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New soundcard for work
Old 9th November 2009
  #1
New soundcard for work

Hi.

We currently have a Focusrite Saffire 40 Pro soundcard + a 3 year old dell pc as the basis of our studio at work (university).

I want to upgrade to a much better, easy and tidy solution. I hate the focusrite mixer window. It's software interface is messy, ugly, difficult and hard to operate. We need a really simple no nonsense interface quality system. We also need a digital solution that will last for years hopefully without any problems or glitches.

The only thing I'v decided so far is to get the new Imac 27" Core I7. I have not decided what soundcard to get yet. I'v had my eyes on Apogee Ensamble and Prism Orpheus, but there are probably also other quality options ?

I'v heard good things about the quality of both the Ensamble and the Orpheus soundcards. But I wonder how they are in action. Especially when it comes to stability. (I'm guessing there is not a huge huge difference in quality ???)

I'v heard that the Orpheus is resource hungry, and doesnt like other equipment connected to the computer. Is this true ?

Well, we need a stable high quality easy to use and operate system that we can use for many years.

There currently are two Shure KSM44 microphones in the studio. We might by a third or a fourth KSM44. We therefor need 4 xlr microphone inputs that somewhat maches this microphone. The studio is used to record people reading by the phonetics department at the university.

Any suggestions are highly apreciated.
Old 9th November 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
 
beanface's Avatar
 

Maybe look into the Lynx Aurora 8/16 too. They sound great and are good value for money. I've heard people trashing the drivers, but I've personally never had a problem with them. Maybe something to watch out for...
Old 9th November 2009
  #3
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inthere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
Hi.

(I'm guessing there is not a huge huge difference in quality ???)

The difference sounds pretty big to me in favor of the Orpheus and also the Ensemble is Mac only.
Old 9th November 2009
  #4
Thanks. But I wonder if there are any downsides to the Orpheus or is it just great period. No buggy drivers, bad support, or difficult to use, etc.. ?
Old 10th November 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
Thanks. But I wonder if there are any downsides to the Orpheus or is it just great period. No buggy drivers, bad support, or difficult to use, etc.. ?
The Orpheus is a beast. I used to use my FireFace 800. And that thing rocked. Very reliable, not buggy and sounds great. But when I got my Orpheus and after comparing both units the Orpheus killed my FF800 in every way. With the Orpheus on DA the highs were very clear and open, the mids were very detailed and the lows were very full and tight. But most of all the spacial information was so so very clear and detailed. The stereo image was full of life and wider. I can't tell you enogh on how much greater the Orpheus made the sense of space sound. It just felt real good. Nothing artificial but more life like.

No bugs with the driver for me.
Old 10th November 2009
  #6
What computer and what DAW are you guys using and recommend for the Oprheus ?

We will probably go for a new Imac I7 and use ProTools 8 unless there is some ill advice agains it. Then we need a 003 with will occupy the FW port ? How will the orpheus tackle that ?
Old 11th November 2009
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
What computer and what DAW are you guys using and recommend for the Oprheus ?

We will probably go for a new Imac I7 and use ProTools 8 unless there is some ill advice agains it. Then we need a 003 with will occupy the FW port ? How will the orpheus tackle that ?
I have a custom PC built by PC Audio Labs. 2 Quad Cores 3.0. 20G of RAM. RAID 5 and 0 configurations over 6 Hard drives with 4.5 TB. Running Windows XP Pro 32, 64, Vista 64 and Windows 7 32 and 64.

From what I hear you get more bang for your buck with 2 Quad core CPU's then one I7 CPU. The I7 CPU is still very new and expensive. So you'll be paying more because it's the new thing rather then it blows everything away.

For me I personally hate using Pro Tools period. The Audio engine sucks when compared to Logic, Cubase and Nuendo. I also hear that many people are having bugs due to all the new features that Pro Tools 8 has now. I personally think that Nuendo is the greatest DAW to do everything in now. From production, tracking to mixing, it's solid, works extremly well and most important it sounds great!

Don't waist your money with a Digi 003. That thing didn't sound good from the begining and will probably never sound good with all that's out there. The Orpheus kills all the competition. Many though come very close. And the units that do come close are around the same price range and from there it's a matter of personal taste and functionality.

You should also check out Mix Buss from Harrisson console. I hear that it sounds great. Only for mac though.

Ultimately you decide. Do your homework and make sure you choose what's best for you and your needs.
Old 11th November 2009
  #8
Thanks.
Old 11th November 2009
  #9
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inthere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattski View Post
I have a custom PC built by PC Audio Labs. 2 Quad Cores 3.0. 20G of RAM. RAID 5 and 0 configurations over 6 Hard drives with 4.5 TB. Running Windows XP Pro 32, 64, Vista 64 and Windows 7 32 and 64.

From what I hear you get more bang for your buck with 2 Quad core CPU's then one I7 CPU. The I7 CPU is still very new and expensive. So you'll be paying more because it's the new thing rather then it blows everything away.

Yeah, and iMac has only one firewire port, which is bound to give you problems down the road. I've never trusted daisychaining because when updates come the daisychainers are always the 1st ones with glitches and bugs.

One positive about the iMac though is you can run both Windows 7 and Mac OSX on it. Windows drivers come with the operating system and dual booting Windows is as easy as installing a video game. You can run both Cubase and Logic and well, just about every DAW in creation. For an educational situation, you can have compatibility with everything.

Another thing if you go Mac you may want to check out the Metric Halo ULN-8. Just do a search on it. It's a good alternative to the Orpheus.
Old 11th November 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
We will probably go for a new Imac I7
I haven't seen any Imacs any more powerful than the i5 at 266ghz. Where are you seeing imac i7's?
Old 11th November 2009
  #11
So if going for the Metric Halo ULN-8 or Prism Orpheus I should rather get a mac pro than imac ?
Old 11th November 2009
  #12
How about the RME Fireface 800 coupled with a great 4 channel preamp. Could that be an better alternative to the Orpheus or Halo ?
Old 11th November 2009
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Intel Core i5 Quad-Core iMac Begins Shipping

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

Monday November 09, 2009 02:35 PM EST; Category: iMac
Written by Eric Slivka


Several MacRumors readers have reported that they have received notification from Apple that their Intel Core i5-based quad-core 27" iMac orders have been shipped from Shanghai. There is no word yet on whether the upgraded Intel Core i7-based version of the quad-core model has also begun shipping.

Apple released its new 21.5" and 27" iMacs late last month, but announced at the time that the quad-core 27" models would not begin shipping until sometime this month. Pricing on the 2.66 GHz Core i5-based model begins at $1,999, with a $200 upgrade to the 2.8 GHz Core i7 also available. The use of these quad-core processors in the new iMac marks the first usage of desktop-class processors in Apple's "thin" iMac designs, as the model has traditionally utilized mobile processors for their lower heat output.
Old 11th November 2009
  #14
I cant se no monitor outputs on the backside of the prism sound orpheus. Does the big volume control knob on the front side control all the line outputs 1-8 simultaniously ?
Old 11th November 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
So if going for the Metric Halo ULN-8 or Prism Orpheus I should rather get a mac pro than imac ?
I just think you need more than one firewire slot. Metric Halo ULN-8 is Mac only so definitely Mac Pro, but Prism Orpheus you can use with a PC.

Quote:
How about the RME Fireface 800 coupled with a great 4 channel preamp. Could that be an better alternative to the Orpheus or Halo ?
Cheaper, but not better. Orpheus and ULN-8 have better sound quality.

Quote:
I cant se no monitor outputs on the backside of the prism sound orpheus. Does the big volume control knob on the front side control all the line outputs 1-8 simultaniously ?
you select which output you want to control.
Old 11th November 2009
  #16
From the software or from the unit's front side ?
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