December 15, 2005

A reader question...

by Chris Randall

D'Macinnon writes:

I'm looking for a 24/96 or better capable USB recording interface/mic pre combo that's under a grand and has good ad converters and a good sound. I need it to be somewhat portable because I'm going to use it with a laptop that I'm hauling to record someone's piano. It's not really feasable for me to haul my entire recording rig over there or to move their piano so that's why I'm looking into a solution for portable tracking.

So how 'bout it? The first thing that came to mind for me was the Apogee Mini-Me, but that's over his budget, at $1300 or so. I think the Mini-Me is just about the most expensive USB interface there is, so pretty much anything else would work. As I'm strictly Firewire these days, I don't have a good opinion on this. Anyone have some input as to what the best USB interface for under a grand is?




Dec.15.2005 @ 12:15 PM
If USB is the dealbreaker, there's now a USB2 version of the MOTU 828mkII.... But, that said, the Traveler is the best 800 bucks I've ever spent. So...


Dec.15.2005 @ 12:25 PM
The E-MU 1616 and 1616m have excellent converters, specs, and cost under $500. They're both PCMCIA/CardBus, though, and not USB. The bandwidth is greater, AFAIK, and they have built-in FX and a DSP mixer. The latest drivers make them extremely stable and they get excellent latency. I highly recommend them both. They have Hi-Z inputs, Mic Input/Preamps with a soft-limiting option, digital I/O, etc.

Dec.15.2005 @ 1:58 PM
if it helps you decide, you could get an 828mkII and have black lion pimp that shit for you: link []">link []

Dec.15.2005 @ 8:06 PM
D' MacKinnon
Yeah, unfortunately it has to be USB or PCMCIA otherwise I'll have to buy another laptop. I just need something clean soundind with good mic-preamps and low latency. I wasn't aware that MOTU carried USB interfaces, their corporate site says they do but I haven't found any online yet. Thanks for input guys.

Dec.15.2005 @ 8:27 PM
D' MacKinnon
Now that I think about it, I'll probably try and save up some more money and go for the Apogee Mini-Me. I keep hearing about the quality of Apogee's converters.

Dec.16.2005 @ 9:54 AM
Chris Randall
I've seen used Mini-Mes go for under a grand here and there. They hold their value well, so you don't have to worry too much about the instant depreciation of audio interfaces.



Dec.17.2005 @ 2:07 AM
so what would your choice in the firewire world be, chris? say, around a grand? i hear the motu's are good.

Dec.17.2005 @ 9:47 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah, I personally use the MOTU 896. I'm a big fan. I wasn't aware of the op-amp upgrades above, and now I'm thinking of having that done. I'd say the Presonus stuff, but I don't care for having the XLRs on the front; that's kind of a deal-breaker for me.

You can get a used 896 original edition for like $600 to $700. That's a pretty good price for what you get.

I'm definitely considering Apogee Rosetta 800s in the not-too-distant future, though.





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