Thinking of buying the Phonic Helix18FW

brsanko

New member
I've been looking at mixers and interfaces and I can't find anything at anywhere near the price that offers as many features and capabilities. Is there any reason I shouldn't buy this board, sound quality, build quality, software, ect? Thanks for your input.
Brett R. Sanko
 

Kevin Deschwazi

Well-known member
I haven't used it.

In this day and age though truly awful (as in noisy, grainy sounding) gear is pretty rare. With new IC opamps and converters it's pretty cheap and easy to put a recording device together that will record relatively clean sounding tracks if you use them properly (eg. don't record too hot, don't push cheap mic preamps/converters too hard etc.).

It's not going to give you jaw dropping sound quality, I guess you assumed as much yourself given the price. I'd be confident though that if it's used well and assuming everything else is good (instruments, recording environment, mic technique etc.) it would be capable of quite respectable results given the price.

As I said I haven't used it so that would be my best guess given my experience of other cheap gear. Build quality and failure rate could be an issue, as well as driver stability.

Have you tried a search here for opinions from people that have used phonic stuff?
 

brsanko

New member
I did a search of the model and only came up wth two brief mentions of it. I didn't try a general search of the brand. I'll do that.
 

Vagodeoz

One-Man-Band
Did you check out the Alesis Multimix FW 16?
A friend got the 8 channel Usb 1.1 versions, and is great. The one I posted has about the same features as the phonic I think.

I have also been researching the analog mixer/firewire interface combo. But I decided not to upgrade, until someone puts DA converters for all the channels. That way you can mix with your board using your pc only as a multitrack recorder and maybe for some plugins and FX.
 

liv_rong

Knows very little
Did you check out the Alesis Multimix FW 16?
A friend got the 8 channel Usb 1.1 versions, and is great. The one I posted has about the same features as the phonic I think.

I have also been researching the analog mixer/firewire interface combo. But I decided not to upgrade, until someone puts DA converters for all the channels. That way you can mix with your board using your pc only as a multitrack recorder and maybe for some plugins and FX.

i know this is not the adds section but, funny you mention that board, im am about to put mine on ebay. it is two months old and in mint condition. i had trouble setting it up right on my computer, i would get audio drop outs. worked ok on a friends computer, but didnt use it for long on his, just tested it. it has all original packaging and two extra xlr cables brand new, the cubase it came with never installed. i was going to start bids at $240 plus shipping. sorry to jack your thread man;)
 

MCI2424

New member
I've been looking at mixers and interfaces and I can't find anything at anywhere near the price that offers as many features and capabilities. Is there any reason I shouldn't buy this board, sound quality, build quality, software, ect? Thanks for your input.
Brett R. Sanko

Generally, Phonic makes Behringer look professional. Get a used board if you need something decent.
 

kojdogg

bollocks redux!
fwiw a couple of other phonic interfaces have gotten some good press in recent issues (the current issues, i believe) of sound on sound and recording. the reviews are pretty positive, but phonic advertises in both magazines i believe, so you have to factor that in.
 

brsanko

New member
Thanks for your input everybody. I just saw the Alesis board right before I read the post. It's a little more expensive but if the quality is better I might go with that. It'll be a few more months before I have the money so I'll missout on the ebay auction but it'll give me a little more time to do my research.
 

brsanko

New member
This product is no longer available at zZounds.

The Alesis 16 is discontinued. Amazon still has a couple but it's gonna be while before I get my money so I'll probably miss out. zZounds still has the 12 and 8 but I really want 16 channels. Besides these board will only record at 48khz I really want 96khz capability heck 192khz would be even better I have softrware for burning my own DVD-A discs and it would be nice to take advantage of it's capabilities.
 

MOFO Pro

Opinions are like SM-57s
I really want 96khz capability heck 192khz would be even better I have softrware for burning my own DVD-A discs and it would be nice to take advantage of it's capabilities.
In this price range...it's not going to make a difference... not at all... never
 

brsanko

New member
Just recording my records or from my reel to reel with my Audigy 2 card I can here a definite difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96 I would think recording from a live performance the gulf would be even larger. Unless you mean a difference between 96 and 192 then you may be right I don't know I haven't listened to much 192 stuff to compare.

Anyways I think I'm gonna spend a bit more and get the MOTU 24I/O Core Computer Recording System for $1420 and a 16-24 channel anolog mixer insted I'm just curious how much I would have to pay for the mixer to reach a good bit of the potential of the interface. Could I get by with something cheap like the Behringer SL2442FXPRO Eurodesk 24-Channel Mixer($380)? Or would that be a waste of a good interface? I would eventually buy a good quality mic preamp for vocals and acoustic instruments.
 

bigwillz24

New member
waste of a decent interface. careful with those motu's there drivers are picky about which pc they want to work on.
 

therage!

Wicked Machine
Anyways I think I'm gonna spend a bit more and get the MOTU 24I/O Core Computer Recording System for $1420 and a 16-24 channel anolog mixer insted I'm just curious how much I would have to pay for the mixer to reach a good bit of the potential of the interface. Could I get by with something cheap like the Behringer SL2442FXPRO Eurodesk 24-Channel Mixer($380)? Or would that be a waste of a good interface? I would eventually buy a good quality mic preamp for vocals and acoustic instruments.

brsanko,

What exactly are you going to be recording? It really comes down to just how many inputs you need and how you want to mix. Your at a price point where your going to saddle a decent interface with a crappy mixer. With that setup you will most certainly want to mix in the box so you will only be using the mixer for it's pre's and routing.

I've struggled for awhile on getting a new interface (my setup was Delta 1010 and an Alesis Studio 24 mixer) and when I came across the new Yamaha mixers (N12/N8) I finally figured out the N12 is a perfect solution for may home recording people. I got an N12 without hearing one in person and I was nervous until I sang into one of the preamps and I am totally impressed.

A lot people (I've been there) doing home recording get hung up on I/O and tend to overkill and go buy more expensive interfaces and mixers and they never come close to utilizing all the I/O. A lot of people (I'm not saying you) when starting out do not get the grasp right away on routing and really...bussing. That's why in many cases a smaller I/O interface and mixer will work perfectly.

I'm going to throw the Yamaha N12 out there as a recommendation for you. At $1500 you are getting excellent converters and damn nice preamps and Yamaha's Rev X reverb which I have discovered over the past week smokes any reverb plugins I have, which are the ones built into Sonar Producer and Cubase AI. This reverb sounds more natural than any plug I've heard, but of course this is all subjective. The N12 also has a really good built in compressor that has really surprised me too.

To be honest when you consider how the N12 is integrated with Cubase (and most of that integration works with other programs like Sonar and Reaper) the smaller N8 would be perfectly fine for most people. I chose the N12 to have enough pre's for miking drums. If you don't need that an N8 would be ideal and for $1,000 you are NOT going to BEAT the sound quality, period. Perhaps you could match it but when you consider getting that Yamaha reverb and compressor in the deal it's hard to beat. I don't see any company that has a mixer like the N12/N8. You could get a Mackie with their firewire card, but the N12 converters are way above them and your not going to get outstanding reverb with a Mackie.

Let me know if you have any question on the N8/N12. I'm new to it but just cannot get over the sound quality on these units. And one other nice little thing is I don't have any cables running all over except for what I plug into a preamp or insert.

http://www.yamahasynth.com/products/n8n12/features.html
 

Vagodeoz

One-Man-Band
You might also check out Mackie's Onyx. They have a firewire card upgrade, and I have heard only good comments about them.
 

brsanko

New member
The N12 looks awesome but I was thinking I'd like more inputs I'd like to be able to mic a whole band including the drum kit. But hey I'm totally new to this so I don't really know if this is even how it's done. Maybe I could have a seperate mixer for the drums or even just a preamp and mix several drum mics down to one track I don't know. I think I need to research technique a little more before deciding on equipment. I'd like to figure out how many inputs I really need. I'll most likely be recording rock bands but I have a lot of friends who are into a wide variety of music so I want to be flexible. I will definitely have a full drum kit(thinking of taking drum lessons myself), and also I have a 2 channel reel to reel that I would like to run the live mix to sometimes. Like you said I would only be using the mixer for the preamps and so I could route a mix to the reel to reel, my final mixing would be done on the computer. Is there a relatively inexpensive mixer that has good preamps that would work well the the Motu, or maybe the Yamaha would be the right solution for me? keep the comments coming I'm all ears.
 

Nakatira

That Norwegian Bastard
I`ve had a few Phonic units in my store, mostley P.A stuff.

and let me tell you if its working its ok, but they have a tendency to come with flaws.

Its very few products that I`ve had that can compete with Phonic return rate, allmost every second unit has to be returned.

I`d be carefull.

IMO, they are around the same quality as Behringer, wich is kinda dogdy:)
 

therage!

Wicked Machine
The N12 looks awesome but I was thinking I'd like more inputs I'd like to be able to mic a whole band including the drum kit. But hey I'm totally new to this so I don't really know if this is even how it's done. Maybe I could have a seperate mixer for the drums or even just a preamp and mix several drum mics down to one track I don't know. I think I need to research technique a little more before deciding on equipment. I'd like to figure out how many inputs I really need. I'll most likely be recording rock bands but I have a lot of friends who are into a wide variety of music so I want to be flexible. I will definitely have a full drum kit(thinking of taking drum lessons myself), and also I have a 2 channel reel to reel that I would like to run the live mix to sometimes. Like you said I would only be using the mixer for the preamps and so I could route a mix to the reel to reel, my final mixing would be done on the computer. Is there a relatively inexpensive mixer that has good preamps that would work well the the Motu, or maybe the Yamaha would be the right solution for me? keep the comments coming I'm all ears.

Depending on what you really need for I/O and if the N12 then if you can fit it in get something like an Allen & Heath Mix Wizard. If you want some decent pre's it's going to be hard on the low budget mixers. But you can always buy better gear. Also, Soundcraft makes some nice mixers but even the Yamaha MG series will do.
 

brsanko

New member
I think I'm gonna go with the Motu interface and look for a mixer on ebay. I should be able to get something nice for about $300 including shipping. What brands are good?
 
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