USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
fishmonkey
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:04 pm

if you want a high quality, reliable interface i would take a Steinberg or Roland unit over a Scarlett. don't take my word for it though, ask a few dealers which interfaces have the most problems and returns...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

smutek
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by smutek » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:33 am

Interesting, I've had no problems with my Scarlett 2i4 and haven't seen any negatives in my travels - but noted.

Any thoughts on the PreSonus stuff? I'm also looking at the AudioBox 1818VSL

ps - love your sig 8)

Guillermo Barrancos
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Guillermo Barrancos » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:33 am

I have the Scarlett 6i6 now and it works fine.

I had a lot of stability issues with Ableton Live 9.5 on Windows 10 and thought at first that it was an issue with the Scarlett drivers, as it hang-up and crashes went away when I turned off the Scarlett Interface.

But since I run Ableton Live 9.6 beta 1, all instability and crashes went away instantly and everything runs very smooth now. Indicating it was an issue with current 9.5 Version of Ableton and not Scarlett.

Modler
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Modler » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:00 am

Well that's encouraging regarding Live 9.6. But are you referring to improved smoothness playing audio, or just Live freezing up & crashing?

Guillermo Barrancos
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Guillermo Barrancos » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:49 am

Modler wrote:Well that's encouraging regarding Live 9.6. But are you referring to improved smoothness playing audio, or just Live freezing up & crashing?
Ableton Live 9.5 was unusable for me on my Windows 10 PC. It ran ok on my MacBook Pro on OSX, but on my main machine, Windows 10 PC it was terrible.
It took me considerable effort (lot of attempts) to get Live 9.5 running every time. Total mess. Constant crashes and freezes, especially with the Push 2 (so not only the Scarlett Interface).

At least with the new 9.6 beta 1 it has been rock stable again for me so far (knock on Wood).

doublestop
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by doublestop » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:38 pm

rexcasteel wrote:Any thoughts and recommendations on a good USB audio interface?

I compared half a dozen and narrowed down to:

> TASCAM US-1200

> ROLAND UA-22 DUO CAPTURE EX

I like the TASCAM's 6 inputs (and other features - "low-latency monitoring, high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio, on-board DSP mixing, and on-board DSP effects) but it has no MIDI.

The ROLAND does MIDI but has only 2 inputs. Audio resolution capability seems to be lower (but I don't know much about that or how important it is). This unit can be powered by AC or AA batteries in addition to USB - not sure when I might ever need that.

Both have dedicated volume control for monitoring and that seems important.

What else is important here?

I'd like to keep cost around $200 or below but would go a little higher if I could get best of all worlds (more than two inputs *and* MIDI).

Most important, though, is a quality product.

Primary purpose is for recording instruments (mostly bamboo and ceramic flutes) and voices into Ableton. Also, Roland V-Drums (hence the MIDI).

Thanks for any help!

- R
Hey, I have a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP - It's Firewire, not USB .. but I love it! it's latency is extremely low! Anyway, I wanted to point something out. When I bought it, I thought it important that the interface has MIDI in/out. But now after using it for several years now, I realize that I have NEVER used the MIDI ports on the unit. Most modern MIDI devices these days have USB connectors as well as the older MIDI connections. I've got a MIDI keyboard controller, PUSH 2, and The Steinberg CC-121 - All connected to my computer's USB ports. I thought I'd point that out in case you were still considering the TASCAM. The only reason I can think that your Audio Interface would really need a MIDI interface is if you have any older "legacy" MIDI devices with no USB - and even then you could just by a simple USB in/out box on its own.

kitekrazy
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by kitekrazy » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:11 am

fishmonkey wrote:if you want a high quality, reliable interface i would take a Steinberg or Roland unit over a Scarlett. don't take my word for it though, ask a few dealers which interfaces have the most problems and returns...
I tend to trust end users over dealers.

fishmonkey
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by fishmonkey » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:20 am

kitekrazy wrote:
fishmonkey wrote:if you want a high quality, reliable interface i would take a Steinberg or Roland unit over a Scarlett. don't take my word for it though, ask a few dealers which interfaces have the most problems and returns...
I tend to trust end users over dealers.
assuming you have contacts with some good trustworthy dealers or rental shops, they can be an excellent source of information. a busy dealer or rental shop will have experience with a lot more units than a handful of users. talking statistics, they have a much bigger sample size, so the trends they see are likely to be a more reliable indicator.

for the kind of work i sometimes do, a rock-solid glitch-free audio/MIDI interface is absolutely critical, so i care a lot about stability and reliability.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

fishmonkey
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by fishmonkey » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:34 am

smutek wrote:Interesting, I've had no problems with my Scarlett 2i4 and haven't seen any negatives in my travels - but noted.

Any thoughts on the PreSonus stuff? I'm also looking at the AudioBox 1818VSL

ps - love your sig 8)
from what i hear Presonus interfaces don't have a great stability record on OS X. dunno about with Windows...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

beatz01
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by beatz01 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:14 am

From my own research on the same topic it boils down to the following list of interfaces:

- Edirol FA-66 (Firewire)
- Echo Audiofire 4 (Firewire)
- Focusrite Saffire LE (Firewire)
- MOTU Microbook II (USB)
- Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 (USB)
- Mackie Onyx Blackjack (USB)

From what i've read it seems all the above interfaces have pristine audio quality and rock solid drivers.Personally i tend more towards an FW interface simply because it's a totally seperate bus and doesn't occupy any USB port/streams.Also i currently have a M-Audio Ozonic Firewire Interface/Keyboard and haven't experienced any problems whatsoever, no pops, crackles, nothing.I attribute that to utilizing a dedicated Cardbus FW card with TI chipset instead of using the laptops internal FW port (which on my laptop isn't a TI one).

Tarekith
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:46 am

fishmonkey wrote:from what i hear Presonus interfaces don't have a great stability record on OS X. dunno about with Windows...
It does seem a like a lot of people are having issues with Presonus cards lately, sorta like the modern day M-Audio 410.
Last edited by Tarekith on Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

fishmonkey
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by fishmonkey » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:09 am

the Roland Octa-Capture is also very good (on OS X at least). after several recommendations by people who also need rock-solid interfaces i bought one and so far it has been excellent...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

smutek
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by smutek » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:16 am

I just ordered a Scarlett 18i8.

I've been happy with my 2i4, so yeah man, I'm pretty excited to get this thing and finally be able to hook all of my little Volcas and my JU-06 up at once and run them through a DAW for effects. Up till now I've only been able to hook two things at a time up.

Anyway, I was really considering the Stienberg, but Pro Audio Star has some open box 18i8's for $250.

http://www.proaudiostar.com/focusrite-s ... rface.html

mekanism1200
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by mekanism1200 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:17 am

I have the Presonus Audiobox 22VSL and its ok, never disconnects but I do have to turn up the buffer on larger projects or it clicks and pops like crazy. Presonus has discontinued develepment for the VSL series software so no more driver/firmware updates. So basically they screwed over everyone that owns the VSL stuff. I'm liking what M-Audio is doing with their new line of interfaces. They should have the new stuff out in a few months and there is a Sound ON Sound youtube interview with M-Audio for more info.

Also, keep in mind if you plan on doing any DJ mixes you will need a cue mix function, which most 2 channel interfaces dont have, and another thing to look out for are XLR combo inputs do you can do both XLR and Line level. IMO, get the most I\O's you can with the money you have.

fishmonkey
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Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:27 am

M-Audio has one of the worst track records for audio interfaces though, so i would hesitate to go there until they have proved that they have lifted their game...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

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