Just connect it and OS X will automatically detect the card. No compatibility problems until now. Very stable operation. No drop-outs nor crashes.
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Echo have an excellent, and well deserved, reputation when it comes to audio and MIDI interfaces, a number of which such as the Mia have sold by the bucket-load and become instant classics. So, if you are in the market for a compact audio and MIDI interface from a reputable brand, what does the Audiofire 4 have to offer? Two of the analogue inputs offer 48V phantom power. The Audiofire 4 is certainly compact, measuring only x x 35 millimetres.
The construction is sturdy, with only the three trim controls on the front panel likely to suffer in the event of careless handling in transit. The front panel features two universal inputs suitable for mic, guitar or keyboard sources. These include the aforementioned trim controls, three-stage LED metering and phantom power.
Also present here is a power switch. While an external power supply is included, the unit is entirely bus powered if using a six-pin Firewire interface. A mini-jack headphone output with associated volume control completes the front-panel line-up.
The compact format obviously necessitates some compromises in terms of physical controls. The limited metering is understandable and there are no physical switches for engaging the phantom power: this is done via the Audiofire 4 Console software.
There is also no master volume control for the main audio outputs, so if you need to adjust overall playback levels it has to be done via the software. While the Audiofire 4 is not the only compact audio interface to adopt this approach, users with no other way of easily taming their playback system might find that the software-only volume control becomes a little irritating with time.
This is v1, rather than the most recent release so see the review from the April issue of SOS for details , but it provides a functional DAW environment for those without one of the more mainstream alternatives. Installation of the drivers and Console software proved painless on my test systems and I had the Audiofire 4 up and running within a few minutes of opening the box.
The installation process included a quick check on the Echo web site to make sure both software and firmware were up to date. This covers the entire Audiofire range, but it does provide a helpful guide to the Console software. The Audiofire 4 Console software is similar in operation to that of the Audiofire 12 described by Martin in his October review, with the obvious difference that there are fewer channels to worry about here.
A separate software mixer is provided for each pair of outputs, allowing different mixes of the various input signals to be sent to each of the output pairs. The faders for mixing the analogue inputs are straightforward enough, while the output faders on the far right control the overall output for the particular output pair that is, the mixed signal from the host application and any signals arriving via the hardware inputs.
The faders to the left of these labelled Play A1 and Play A2 in the screenshot overleaf control the playback level of the output from the host software, and it is therefore easy to create a suitable monitor mix balance inside the Console between tracks already recorded and new material arriving at the inputs. Echo Sound The sound quality of the Audiofire 4 certainly seems up to the task.
Playback of a selection of commercial recordings in a range of styles, from rock through to orchestral music, demonstrated that the analogue outputs produce solid bottom end and clear mid- and high-frequency response. It also seemed slightly crisper at the top end. While the mic preamps are probably not going to challenge those in a high-end interface in terms of quality, recording both acoustic guitar and vocals produced very good results.
Echo have always had a good reputation for their drivers. The same driver set supports the entire Audiofire range and, as Martin Walker found with the Audiofire 12, ASIO performance proved to be rock solid in Cubase 4, on both desktop and laptop systems. I was able to get down to a perfectly comfortable sample buffer size on both systems, while playing back a complex mix involving some 20 audio tracks and various VST instruments and effects, and simultaneously recording a stereo track. Both audio and MIDI functioned as advertised and with a minimum of fuss.
Performance with other applications, such as Sound Forge and Acid Pro, was equally solid. Conclusions A wide range of portable audio and MIDI interfaces is currently available, and at this price point the Audiofire 4 has plenty of competition from the likes of Focusrite, M-Audio, Emu and Presonus, to name just four.
While the degree of choice might make it difficult to decide which to buy, devices from all these manufactures can produce very good results. That said, potential purchasers are unlikely to be disappointed with this new Echo interface; it is solidly built, compact and delivers good audio results.
Echo Audiofire 4
Nikolar User reviews: Echo Audiofire 4 — Audiofanzine Used for voice and keyboard instrument recorded midi. General configuration very easy, the virtual mixer supplied by Echo is a model of its kind, to monitor all the remarkable characteristics and routing of the card. The mankal output rglage plutt faade is a good point against its competitors. Not satisfied with those reviews? For now I appreciate the craft, although mabual latency Outher been lower. There was a little flutter when I purchased the card in linked to the incompatibility of drivers with Firewire chipset on my machine. The drivers have ecbo been updated, I ecbo the card on my 2 PC that followed including a laptopeverything has always worked nickel.
Echo AUDIOFIRE 4 Manuals
Echo AUDIOFIRE 4 Driver and Manual Download and Update for Windows and Mac OS
All user reviews for the Echo Audiofire 4