Considering the Line6 Toneport UX8

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Member Since: Jun 13, 2010

Hey guys,
I'm new here and been reading a couple of days and I like what I see.
Great responses and ideas to help out others and everyone seems real friendly.
Looks like a great community.

I've been away from the recording scene awhile after having my studio cleaned out for me ... everything stolen ... including a nice collection of dirty clothes waiting to be washed!

So ... I've been collecting cheap gear ... guitars, bass, drums, amps & cabs, (some came with pretty cool stories too lol) ... and now its recording time.

I do most everything on the PC and have used many of the software choices from Audition to Fruity Loops, Acid to Sound Forge.

Now I need a good multi-channel interface to go with it all and the UX8 looks like it may be the best route.

Before I just did a track at a time but will be doing alot more drums and see no way around the multi-channel answer.

My budget is pretty small because I've been dumping money into everything else ... around $200.
First thought was the "Lexicon Omega" ... but read of possible trouble ... then noticed that Zzounds has the Play as you Pay deal, so the extra cabbage will be easier at least.

Is there any other options I might consider before I place my order?
My PC is decent and pretty new with HD audio etc.
I don't have a good mixer yet... just a couple of "toys" from Realistic with no EQ ..... but my PC will take care of all that for now! :D

Anyway ... wanted to introduce myself and say hey... and also thank you guys for all the info I've been reading thus far!

EDIT:
I'm running win7 64bit on an AMD Anthlon II x2 240 @ 2.80GHz with 5Gb ram
And a laptop running Vista 32bit Pentium DualCore T4200@2.00GHz with 3Gb ram
I shouldn't expect any problems on either? But especially the desktop?
Alot of peeps seem to have issues with the requirements.

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Typo Szar
Member
Since: Jul 04, 2002


Jun 14, 2010 08:44 am

The only problem with ur rig i see is the Vista, vista doesnt seem to play nice with alot of stuff, so if i was u id either downgrade to XP or upgrade to 7 before entering the world of trouble vista may cause.

I have teh UX2, keyboard version, it works well and the shining light of Line 6 is its modeling software that is super handy. However, i think the actual conversion and actual preamps taht come with the line 6 gear doesnt quite compare to other units, such as my new fav the Focusrite.

Then again i use it and it works, i just think that if ur goign with 8 inputs ur gonna be somewhat serious, at which point id suggest something that has a bit more fidelity in the actual conversion portion.

Just my thoughts on it, but im in no way saying the unit is not good for the money or that it wont get the job done.

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jun 14, 2010 11:12 am

Sounds like you've got a good plan, the line6 stuff is pretty well regarded around here, so you should be styling.

200$ is pretty tight though,

cheap mics, cables, stands could eat that up =(

As an alternate possibility, an analog mixer and a delta 1010lt could be used, for a PCI solution, but I'm not sure it would be better than the UX8. 1010LT adds MIDI, but that may not be an issue.

I'm not a fan of vista either, but it works for lots, so if that's what's on there, then work it if it works =)


Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 14, 2010 11:45 am

I love the UX8, just be aware that it can not be expanded to support more than 8 tracks like many interfaces. That said, it has worked fantastic for me under XP, Vista and Win7.

http://www.unitedmusicians.info
Contributor
Since: Nov 11, 2007


Jun 14, 2010 01:52 pm

I used and liked the 1010lt quite a bit as well. I found my 1010LT for $80 used.

Member
Since: Jun 13, 2010


Jun 14, 2010 05:58 pm

Thanks for the input guys!

Yeah, the vista is just secondary.
I was hoping to be able to use it for portability and was wanting to get win7 for it too ... I never liked vista anyway.

I did order it with the "play as you pay" with Zzounds to keep it within the "cash at hand" realm lol. And threw in a Behringer DSP2024P Virtualizer Pro Digital Effects Processor for later since it was only $99.
I usually do my online ordering from MF so this is my first with Z.

I have a few mics and stands etc. but I will be needing some drum mics soon after I get a small mixer for external use and using the DSP2024P ....
With the lack of send/inserts I assume I cant use it with the UX8 directly??



Member
Since: Sep 30, 2009


Jun 14, 2010 06:06 pm

IMO, currently XP still trumps 7 in reliability. Its pretty darn good, and the operating system is gorgeous really, i love some of the features. But XP pro is such a workhorse, and its had so much time for the developers to perfect it, Idk. After a few service packs I'm sure 7 will be even better. But i'm seriously considering a downgrade for the time being.

Side note, I'm pretty good with computers, but i'm by no means an expert. 90% of the people on this forum are far more experienced than me. Just throwing that out there haha. Also, i really wish i could afford a Mac :P

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 14, 2010 06:16 pm

On the mixer, it would depend for me. Are the mixers pre's better sounding than the UX8? I think for at least tracking drums it would be best to run straight to the UX8 and not add any effects. You can always add later but never really take em away.

Member
Since: Jun 13, 2010


Jun 14, 2010 06:48 pm

Yeah Fragile I hear ya on the service pack thing, that's why I've waited on the laptop upgrade.
The desktop is newer and came with win7 and I have 2 or 3 XP machines that I use most right now for everything else... but none have near the power that the new win7 desktop has plus the HD a/v.
I haven't had any problems with the win7... but then again I haven't stressed it yet.
I'll do that when the UX8 arrives! LMAO


Thanks CptTripps your right about the drums.
Maybe a little reverb and compression etc is all I'd use for them and with the shorter signals I'd def want them dry until final approach because it easier for me since I'm so picky lol.

I also play guitar and bass etc and the processor and mixer are more for using live.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 15, 2010 02:06 pm

Just another fyi, I used my ux8 on a 1.8Ghz dual core latop with Win7 and a 5400rpm drive, worked fine. I eventually ended up getting an external HDD so I could track on the lappy with "some" mobility and mix on the desktop without transferring a bunch of files.

Rockstar Vatican Assassin
Member
Since: Mar 20, 2009


Jun 15, 2010 03:28 pm

I've been doing a lot of research on these puppies and I'd like to know, if you get it, what you think of the UX8. I need a new one myself and am leaning MOTU Pre8 cause its about $200 cheaper and can utilize the preamps using either XLR or TRS cables. It's also firewire, so faster data speeds vs USB 2.0.

www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/8pre/summary.html

What I've found, so far, is that the Line-6 UX8 and the MOTU Pre8 are the only two 1010 units that have individual mic preamps w/ dpad and 48v Phantom Power per input. All the other units like the Presonus Firepod or the ESI ESP1010e either have the phantom power grouped (in blocks of 4) or only have like only 2 actual mic preamps while the rest of the inputs are just Analog line-in. In some cases (gotta lookout for this), despite having the combo inputs for XLR or TRS, only the XLR cable works with the preamp.

For my drums, my mic set has two condenser mics (require phantom) and 5 tom mics. So... having the flexibility at each input seems like it would be a smarter investment. But without having some feedback, I have no idea what makes the smarter buy.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 15, 2010 06:17 pm

UX8 phantom power is in banks of 4.

Rockstar Vatican Assassin
Member
Since: Mar 20, 2009


Jun 16, 2010 09:02 am

@ CptTripps

Crap, you're right!! I thought the low pass filter buttons on the front were the phantom power buttons. After looking at the manual though, it became more clear. It's also USB (blah). I guess the MOTU 8pre is what I'm really looking for then.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 16, 2010 12:23 pm

If recording at 24/96 then you use about 4.39 Mbps per channel, multiply by 10 channels and you have 43.9 Mbps, less than 1/10th of USB capability. I'm sure it never hits the 480Mbps mark but when needed just above 40 what does it matter. Add the fact that most folks record at 44.1 and we are cutting that data throughput in half.

Firewire interfaces seem to have adat more often than not for adding more channels but if all you need is 8-16 I don't see the issue with USB. Please elaborate if you would.

Rockstar Vatican Assassin
Member
Since: Mar 20, 2009


Jun 16, 2010 02:18 pm

LOL... ok, maybe "blah" was a bit harsh. I don't have any ill-regards for USB, but I do think having the faster throughput is essential for these devices. Even if it isn't always required (as you pointed out), why buy something that's limited or may be limited if really pushed? A Pinto and a Ferrari both cruise at 65mph just the same on any given US Highway. But if they both cost the same amount of money... which one would you buy? : )

USB 2.0 is inferior to Firewire.... However, USB 3.0 changes everything!!! Unfortunately, nothing is available yet with that spec.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jun 16, 2010 02:21 pm

bzzzzzzzt, wrong answer.

USB and Firewire speed rates are very dependent on what else is going on within their buses, IRQ's and other aspects of systems...saying flat out "this is faster than" that is sketchy at best.

Rockstar Vatican Assassin
Member
Since: Mar 20, 2009


Jun 16, 2010 03:37 pm

What? Seriously? LOL... ok, we're getting a bit off subject here but its pretty much a fact that 1394a is a faster protocol than USB 2.0, no matter what the system is.

Its true that USB 2.0 is spec'd at 480Mbps while Firewire (1394a) is only spec'd at 400Mbps. However, almost all web articles that compare actual throughput conclude that Firewire is still superior, especially during high sustained transfers. Some tests even concluded that USB 2.0 actual throughput is only like 320Mbps max. The Firewire 1394b spec is rated at 800Mbps, making USB is old news. As I stated before, if and when USB 3.0 (4.8Gbps) becomes more commonplace, then USB will see the spotlight again. And lucky for all of us, motherboard manufacturers are already creating them.

The editor's notes on this one says it all:
www.directron.com/firewirevsusb.html


Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jun 16, 2010 04:45 pm

only 320...not sure about you but I started recording on PC before AGP, USB or Firewire even existed...so by any standard both are incredibly fast, and USB is brought down substantially by mutliple items on a single bus, even more by USB hubs, which many, many people use...so, well, it's all relative...and either are perfectly capable recording mediums except for the most extreme situations.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 17, 2010 01:45 pm

I guess maybe I should switch to firewire so I can only use 7% of the max throughput vs. 10% of USB.

To the OP, the UX8 is fantastic, the modeling is great and the USB drivers are solid as a rock. See them going on ebay around $3-400.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jun 17, 2010 01:46 pm

bahahahaha

Member
Since: Jun 13, 2010


Jun 17, 2010 03:01 pm

LOL @ CptTripps

I just got my UX8 delivered and busted the seal on the box.
Time to go play!

I'll post up when I emerge from the studio! :D

EDIT:
I guess I can install the software on both machines at the same time huh?

It just says activate an account, not the software on the paperwork and no more info.

(Nice solid piece of hardware too!)

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 17, 2010 05:08 pm

You can install the software on many machines as the hardware itself activates podfarm or the gearbox plugin.

Rockstar Vatican Assassin
Member
Since: Mar 20, 2009


Jun 18, 2010 09:35 am

WOW... unbelievable. So I enter this topic questioning whether or not the MOTU or the Line 6 Toneport makes more sense for mic'ing drums, and the only thing this community can focus on is the USB throughput (which we at least all agree taxes a PC more so than Firewire and is less efficient (10% of max throughput vs 7%)). That's some quality input!!

But let's focus on the real meat and potatoes here....

For Toneport UX8
- Phantom Power in blocks of 4 (limiting)
- Can only use XLR cable in conjuction with Preamp (limiting)
- Uses USB 2.0 interface (limiting, but to a lesser extent)

For MOTU 8pre
- Independant phantom power per input
- Can use XLR and TRS cable with preamp
- Uses 1394a interface (can daisy-chain up to four units on a single FireWire bus without a hub)

Seems like MOTU makes the most sense. Oh, and since I need that firewire card to export vids from my HD camcorder (which unfortunately USB just can't handle), well..... I guess it just makes sense to utilize what I already have!!! (BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA)!

But thanks all for the laugh!!

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jun 18, 2010 01:57 pm

Quote:
the only thing this community can focus on is the USB throughput


I think that's a broad sweeping statement, and somewhat unfounded.

Nobody was 'focusing' on that part, but it was part of the discussion. And, part of the discussion was USB2.0's ability to maintain sustained transfer rates compared to FW400.

Generally, it seemed to me that a useful dialog took place.

Quote:
But let's focus on the real meat and potatoes here....


Seems that Sylent's thread 'meat and potatoes' was already answered, making other discussions forum banter, which leads me to :

[quote]Seems like MOTU makes the most sense. Oh, and since I need that firewire card to export vids from my HD camcorder (which unfortunately USB just can't handle), well..... I guess it just makes sense to utilize what I already have!!! (BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA)!

But thanks all for the laugh!![/quote]

I don't believe sylent was entertaining the MOTU, plus he has already purchased the UX8, so again, it's just banter at this point.

Sounds like you've gotten your questions answered though, so that's good.




Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jun 18, 2010 02:38 pm

WOW... unbelievable indeed, YOU were actually the one to bring up Firewire ove USB, we just said it does not really matter. Either interface will track drums perfectly fine and none of the points you bring up will make one bit of difference.

So your Ferrari/Pinto, USB Blah and "USB is old news" comments were quality input? You tend to semi-troll in your posts perhaps without even realizing it. Motu makes the most sense to you, that is great and I hope you are happy with your purchase.

On my 7% vs 10% comment, I should have put a winky face as it was a joke.

P.S. My Canon HF11 HD camcorder uses USB 2.0 to transfer video (unfortunately for you I guess USB can handle it).

P.S.S The motu is not $200 cheaper than the UX8.

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