Advice: going oldMac interface or sticking to old multitrack



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Advice: going oldMac interface or sticking to old multitrack

Postby hangwire » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:08 am

Hello everyone,

So looking for some advice from people that are more currently knowledgeable about home recording to eliminate some steps and/or spending money that doesn't need to be spent.

I have an old Fostex digital 8 track with a memory card that can hold up to 250+ minutes of audio. Been toying around with recording things that may lead to a small 2 piece band getting tight enough to play live shows. Simple room mic recording primarily with a skeleton drum kit and guitar. vocals on a 2nd mic as things develop.

I also have my Macbook 5,1 that was recently cheaply upgraded with 8G Ram and a 1T SSD which has it running fairly well now for how ancient this thing is. Well enough that has me questioning if I should trade in the Fostex at the local Music Go Round for a USB interface and do this recording in Garageband. I believe the macbook uses a 2.0Ghz processor. In my head the ability to record/edit easier and on a screen, rather than in a multi track which then needs to transfer the wav file via USB into the macbook/garageband to share is a better way to do this.

However, those that are recording I hope can offer their real application experience before I start using money and time that will be wasted if that is not the case due to the macbook's age and limitations not working with current interface specs? Brief research has me seeing USB1.1 vs USB2 differences with latency and speed of recording... but is that old 2.0 gHz going to be the issue regardless of what I get even though the new ram and SSD has this decade old thing seemingly faster than my friend's 2 year old PC laptop.

These are used interfaces at the local music go round...

cheapies:
Art USB Dual Pre Computer Interface $29.99
Apogee JAM 96K USB Audio Interface $39.97 <--- this is just a cable and a 1/4" jack hub
Behringer U-PHORIA UMC22 USB Audio Interface $44.99

lots for $70:
Presonus Audiobox iOne Computer Interface $69.99
Mackie ONYX-BLACKJACK Computer Interfaces 44.1khz Sample Rate $69.99
Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Interface $69.99
Presonus AUDIOBOX USB Computer Interfaces 44.1khz Sample Rate $69.99 <--- there are like 7 of these in either blue or black, but with 5 knobs on the face... not sure is that is a good or bad sign

and one where I would have to trade more in than just the Fostex:
Focusrite Scarlett 2I2 Computer Interface $99.99


thanks for any advise... please ask follow up questions.
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Re: Advice: going oldMac interface or sticking to old multit

Postby crochambeau » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:10 pm

I had an old digital home studio thing, pretty sure it was a Fostex. I wound up selling it at a garage sale a few years ago, but only because I had/have other options for recording...

...mind you, all of my options include a mixing board type of front end, which is invaluable in my particular work flow. I would be troubled, personally, going fully in the box for every aspect of signal manipulation (but by some accounts, I'm an old man, so... grain of salt).

I guess where I'm going with that is, make sure you're willing to take on the trade offs that come with change. I also don't know what the going rate of the digital studios are, but would expect trade in value to be pitiful unless someone famous has recently used one to good effect, so it might be worth it to hang onto the Fostex and allocate bottle and can money to a cheapish USB interface.

Then running them simultaneously you are better armed to compare the experiences within your own work flow.
D.o.S. wrote:This thing is like the Blue Box on the amount of acid that lands you in the ER pretending to play it straight while you try and ignore the fact that the walls are dripping oil.


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Re: Advice: going oldMac interface or sticking to old multit

Postby hangwire » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:53 pm

Good point. With how I would be using the Fostex it seems it would be similar to just a 2 input interface... but I value other people's leg work prior to making a plan so I don't have to repeat mistakes. I think I could get any of the "cheapies" list straight up for the Fostex, and the $70 ones I would throw in just a bit of cash to even it out. But if those cheapies are noisy from other people experience or outdated and to be avoided, or those Presonus being bad in some way which is why there are so many of them available and the cheapies are actually better , that type of advice would greatly benefit me at this point
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Re: Advice: going oldMac interface or sticking to old multit

Postby crochambeau » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:51 pm

I have an old PCI card Echo Audio interface that still serves me well, so I am unable to weigh in on the selection you are presented with.
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Re: Advice: going oldMac interface or sticking to old multit

Postby Psyre » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:00 pm

If I grasping the situation correctly, I'd say use the Fostex for the next uear. Get familiar with it's deficits and what options/workflow changes you would appreciate having. This also gives you time to save up and make sure you even enjoy being responsile for tracking your projects.

There's no experience with the Fostex that can't be applied to whichever route you take next. I wouldn't recommend settling on your next tracing purchase, be it one of the new tascam tracking console options or an interface (your computers specs are easily good enough for 6-8 tracks I'd say) you will always want twice as much I/O as you consider yourself wanting right now.

One last reason for keeping the fostex, if you upgrade and that system goes down for whatever reason, you never want to he without thr means to track when the time comes and plans are made to record.
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Re: Advice: going oldMac interface or sticking to old multit

Postby hangwire » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:31 pm

Just an update for anyone that find this thread that a craigslist Focusrite Scarlett 2I2 came up at a price that i sold the Fostex at which has been working very very well to this point.
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