TC Electronic PowerCore FireWire
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TC Electronic PowerCore FireWire

PowerCore FireWire, DSP ボード from TC Electronic in the Powercore series.

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phraseland 12/05/2008

TC Electronic PowerCore FireWire : phraseland のユーザーレビュー (content in English)

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Firewire DSP Interface with a bunch of Effects loaded. It has everything from a very nice sounding vintage compressor to the M3 Mastering plugin. It is also expandable and professional plugins (like Sony Oxford) can be purchased afterwards.
I use an old PC and have a MOTU2408 with PCI card installed. Since this device and the MOTU PCI card take up a lot of the processing already I have been able to work quite nicely even with an inferior computer (check also my posts about the 2408 and Melodyne).
I use mainly Steinberg Cubase SX and Wavelab. This unit really works well and is basically plug-and-play. The only problem occurs at times with the firewire port on laptops - but on my Dell laptop I have had as many or few problems as on my PC. Sometimes the unit just doesn't get recognized and rebooting it takes care of the problem.

UTILIZATION

As I said the installation worked pretty well. At first my PC didn't recognize the unit though and I had to restart twice to get it working. After that it was smooth sailing (most of the time...).
TC gives you a lot of nice plugins right away and supplies trial versions of their other products. Those you can use for 10 or 20 hours without restriction - after that you have to buy them. It is a bit annoying that they also show up on the VST folder and you have to remember which ones you own and which ones you don't. So it could easily happen that you use the MX5 instead the MX3 and suddenly it stops working. Some kind of visual filter would have been nice here - but it seems they really want to push their products.

GETTING STARTED

The unit is very stable. Every once in a while it can't be recognized but it really doesn't happen often. The latest update was quite nice because it gave a grafic overhaul to most of the plugins...but it seems they also changed the architecture! So after installing the update all my previous projects in Cubase weren't finding the plugins anymore!!! That was really annoying and even though I do like this device it really made me mad. This shouldn't happen with such a prestigious company.

OVERALL OPINION

I have been using the TC Firewire for about a year now and I think if I spent the money again I would buy a product from Universal Audio. It seems that they have more of a unique sound. The TC Reverb, the Dynamic EQ and the compression are very nice - the same goes for the Master Compressor. I also like the Voice Strip (especially the Vintage preset). There is a lot of potential in this machine but I always have a feeling that they held back the coolest plugins. Yes they gave me Character but I would have prefered the way Universal Audio goes about it. They give you a few basic plugins along with coupons for software you can buy at their online store. That way you get the four or five plugins you really want and need and not twenty plugins that fill up space and will never really see the light of day.
TC Effekts sound very clean and sometimes a bit cold. But they are very precise and can be used in a lot of ways. I think this product is pretty good but I think for me I would choose a different route next time.