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  1. #1

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    Default Audio Interface for Logic 9 - Firewire or USB?

    Hi guys,

    I am all new to the music production world and was hoping to get some feedback and user experience as I am now at a point where I need to buy a sound card/audio interface.

    I currently have KRK monitor speakers I would like to plug into the audio interface however I would the option to plug in additional instruments such as a guitar, bass, keyboard or mic.

    My concerns are:

    USB or Firewire? I'm guessing Firewire is the answer for it's faster processing rate?

    Apogee Duet? This keeps grabbing my eye, 5 star reviews

    M-Audio? Edirol?

    Any info or feedback would be much appreciated

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

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    The best all-rounter interface I know of is the MOTU Ultralite. Not cheap -- Streetwise have them for just over a grand -- but they are brilliant. Supremely flexible, daisychainable FireWire, very clean mic preamps (with XLR inputs!) and a very grunty onboard DSP chip for 16, 24 and 32 bit recording & processing. Considering its diminutive size, it's got ports out the wazoo, front 'n back:



    Seriously, with one of these, you can use it anywhere and you won't need to think about upgrading for years.

  3. #3
    Darwiniandude is offline iPhone/iPad - Resistance is futile

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    If you can afford it, and only need 2 ins, get an Apogee DUET. No windows drivers it's Mac only so no Bootcamp usage... bear that in mind.

    But exceptional sound quality.



    But another thing to consider is that if you get something 'class compliant' eg Lexicon Lambda USB, Presonus Audiobox or Firebox, etc... these need no drivers at all; they use what's built into OS X. This can only be a good thing with Snow Leopard looming: no waiting for manufacturer's drivers.

    Motu stuff is good, but warranty repairs can't be done in AU they have to go back to the US. Pretty reliable though so doesn't matter too much. RME gear is brilliant, but pricey, and the Apogee Ensemble is wicked if you need 8 ins and don't mind the $3k rrp price tag.

    The wicked thing with the DUET, is the sound. I love mine, the mic pres are the best you can get IMO without an expensive voice channel a la avalon etc... certainly the best pres built into an interface.

    Also, Firewire bus powered devices run at a higher current/voltage, and you have more gain/headroom in general than USB bus powered devices.

  4. #4

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    I have used an Apogee Duet with my MacBook Pro for the last year or so, and it's bloody brilliant. Great integration with OS X and Logic Pro, very stable, very nice preamps, and good software... i'd highly recommend it!

  5. #5

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    Can anyone recommend the best place to purchase the Apogee Duet from?

    I am located in Sydney and have ony seen it readily available on the online Apple store.

  6. #6
    Richie Rich's Avatar Richie Rich is offline Happy!

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    Doesn't look like the Duet does MIDI though :-( (Or am I just going MAD?!)

  7. #7
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

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    Nope, the Duet is audio only, and is designed for audiophiles, not musicians.

  8. #8

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    What do you guys think of:

    1. M-Audio Fast Track Pro
    2. Native Audio Kontrol 1
    3. Edirol UA25/FA101?
    Last edited by cheekyage; 21st August 2009 at 03:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

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    1. M-Audio Fast Track Pro
    USB based. Forget it. M-Audio's quality has gone downt he shitter in the last couple years.

    2. Native Audio Kontrol 1
    Native Instruments hardware is utter garbage, much like their software has become in the last two years. And it's USB based. Forget it. In fact, don't buy anything with an NI badge.

    3. Edirol UA25/FA101?
    The UA-25 is robust, but it too is USB based, therefore isn't worth spit, frankly. No USB based audio interface is.

    The FA-101, on the other hand, is an excellent, albeit basic, FireWire based interface with clean specs. It's built by the Roland people, so it's designed by musicians and built for musicians, not audiophile purists (this means it's robust and long-lasting).

  10. #10

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    Brains - what's your beef with USB interfaces? My brother just purchased the Edirol UA25EX and it works great, preamps are decent for the price, and it's a very flexible unit overall.

    I think the USB Firewire debate is becoming a bit stale and irrelevant nowadays.

  11. #11
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

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    USB is still the short-bus of serial interfaces (hey, it's an Intel invention) and even on the fastest of fast computers, sustained USB traffic places a very noticable -- and very uneven -- load on the CPU. Every packet needs the CPU to assemble it, then route it, then make sure it got where it was meant to go. FireWire is more expensive because the interfaces are smart -- the CPU just has to point the interface at the data and leave it to it.

    In audio, as it is with video, the less your CPU has to worry about shuffling data the more time it can spend on processing your data properly. FireWire audio interfaces are almost always far more flexible (as well as being better built, with better ADACs) and have a higher resale value accordingly.

  12. #12

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    Yes, Firewire is better. No, you won't have much of a problem running a USB Interface. People run USB devices on ancient computers and don't have much of a problem. I personally run a USB device on my portable rig, and have no problem whatsoever.

    However it looks like the price is the issue here over anything else and the OP is more to... dabble than anything super serious.

    It's more of a question of:

    a) What's your budget
    b) What will you be using inputs for (Just recording one thing at a time?)
    c) Using Microphones much?
    d) Intend to use MIDI much?

  13. #13

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    I'm on the prowl for one too. I spent a good deal on a Roland Juno-G synth and I've got no stereo interface to use it with my Mac.
    Pretty  gear: 27" 2.66GHz i5 iMac, 4GB | Mid-2010 MBP 13" C2D 4GB | 16Gb iPhone 3GS; white.

  14. #14

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    another +1 for Brains' comment re: the NI Audio Kontrol 1. driver support is ridiculously bad. it may look the goods but yea, it runs pretty bad. high latency drivers, etc.

    the only good thing from NI are soft synths and Traktor. steer clear from AK1.

    im selling mine later this year for a (most likely) Focusrite Saffire.

  15. #15

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    +1 for avoiding USB. The main reason for me is latency, but processor overhead is an issue also.

    I have a Digidesign MBox 2 Pro which I would recommend, but there are better bang for your buck options if you are going to use Logic. MOTU always make decent gear and I would go with them over Edirol/M-Audio/etc, or maybe Presonus.

    Geoff's question is a good one. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed with OMG 18 ANALOGUE INS!!!! when they're only ever going to be recording a single guitar track, vocals, keys, etc rather than live drums. If you're not intending on recording live drums at this stage (or multiple instruments simultaneously) then you're much better off concentrating on interfaces with a lower number of inputs but GOOD QUALITY pre's and A/D converters as this heavily impacts the quality of your recording. If you want to start recording drums/etc down the track, then you could look at upgrading at that point.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phorte View Post
    another +1 for Brains' comment re: the NI Audio Kontrol 1. driver support is ridiculously bad. it may look the goods but yea, it runs pretty bad. high latency drivers, etc.

    the only good thing from NI are soft synths and Traktor. steer clear from AK1.

    im selling mine later this year for a (most likely) Focusrite Saffire.
    Kontakt is good fun but a bit of a pain to use - I love the Vienna Symphony Orchestra library. Akoustik Piano sounds pretty good too.

  17. #17

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    akoustik piano is beautiful very happy with it!

  18. #18
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

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    4Front's TruePiano is, to my classically trained audio engineering ears, a much sweeter and more versatile instrument, and worth every penny. It's Yamaha G1 rendition is uncannily accurate.

  19. #19

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    oooh thanks for the tip! will have to check it out.

  20. #20

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    sweet, i'll have to check it out

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