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Audio interface advice


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Hi all,


I'm looking for an audio interface, for 2 use cases: multi-channel playback and live recording.

For multi-channel playback (mainly theatre tracks & effects), I need a minimum of 4 line outputs in order to handle 2 stereo channels - this would then be patched into the desk.

For live recording, I'd be patching into the direct outs on whatever desk was being used - this is for recording acoustic duos etc at open mic nights and similar, so a minimum of four line inputs would be nice.


A mic input would be handy, but not essential, but from initial searching they all have a couple.


The problem I'm having is finding something with 4 line inputs and 4 outputs - many "4 input" boxes seem to have a couple of mic/instrument combo inputs and a couple of additional line inputs. Instrument inputs aren't necessary - if I do ever have the need to record guitar or whatever without a desk, I possess DI boxes.


Also, there doesn't really seem to be anything between 2in/2out and 8+ in/out devices.


Something like the old Edirol UA101 would fit the bill, but is slightly OTT...


I don't have a specific budget per se, but I'm not looking to spend the contents of my savings account on a device which is primarily to make my life easier and help out some friends. Circa £250 would be nice, and I'm happy to buy second-hand kit.


Any advice gratefully received.

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I use a Focusrite Saffire 8i6, which I think should fit the bill. 2 line inputs on the front as combo XLR/jacks. 2 Jack line inputs on the back. 4 Jack line outputs. They're a really nice piece of kit and I've made some really good recordings in a similar configuration to what you describe.

The only down-side I've found is that it's not bus powered, so you have to use the supplied external psu, which isn't a particularly nice unit - feels quite cheap and OEM!

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The Zoom R16 might fit the bill? Can be bought new for around £250, and can bring in a few mics (only two with Phantom) in a pinch. Mic pres sound surprisingly good from the recordings I've heard that were made with the device, found by searching Soundcloud and others.


Could be used standalone without a computer, so for simple recording jobs you just bring the one box and stream the inputs straight to an SD card, in what looks like a reasonable format for easy input to a computer for later editing if you don't want to mixdown on the device itself. With a computer it can be a USB interface, AND a basic remote mixing control surface for your DAW software. Looks like it needs batteries or external mains though...

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Wow, that was quick, thanks!


Cedd - I don't seem to be able to find the Saffire 8i6, but the Scarlett 8i6 looks very similar from your description. It looks pretty much spot on - apart from the cheap & nasty PSU, which I guess I'm resigned to as I don't have a Firewire port :P



The Zoom R16 isn't really what I'm looking for, but it looks an interesting product and I appreciate that it was a bit of a curve ball.



I'd spotted the Presonus box in my initial search as I've used some of their kit before, but it only has 2 line ins, as does the Motu one.


I'll see if anyone else has anything to add, but I'm currently leaning heavily towards the Focusrite unit.

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