Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Emanresu0891
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Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by Emanresu0891 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:03 pm

Is that a real thing.. a reliable non fucking up audio interface?

I have gone through many audio interfaces and each one fucks up in some area.
Some will randomly decide not to output any sound, some will have buffering issues, some freeze the computer while recording.
In the 15 years of working with computer music I have yet to find a single STAGE WORTHY audio interface.

I want something that is just as reliable as my guitar amp. I plug my guitar in and it works all the time.

Here is the list I of interfaces I have used through out the years.
M audio fast track
M audio 24/96
An Alesis audio interface mixer combo
Line 6 ux2
Focusrite scarlet 2i4
Focusrite scarlet 2i2
And now Focusrite saffire pro 14 via thunderstruck

Im thinking about ditching the audio interface all together and using a di box to a mixer and then to my computer (mac book pro) running OS X 10.11.5
Im even thinking about selling everything computer related and going all hardware down to an 8 track recorder.

My thoughts used to be that no one needs a $500 audio interface, but Im now thinking otherwise.

Tell me your thoughts on this please. Is there a rock solid interface that always works with out a single fuck up?
Is apogee and rme trustworthy for stage use?

Can some one explain why audio interfaces are so fucking bad? I can still plug a mic into a multi fx rack unit from the 90s and it will work like it did day one. I can record into a digital multi track recorder from the early 2000s and this will also work. Why is computer audio any different?

Angstrom
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by Angstrom » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:15 pm

RME have always been rock solid for me. I'm still using the same fireface I've used for years. The only problem with it is the front knob is an encoder which can tend to suddenly decide that we all need to take a sudden violent leap from -32db to +6db

Other than that, it's great.

Tagor
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by Tagor » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:55 pm

using here a 10 year old RME Mulitface 2

all other parts (controllers, computers ect.) needed to be exchanged with the time.

speaks for itself
Last edited by Tagor on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Emanresu0891
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by Emanresu0891 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:18 pm

Angstrom wrote: The only problem with it is the front knob is an encoder which can tend to suddenly decide that we all need to take a sudden violent leap from -32db to +6db

Other than that, it's great.
Does it do this on its own or when you adjust the front knob? This seems like a huge issue if its the former.

Emanresu0891
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by Emanresu0891 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:21 pm

Tagor wrote: all other parts needed to be exchanged with the time.
Did you mean all OF the parts needed to be exchanged as in needed to be serviced?

Angstrom
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by Angstrom » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:55 pm

Emanresu0891 wrote:
Angstrom wrote: The only problem with it is the front knob is an encoder which can tend to suddenly decide that we all need to take a sudden violent leap from -32db to +6db

Other than that, it's great.
Does it do this on its own or when you adjust the front knob? This seems like a huge issue if its the former.
I mean when I turn up the volume it goes .. -32, -31, -30, +6 HOLY SHIT ... and I turn it back down again. Really I should have sent it in for a repair ages ago but as it only happens intermittently I've simply not bothered.

I mean ... how often do you turn that main physical volume dial up on your actual interface?
Usually I just set it and forget it.

borg
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by borg » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:14 am

I love my Scope interfaces (Sonic Core), both PCI and external box types. It's a lot more than an interface, it's a complete DSP studio with mixers, synths, modular, fx, samplers,... Very good sound quality, and although very reliable, it gave me a BSOD occasionally in the past.

However, for my mac laptops through the years, I've always had RMEs, first the Multiface I still have lying around somewhere, then the Fireface800.
100% reliability, never a glitch or drop or crash or whatever, again 100% reliable during 10+ years!
In between the RMEs I've had a M-Audio firewire interface, but within a month I ditched it and got the Fireface. Occasional bursts of noise, harsh sounding, drop outs, but a nice blue LED.

Some (pro) people I know rave about the Focusrite Saffire Pro40 for sound quality and reliability, and at a considerably lower price tag, might be interesting.
andy
2015 MBP, OSX 10.12, Live 10.1 64bit, RME Fireface 800

doghouse
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by doghouse » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:40 am

I have had some issues with the Saffire Pro40 losing it's mind now and then. If I always turn it on first and the computer second and vice versa it is very stable. It's when I cycle power while the computer is on that seems to cause trouble, usually a reboot of the computer is required...bad news on a gig.

As an engineer who works in computer design, I'm convinced it's not really the interface that is the problem it's the computer. When I was using Windows XP things were much, much worse as far as having to reboot, cycle power, etc. than with the Macs I use now. But it's still an accident waiting to happen as far as I'm concerned. I only put up with it because there are no good hardware recording solutions any more, at least not ones that are affordable for a hobbyist.

m:o
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by m:o » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:15 pm

11 years i was using a RME Multiface 1 without any problems. switched to an RME UFX early 2016 and could not be happier.
i`ll never use anything other than RME.Top Driver support, reliable, high end sound
4770K/Live9Suite/Max4Live/Push/RME UFX/NordModularG2X/Machinedrum SPS1 UW/Elektron Analog Four/MBase11/Adam A7X

http://soundcloud.com/sphereandlowthing

mmorgan
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by mmorgan » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:30 pm

Loves me my RME Fireface UFX. :)

Absolutely flawless as long as I've had it. All the others I've owned (M-Audio, Tascam, Focusrite) I've had issues with.
Michael Morgan | pearl hour project
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Intel i7-2600 @3.4GHz; 16G Ram; Win 10-64; Live 9.5
RME-Fireface UFX; Machine II; APC40; MPK25;
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Stromkraft
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:10 pm

I only have an RME Babyface and I think my next interface will be RME as well. I don't think it operates perfectly all the time, but almost.
Make some music!

beats me
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by beats me » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:23 pm

Angstrom wrote:I mean ... how often do you turn that main physical volume dial up on your actual interface?
All the time. I have wall sharing neighbors who I try to respect without property management forcing me to. The main reason I got the NI Audio 6 interface is because of the big volume knob on the top. I don’t do any external audio recording and don’t need the aggravation of reaching for the volume in a cluster of same size knobs for volume, headphone volume, line gain, monitors, and whatever else they felt needed a knob on the face.

FWIW, I have no issues with the Audio 6 but my computer is more of a music software museum than a constantly tested production machine.

ark
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by ark » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:09 am

I have had no problems at all with my Roland Octa-Capture, or with my Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6.

fishmonkey
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by fishmonkey » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:17 am

your problem is that most of the interfaces you have used in the past are on the crap end of the spectrum.

as others have said, RME is one of the best choices for rock-solid stability.

QLab is an OS X program that is used in thousands of theatres around the world, in situations where extended rock-solid audio performance is critical. if you want highly informed recommendations, check out the audio interface threads on the QLab forums. the QLab devs have extensive knowledge about the reliability of many kinds of interfaces, both from theatre pros and rental shops. anything by M-Audio, and the Focusrite Scarletts are definitely not on the recommended list...

here is an excerpt from a recent thread:

The interfaces we've heard the fewest complaints about are:

- Anything made by Metric Halo
- Anything made by RME
- The Focusrite Saffire series
- The Roland Quad capture and Octa capture
- Dante DVS

The interfaces we've heard the most complaints about are:

- Anything made by Behringer
- Anything made by Echo
- Anything made by M-Audio
- Anything made by Avid (due to lame drivers)
- Anything made by Presonus
- The Focusrite Scarlett series

Obviously this list is not comprehensive, nor is it intended to be completely authoritative. Some folks have had good success with, for example, M-Audio, but we have the benefit of being able to aggregate thousands of users' experiences.
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stoersignal
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Re: Does a reliable audio interface really exist?

Post by stoersignal » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:39 pm

i`m more than happy with my apogee Symphony I/O

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