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need help - new to computer recording


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I had been running a 24 track ADAT based personal studio up until about 2 yrs ago when I was robbed of all my equipment (bastardos!). I recently decided to take the plunge into the world of computer based recording. I now have a nice iMac and Logic Studio 8, but have no idea how to run it. I know I need some kind of interface to get the signal into the computer, but that's about the extent of my knowledge. Is there a single, all-in-one type firewire interface with built-in XLR inputs that sounds great, or is it better to go into a nice mic pre unit then into an interface? I'm not a professional recording engineer but I am an experienced musician & songwriter and I would rather spend a little kamoosh on good equipment right off the bat than buy something cheap and regret it in a month. By "a little kamoosh", I guess I mean up to maybe 2 grand or so. Any advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Personally, I use the Motu Ultralite, which has 2 XLR-combo mic pres, 6 ins and 8 out, MIDI in and out, and it's firewire and I'm very pleased with it.

A step up from that would be the Apogee Duet (basically anything from Apogee is top notch), which has two mic pres, no MIDI and no second firewire port and that means you cannot daisychain another peripheral to it like an external firewire HD. Some people don't need MIDI so they go for the better converters in the Apogee.

Then we get into the 1k price range and there you have great stuff by Metric Halo or RME and the more expensive Apogee units.

It all depends on the amount of inputs you want and if they all need to be XLR or you're fine with 1/4 inch or if you need MIDI or not. Those are the things that help narrow down the best unit for your needs.

Then you also have to include some good powered monitors to listen to your mixes, I guess you know the rest.

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welcome to the party.

 

If I may go OT for a moment, you really owe it to yourself to get the Logic book by David Nahmani (he runs this site). It's called 'Logic Pro 8 and Logic Express 8', and there's links a plenty on this site for it. Ir really helped me get my head around the basics in a hurry.

 

Previous poster had really good points ....

 

There are cheaper interfaces out there ... it all depends on what you need and where your budgets at.

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