RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta

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sada10
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2007/06/07 16:34:15 (permalink)

RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta

I want to know if anyone can give me some idea of how much of an improvement, if any, the converters are on the Apogee than that of the RME.
I am looking to improve the converters and the pres(would like unit to have at least four pres-preferably 8) in my home studio which is why the RME would be my first choice. But if there is significant improvement on the apogee, I guess I could get that for the converters and look to get a seperate unit that would provide me better pres; I think that I would then be able to run my signal through the pres and then send it SPDF to the Apogee for the conversion, at least, I hope I can do this like that-I currently have a firepod, so if I get the Apogee I am going to need to be able use the pres on the firepod, but use the conversion on the Apogee!

X1 Producer;PreSonus Firepod;EVGA: AMD Phenom IIX4 965;DDR3;Win 7 64 CoolWaters- The blood is in the music, but the music is in the water-just drink it; it's yours!
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    rumleymusic
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 16:41:52 (permalink)
    I wouldn't think you would find a significant improvement, if any improvement, by using the apogee. They are both pro interfaces, though if you already had the analog gear and mic pre's, I would say go with the apogee. Since you don't yet, I would suggest the RME,(more of what you need)
    #2
    Frank Haas
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 16:43:02 (permalink)
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    trock8500
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 16:44:43 (permalink)
    well i don't want to say none but i have the FF 800 and i had always heard apogee was soooo much better etc. they did a blind shoot out/test on gearslutz a while back and no one could tell the difference, actually the RME was picked more then the apogee for better sound AND by alot of the people who had apogee's


    at least it made me feel better

    plus the RME is rock solid for me with sonar or any other DAW, support is good and its a nice box
    #4
    someotherguy
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 16:44:49 (permalink)
    Click here.

    Edit: Don't bother - Frank beat me to it. :)
    post edited by someotherguy - 2007/06/07 16:49:07
    #5
    trock8500
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 16:58:13 (permalink)
    damnit, and me to!
    #6
    Jose7822
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 17:00:17 (permalink)
    Hey Sada,

    I see Frank already beat us to it. Going by the samples from the Gearslutz shoot-out I noticed two main differences between the two converters. As you would hear, the Rosetta 800 adds some color to the sound while the FF-800 doesn't color the sound. So the comparison boils down to, do you like the sound to be colored or not? I, chose a clean sound because I could latter change it making this the main reason why I chose the Fireface (I went with the 400 though). This doesn't mean that the Rosetta 800 is inferior by the way which is the point I want to make. They're both of equal quality (meaning high end, even though the FF-800 is cheaper) so just go by what sounds better to you. Good luck with your decision!
    #7
    ohhey
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 17:13:12 (permalink)
    That is a good choice to have.. you simply can't go wrong. I like the RME clear natural sound over the Apogee "color" but that's just me. That's why I use a Lynx card, Lynx is even more like real life then RME to me.

    Other then sound you should consider who has good drivers for Windows is you plan to use them as your sound card. I would say get the RME it's just the known good thing right now. If you want a Rosetta wait and get it later and hook it to the Fireface 800 as an external converter so you can choose from the best of both type converters for the type of track you are recording.

    My dream studio setup with be to have converters in stock like preamps and choose them based on the track.. oh, and a master clock so they all work as one unit. I would have a Lynx Aurora, Apogee Rosetta, RME, Lavry, Mytek, Benchmark, etc all ready to patch any preamp into. Woo Hoo !
    #8
    Jose7822
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 17:23:29 (permalink)
    Those Lavry make me drull--"True -127dB noise floor", "0.00005% Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise"--that's just BAD!
    #9
    j boy
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 18:20:25 (permalink)
    Ah, yes those renowned experts at gearslutz. Anyone who would consult 'gearslutz' for meaningful information is looking for a diamond in the cow patch, pardner.

    Apogee is a step up from RME (sorry, but it's true) and Lavry, Benchmark and Mytek are a step up from that. There are even higher-end converters that mastering houses employ, but you'll find Apogee in a lot of "name" studios. It's a no-brainer.

    Now admittedly, a professional quality recording can be achieved with any of the aforementioned gear, and rarely is the converter the limiting factor. The skill and experience of the engineer has much more bearing on the ultimate success of the deal.

    But please.... gearslutz?
    #10
    Jose7822
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 18:32:36 (permalink)
    j boy,

    Apogee is a step up from RME (sorry, but it's true)


    Sure, ...Apogee is a step up from RME in price (no need to be sorry we know it's true ). Soundquality-wise I personally didn't hear much of a difference to justify it's price compared to the price of the FF-800 in this case (point of diminishing returns).

    There are even higher-end converters that mastering houses employ, but you'll find Apogee in a lot of "name" studios. It's a no-brainer.


    Same as ProTools but it doesn't mean Sonar is not as good or better in some ways, does it?

    But please.... gearslutz?


    I don't see anything wrong with it. I've actually seen a lot of knowledgeable people there.
    #11
    AT
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 22:36:47 (permalink)
    1. Engineering skills are likely to make more of a difference in the end sound result. As stated above, if you can't make a decent recording with good stuff better convertors will only show off bad techniques.

    2. Both these two are pro level equipment - someone may like a unit better but that has more to do with personal taste than sonic quality. I've used the apoggee and they sound wonderful in the studio for R&R, Hip-hop and all the genre's inbetween. The end product sounded fine on my home stereo and in the car. And funny, I haven't had any problem with stuff I know has been recorded on the FF800.

    3. While engineers will argue until the band goes home about which convertor or preamp or mic to use, many musicians and most consumers can't tell the difference at the end of the day. There was a thread at Gearstlutz where more engineers picked the echo 12 over either one of the more expensive units. I'm sure the echo sounds fine - we are really talking about the last 5% of the sound here. Mic position or a small difference in level has a greater effect on the sound, I would think.

    The FF800 is great and cheaper. If you are doing commercial work the apogee might pay for itself with extra business (they are better known). You can't go wrong either way.

    http://soundcloud.com/rm101-1
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    #12
    tazman
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/07 22:44:39 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: trock8500

    well i don't want to say none but i have the FF 800 and i had always heard apogee was soooo much better etc. they did a blind shoot out/test on gearslutz a while back and no one could tell the difference, actually the RME was picked more then the apogee for better sound AND by alot of the people who had apogee's


    at least it made me feel better

    plus the RME is rock solid for me with sonar or any other DAW, support is good and its a nice box



    Funny thing of it is I bet if you had a shoot out including MOTU, Echo, etc cards, people probably still couldn't tell them apart.
    #13
    j boy
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 00:27:50 (permalink)
    It's sort of apples-and-oranges in the case of the RME FireFace versus Apogee Rosetta, because the FF is an audio interface, that is, it's got mic pres and MIDI, etc. all bundled up with some convertors. This works fine if you're a singer-songwriter type who records one or two tracks at a time, no argument there.

    Let's say you want to record a full drum kit, maybe a full band. It makes more sense to get something like this:

    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/ad16x.php

    and feed it with this:

    http://www.allen-heath.com/us/wz3162.asp

    I mean with most gear, you do get what you pay for. I don't know why so many folks want to believe comfortable myths, to bolster their self-esteem or whatever. Use what you got, make the best music possible, but don't think that there isn't a difference as you move up the food chain...
    #14
    subtlearts
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 00:43:04 (permalink)
    Hi, you have some good responses here, there's a good probability that the FireFace is a better all around solution. I'm surprised no-one picked up on this however:
    ORIGINAL: sada10
    ... if there is significant improvement on the apogee, I guess I could get that for the converters and look to get a seperate unit that would provide me better pres; I think that I would then be able to run my signal through the pres and then send it SPDF to the Apogee for the conversion...

    ... that's not quite right; if you're sending your signal over S/PDIF that means it's already in the digital realm and has been converted. You would want to send the signal to the Apogee still very much in the analog domain, i.e. over balanced cable or whatever... not S/PDIF which is not an analog format. S/PDIF could be used to send out of the Apogee to a soundcard.

    tobias tinker 
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    #15
    Jose7822
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 01:36:26 (permalink)
    j boy,

    You're definitely entitled to your opinion, but I just wanted to bring up some facts about both units. By the way, I don't think we're comparing "apples-and-oranges" because what is being ultimately evaluated here are the converters of each unit. Now



    --Here are the specs for the Rosetta 800 (taken from Apogee website):


    • 8 channels of premium 24-bit AD/DA conversion
    • Sample rates up to 96kHz with optional 192kHz upgrade
    • 8 channels of AES, ADAT I/O
    • Optional FireWire expansion card for compatibility with OS X, and Windows XP (X-FireWire card)
    • Optional expansion card for direct connection to Pro Tools HD (X-HD card)
    • Optional expansion card for direct connection to Pro Tools Mix (X-Digi-Mix card)
    • “Soft Limit” for maximum digital level without overs
    • “UV22HR” for superior dither of high-resolution digital signal to 16 bits for the Internet and CD mastering

    • Sample rates: 44.1 - 48k, 88.2 - 96k (+/-10%); 176.4 - 192k (optional)

    • Frequency response: 10 –20k (+/- 0.2 dB) at 44.1k

    • Analog max levels: +6dBV, +20dBu, +24dBu max (set by internal jumper)

    • Dynamic range: 114 dB A weighted (AD + DA)
    • THD+N: -105 dB (AD), -103 dB (DA)

    • Power: 90-250 VAC, 50-60Hz, 45Watt



    --Here are the specs for the FF-800 (taken from RME website):


    • Input AD: 8 x 1/4" TRS, 4 x XLR Mic, 4 x 1/4" TRS Line, all servo-balanced. 1 x 1/4" TS unbalanced
    • Output DA: 8 x 1/4" TRS, servo-balanced, DC-coupled signal path. 1 x 1/4" TRS unbalanced
    • Input Digital: 2 x ADAT optical or SPDIF optical, SPDIF coaxial (AES/EBU compatible)
    • Output Digital: 2 x ADAT optical or SPDIF optical, SPDIF coaxial (AES/EBU compatible)
    • MIDI: 1 x MIDI I/O via 5-pin DIN jacks, for 16 channels low jitter hi-speed MIDI

    • Dynamic range AD: 109 dB RMS unweighted, 112 dBA
    • THD AD: < -110 dB (< 0.00032 %)
    • THD+N AD: < -104 dB (< 0.00063 %)
    • Crosstalk AD: > 110 dB

    • Dynamic range DA: 116 dB RMS unweighted, 119 dBA (unmuted)
    • THD DA: < -103 dB (< 0.0007 %)
    • THD+N DA: < -100 dB (< 0.001 %)
    • Crosstalk DA: > 110 dB

    • Input/Output level for 0 dBFS @ Hi Gain: +19 dBu
    • Input/Output level for 0 dBFS @ +4 dBu: +13 dBu
    • Input/Output level for 0 dBFS @ -10 dBV: +2 dBV
    • Sample rate internally: 32, 44.1, 48, 64, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 128, 176.4, 192 kHz
    • Sample rate externally: 28 kHz - 200 kHz

    • Frequency response AD/DA: -0.1 dB: 5 Hz - 21.5 kHz (sf 48 kHz)
    • Frequency response AD/DA: -0.5 dB: < 5 Hz - 43.5 kHz (sf 96 kHz)
    • Frequency response AD/DA: -1 dB: < 5 Hz - 70 kHz (sf 192 kHz)





    By comparing the two units one notices that actually the FF-800 has a slight advantage overall (notice the Dynamic Range of the converters, Frequency Response and Sample Rates of both units). Also notice how many "Optional" features are included in the Rosetta (enphasis on X-FW card and Sampling rate ). This are "slight" advantages without considering features like support, drivers and price (sound is subjective so it won't be included). In the end, you're paying twice as much to say you own an Apogee, that's just how I see it.


    P.S. I guess you can also add another "+" to how much detail RME includes in their product descriptions . Peace!


    EDIT: Made it a little bit more readable I think .
    post edited by Jose7822 - 2007/06/08 01:57:10
    #16
    sada10
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 01:41:22 (permalink)
    that's not quite right; if you're sending your signal over S/PDIF that means it's already in the digital realm and has been converted. You would want to send the signal to the Apogee still very much in the analog domain, i.e. over balanced cable or whatever... not S/PDIF which is not an analog format. S/PDIF could be used to send out of the Apogee to a soundcard.

    Subtlearts, you need to stop reading my mind-I actually thought of that while I was picking up around the house and putting the kids to bed. The problem is, I was hoping to use my Firepod (or a similar multipre type unit) for the pres then run it into the converter (if I went with the Apogee) for the A/D conversion, but there is know way for me to keep the signal in the analog realm once I run it through the pres; I would have to run my signals through something like a ONYX mixer to use the pres, then run it through the direct outs into the Apogee- that is one advantage that I would gain with the RME because it has four pres and is a converter. The other thing that I thought about to is that both units have a clock and the popular opinion seems to be that the clock on the Apogee will probably perform a little better than the RME or degrade some of the converters performance if I utilized the clock on it.

    X1 Producer;PreSonus Firepod;EVGA: AMD Phenom IIX4 965;DDR3;Win 7 64 CoolWaters- The blood is in the music, but the music is in the water-just drink it; it's yours!
    #17
    Sylvan
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 11:58:05 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: j boy

    It's sort of apples-and-oranges in the case of the RME FireFace versus Apogee Rosetta, because the FF is an audio interface, that is, it's got mic pres and MIDI, etc. all bundled up with some convertors. This works fine if you're a singer-songwriter type who records one or two tracks at a time, no argument there.

    Let's say you want to record a full drum kit, maybe a full band. It makes more sense to get something like this:

    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/ad16x.php

    and feed it with this:

    http://www.allen-heath.com/us/wz3162.asp

    I mean with most gear, you do get what you pay for. I don't know why so many folks want to believe comfortable myths, to bolster their self-esteem or whatever. Use what you got, make the best music possible, but don't think that there isn't a difference as you move up the food chain...




    I beg to differ my good man. I own the RME FireFace 800 and I record full drumsets all the time. I just recorded a kit with 2 kicks, 4 rack toms, 1 floor tom and a snare. Every drum had its own mic plus 2 overheads.

    I was one of those who have been thinking about getting some Appogee converters, but now I don't feel the need. My biggest problem is the room itself, and I would be better served on improving that.

    But saying that the FF is good for recording 1 or 2 tracks at a time is an absolute farse. I record using 10 at a time every week. I even bought a Behringer ADA 8000 and feed that into my FF through ADAT and I can record 18 tracks at a time. But rarely do I ever need to use the Behringer because my FF handles every live drum project %99 of the time.

    Charles Powell
    Battlefrost Productions
    http://www.battlefrost.com
    #18
    newfuturevintage
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 14:18:10 (permalink)
    This works fine if you're a singer-songwriter type who records one or two tracks at a time, no argument there.


    This is kind of an odd assertion. I record 12 channels into my fireface (I've got a couple external A/D units to get past the 10 analog inputs limit) on a regular basis, and have used up to 20 inputs simultaneously for live recording. I've tested all 28 ins simultaneously successfully, just haven't had a reason to use that many in session.

    My inner child is an angry drunk.
    #19
    j boy
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 14:38:52 (permalink)
    Charles, I'm sure you are aware that when you use the Behringer mixer to feed ADAT into the RME, you're using the Behringer's converters. I don't think these are on a par with Apogee, although perhaps the gearslutz crowd can *ahem* arrange a "shootout".

    The FF800 has four built-in mic preamps. If I do the math, you have ten mic's for your drum kit. So, you feed four mics into the FF800, then that leaves six signals that need to feed into the line inputs of the RME. What preamps are you using?

    What I was tryng to say is just this...

    It is inconvenient to string a bunch of preamps together into line inputs on an audio interface. A mixer + dedicated AD/DA converters is more efficient if you are recording in a band situation, or a typical "for pay" scenario, where you have to be able to accomodate whatever the clent wants.

    The audio interface paradigm matches up better with a "singer-songwriter"situation, where you generally would use more virtual instruments, etc. and rarely would need more than one or two (FF400), or three or four (FF800) microphones up at a time. Of course, you can rig up more channels using external pre's, etc. but IMO it's like using the handle of a screwdriver to drive a nail, when a hammer is a more elegant solution. There's a place for (boutique) external preamps, but I'm curious what your other six pre's are...? If you were to run a low-budget pre into your RME I doubt the converters would be much of a factor compared to the pre.

    I do think you are on the right track as far as the acoustic treatment. The biggest bang-for-the-buck I've gotten in my (admittedly very modest) home studio was the money I spent on treating the room. The quality of my audio tracks improved immediately overnight.

    Cheers.

    #20
    DaveT
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 16:55:33 (permalink)
    Find the FF800 vs. Apogee Rosetta 800 shootout over on Gearsluts. You can hear the difference, at least I could. Just so not to taint your ears I won't say which one I picked.

    DaveT
    #21
    Sylvan
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 16:58:24 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: j boy
    Charles, I'm sure you are aware that when you use the Behringer mixer to feed ADAT into the RME, you're using the Behringer's converters. I don't think these are on a par with Apogee, although perhaps the gearslutz crowd can *ahem* arrange a "shootout".


    Indeed I am aware of that and I agree that the Behringer converters are nowhere near the Apogee or the RME converters. That is why I only use the extra Behringer converters when I am recording more than 10 simultanious tracks.

    You are right, the RME FF 800 only has 4 mic pres. I have purchased other pres such as the Presonus Eureka and I use pres from a Mackie mixer. The Apogee AD16 doesn't have any pres.

    I see what you are saying, but many folks prefer to use their own pres anyway, so buying a mixer or some other 3rd part for pres is par for the course. You have to do that with the AD16 as well. Now the Rosetta 800 has 8 pres included.

    I am not arguing that the RME is any better or worse than the Apogee (for what it's worth I believe they are both neck and neck), I am just saying that the RME FireFace 800 is more than adequate to record full drumsets and full bands.

    The bottom line is that the FF works for me and in my world I guess thats all that matters. I get results, I get work done.

    For someone else, the Apogee may be the way to go and I think that is great for them. It would be a pointless world if everyone worked the same with the same gear making the same sounds. I am glad there is Apogee, RME, MOTU, Tascam, etc... There is something for everyone.

    I do think you are on the right track as far as the acoustic treatment. The biggest bang-for-the-buck I've gotten in my (admittedly very modest) home studio was the money I spent on treating the room. The quality of my audio tracks improved immediately overnight.


    Now this is exactly my feeling as well. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the treatment of the room will make major strides in everything I am doing. This includes the control room. I know I am not mixing in an accurate environment, so I have to keep going back and forth figuring out how to compensate for the frequency problems introduced by the room.

    Charles Powell
    Battlefrost Productions
    http://www.battlefrost.com
    #22
    rictheobscene
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 17:11:49 (permalink)
    Apogee makes some awesome gear, but they are locked in too tight with Apple for my taste. In fact, I would not be surprised to see Apple buy them one day, and Apple's track record is not good for supporting the PC when they purchase a company (e.g. Apple killed Logic for the PC when they purchased eMagic).

    However, for anything that is 'driverless' (e.g. Big Ben), you can be sure you'll get your money's worth out of an Apogee product.

    I have the RME fireface 800, and I love it.



    #23
    j boy
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 17:35:07 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: newfuturevintage

    This works fine if you're a singer-songwriter type who records one or two tracks at a time, no argument there.


    This is kind of an odd assertion. I record 12 channels into my fireface (I've got a couple external A/D units to get past the 10 analog inputs limit) on a regular basis, and have used up to 20 inputs simultaneously for live recording. I've tested all 28 ins simultaneously successfully, just haven't had a reason to use that many in session.


    Now see, that's exactly what I'm saying. You've bought an RME... but you're using the converters from "a couple of external A/D units" instead of the RME converters. Unless these "external A/D units" have converters equal to the RME you have taken a step backwards.

    A dedicated approach, such as I described in links, can easily provide sixteen channels of consistent mic preamplification and conversion, instead of a hodge-podge approach of unmatched elements. Yes other approaches work, but the question at the top of the thread was "which is better" right?

    By all means use what ya got! My rig is quite humble, at the moment. But realise that there are inherent limitations in the "audio interface" approach, which the FireFace products embody. Again, the question wasn't "what works", it was "which is better".
    #24
    Jose7822
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 18:07:24 (permalink)
    Again, the question wasn't "what works", it was "which is better".


    Yeah but the question was aimed at either the Rosetta 800 or the Fireface 800, not another interface AFAIK.
    #25
    j boy
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 18:51:48 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Jose7822

    Again, the question wasn't "what works", it was "which is better".


    Yeah but the question was aimed at either the Rosetta 800 or the Fireface 800, not another interface AFAIK.

    For the record, the Rosetta 800 doesn't have any mic preamps, just eight channels of AD/DA conversion. Technically it's not an audio interface. So it can't be a direct comparison with the FF800. If he goes with the Rosetta 800 the OP's gonna need to decide what he's doing for pre's...
    #26
    j boy
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 21:16:46 (permalink)
    ...and if you've got an aversion to Apogee, the Aurora 16 makes a good alternative for a little less cost (still slightly better sound than RME):

    http://www.lynxstudio.com/aurora/index.html

    If the OP saves up and adds a mixer, he's set... with much more long-term flexibility and matched channels.
    post edited by j boy - 2007/06/08 21:22:10
    #27
    Jose7822
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 21:34:22 (permalink)
    Jose7822:

    Yeah but the question was aimed at either the Rosetta 800 or the Fireface 800, not another interface AFAIK.


    j boy:

    For the record, the Rosetta 800 doesn't have any mic preamps, just eight channels of AD/DA conversion. Technically it's not an audio interface. So it can't be a direct comparison with the FF800. If he goes with the Rosetta 800 the OP's gonna need to decide what he's doing for pre's...


    I know what you're trying to say but if you read the first post in this thread the OP asks very specifically about the differences of both unit's converters. He also said that in the event he actually likes the sound of the Rosetta better that he would use another device as a mic pre. So, again, we ARE talking about apples and apples....nm.
    #28
    Jose7822
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    RE: RME Fireface 800 vs Apogee Rosetta 2007/06/08 21:35:36 (permalink)
    ...and if you've got an aversion to Apogee, the Aurora 16 makes a good alternative for a little less cost (still slightly better sound than RME):

    http://www.lynxstudio.com/aurora/index.html

    If the OP saves up and adds a mixer, he's set... with much more long-term flexibility and matched channels.



    I agree.
    #29
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