Need advice for Garageband interface
August 30, 2009 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Home recording filter: Hubby has a great new Macbook Pro, purchased per your advice. What type of 8-channel interface should he buy?

He has some experience with Garageband and has really enjoyed it so far. He now needs an 8-channel interface. There are lots of options out there, and he would like some first-hand advice from the experts I keep bragging about on the green. Price range from $350 to $550 for new and used. He's looking at a Presonis, Focusrite, and M-Audio fastrack. He and his friends will use it for all types of recording, with an emphasis on (his) drum tracks. These guys are all professional, working musicians who like to hang out and record new stuff, and they're trying to get as smooth a sound as possible. They have good mics, top notch instruments, etc. They leave the Pro Tools for studio time, he's not looking to record a CD in the garage but wants the best sound he can get for the money. He's searched specs and reviews, and can't seem to find much difference between the units. What should he buy?
posted by raisingsand to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Presonus is my first choice, for the money. Many people get their stuff strictly for the A/D convertors (budget studios). Focusrite is good, but not as good as people make it out to be.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 2:33 PM on August 30, 2009

Seconding Presonus. I can't vouch for the higher end equipment, but I've been very satisfied with their Inspire and Firebox models. Very sturdy hardware. Speaking as a hobbyist and not a professional audiophile type of fellow, the sound quality to me is perfect.
posted by synthedelic at 2:43 PM on August 30, 2009

The newly released Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 is pretty awesome... 16 In / 8 Out, Focusrite mic pre's, the ability to be chained to other Saffires to extend requirements when things grow, and pretty reasonably priced.
posted by benzo8 at 3:02 PM on August 30, 2009

I don't have broad experience here, but I like my Presonus Firepod.
posted by danb at 3:40 PM on August 30, 2009

The Presonis Digimax 8 is a bargain.
posted by bigmusic at 4:40 PM on August 30, 2009

I work professionally as a video editor with Avid equipment, and work with soundies who use ProTools kit, so by extension of that, if I were looking to buy for myself I would probably choose M-Audio being from the same company. Can't say much more than that though.
posted by sycophant at 4:54 PM on August 30, 2009

We've had significant problems with our M-Audio interfaces. Their customer service has been decent as far as replacing faulty units, but I wouldn't go with them again given the choice.
posted by oh really at 5:09 PM on August 30, 2009

You can't go wrong with Presonus, but I'd spend an extra few bucks and get a MOTU Ultralite.
posted by Jairus at 5:17 PM on August 30, 2009

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