So why, when I could have purchased a new synth, mic, sax, guitar….any new instrument…would I instead be investing in a Tascam 16×08 interface, for heaven’s sake?! Well, the answer is as complex, and simple, as this: PLATFORM! This year I went to a totally different recording setup. May not sound sexy, but…ya know, somehow…it IS!
Since 2002 I recorded all my original music on the Roland VS-2480 hardware configuration. I recorded many a fine album on that gear, but this was the year things grew to the point where I needed more, so…now I sit here taking in the grand vista of a full-blown Pro Tools 12.8 system. And I’m loving it. Yea, there’s a HUGE learning curve, but I mean, come on: “Teaj, you’re gonna have to spend more time in the studio surrounded by all this great gear, making new music.” Cry me a river!!
Because I’m working ‘in the box’ now, however, I needed to invest in an audio and MIDI interface. If you don’t know, that’s the piece of gear that gets your sounds into the computer. Whatever you’re going to stick a microphone in front of, the other end of the cable will need to go into an interface. This gets it into the land where digital friends and gremlins fight and frolic and allows your sounds to show up on your computer monitor screen where you can mutate and cannibalize….uh, I mean, caress and edit them to your ear’s content.
For me there were two issues regarding interfaces that I had to answer before I bought one: quality and inputs. I knew, since I’m recording albums, that the interface I buy has to have good A/D conversion, come from a reputable company and basically have positive reviews from the online legions that have used it. I also needed at least 8 inputs, because I like to track real, live drums (yes, those still ARE used in the studio!) instead of using loops or drum machines.
With those caveats in mind I did a 3 day search and kept coming back to this unit. It’s got great reviews, comes from a company with a long, rich, impressive history in pro audio and also has TEN inputs on its front, which is, of course, even better than eight. Why? Well, why does my amp go to eleven? The answer is obvious. 😉
Getting it up and running was easy. The manual was clear on how to hook up cables and everything worked as it was supposed to from the moment I turned it on. I did have to learn how to finesse the BUFFER SIZE on it, depending on how I’m using Pro Tools, in order to get audio that didn’t click, pop and stutter. Once I understood how to set those parameters based on recording versus playback tho’ everything was gold.
In a nutshell, it gives good, clean sound, is extremely versatile if you need to make channel/output/input changes, and also comes with an extremely useful and well-designed software program that you view on your computer showing you all the parameters you could ever wish to change. That includes, by the way, a basic EQ and Dynamics processing section that you can engage right there on the front end before your sounds go into your computer. I found both sections work well if you don’t tax them too much. Even the learning curve was mild, so you can get up and running with this unit in minutes.
As soon as I narrowed down my interface search, my G.A.S. for this unit was BURNIN’! Thankfully, I found it for a great price on EBay new and had it 4 days. Somehow I survived and now…it’s like part of the family.
Got questions? You know where to find me.
In the meantime,…go…make…sounds!