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PLEASE, Help me to do the right choice !!!!!!!!! Audio Interfaces
Old 23rd December 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Fruit's Avatar
 

Unhappy PLEASE, help me to do buy the right gear

Hello,
I want record decently my voice adding compression, eq,and reverb to it, with the capability to record with and without effects: effects on headphones and compression on recorded track. I also need low latency.At least I need very good D/A converters to listen and mix music.

I was looking for something very portable, but actually I'm SOOO frustrated and confused I can buy something a bit bigger.


My actual reference point is Profire 610: the pres are decent I love the d/a converters but the gain is a bit low .
Two months ago I bought a saffire 24 DSP but I returned it because the it can't run my projects very well (drivers) and the d/a quality of converters was a bit inferior...
When I'm not at home I use a macbook, so I can use usb interfaces only.
My buget is 1200 euro, but next month it will be 1400 € (of course if I can save some money...it's better! )
I have read about dsp cards, channel strips, external fxs,audio interfaces with integrated effects, mic preamps...
I need a direction, I am not expert enough to make the right choice,and there are no stores where I can test the gear, there are a lot of solutions but I don't know what's the best.
I was considering to ways:
-small interface+ great pream (black lion auteur i.e)+ portable vocal effect(as TC-Helicons)
-Great interface with good converters ( Fireface UC)+ portable vocal effect
-small interface+ channel strip (Joemeek i.e)+ vocal effect
-all-in-one (MOTU ULTRALITE Hybrid MKIII)+ eventually a good mic preamp.

I'm open to any solution, please help me, I'M GOING CRAZY!
Old 24th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
Generally this stuff is a lot easier nowadays with something like that MOTU one you mentioned because of its inbuilt DSP. Otherwise if you want effects on your headphone mix, maybe look at getting a small digital mixer, and routing the vocal track and the rest of the mix from the interface into the mixer and then apply effects on that...

I would actually recommend the DSP route a bit more though...less of a hassle...
Old 25th December 2010
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Fruit's Avatar
 

Christmas Bump
Old 1st January 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Fruit's Avatar
 

New year's day bump.
Please share experience and knowledge!
Old 1st January 2011
  #5
Deleted #157546
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruit View Post
Hello,
I want record decently my voice adding compression, eq,and reverb to it, with the capability to record with and without effects: effects on headphones and compression on recorded track. I also need low latency.At least I need very good D/A converters to listen and mix music.

I was looking for something very portable, but actually I'm so frustrated and confused I can buy something a bit bigger.


My actual reference point is Profire 610: the pres are decent I love the d/a converters but the gain is a bit low .
Two months ago I bought a saffire 24 DSP but I returned it because the it can't run my projects very well (drivers) and the d/a quality of converters was a bit inferior...
When I'm not at home I use a macbook, so I can use usb interfaces only.
My buget is 1200 euro, but next month it will be 1400 € (of course if I can save some money...it's better! )
I have read about dsp cards, channel strips, external fxs,audio interfaces with integrated effects, mic preamps...
I need a direction, I am not expert enough to make the right choice,and there are no stores where I can test the gear, there are a lot of solutions but I don't know what's the best.
I was considering to ways:
-small interface+ great pream (black lion auteur i.e)+ portable vocal effect(as TC-Helicons)
-Great interface with good converters ( Fireface UC)+ portable vocal effect
-small interface+ channel strip (Joemeek i.e)+ vocal effect
-all-in-one (MOTU ULTRALITE Hybrid MKIII)+ eventually a good mic preamp.

I'm open to any solution, please help me, I'M GOING CRAZY!
First, your post is very hard to understand what you really want or have.

Explain these two things in as few words as possible.

What are you trying to do?

What do you already have?

Second, for the highlighted portion. You've got about 3-4 different issues your trying to solve by purchasing a new interface???

Also, your trying to solve your latency issues by purchasing better AD/DA conversion??? I don't think so....

Please be more clear in your post and you will get more responses.
Old 1st January 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Fruit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayvo86 View Post
.

What are you trying to do?
Record vocal tracks and mix it with Logic 9 and Cubase 5.5. Effects on headphones during recording. Portability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayvo86 View Post
.
What do you already have?
Profire 610, DMP3 preamp, mic: SM58, Beta 58 A, M-Audio Nova. Macbook white mid 2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayvo86 View Post
Second, for the highlighted portion. You've got about 3-4 different issues your trying to solve by purchasing a new interface???
No. I'm not asking just about a new interface. I'm asking what's the best "gear combination" to reach my goals: low latency, good drivers, good converters, effects on headphones.
Motu Ultralite has everything, but I'm a bit skeptical with those "all-in-one" solutions...so I prefer ask to experienced people

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayvo86 View Post
.

Also, your trying to solve your latency issues by purchasing better AD/DA conversion??? I don't think so....
Please be more clear in your post and you will get more responses.
No, d/a and a/d is just about recording and listening quality.
Old 1st January 2011
  #7
Registered User
 

use your ears
Old 2nd January 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Fruit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
use your ears
as I wrote , unfortunately there are no stores in my town where I can test the gear. Surely I'd do it, if I could.
So, before spending 1200-1400€ I think is wise asking around instead try the "gear lottery"
Old 2nd January 2011
  #9
Gear Head
 

OK, I'll bite (note: I'm not a pro engineer, but I do have a reasonable amount of knowledge about gear).

Working within your budget constraints may be a bit tough; normally I'd tell you to get something like a Universal Audio LA-610 (great preamp w/ a good compressor, sounds like you want hardware compression as you record). The preamp is tube, this would give you a pretty vintage sound. Price is about $1600 US (don't know what that comes to in Euros).

I would couple that with the Benchmark ADC1 USB - this is a great 2 channel USB converter, however that is also about $1600-1700 US, so we're over budget here, although it might be worth it to hold out for this. Note this is A/D conversion only, but you could monitor through your Mac's headphone outputs, that's what I do when recording w/ this converter.

As far as reverb, etc while tracking, I think you could use plugins on your computer for that, I don't think it will add much latency, of course you could use a UAD type system (hardware accelerator, plugs are great sounding, they have a laptop option that's about $500 US), but that's more cash. Note that you really probably don't want to record the reverb as part of the sound, just want it in headphones as you said, to get some ambience as you sing.

Another option is an SSL Alpha Channel (I haven't used it myself, unlike the above gear, but from what I've read, it's a solid piece). It will give you that super-clean SSL sound, if you like that (it's got a distortion circuit in it, called "VHD," but that's pretty subtle from what I've heard). It has a limiter function in it, but this is just a button, in or out, no control over the compression parameters. However, this unit is only about $1000 US, which would give you enough money left over to buy a separate compressor. Note that the Alpha channel has EQ and a built-in convertor, which is supposed to be good (isn't USB though, so you'd have to use it with a separate interface that has SPDIF in, I think the one you have has that (it does, I just checked it, and you could monitor out from the Profire). Alpha channel also has an insert, you could patch the compressor through that.

The more I think of it, the alpha channel and a separate compressor seems like the way to go. For a compressor, try the DBX 166L, about $300 US, it's a decent, inexpensive, good quality compressor (obviously not as good as one costing $2K, but I think it would work well for your setup (I haven't actually used it though).

Look up the Alpha Channel on Gearslutz. Be careful, because in some early threads, people were bashing it without having even tried it, but by reading between the lines, I think it's a solid product. Mic pre is based on the SSL 4000 E series console pre, EQ on the G series. And the converter is supposed to be really good, don't worry about connecting it to the SPDIF input on your existing interface, it's simply passing an already converted digital signal to your computer (be sure to make Alpha Channel the master clock source). Hope this is helpful,

Peace

(Note: prices quoted are from US online dealers, i.e. Sweetwater, Vintage King, I don't know how much international shipping would cost).

P.P.S (and then I promise I'll shut up) - If you don't want to deal with the hassle of all of the above, I really think you would do well with one of those "all-in-one" MOTU systems, they really are good quality, not hyped, they have built-in DSP effects, low-latency monitoring, etc. Pro's use them (EDIT: I looked at the MOTU UltraLite-mk3, doesn't look hyped to me, looks like a solid midpriced interface solution, again you could afford to get a separate compressor, maybe upgrade your mic, etc). Also, if you're using the Profire, that means you have Firewire, don't need to rely on USB, you can get the 896mk3 (about $1000 US, great features).
Old 2nd January 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
GordZilla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
use your ears
dood... this is getting old

It is neither helpful.. nor relevent to his question. There is a reason why folks come to Low End Theory.. they want advice and information. And your post provides neither.

How about you "use your brain".... before you post
Old 3rd January 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Fruit's Avatar
 

@reflexbc
thank you very much for your detailed answer.
SSL Alpha Channel and DBX 166L seems very nice gear, really nice, I'll investigate about it. The other things you suggested me are unfortunately out of my budget.

896mk3 is a fantastic interface, but unfortunately firewire port doesn't work on Windows XP installed on Macbook with bootcamp,so my choice is restricted to Usb interfaces only, even if I'm investigating about an expresscard.

At this point I think my real problem is the firewire, if I'll be able to fix it probably I'd buy 896mk3 or Steinberg MR816 CSX, that is a bit bulky but seems great
Many thanks thumbsup

@GordZilla : thanks for "moral support"
Old 11th March 2011
  #12
Me2
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruit View Post
as I wrote , unfortunately there are no stores in my town where I can test the gear. Surely I'd do it, if I could.
So, before spending 1200-1400€ I think is wise asking around instead try the "gear lottery"
Do a deal with the devil.

Buy a couple of those things you think you would like from Thomann. e.g. Motu + SSL Alpha channel.

You can return everything within 30 days for a full money back guarantee if you're not happy just paying postage costs (it's anyway part of the distance selling law in Europe that you can return goods without reason)

See the following for info in Italian Garanzia di 30 giorni, soddisfatti o rimborsati - Thomann Cyberstore Italiano
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