Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Trex-step
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Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by Trex-step » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:34 pm

Hello, I need some expert advice for audio interface's sound quality. If I play a professionally mastered song my DAW and it has good sound quality through my speakers, does that mean that I should be able to design my sounds to be as accurate with the interface the i already own, or will buying a $500+ audio interface make my sounds come out more accurately, making my tracks better quality.

FYI. I run a gaming Win 7 computer so glitching and latency on my midi controllers are not a problem. I use my pioneer ddj T-1 mixer as an audio interface. i spent over $1000 on the mixer and wonder if the interface is worth upgrading if it means my sounds will be able to master better. also, I don't have actual studio monitors, its a mix of speakers and powered subs i hooked up for high mid and low frequencies.

Soooo.... I was looking at the M-audio Pro-Fire 610 Firewire interface and the Rockit powered 10-3-1 studio monitors, but before i get them i need to know if it will help Massive, FM8, Razor, and sylynth(etc) mixed with certain effect and plugins sound more like the professional tracks that i play on the same DAW
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Trex-step
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by Trex-step » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:43 pm

by the way, I go for the dubstep feel so the majority of my music is synth basslines that have really intricate sounding bass. so is it that my skills just aren't there yet or is it my hardware?????

kev herb
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by kev herb » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:25 pm

improving your monitoring environment which includes descent interface, monitor speakers and acoustic treatment is the best money you can spend before even thinking about third party plugins. they dont change the sound that gets printed but they enable you to hear whats happening so you can make judgments to achieve the sound you want (you need to trust what you hear). after that it come down to the long road learning to train your ears to hear things you think you cant hear, that when in context with a load of tracks in your arrangement make a big difference.
you could spend a fortune on interface and monitors but if you,ve spent nothing on acoustic treatment (bass traps and 1st reflection absorbers)... well you've just wasted a load of money so dont neglect any one of these elements.

my advise would be get monitors next with at least a 6 inch driver preferably 8 inch (alot of love for the yamaha HS80m) and fuck the subs off as even if you bass trap fully chances are your room is not big enough for subs to be accurate.
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Trex-step
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by Trex-step » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:58 pm

So basicly what your saying is that even if i didn't get the interface and monitors, it is still possible that my tracks could still turn out professional sounding if i knew exactly what i was doing, but the monitors, interface, and acoustic environment make it easier to hear whats going on if i don't?

Also the monitors im looking at have a 10", 3", and 1". would that be going overboard compared to the 8's or is it the bigger the better? and what kind (or price range) of interface should I look into to top a $1000 pioneer dj mixers interface? Suggstions?

kev herb
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by kev herb » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:10 pm

So basically what your saying is that even if i didn't get the interface and monitors, it is still possible that my tracks could still turn out professional sounding if i knew exactly what i was doing, but the monitors, interface, and acoustic environment make it easier to hear whats going on if i don't?
its possible but unlikely and only after years of torment learning the inadequacy of your setup and checking on just about every system you can.
its been said before but alot of truth is in it that if you were a painter and mixed your own colors and spent alot of time getting every element to be just how you want it on your picture would you do all that in poor artificial light and be confident that when you take it to the gallery that is well lit everything still looks how it did in your poorly lit studio? its not that different metaphorically. sure you could learn one day how to compensate but wouldn't it be quicker to get better lights and get back to work?
Also the monitors im looking at have a 10", 3", and 1". would that be going overboard compared to the 8's or is it the bigger the better? and what kind (or price range) of interface should I look into to top a $1000 pioneer dj mixers interface? Suggstions?
bigger could be better if the room size can take it and you've treated the fuck out of it after all big studios have mains that are huge but most of the work is still done on near-fields but remember these studios are actually BUILT with acoustics in mind from the start and have thousands of £ worth of treatment so in most cases in a home studio bigger would cause more damage than good.
as to what would top the pioneer i couldn't say as have no knowledge of it. it made more for djs but i dont know if that changes anything as it comes down to good digital to analog (D/A)converters.
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d.reamonn
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by d.reamonn » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:57 am

If your dubstep don't sound like the mutt's nuts yet, then it's your skills.

Trex-step
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by Trex-step » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:40 am

I get it now, the songs i load on my tracks sound good because theres things going on behind what my speakers will allow me to hear, making it harder for me to know what goes into the sound design.

One thing I can't figure out is why some instruments i use glitch out. Massive for example, right now i'm playing a preset and 2 of the oscilators keep cutting out. the softwares legit and i dunno if its the computer or interface causing to do this but its making it pretty difficult to work with. This is the main reason I started looking into audio interfaces in the first place.

Trex-step
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by Trex-step » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:46 am

d.reamonn wrote:If your dubstep don't sound like the mutt's nuts yet, then it's your skills.
I'm definitely not a pro but in this case the problem is more about getting the sounds to sound right. I layer, EQ (sumtimes multiple times), compress, limit, even sumtimes duplicate channels and pan each to a different side to get more dimension. but it never sounds right, almost like when i change one thing it fucks up the other.....

login
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by login » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:17 am

IMHO No, The conversion from the digital domain to analog can be improved but not enough to make a huge difference, analog to digital is another story.

So, if you are only working within Live instruments and fx you will gain very very little. On the other side upgrading to Studio monitors can be a huge difference, you should go for something like yamahas hs80, mackie mr8, adam 8, something in the 500 -700 USD range.

For now your audio interface in the pioneer ddj is enough, first expend the money in monitors.

loydb
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by loydb » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:33 pm

I recently got the HS80s when my old Tannoys finally blew up. These things sound fantastic, and have no need at all for the subwoofer (at least in my room). I can make the whole house resonate with my Little Phatty...

The monitors are the ultimate interface between the machine and the listener. If you don't have that sorted first, it's very hard to do anything but guess at how a mix actually sounds.
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Hidden Driveways
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Re: Need expert advice on audio interface.....

Post by Hidden Driveways » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:48 pm

I hear a noticable improvement in sound quality with RME and Apogee audio interfaces, but your Pioneer DDJ-T1 should be more than adequate for your needs. If you had been using an RME or an Apogee interface all along, chances are that your tracks would still be suffering from the same problems. That's the trick. Making good sounding music takes a lot of effort. Having a good monitoring setup can really help, but it's also important to note that you can mix on nearly anything. You just have to dedicate time to learning the speakers that you have. Learning what their strengths and weaknesses are. Skrillex made a point of stating that he mixed his Grammy winning tracks with blown speakers. I don't think he made this up. Gear is an obstacle. Gear lust is the opposite of music making. Focus on your songs. Forget about equipment.

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