Future setup planned, both audio and MIDI : how to ?

Hi, all

My E-Mu 1616m is still perfectly working and delivers exactly what I need, but sadly, the drivers are no longer updated. So, as I plan to change my DAW in the following months for a Windows 8/8.1 based one, I have to consider other audio/MIDI configurations as well.

My minimal needs are the following :

  • 10 audio line inputs (with an ADAT connection, as I presently have),
  • 2 audio Hi-Z/XLR inputs for both bass guitar and mic,
  • 2 MIDI inputs, as I have both a MIDI keyboard and MIDI pads controllers,
  • 1 MIDI output (as my ME-30P is still working for dispatching MIDI messages to my external synths),
  • 1 stereo output (preferably 2, but it’s not mandatory…),
  • 1 headphones output (as above, preferably 2, but it’s not mandatory…),
  • efficient driver(s) to get as low latency as possible.

Budget : 1000€ max, for the audio/MIDI interface(s) part.

So, I am considering the following solutions :

  1. the purchase of separated audio and MIDI interfaces (i.e. : Steinberg MR816 and MOTU FastLane…). And here is my first (and main) question : does this kind of setup works efficiently with Cubase and, as I guess that there are two drivers involved, how are they supposed to be installed and managed in order to work as one in a Windows 8.x/Cubase 64 bits setup ?

  2. the RME RayDat solution : as it has 2 MIDI inputs and I already have an ADAT unit, it’s quite tempting, would it only be for the RME driver quality, but the problem is the lack of headphones/lines outputs and Hi-Z/decent XLR inputs on my ADA-8000 unit… So, what to add to these ?

  3. another way of thinking all this :confused: . Any suggestion welcomed…


RME fireface UC / UCX / 400

Indeed… :astonished: :blush:

The 400 is no longer produced but the UCX is quite tempting, even if its price is a little more than what I planned for.

Don’t know why I disregarded it : somewhere in my confused mind, it had only 1 MIDI input and was too expensive to consider. So, it might be the 3) solution with this one…

Thanks !

Any other advices are still welcomed, though…

EDIT : @thinkingcap : I know that this is probably dependent of each setup but, as you have the UFX, which is the best way to use it : Firewire or USB ?

If I were buying an interface these days, I would probably bypass Firewire as it is disappearing off motherboards.

If there were audio over IP (AoIP) interfaces for RAVENNA or Dante that had lesser I/O than required for miking drumkits, one of them would be top of my list.

Hopefully by the time my Firefaces are ready to retire (due to faults or no Firewire ports to drive them), AoIP will be more prevalent and less big-studio focussed (in I/O and pricing).