M-Audio NRV-10 by djzach
I originally bought this piece of hardware to get a few jobs done... I needed a digital audio interface for studio use, recording etc.
I needed a live interface to process a few instruments (through ableton live) in a performance setting, and I also needed an analog mixer to submix a few channels onstage. This little beauty does all that, and more. The versatility is awesome, each one of 8 channels (4 mono, 2 stereo) can be switched from analog to firewire mode, which is amazing for me... but I was a bit disappointed when I started to need more outputs. I worked around the lack of outs by using the ctrl room outs and the auxiliary sends to get channels out separately.. which is working fine for now, but this little machine would be GREAT with a few more output options. My only other complaint would be that the pre-amps seem a bit dodgy. They sound alright, but their levels are pretty low, and when you crank them up to around the top level, they have this insane curve/spike which almost doubles the knob's parameter in the last tenth of a turn... a little bit annoying. The unit also has a bundled piece of effects software that lets you apply effects to the channels in live settings, without using a DAW at all, and while this is pretty cool, I've never needed to use it, thanks to Ableton having all my bases covered. I should also mention that it is extremely durable with a tough metal case, which is great for taking on the road.
In summary, this unit has a few shortcomings, but it's affordable, reliable, and it's been doing a good job for me for years now. If this machine suits your needs, I would definitely recommend it!