Thank you so much for the input!
I'll definitely look into the PSU - it would be an amazing fault/solution to get me out of this pickle.
You're saying to get the inputs I should consider a "cheap" USB mixer to expand whatever the IO is on the interface, correct? The X32 & X18 might be something to consider in order to keep the budget.
Also thanks for pointing me to RME. I'm shipping Clarett back to Sweetwater. There might be something there; without me prompting, they said they will look up some RME USB interfaces as an alternative/better option (are you Matt from Sweetwater?!). Wow... not sure if I'm ready for the price tag on the UFX II, though.
Thanks, Vital Few!
I had such bad experience with an early, "cheap" Firebox that I've kept away from Presonus. Main issue with FireBox was inputs leaking into one another. However, Fireface UFX would have the IO and price tag I'm looking for. Hopefully the quality has improved.
I have no experience with Roland Octa Capture, but the IO and price point definitely look right. Coaxial allows me to continue using my Art DPS II via SPDIF, correct? I wonder how you control input gain on Octa Capture (or RME)... My interface is currently on the desk near the computer keyboard, with the gain knobs are handily available.
One thing I didn't mention that speaks to returning Clarett is that I can't play a sampled piano without latency or stutter/crackle. Profire 2626 has no issues with a 64 sample buffer playing Ravenscroft vst or standalone, seemingly regardless of the amount of polyphony.
Thanks once again. Not that anyone asked, but I'll report back once there's progress.
Switched back to ProFire. I'm able to run the 100+ track projects again. However, the original power-off issue persists, on the first try after around 30 mins of use. Off to replace the PSU. It is really heating up. Moved it away from other cables and PSUs nearby.
An additional problem now is when I load Ravenscroft I get a steady, even audio gate pattern on the output regardless of the polyphony. At the same time, the sync source and sample rate drop downs in the M-Audio driver interface flicker with roughly the same tempo as the audio cuts in&out, at around 0.7s pulses.
Some context about IO and track count, FW and USB2. With recording, the 8 mic/instrument and 2 line ins are due to time resource/laziness. I don't record drums or live sessions, but neither want to spend a second to set up. I want the inputs to be ready to go at any moment.
The material can get quite proggy with mixing which I tend to handle by creating copies and more copies of tracks to make the different song segments work (TBH they never do). This puts the track count near/over 100. Like I mentioned Clarett can't run these projects with the max 1024 buffer, M-Audio ProFire 2626 with 4096 buffer can, same old CPU and RAM. At the moment I only use 1 single stereo output. No control room, monitoring, nothing extra at the outputs.
Cubase Pro 10.5 | Asus P8Z77-V | Intel Core i5-3570 | 32gb RAM | Win7 Pro x64 | M-Audio ProFire 2626 | Art DPS II | iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 11 | Cubasis 2&3 | Cubase iC Pro | M Audio Oxygen 88 | Novation Circuit