Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Kernal
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Kernal » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:56 pm

HI, I'm a bit of a novice at all this so apologies if this is a stupid question.

I would like to get a copy of Ableton Live Lite or Intro with a view to later upgrading if there is a need. I just want to experiment to start with.

I use a windows 8 PC which has a built in sound card. From what I have read, I will likely need a better soundcard, especially if I want to que tracks in a DJ setting. Is this a correct assumption or will I be able to manage with a built in soundcard? I'm thinking external soundcards are also known as an audio interface?

Assuming I do need a new soundcard/audio inteface, I've seen some that come bundled with Ableton Lite like the M-Audio M-Track 2x2. Are there any recommendations for this device? or maybe others of a similar price that are bundled with Lite?

I've also been looking at the APC40 as no doubt I'll need some kind of controller. These too come bundled with Lite. Does the APC40 have a built in audio interface that may negate the need to buy a M-Audio M-Track 2x2?

Any help appreciated!
Thanks 8)

Tarekith
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Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Tarekith » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:05 pm

The APC40 and Push both do not come with a built in audio interface, you'd still need a seperate one.

Stromkraft
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Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:21 pm

Kernal wrote:M-Audio M-Track 2x2.
You'd be better served getting a second hand license for Live Lite, or Live Intro and a proper audio interface with proper and updated drivers. I'd suggest looking at Focusrite second hand, RME, like a 1st gen Babyface (what I got) if you can afford a little more, or some other that has a history of updating drivers and with 4 outs, with your connection of choice.
Make some music!

Kernal
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Kernal » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:50 pm

Thank you for the responses.
Erm, what do the 4 outs do?
I know some device have 2 and some 4, but what are they for?
Trying to work out whether I need 2 or 4.

Kernal
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Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Kernal » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:51 pm

Oh and where would I go about getting a second hand license?
I was thinking of just getting an audio interface that was bundled

Stromkraft
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Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:54 pm

Kernal wrote: Erm, what do the 4 outs do?.
You mentioned DJing. Then 2 is for your main outputs, left and right and the other 2 is for you pre-listening or cueing, left and right.
Make some music!

Stromkraft
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Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:07 pm

Kernal wrote:Oh and where would I go about getting a second hand license?
I was thinking of just getting an audio interface that was bundled
Put in your own ad here in For Sale / Wanted and also have a look at for example Gearslutz marketplace, where someone gave away a license of Live Lite for free just a month ago.

You best bet is to place an ad that you're looking for this. Few that have Lite or ev Intro licenses they can transfer, bother to list them. I have an Intro license, but I've given that to friends rather than try to sell it. Sometimes the licenses clearly belong to piece of hardware and can't be transfered without it. Usually if the license never were registered (used) it won't matter.

You can buy a bundled product as much as you want, but IMHO M-Audio makes crap interfaces. I also wouldn't vouch for Native Instruments, though maybe you can make do with one of theirs, if you're lucky. The worst thing that can happen is you may want to resell it and get something else. Which can be difficult for some interfaces, easier for others.
Make some music!

Kernal
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Kernal » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:30 pm

Cheers for advice!

So, are there any devices similar to the APC40 that have an audio interface built in?
Or maybe a midi keyboard that does?
If not is a Scarlett 2i4 any good?
I'd like to find something cheaper to be honest is anyone has any recommendations.

Thanks!!

markwphoto
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Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by markwphoto » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:00 pm

Kernal wrote:Cheers for advice!

So, are there any devices similar to the APC40 that have an audio interface built in?
Or maybe a midi keyboard that does?
If not is a Scarlett 2i4 any good?
I'd like to find something cheaper to be honest is anyone has any recommendations.

Thanks!!
You typically will not find many midi controllers/keyboards with built a built in audio interfaces. Off the top of my head I can't think of any. I've seen DJ Mixers with built in interfaces but that's about it. Manufactures do this because many end users have different audio needs. Built in interfaces would usually only include a 2in/2out or 4in/4out but what if a user needed more I/O? Then they would still need to get another audio interface. You also get into more hardware complexity and cost by integrating interfaces in controllers/keyboards. Manufacturers would now have to maintain driver compatibility for various Operating Systems. Also having a built in interface may lead to a decline in hardware sales because either a user won't need the controller with a/i or doesn't want to pay for the extra cost of having it built in.

The Scarlett 2i4 (gen 2) is a pretty good interface. I use it with my Push2 and SP4 when I'm on the go or in the family room. When I'm in my home office/studio I use an 18i8. If you purchase a Focusrite interface it will usually come with the Lite version of Ableton Live. You also get a few plugins and sample packs.

If you want to DJ or be able to hear a mix in your headphones that is separate from you main output you will need a minimum of a 2in/4out interface. After that you'll need the controller of your choice. I can't really say that there would be a cheaper way to do it but I have learned over the years it's better to take time and save up to get exactly what you need/want then to try to take a cheaper way out only to find out later that you have to sell off stuff that you can't use to get the stuff you need. It ends up being a waste of time and money in the long run. My .02.

Kernal
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: Newb Advice needed - Audio interfaces

Post by Kernal » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:47 pm

Right, it looks like my shopping list is...

Scarlett 2i4
APC40
Akai MPK Mini
Presonus Eris E5 monitors

Thanks for the input Mark and others :D

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