need soundcard/interface advice

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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boderekstits
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need soundcard/interface advice

Post by boderekstits » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:07 pm

hey guys, first post here,

i was hoping i could get some good advice from you savvy producing folks.
I am looking to get my studio set up complete and start writing music.

Right now I am using a 15" Powerbook 1.67, and I have a Korg Kontrol49 midi keyboard.
I am planning on buying/using Ableton Live 5 to write and sequence everything.

One important aspect is that I plan on recording my own guitar and bass playing and incorporating that into Ableton, so i am looking for a mid ranged (or higher) interface that will give
me decent to good sound quality.

I also need something that is going to give me good sound quality when I sample my records, or just to be able to do edits in ableton to my old and new records alike.

A friend suggested the Mbox 2, but then was worried because of the fact that it is USB powered and my hard drive spins at 5400, which might cause some problems.

I've also reading nothing but glowing reviews of the Presonus Firebox.

I don't mind spending some cash, but i don't really need anything top of the line as i'm just getting started. All I really want to do is to be able to learn what i need so that i can write/create as soon as the inspiration hits! Priority one is just to get to the point where i'm happy with what i'm writing!

what do you all think? all input is greatly appreciated.


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AdamJay
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Post by AdamJay » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:22 pm

MOTU writes some of the best drivers for OSX.
the new UltraLite would probably suit you very well.

your 5400rpm HD should be fine, so long as you dont plan on recording externally any more than 8 tracks. thats where you want a faster drive speed the most. But for playback of tracks in your mix, 5400 is just fine

good luck!

boderekstits
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Post by boderekstits » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:25 pm

AdamJay wrote:MOTU writes some of the best drivers for OSX.
the new UltraLite would probably suit you very well.

your 5400rpm HD should be fine, so long as you dont plan on recording externally any more than 8 tracks. thats where you want a faster drive speed the most. But for playback of tracks in your mix, 5400 is just fine

good luck!
thanks! what's your opinion on the Mbox2?

zebastian21
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Location: New York City

Post by zebastian21 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:39 pm

AdamJay wrote:MOTU writes some of the best drivers for OSX.
the new UltraLite would probably suit you very well.

your 5400rpm HD should be fine, so long as you dont plan on recording externally any more than 8 tracks. thats where you want a faster drive speed the most. But for playback of tracks in your mix, 5400 is just fine

good luck!
Actually better than good drivers is NO drivers at all....class conpliantt...check out Presonus Firebox
stop talking.....start working...:)
Macbook pro. Logic pro/Live. Access Virus Ti. Genelec 8040. my bread and butter :)

AdamJay
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Indianapolis, USA

Post by AdamJay » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:46 pm

zebastian21 wrote:
AdamJay wrote:MOTU writes some of the best drivers for OSX.
the new UltraLite would probably suit you very well.

your 5400rpm HD should be fine, so long as you dont plan on recording externally any more than 8 tracks. thats where you want a faster drive speed the most. But for playback of tracks in your mix, 5400 is just fine

good luck!
Actually better than good drivers is NO drivers...check out Presonus Firebox
not when you are dealing with Apple's shitty "class compliancy" firewire protocol.

I'd rather use good drivers from Metric Halo, Motu, or RME than a class compliant firewire device. Its no coincidence that the 3 of these companies can achieve lower input and output latencies than any company making class compliant driver-less firewire for OSX.

boderekstits, MBOX2... Digidesign interfaces are great for digidesign software. If you are wanting to use ProTools LE, its a good interface. Their Core Audio implementation in other software isn't the greatest though.
Its a ''pick your software first, hardware second'' situation.

For something like an MBOX2, in terms of specs (2 in, 2 out, preamps, etc.) my recommendation is the Metric Halo ULN2. The preamps are fantastic, the drivers rock solid, and Metric Halo has the best support in my experience (i've received beta drivers for intelmac at 3am via email). But its not cheap.

So really it depends on your budget, and the software you are using.
You want to use Live for everything, so i'd shy away from the MBOX2.

zebastian21
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:29 pm
Location: New York City

Post by zebastian21 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:33 pm

AdamJay wrote:
zebastian21 wrote:
AdamJay wrote:MOTU writes some of the best drivers for OSX.
the new UltraLite would probably suit you very well.

your 5400rpm HD should be fine, so long as you dont plan on recording externally any more than 8 tracks. thats where you want a faster drive speed the most. But for playback of tracks in your mix, 5400 is just fine

good luck!
Actually better than good drivers is NO drivers...check out Presonus Firebox
not when you are dealing with Apple's shitty "class compliancy" firewire protocol.

I'd rather use good drivers from Metric Halo, Motu, or RME than a class compliant firewire device. Its no coincidence that the 3 of these companies can achieve lower input and output latencies than any company making class compliant driver-less firewire for OSX.

boderekstits, MBOX2... Digidesign interfaces are great for digidesign software. If you are wanting to use ProTools LE, its a good interface. Their Core Audio implementation in other software isn't the greatest though.
Its a ''pick your software first, hardware second'' situation.

For something like an MBOX2, in terms of specs (2 in, 2 out, preamps, etc.) my recommendation is the Metric Halo ULN2. The preamps are fantastic, the drivers rock solid, and Metric Halo has the best support in my experience (i've received beta drivers for intelmac at 3am via email). But its not cheap.

So really it depends on your budget, and the software you are using.
You want to use Live for everything, so i'd shy away from the MBOX2.

i agree about the mbox (digidesign interfaces) , dont get it unless you must run protools.
about class compliant being bad ....hmmmm...I have a very inexpensive Firebox and I have never had one single problem......abouyt latency, I dont record....so i cant tell...
its so anoying when you cant update or upgrade your os because your audio interface dosnt support it.....Class compliant is the way to go IMHO
stop talking.....start working...:)
Macbook pro. Logic pro/Live. Access Virus Ti. Genelec 8040. my bread and butter :)

boderekstits
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Post by boderekstits » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:27 am

thanks for the knowledge guys, keep em coming!

DKushner
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Post by DKushner » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:41 am

I love my MboxII. I get really low latency, superb sound, 2 direct/instrument ins (works great for bass and guitar if you have some modeling software like Guitar Rig 2) travels well, and has outstanding sounding preamps from focusrite. Very low noise A/D conversion. However, the thing with Mbox is that it only does one thing at a time. Meaning, I can't have ableton open but winamp jamming in the background or something like that.

I hear good things about the firebox, but to me, its better to go USB for mobil apps (less to plug in) unless you have a computer with a 6 pin firewire port. The 4 pin ports more comonly found don't have bus power. I'm also weary of the firebox because the fullblown firepod is one of the worst products on the market.

boderekstits
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:58 pm
Location: Colorado
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Post by boderekstits » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:05 am

AdamJay wrote:
zebastian21 wrote:
AdamJay wrote:MOTU writes some of the best drivers for OSX.
the new UltraLite would probably suit you very well.

your 5400rpm HD should be fine, so long as you dont plan on recording externally any more than 8 tracks. thats where you want a faster drive speed the most. But for playback of tracks in your mix, 5400 is just fine

good luck!
Actually better than good drivers is NO drivers...check out Presonus Firebox
not when you are dealing with Apple's shitty "class compliancy" firewire protocol.

I'd rather use good drivers from Metric Halo, Motu, or RME than a class compliant firewire device. Its no coincidence that the 3 of these companies can achieve lower input and output latencies than any company making class compliant driver-less firewire for OSX.

boderekstits, MBOX2... Digidesign interfaces are great for digidesign software. If you are wanting to use ProTools LE, its a good interface. Their Core Audio implementation in other software isn't the greatest though.
Its a ''pick your software first, hardware second'' situation.

For something like an MBOX2, in terms of specs (2 in, 2 out, preamps, etc.) my recommendation is the Metric Halo ULN2. The preamps are fantastic, the drivers rock solid, and Metric Halo has the best support in my experience (i've received beta drivers for intelmac at 3am via email). But its not cheap.

So really it depends on your budget, and the software you are using.
You want to use Live for everything, so i'd shy away from the MBOX2.
what exactly is class compliancy firewire protocol?

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