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Reaper / PC users: Recommend me an interface

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by SanDiegoHarry, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I have a good system, lots of storage and RAM... Running XP currently but I can dual boot to Win7 easily enough.

    I have a small Mackie mixer...

    I have latest/greatest Reaper...

    So suggest an interface, plz.

    I will be doing strictly home recording / scratch-pad stuff. I really just need stereo in (for my keys) and that's about it.

    I'd like something that does well with respect to latency and off-loads as much work from the CPU as possible.

    Thanks much!!!
  2. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    As you might have noticed from some of my other posts, I just picked up an RME Fireface 400. It is amazing.

    Latency is about as good as it gets (it's there, but absolutely NO issues with it - on the order of a couple milliseconds), and the I/O capabilities are fantastic. The mic/instrument preamps are very clean and quiet, and the conversion quality is superb. I'm hearing background noises and things in tracks that were never noticeable with my old Line6 box.

    RME makes a USB version, too (mine is Firewire). I got mine used for $700, so look around. In my opinion, it was the absolute best thing I could have purchased for my current needs and budget.
  3. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Yow - that looks like a nice interface - but way more than I need (not to mention more $$ that I want to spend!!!
  4. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    Yes, it is very nice, but very spendy. It took me many years of procrastinating to finally take the plunge when it popped up for sale locally. I never wanted to spend the money on something mediocre and without the expansion capabilities I'd eventually want, and I never had the money for something like this new. So when I had the cash AND it came up for sale AND I had an immediate need, I just had to jump on it.

    I'd have paid full price for it, knowing what I know now (if I had the money). Sans the cash, look at some of the Presonus Firebox stuff. Also, the M-audio Fastrack interfaces get a lot of praise. As I understand it, the Fastrack Ultra is very nice and they only run about $350. No where near the capabilities of the RME, but if you don't need those capabilities, don't pay for them.

    Just don't be like me and sit on your rear waiting to find the "perfect" interface for what you can afford - it took me 10 years to get there and I missed out on a lot of experience and opportunities during that time.
  5. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I just want something that will work well with my machine - something with current drivers. I have an older Edirol USB interface that is no longer supported, and the old drivers do *not* play well with my system...

    I've read good things about Firebox - it's an established piece of gear...
  6. jkramer5


    Jul 14, 2008
    Fairfield, CA

    It's also been discontinued for a while and replaced with the audiobox USB


    I used one daily (the Firebox) for just about 2 years and it never failed once, worked equaally well under windows and OSX. I put in on the shelf only because I eventually needed more in/s and outs. I still use it from time to time when I need something portable.
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
  8. rms2


    May 27, 2008
    I really like my E-MU 0404. Good quality great sounding unit for not much money. I have used it in a lot of different situations for recording and monitoring and it works very well.
  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If you got the Mackie, just try the output to the line in on the PC
    use asio4all as it works fine in most daws.
    I prefer win7 as it's much more stable, but it probably doesn't matter much. Reaper is agnostic to the system it's running on.
  10. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I have a Focusrite Saffire 24 that I picked up for about $200 on a Music 123 Price Match. Add $20 to buy a Fire Wire card and your all set. Works great and the only problem I have is losing the firewire connection when the system comes out of hibernation. This requires a reboot to fix and is more than likely a Windows issue and not a problem with the interface. Plenty of connectivity and routing options. Don't think I'm likely to outgrow it anytime soon.
  11. ranjam


    Sep 4, 2008
    I'm not saying I am any type of expert, but I have made a ton of mistakes, and learned from them all. First, firewire can be picky about the chipset in your PC. Texas Instruments seems to work well, but rather than fight that demon, I went USB.
    I always want to record with compression, to save CPU and RAM, and because I like hearing how it will sound now, rather than imagining how it could sound later with some cheesy plug in. And that almost always means a compressor. I end up with a smooth, consistent sound. I still have a few interfaces left, but almost always I go with a Fast Track Pro, because it has analog inserts. The Tascam US-122 has them too, but that's been replaced with the US-122L, that has no inserts. :spit:
    I just plug my bass right into the FTP, add what compressor is handy in the loop, and away I go. Usually it's a rack dbx, but I suppose anything would work.
    M-Audio often gives away Cubase with their stuff, so you can also try that. I have a lot of computers around the house, and some have Cubase, some have Audacity, some have the FTP, some have the Tascam. It's weird, I know, but I am just an experimenter. I keep telling myself I will flip a lot of this extra gear over eventually, but somehow I never do. ;)
  12. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I just order an M-Audio Delta 44. It's a PCI interface, which has faster throughput than USB and Firewire, and fewer issues with latency. Not got it yet. Since you have a analog mixer and don't need an interface with preamp, something like that would work for you, too. Some of the Delta features include a monitor function that uses onboard DSP for effects (you can record dry and monitor with reverb and whatever), an outboard breakout box makes connections easier. If you later get a preamp you can go from the preamp to the Delta. Lots more.

    I use a Yamaha MG166cx mixer up front. I go to a Boss BR-600 now, and transfer and convert the track file to WAV format to the DAW. I also use Reaper 3.75. Like a previous poster, I usually add compression before taking it digital, and sometimes reverb, too. Other effects I add during mixing when the tracking is all done. I'll post a report when I get it installed and working.
  13. rms2


    May 27, 2008
    This is a very good point. Firewire is a Mac interface that is very good on Macs but is often buggy on PC's. I do use the Firewire interface on my PC but it took some work. However, USB is pretty much plug and play on the PC. That's why I like the Creative E-mu 0404. It does a lot well without being complicated. You can drive it with USB, or s/pdif, or optical, and it's midi capable as well. (There was even a run on these at MF when the audiophile set found out how good the D/A chip in it is). Reaper recognizes the E-mu, you plug in your bass, set a level, and press record.

    For firewire on the PC I use an M-Audio Profire 2626 but that's a lot more function and money than it sounds like Harry wants.

    I'm not familiar with the other USB units recommended here but probably any of those would be excellent choices. Point being you don't need to spend a lot to get a great sounding easy to use interface. You just need to do a little research. Good luck with it Harry, let us know how it goes.
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I too have had trouble with 1394 interfaces - I bought a 4 port card for my system and it doesn't always get recognized at boot time. Very annoying.

    I'm getting suggestions that are all over the board (no real consensus... :crying: but I'm guessing that for interfaces under $200 (which most of these are) you're going to get what you get - a decent USB interface that isn't way great but does the job.

    I'll print out some spec sheets & prices and take a drive to GC today. See what I see.

  15. grobe


    Apr 9, 2009

    Hmmm... I recently got a Konnekt 6 firewire interface and it was completely plug n play just like USB 2.0. Nothing needed to be tweaked and it works flawlessly. I have used my firewire port with other devices such as camcoders and never had any issues. Firewire is clearly the better interface for most.

    What sold me on the Konnekt 6 was the desktop layout and the large volume knob. I got it brand new off eBay for $150. No complaints so far.
  16. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    I bet this could fit your needs: www.LowEndBassShop.com :: View topic - PreSonuc AudioBox USB $125

    Also, the Line6 Toneport UX2 has all you need. It's super easy to use, reliable, and sounds pretty good. I used one for several years before I upgraded to the RME Fireface. Not sure what they're going for right now, but they're relatively cheap.
  17. mrekoj


    Feb 17, 2009
  18. ez-rhino


    Sep 8, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Bass and Drum Mercenary
    I recently picked up a Lexicon Alpha on craigslist for $40, and have had great success with Reaper. I got into recording at home with the intent of creating decent recordings of my bass and drum doodlings, but the Reaper/Alpha combination is seriously capable of much much more.

    I can't thank TB enough for pointing me towards Reaper, I've been screwing around with the m-audio Fast Track for so long, but was disenchanted with latency issues, then found a cheap Alpha and Reaper, solved my recording problems, period.

    Disclaimer: Running Windows 7, metric-S-ton of RAM and drive space...

  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Lexicon Alpha, eh.... I'll check it out!
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