I bought this unit from dolphin music uk and was pleasantly supried to recieve it 2 days later. Out of the box it is wonderful and i am going to copy+paste a short review i did on the propellerheads forums:
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.
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.
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*
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
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.