Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.

Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:47 pm

Hi there,

Iv'e been looking around for an audio interface to hook up all my hardware synths but i just can't find any that have lots of Analog inputs. Sure they all have ADAT/SPDIF and all that but i just want Analog inputs and lots of them. So far all i can think to do is buy something like a MOTU 828 MKIII and add more (PRE) units but that's just money money money so i'm wondering why manufacturers don't just give us an audio interface that has just a ton of Analog inputs instead of the other stuff, i mean why would i want so many outputs? Ah anyways frustration setting in.. i was just looking at a ZR16 mixing desk too, so could that be a better option? Here's the gear i want to connect below i just cannot find anything without having to buy extra racks of (PRE)

Mopho X4
DSI Tetra
Virus TI2
Jomox M'Brane
Jomox 999
Novation Supernova II
Waldorf blofeld
Waldorf Pulse 2
Novation Bass Station 2
Novation Nova Desktop
Emu Orbit 3
Roland JV2080
May have forgotten 1 or 2 units but the above is the main gear.
Coming soon to be added (Jomox Moonwind and Filter modules)

So basically i want all these coming in to logic on their own audio tracks via a racked audio interface or the ZR16 but the question is which route to take?
I'm on a Mac obviously using Logic X

Thanks

Rob
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby Darkseid » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:37 pm

Im in the same situation so am hoping somebody has a decent suggestion.
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:52 pm

The reason interfaces have lots of outputs is so you can create multiple output mixes...surround mixes, multiple headphone mixes, etc. Users who need lots of inputs but not many outputs are better off buying mixers, but that gets expensive quickly. Just your Tetra and TI2 can eat up 10 inputs :? so it sounds like you need at least 24 channels if not 32...$$$$$$$$$$$.

Since you are on Mac you can always create an aggregate device...multiple interfaces that work as one. For example, I have a FW card in my Motif XF aggregated with a Focusrite Saffire 40 and have 36 inputs and 26 outputs available (OK, a bunch of those are digital but you get the idea).
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:37 am

meatballfulton wrote:The reason interfaces have lots of outputs is so you can create multiple output mixes...surround mixes, multiple headphone mixes, etc. Users who need lots of inputs but not many outputs are better off buying mixers, but that gets expensive quickly. Just your Tetra and TI2 can eat up 10 inputs :? so it sounds like you need at least 24 channels if not 32...$$$$$$$$$$$.

Since you are on Mac you can always create an aggregate device...multiple interfaces that work as one. For example, I have a FW card in my Motif XF aggregated with a Focusrite Saffire 40 and have 36 inputs and 26 outputs available (OK, a bunch of those are digital but you get the idea).


Okay mate thanks for that advice i'll look more in to it when i wake up. I think a big desk is gonna be what i'll end up getting.
For jamming around with gear i have a one of these brand new in the box below, quite cheap but it would do for a few of the above gear.

Image

Only thing with these is that i'd have to bounce each track seperate if i were to hook up say my Jomox 999 to it etc. I quite like the ZR16 mixing desk too but i'll look in to all this tomorrow, very sleepy now :-)

Thanks again

Rob
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby pflosi » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:10 am

Stay away from the big B... :)

Apart from that: have you thought about a patchbay?
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:49 pm

pflosi wrote:Stay away from the big B... :)

Apart from that: have you thought about a patchbay?


Yeah i have patch bays here mate BUT what i'm wanting to do is have every synth i own here have it's own audio channel when i pipe it in to Logic so i don't have to bounce every track. This is where it starts to get costly.
Look further in to this today, no rush it'll be in the new year when i take the plunge for whatever i decide, christmas is coming and kids are expensive lol.

Rob
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:46 pm

Hmmm i wonder how i doubled posted this in 2 forums? I was sure i just posted in the Help part of VSE.

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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby pflosi » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:25 pm

Alright, sorry didn't read the OP properly...

Does it have to be firewire? You got a lot more options with PCI (though they usually also have a ton of outputs - e.g. Motu 24i/o).

Also have a look at the Mackie Onyx-i series, they are cheaper than the Allen & Heath and AFAIK they also can be chained for more channels (though not sure how well chaining on them really works)...
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:51 pm

pflosi wrote:Alright, sorry didn't read the OP properly...

Does it have to be firewire? You got a lot more options with PCI (though they usually also have a ton of outputs - e.g. Motu 24i/o).

Also have a look at the Mackie Onyx-i series, they are cheaper than the Allen & Heath and AFAIK they also can be chained for more channels (though not sure how well chaining on them really works)...


Thanks mate will check out the Mackie too :-)
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:45 am

Update...

So i listed some of my gear above, i have more but they are what i wanna use for jamming about.. i now have acquired another Behringer RX16012 as seen in the picture i posted earlier so now i have 2... so for now instead of forking out a lot for a mixer before christmas do you think i'd be better off just plugging all my synths (as many as i can) into these units then feeding the outs straight into my Focusrite 18i8?
This way i still have 1 stereo pair and 2 mic/instrument inputs left on the 18i8 and i can just do it that way for now.

Rob
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby Stab Frenzy » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:07 am

Throw the Behringers in the bin where they belong if you care about audio quality. :thumbleft:

So according to your list in the OP you'll need something like 20+ inputs. You want to avoid buying heaps of MOTUs. In my opinion the MOTU/Focusrite level of stuff is the bottom rung of usability. Best avoided if you're planning on releasing stuff, but you can work with it. It's acceptable consumer gear.

If you want something decent you're going to have to spend some money on it, but at least then you'll have something decent that you can keep for a while and not have to think about upgrading all the time cause it's not good.

The UA Apollo 16 is very nice, I just finished a project working on one of those and the sound quality was excellent. Only 16 inputs though, so maybe not enough for you if you couldn't be bothered using a patchbay.

The option I'd go for if I were you is an RME Fireface UFX and a Ferrofish A-16. That way you get 28 channels of analogue input in 2U and it's good quality. That's probably the cheapest option for something of good quality.

If that's more than you're looking to spend then I'd just set up a patchbay with all your outputs available from your synths to patch straight in as you need to use them. Set up a template in Logic with the normalled synths on the inputs they're normalled to and the ones that aren't normalled on inputs that you're always going to patch them to, that way you won't have to mess around in software assigning inputs when you want to use different synths.

But probably there's a middle ground where you sell off a few of your synths, you've got a lot of midrange VAs which overlap each other in terms of usefulness, sell a few of them and you won't miss them and you'll have more cash to get a good interface, and not need to spend so much to get the inputs you need.
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:16 am

Thanks for that advice... it's not that i don't want to spend lots of money on an interface it's just the time of year that's all... 2 kids and christmas :-)
However i spend a lot on gear and have stuff from back in the day, sentimental stuff that i just wanna keep anyways. Yeah the Behringer i have ain't that good so right after the christmas is over i'll invest in something like what you mentioned. I like the idea of the UAD... i try to look at all i buy as long term investments that's why i never really sell anything.. i used to sell stuff only to want it back in a year or two.

Thanks again

Rob
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby Ashe37 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:44 pm

MOTU Ultralite Mk 3, supports multiple units on PC and Mac.
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Re: Help! Audio Interface and/or Mixer

Postby rob_lee » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:51 pm

Ashe37 wrote:MOTU Ultralite Mk 3, supports multiple units on PC and Mac.


Hi,

I own one of these units i use it on my PC set up. I'll certainly look into this so thanks.

Rob
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