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Having a hard time deciding, but need to decide fast!! Audio Interfaces
Old 15th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
SMX_Dizzy's Avatar
 

Lightbulb Having a hard time deciding, but need to decide fast!!

Hey Gearslutz. Haven't been here in a long while...maybe too long.

Well, in the next week or two, I will actually begin my studio. The one I've talked about for years will finally become a reality. Currently I'm recording through a Phonic Helix 12 Firewire...nice little board, but it's just that: little. It's pretty limited, and I have to move mics around a lot, change the mics, etc etc due to it only having 4 XLR inputs. The quality is great, and as soon as I have my new equipment it's being sold to my school's band to have (I'm going to be doing sound/recording for the band this year, and they need a cheap interface for the teacher's laptop).

So, here's my new dilemma. I've been going on a lot of college visits lately, and plan on majoring in Music/Sound Recording Technology. Obviously, all of the labs/studios/etc use Pro Tools, so I'd like to be familiar with it a little when I go into school next year. For my "studio" I've been thinking of using a Firepod with Cubase 4. Both of those will run me about $550 or so. BUT, now that I've been kinda wanting to go into Pro Tools territory, another option came up. I could get an M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge and a Behringer ADA8000 Ultragain Pro 8 and be able to use Pro Tools M-Powered. That would run me around $600-$650.

So my question is, which way should I go? Better preamps/sound but with Cubase, or decent sound but with Pro Tools? It's up in the air...I'm not sure if I want sound or software more.

(I can't spend more than $200 on an 8-channel preamp w/ ADAT, so if you've got a better suggestion, please tell me...unfortunately the Behringer is the only one w/ ADAT in that range)
Old 15th August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 
hle144's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMX_Dizzy View Post
]So, here's my new dilemma. I've been going on a lot of college visits lately, and plan on majoring in Music/Sound Recording Technology. Obviously, all of the labs/studios/etc use Pro Tools, so I'd like to be familiar with it a little when I go into school next year.
You should really reconsider this Music/Sound Recording Technology. The tuition could set you up with a nice apt for awhile and more $$$ for gear. And get an internship at a nice studio.

These courses are cool, but for this industry, not a requirement.
Old 15th August 2007
  #3
Gear Head
 

Hi SMX_Dizzy. I'm actually in school right now getting a Music Industry degree. We do everything from Music Theory to repairing mixers in the studio. I love the program, but you can't just depend on that to get you anywhere. For the most part, in this industry, degrees mean nothing if you don't know what you're doing. But it sounds like you are getting a studio ready and will be getting real world experience which is really the key.

As far as equipment goes, I have an Mbox 2 so that I can use Protools since so much of my school work is based around that. I understand your dilemma about not having enough money, but I don't think the Behringer is the way to go. Even though you would get Protools for it, garbage in=garbage out. Go to the Digi store, and you can get some pretty OK discounts on stuff if your school is registered. I, personally, am sending in my Mbox for a 003 and buying (among other things) a Mackie 800R to expand my channels and have good preamps.

Do good in school, but more importantly, do good in your studio! Save up a little more money, and you can get a Presonus DIGIMax FS, which I have heard is pretty good. And keep in mind, I have been told by many engineers that if you buy stuff that is low quality now, you will just have to upgrade later. Good luck! thumbsup
Old 15th August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
SMX_Dizzy's Avatar
 

Now, then, I'm leaning more towards the Firepod. Are there any 8-channel preamps w/ ADAT for less than $350? $350 or so would be my absolute max for a preamp, it just doesn't make sense to spend any more when the Firepod is so much cheaper to begin with.
Old 15th August 2007
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMX_Dizzy View Post
Now, then, I'm leaning more towards the Firepod. Are there any 8-channel preamps w/ ADAT for less than $350? $350 or so would be my absolute max for a preamp, it just doesn't make sense to spend any more when the Firepod is so much cheaper to begin with.
the B ada8000 is the best deal in that price range. i've been running 2 of them for a couple years now & to get a siginificant improvement in sound i'm looking @ a $2000+ investment in AD/DA & pre's. everybody hates on B around here but for broke asses looking to get into multichannel recording, it gets you operational til you can afford the sweet stuff.
Old 15th August 2007
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
SMX_Dizzy's Avatar
 

Do you have any samples? Do they sound decent?

I also am wondering about the M-Audio Firewire 1814. What part of a mixer outputs into the line inputs on the back? Insert? I'm kinda confused on how the 1814 works.
Old 15th August 2007
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMX_Dizzy View Post
Do you have any samples? Do they sound decent?
here's some tracks from the last couple years. most of my problems with the recordings are due to the cheap crap mic's i started out with & figuring out mic-ing techniques. i dont doubt that top notch signal paths will improve my sound, i just dont think it's been my biggest obstacle, as far as outboard recording learning curve goes. things i dont like have more to do w/ mic type selection & placement. a treated room would be nice as well but thats another story.
Old 15th August 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
SMX_Dizzy's Avatar
 

Were all of those tracks recorded using the ADA8000? In regards to what you said in your post, I'm actually really surprised. Those don't sound that bad...actually they sound pretty good. Have you had any problems/dislikes with the ADA8000 at all?
Old 15th August 2007
  #9
all the outboard stuff was recorded thru ada8000. vocals, rhodes, guitars, bass, live drums, synths, piano. some of the drum samples were from wav libraries 909's 808's, loops cut from random sources, ect. some of the odd percussive sounds were movie noises or whatever sampled thru the ada8000 from a dvd, vhs or 4 track.

once i got the master slave relation between ada8000 & my creamware interface sorted out i havent had any problems @ all with them. they do sound awful when they distort & i have a guitarist that likes to perpetually ride his volume so i have to keep an eye on that. the volume knobs are step, not sweep & they arent perfectly balanced, so when i have something recording stereo i have to check the levels occasionally, but thats not too difficult to contend with since i'm tweaking levels when i mix anyways.
Old 16th August 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
SMX_Dizzy's Avatar
 

Anyone else? I think I actually completely changed my mind from earlier today haha I think I'll go the Lightbridge/ADA8000 route.

Still open to comments. I've just heard more good things than bad today, and heard even more samples, and I'm not at all unimpressed. I might switch the ADA8000 for a Digimax later, but I think it'll be fine for the time being.
Old 16th August 2007
  #11
theres alot of plugs for the ada8000 on this thread.

What Behringer gear does not suck ?!
Old 16th August 2007
  #12
Make your own judgement about the sound quality of the ADA8000, but know that all Behringer gear has a reputation of falling apart.

As far as the education in recording and music industry goes, I don't know anyone that has gone into that and come out knowing more than I have come to know just recording my own band and friends over the past 6 years. I majored in Management and Information Systems which allows me to make money in the cubical to buy gear. If there is one thing that I've learned post college from not doing a "fun major" like recording arts, theater, english, visual art etc... its that those really don't produce careers, they produce massive amounts of debt.

Recording music is just a really risky bet to make when you at this point in your life. It's a ton of fun and really rewarding, but I haven't made a dime on that **** yet, and I've spent probably close to $15,000 on gear alone!

That said, have fun recording and going to college whatever you do!
Old 16th August 2007
  #13
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thermos's Avatar
They both kinda sound like crap I think. I've heard the firepod in action, and its like the smoggiest day in Los Angeles. But If I were you, I would get the Behringer/pt le setup. I think the Behringer stuff has some good mod potental, which you might want to look into over at prodigy-pro. I remember hearing there converter and pre designs were actually ok, but the stock components are the absolute worst. So its possible to get something going.

Its pretty crucial to learn PT at this point.

FWIW, I have a few friends that went to audio engineering school, and they are all way better than me. I don't think its such a bad idea. And most of them have pretty decent careers.

PS, if you ever upgrade, just go straight for the good stuff. I went through SO many low priced/mid priced/hi mid priced interfaces. I was always hoping for something more, and wanted to sell it as fast as I got it. Now I have something awesome, and I haven't thought about upgrading since I bought it.
Old 16th August 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
SMX_Dizzy's Avatar
 

Thanks, guys. Any other comments?
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