Hi, I think it might be time for some new gear. So I would appreciate some advice on where to go from here.
1x M-audio Delta 1010 PCI interface.
1x Mackie DFX-12 Mixer
And a fairly powerful PC.
The Mackie mixer gives me 4 channels that I use the the insert loop to send to the interface. It also has one Aux bus so I effectively can record 5 tracks at a time.
What I was thinking of doing is buying something like a Soundcraft M8 and keeping the delta 1010. I can' see me really needing to record more than 8 channels at a time, but I might.
Or I could keep the mixer and and the Delta 1010 and buy an 8 channel preamp like the Presonus Digimax D8 or Focusrite Octopre MK II. That would give me better quality and enable me to use all 8 analogue inputs on the delta 1010.
Or I could get something like the Tascam US-2000, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Audio Interface.
I don't have complex needs, I just record audio and don't think I need lots of 'buses', routing and I'm not sure what I'd do with that.
I may be talking utter poo, at anytime. I don't know what I'm doing, I just know what I have works, but that's been with trial and error.
What's the impact of ADAT and is Firewire unfashionable now?
What do you feel are the greatest shortcomings of your current setup?
I recorded for years (one-man band sort of thing) on just an M-Audio Delta 44 and an older Behringer mixer. After more that 10 years I have a pretty good idea what I want in my new space I'm building.
Thanks for the response. It's really the lack of pre-amps and possibly the quality of the pre-amps that I'm using. The desk pre-amps aren't all that impressive, the are a bit noisy I feel. I only have four of them, that's an issue. I'd like to be able to record a band with drums ideally. So If I need more than eight analogue inputs then I need a new card. There is no ADAT on the Delta 1010.
I've had this setup so long that I don't know what the current technology is about. The 1010 is a PCI card and is that going to be useful in the future? Why is USB 2.0 still so prevalent? Is fire-wire no longer superior to USB 2.0? There are so many questions!
same here. i lost interest in recording for a good while and just did the odd remastering job from cassette/vinyl, hardly even picked up the guitar there for a few years. now i don't know which interface to get, or even what software to go with. Have a license for some older stuff, and did a couple of upgrades, but now I feel like I'm starting over.
As far as audio is concerned USB 2.0 has made an amazing turn around. That said I use the Tascam us-1800 in my studio with no problems with latency for the past year. I was afraid the pre amps would not be good enough but to my pleasant surprise they are nice and clean. I switched over from the emu 1616m due to horrible drivers and all the fears I had (latency, sound quality, USB, drivers) were none existent.
Not saying that it is the best available...but it is a hell of a contender. Let me know if you would like to hear music recorded and mixed with it.
I just bought the RME Babyface for that reason. Tiny footprint and excellent drivers/low latency for basic 2 i/o day-to-day operation while having the option of expanding with an 8 in ADAT device for recording drums etc.
I recently bought a spendy firewire interface - but it was built into a mixer that's all I need for occasional live work.
However, if considering a new interface today, I'd be waiting to see what happens with USB3.0. That's the protocol I expect all the decent affordable interfaces will be using in 5 years. Maybe recording 16 tracks to a tablet....
Or, for lower budgets, something like a used mackie onyx - where you can use the analog outs and ignore the digital interface. The only real "budget" preamps available are the mono and stereo units. 4 stereo preamps would work, but all my other electronics are shrinking and it bothers me on some level to have a huge rack with 8 pre-amps or a bunch of cigar-box-sized desktop units for the same functionality.
Thanks for the feedback tINY. I might see what turns up at NAMM, if there is any significant USB 3.0 action I'll consider just going to that or at least hoping for a price drop in firewire or USB 2.0 interfaces.
I have been using the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 for awhile, and expanded it with the octopre dynamic last year.
Love it. Pre amps have lots of headroom and the routing with the MixControl software is endless. Flawless with protools 10.
I would highly recommend.
I am using the same setup as Kevin (SaffirePro40, Octopre Dynamic MKii (recently purchased) and PT10) and second his enthusiatic comments.
Preamps sound nice IMO. The MixControl software (provided with the Pro40) is fantastic, allowing different monitor mixes for each player.
The Pro40 connects via Firewire 800 to your computer.
I believe a simple adaptor will allow connectivity of the Pro40 to your Thunderbolt port on your computer when no computers have FW in a couple of years (if that is indeed the way we are going!)
I don't know how much this helps but I replaced my Delta 1010lt with a Profire 2626. My reason was that it was just harder and harder to find a computer with a PCI card slot. I don't know how similar the converters are on the 1010 vs. the 1010lt. I thought it would be a pretty negligible upgrade but I feel it sounds better both on the D/A and A/D. Plus it has 8 pre's that are pretty decent for an interface, better than my pre's on my Yamaha 12/4 or my Soundcraft MFX 20/2. Not that it's saying a lot but it was one of those things were I got more than I expected.
The reason I bring it up is that you seem to want the same things I felt this did better than my previous interface, again not sure how similar they are but I am guessing they are very similar. Plus you have ADAT expansion which I have yet to use but allows for quite a bit of expansion.
I will say that my Profire 2626 hasn't been as rock solid as my 1010lt which never had a single issue but it hasn't been bad by any means. Just a slight issue here and there, nothing that really bothered me. It may be my firewire card anyway.