Echo Digital Audio designed the AudioFire 12 for both home and professional studios where you already have mic pre-amps & DI boxes and all you really need to do is get the audio digitized and into your DAW.
One of our readers, Sue R, said we should review the AudioFire 12, and although it was a bit further down on the list we had planned, she made some good points about it so I bumped it to the top of the list today.
Here's part of what Sue had to say about it:
"I've used it for almost 2 years with no problems and went from Vista 32 bit to Win 7 64 bit and all I had to do was pull up the AudioFire console and click on update. All the needed drivers were simply installed."
That's right - it's a FireWire interface which runs on both Mac and PCs - here are the system requirements:
The AudioFire 12's key feature is of course the 12 pairs of balanced ¼ inch TRS inputs and outputs - recording on 12 channels simultaneously is enough to suit most moderate studio set ups. By the way - you can also plug unbalanced TRS cables in if you want to.
Of course you don't have to use it at the maximum 192kHz sampling rate - it also supports 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz.
The digital mixing software which comes with it has also been very well received with the ability to operate on-board at 32-bit/1.6 gigaflop DSP with near zero latency hardware monitoring.
Its 128x oversampling converters sound warm and have been compared favorably to the converters in the Apollo 16 by Universal Audio.
- The best value in its class, only ~$50 per input channel.
- You can link 2 of them together for 24 simultaneous ins/outs.
- With the inclusion of MIDI in & outs you can run your entire home studio with this interface.
- Echo's support is well known for their responsiveness and helpfulness in the unlikely event you'll need them.
- You're not limited to using one set of built in mic preamps - you can chose to use different ones depending on what your recording needs.
- Not suitable for musicians who don't have microphone pre-amps or DI boxes for guitar and bass.
- The 192kHz sampling rate is not supported by Windows 7 (but it is on XP, Vista, & Windows 8).
- For some reason it doesn't have a S/PDIF connection - perhaps to keep the cost down - so if you need S/PDIF you'll have to give this a miss.
If you're serious about your studio and you already have, or will soon get, all the mic-pres and DI's you need, then you simply can't beat the bang for your buck that the AudioFire12 delivers.