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Author Topic: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20  (Read 732 times)

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rnolan

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New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« on: Time Format »

Since my win xp machine died  :facepalm: and thus disenfranchised me from my pro tools  and thus digi 001, I've been without descent I/O and stuck with using the on board realtech crap AD/DA that's built into many pcs blah  :facepalm: it's so shit.... (if you have decent monitors...).  So after much recalcitrance/reluctance (on my part, hey I spent thousands on that setup..)  I finally bought a new I/O device (USB is not my preferred connection method but hey, what can you do..).  So I bought a Focusrite 18i20 (as did Harvey IIRC).  So far it's been painful (though not quite as painful as a win98/win xp install of pro tools 5/6 with digi 001).  Well win7 (64bit) seemed ok with it and it let me play some wav files, but the Focusrite Control program (the thingy you need to rout inputs and output etc) didn't want to recognise it WTF. Ended up having to bounce it around a few USB ports until it was happy (it seems to only like USB 2 ports), and finally it works.So I've just played back a few (wav) files with GoldWave, and then VLC. VLC is so shit (from a resolution perspective), with GoldWave there is sooo much more detail.Initial reaction, the Focusrite is very detailed in the midrange (maybe too detailed  :dunno: lacks bottom end IMHO), the pro tools digi 001 (which is very old now) is a better sounding I/O (AD/DA) device as in it just sounds allot better.

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Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

Chip Roberts

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Okay!  Story: I, too, recently updated my interface to a Focusrite and it was a horrible, painful process.  I got the Saffire Pro 24(?) which runs off of Firewire.  That said, I bought a Firewire card and installed it, plugged everything in and the piece of crap MixControl wouldn't recognize the connection.  So after 3 hours of scouring the forums, I arrived at the conclusion that it's general knowledge (which laymen wouldn't know) that my unit will ONLY be recognized by a Firewire card manufactured by Texas Instruments.  First off, that should be CLEARLY written SOMEWHERE that's easy to find that in order for this unit to WORK it NEEDS a TI Firewire card.  I had to go through 8 or 9 different forum chains just to come to that conclusion!  Second, what kind of buyer-friendly system is that!?  Oh, I'm just supposed to ASSUME this unit needs a TI card?

Anyways, I bought ANOTHER Firewire card, installed it, everything worked fine, but occasionally the sound in other applications will crash because Mixcontrol is a piece of crap.  I bought this unit based on the recommendations of my band members who said it has the best mic pres for my price range, but in the future, should I need to update my interface I'll probably stick with Presonus.
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Rack of Back:
MP1 v2.01/ART SGE Mach II/MosValve 1160

Pedalboard:
Boss TU2, Mooer Pitchbox, Boss BF2, Boss CE5, MXR EVH Phase 90, Behringer HB01 Wah/ART X15 Ultrafoot/

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rnolan

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

Hey Chip, thats just crazy, 1 that it has to have a specific firewire card but that they don't tell you  :facepalm: .Also, with the 18i20 it only seems to work (for mix control) if you use a USB port on the computer (and not the USB 3 port), if I used the ports on my external HDD (it has 3 additional USB ports) it didn't recognise it.  Windows was happy with it though, it would play stuff from other programs even when mix control wouldn't work  :dunno: .  Then I discover today that mix control has changed things in my laptop, for the first time ever I now get sound from the external monitor (connected via HDMI), it had never worked before.
And next I have to buy new recording software, I own pro tools (6.4) but it wont work with any non digi design interfaces.  So it's $1000 to buy new pro tools, well at least since my daughter is going to Uni she can buy me the student edition for around $400...
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Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

MarshallJMP

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

It seems TI firewire  chip sets are best for audio. When I bought my tascam DM3200 with the firewire option they told me it was best to use a TI chipset. Seems also to be the case with other cards. So I looked for a motherboard with lots of USB and a TI chipset firewire port.

I also have a focusrite octopre dynamic hooked up via ADAT to the tascam so I can record 24 tracks at once. (I can even go to 32 tracks if I hook up a second octopre).
So audio goes through firewire to my computer (32 in and 32 out @ 24 bit 96 kHz) and I can use all the controls of the DM3200 in cubase via USB. Took some time to set it all up but it works perfect. So I have real knobs and sliders  ;)
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rnolan

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Hey MJMP, good setup  :thumb-up: .  I get by with 8 in/out, I use my Eurorack UB2442 FX desk as the centre piece and do all I/O and monitoring from the desk, so no latency issues.  Also the desk has direct outs (post fader) for the first 8 channels, it's a well thought out desk (with real knobs and faders  :thumb-up: ).
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Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

MarshallJMP

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Well I already need 13 tracks for the drum so 8 won't cut it for me  ;D
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rnolan

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

I get buy with electric kit so 8 is enough to get basic rhythm tracks and a guide vocal. But as you say, for a full kit mike up you need allot more, then stereo guitars etc
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

rnolan

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Update, I took the 18i20 back today, and have a PreSonus 1824 coming instead (and it's USB3 and includes StudioOne DAW).  The Focusrite MixControl is such crap, tiny white text on grey background (someone thought it looked cool but you can't read it), not a very intuitive interface (S/W that is, hardware is fine).  After I finally got it working, it didn't sound that great, quite clinical, not very "musical", allegedly Focusrite's higher end gear is better  :dunno:
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

Chip Roberts

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

Update, I took the 18i20 back today, and have a PreSonus 1824 coming instead (and it's USB3 and includes StudioOne DAW).  The Focusrite MixControl is such crap, tiny white text on grey background (someone thought it looked cool but you can't read it), not a very intuitive interface (S/W that is, hardware is fine).  After I finally got it working, it didn't sound that great, quite clinical, not very "musical", allegedly Focusrite's higher end gear is better  :dunno:

You have chosen wisely, my friend.  This was my first choice, but my peers were urging me towards the Focusrite.  I currently have Studio One Professional and I love it; the preloaded plugins are really good and you can make the tracks pretty colors.  Trying to install third part VSTs is a grotesque misadventure, though.
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Rack of Death:
MP1 v1.38/Alesis Midiverb II/Marshall Valvestate 8004

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MP1 v2.01/ART SGE Mach II/MosValve 1160

Pedalboard:
Boss TU2, Mooer Pitchbox, Boss BF2, Boss CE5, MXR EVH Phase 90, Behringer HB01 Wah/ART X15 Ultrafoot/

Cabinet:
Custom 2X12 with WGS Retro 30/HM75

rnolan

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Re: New I/O day Focusrite 18i20
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

Hey Chip, thanks for the tip re VSTs  :thumb-up: .  It should arrive this week, hoping it's as easy to install as the sales guy says.  Interesting, he says it's USB 3 but when you check the model on their website it says it's USB 2  :dunno: .  So we shall see....
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Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

rnolan

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Update, So new PreSonus Studio 18/24 USB arrived.  Spent last night getting it working.  So lessons learn't, don't take much notice of the instructions, stupidly I did (well it should be a reasonable assumption to follow the instructions  :facepalm: ).  The instructions are really all about the Studio One software (which they call a DAW, this is such BS, a DAW is a dedicated piece of hardware with firmware loaded etc that "just" does DAW, nothing else, not software you load on a computer (a multi purpose multi function thingy)).  Sure a DAW has computer bits in it, but only what it needs to do its job... Anyway my rant for the evening, I know many people call audio recording software on a general purpose computer a DAW (but it's not (or every computer with a sound card/on board audio chip would be a DAW)).Anyway, after stuffing around for hours, registering, installing, downloading the unit still wouldn't work, the windows drivers that windows installs don't work etc.  So by 11:30pm I'm about ready to give up for the night.  Then I discover "Universal Control" on their web site, download and install the latest version of it and suddenly  :whoohoo!: windows recognises the I/O unit and I can use it (with other programs, I chose Gold Wave to play back some songs).  So basically it's all you need to install the drivers and get it going, no registering, stuffing around with Studio One (which has giga bytes you need to down load ~7 IIRC).  So tonight I'll attempt to do "all" the S One downloads again.  Then I need to give S One a go, but I can feel a new Pro Tools purchase may be required (based on the little I've seen so far).

But main thing is how does it sound, well much nicer than the FocusRite, much more musical.  Lacks bottom end though (as did the FocusRite) maybe this is a reaction to peoples (seemingly) total inability to incorporate (and cross over) a sub woofer properly (doof doof to the world  :facepalm: ).  If you are sending anything above 50Hz to your sub you've got it all wrong....
Other down side is one of the ADAT input plastic dust covers is MIA, so just a funny bit of wire (I assume the flip dust cover slips onto  :dunno: ). So may need to take it back and order a new one.
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s
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