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-   -   Short Balance Review (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/showthread.php?t=150417)

peteralabaster 2011-11-19 12:12

Short Balance Review
 
I'll do a short review but i'm not sure it deserves a new thread as i'm not hugely experienced.

I have a Dell Studio 1558 laptop with a core i5, about 3gb of ram, and a 7200rpm hdd

First looks is that it's a SWEET looking interface and sounds great aswell (i think, though not much experience in this area, so i'll just assume it does due to the price).. Have to put the input knob up to full to squeeze a good sound out of my beta 57 going straight into the mic in - but it sounds clear and like it should do.
Also as hackery said in another thread.. The fingerprints show up a lot on the rubber :(

Been trying to get used to reason again as it's been so long, but essentials is great too.

[rant]
I have to say moving from an mBox mini 2 & pro tools - balance & essentials has a much nicer 'workflow'. The installation was weeks before I bought it (Love this decision Pheads), and unlike pro tools, it didn't crash my computer 50 times on installation. It also doesn't stop halfway through a recording 80% of the time complaining there's not enough cpu, and this was at 512 sample buffer anyway *angry face*
[/rant]

On the subject of latency, balance kills it. On Edit->Preferences->Audio, I use 64 sample buffer size, and it displays I get 2ms Input, and 1ms Output.
I can't hear any delay when recording anything so thumbs up!
I did have a slight problem at first though, which caused the audio to glitch randomly - but I found it was due to a WLAN driver. Now that's sorted, I haven't heard a glitch since, and I can happily browse the internet while my friend records bass (hehe).

Anyway, it's kinda useful not having to switch jacks around all the time but then you end up with 8 cables lying under your desk and 6 of them never being used. I know this is a negative outlook but it's easy to forget the luxury it gives you as a little interface.

The fact you can only use 1 L and 1 R input at a time is a little restricting too, but i've never been a huge fan of recording live, so that's not a problem for me. On the subject of restriction - i think most 'singer songwriters' in which this is aimed at just use usb keyboards and the likes, so this deemed incorporating midi useless to Pheads. IMHO I think they could have sacrificed one of the stereo lines for midi, because for me they just sit there uselessly, for others with more instruments - maybe not.

This interface is expensive for what it is (a 2in 2 out with no midi) but as soon as you open the (super duper sexy) box you know this product was built by pros and I have faith in it lasting a long time for me.

Before I forget, the meter/tuner button is very handy and I use it before recording. The clip safe button is interesting, but you can't use it while recording both L and R, so it deems useless most of the time for me when recording guitar with line+mic.
The mute/direct monitoring button is also very handy and they are all so fun to press, sometimes getting in the way of productivity cause it's all so damn sexy! And finally the knobs are just.. well.. perfect.

I recorded a cover of the sad waltzes of pietro crespi with a friend in an evening, but the vocals need redoing. Any tips would be appreciated too :)
http://soundcloud.com/peteralabaster...s-cover-sample

I'd say that balance gets a massive thumbs up from me. But I've only used a few interfaces in the past. If it had a slightly better price then I'd be even happier, but every time I look over to it, it satisfies me to no end.

clarktw 2011-11-19 15:46

Thanks for posting the in-depth review; there have been numerous posts asking if anyone has seen any and the music mags haven’t picked up on it yet. Some of the experts here who apparently beta-tested Balance have also posted reviews, but it’s nice to see yours as you being a brand new owner of Balance/ReE. You are the first member I’ve seen with just the ReE bright new all orange icon.

Hey, welcome to the forums and to Reason! BTW, all of the reviews I’ve seen are overall of a good rating, and everyone mentions the fingerprints.

eric 2011-11-19 15:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by clarktw (Post 963874)
...You are the first member I’ve seen with just the ReE bright new all orange icon.

Hey, welcome to the forums and to Reason!...

Nice post, clarktw! :);)

clarktw 2011-11-19 15:55

Eric - What it is, dude! You know, one of these days you and I need to have that nice bright brand new all orange icon next to our names!

peteralabaster 2011-11-19 15:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by clarktw (Post 963874)
Thanks for posting the in-depth review; there have been numerous posts asking if anyone has seen any and the music mags haven’t picked up on it yet. Some of the experts here who apparently beta-tested Balance have also posted reviews, but it’s nice to see yours as you being a brand new owner of Balance/ReE. You are the first member I’ve seen with just the ReE bright new all orange icon.

Hey, welcome to the forums and to Reason! BTW, all of the reviews I’ve seen are overall of a good rating, and everyone mentions the fingerprints.

Thanks clarktw. It's my pleasure! To be honest some of those posts would have been from me, so i'm just trying to help people that were in my situation.
I remember playing around with my brothers reason v3 years back quite a lot so i'm not totally new to it all, but never thought about buying a copy because
1 - I was 13 and had about 50p worth of savings, and
2 - It wasn't a full on DAW, So now was a perfect time to purchase :)

peteralabaster 2011-12-07 23:58

Just a little update.(bump)

After a bit more time with it I can safely say I still love the thing to bits and am happy where my money went. On the same soundcloud profile I have posted a full song which was all done in essentials with balance (£330), a faith (£400) acoustic guitar, a beta 57a mic (£120) and my friends fender bass (probably around £2000 the bastard :P) all done in an evening of experimenting and playing around.

I'm pretty happy with the results. The song doesn't sound that professional but that's cause we aren't, but give this to a pro and i'm sure he can make anything he wants.

clarktw 2011-12-08 00:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by peteralabaster (Post 970742)
... give this to a pro and i'm sure he can make anything he wants.

You are on your way!

peteralabaster 2011-12-12 18:44

Thanks mate! really enjoying using RE, and after trying out the alligator with an acoustic guitar i MUST get R6 :)

peteralabaster 2012-10-20 14:52

Would just like to post a bump for this topic.
Around a year on and me and Nick have now released a full album, all using Reason 6 with Balance.
This was so so fun to make, and has been a huge learning curve.
There is a lot to improve on but it has been such an extensive program to use, the possibilities are literally endless, and I am so excited to continue writing music with Reason.
If anyone would like to check it out (can listen for free) I would be grateful, and it may give you an idea on how a few beginners can do a lot with a home studio (laptop, mic, guitars, reason)
http://hamdenway.co.uk/

gwynebiau 2012-10-20 20:30

I'm only on the third track right now, but I'm impressed so far! I'll definitely listen all the way through at least once. I've heard a lot of stuff by more experienced musicians that I don't think compares with what you've done here in your first year. Congratulations on the release, and good luck with it! :)

By the way, did you ever end up using Clip Safe much, or were you always recording from two inputs at once?


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