. My bad. Apparently someone in their marketing dept decided "fruity loops" wasn't tailored enough to their upscale client base.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump