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Old February 25th, 2005, 08:59 AM   #1
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Which external interface device to choose for direct laptop recording

I am looking to use my windows laptop as a means of capturing sound directly from the set or field into my hard drive (to synch with video later in post). I have a few interface choices but being new to this particular area I would like to get some input on which to choose and why. The choices I have seen so far are the Edirol FA-66 (6 channel with midi, xlr, firewire, $380, etc.), edirol AU-25 (2 channels, midi, xlr, USB, $250, etc) the M-box (2 channel dedicated for pro tools use only, midi, xlr, USB, $470, etc), the Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio (4 channel, midi, xlr, Cubase LE audio and MIDI recording software, USB, $300, etc). Doubtless there are others, but these seem to be a good representation of the ones under $500). The types of recordings I plan to do include things such as recording of actors on set from mic directly into the laptop (some boom and some wireless), extended interviews, some Foley work (but I could use a portable dat or mini-disc for this), and some limited music recordings (very limited for now). I will edit and mix possibly using goldwave, audition, or maybe acid (which I am new to so I do not know if it is useful for capture and edit). So gang which of these (if any do you recommend and why), feel free to offer alternative solutions or devices. Oh... I am using an athlon 64 laptop with 80gb hd and 512mb ram, AC 97 audio (this can change if need be).
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Old February 25th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #2
 
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None of those would be my first choice, but I've only had experience with the Mbox and the Au25. Both were not up to snuff for me.
When I need multiple channel I/O I use the Echo or the M-Audio products. I've got firewire from M-Audio, works great, I've got Cardbus input from Echo, works even better. So, it boils down to what you need for numbers of inputs. USB typically sucks due to how the protocol is processor intensive, and in the field with a laptop, that's not a good option. Firewire or cardbus are the more reliable answers. Both M-Audio or Echo can be powered via the Firewire bus, so you don't need to worry about power. The Lexicon would be my next choice down, BTW. They are known for great tools.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 09:55 AM   #3
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I have limited exposure with M-audio and none with echo. Someone suggested the 410 from M-audio, but again I am open to any specific suggestions. The Lexicon does market itself as a stem to stern device but I am concerned that it is strictly for desktop use (as well as the USB power issue). So given what I intend, which ones either from M-audio, Echo, or others do U suggest I look at.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 11:51 AM   #4
 
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I'm a fan of the M-audio 410 and 810, but more than that I love the Layla by Echo. I've recorded everything from bar bands to the 3 Tenors with the Echo boxes.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks man...I will look into it.
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