ART TubeFire 8 (Bonus)

The ART TubeFire 8 is a single-rackspace 8-channel preamp and FireWire audio interface.
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This online bonus material supplements the ART TubeFire 8 review in the April 2008 issue of Electronic Musician.

A Lot to Chew On

Using the Aggregate Device Editor in Mac OS X, Mac users can combine different FireWire audio devices. This utility, along with a similar utility now available to Windows users, resolves an issue that had previously hampered the overall usefulness of FireWire interfaces. Before the advent of such utilities, you would probably have been stuck buying a duplicate of your first audio interface if your need for preamps, channels, or I/O increased over time. Fortunately, that''s no longer the case.

Still, though that level of commitment is no longer necessary, it''s not a minor consideration to make another purchase every time you realize your equipment doesn''t cover all the bases. I suppose this issue does not bear on the TubeFire 8''s specific merits or drawbacks. It does, however, serve as a reminder that when negotiating the many interface products on the market, your final choice will be determined as much by a product''s feature set as by its quality.