Recommend me an interface for multi-microphone recording (please!)

BobbyJames

Member
Messages
146
Hi there - as the title says, I am looking for an interface (or alternative - I'm not an expert about recording equipment and would be open to other suggestions) that will record pro-quality audio with multiple mics.

I have a scarlett 2i2 at the minute that I have been recording my amp with (one close mic and one room mic), but I'd like an interface that enables me to record with up to 4 mics simultaneously so that I can do some high quality acoustic solo recordings (with a vocal mic, or possibly two, and then two mics for the acoustic)

Any suggestions would be really helpful as I'm looking to get sorted before we go into lockdown 2.0 here in the UK (speaking of which, sending my best to whoever is reading this!)

Thanks in advance!
 

BobbyJames

Member
Messages
146
Budget also isn't a huge issue, although I wouldn't want to be spending over £500 unless it was very special
 
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1,481
4 mics is usually the most I record at once, but I like having an 8-channel interface for flexibility. I've been eyeing the MOTU 828es as an upgrade (currently using Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 which works great but getting long in the tooth). The 828es has two mic pres built in and a bunch of line level I/O which I like, but the 1248 has four mic pres (plus line level I/O).

There's also the UA Apollo rack mount interfaces which have 4+ inputs, but the value there seems to be in the UAD plugins that work on the interface DSP.

Apogee also makes the Quartet, but it seems expensive to me for the I/O you get (esp. compared to the MOTU).
 

BobbyJames

Member
Messages
146
4 mics is usually the most I record at once, but I like having an 8-channel interface for flexibility. I've been eyeing the MOTU 828es as an upgrade (currently using Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 which works great but getting long in the tooth). The 828es has two mic pres built in and a bunch of line level I/O which I like, but the 1248 has four mic pres (plus line level I/O).

There's also the UA Apollo rack mount interfaces which have 4+ inputs, but the value there seems to be in the UAD plugins that work on the interface DSP.

Apogee also makes the Quartet, but it seems expensive to me for the I/O you get (esp. compared to the MOTU).
Looking at the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 - it seems like the sort of thing that I'm looking for and it appears to be seriously versatile. How have you found using it?
 

roverdog

Member
Messages
468
If you are happy with the Focusrite Scarlett, just go up to one of the bigger ones with more inputs.

PC or Mac? If Mac with no budget restrictions, I like the Apollo 4x
 

Endr_rpm

Member
Messages
3,175
I have the Focusrite 18i20, and have used up to 7 mics at a time pretty successfully, even with a pretty standard laptop.

My concern with the SAffire is that firewire is a dying standard, while USB seems to still be holding on, even if the port size changes.
 

BobbyJames

Member
Messages
146
My set-up is Mac running Logic - I’m thinking of going for the Scarlett 18i8 as that would offer four mic inputs (which I could then turn into 6 when running my 2i2 if I ever got around to recording a band) at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, as awesome as the Apollo 4x looks it is perhaps excessive for my current needs!
 

Captngeetch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
904
I run the Behringer UMC1820. 8 Midas Pre’s that are crisp and clean. Built like a tank and affordable. 2 front inputs, 6 on the rear. I’ve run 8 mics through it on acoustic drums with zero issues.
 
Messages
1,481
Looking at the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 - it seems like the sort of thing that I'm looking for and it appears to be seriously versatile. How have you found using it?
It's very cheap right now -- I bought mine new for $250 a few years ago -- and I am successfully running it via a Firewire --> Thunderbolt adapter (actually it takes two adapters, which is kind of ridiculous, but it is very stable on Mac Catalina OS). I mainly use it for the line inputs and DAC, though I occasionally plug a mic into one of the mic pres and they are fine for utilitarian stuff. The pres are definitely a few steps below my outboard Daking and John Hardy pres, but the line inputs are clean enough. The Saffire's line inputs actually run through a line amp so they aren't straight to the converters, but they are clean at unity gain.

The D/A converters are fine for what I do, although I'm really curious to hear what newer, higher end converters sound like. I like that there are two headphone outputs on the front panel.

Overall, it's has been a very dependable workhorse with good feature set. When I do upgrade to a new interface I will keep it around to use as an extra bank of ADAT inputs.

If the Scarlett interfaces are just as dependable with their drivers, then I wouldn't hesitate if it fits the budget. Personally I'm looking for another step up the quality curve when I upgrade.
 




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