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Microphone Month 5

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firewire upgrade woes


Long story.. a little shorter--
For a few years I've been using a pci Audigy2 card, running from a mixer with pretty impressive results. I've had this time to upgrade bug and recently tried a few firewire cards with kind of disappointing results.
I tried the presonus firebox 1st, which sounded and operated great, only thing were the preamps, they may sound good, but the gain is so low that you have to crank them, which adds all the noisey goodness. (already spending $300+ and I'd have to buy more gear?)
I did return the firebox and pickup an m-audio 410..
I spent a few days running tests.. m-audio vs Audigy2 audio quality/ recording.. to see the differences with my own ears.
Turns out, the m-audio did have a bit more punch to the sound, a hair more clarity, the difference wasn't stellar.. at least not $300 worthy.
It felt kind of cheap (compared to the firebox solid design).
The headphone output was also pretty low.
I ended up returning the M-audio and now have store credit.
Can any of you guys (gals) offer any suggestions?
I'm looking for something portable, so I can use it on my laptop as well. Firewire, excellent-high qual and output preamps.
I do like using soundfonts, which is why I'm into the audigy2..
but maybe a can do without it, being that I use sonar 6pe and it does have sfz for soundfonts built-in.
I was checking out the emu 1820m, but I don't care too much about all the dsp stuff, or at least I'm not savvy enough to care.
I was also looking at the motu ultralight, but it seems a bit too advanced for me ( I know recording, but by no means am i an engineer with bus mix, routing, etc.etc. )
Also the Alesis IO|14
Thanks for any 411
February 17, 2007 @05:19pm

Motu 8pre - $550.
You can dump the Audigy by using a soundfont sampler/player like the free "SFZ" vsti from www.rgcaudio.com with ANY soundcard.
February 17, 2007 @10:30pm

... and the EMU 1820 is discontinued. Not firewire either...
February 18, 2007 @08:35pm