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fireface 800 and protools Audio Interfaces
Old 19th April 2007
Here for the gear

fireface 800 and protools

I have visited this forum many times and have obtained answers to a number of questions or issues I have had. As this is my 1st post I would like to thank the many contributors for the sharing of their experiences and knowledge. I/we now have a concern which has only partly been raised in other threads so I'd like to raise my situation for feedback.

I say 'we' because it is my 15 year old son's studio and I'm the dad who attempts to help him with decisions about what equipment he needs. The reality of it is that my son has a good ear and just wants his music to sound as good as it can and I try to balance the value for money side of things (as with most of us we do what we can but there certainly is not a bottomless pit of money)

Over the last 2 to 3 years as my son has got more into the recording he/we have reached the following

Pentium 4 3.2Ghz with 2 gig ram
Fireface 800 (this was a big purchase for us when we bought it 12
to 18months ago but I must say it has worked flawlessly every time)
Cubase SX 3
DIY electronic drums with a Roland td-6V module
M Audio Studiophile monitors

With the fireface he is able to record bass guitar, lead guitar and vocals and via midi record the electronic drums using BFD for the sounds.

He has begun attending a new high school where he uses his macbook with protools and an Mbox mini in his music class. He also has access at school to a desktop mac with protools and a 002R.

So the question is how to get into protools in the studio at home. Since he is using protools at school all the time it makes sense to have it at home and be able to work on his material from school.

The least cost way I think might be to sell the fireface and buy some protool compatible equipment but the fireface has been so reliable and the quality of what he produces seems very good and we certainly don't want to start going backwards in quality.

I/we would appreciate any advice.
Old 20th April 2007
Lives for gear
jslevin's Avatar
Pro Tools requires the use of a Digidesign or M-Audio interface. There is no question that from a pure audio standpoint, any of those will be a bit of a downgrade from the Fireface.

You basically have two options. One, you can replace the Fireface with a 003 Rack, which will be a minimal step down in quality (if at all). Or two, you can supplement the current setup with a minimal Pro Tools setup. For option two, I would recommend an inexpensive M-Audio interface (FireWire Solo?) along with an Acacemic version of Pro Tools M-Powered.

The M-Powered Academic product includes DigiTranslator, which may come in handy for moving complex sessions in between Cubase and Pro Tools. (If you can get this to work, let me know -- I've never heard of a Windows user pulling it off, but I still believe it's possible.) None of the Pro Tools LE products (Mbox, 001-002-003) provide this option.

Old 20th April 2007
I'd look at something like the M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge. With it you can use your Fireface just as you're used to, but you can connect directly into the ProFire from the ADAT out. Connect your ProFire ADAT out into the Fireface and you're done.
Old 20th April 2007
Lives for gear
barryjohns's Avatar

I use the Lightbridge with my FF800, works flawlessly.
Old 20th April 2007
Lives for gear

If it's possible, try the 003. I have yet to receive mine and am still somewhat unsure of how good it is quality wise compared to products such as Fireface.


Get an Mbox mini or something. It's cheap as hell and will give you Pro Tools. The downside is that you won't record in to Pro Tools so you'll have to export files from Cubase or whatever to later mix in Pro Tools.


Lightbridge. I have NO experience of this what so ever myself, but if it works the way these guys says it does, it could indeed be a good option.
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