#1
Okay folks, I've spent the last two months doing research on usb audio interfaces, trying find which one might be the best purchase for me. Its for an EP/Demo (guitars, bass, keys, drums) that i will be making for a school project, and its about time i start looking to buy.

So, after doing a great deal of research, i went to my local Guitar Center having decided to purchase the Tascam US-600. Its a newer product, so there haven't been many reviews on it yet, but from what i have read, tascam generally seem to put out a good product. However, the sales guy said that tascam interfaces have shitty preamps and "7/10 times, they get returned" Obviously this wouldn't be the first time a GC employee said something that might be stupid, but he still convinced me not to buy just yet.

He instead reccomended the Presonus Audiobox bundle, which is bundled with a condenser mic and cable, which, although nice, i planned on acquiring later anyway. Plus, from what i've heard, Audioboxes haverather mediocre preamps and are riddled with driver problems.

The Tascam has 6 ins and bundled Cubase LE vs Audiobox's 2 and Studio one Artist. Both have MIDI support. Budget is $300 or less

So, any suggestions? Being new to this, advice on the bundled software as well as on brand reliability would also be greatly appreciated.
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#2
Ok, well here's the hard-talk...

To do a decent job of that EP you mentioned, you will need more than 2 inputs. Heck, I'd go as far as to say you'll need more than 6, because I would typically use 7 mics on a kit minimum - unless your drummer uses only two toms. That would suggest you lean for the Tascam.

But.

Of those two, brandwise I trust Presonus a lot more than Tascam - Tascam are known as one of those brands who put out the cheapest of the cheap, the beginners' entry level. Do you want that sort of quality or do you want better? Presonus also make few pro-end products, but they are slightly higher up the food chain than Tascam and I would put good money on the Presonus having better A/D converters and better preamps, despite me not having used/tried that particular Tascam product.

So it's a tough call - personally I feel if you want to record drums well, you need to spend more money and buy at least a half-decent interface with 8 mic inputs.
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#3
I might just be a presonus fan boy but I really love their stuff. I use a firestudio and one of their preamps and a headphone amp. It's all really great stuff. I can't speak for that specific unit but I love everything I own by them.

As for the drums, if push comes to shove you COULD do it with 2 inputs (I did it for years) but it'd be much nicer to have AT LEAST 4 and probably more like 6.
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Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Sep 11, 2011,
#4
To be honest, the drums aren't that important, so long as the sound quality is halfway decent and it gets the job done.

Also, im not totally determined to purchase from these two brands, they just are two units that sort of stood out, so any advice on other units in the price range is welcome (must be usb, xlr/instrument in, and preferably a decent bundled software)
So what the hell am I supposed to put here?
Last edited by TremontiIsAGod at Sep 11, 2011,
#5
Can I ask why you feel you need MIDI input? I mean, most modern MIDI keyboards (aside from those designed for the stage) have USB outputs and send their MIDI data to a computer via USB, so unless you already have the keyboard you wanna use and it doesn't have a USB output, I'd suggest you get an interface without MIDI (widens your options in the entry-level considerably) and a USB keyboard.
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#6
I vote neither. Go pick up something by Focusrite. Trust me, its better
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#7
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Can I ask why you feel you need MIDI input? I mean, most modern MIDI keyboards (aside from those designed for the stage) have USB outputs and send their MIDI data to a computer via USB, so unless you already have the keyboard you wanna use and it doesn't have a USB output, I'd suggest you get an interface without MIDI (widens your options in the entry-level considerably) and a USB keyboard.



Makes sense lol. Point taken.
So what the hell am I supposed to put here?
#8
Quote by lockwolf
I vote neither. Go pick up something by Focusrite. Trust me, its better

I believe that means he'd need to drop the MIDI-in requirement, although I don't believe he'll actually need it and I quite agree with you.


Edit: Ah, then yeah - there are better options than both those you looked at, TS, depending on your budget. For not too much more you could get a MOTU 8Pre, which has better preamps than both and has 8 inputs as well as better monitoring and in/out routing. Or you could look at Focusrite's range - not sure of the cheaper 8-ins they do but the Saffire Pro is probably a similar price to the MOTU 8Pre, and the Liquid Saffire 56 is something I've considered buying myself and may well do one day, although if I win my eBay auction in 20 hours time I won't need one unless the desk I'm after doesn't meet my expectations.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Sep 11, 2011,
#9
I've done a bit more looking around. i've looked at the focusrite saffire pro 14, which is in my price range and seems to have everything i need, except its a firewire interface. Another guy at GC had previously mentioned the Scarlett 8i6, which seems to have the same features as the Saffire but with usb. Seems like a pretty logical choice. Any reasons to avoid it?
So what the hell am I supposed to put here?
#10
Ah, being a Mac user I always forget PC's don't typically come with FireWire... my apologies! Anyway, I have no experience of the Scarlet but I doubt Focusrite would put out a particularly bad product, given their heritage. Might be best to wait for some more people to reply though, as I haven't really used many or owned any USB-based interfaces.
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#11
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Ah, being a Mac user I always forget PC's don't typically come with FireWire... my apologies!


No worries man Thanks so much for the advice, its been very helpful!
So what the hell am I supposed to put here?