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What's best for my first interface? Audio Interfaces
Old 20th December 2010
Gear Nut

What's best for my first interface?

For my first home studio set-up I was considering using Mbox as the interface, but a lot of people on this site have told me that unless I want to upgrade it in a short time, I'm better off buying a better interface. So what do you guys recommend? My budget is about $500-$1000.

Also I'll only be using a few mics at first, but over time I'd like to add more input devices. The important thing here is buying an interface that is not only high quality, but will last me a long time, and will not need to be replaced or upgraded for at least a year or two.

It needs to be compatible with Pro Tools LE.
Old 20th December 2010
Here for the gear

do you use MIDI? If so, this won't help, but;

the Apogee Duet sounds great and is inexpensive.
Old 20th December 2010
Gear Head

When you buy an interface you're buying 2 products:
analog to digital converter
mic preamp

Pro Tools 9 software is the only Pro Tools version that lets you use interfaces made by other companies. So see what your upgrade price is first.

See if you can get a deal on an Mbox 3 and Pro Tools 9.

One idea... if you have money left over buy a good preamp to use with the Mbox line in.

For real cheap to add to your mbox you could get an art tube mp. It's $30 and has an interesting sound.
Old 20th December 2010
Gear Addict

Its true that buying a decent one now will save you money later down the line.

On the other hand, buying something that just suits your needs now will help educate you, through using it, as to what you really want out of it later down the line. You may want more inputs, less inputs, more preamps, more Digital connectivity, none at all, smaller format, 19" format...the list goes on.

Just something else to consider. No use in buying the top of the line interface when you may not need half the stuff it offers, or buying an amazing 2ch AD/DA and then realise you want to hook it up to a mixer.
Old 22nd December 2010
Gear Nut

That's a good point, Dreamsilent. An Mbox 3 has 2 xlr inputs and 2 MIDI inputs, if I'm not mistaken. I know that I will one day want more xlr inputs, not sure about the MIDI. I opted for the Mbox 3 over the Mbox 3 Pro (despite that it has more I/O) because my laptop does not support Firewire connectivity.

What are some comparable interfaces that may give a cleaner sound than Mbox (I've heard conflicting reports that mbox is/isn't very good at capturing clean sound) and have more I/O, at a similar price (approximately $600)?
Made in Germany is always a plus, I hear thumbsup
Old 22nd December 2010
Gear Guru
monkeyxx's Avatar
I like my Echos, they're in your price range
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