I'm looking to buy an audio interface for my basic recording needs. I mainly produce video but I also record a lot of audio for audioguides in a museum setting. I've narrowed my choice to these three candidates which seem to strike the right balance between features and price; the Presonus Firebox, the Edirol FA-66 and the M-Audio Fast Track Pro (USB). Most of my recordings are one voice at a time so don't need multiple inputs. I'm mainly looking for the cleanest, quietest interface. Any experiences, insights and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
I would recommend going with the Presonus Firebox. It's not quite as pretty as its M-Audio or Edirol counterparts, but for clarity of audio and dynamic range it beats the rest. I don't know where your audio will end up, but if you are in need of a recording application the included Cubase LE works like a charm for what you mentioned you'll be doing.
I have used both the M-Box Fast Track Pro and the Presonus Firebox side-by-side. I was asked to assist in choosing what would be the standard issue interface to the students as a consultant to a local music school. We started with the Fast Track and the Firebox side-by-side. We recorded several sources [vocals, acoustic guitar, woodwind?] through each with both a dynamic as well as a condenser mic (if memory serves I was handed an SM57 as a dynamic for both musical sources and vocal sources, and an AKG C414B for musical sources and a Studio Projects C1 for vocal sources). If I can locate my specific notes on the results I'll post more specifics, but the end result was that we opted for the Firebox. We did test an Edirol unit (not sure if it was the FA-66 or the UA-25EX). However, it was a bit of an after thought and was not tested under the same control. I guess to be completely honest then I can't be 100% on my recommendation of the Firebox over the Edirol since I have never put the two side-by-side. Also, there were a few other boxes in the mix for the test, but I don't remember exactly which - vaguely I'd say they were an Alesis, a Tascam, and perhaps and EMU.
I didn't intend for my post to seem purely opinion with little empirical evidence. In the future I'll attempt to more clearly define my reason for a particular preference.
And thanks for your many posts sharing lots of wisdom and experience with everyone here in the community. I've definitely gained from reading through your responses to different threads here.
Thanks for the nice thoughts and...the rest of the story. Your syntax and use of adjectives caught my ear in a weird way and some flags came up.
I like being pretty careful about making sure this board doesn't become the repository for hyperbolic posts made for a product by folks who work in some way for the company. Likewise, when someone dumps on something, I want to make sure they aren't from the competition
I fight the issue with the reviews I write. Mfgrs would like me to be more effusive (if it's about THEIR gear), but somehow :) seem to have a problem with glowing reviews of other mfgrs. As might be expected, they also don't care for much criticism of their ow.
Thanks for this. I'm definitely looking for clean audio over bells and whistles and I'll add your vote for the Presonus. I've posted on a few other audio forums and this unit seems to be garnering the most recommendations.