At first I wanted to give this an 5-star review and was considering purchasing another one... but the 4 is all is gets from me due to the following:
Pros: Patching between outboard gear is amazing... not only is it quick and easy, but it helps with creativity because there is basically zero effort to switch out, add, or bypass any piece of gear in my studio. Read more
Switching is not only easy but also is clean without pops etc. Saving client's projects is so much easier now... I save the flock file to their same project folder (and take a picture of the outboard gear of course as well)
#1) Main complaint that made me reduce the stars was the mic inputs. It is advertised as being able to hook up your microphones directly to the flock and even give 48v phantom power to them if needed...then of course you send it directly into the microphone preamp. I was having problems with white noise... microphone directly in to the preamp - no noise ... through the flock to same preamp - noise.
I found on a gearsluts page that I am not the only one and several people have had the same problem with no rhyme or reason as to which microphone, cable, preamp etc...sometimes works perfect and other times noise. Some have returned the unit due to this problem which I do not want to do because it has had such a dramatic change - not only on my mixing workflow, but also on my finished mixes.
#2) Fan. It is not horrible but I set up the flock close to me as that is where my interface is (I do need easy access to the interface)... and the flock fan goes off every now and then and can be slightly distracting ..(I kept a blank rack space above it as well.) There is a setting to disengage the fan if I only want i to turn on in "emergency" overheating situations, but I am not sure I want the flock always running hot as that would probably shorten its lifespan. I may have to purchase longer db 25 cables in the future to put the flock further away as one doesn't need access to the hardware itself very often.