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Audio Interface and Mic-Pre for Foley Stage


Aravind
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Hello,
 
  I"m Aravind, a Sound Designer based in India. I have been in my pursuit of starting a small Audio post production facility for commercial purpose which will include a Foley Suite with near Field Mix facility and a separate 9.1 Premix suite equipped for Sound Design and Sound Edit also
 
 I would like to get feedback from you friends, regarding the Audio Interfaces that can be used for setting up the studio. I'm confused between Focusrite Clarett 8Pre, Presonus Quantum, Universal Audio Apollo and RME Fireface UFX2, UFX+. What would you suggest that I buy so that I can get a good sounding output,with no latency. I'm quite shoe strapped with the budget, but don't wish to compromise beyond limit on the Audio Interface quality, as it's the heart of a Sound Studio.
 
 Similarly since the Near Field Mix suite is equipped to be the Foley Recording suite also, the Mic Pre also needs to be of good quality in the Audio Interface. Or would you suggest I add a separate Mic Pre like SPL Goldmike or Focusrite ISA, other than directly using the Mic Pre in-built in the Interface. Would using a Tube pre give substantial difference in recording quality than using a Solid state Pre? What Mic Pre can be good for recording good,warm Foley sound? Budget-wise am not greatly equipped beyond 1000-1200$ for a separate Mic Pre, if investing around 2500$ on Audio Interface.
 
Looking forward for your suggestions
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None of the interfaces you listed can do 9.1 without another ADAT output interface attached, so keep that in mind.  That being said, I would highly recommend the RME UFX+, use it everyday and it is solid as a rock.  Works in USB3 or Thunderbolt, which gives you more options than the Thunderbolt-only interfaces.

 

If not the RME the Metric Halo ULN-8 is going to be better than your other options, and you can configure the output cards to suit your needs.

 

If you're buying a high end interface that has mic preamps built in, it is a complete waste of money to buy a separate preamp, especially if you're being budget conscious.  All of the interfaces listed have great clean preamps that will be able to do whatever you need for Foley recording.  A properly working tube preamp will not give you a noticeable difference, especially for this purpose.

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Why not just get a Sound Devices MixPre10 Gen2? (you can use it as a USB interface as well) Leaving plenty of budget left over to put into other more important areas of your studio build. 

Plus the MixPre10 is portable enough to take out into the field for recordings!

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I have done some ADR with Millennia HV 3C, and the Pre is really great, but too expensive in my present situation i think, as it may cost around 3500$ here in India for 2 channel and around 5500$ for 4 channels Pre. I m trying to get the Foley room functional in around 40000$, which even looks a bit difficult, as i am expecting around 20000$ to go for acoustics and consultation, another 5000$ atleast for civil works. If we consider around 3000$ for A/c ducting and unit, around 3000$ for Basic interior, lighting, washrooms, another 2000$ around for Electrical, audio cabling works,i  am not left with much for very much expensive equipment now. Neumann TLM103 and Sennheiser MKH416 i m pinning for microphones, though i would prefer to have MKH50 or 60. Since there are still around 40-50% fims which are full ADR films here, we may need to have the TLM one, as most full ADR films are recorded on U87. Am considering JBL Mk2 series for speakers (8" for LCR and 5" for Surround and 10"Sub), as the ADR Recording suite is multi functional to be OTT Mix room too. So I think around 3000$ is what i am left with in the present budgeting, for purchasing Audio Interface and Mic Pre or Audio Interface with Mic Pre. So i would like to get your valuable feedback, regarding which one to go for, or whether i can setup the studio more economically, but good enough for commercial purpose for Films primarily.

 

 The 7.1.2 room I may start probably a while after only it seems, as I am not sure whether i can afford to build that too, as around 80% of my investment will be through business loan only, and here Foley rates are quite less and to recover this amount itself, after running costs,rent of space and staffs salary will need quite some time. But surely it can give a regular income, as there are not many Foley Studios around, and will not be dependent much on my Sound Design Projects alone, which the Design and 7.1.2 Premix suite maybe.

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You really only need 2 channels of preamp for ADR/Foley, so I wouldn’t worry about the 4 channel Millennia. Your interface will likely have some built in preamps that can be used for utility channels like talkback mics, saving the main preamp for talent duties. 
 

Also I don’t know the pricing in India but check out the Neumann TLM107 - it’s cheaper and sounds a lot more similar to the U87 than the TLM103 in my view. 
 

-Mike

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Beg, borrow, or whatever you have to do to up your budget.

Dont compromise.

You want a commercial facility, don't buy gear for a project studio, it will be obvious to prospective clients.

 

 

How about getting a used Avid Omni HD?

Decent mic pres, 7.1 capable.

 

 

 

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I had thought about getting Omni, but then i may need a HD Native card also along with, which will add upon the cost. Also, in the studio where i worked previously, there had issue with Omni with I/O geting corrupt and session not able to open and all. That had also been a reason for sidelining Omni. For almost 10years i had worked with a Neve 4081 Quad Mic Pre which i used to love absolutely, and also for ADR, many a times i needed the 4 channels, 3 for Mics during Crowd (Walla) ADR, and 4th as talkback mic routed through Pro tools.

 

 TLM 107 is a nice suggestion which i will study more, as I have never worked with it.

 

 Even i never wanted to compromise, probably start humbly and after getting a foothold and decent revenue, i was thinking of buying more sophisticated mic pre and more microphones, which cant be the case with Sound isolation or Acoustics, as they are kind of one time investment and a heavy investment, that cant be deferred or has a keep on upgrade option.

 

Even with a tube pre and audio interfaces like Focusrite Clarett, the confusion that had been following me was, even if i use a Tube Pre, it will again go into the Preamp input of the Audio interface and then only it will reach the Pro tools, which itself maybe killing the purpose of using better pre-amp, unless the pre-amp output enters the Interface through D-sub connector or something and bypass the pre of interface, which is not there in many of the names i mentioned.

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If you buy an interface that has enough inputs you'll be able to future proof yourself.  All of the interfaces mentioned have line or digital inputs that you can use for outboard gear, you would not want to double-preamp a mic. 

 

You can always buy more outboard gear after everything is set up, you don't need it to start.  RME/Metric Halo/ Presonus/ whatever all know how to make preamps, so invest in whatever interface will be able to output/expand for your future needs.

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