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8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby Aquila » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:12 pm

So I've finally outgrown my old M-audio Firewire Audiophile 2x4 interface and am looking expand. Basically I want to wire up each of my synths plus loop back to a couple fx units via a patchbay to at least an 8x8 rackmount interface and doing away with my scratchy old Behringer mixer.

So far I've had my eye on the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, http://global.focusrite.com/firewire-au ... ire-pro-40 , which has 8 balanced XLR/Jack inputs and 8 balanced jack outputs (+monitor out), MIDI and an additional 8x 44.1/16 ADAT input, which can be had for about AU$550 posted.

Another option is the Presonus Firestudio Project, http://www.presonus.com/products/FireSt ... t/features . It also has 8 XLR/Jack inputs and 8 balanced jack outputs + monitor out and 2 stereo aux send/returns and MIDI. No ADAT expansion but can be linked with another Firestudio for additional channels. It's about $200 more expensive than the Saffire.

The ESI ESU-1808, http://www.esi-audio.com/products/esu1808/ seems to have more inputs and outputs to poke a stick at. It seems to have 16 inputs ranging from XLR, Hi-Z, and balanced jacks although whether it's capable of A/Ding all 16 simultaneously remains unknown. It also had 8 balanced jack outputs and MIDI but no further expansions and is well priced at about $450. I'm a little dubious about this one though - not many reviews out there.

Finally I've looked at the Mackie Onyx Blackbird, http://www.mackie.com/products/onyxblackbird/ , which is similarly priced to the Saffire but lacks the same number of outputs and no MIDI. On the plus side, the ADAT input supports 8x 24/96 and word clock. This seems to be more of a recording interface than a general project interface.

Additionally, Behringer supposedly are releasing the Firepower FCA1616 http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/FCA1616.aspx but it's been "Coming soon!" for nearly 18 months now.

That's 4 I've looked at (I'm excluding the Behringer for now). So far the Saffire seems to be winning on price and features but I want to know if anyone's had any experience with any of them and/or have any recommendations?
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Re: 8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby Mo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:44 pm

Matt?
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Re: 8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby Aquila » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:09 pm

Yes?
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Re: 8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby Mo » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:18 pm

Sorry, I meant Matt of the Dobany variety...!
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Re: 8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby Highvoltage » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:33 pm

Ah me!

I have no experience with any of those, i still have 3 M-audio cards in my PC. 1 AUdiophole 192, and 2x M-audio 1010Lt.
The 1010LT has 8 i/o, but its a PCI card, and that is very outdated now, so its unwise to invest in it if you have a newer PC.
It's WAY cheaper than other options tho.

I was too in the lookout for a firewire interface, and the Profire seemed to be the best bet in bang for buck.
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/ProFire2626.html

You can always buy another and connect and sync it to the other for 8 more analog I/O, or buy a cheaper DAT interface.
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Re: 8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby Highvoltage » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:39 pm

Never heard of the ESI interface, it looks great! Too bad it has only 8 outputs...
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Re: 8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby ulonix » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:37 am

I had an ESI card, and got some input/noise issues with it while recording synths, i switched to a Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 and never had to buy another interfase, it works great and the "Mix Control" software allows you to do routings, monitoring, etc
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Re: 8x8 audio interface choices.

Postby Mo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:09 pm

I have two ESI cards, I swear by them. I was also very close to buying an ESI rack mount card very similar to the one you are looking at Matt, but someone beat me to it.. I was gutted...! I've never had any issues with ESI, but I have read that there are a few people that have. But then again, there are always going to be some people that have problems with any make of soundcard.
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