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Recommend me an Audio Interface/DI box!!!!

Discussion in 'Production' started by Tungemikkel, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Tungemikkel

    Tungemikkel Member

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    Hey Everyone. :kickass:

    Right now i am using the Pod XT Pro to record my guitar's DI track into my DAW. It's connected with USB to my computer. I'm not sure, but i've heard rumours about Line6 interfaces dont send a good high quality DI. Then i heard about the DI boxes people are talking about, that send nice high quality DI.

    But i'm a bit confused... if i buy a new audio interface such as the "Focusrite Saffire 6 USB" or the "Presonus AudioBox USB" - Will they provide a higher quality DI and why? And if they do, is it even necessary with a DI box? :worship:

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/focusrite_saffire_6_usb.htm
    http://www.thomann.de/gb/presonus_audiobox_usb.htm

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Line-6-99-050-0605-PODxt-Pro/dp/B0002NPF7S[/ame]
     
  2. NickLAudio

    NickLAudio Audio/Video Engineer

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    I'd go with a firewire interface. Faster and better quality sound (better pre-amps). USB just doesn't cut it (for me anyways). Most all interfaces these days come with A/D converters so you won't need a DI box if you're recording straight in. If you mic an amp, and want to send a dry DI signal to the DAW before it hits the amp, but your instrument inputs are full, you would need a DI box to plug it into an analog input on the interface.

    If you get a small 2 input interface like the ones you're looking at USB or firewire, you wont need a DI box because you wont have analog only inputs anyways.
     
  3. MD II

    MD II New Metal Member

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    Along similar lines of the Saffire 6 USB, I use the Saffire Pro 14 which is essentially the firewire version and I love it.
     
  4. Gujukal

    Gujukal Member

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    I had an Presonus Firestudio with firewire before but it broke so i got an AudioBox 22VSL USB, and its actually has lower latency than the firewire version. Can really recommend it, cheap but the Pre's are really good tbh.
     
  5. Tungemikkel

    Tungemikkel Member

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    Thanks for the nice answers! Forget to mention both my guitars have active 85/81 EMG pickups. I've been looking alot at the Mackie Blackjack. http://www.thomann.de/gb/mackie_onyx_blackjack.htm - But i've heard people on windows are having trouble with drivers.. but i've also heard that they fixed that. Still not sure though.. sounds a bit risky. But i'm also considering the AVID Mbox http://www.thomann.de/gb/avid_mbox_pt_express.htm. - Anyone with experience with this one? I would really prefer it to be USB powered, since i don't have firewire in computer and want avoid having to install it.

    The AudioBox 22VSL USB also sounds good man!!! :kickass:
     
  6. abaga129

    abaga129 The Apprentice

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    I would say try to get something with some nice clean pres, and as many channels as possible. If you don't use them now, you will eventually. My Tascam US-1800 only cost me $200 and it has 14 channels(8 excellent mic pres) 2 of them are hi-z. It also has midi and digital I/O.
     
  7. EnjoiTrent

    EnjoiTrent Official Knob Turner

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    Audiobox 22vsl is a fantastic interface for the price. It was the first interface I owned. I had a Presonus FP10 which was cool but it had some weird connectivity issues. I now have a focusrite saffire pro 40 and I love it.
     
  8. Tungemikkel

    Tungemikkel Member

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    I was really considering the AVID Mbox, but alot of people are experiencing hardware failure shortly after the the warrenty expires! Source: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/reviews/711958-avid-mbox-pro-gen-3-a.html Then there's the Mackie Blackjack with driver issues on Windows 7, still sounds like a bit of a risk. Which leads me back to Focusrite.. I'm thinking about this purchase: Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 + Countryman Type 85. What do you guys think? :worship:
     
  9. MD II

    MD II New Metal Member

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    Countryman is unnecessary. I run Blackouts into my Saffire pro 14 with no issues, and they are much higher output than your EMGs
     
  10. Tungemikkel

    Tungemikkel Member

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    Sounds good man, but saffire pro 40 is a bit out my budget. Which interface would you recommend then? What makes the Countryman unnecessary?
     
  11. abaga129

    abaga129 The Apprentice

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    From my experience, a DI won't benefit you much, if at all. Most interfaces have Hi-z inputs. All these inputs are is an input that has high impedence which is what a source like a guitar needs. From what I understand, a passive DI box just uses a transformer to raise the guitar to mic level so that it can go through a 600ohm mic pre unharmed. I'm not entirely sure how active di's work but I would assume that they just use am opamp to raise the input to mic level.

    Some people talk about how "crisp" and "clear" the countryman di is, but I would be willing to bet that it is just an eq thing. If the guitars loose a little low end and low mids from going through it, most of us would think "wow! It sounds so clear!".

    I've been doing an internship with a pretty well known audio engineer, and mainly all we do is conduct expirements for his website. This has made me very scheptical about "High-end" gear. 9 times out of 10, everything boils down to frequency response. We put my Tascam US-1800 (which costs about $25 per mic channel) up against his favorite pre amps (Rane MS1-b, around $100 per channel) and we couldn't tell a damn difference. When a Scarlette was put through the same test, it actually performed under what the Tascam did. Honestly though, the difference was minuscule and a little eq was all that was neccesarry to match the two. Obviously these tests weren't perfect, but still pretty revealing in my eyes.

    Anyways, that's my two cents. Don't get caught up in marketing hype, or the reviews from 60 year old Jazz producers who are butt hurt that $100 plugins can out-perform their $2000 comps. I hope you are happy with your final decision!
     
  12. Tungemikkel

    Tungemikkel Member

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    Thanks for the 2 cents abaga129, first things first... the audio interface! MD II - sry about the quick response, the Saffire pro 14 IS within my budget. So might be considering that, since your saying my active EMG pickups won't clip on it! The only one problem i might have is that the firewire port i have is an VIA. Some dude on Facebook told me this: "Check through windows device manager that it's a TI and not VIA or other." Here's an image of the device manager on my PC: https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/t1/1939644_10152215813372996_98731710_n.jpg - Will this work with an VIA firewire?
     
  13. rapucore

    rapucore i really hate spiders

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    Funny. I used to own the Tascam US-1800 and when it broke, I bought a Scarlett. It totally kicked the Tascam's ass. :lol:
     
  14. abaga129

    abaga129 The Apprentice

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    It could just be a placebo. Have you actually had a chance to compare the two? Same mic, same performance? I bet you would be surprised. I certainly was.

    I need to get my hands on a scarlette. I want to see what chip the pre amps in it use.

    From what I've heard it's still a great option :) just a little pricier. It may be built better or more reliable.
     
  15. EnjoiTrent

    EnjoiTrent Official Knob Turner

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    The preamps in both my Saffire Pro 40 and my Octopre MKII Have far surpassed The Presonus I previously had. Also, the Presonus had issues with staying connected on firewire. So far, no issues with that on the focusrite. I never had issues with the presonus USB stuff though.
     
  16. Gujukal

    Gujukal Member

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    I had a Presonus Firestudio before and it also had problems with the firewire, sometimes it just stopped working so u had to restart it. It eacentually just stopped working one day so i bought the 22VSL and its a lot more stable. I also feel that the PRE's are better, but hat could be placebo, im not sure :p
     
  17. EnjoiTrent

    EnjoiTrent Official Knob Turner

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    I had to do the same thing with my fp10. Restart it all the time. It was super annoying when I was in the middle of a 10 hour sesh and I had to continually restart it. I can't say enough good about the 22vsl, only thing I noticed was that the pres could be a little dark.
     
  18. rapucore

    rapucore i really hate spiders

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    I'm not hating Tascam or anything like that, just so you know. :D

    I was very pleased with the Tascam when I owned it, I can add that. The Scarlett just gave me Ie. cleaner and more defined vox and DI tracks (I thought placebo at first too).
     
  19. abaga129

    abaga129 The Apprentice

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    Haha it's cool man! Even if you did hate it I wouldn't care :) I'm just trying to de-mystify the gear we use! This internship has really opened my eyes to how big of a role marketing hype and bandwaggons actually play on this stuff.
     
  20. Tungemikkel

    Tungemikkel Member

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    So i ended up getting the Mackie Blackjack USB, and so far now problems with drivers on windows 7 64bit. Works right out of the box!!! - And no clipping, not even at 20db on mic pre. So 10 minutes after setting up the Blackjack, i did a quick comparison between the Pod XT Pro and the Mackie. Let me know what you guys think!! :kickass:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19237144/PodXT_MackieBlackJack_DI.zip
     

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