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Does it have to be so complicated!!!!!!
Old 7th July 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 

Does it have to be so complicated!!!!!!

My Head is like a turnip!

I'm looking for a simple way to get my music recorded,
I'm looking for an audio interface to record into a mac book on logic 8.
Nothing complicated just good quality mic pre amps. More the merrier!
No other mumbo jumbo!!

Its acoustic orientated music bar the piano which I'm getting an Axiom 61 or similar for,
which I don't think makes a difference to the interface choice.

So what's the best option have about 1000euro.

I keep on being drawn towards the saffire 56 for the number of inputs and being advertised as having 2 liquid channels!

Is that all too good to be reliable!
Old 7th July 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Paulie's Avatar
 

Tons of choices man. The best you can do is focus on your work flow, and forget about the mystery of conversion, pres or whatever else. I'd say go for the Saffire you saw.
Old 7th July 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Heartfelt's Avatar
The other unit that is getting great reviews here is the Yamaha N12 Mixer or the
Stienberg MR816. Both have the same conversion and pres but one is a mixer and
the other is racked.

The pres are Yamaha's top pres found on their expensive boards and the conversion
is comparable to more expensive units.

In addition, the mixer has on board EQ and Compression which would be great for
tracking. The Stieny has onboard DSP which allows you to use their plugs in your
DAW. I think the Stieney has interactive ability in Logic as well and the only draw
back on the this one is that inability to bypass the pres, if you have a Great River or
something later. The mixer has plenty of 1/4 inputs in addition to the pres.


If you are sold on the Liquid pres, go for it. I have been reading reports from happy
users, here on GS. But if you aren't, go for more features with the N12 or the MR816.

In either case, you can make great music.
Rob
Old 7th July 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
memphisindie's Avatar
 

It's fine, quit complaining and keep it simple, get back to work.
Old 7th July 2009
  #5
I'll try not to make this complicated....but that doesn't mean there aren't a few things to consider. Bear with me, it's kinda long but I'm going somewhere with this.

The biggest challenge for an experienced musician who is an inexperienced engineer is that it's very difficult to be an educated novice when you are excited about something that you think you know.

You know how to play, and you know how to create music, and so it shouldn't be hard to just push record and make music right? What's all the fuss about?

tutt

Your recording gear is a new instrument.

It takes time to get proficient with the guitar/Piano/Drums/etc, and it takes just as much, if not more time, to get proficient at your recording instrument.

Let's take a step back for a second:

When you wanted to start playing guitar, you walked into a guitar shop and you saw some "sweet lookin' strat" that's the same color as your favorite band's guitar and you immidiately picked it up.
The sales guy came over and turned on the distortion and you were making all these crazy loud sounds...and then he told you that it's only $99 dollars for the guitar, amp, the case, the cables, picks, and strings!!!
Since you obviously wanted to be a rock star as soon as possible, you couldn't resist and so you bought it...

We were all there once.

Now, we are keenly aware that the $99 "deal" is actually a terrible quality instrument and it served it's purpose rather quickly.
As you mature, your playing gets better, and your ears get better and you become more selective about the instruments that you buy.
(Hopefully) You would rather have a few quality instruments than several mediocre instruments (appropriate to your budget of course).

And it is no different with recording gear.

Here's the major difference though. A lot of musicians will go to buy recording gear and they hear about the $1000 dollar package that has the interface, monitors, mics, cables etc. and so they bite. The logic they play on is that if you are spending $1000 dollars for this stuff, it's gotta be good. And to the under-researched musician, this usually works.
Even worse if one of your reasons is that you are sick of paying someone else to record your music, because then you have an expectation of what your $1K studio will sound like from a much higher quality studio that is acoustically treated and several thousand dollars. You WILL be disappointed if that's the case.

In recording gear, this is very similar to the $99 dollar strat pack that we mentioned earlier except that the cost of admission is 1K instead of $99. When you are getting all the components to a studio for $1K, then the components will reflect that quality.

And just as with guitar, it's purpose will be served rather quickly. As you mature, and get better at your "instrument", you will quickly find that you need better quality components to get the sound that you want...except this time around, you spent $1,000 already, and when try to sell that gear, you'll maybe get $400. (And that's generous.)

So you end up spending way more than you need to just to get core components to your studio that are higher quality.
And during this whole time, you never treat your room acoustically, and so there's even more money spent unnecessarily when you should have treated your room.


*WHEW*

So what's the point of all this rambling?

The price for this "instrument" is higher, and the learning curve is a little steeper. So take a little time to research components of your studio and allow for growing room up front.
It requires a little patience.

No, you don't need to buy a Protools HD rig just to sound good.
But if you purchase components now that would still be at least useful with a bigger rig, then you are making solid choices that will help you achieve your artistic vision.


Some points to ponder for your situation specifically:

1) How many simultaneous inputs will you realistically need? Just because you have 56 I/O doesn't mean that you are using them. And remember, then more functions that you have squeezed into one unit at a lower price, the lower the quality of each component.
I had a focusrite Saffire pro 26 for about a year and a half. I got it because of all of the inputs and outputs...but the quality was mediocre and I "upgraded" to an apogee duet. Even thought I went down on my number of inputs, I increased leaps and bounds in quality.

2) How many microphones do you have? Again, one great multipurpose mic is better than having 19 CAD microphones.
Also, if you have a great mic with so-so pres and converters (which is what your interface claims to do) you will only have so-so sound and even worse if you don't know how to use either of these things.
So if you only have one or two great mics, why do you need 56 I/O, especially since most of those "ins and outs" are digital?

3) Since you are on mac and using Logic (which is my DAW of choice as well) have you looked at Apogee's Duet or Ensemble? You could probably find an Ensemble on Ebay for around your price range, and you would then have a FANTASTIC interface that you would not outgrow for quite a while. It would give you enough outputs for some creative flexibility, and each channel would be very high quality. Not to mention that the apogee stuff will run natively with Mac and Logic. Focusrite's worst feature was it's clunky software control. You really have to work to get a smooth workflow within Logic. I never did, and that's one of the reasons why I switched. Oh, and focusrite's plug-ins (at this price point) aren't anything to write home about vs. Logic's on board stuff. Focusrite has some great high end stuff though.

4) Keep your initial purchases to a few necessary components, and then learn those devices inside and out. Learn the recording process, and develope a workflow. THEN you can make educated decisions about what components to purchase next.
Do you know why you would need a liquid channel on the saffire over your software plugins with Logic?
Sure it's cool to have more...but if you don't have any reason besides feeling cool by having more, then you probably don't need it.



I know this is kinda brutal, but these are lessons I learned the hard way, so if you can avoid it now, you should do it.
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