Audio interface x 4 channels?
June 18, 2014 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Looking for an audio interface to take 4 analog line inputs and allow me to record them digitally.

I don't need mixing capabilities (will be mixing things down later, digitally). This needs to connect to a Mac, USB or Firewire. Bonus points if it can interface with Audacity. Looking for recommendations for the hardware interface.

This is for a single project; price is a consideration, but this is as much about archiving as anything so I need it to work. I need 4 separate channels to be recorded on a laptop at the same time so that I can mix them together later.

posted by BillMcMurdo to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm nowhere near an expert on what's out there, but I have a Roland Quad Capture which despite its name has only two inputs, and it works well with simultaneous recording on Mac/Audacity. So I'd guess the next model up (the Octa Capture) would be good as well.

Any interface with a Mac driver should theoretically work fine with Audacity though. It'll let you pick the input source in one of the dropdowns near the menu bar.
posted by evisceratordeath at 2:31 PM on June 18, 2014

It might be helpful if people knew what four connections you plan to use. XLR? Or don't care?

I'd also suggest to overbuy. I wanted to do two inputs. I am now up to six.

I really like the scarlet brand.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:24 PM on June 18, 2014

I was going to say m-audio fast track pro, but that's... discontinued?

It's cheap, works great, everything. It was under $200(i think the one i had may have even been under $150). The new replacement for it is ~mysteriously~ like $250, awesome.

Check your local guitar center and stuff and see if they still have any in stock. I have utterly no complaints about that thing, and it beat out many way more expensive units i've used/tried. It was small too, a lot smaller than any other 4 channel interface i've seen.
posted by emptythought at 3:32 PM on June 18, 2014

Focusrite no longer manufactures the Scarlett 8i6; it looks like their replacement is the Saffire Pro 24, which sells for about the same price. Check out the reviews on Gearslutz (it gets a 4.15/5).
posted by mykescipark at 3:37 PM on June 18, 2014

Mark of the Unicorn
posted by humboldt32 at 3:47 PM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: FWIW Focusrite's Saffire line connect via Firewire/Thunderbolt, while the Scarlett line are USB. I own a Scarlett 6i6, which I like and should do the trick here as well.
posted by ludwig_van at 4:25 PM on June 18, 2014

The Apogee Quartet would be great for a project like this. I use the Apogee Duet and it is great. Only problem is that the quartet is quite pricey. Could you give us a price range that you are looking at, it might help to narrow down some other options.
posted by bakery at 2:45 AM on June 19, 2014

Best answer: Cannot suggest Focusrite Saffire line enough. To the point that when I ordered a new desktop from Dell, I didn't realize that they no longer came with a Firewire port, so I installed one myself.

Easy to use, multiple inputs, and a pretty uncomplicated software interface.
posted by kuanes at 5:54 AM on June 19, 2014

Response by poster: Price range: $200-300 (yes, the Apogee would be out of my price range)

Inputs - line level unbalanced, so 1/4" jack (but most of these seem to come with combination XLR/1/4" jacks)

Great suggestions, everyone. Thanks!
posted by BillMcMurdo at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2014

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