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Old 25th December 2006 | Show parent
Here for the gear

hi big time lurker here, first post...

i own the firestudio. i actually upgraded from the firepod probably at a loss of $100~. The firepod is great, and sonically i can't really hear a difference between the converters and pres (then again...i'm an n00b). But the firepod doesn't have any way of monitoring properly. You get this 2bus stereo thing that all the inputs get sent to center panned with no volume adjustment possible and this little mix knob that also mixes in the input 1L-2R from the DAW, but it's useless for real life situations.

One possibilty of course then is to split your mic ins into a dedicated monitoring console, but damn! that's expensive.

the fire studio on the other hand has a proper DSP that lets you mix up to 9 different headphone mixes that come out 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, etc.etc. OR, you can just send the 8 mic ins to the 8 mic outs. OR, a mix. OR, whatever you want... it's pretty awesome actually. Honestly, I didn't really need this - i just wanted the 8ins to go to the 8outs, but that's not possible in the firepod, and the firestudio is basically overkill.

Driver wise, I haven't noticed anything at all over the firepod - which is saying good things, reliable. I tried running it on a macbook pro running windows and cubase, and it wouldn't sync. On a real PC, worked fine. the macbook pro worked fine in mac mode running garage band.

The little mixer program is actually rather nifty and it stores your mixes in the DSP, so you can unplug the firewire and run it as totally standalone as a little mixer. Pretty cool, though i haven't run into a situation where i actually needed that. In fact though I've accidentally unplugged the firewire, and the firestudio keeps on going, all signals pass without an interruption. good for live recording.

Basically, I'm aiming for a very very lowend project studio, no outboard, just to get song ideas down before going to a real studio. Occasionally I like to record drumsets (badly) or have stereo pairs for acoustic guitars etc., so I need more then 2 ins. In the future I want to get a nice mic pre and stick it in the insert ins for channel 1&2, like someone else said. Also, I used a ADAT that doesn't record tape anymore for more outs and ins - only needed that once where I did a live recording thing with 16 ins. (That was interesting... not.)

But for what I do, which is basically preproduction, the firestudio is perfect for the application. I even saved money, because I don't need a monitor mixing board.

Now about latency. My PC cannot handle superlow 2.5 ms latency with the firestudio, for some reason, whereas it could without blinking on the firepod. BUT, it doesn't matter! Because you get very close to 0 latency monitoring, it's not a big deal to have 20, 30, ms latency - you won't hear it, of course.

Also, it comes with drumagog (THANK YOU GOD) and also supposedly BFG lite but I didn't get that DVD. I'm waiting for them to send it to me.

One last thing about pres. I've noticed that the firepod/studio pres only start to hiss at the very top of their gain, around 60db? or whatnot, but the SM(57/58) definitely require you to run them near that, so you got to be very careful about gain. Noise wise, I've noticed that the firestudio is a little more noisy, but I'm not suprised given how much more feature packed it is.

Okay, I sounded like a shill, but I've been very happy with it. Good price point, works fine, still a little hard to get - i snagged the last one at GC.