Learn from this dummy (yes me)
So I'm a bass player in an original band, having joined a group that has been together for years. I was lucky enough to get a batch of their songs recorded with no bass, which allowed me to record a bunch of options to get up to speed quickly.
I bought a Focusrite Scarlett 212 and Cakewalk Sonar X2. This 2 channel recording setup was so much fun (found that with my laptop I needed to buy a POWERED USB hub) that I startled to have friends come over and record some jam sessions.
So I decided I was going to upgrade. I wanted to record more than 2 tracks. We jam out at practice and capture it on a digital recorder and too many times we talk about pulling one track out to hear the riff.
I need to come clean, I'm old, so when researching the concept of a mixer with FireWire appealed to me. I finally bit the bullet and found a really good price on a Mackie 1620i. 8 XLR inputs and FireWire. Supported by Sonar. It was a EBay negotiation and I got it for a song.
It shows up in original box, perfect condition, has all the cables including a FireWire. But it's not FireWire to USB, it's FireWire on both ends. I quickly check my high dollar Dell laptop and nope, no FireWire in. I check my high dollar Dell laptop and no, no Express Card slot.
So now it's decision time. Re-Sell and try to find a USB 3 option or find a new laptop. Guess what, both options suck. Most USB will record only 2 channels. Those that allow multi-channel are way too expensive.
So lets just bite the bullet and buy a new laptop, except either Dell or HP, in order to buy one with Express Card, you have to be a small business. Luckily I have contacts with a business who was able to order one for me.
So new laptop on the way, now I need to buy an Express Card. Well guess what, you have to buy a specific card that has TI chip sets. Luckily I read enough blogs this time to find that out.
So, moral of the story, if you are going invest in something big that you don't know much about, do not trust the manufacturer. Ask here on Talk Bass and assume the worst.
I'm confused about the "don't trust the manufacturer" part. Did Mackie suggest somewhere that the 1620i was anything but a FireWire device, or suggest USB functionality?
Sorry, it was the end of a long post. DAW Manufacturers are still pushing FireWire products even though PC manufacturers are moving farther away. It is very difficult to get FireWire to work yet manufactures are not advertising this. They also are not coming out with USB products to keep up with the changing PC market.
Did not mean deception, simply don't make assumptions.
I see what you're saying. I don't agree with it, but I see your point in this case. In general I would argue that "getting FireWire to work" is not a difficult task.
FireWire is going away, but it's being replaced by Thunderbolt, which is backwards compatible with FireWire. There are plenty of FireWire interfaces, and plenty of computers that will support them. Admittedly it's more of an Apple thing than a PC thing. It's unfortunate that yours didn't support it, but I don't think you can fault manufacturer's for that.
As for USB interfaces being more expensive than their 1-2 channel counterparts: I agree that they are more expensive, but that's to be expected. Most 4-8 channel interfaces offer a lot more than just additional channels compared to the 1-2 channel versions. You have to factor in the increased channel cost plus the additional features. Also, the larger one may have higher tier converters and/or preamps than the smaller version. Not always the case, but I have seen that with things like the Echo AudioFire series.
All in all, your point about proactively researching gear purchases prior to buying is a good one, and certainly one that I've learned the hard way over the years, but I still can't see the manufacturers being at fault here.
Try to find an ALESIS MULTIMIX 8 USB 2.0.
DO NOT get the FX model (only records stereo and cost $150)
Is the black model that says USB 2.0,while the silver and black FX model has only STEREO recording and is USB 1.1,the USB 2.0 version record all channels (up to 10) simultaneuosly to the DAW.
It is very hard to find,though.
At the moment,this is what I am using,and very please with it.
I will upgrade to a 16 channel mixer soon (also alesis),because still need couple more channels to record the whole band.
Doesn't your Dell laptop have a PCMCIA slot?
What model is it?
Simply get a PCMCIA to Firewire adapter. Problem solved inexpensively.
For multi-track recording, you want Firewire; not USB.
Behringer new interfaces do both USB and Firewire
Hope that companies jump on the Thunderbolt soon, but there are adapters for Thunderbolt to Firewire, or to USB
Got the New PC with the ExpressCard slot. Got it all configured, and how cool is it to record 8 XLR channels at once.
Set it up and ran some tests. This weekend will be the first full band practice we record. Drums will just be kick and 2 overhead. But to capture riffs and ideas, this should work really well.
Been a pain to get all the pieces, but continuous flow of FireWire is pretty cool.
I just sold my multimix 8 usb2 and replaced with a focusrite 18i8. the alesis was good to me, but i had a couple issues with it - am curious if you've run into them. i had trouble getting it to work on win7 64bit systems. tried it with my desktop and friend's laptop to no effect. fortunately my laptop is still running XP so it was good to go. i also noticed some channel bleed in the TRS insert channels - like 5/6 and 7/8. not super loud, but definitely present - one session i had guitar amp line out into 7 and bass line into 8 and could hear about maybe -40 db crosstalk.
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