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Old May 12th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
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Help with Altering My Audio Setup

Hello,

Let me start by saying audio is very important to me. I don't need the exotic high-end stuff, but would prefer to stay above the lower level.

I shoot & edit my own projects along with live events, so I am not working with Spielberg!

I have been using a Firewire 410 for many years with my computer setup (PC) and it has been fine. For some reason it has started clicking & poping randomly. (tried everyhting under the sun, decided to move on, please withold any tech support!) So I am looking for a new USB audio interface.

Here are my priorities:

1) Great D/A conversion audio quality
2) 1/4" outputs for 2.1 speaker setup
3) USB
4) Preamps (see below)

I would only need Pre-amps to record VO once and a while and I have a 4-channel Mackie mixer which could be used for the mic.

What would be your opinion - Mixer preamps vs Sound Card Preamps?

If the mixer is equal or better than many audio interface preamps that would eliminate the need for any XLRs on the sound card. I also run two channels of audio from my Canopus NX video editing card to the M-Audio right now, so that would favor the external mixer setup as well.

So my main focus is audio quality during playback and editing. I would like to improve from the Firewire 410 if possible although it has been fine.

Thanks for your input!
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: Help with Altering My Audio Setup

The Firewire 410 is decent, the popping and clicking noises are likely a settings/driver/PC issue,. Have you tried uninstalling and re-installing the 410s latest drivers?
Without spending a lot of $, I would recommend the new SD MixPre-D which has great pre-amps and supports USB, though it may not be the best answer for studio based desktop I/O.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Re: Help with Altering My Audio Setup

Agreeing with Rick, there's nothing wrong with a FW 410, it's very worth the time to get it going again. There's no guarantee you won't see pops, clicks, etc. with a new interface!

In addition to driver updates, or perhaps rolling back Win7 to the legacy firewire driver (a known issue, search for it), increasing buffer sizes in the M-Audio controls and/or your favorite editing program may be all that's needed.

Sorry for the unwanted tech support, but when you ask people's advice, you're gonna' get what *they* think you need!

I'm using Echo Mia cards in a couple desktop builds, stereo in/out at line-level balanced, which interfaces with pro audio equipment very well. For a "walk-around" interface, I use an M-Audio MobilePre usb box, it does fine, and the preamp is OK, but I've never benchmarked it against my analog gear. It's inexpensive, and M-Audio has newer models, too.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
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Location: Arlington, TX
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Re: Help with Altering My Audio Setup

Thanks for your replies. I am thinking the pops are firewire related, so switching to a USB interface would solve any issues. So far I have:

-unsintalled/resintalled drivers
-installed a new beta driver
-tried the firewire on three different 1394 ports/cards
-adjusted buffers/latency etc...
-Windows 7 firewire drivers, legacy etc...

I see USB as a better choice going forward as Windows has left Firewire in the dust imho. Especially since USB 3.0 is here.

Any opinions on the Mackie external mixer vs internal preamp?
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: Help with Altering My Audio Setup

I have a Mackie 1640 Onyx with the FW option, but it takes up a lot of desk space.
Like Seth I normally I use an internal Echo Mia, The Mia sounds good, is very stable and switchable -10 / +4dB I/O via 1/4" TS or TRS balanced.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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Re: Help with Altering My Audio Setup

After being an internal card person for years - I now use Tascam multitrack A/D, and for my laptop - a Lexicon Omega. I can't praise either enough. I used to use a 16 in 16 out Soundscape which had PCI cards, external audio units and lots of ribbon cables - but the two modern ones are so much quieter. Turning levels up on all the internal devices I have had reveals digital noise - mostly bus noise, so my outside devices win hands down!
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