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Thread: Absolute best interface for Logic Studio? NOT CHEAPEST!

  1. #1
    turboneal is offline Newbie
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    Absolute best interface for Logic Studio? NOT CHEAPEST!

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    What is the absolute best interface for Logic Studio? Not best for $800 or $1000 or even $2000, what is the BEST? Best sound quality, etc.

    With my limited computer knowledge, and searching Musician's Friend, etc the Apogee Ensemble and Mackie Onyx 1200f seem ok, but isn't there something more professional?

    I work "overseas" but eventually want to start a studio among other things. I plan on doing a room treatment in part of the house to start off, but will eventually build or convert to a "real" studio.

    But pretend I had an empty "professional" studio and I needed an interface- what do I buy?

    Next question will be: What board? Are Euphonix and Mackie controllers the best or is there something better? Where are the 50 fader boards I see on "making of" DVDs, etc?

    I will be sinking life savings into this. Do I have dreams of getting rich? No. Please don't waste time trying to convince me to save money or going a budget route, etc. (Although, if each piece of the "best" gear is $50k each, I will have to re-evaluate)

    Thanks in advance for any insight.

    Cheers,

    -Neal

  2. #2
    antichef's Avatar
    antichef is offline pornk rock
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    No perfect answer to that question, as I'm sure you know -- problem is there aren't too many folks around here who can effectively speak on the subject, and I'm certainly not one of them. Also, once you get beyond a certain threshold of quality upon which reasonable people would concur, you get into matters of taste/preference, and those are non-linear, and so don't allow for a "best" designation.

    I can say this, though -- bundling the various functions that an interface provides into an interface always involves some compromises, and so if you don't want to compromise, you should consider not using an interface, and instead building your system out of best-in-class separate components for each of those functions (which still need to function as a system, and so there may be compromises to be made there, too), and you've got some learning to do (and I can't teach you ).

    Just from reading, I can say that Crane Song http://www.cranesong.com/ provides some well regarded components that appear to fit into the model I'm describing - that might be a good place to start inquiring.

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    KineticSound's Avatar
    KineticSound is offline The VOICE
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboneal View Post
    With my limited computer knowledge, and searching Musician's Friend, etc the Apogee Ensemble and Mackie Onyx 1200f seem ok, but isn't there something more professional?
    You won't find the "absolute best" at Musician's Friend. No offense to them, but they're not usually selling to the Hit Factory or Sony Studios. They're selling to the hobbyist or project studio owner. That said, Apogee is about as close as you can come to perfect, IMHO. The Ensemble is a very pro-level unit. The "Symphony" system goes even further.
    Quote Originally Posted by turboneal View Post
    Next question will be: What board? Are Euphonix and Mackie controllers the best or is there something better? Where are the 50 fader boards I see on "making of" DVDs, etc?
    You're probably seeing either large-scale analog consoles, like those from SSL, or you're seeing full-format control surfaces, such as DigiDesign's Control 24 or ProControl. With the exception of perhaps the Control 24, you will not find something like this at a retailer. They're built to order.
    Quote Originally Posted by turboneal View Post
    I will be sinking life savings into this. Do I have dreams of getting rich? No. Please don't waste time trying to convince me to save money or going a budget route, etc. (Although, if each piece of the "best" gear is $50k each, I will have to re-evaluate)
    Not even close. A custom SSL console alone would likely be over $100,000.

    Quote Originally Posted by antichef View Post
    once you get beyond a certain threshold of quality upon which reasonable people would concur, you get into matters of taste/preference, and those are non-linear, and so don't allow for a "best" designation.
    +1 to that. At the level you're describing, your first tasks would be 1. Education: Learn the fundamentals before you go taking money out of the savings account. Not only so that you'll be able to enjoy your hobby more, but also so that you can go into your purchasing stage with enough knowledge about what you want to accomplish and how things will work together. 2. Design: having a collection of amazing gear means nothing if you don't have the proper space arranged in which to utilize it. If you're budget is over $50k, then I would suggest hiring a professional to manage the design and acoustic preparation.

    At whatever level you enter it, this is a hobby and/or business that can be a lot of fun. Please don't take my comments as discouraging, but we all here want you to have a realistic concept of what you're proposing to get into (at the over $50,000 level, I assume this will not be simply a hobby for you). Understand that if this is a business venture, you can achieve great results without the need to blow through hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, the most important priorities are not always the most "fun". We love gear, but the greatest gear in the world needs to be used in the appropriate space with the appropriate level of expertise in order to produce professional results.

    Okay... all that said, I'm going to have a little fun with your proposal. Let's say I had a $50,000 budget and wanted to create a kick-ass pro setup in a dedicated space. Right off the top, $20,000 would go toward design, construction, and acoustic treatment. Then my shopping list might look like:
    1. A completely decked-out Mac Pro. I think there's an 8-core option now with something like 16GB of RAM. Plus, a secondary hard drive for backup data storage. Add a nice big display, and we'll say we've spent about $5k there. Add Logic Pro 8, and the tab's up another $500.
    2. Apogee converters/preamps. Depending on how many channels I would record at once, I'd probably want 24 channels of good quality conversion. Three Ensemble units would do the job. $2k each.
    3. FW-1884 Control Surface. We'll assume we're mixing in the box and just need a good control surface to streamline workflow (and flying faders to impress the clients). Add two FE-8 expanders to handle our number of tracks. Outlay = around $2,500.
    4. Tannoy Reveal monitors. Just for the near field monitoring. About $1,200 for a pair. Plus another $4-5k for some custom monitors built into the control room... maybe Adam's or similar.
    5. Neumann U-87. "Marquee" microphone. $2k.
    6. Collection of good quality mic's for various uses: Shure KSM-32, KSM-27, SM-57 (x6), pair of SM-81's, AKG D112, AT-4033, and maybe a Royer ribbon. Total: $3k.
    7. Avalon AD2022. IMHO, one of the best preamp units I've ever heard. Even though the Apogee's will work for drums, etc., you've got to have at least two really high-end channels. $2k.
    8. Avalon VT-737SP. Something unique; all-around for vocals, DI bass, snare, etc. $1,750.
    9. Argosy console for the FW-1884 (below). Need an ergonomic way to work, plus the "flash factor" for the clients. $1,500.
    10. Lava lamp. $15.

    That comes about an even $50,000 ($20k for design & construction + $30k for the best equipment I can think of). Thanks, that was fun.
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  4. #4
    tojo is offline Force of Nature
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    YES KINETIC SOUND you just made my dream studio.

    although a good part of the fun for me is doing my best with what I can do.

  5. #5
    KineticSound's Avatar
    KineticSound is offline The VOICE
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    We can all dream, right?

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    Dave_M's Avatar
    Dave_M is offline Junior Member
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    I knew I fergot something... must get a lava lamp or two

  7. #7
    Chili's Avatar
    Chili is offline Site Moderator
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    Hey Kinetic, that was fun indeed. My only suggestion is to change the Apogee's for Lavry converters. The OP is looking the absolute best.

  8. #8
    KineticSound's Avatar
    KineticSound is offline The VOICE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    My only suggestion is to change the Apogee's for Lavry converters. The OP is looking the absolute best.
    You know, that wouldn't suck. I think I had enough left over for a better lava lamp, too, and I might swap the Adam monitors for Genelec's. But I digress...

    To the chef's point, though, I agree that you get to a threshold in the home studio market where the quality of the conversion blurs with the individual character of the unit and the tastes of the engineer. Honestly, my ears aren't good enough to tell you the perceived sonic differences between a Lavry unit vs. an Apogee unit vs. U/A, etc., etc. I think that plays back to the original post and antichef's response: There is no best, per se. There are units that meet the threshold of what is considered "great," and then there are subjective differences as to what you prefer beyond that.

    Damn... now I'm sounding serious.

  9. #9
    Chili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KineticSound View Post
    You know, that wouldn't suck. I think I had enough left over for a better lava lamp, too, and I might swap the Adam monitors for Genelec's. But I digress...

    To the chef's point, though, I agree that you get to a threshold in the home studio market where the quality of the conversion blurs with the individual character of the unit and the tastes of the engineer. Honestly, my ears aren't good enough to tell you the perceived sonic differences between a Lavry unit vs. an Apogee unit vs. U/A, etc., etc. I think that plays back to the original post and antichef's response: There is no best, per se. There are units that meet the threshold of what is considered "great," and then there are subjective differences as to what you prefer beyond that.

    Damn... now I'm sounding serious.
    I absolutely agree.... if it is a choice between Apogee and Lavry, the room it was tracked in will be the biggest factor. Money spent on the room will have the greatest impact on the quality of the sound.

  10. #10
    genesisariana is offline Money is no object!
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    APOGEE.


    noticed that was followed by a period!!!

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