I have tested a new soundcard last weekend: the Echo Audiofire4. I have been using an Echo card since the mid 90s, the Gina. It cost me a fortune at the time, something to the equivalent of 800 dollars (indexed price). But it has always served me very well. The sound of the Echo card has always been much better than a lot of 24bit cards that have hit the market in the past few years.
So why the Audiofire? Well, first of all it’s got two xlr inputs WITH phantom power, which I can use for my live recordings. Next to that it’s got 4 inputs and 4 outputs AND midi capabilities. That’s also something that I’ve been missing in recent years. Add to that the excellent 24bit sound conversion and the choice is actually really easy. The firewire gives me the necessary (phantom) power for the mic. Combined with a laptop I can really go out into the field and record at high quality. My idea is to combine my OKM binaural mics with the Marshall MX mics that I have for finer detail. The OKM’s are used for the binaural cues.