Need RME Fireface Input (especially concerning the mic preamps)

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by steve_man, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    A friend of mine has been recording for a good few years and has been getting noticed a little more by local artists. He's making an approach towards getting setup where he can do more recordings and he's about to do a major overhaul of his existing setup.

    I agreed with him that it is time for him to step up and start doing some more recording ... so to make a long story short he asked me for some suggestions as to what new equipment he should consider starting off with.

    Two of the major components that he's looking at getting is a audio interface and mid - high end preamp. He's been trying preamps for the past few months and hasn't really found anything that fits his fancy (eg. focusrite, presonus). He's looking for something that is transparent but not harsh (maintaining some warmth) while still staying budget concious.

    I came across the RME Fireface one day and mentioned it to him. I have to admit that this thing got my attention. We both agreed that this seemed to fit the bill but the budget may hold him back from getting it along with a high end preamp. So I'm wondering what the preamps on the Fireface are like. If they are what he's looking for I think he's going to go for it.
  2. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    You may also have him take a look at Metric Halo. These are nice interfaces. A little pricier than the RME I think, but very nice. If it was my money that is the route I would take.

    As far as pre's go. I am pretty fond of the AMEK/NEVE 9098 stuff, specifically the dual pre. Transparent sound and it actually has metering on the unit, which when you have to trouble shoot on location, can be very helpful. Plus its a single rack space and solid state. Also the Apogee MINI line is quite nice. How many pre amps does he want? If he is after an 8 channel pre, he going to have to be ok with a little loss of "pristine-ness" you just are not going to get 8 world class pre's for real cheap. On the more affordable side I would go with the mackie Onyx, on the pricier end I would go with a True Systems Precision 8 or ATI 8MX2
    Kick ass pre for mobile stuff.

    Sorry I am not overly helpfull with the RME stuff, supposedly fine equipment though. However by my reasoning, if interface A has 8 channels and 4 pre amps and interface B has 8 channels and no pre amps, and are the same price I would think that the overall quality will be better with interface B, but interface A may be more useful and would require fewer other purchaces. IMO a Metric Halo 2882 with an ATI 8MX2 and a Powerbook would kick ass! But that would also be over 7G's so I'll keep dreaming.
  3. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Actually now that I look a little further, the Metric Halo 2882 has pre's and every channel, also 48v. Its all TRS so you would need to make yourself a little XLR break out box, but so what. External pre's is still recomended, but not mandatory.
  4. relayer66


    Oct 10, 2002
    Miura, Japan
    AFAIK, the Metric Halo stuff is only compatible with Macs. Nice stuff though.
    The RME stuff is really nice, good preamps but there are better. Also check out the MOTU traveller and the Presonus Firepod if you want to save a little money. I understand the converters on the RME are the best.
  5. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    If he gets a Fireface he's going to try and avoid buying a seperate preamp for the first bit. Just because of the price of the fireface. An AMEK/NEVE 9098 is just out of the question (Far above the price point).

    How do the preamps on the RME sound (any examples)?

    In the future my friend has thought about getting an Avalon vt737. It's a little too pricey for the moment but it seems like a component he'd get. Right now he just wants to start getting equipment that he can start using but be able to build onto later.

    Also We live in Eastern Canada. We haven't found a RME retailer yet. Does anyone know of any stores in Canada carying RME.

    As for the alternatives mentioned ...
    I know a guy who's using a MOTU 928 and he loves it. However I've heard mixed reviews on the preamps on MOTU units - can they be bypassed?

    We were also checking out the pre sonus firepod. However, when he tried out a few of the presonus preamps he hated them. Trying to avoid them if possible.
  6. I'd check out a digi002 or digi002Rack, my buddy has the fullsize one, and a powerbook and it kicks serious ass, I haven't heard recordings that were that noisefree in a home environment, not to mention that it comes with decent software, protools le, with some rudimentary plugins. When I get my first student loan in month or so , i'm getting an ibook, and mbox2, and a basspodxt if I can afford it. Good luck.
  7. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    We've also checked out the Digidesign M002 in (and in the rack version). Didn't like it too much. He's already heavily into adobe audition.
  8. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    If your friend is that particular, I'm not sure how he could avoid spending an impressive amount of dough. If I were in his boat, I'd be looking at the Focusrite Liquid Channel, or similar device. A single high-end channel strip with digital outs would be the way to get the highest quality for the least $$$$, IMO. Mindprint makes an excellent one, and less expensive versions are available from ART, Aphex, and others. I'm just not sure he'd be able to get that many channels into a computer simultaneously and retain the quality he's looking for in a mic pre without spending enough money to no longer qualify as "budget." What kind of money is he looking to spend, here?
  9. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Another very nice preamp/compressor option is the universal audio 6176, great piece of gear. The only problem with them is when you have one, you want two!
  10. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    Like I said before, he's interested in buying the RME fireface. They're priced like $1495 (amer currency) retail.

    Eventually he's looking at getting an additional preamp for nice Acoustic Guitar parts and vocals. Something that sounds transparent with some warmth. However if we can get away with using the preamps on the RME fireface he will do that for now.

    For now we're more concerned about input on the RME fireface rather than other preamps that could be used.