What soundcard ? 500/600€ to spend

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

Moderators: Kent, Joe., analogdigital, infradead, lisa, parasitk, plord

Post Reply
Nelson1978
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:19 pm
Location: portugal

What soundcard ? 500/600€ to spend

Post by Nelson1978 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:26 am

Hi guys, well I ve got to buy a soundcard and my budget is around 500/600€ to spend. I’m on a Mac and thinking if I should buy new or used.

For example , used in my country I can buy a RME ff800 or a Focusrite Scarlett 56 for that price.

I need some ins, maybe it’s easier to explain what I have :

3 Elektron (could connect to USB Overbridge)
Analog Heat

Mfb mono synth
Moog slim phatty
Erebus
Op1

Mackie 1604 mixer


I wanna Rec to Ableton

User avatar
slicetwo
Common Wiggler
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 9:59 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Post by slicetwo » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:49 am

I have a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 and I'mon the fence with it. It's hard to get the stereo inputs to always be balanced, and the Firewire gives me issues sometimes, but I'm not sure if that's a computer issue, FLStudio issue, or Firewire issue. I am looking to get a RME thunderbolt or USB card one day, but they're really expensive here in the states.

With that said, the Focusrite sounds pretty good, and with a preamp, mics and such sound great. I like the amount of inputs I have, plus the expansion via ADAT. The software for routing and different settings is great, too.

Also, to my knowledge, Firewire is getting a bit finicky on newer machines, so watch out for that.
Radioactive Sandwich

Digitone/0Coast/VirusC/Fatman/iPad

Analog Four MKI w/Individual Out Mod for sale or trade for OTMKII (I can throw in a bit of cash)

Nelson1978
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:19 pm
Location: portugal

Post by Nelson1978 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:04 am

Many thanks for the reply :)

I see, well my MAC is from 2011 I think it will be fine

About the Focusrite, I can get one 56 for 400€ and a RME F800 for 600€.
Now , is the RME 200€ best ???

Cheers

User avatar
slicetwo
Common Wiggler
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 9:59 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Post by slicetwo » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:06 am

I mean, RME makes rock solid shit and I would personally pick RME over Focusrite any day if I could afford it.
Radioactive Sandwich

Digitone/0Coast/VirusC/Fatman/iPad

Analog Four MKI w/Individual Out Mod for sale or trade for OTMKII (I can throw in a bit of cash)

User avatar
BenignToxicity
Common Wiggler
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:42 pm
Location: New York

Post by BenignToxicity » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:09 am

You list two interfaces that are both Firewire. I think that's a dangerous path. For years I was running an Apogee Duet via Firewire on my 2006 MacPro... I needed to upgrade the MacPro. The new iMac doesn't support Firewire (I know, there are workarounds). I also bought a 2012 MacMini which does have Firewire... but Apogee have dropped support for their Firewire products so the old Duet is very restricted in what it can do. Firewire is a blind alley (IMO).

That being said... both these units can be picked up for a song (at least, in the US)... so even if they only last as long as your Firewire Mac, it's probably worth it.

With any interface, forget the hype about the quality of their mic pre-amps (it's usually all marketing bs anyway)... you're coming in off the Mackie, so you've probably got perfectly serviceable Onyx pre-amps for any heavy lifting. Look at the i/o functionality and ease of use.

Yeah... and I'd choose RME over Focusrite as well :)

User avatar
MechaSeb
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1471
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:21 pm
Location: France

Post by MechaSeb » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:28 am

I've got a Motu ultralite hybride mk3 since 7/8 years now ?
It's rock solid as well, and the convertos are good enough for my use which is not far from your needs apparently. Happy with it and less pricey than RME.

Nelson1978
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:19 pm
Location: portugal

Post by Nelson1978 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:45 pm

Is the Motu Ultralite easy to use ??

User avatar
dkcg
I pity the fool w/o enough VCAs
Posts: 9138
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:35 pm
Location: LA

Post by dkcg » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:04 pm

My ultralite worked great, but it died only after a few years, but my 828Mk2 is still going strong.

I replaced the ultralite with a RME Babyface pro and got 8 channels of adat input too. Sounds great, never any issues, and the mix software is pretty nice, simple to use.

I've seen used babyface's for right around $500, I'd do that over an ultralite unless you have to have the number of i/o it has. But 12 channels in and 10 channels out (using ADAT) of the babyface is pretty nice.

User avatar
MechaSeb
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1471
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:21 pm
Location: France

Post by MechaSeb » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:59 pm

Nelson1978 wrote:Is the Motu Ultralite easy to use ??
Yes but control from the panel pot is a little pain in the ass. Most of the time though you'd want to control via software. In this regard, the CueMix FX software is good. The mixer GUI is not the best i've seen but does the job quite well. + a few welcome tools are already included like FFT spectrogram, Osciloscope, Tuner etc.

RME is certainly even more in the high-end though, for sure.

User avatar
rod_zero
Common Wiggler
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:44 am

Post by rod_zero » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:20 pm

If you are in Europe check RME prices at Thomann, they are lower than in the US.

The UC is around 755 euros before VAT, 629 euros for the babyface pro.

The smallest one, Digiface USB goes for 335, it would require getting more inputs via ADAT, the Behringer 8 mic pres with ADAT unit goes around 200 euros or less I think.

I would look for a used Fireface UC because it is USB and will be easier to use down the road.

Nelson1978
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:19 pm
Location: portugal

Post by Nelson1978 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:46 pm

Grrr why is this so difficult to choose ??! Eheh

At this price I’ve got some good options, wanna choose the best for me

calaveras
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3495
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:02 pm

Post by calaveras » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:37 pm

On a Mac, if you aren't golden ears it's hard not to reccomend the MOTU stuff. Certainly if you are on an older Mac with firewire it is kind of a gimme. The 828MKII can often be found used for very reasonable prices.
However if you are gonna overbridge the Elektron stuff and only be needing a handful of inputs you might be better off with something that is happy on USB. Albeit with less ins and outs.
The Antelope Discrete 4 is Thunderbolt or USB. It's 4 in, 6 out, with ADAT optical to add another 8 ins and outs. Antelope is pretty much the shit for audio quality, and you get some free plugins!
Universal Audio has the Apollo twin and the Arrow. Both are similar in terms of connectivity, but the Arrow is TB3, the Apollo Twin is TB2.

The Arturia Audiofuse is in your price range and has a pretty sweet feature set. And they look cool as shit. However they are brand new to this market segment and there are some teething problems that I've heard of.

Focusrite? I wouldn't get anything Focusrite unless I was going for their more pricey Dante/RedNet focused products.
Focusrite is basically 2 different companies. One makes great gear for a lot of money, based on the pedigree of Rupert Neve. The other makes consumer level garbage.

User avatar
sutekina bipu-on
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 871
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:24 pm
Location: USA

Post by sutekina bipu-on » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:37 am

UMC1820

Nelson1978
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:19 pm
Location: portugal

Post by Nelson1978 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:28 am

It would be nice someone that had a Motu and now upgraded to Rme , Antelope & high end stuff to comment if really the price etc is worth.

Uad stuff is also nice but for now I don’t mind to not work with their plugins emulations .

User avatar
racooniac
Common Wiggler
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:53 am
Location: Austria, Salzburg

Post by racooniac » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:56 am

i tried the motu ultralite mk3 in december but its drivers did NOT want to work together with my motherboards usb chipset (random bluescreens) ... the "support" basicly said "lol that sucks bro, try other usb chipsets until you get lucky" so i returned it and got lucky to get an used 560€ RME Fireface UC in mint condition on ebay and those drivers are rock fucking solid. (and it was even cheaper than the new motu ;D)

+1 for an used fireface uc!!!

if its 8in8out arent enough anymore i'll just go for an mackie mixer to mix things into subgroups to be recorded or add some more preamps per ADAT.

Nelson1978
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:19 pm
Location: portugal

Post by Nelson1978 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:47 am

Motu ultralite mk3 hybrid - I can get one about 300€

Rme Ucx - 850/900€

I can get these units about this price 2hand , now the thing is :

Is the RME 3 times better than the Motu ???


I’ve seen some big cats like Skinnerbox using Motu just fine with lots of hardware and playing live so it shouldn’t have big latency

marcn
Common Wiggler
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:56 am

Post by marcn » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:40 am

Nelson1978 wrote:It would be nice someone that had a Motu and now upgraded to Rme
I'm on a 2009ish Mbpro. Had a Motu 828mk2 die on me only 4 months into it, software basically completely f'ed up and the lights behaved like a christmas tree, customer support was terrible. Went for a RME ff400 and never looked back, it works smooth since basically 10 years.
Back then I was still on a PowerBook where fireface was no issue, when I got the MBpro somehow Apple used an inferior firewire chip and there were some issues so i had to connect via Express card which is solid as well.

Yebah
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:50 am
Location: Lisbon

Audient id22

Post by Yebah » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:00 am

Audient id22

peripatitis

Post by peripatitis » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:38 pm

I have a number of firewire cards around and using them has become more difficult. I bought an rme digiface USB and with adat I get to use the old ones. The stability, flexibility and really low latencies the rme offers are great.

User avatar
slumberjack
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1011
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:27 am
Location: 44G
Contact:

Post by slumberjack » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:08 pm

RME - you'll never walk alone

Post Reply

Return to “General Gear”