#1
So I've been looking into a few audio interfaces for basic recording. I have a general knowledge of the recording process but not much actual hands on experience except a small amount with Adobe Audition. I'll be using it for the following purposes;

-recording rough demos to send to my band with vocals, guitar, and bass, and using a drum machine with Acoustica Beatcraft,
-something that has good enough quality that it'll sound good enough for my own solo stuff and be able to put it out for others.
-Something that has great preamp settings, and great guitar tones, as I could only bring my old tiny fender frontman, so I have no interest in even trying to mic that.

After looking around, it seems like Presonus is one of the best brands out there, and as many have posted on the forums, the ones that have caught my eye are these...

Presonus AudioBox USB

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/PreSonus-AudioBox-USB?sku=243007

and also the Presonus Inspire 1394
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/PreSonus-INSPIRE-1394-FireWire-Audio-Interface?sku=241483

I'm not entirely sure if I'll use the software that comes with either of these. If I decide not to, I'll probably try it out with Audition.

I should probably also mention I'll be using one of these on an IBM Thinkpad T40 and has 1.50 GB of RAM. Nothing special with the soundcard, its merely the stock one. Should I invest in a different one?

I really like the features of the inspire, but the problem is I don't have a firewire port. I've heard of usb converters of some sort, but not sure if it's worth the time and money to get it if it's not all that different from the AudioBox. I realize the Inspire has more inputs, but won't I be able to record Guitar, Bass, and Vocals all with only two inputs on the AudioBox? Just not simultaneously I know, that's fine with me. But if it doesn't work that way and I can't record those three tracks, then maybe I'll go with the Inspire.

I'm also worried about the AudioBox lagging, since it's a given USB ports are slower than firewire.

If any of you could help me out on which one you think would work best for me, or if you have any recommendations of other interfaces or also some good microphones for vocals/acoustic guitar, let me know. My budget for both (interface/mic) is about $300.

Thanks
#2
USB isn't slower than Firewire (2.0 anyway). It just can't transmit as much data at the same time. This shouldn't be a problem with a two input interface.

If you don't have a Firewire port, then you can install one. It isn't too hard, it's just whether you are prepared to do it.

The stock soundcard won't be an issue, as whatever interface you get will act as a soundcard, effectively bypassing the stock one.

For guitar tones, if you don't want to mic your amp, you could try software such as Revalver and Amplitube.

A good budget mic for acoustic and vocals is the Studio Projects B1 condenser.
There is poetry in despair.
#3
Quote by fridge_raider
USB isn't slower than Firewire (2.0 anyway). It just can't transmit as much data at the same time. This shouldn't be a problem with a two input interface.

If you don't have a Firewire port, then you can install one. It isn't too hard, it's just whether you are prepared to do it.



Gotcha, so is the inspire worth the extra $50 as well as the extra time and money for me to install a firewire port?
#6
yea I would suggest the Inspire and installing a firewire card as well. The cards are about $20 and easy to install on any desktop with an open PCI slot.

Firewire is fast but USB2.0 is a tiny bit faster. You will probably never notice the difference between the two. IF an interface doesn't say it's a "USB2.0" then it is most likley a USB1.1 connection meaning STAY AWAY. USB1.1 is very slow compared to USB2.0.

Being the Audiobox is an older interface, it runs on USB1.1 so this is why I suggest the Inspire over it.
#7
Quote by moody07747
yea I would suggest the Inspire and installing a firewire card as well. The cards are about $20 and easy to install on any desktop with an open PCI slot.

Firewire is fast but USB2.0 is a tiny bit faster. You will probably never notice the difference between the two. IF an interface doesn't say it's a "USB2.0" then it is most likley a USB1.1 connection meaning STAY AWAY. USB1.1 is very slow compared to USB2.0.

Being the Audiobox is an older interface, it runs on USB1.1 so this is why I suggest the Inspire over it.



USB 2.0 is FASTER than Firewire for recording...??

Are you sure?

I hear firewire is better at continuous data transfer, whereas USB 2.0 excels at random access applications.

What type of Firewire are most interfaces?
http://www.cwol.com/firewire/firewire-vs-usb.htm
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Last edited by kayman121 at Oct 28, 2008,
#8
Yes, USB 2.0 is slightly faster than Firewire. That doesn't make it better, as Firewire is a stable, parallel data transfer. USB can only transmit in series, i.e. one piece of information at a time.
There is poetry in despair.
#9
Quote by fridge_raider
Yes, USB 2.0 is slightly faster than Firewire. That doesn't make it better, as Firewire is a stable, parallel data transfer. USB can only transmit in series, i.e. one piece of information at a time.


Ok, that's why I figured FireWire is more suited and performs better for real time recording and such.
Baron K2 SE 120
MILLS 4x12 Afterburner
Eventide TimeFactor Delays
ISP Pro Rack G Noise Suppressor
BKP Warpig pickups
#10
http://www.pcworld.com/article/104826/mobile_computing_tips_firewire_vs_usb_faq.html

And USB 1.1 does not mean instant death. There are professional/hi-fi converters that use them.

Anyway, I'd go with USB if you don't plan on using more than two tracks at a time, if only to simplify your hardware situation (and also to gain knobs to tweak settings).
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


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#11
^ Good article, but rather out of date. Some of the information doesn't apply anymore.
There is poetry in despair.
#12
I'm starting to become more and more convinced it's well worth the money to just get a firewire port and install it rather than using USB, since I'm almost positive mine is 1.1.

The only thing that's bothering me now though, is the difference between the two softwares. It looks like the version of Cubase LE in the AudioBox is easier for beginners to get accustomed to, and has more features as far as effects and guitar tones go (which I really need because the amp I brought to school with me isn't worth micing).

Another thing that bothers me about the inspire is that there are no physical knobs on the interface, it's all done on screen. It's not that big a deal but I feel like it'd be a lot easier to control them by hand rather than by dragging a mouse.

However if the Inspire has enough features in the ProPak software to create a unique custom guitar tone, then I'll go with that, but I'm not entirely sure if it can do that for me.

EDIT: I found the details on the software that comes with the inspire but haven't heard of any of these aside from Cubase. Anyone have a clue if these are reliable and have a good sound to them?

* Cubase LE 4 48-track music recording and production software
* Audio Damage– FuzzPlus2, Filterpod plug-ins
* Pluggo Jr. – Average Injector, Chamberverb, Feedback Network, Filter Taps, Generic Effect, HF Ring Mod, Jet, Limi, Nebula, Resonation, Resosweep, Spectral Filter.
* Camel Crusher – Distortion Compressor plug-in
* Voxengo - SPAN, Boogex, EssEQ , OldSkoolVerb, Tempo Delay and Tube Amp plug-ins.
* Discrete Drums Sampler– over 1GB of drum loops and drum samples
* Twiddly bits – 100 MIDI drum loops created by real drummers
Last edited by 4BloodNThunder at Oct 28, 2008,
#13
That software will probably all be fairly usable, but I don't think you'll be able to achieve the guitar tones that you want. You will probably need additional software such as Amplitube.

I wouldn't like the lack of physical knobs or faders either.
There is poetry in despair.
#14
Quote by 4BloodNThunder
Another thing that bothers me about the inspire is that there are no physical knobs on the interface, it's all done on screen. It's not that big a deal but I feel like it'd be a lot easier to control them by hand rather than by dragging a mouse.


I've been using an Inspire heavily for the past year. The control software is no big deal. Chances are, once you get the settings that work best for you, you won't even fool with it. The only thing I do when I start it, is turn on the power to the mics and drop the latency down to 1.5. No biggy at all. Yeah if switch from a mic to the bass on direct in, I have to move the volume, BFD...

Knobs are overated unless they are attached to something really fun......

Tony
#15
What OS are you using? A friend of mine just got one of these and subsequently returned it (the presonus audiobox). The problem is that the drivers don't seem to like most people's version of Vista. Their website says the driver is written for Vista 32 bit and XP for both 32 and 64 bit.

He came home with a Tascam interface. The US-144. He hasn't hooked it up yet.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#16
I had the same problem. I eventually just installed a firewire port and went with presonus. Cubase is alright, but honestly those plugins aren't that great. I barely use them.
#17
Quote by axemanchris
What OS are you using? A friend of mine just got one of these and subsequently returned it (the presonus audiobox). The problem is that the drivers don't seem to like most people's version of Vista. Their website says the driver is written for Vista 32 bit and XP for both 32 and 64 bit.

He came home with a Tascam interface. The US-144. He hasn't hooked it up yet.

CT


I have XP so I'm not all that worried about it not being compatible. I think I'm gonna shell out the extra money and time and get the Inspire, and then download enough programs that I can get a good guitar tone.
#18
Good guitar tones don't come from software. They come from good guitars plugged into good amps, miked up with good mics in a good room, going through good mic pres.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#19
Quote by axemanchris
Good guitar tones don't come from software. They come from good guitars plugged into good amps, miked up with good mics in a good room, going through good mic pres.

CT


I hear ya man, If I was at home I'd mike up my Marshall with my ESP Explorer and wouldn't have bothered making this thread.

The problem is I'm away at college right now, where I could only bring my old Fender Frontman amp (remember those little ones we all got in our Squire Strat Packs?) and borrowing my roommates epiphone les paul.

Since this is the case, I'm not gonna shell out money to mic the amp I have here, and I'm trying to make the best of what I can find online as far as software goes to create a good sound.
#20
You know what... you can get some surprisingly good tones using the likes of a Pod or a V-amp.

I used a V-amp for some of the rhythm guitar tracks on our album (though they were always blended in with 'real' guitars), and I used a V-amp for *all* of the leads on the album. To hear the results, check out the original stuff (not the covers) in my profile, or on our site at www.now-here-this.com.

Now, in spite of all that, I still stand by my initial claim about good guitar tones. Having done it that way for our first album, I really don't anticipate doing it that way for our next album. I just think that I can do better. Especially now that I have a better guitar and a better amp.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.