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Need a new interface for PC. Presonus, others?


I have an old Delta 1010 that isn't powering up lately. I'm interested in replacing it with something with preamps and has better monitoring features. I never liked the Delta's control panel software anyway.
My requirements are:
• Windows 7 Support (but mac maybe some day)
• 64 bit Win support
• USB or Firewire would be nice for mobile/laptop options
• To be used with Reaper and Vegas (with Alloy, Nectar, Ozone)
• 6 or more inputs.
• At least 2 good mic preamps.
• Low latency
• Midi in/out
• Built in effects and mixing for monitoring purposes is helpful
• Compact
• Built in mixer like presonus 16.0.2 would be ideal but its just too big.
• Ability to monitor or more than 1 set of speakers would be nice.
Contenders seem to be Presonus 1818VSL, Motu Ultralite, Roland Octacapture, Mackie Onyx mixers, presonus studiolive, Focusrite, RME, Echo, Apogee... I'm overwhelmed. I'd like to cap it at about $700 max if possible. Something like the Studiolive I'd go a little higher because it would replace some additional outboard gear including my mackie 1202.
October 20, 2011 @08:35pm

No one's looking for similar? Seems like a common bunch o requirements.
is there a better place to post such questions?
November 29, 2011 @11:45pm

I own the Presonus Firestudio which has now been replaced by the USB Audiobox 1818. I'm guessing that since my purchase, USB powered interfaces have gotten to the point of replacing Firewire for multi-tracking.
For your needs, I'd suggest a step up in brand name with the sacrifice of less inputs. RME and MOTU have an outstanding reputation in reliability. And I'm sure the digital mixer is a little better on their systems, but I'm not sure if you're looking for simple routing or DSP effects. DSP effects can be unnecessary if you have a powerful enough PC to handle live plug in monitoring with low latency.
As Far as Preamps, don't worry about it. All preamps in interfaces will be the same quality, no matter what the website says. If you want better-than-average preamps, then go get better than average preamps.
I've been running a studio for 7 years and still dont see the need to invest in a console with faders and knobs. I think those Studiolive and Onyx systems are specifically for live music houses that want multi-track recording without the extra gear and space.
Lastly latency relys on your ASIO drivers and PC. Almost all manufacturer's drivers are awful. I've been using ASIO4all for years and works 100 times better and faster than Hardware drivers.
Hope this helps
December 9, 2011 @04:09pm