Echo AudioFire 8 FireWire Audio Interface

No longer available at zZounds
Dress up your studio rig at home or on the road using this sleek interface's 2 universal inputs with mic preamps.
AudioFire8 offers the same high quality hardware and software found in our popular Layla3G product, but with the addition of a FireWire interface. With the AudioFire8 you can record 24 bit 96kHz audio with low latency monitoring on any Windows XP/Vista or Mac OS X computer (desktop or notebook) with a FireWire port.

AudioFire8 is the perfect center for any professional studio, whether at home or on the road. It has 2 universal inputs with mic preamps, phantom power, channel inserts, and trim knobs so you can just plug in your microphone or instrument and record whenever or wherever you want. AudioFire8 also comes with 6 balanced analog inputs (TRS), 8 balanced analog outputs (TRS), a stereo headphone output, 2 FireWire ports, S/PDIF (coaxial and optical) I/O, ADAT I/O, MIDI I/O, word clock synchronization, and 16 channels of full duplex 24 bit 48kHz recording and playback or 12 channels of full duplex 24 bit 96kHz recording and playback.
Hardware Specifications
FireWire (IEEE 1394a) interface with 15' cable

2 auto-sensing universal inputs (mic/guitar/line):
- Meters, trim knobs, phantom power, & channel inserts

6 balanced 1/4 in. analog inputs:
- 113dB (A-weighted) dynamic range
- +4dBu / -10dBV nominal levels

8 balanced 1/4 in. analog outputs:
- 114dB (A-weighted) dynamic range
- +4dBu / -10dBV nominal levels

2 unbalanced 1/4 in. channel inserts:
- +4dBu / -10dBV nominal levels

S/PDIF (coaxial and optical) I/O at 24-bit/96kHz

ADAT I/O

MIDI I/O

Stereo headphone output with volume knob

Sync via word clock, S/PDIF or ADAT

Supports full duplex 16 channel in, 16 channel out operation at 24 bit, 48 kHz sample rate or 12 channel in, 12 channel out operation at 24 bit, 96 kHz sample rate

Rack mountable single space interface box

Heavy-duty aluminum case

On-board DSP processing

Near zero latency hardware monitoring

Software console for monitoring, metering, and setting levels
Low-latency drivers support all major pro audio software:
- Low Latency ASIO 2.0
- WDM kernel streaming mode
- GSIF 2.0 (Gigastudio 3 w/ low latency MIDI) (Windows XP and Vista - 32-bit only)
- CoreAudio & CoreMIDI

System Requirements
PC System requirements:
- Windows XP or Vista (32 or 64 bit)
- 256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
- 400 Mbps FireWire port (IEEE 1394a)

Mac System Requirements:
- Mac OS X (10.4 or later)
- G4 or better processor
- 256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
- 400 Mbps FireWire port (IEEE 1394a)
Echo Warranty Echo offers a one year parts and labor warranty.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 805-684-4593
(28 ratings)
Submitted January 18, 2009 by a customer from hotmail.com
"It's a converter, and does it's job well."
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
This product fits my needs is great, and I'm going to use this product for a long time, because it sure feels like it will last a long time. Well I'll use it until I need more I/O, which won't be for atleast a few more years. Overall the build and sound quality of this unit is very pleasing.

Sound
The Audiofire 8 sincerely has great converters, and honestly with converters in the mid-high end of the market there's not a huge difference between the options you have. I did my first test with an acoustic guitar recording, and it certainly came out very well, and definately transparent. The preamps aren't so great, they're kind of comparable to my Behringer UB802 mixer preamps but a tad better in the midrange, and way off the clarity of my Soundcraft pres, but I think the Audiofire preamps are okay - I have no problems using them! The Trim is a little odd though, took alot to get a good signal into my DAW. Doesn't matter too much though since I use this interface with a mixer and other pres.

Features
For me, connecting my mixer to my DAW to stream atleast 6-8 inputs and 2-4 outputs was all I needed, and this fulfilled those requirements very well. I WOULD like to see this model with ADAT for later expansion, but that doesn't matter really, there's still heaps of I/O. The included rack ears were great and the LONG firewire cable was a great bonus!

Ease of Use
Once this product is up-and-running, you will NEVER have a read more drop-out at all. I never opened the manual, but you don't need it! It really is plug and play - install the drivers and this thing is rock solid, even on my windows system. I did have alot of trouble getting it to work with my 4pin firewire port on my Dell laptop, but thats an issue with the Dell laptop (for anyone out there with a Dell laptop thinking of connecting it this way, you might want to remember this to save you the worry later!) I bought a firewire express card with a texas instrument chipset for about 50 dollars and now it works beautifully!

Quality
This unit is solid and well-built, apart from the quality of the knobs, especially the trim knobs. They jiggle and feel extremely loose, but once again I use a mixer with this interface so don't find the need to make constant adjustments. By the feel of them though, they would fall off with heavy use. The connectors fit well into the interface. The front 2 inputs (combo neutrik) makes inserting a jack plug easy, but pulling it out isn't. I've just hooked it up to my patch bay, something about plugging a jack plug into the front combos makes me nervous. Might work better with a different brand plug though!

Value
For what this product offers it gives great value for money! For those who don't need many preamps want rock-solid drivers with a substantial number of line-level I/O, the Audiofire 8 is definately recommended!

Manufacturer Support
Never had to use them - I asked a question about the converters and preamps by email once and recieved a prompt and polite reply, so I imagine their support is fine.

The Wow Factor
I definately want it, because I need it. As long as my gear works day in, day out, and sounds great I don't really care what it looks like unless it's pink with purple spots. The engraved ECHO logo is pretty cool though, and it's one very smooth unit in the way of materials used and the way it was moulded (no sharp corners).

Musical Background:
Recording Engineer

Musical Style:
Anything the client needs done
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No longer available at zZounds

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