Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Donnie
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by Donnie » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:06 pm

I have to be honest, I have never used a consumer grade audio interface that didn't run better using asio4all.

agent314
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by agent314 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:42 pm

Good shout with the cable. I'll grab one this weekend. Might try using a different usb port too and put the card through its paces on current machine.

I think i'll still be on the lookout for a lighter and more portable thing too though.
Don't bother. I have the same card and get the same random audio errors, no matter which cable/port I use.

Aside from the occasional random audio drop, I love the card. I'm going to upgrade to the Edirol QuadCapture soonish, due to liking the form factor, build quality and preamps (which are apparently getting even better in the QC).

Give ASIO4ALL a shot, but I've found it behaves spotty on my machine if I'm not using the native ASIO drivers from Edirol/Cakewalk. Not to mention you can only have one program using the card at a time (so, say, watching YouTube tutorials or listening to reference tracks in WinAmp doesn't work without starting/stopping ASIO4ALL and re-starting the other program).

Donnie
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by Donnie » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:50 pm

agent314 wrote:Not to mention you can only have one program using the card at a time (so, say, watching YouTube tutorials or listening to reference tracks in WinAmp doesn't work without starting/stopping ASIO4ALL and re-starting the other program).
That can be annoying, I personally just have windows use my onboard sound card for everything outside of my DAW. If you dont have a mixer nearby that isnt really an option though.

agent314
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by agent314 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:12 am

That can be annoying, I personally just have windows use my onboard sound card for everything outside of my DAW. If you dont have a mixer nearby that isnt really an option though.
Way more annoying in practice than it sounds. Fortunately the UA25EX's drivers are great about playing multiple sound sources simultaneously.

Really, I've been plenty happy with the unit, save for the random (maybe twice a month, knock on wood) audio errors, and those are usually only when I'm dragging a heavy-duty plugin to a new track while lots of other stuff is playing, etc.

23kon
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by 23kon » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:21 am

Granted, it's a great unit apart from the random crashes and yeah its been when ive been doing heavy duty stuff.

Has anyone used it playing live gigs?
i'd be wary of it crashing mid-set, that'd be a nightmare!!!!!

Are any of the other cards like Native Instruments offerings any better or more stable??

Oh, the maya was an ESI maya
http://www.esi-audio.com/products/maya44usb/

Mister Natural
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by Mister Natural » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:13 am

gonna be a little heretical here but, imo :

copper is copper and bits are bits

all properly configured & working interfaces sound the same

discuss . . .
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23kon
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by 23kon » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:35 pm

Mister Natural wrote:all properly configured & working interfaces sound the same discuss . . .
Perhaps they all sound the same when properly configured but they surely won't be able to handle all the same amount of processing and cheaper cards will bring stuttering as it struggles to cope.

Mister Natural
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by Mister Natural » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:58 pm

23kon wrote:
Mister Natural wrote:all properly configured & working interfaces sound the same discuss . . .
Perhaps they all sound the same when properly configured but they surely won't be able to handle all the same amount of processing and cheaper cards will bring stuttering as it struggles to cope.
I'm not certain that the "stuttering" bottleneck you describe isn't the computer struggling
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agent314
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by agent314 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:43 pm

all properly configured & working interfaces sound the same

discuss . . .
Interfaces can definitely sound crappy, by virtue of shitty preamps/converters. I got a Lexicon Lambda as my first interface, and I was kind of amazed at how shitty it made my recorded vocals sound. Lost so much character and clarity in the sound.

Plugged in my trusty $30 ART tube preamp and the sound was significantly better.

Also, not all drivers are created equal. You can have good hardware in an interface, but if the company writes clumsy, high-latency, unstable drivers and the unit won't play nice with ASIO4ALL, you're stuck with a crappy device.

dave2011aks
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by dave2011aks » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:14 pm

rydn wrote:I've been thinking about picking up the Native Instruments Audio 6, but I'm having a hard time finding good comparison to justify that. If I can spend less get and get the same or better quality, that would be awesome. Thanks for the help.
I'll be glad if you kindly post few links from where I can get some details. I am looking for PC base cards under $300

23kon
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by 23kon » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:42 pm

Dave,

I started a thread asking if anyone had any reviews or opinions of these new SoundCards by Icon.
Not had any replies yet.

http://www.icon-global.com/Pro.aspx?Class=44

They seem pretty high spec (24bit 96/192KHz) for not a lot of money and there's a few to choose from depending on your needs.

Migra
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by Migra » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:25 pm

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23kon
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by 23kon » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:40 pm

Interesting.
Even their Microbook seems to get good reviews

http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/communit ... OOK-REVIEW

£195 though (ouch!) for such a teeny thing.

23kon
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by 23kon » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:04 pm

Is the Native Instruments Audio 2 DJ card usable with Ableton Live?
can it handle the load ok?

locojohn
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Re: Best sounding audio interface under $300?

Post by locojohn » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:36 pm

http://www.esi-audio.com/products/quatafire610/

This external box is no longer produced but let me tell you this is extremely reliable firewire audio interface that has 2 x MIDI I/O and 4/8 audio I/O. It's small, light-weight and perfectly reliable for both Mac and PC. If you can find one on e-bay, you willl not regret. Sounds fine.

Other options exist, but this is my choice - 10/10 for reliability and 8/10 for sound.

Andrejs
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