Audio interface recommendations

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bogh
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Audio interface recommendations

Post by bogh » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:40 pm

Hi,

I am looking for a new audio interface to use in a live setup with a MacBook.
My requirements are min 2 audio in/out, MIDI in/out and OS X compatible. An extra couple of audio I/O would be nice but not essential.
My budget it €250.

I had an M-Audio interface in the past, an was not pleased with the sound quality, so I would like to avoid M-Audio.
I use a Motu 828 mkII in my studio, and would like somthing more portable for live use.
I have considered looking for a second hand Native Instruments Kore 1 which has buit in audio. The Kore funtionality would be an added bonus.

It's been a few years since I've kept up with new audio hardware, so I would appreciate your advice and recommendations on what to check out.

Thanks,
Bogh

catalyst
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by catalyst » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:57 pm

NI Audio Kontrol 1 :)

hennessey
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by hennessey » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:07 pm

Up until last week I would have recommended the Audio Konrol 1 as well. But if you are going to use the MIDI IN and the audio out at the same time be careful. The unit crashed during a gig on me. Total silence. Note the NIUSBMIDIDriver (the cable was not removed, and the cable is good):

Code: Select all

Process:         MIDIServer [6158]
Path:            /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreMIDIServer.framework/MIDIServer
Identifier:      MIDIServer
Version:         ??? (???)
Code Type:       X86 (Native)
Parent Process:  launchd [67]

Date/Time:       2009-08-21 22:09:58.396 -0400
OS Version:      Mac OS X 10.5.8 (9L30)
Report Version:  6
Anonymous UUID:  607124F1-A683-4A6F-8A5F-E15F37011C1B

Exception Type:  EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGBUS)
Exception Codes: KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE at 0x0000000000000000
Crashed Thread:  0

Thread 0 Crashed:
1   NIUSBMIDIDriver 0x00302f5a CaiaqUSBMIDIDriver::deviceRemoved(unsigned int) + 46
[/size]

Of course, YMMV. Just a heads up.

bogh
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by bogh » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:15 pm

How's the audio quality of NI interfaces?

hennessey
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by hennessey » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:18 pm

AK1 build quality is solid, fine for stage. Only hesitation would be the MIDI driver.

redglass
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by redglass » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:19 pm

Hi,

I would check the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24, abit more expensive but worth of its price.

I use the Pro 40 and I'm very happy with it (using XP SP2)

Greez Bastian

chilleddreams
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by chilleddreams » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:22 pm

I have NI's Audio8 DJ and Focusrite Saffire LE (running with OSX). The Saffire has a better performance - maybe due to the FireWire interface. I get more dropouts on high CPU load when using Audio8.

The Saffire LE has 2 analog (mono) inputs on front (can be switched to intrument mode or used for microphone with XLR too). 2 additional analog mono inputs are on the rear side. Note that the "better" version of Saffire (without the 'LE') has not the 2 additional inputs on the rear. There are also SPDIF in/outs but I don't use SPDIF.
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crumhorn
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by crumhorn » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:09 pm

Check out PreSonus if your budget is restricted.

Check them out anyway.
Last edited by crumhorn on Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vicz
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by vicz » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:44 pm

Edirol FA66 good for me..

bogh
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by bogh » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:53 pm

crumhorn wrote:Check out PreSonus if your budget is restricted.

Check them out anyway.
I had pretty much eliminated Presonus, since the only product within my price range/needs was the FireBox, and I thought it didn't have MIDI... just took a closer look, and found out it indeed does have midi - too bad it needs an additional adaptor cable. But could be a candidate.

booksofbokonon
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by booksofbokonon » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:43 pm

I have the firebox and a macbook, and absolutely love it. The cable for midi comes with it. New it's priced at $250 and has a ton of inputs/outputs. The thing just works and sounds good, plus it is powered by the firewire cable, so no need for a wall wart.

bogh
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by bogh » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:25 pm

booksofbokonon wrote:... plus it is powered by the firewire cable, so no need for a wall wart.
Yeah - forgot to mention that - Bus-powered is a definite must.
The Firebox definitely looks like a possible choice... However, I have a friend who just sold his Presonus interface - among other reasons because he wasn't satisfied with the audio quality.

Not so sure about the Edirol... at that price I think I'd rather go for a TC Electronics interface.

Budbertzerofluff
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by Budbertzerofluff » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:11 pm

I recommend getting class-compliant device like a Firebox that doesn't need drivers. If you don't want to buy a class-compliant device, go onto the support site of the product you're looking at and see how recently they've updated their drivers. Drivers that haven't been updated in a long time say a lot about a company, IMO.

Personally I'd recommend against M-Audio (I own a Fast Track Ultra) because they don't seem to like to fix driver bugs (especially ones that cause kernel panics). I've lost count of the number of panic crash logs I've sent to them that show the kernel crashing in the M-Audio driver in the stack backtrace. When I ask if they're going to fix the drivers, their usual response is along the lines of "you're the only one who is experiencing this issue". Thankfully I have my old Firebox to fall back on.

Dexes
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by Dexes » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:30 am

I've got an echo audiofire 2 that i'm very happy with.

2 balanced audio in & out
seperate headphone out
spdif in/out
midi in/out
Buspowered
2 Firewire plugs at the back to daisychain multiple units

costs €200

and for €100 more the audiofire 4 has mic preamps on 2 of the inputs.

rarelyseen
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Re: Audio interface recommendations

Post by rarelyseen » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:48 am

+1 for the Echo Audiofire 2. I use it for gigs all the time. Great sounding and sturdy little box.

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