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February Giveaway

Behringer FCA1616 Reviews

3.5 stars based on 26 customer reviews
Questions about the Behringer FCA1616?

Questions about the Behringer FCA1616?

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  • Brian Watts
    from Columbus, OH December 24, 2016Music Background:
    Pro percussionist, audio engineer, producer, composer

    Impressive heart of my studio

    Again Behringer has never disappointed! This is the heart of my studio space and tethered with an ADA8200 makes a perfect 16 track setup for me. Nice nice Midas pres, plenty of options and best of all dependable clean audio coming in and going out! A+ Behringer and Sweetwater!

  • Dylan
    from Pekin, Illinois August 23, 2015

    Impressive tool

    The Behringer FCA1616 is a powerful interface. I bought it to record all my inputs coming out of my old Behringer mixer and also the fact that I can play all computer audio to the sound board with ease. The fact that it comes with Traction is just pushing the boundaries. I could configure all the outputs to play a different track in the software, like a drummer click track and the regular click tracks I play with, along with all the samples in the song. The interface was perfect for also recording audio for video, left and right condensor mics, enable the interface's phantom power on each channel, plug it into a computer(if configured), press record and you're ready to go. The interface looks great, looks even better in a rack.

    This was the first product I've ever bought from Sweetwater. Their unbeatable price, plus free fast shipping with no tax, impressive support, was the best compared to everyone else. After a few days playing with it, I received a call from my sales engineer to confirm that this interface was the right for me.

  • David Nelson
    from Tenino, Washington December 16, 2014Music Background:
    Producer, Recording Engineer, Hobbyist, Much more

    amazing sound want another one

    Just cant wait to see if black lion audio will have an upgrade for it, like the ada8000.

  • David
    from Willits, CA January 18, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Unit, Great Price (amendment)

    In my review of two days ago I noted that a MIDI song I downloaded from the Web played in a lower key. It turned out to be a setting on the keyboard that I was running through, and had nothing to do with the FCA1616. The MIDI on it works perfectly along with everything else.
    This is truly a great sounding unit, packed with features, and a real bargain at the $249 price I paid for it. I continue to be amazed at how flawlessly the drivers work on my three computers where I use it with Windows XP.
    Thank you again Sweetwater and Behringer.

  • David
    from Willits, CA USA January 16, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Unit, Great Proce

    When installing the driver in the Firepower FCA1616 you need to make sure the USB/FW light to the left of the power light is flashing blue before you turn on your computer if you are a PC user. To switch between USB and Firewire you need to hold down the ďDIGITAL SELECTĒ button when you turn the power on. You only need to do this once, and the unit then remembers next time you turn it on. Thereís no power switch, so power switch means when you turn on whatever switch you are using to apply the AC power. If you donít do this you wonít be able to install the driver. I had to learn this from Sweetwater support staff, which is very good.

    Once installed, the driver seems to work very well. After having many problems with drivers in other interfaces I was pleasantly surprised. Iíve tried it on three computers without any problems running Windows XP. Iíve recorded from a keyboard using the MIDI interface and it played back through the keyboard without any problems, but when I tried to play back a MIDI song I got off the Web it played back in a lower key. I havenít tried to fix this problem yet.

    The 1616 has 8 audio inputs and 8 audio outputs and I havenít tried them all. I havenít tried the digital outputs either. The four mic inputs in the front have produced very good quality sound compared to previous interfaces I have used. The gain is a little low for Ribbon mics using the ASIO driver, but I donít get a lot of noise when I increase the sound in Sonar 6 or any other application. It has more gain than any of my other interfaces. I was surprised at how easily I was able to record four tracks of 96kps 24 bit audio without any problems using my five and seven year old laptops with a Gig of memory. Sonar showed I was using 10% of the CPU during recording on an old Dell 700m Inspiron. One feature I really like is the ability to turn phantom power on individually for each mic, since I sometimes use ribbon mics with condensers. Another nice feature is the ability to use it on top of a desk by installing four little rubber feet and removing the side rack mounts, although I use it in a rack.

    Overall, I would have to say I was blown away by the build quality, the recording quality, and features this unit has. I paid $249, and at the price it seems like a real bargain. Thank you Sweetwater and Behringer.

  • jeff
    from myrtle creek or usa November 16, 2013Music Background:
    recording engineer, artist, musician.

    so far so good

    Happy with it for now. We'll see if is stands the test of time. Have been through a few interfaces that work great at first but then crap out on me after a while. I'm a heavy user of my studio gear. My son and I are both recording artists and the studio's being used every day. Downtime sucks! Maybe this interface will be more reliable. Hoping for the best.

  • darrell
    from Indianapolis,Indiana October 25, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    FCA1616 -usb-firewaire

    VERY IMPORTANT: to switch between Firewire and USB, you must hold down the Digital Select button when you power up the unit. This switches between Firewire (red LED), and USB (blue LED).

  • JP McNeil
    from Greeensboro, NC September 24, 2013Music Background:
    Home studio recording engineer, Songwriter/Performer

    Audio Interface Heaven

    I got one of the first new FCA1616 units from Sweetwater here a couple weeks ago. I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and a Tascam US 800 before that. I definitely heard an improvement in recording quality with the 2i2. I needed more ins, and was looking at the Focusrite 18i8, ready to buy it, then saw the FA1616 on the Sweetwater site for $100 less (and more features). I called my rep, Ben Robinson, and the first 1616's had just come in. He agreed with me it looked very good on paper, and I said "why not". Have had it about 2 weeks. On my PC/Win7-64/USB, no stability/driver problems at all. So far, I have recorded the front 4 mic pres simul, solid, steady. The features/functionality, amazing. The sound? Right up there with the Focusrite. Maybe a little more "warmth" with the 2i2 mic pres, but the 1616's are very clean and clear. And more juice (probably due to external power supply). No on/off, but otherwise, all the controls for everything are on the front panel, don't have to dive into DAW or other mix software...bam, done/adjusted. So far I am pinching myself. The more I use the unit, the more insane the price is. Used it again tonight, not a glitch on my PC/Studio One2. Recorded a client's (yes, I know enough...barely.... to have people pay me) new Martin acoustic, big, sweet, and true. All the adjustments, right on the front. DUAL headphone outs, with button for mono, and option to Out 1-2/3-4. Another button on the front lets you switch between 1-2 (Main) outs on back or 1-8 (Out) for live monitoring. AND input inserts 1-8 on the back. The engineers and DAW users did some serious talking in developing this unit. Behringer?, some of you are snickering. Yes, I thought the same. They are what they are, or were what they were. I have used their gear for "non-critical" mostly live apps, really never in the studio. But they may have a game changer here. I will ramp it up with 6-8 simul tracking on a drum kit soon, and keep you posted. So far, the sound quality/features....the bang for buck factor I feel (hear) is kinda....nuclear. I am in audio interface heaven....and so is my bank account.

  • Barry Speer
    from South Carolina January 23, 2016Music Background:
    home recordist, performing musician and singer

    Great value, high-quality sound, easy installation

    The first thing that I noticed about the Behringer FCA1616 was the ease of installation. Using a Win7 PC, I first installed it as a USB unit. The installation was flawless and it worked perfectly the first time. I did notice some digital noise leaking into my monitors, but rerouting the USB cable reduced it to a tolerable level. The quality of the recorded audio was better than I expected with a unit of this price range. When I finally got my FireWire PCIe card, I uninstalled the USB driver, reinstalled it as a FW unit - again no problems. No digital noise either. I've also connected my old Alesis AI3 ADAT interface (limits it to 48KHz) and my Art Digital MPA as inputs, and both work great. However, it's an either/or situation - cannot do ADAT and S/PDIF simultaneously. But, no big deal. In any case, I'm very happy with my choice, and it also comes with some very, very good (free!) VS2 instruments. I highly recommend this unit for any studio on a budget.

  • qlmaX5
    from April 6, 2015Music Background:
    Musician, producer

    Definitely for rack use

    I finally dropped a good chunk of money on a bit of studio equipment, and to interface with it all, I bought one of these. At first glance, the FCA1616 seems like the best bang-for-buck (an overplayed saying, but fitting here), and I was specifically drawn to it for the Insert connections built in, but I'll get to those in a minute. Eight channels in and out without even adding another ADAT interface is also a big plus. The system works well in terms of software integration (better on Mac, it seems Core Audio jives with it better than setting up the drivers on Windows), everything works, and the headphone amps are, especially for $250 of kit, absolutely pristine. However, there are two strange issues, one of which took me way too long to figure out.

    First, the regular stereo output volume from my Mac was clipping the interface like crazy, but that was easy to fix in Audio MIDI Setup. Nothing too hard, and I could have just done it in my DAW as well.

    Second, the four preamped mic inputs sounded... tinny. You had to crank the gain up to above 75% to get a decent volume (I'm talking halfway up the metering in Logic), and they were lacking in bass. The four 1/4" TRS inputs on the back were so quiet they were basically useless. However, sending the outputs of my dedicated mic preamp rack into the INSERTS sounded great. I bought it in the summer of 2014. It's now April 2015, and I JUST figured out the issue. I'm not 100% clear on the circuit flow of the interface, but it seems that the return from the insert of each track is the actual input, so any input signal would have to travel from the plug, through the pre if applicable, and then through the insert jack, and anything plugged into it. The sound I was getting (quiet, but still distorted and noisy from the gain) seems to suggest that my unit's insert jacks are not fully (or properly) normalled, so a bit of signal gets across the connections but most of it is just lost. I'm not going to say this is a dumb or bad move, because this thing is basically intended to be put in a rack, and the smaller, more portable FCA610 lacks inserts altogether, but it is a slightly odd design choice. Alternatively, it could just be an issue with mine, but it works fine set up like pro equipment should be, with each insert split and sent to a normalled patchbay, so I'm not complaining. When it's all connected right, it's the best-sounding $250 I've spent.

  • Nikki Lombardi
    from Navarre FLorida panhandle September 4, 2014Music Background:
    Currently hobbyist= lifelong drummer, avg guitarist/bass player and getting serious with my studio.

    Interface purchase to get my studio back up and running

    I needed a respectable budget fitting fire-wire interface to get my studio back up and running and this was the ticket.
    As a lifelong drummer, average singer, avg guitar & bass player I'm essentially= 'analog guy'! So I called Sweetwater and was fortunate as the rep took all the time needed to understand my situation & need and dialed me right onto the Behringer FCA 1616 unit. He actually offered less expensive more basic units too but I made the final decision for the 1616 and he later said he thought it to be the best choice.
    It arrived in very short order exactly as expected/planned. It installed easily exactly as the tech specialist sales rep said it would plus and was every bit as good as I'd discussed with the rep. Drivers loaded perfectly ect... plus it's USB capacity is an extra perk. Can I tell if it 'colors' or adds anything to the base tracks...NOPE: my ears aren't that good, but it is very user friendly and is a joy to work with. I liht up my system and have absolutely no anxiety that it is not going to work properly...Yahooo
    But not only did I get a nice unit for a extremely good price but I feel I got a friendship and knowledge base with an operation that is exceptional. Plus candy in the packaging!!! Nice touch.
    Sweetwater also actually 'waited' a little over a month to ask for my review.... That is thinking outside the normal box huh??? They allowed me time to actually use and evaluate the product. And it is a fabulous piece of gear that is better than I'd hoped for. For my needs this baby from Behringer does everything I need and more.
    So when I add up the honesty and knowledge from the Sweetwater Staff, the purchase price, delivery time and quality of the product I 'd say it was the best 'value' overall that I could have ever expected.
    You can't go wrong with it OR the Sweetwater people,,,,, a great experience and I will be back doing business with them soon.
    BTW I was sooooooooooo pleased initially that I e-mailed the CEO and Sales rep and got a very nice reply from both of them, followed up with a phn call from the rep.
    Peace and Sweet music to you all.
    .........nikki

  • David Farrell
    from Cleveland, TN March 21, 2014Music Background:
    Producer/Engineer

    Great little Bang!

    I was really looking for a transition piece that would hold me over whilst I build out my project studio. I asked my Sales Engineer and we tossed around the Presonus and MAudio etc but I had the X32 and felt that I can tolerate the name if the quality was marginal. At this price range I was not expecting a lot and it took me back! I can see this fitting into my composition room and no lost of sketching ideas. More than you would bargain for at this price.

  • David Snare
    from Upstate New York October 25, 2013Music Background:
    Ameteur Recording Enthusiast, Professional Musician

    Great Interface w/ ADAT optical Input

    Would've given this a 5 except the first one didn't work properly. Thankfully, Sweetwater replaced it almost immediately. Kudos to Sweetwater. The device works as promised. 4 lo-z inputs, 4 hi-z inputs and the expansion of optical which works with ADAT 8 in/out along with other formats. Also 1 midi in/out. I love it, and I am very pleased with it. With my software (Tracktion) I see very little latency with both audio and midi. I would definitely recommend this to a friend.

  • Customer
    from Chicago November 27, 2016

    USB vs. FireWire

    Just made the change from USB connection to a dedicated PCIe FireWire card! It appears to have solved the many dropout and noise issues that I was experiencing on a Windows based DAW setup. I did have to load the FCA1616 FireWire drivers, but so far so good.

  • Shawn Perry
    from Vermilion, OH October 7, 2015Music Background:
    Award Winning Producer-

    Great Unit until it went BOOM

    I really liked this unit, it does alot of stuff and actually SOUNDS good... after two year it just DIED on me...

    I would like to upgrade to something nicer, but I am currently buying my second one... for 249 I can just keep buying them if they keep dying-

  • artzeal
    from Seattle, WA USA February 27, 2015Music Background:
    Engineer, Musician

    Great preamps, works well with ADAT

    I'm quite impressed by these Midas design pres. Very low noise, clean, plenty of gain (even for ribbon mics): more than up to the job of getting quality results from live gigs. I use this to record live with a Presonus D8 via ADAT for 12 mic ins, (plus 4 line ins), and the results are on par with my previous Focusrite Saffire 24 (firewire chip failure). A major consideration in my purchase was the inserts: In live work; sometimes tracking through compressors is a necessity. Stability USB or Firewire are no problem on the 2007 Macbook I use for live recording.

    I'm going to dock it a half point each for not having headphone preamp controls independent of the monitor outs, and no on/off switch.

    The quality of the pres has me looking to move up to the just arrived XR18 or some configuration of the X32 system for live work: (this new generation wasn't available when I got the FCA1616).

  • Joshua ortiz
    from NY, usa January 30, 2015Music Background:
    Recording engineer

    Awesome stuff

    This is an awesome interface for the money and with sweet waters payment options is makes it a really easy purchase.

  • Greg Shoemaker
    from Athens, GA October 26, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Hobbyist & Amatur Musician

    Still needs some work

    I bought this because of the number of audio i/o channels, the price, the presence of a usb interface and midi ports. The audio ports all work well and have not given me any problems while providing the audio functionality I need. The manual is basically a quick start guide and could be improved as it gives little detail about how to use the device. I haven't used it enough to notice any latency issues but these are discussed by several users in an FCA1616 gearslutz forum.

    The biggest problems I've had are windows USB driver issues. On my Windows 7 machine I had to remove and reinstall the drivers several times. It appears that the drivers become corrupted when the machine switches into any kind of power-save mode. If the user deactivates power saving features on this OS all audio and midi features work as they should. I haven't used the SPDIF so can't say anything about that.

    On Windows 8 the same caveat about the drivers and power save modes applies. The audio channels work fine but but I have been unable to get either an in or out midi signal on this machine. Midi-Ox reports being able to see the device but nothing shows up in the Midi-Ox input monitor dialog despite the midi in led on the FCA1616 flashing. When generating a midi signal from the computer and output is routed to the FCA1616 midi it does not see a signal. This all works fine in Windows 7 so I suspect it may be an issue with the midi implementation in Windows 8. I have reported the problem to Bheringer October 18 to see if they can replicate it but have not heard back as of Oct 26. I am buying a firewire card for my Win8 machine to see if I can get the midi to work that way but will continue to use Win7 for midi until the issue is resolved.

    I'll also add I didn't have any problems with it using the Macbook Air but the screen on that computer, like the Win7 laptop, is too small to be comfortable for use with my DAW.

    One other thing I don't really care for is like some other Behringer products, it doesn't have a power switch to turn it on and off which is a little irritating. I think on the whole it will be a great interface once the problems with the usb drivers and midi on Win8 are resolved.

  • Dan
    from Euless, TX April 18, 2015

    FCA1616

    Gear works good in use with the Computer, but wished it had a monitor mode when the computer was turned off.

  • Maurice J Ragland
    from United States May 12, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, DJ, Producer, Musician

    Great Features but flawed!

    I bought this audio interface on a budget some time ago for my home studio. I needed an interface with usb since unknowingly I didn't have firewire. Set-up was a little cumbersome given the vague instructions on installations. Like another reviewer said, you have to hold the button to switch it from firewire to usb mode. Audio seemed pretty good but not like my Focusrite Saffire. Plenty of I/O for most of my gear with a little more room. The preamps are a little noisy as I noticed with some synths hooked up to it. MY BIGGEST GRIPE....The drivers are unstable and just horrible. The latency can be rediculous (using an i7 3.4 ghz cpu w/ dedicated gpu) and drivers somehow just drop and make the device unusable plus no power switch! Unfortunately after having it for almost half a year, it has stopped working and nothing that I have not done to restore it. Behringer support is lousy....

  • Justin
    from Billings, MT, USA May 10, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording & Live Sound Engineer / Producer ( Certified in both Pro Tools & Logic Pro, SSL Boards)

    Decent

    It works fairly well would be an excellent piece of gear for a beginning producer to teach them basics of ins and outs. It does not perform well enough for anyone past the beginner stage in studio. It has a lot of static noise when recording, performs exceptionally poorly if using MainStage, Pro Tools, or Pro Logic during live performances. I purchased it simply to try it as I like Berhinger products for live shows, but this one just doesn't measure up to the standards. Looks great though very attractive unit.

  • Brock
    from Indiana October 6, 2016Music Background:
    Songwriter/Producer

    SNAP CRACKLE POP

    I purchased this interface for the ins and outs. For the price, you really do get a lot. However, soon after I got my interface, I began to notice popping coming out from my monitors every time I would switch from application to application. It would also pop a lot on Facebook as I would scroll down the timeline and the videos people post would begin to play.
    I called Behringer about it and they said they have never heard about this problem before. They told me to make sure I had downloaded the latest driver. I did. Still popping.
    I contacted Sweetwater about it and they shipped it off to Behringer. Behringer said they have all the equipment in their shop to "replicate" my scenario (same computer with the same specs, with my interface).
    They told me that if they could not repair the interface, they would replace it.
    They sent the old one back and, for awhile, the interface seemed to be better. Key word-better (not fixed). The popping was a lot quieter but was still there.
    Now about 2-3 months after they shipped it back to me, the interface pops just as loud as it did before.

  • Ken
    from Binghamton, NY April 5, 2016Music Background:
    Home Recording Musician

    What was I thinking?

    The FCA1616 comes with a "Quick Start Guide" on the front of which it says I should go to their website and download the full manual, but I still can't locate the manual on the Behringer website or anywhere else.

    At first glance the FCA1616 seems to have many features - but it turns out it does not even have a power switch.

    The control knobs are difficult to read because the knobs actually block the description of what they do! So I have to bend over and lift the FCA1616 up to see what it says underneath the knobs, and when I put my face close enough to read what the knobs are for, I am blinded by the tiny blue light that indicates a USB connection. That's how close I have to put my face to the unit!

    My biggest concern was that about 2 hours after I plugged it in, I noticed it was starting to get VERY warm on the right side and it heated up to the point where I could smell it! I received a response from the Behringer website that this is normal for electronic devices and has something to do with the capacitors charging. I'm not sure about that, but it did eventually cool down so I guess I'm just used to being able to turn things off so they don't heat up.

    I did not feel comfortable providing registration info on the Behringer website because I could not see that the internet connection was secure.

    Sweetwater gave me the option to return this item but I was too busy, so I still have it and I am not currently using it and I don't like it.

  • Keith
    from June 7, 2015

    Stay Away in you're using OSX

    There are many upsides to this unit - Rack mount, 16 I/O, MIDI, Firewire or USB... However there are 2 very big problems (that seem to be the case for all OSX users) - the MIDI latency is terrible - about 3 to 4 seconds slow and does not always recognize polyphonic notes.

    Secondly, is terrible pops in the speakers whenever something starts or stops. I;ve read countless threads on gearslutz and it seems that Windows users don't have these problems, so if you are using Mac, stay very very far away from this

  • Chris F
    from April 3, 2015Music Background:
    amateur

    Dumb design

    One can NOT control the main and the headphone mix independently! In other words you can't monitor just through the headphones during recording; you'll have to muck with your DAW's output assignments or turn off your monitor speakers. So dumb! I returned it the next day.

  • aj quintanar
    from lakewood, CO November 9, 2013Music Background:
    recording engineer, musician

    dissapointed

    decent sounding pre's, but so many things wrong still. first off ADAT isn't working there are constant audio drop outs. headphone out to 3 and 4 button dosent work. there is a hum that only emits from the left main out. no control software for routing on OSX. the firmware update from behringer is only downloadable in .exe format. the headphone volume knobs are linked to the main out knob so there isn't a way to turn the monitors down and just use headphones without turning your monitors off by hand. just total and complete FAIL on release.

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