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Old 21st June 2020
Here for the gear

Audio Interface Options

So, I've been doing a bunch of research to get my home studio started, and I'm kinda stumped with all of the options. I've budgeted about $2kUSD for interface, preamps(if needed), and mics. Got a decent deal on a Shure SM7b at $340 shipped, so I'm down to $1.6K. Trying to keep the interface around $700-$800, so I'll have room to buy more mics and build some acoustic panels. Here's a list of gear I already have if it helps:

Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Mics: Shure SM57, 58, and PG drum mic 6 pack
Hardware: REDDI tube preamp
Monitors: Yamaha HS7 pair
DAW: Own Pro Tools 10 but use Reaper because PT is too bi polar for me

Btw, I'm planning to buy everything used and looking for things that should retain most of their value should I decide recording isn't my thing.

Since I want to record drums straight away, my firs option is a nice two channel desktop interface with good converters and optical input (Audient ID22 or UAD Apollo Twin Duo Mki) to connect an 8 channel preamp(maybe Behringer ADA8200 or Focusrite Scarlett Octopre) with clean pres. Buying either combo puts me right around my interface budget and gives me 10 channels, so I could record scatch vocal/guitar, bass w/ mic'd amp if I wanted to, and still have enough room for 6 mics on the drums.

My other option is to go for an 8 channel interfacee and hope a used Audient ASP880 pops up in my budget. I saw that Antelope audio is running a deal on their Zen studio ($804 shipped) which is 12 channels with great converters and clean pres, but after reading all the different threads on that unit, decided their software issues weren't worth the headache (especially since I'm on PC).

Beyond this, I'm not really sure. I'm under the impression that the expansion pres will go through the converters of the desktop interface, but after a google search, I can't find any info on it. Let me know if this isn't the case because then I might just go the 8 channel interface route. I was even consider getting a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (Gen 2 is $330 new atm and the Gen 3's are only about 100 more used). That would obviously give me more budget for mic's, but I assuming that pres and converters will have a much greater impact on my sound at first, and I can always upgrade mics and add more as the money comes in.

Let me know what you guys think and thanks in advance for your help!