Well, managed to buy a Focusrite Thunderbolt interface this morning which, on the surface at least, seems to fulfil the tasks asked of it. More will be discovered on Monday of course, when John comes over to once more try and get my new software recording system up and running.
This still leaves me with a brand new, unused Zoom interface though, which I'm hoping someone will be interested in buying from me.
For all the so-called 'advances' in technology, the actual, physical process of getting all your ducks in line seems frought with problems, many of them seemingly unnecessary. I've ended up spending far more on this current studio refurbishment than I originally envisioned. Getting the old Mackie mixing desk fixed and continuing as I was used to may have been the cheaper option after all. But I guess we have to bite the bullet and conform to the standards of the day, if only to keep these tech companies in profit.
All this messing about with gear has little to do with the eventual task of learning how to use it of course. That's another hurdle which must be overcome. But sometimes I long for the days when you could simply stick a microphone in front of a guitar and press play on a tape recorder and get a decent result. It didn't hinder some great, classic records from the past. When I listen to early Sun label recordings by Elvis Presley, or some of the Bill Hayley, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Duane Eddy waxings of the late 1950s, early '60s, I'm staggered by how good they sound despite such primitive and basic recording equipment. The Beatles recordings too, just so sonically good. And they had none of the technology of today. Sometimes I think things have become, literally, lost in the mix...