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which audio interface? Audio Interfaces
Old 24th December 2010
which audio interface?

Hey gang, wanted to hear thoughts from anyone who's used either of these 2 interfaces...looking to buy either the m-audio fast track ultra 8R, or the Roland Octacapture...the Octacapture is roughly 200 bucks more (the m-audio can be had for around 4 bills, the Roland for around 6), but looks maybe a little more robust and looks like it travels a little better. (I work on a cruise ship and hence travel often, so toughness is a bit of a concern.) If anyone has any input on either of these 2 or any other similarly priced units, I'd love some input. My only musts are a) has to be USB (new laptop doesn't have FW,which is sort of a drag), b) has to have at least 4 preamps and c) more than one set of outputs (ie. not just a single set of stereo outs).

Old 24th December 2010
Here for the gear

If you have multiple external synths to record, there are several working approaches, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Firstly, you could mix them externally using an analogue mixer....
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
BradLyons's Avatar

Before getting into interfaces a big concern I have here is that the NEW laptop doesn't have firewire---while firewire is preferred over USB this is a bigger issue with the hard-drive. Using the internal system drive on any computer, laptop or desktop Mac or PC is NOT recommended. But when we talk about a laptop, it can be downright disaster due to the lack of power, cooling, and the fact it's probably a 5400rpm drive. YOU REALLY NEED AN EXTERNAL DRIVE, however USB is a recipe for disaster when dealing with audio. USB drives on paper are faster than FW400 in terms of thruput, but in actual performance they don't come close. The data moves in packets and depending upon how much bandwidth is hitting it---it's not consistent. This is often why after long transfers it can time out or in the case of audio recording, it can't handle VERY long files at one time over time. Remember, you're having to stream from the drive and get direct access to it.
Old 24th December 2010
Yeah it's a HUGE drag that there is no FW (and sadly, no expresscard slot to add one)...I did get hard drives onboard that could theoretically handle it (2x 320GB 7200 rpm, so I was thinking one for system files and whatnot, and the other drive as the production drive) that still not recommended if they're quicker? I will have the option of an eSATA external drive, as I do have one port for that on the new I may go that way for the drive at least.

Thanks for the input!
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
BradLyons's Avatar

But an internal drive on a laptop will get TOO HOT----now since you have an eSATA port---GOOD!!
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