Thunderbolt interfaces

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Thunderbolt interfaces

Post by kayagum » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:15 am

First post in years!

I sold my primary mixer this week (Allen &Heath ZED R16) to a guy eager to use it with his synth gear, glad it went to a good home.

I’m finally going to get a full on interface, and sounds like Thunderbolt interfaces may be the ticket. I’m stripping down my basement to the cinderblocks to get at the water issues (ubiquitous in St Paul) so I’m thinking a portable setup would be nice.

What’s everybody’s opinion on what’s out there? UA, Apogee, Focusrite Clarett, RME? 4 inputs minimum, 8 ideal. Lightpipe is nice but not necessary.
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Re: Thunderbolt interfaces

Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:31 am


I would insert a wrench in your idea, and recommend Dante equipped interfaces, via ethernet.

Far more flexible, scalable, and mobile.

I have the Focusrite RedNet stuff, and it is stellar. One RedNet2 and one HD32R (or whatever its called).

The RedNet 2 connects to my laptop via ethernet, and gives me up to 16 IO. 2 rackspaces,
which might be too big for you, but it is very very good imho.

The other box is to interface between the RedNet 2 and Pro Tools HD cards. ... interfaces
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Re: Thunderbolt interfaces

Post by kslight » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:48 pm

I love my Motu 1248, but actually run it over usb because my old Mac Pro doesn’t have thunderbolt.

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Re: Thunderbolt interfaces

Post by Magnetic Services » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:45 am

kslight wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:48 pm
I love my Motu 1248, but actually run it over usb because my old Mac Pro doesn’t have thunderbolt.
MOTU is the shit. The AVB routing system is ingenious, and I also run it over usb because I haven't invested in a Thunderbolt card for my PC. I just wish they'd waited for USB 3.0 and added that. The converters are excellent as well, but I've never been a snob for that stuff and I probably couldn't tell the difference between these and Burls or whatever anyway.

Maybe I'm resentful of Focusrite because my name is Dante, but I definitely prefer AVB. It's an open standard so you know it's stable and isn't as susceptible to industry whims or proprietary bullshit as Dante is.

I know you can connect these interfaces to your computer via ethernet, but I don't have the hub so I need the ethernet ports to allow my 16A and Monitor 8 to talk to each other. Thunderbolt or USB is what's meant to connect the "master" unit to the computer, then everything else streams audio over ethernet.

For the OP I'd suggest the 1248; it gives you 4 preamps and a lot of line ins/outs so you can use other mic pres as well. Plus 2 headphone outs, guitar input, all that stuff that's good for home setups.

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Re: Thunderbolt interfaces

Post by alexdingley » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:59 pm

I’ve been using the Focusrite Claret 8pre for a little over a year. I mostly use it for spoken-word location recordings; not for music recording. It’s stable and sounds perfectly usable, but I’m not a huge fan of the software control panel.

That said, my studio rig centers around an antelop Orion 33+ and their gear sounds great, works flawlessly, and the built-in FX processing + onboard mix/routining capabilities are amazing.

FWIW— After my next live comedy album recoding date (tomorrow), I’m going to sell the Claret and get a new Antelope Discrete 8 for future location recordings.

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Re: Thunderbolt interfaces

Post by calaverasgrandes » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:18 pm

The Apollo 8 I bought last month is outstanding. So much so that I just went in for a 2nd one so I can have 16 ins and outs (with capability to go to 32/32 easily).
If you are on a Mac with Thunderbolt, it's a no brainer. The software, driver and registration are friction free. The plugins are pretty darn decent as well. And now with better resolution, I can actually hear what they are doing!
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