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  #1  
Old 11-26-2010, 05:49 PM
L-Dogg L-Dogg is offline
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Default Interface options

Now that we can use any interfaces ( I think ) I am curious what the general consensus is out there on what interface is best, with a price point around the $1000-$1500 mark. Closer to $1000 if possible.


At one point I considered doing a BLA Signature mod to the 002R and it is still an option. However, you are on your own once you go this route and pay a lot of money to alter your 002R forever with no real guarantees that you will like it.

It is hard to consider this against a store bought piece of hardware you can take back and has a manufacturer warranty.

So, considering this, my next choice would be the Apogee Ensemble but these are closer to the $2000 mark, maybe $1795 or so.

What else is out there though that will give excellent performance for under $1500? Do you folks have any suggestions for a really stellar interface that does it all, excellent pre's, converters and clock, has a decent amount of I/O and is working well with PT9?


Looking forward to your suggestions.
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2010, 06:37 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

Hey L-Dogg, I think I may have mentioned the sale that audiomidi.com is having on the Ensemble, where they bundle it with PT9 full version for only $99 more.

I know you already crossgraded to PT9, so you could get that bundle, and don't even register the new software, but sell it to someone for maybe $400-450. It would be brand new, unregistered for them, so no Ilok transfer is needed (if it's the boxed version, all the better. You could call them to verify this).

This way, after all is said and done, you will have gotten the Ensemble for $1600-1700.

Just an idea.
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2010, 06:54 PM
rickthestick rickthestick is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

Just received this and I think it's one of the best options out there. You can't beat that price anywhere.
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2010, 07:44 PM
nextar nextar is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

if you're a 002R owner, BLA Signature mod is a MUST : you'll get a PT fully-compatible hardware + first class preamps, converters etc.
002 R BLA Signature mod is astonishing ! You'll be very happy !
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2010, 08:33 PM
getz76 getz76 is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

Quote:
Originally Posted by L-Dogg View Post
At one point I considered doing a BLA Signature mod to the 002R and it is still an option. However, you are on your own once you go this route and pay a lot of money to alter your 002R forever with no real guarantees that you will like it.
Hard to consider that route now that there are so many other options available.

I decided to buy an M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge. I figured it gave me up to 18 inputs at 96kHz and allowed me to decide on my preamps and converters.

What preamps do you have now? Do you like them? How many simultaneous inputs do you need? Price point helps, but what are you requirements other than $1,000?
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2010, 09:53 PM
L-Dogg L-Dogg is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

Quote:
Originally Posted by getz76 View Post
What preamps do you have now? Do you like them? How many simultaneous inputs do you need?
getz76, unfortunately all I have beyond what is in the 002Rack and 11Rack is an ART rack mount dual Tube Preamp System with the v3 voicings and OPL. No, I don't really like it in the sense that it does nothing amazing to the sound. It just works and certain of the presets color the sound okay.

My situation is that I am slowly upgrading, I stress slowly.

For some time my focus has been on getting good software instruments. Now I need to look at my hardware and this includes mic's.

I think I would prefer an all in one approach rather than the M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge, then having to choose a mic pre solution and the converters.

This is where I get confused though, how you will clock this and why the need for converters...doesn't the ProFire have them etc etc? Like I said, I always just used 001 and then 002, later 11R as well. I did not have to concern myself with converter choices and pre's, clock etc in a sense because they were all just inside, a self contained solution.

This is why the less pieces of hardware I have to deal with, the better. Plus it seems your way will end up being well over $2000 or so quite easily. I will definitely consider this angle though. My mind is open.

nextar, how would you rate the BLA 002R against the Apogee Ensemble?

nst7, I see that deal at audiomidi. I spend way too much time there....they are not far from me. I suppose I could also sell the 002R as an option for someone wanting to get into PT9......and then sell the PT9 software or make a bundle deal myself. These things scare me though. I dislike complicated deals...... but I guess I need to examine this closely as I need to maximize my savings.

rickthestick good price on that. Does that contain everything you need to track and mix? Does it have the pre's, converters and clock all built in just like a 002 or 003, ready to go as the main interface for Pro Tools? If so, what is the word on the sound quality and the quality of the clock and converters in that particular offering from Focusrite? And pre's for that matter?

Thanks everyone, very helpful so far.
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2010, 10:11 PM
getz76 getz76 is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

Based on your response, go with rickthestick's suggestion in my opinion. There is a lot of value for the dollar there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L-Dogg View Post
This is where I get confused though, how you will clock this and why the need for converters...doesn't the ProFire have them etc etc? Like I said, I always just used 001 and then 002, later 11R as well. I did not have to concern myself with converter choices and pre's, clock etc in a sense because they were all just inside, a self contained solution.
Just FYI...

You need them all, but sometimes they come in different packages. The ProFire Lightbridge just has digital inputs and a Firewire interface. Basically, you need to provide it with digital signals. It will take 1 SPDIF and 4 ADAT ins.

A lot of the budget 8-channel preamps these days come with ADAT outs. For example, if you wanted to get 16 channels of 24-bit/96kHz, you could buy a ProFire Lightbridge and two of the Focusrite OctoPre MkII units. That whole setup would run you south of $1,400. Not the greatest preamps in the world and not the greatest converters in the world, but also not a bad deal at all.

The set-up would be Firewire -> M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge -> ADAT -> Focusrite OctoPres. Simples.
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2010, 08:24 AM
nextar nextar is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

IMHO, the Ensamble solution is a bit better than a BLA modding of your 002R.
It's $ 400 more, but it's a rock-solid proven Apogee hardware and you don't have to wait (and pay) to send and get back your 002R to/from Chicago : and, surely you know, the mod must be booked ...
Those at BLA are VERY serious and professional, their signature mod DO sounds great, but remember the industrial process is more reliable than the handmade (I use a really unbelievable hand manufactured preamp, the Sutera QuadraPre - http://www.seelectronics.com/newspages/realworld.html - and it's very VERY delicate, once a while it needs some overhaul).

But, anyway, if you find a second hand BLA 002R (it's better than 003R), TEST IT, sell yours and get the modded ... ;-)
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2010, 08:38 AM
QuikDraw QuikDraw is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

I've been asking myself the same question, and I've pretty much decided on getting the M-Audio Profire 2626 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProFire2626/ as my main interface, with the Focusrite OctoPre Mk II http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/OctoPre2/ to add another 8 pres so I end up with 16 preamped inputs. At $699 for the Profire, and $499 for the OctoPre, that gets me what I need for around $1200. Unless someone tells me that those are just awful units, I think that's what I'm going to do. I was also considering just getting two of the profires since they'll also work as stand alone preamps, and that would be only around $1400. That option would potentially give me two Pro Tools systems, each with 8 pres, or combine the two for 16.

This open software gives me too much to think about. I've also considered getting something like a Mackie Onyx 1640i mixer http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Onyx1640i/, but I think I want to keep it to a 2U rack setup. The mixer takes up a lot of space. That setup is $1499.

I probably won't have the cash to do it for a couple months, so I'll just keep watching the DUC (shouldn't they change it to AUC now?), and by the time I'm ready I'll know exactly what to do.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2010, 08:57 AM
NewdestinyX NewdestinyX is offline
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Default Re: Interface options

My experience with my son's Apogee Ensemble (we're both pro engineers/producers) is good and 'bad'. LOVE the sound. No one would worry about Apogee converters/pres of course. But the setup app for it is a bit cryptic. It's not easy to change sample rate and often the host software doesn't change it automatically. Even Logic, with which it works directly, doesn't always reliably switch sample rate based on the session's sample rate. And you get these messages that say - session sample rate doesn't match hardware. Uggh. There are extensive tech writeups on this at their site -- but they have to fix that mess before I consider spending $2000 for the Ensemble.
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