Mobile rig for classical music

Michael440

New member
I'm planning to have a rack that is relatively portable, for recording classical guitar and occasionally chamber ensembles. I have a pair of Neumann KM184 for miking the guitar, and one AKG C414 XLII for voice, and sometime for MS. Until now I have used the Focusrite Saffire 56 liquid, but it's not being supported anymore (long story short... I kept a 2011 MacBook without any updates just to record with it... but now it crashed).

My budget is about 500 and I would like to ask for advice about these options:

1. Selling the Focusrite and buying a Zoom F6 - for the 32-bit floating, which will make the setup much easier. Plus I like the idea of not needing a laptop at all (and no drivers that will fail in the future). The word "field" sounds like a pure advantage, even if I stay indoor. But can the peamps quality match the alternatives?

2. Selling the Focusrite and buying an RME Fireface UC (used) - because of the preamp-hype, and because the company is likely going to update the drivers.

3. Keeping the Focusrite, getting a cheap interface (which one?) with ADAT i/o, updating my Focusrite Saffire 56 to standalone mode, and plugging it via the interface to my new laptop, hoping that the eight channels will be available should I ever need them.

4. Same as 3, but with a class-compliant AI and ADAT connectivity, that will allow me to record with the Focusrite to a mobile device. This one may be my invention - I don't know if more than one channel can be recorded by a mobile device in OTG mode, and I have no experience with Android or iOS DAWs.

5. Selling the Focusrite and getting a mid-range (whatever that means) newer interface with four preapms that is windows-compatible

6. I'm happy to learn about any other ideas you may have.

Thanks in advance!
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
Contemporary interfaces are all pretty good, so if you go down the path of new interface, anyone of them would do the job. I bought a Behringer UMC1820 as a stand by (and also out of curiosity), and it has performed just fine.

The Zoom F6 is a good option for laptop-less field recording, but its very compact design, though very handy, is ergonomically unsatisfying.
 

Michael440

New member
Contemporary interfaces are all pretty good, so if you go down the path of new interface, anyone of them would do the job. I bought a Behringer UMC1820 as a stand by (and also out of curiosity), and it has performed just fine.

The Zoom F6 is a good option for laptop-less field recording, but its very compact design, though very handy, is ergonomically unsatisfying.
Thanks a lot! Which devices are true standalone recorders? I know about the Zoom F series, SD mixpre and RME UFX.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
The TASCAM Series of Mixer/USB Model 24 unit for example, has my attention...but not sure , havent had one.
It does Interface and has a SD type Recorder built in.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I used Zoom recorders for a few years. I would get the F6 without hesitation. Just transfer from SD card to your DAW. The preamps are excellent, IMO. I had an F8 and still have my F8n, but haven't used it but once in the past year. You know, that "field" thing kind of went away, and I won't do clubs anymore - where I did much of my recording.

You don't say what the specific use [classical] cases are, but unless you're doing the 1812 with live cannon, I don't think 32-bit float it's really an advantage for classical music, unless you've really set mics badly. But, the recorder is pretty close to your price range. You'll want/need external batteries to really give you flexibility in setting up, plus a snake can be useful.

p.s. I don't think there's a standalone recorder with preamps in the Zoom F6/F8n class.
 
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