Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Machinesworking
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Machinesworking » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:22 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
Machinesworking wrote: You're still missing it.
No, I do think I'm not. This is what doghouse wrote and I quoted:
doghouse wrote:"…the sound inside Live (or amy DAW) is totally unaffected by what interface you use to monitor"


Your interpretation that this concerns flattening or similar aspects is quite unreasonable given the fact doghouse isn't quoting such a concept, no previous comment as far as I can see mentions this and in addition there is no "sound inside Live", there is only sound going out to the monitors, before the analog domain there is only numbers, albeit marked with other numbers as audio. Likewise "ITB" does not commonly mean "audio inside the computer you don't hear".
You left off the "If you are never recording external audio" part.

Read his freaking reply. :x

Buleriachk
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Buleriachk » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:57 pm

I'm a nylon string Flamenco guitarist, and the audio interfaces I had been using on a regular basis were a FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 (old hardware, new drivers), and a GT-001. I had been very happy with both -

Until -

Recently I had the chance to work with both Line 6 Native (as a VST to Ableton Live) and an actual Helix to use as my sound card. I found a significant difference - the Helix was much clearer (a subjective experience, to be sure). I wrote Scarlett about this and they said that an interface optimized for guitar might actually be better than their new 6i6, but again, it could be very subjective.

I have no experience with any of the other high end audio interface, but I am very, very impressed with the Helix....

IMO, FWIW, YMMV, etc...

Stromkraft
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:49 pm

Machinesworking wrote: You left off the "If you are never recording external audio" part.
I didn't even address recording and I agree with all posts and ideas posted here concerning recording.
Machinesworking wrote: Read his freaking reply. :x
What did I say?:
Stromkraft wrote: I agree with everything else you wrote. We can disagree on what we believe about this and only doghouse knows for sure.
So did I claim only I knew what doghouse meant?
Last edited by Stromkraft on Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:58 pm

doghouse wrote: The OP did not mention a need to record external audio!!!!!!!
What the OP didn't say has no bearing on that part. The only reason I mentioned this evaluation technique is to prove — to ourselves — whether possibly there are minute playback differences. Without measurements there is no data. What you or I could think about sound doesn't really matter that much, unless it's measurable.
doghouse wrote: But most of the replies wrote about recording quality! That is why I made my reply.

I feel quite a few concerned themselves with playback quality, as did the OP.
doghouse wrote:
I don't care what you believe, but if I monitor Live using a pair of earbuds plugged into the headphone jack on the computer or use the best interface and speaker system possible, it does not affect the sound inside the computer.
First of all there is no sound inside the computer. There is data. Secondly, I don't believe. I measure.
doghouse wrote: The interface does become critical as soon as you want to record external audio.
Not one person have disputed that and this statement is very true.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:03 pm

moved.
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Machinesworking
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Machinesworking » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:21 am

Stromkraft wrote:moved.
It's funny watching you genuflect. What exactly happens if you misinterpret what someone says and go down a completely different path?
Are you capable of admitting you misinterpreted what someone wrote? It's always been one of the most oddly fascinating things about people to me,
we hate admitting mistakes, as if somehow we are devalued by it? In reality nothing changes if you were to say to doghouse that you misinterpreted what he wrote, but instead you attempt to pick apart every sentence of his reply back. I'm not "siding with him", I understood what he wrote, and you did not, otherwise you wouldn't be that concerned with it. It's OK we are merely human, you can move on, because you're certainly not helping your cause in your multi quote replies, it comes across like someone who hates being wrong, more than anything else. Just drop it, it was a slight misunderstanding, and your replies are getting snippy to say the least.

Machinesworking
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Machinesworking » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:30 am

Buleriachk wrote:I'm a nylon string Flamenco guitarist, and the audio interfaces I had been using on a regular basis were a FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 (old hardware, new drivers), and a GT-001. I had been very happy with both -

Until -

Recently I had the chance to work with both Line 6 Native (as a VST to Ableton Live) and an actual Helix to use as my sound card. I found a significant difference - the Helix was much clearer (a subjective experience, to be sure). I wrote Scarlett about this and they said that an interface optimized for guitar might actually be better than their new 6i6, but again, it could be very subjective.

I have no experience with any of the other high end audio interface, but I am very, very impressed with the Helix....

IMO, FWIW, YMMV, etc...
Hi, a huge difference here, again is probably in the optimized for guitar pre amp ins on the Line 6 Helix. For any decent sound card the digital to analog converters, what gets sound to the audio outputs to be then amplified by your monitors, are all of good quality. Digital to analog converters on sound cards are all optimized with roughly the same ridiculously low noise floors, and the circuit amps for them are not an issue either. It's the Amps in your monitor, and the preamps in your card that color the sound, along with your room.

Buleriachk
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Buleriachk » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:46 pm

Machinesworking wrote:
Buleriachk wrote:I'm a nylon string Flamenco guitarist, and the audio interfaces I had been using on a regular basis were a FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 (old hardware, new drivers), and a GT-001. I had been very happy with both -

Until -

Recently I had the chance to work with both Line 6 Native (as a VST to Ableton Live) and an actual Helix to use as my sound card. I found a significant difference - the Helix was much clearer (a subjective experience, to be sure). I wrote Scarlett about this and they said that an interface optimized for guitar might actually be better than their new 6i6, but again, it could be very subjective.

I have no experience with any of the other high end audio interface, but I am very, very impressed with the Helix....

IMO, FWIW, YMMV, etc...
Hi, a huge difference here, again is probably in the optimized for guitar pre amp ins on the Line 6 Helix. For any decent sound card the digital to analog converters, what gets sound to the audio outputs to be then amplified by your monitors, are all of good quality. Digital to analog converters on sound cards are all optimized with roughly the same ridiculously low noise floors, and the circuit amps for them are not an issue either. It's the Amps in your monitor, and the preamps in your card that color the sound, along with your room.
I think it may have to do with the automatic impedance detection unique to Helix and handling of the input pads (which is what I think you're suggesting...) In any case, I was quite surprised about the quality of the "dry" sound from the Helix into my DAW...

Maybe some day I'll audition the new Focusrite 6i6 to compare....

Stromkraft
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:55 pm

Machinesworking wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:moved.
It's funny watching you genuflect. What exactly happens if you misinterpret what someone says and go down a completely different path?
I've already said we disagree on the interpretation, but this meta-talk of yours is not the subject here. There's PMs for meta-talk.

This is what 2pauluzz2 did ask us:
2pauluzz2 wrote:Not taking into consideration protocol (let's assume USB works well enough for everybody), pre-amps (let's assume you work ITB exclusively) and other variables such as buggy software (let's assume the audio interface does what it says on the tin): is there an actual difference in "sound quality" in different audio interfaces, when you work ITB exclusively and only need to monitor speakers and headphone?

So if we take those out of the equation, and all the interface needs to do is provide high quality translation between digital audio and my speakers + headphone, is paying €800,– for an Apogee interface still an economic choice?
I don't see any assumptions or confusion on 2pauluzz2's part, nor anyone else's, whether an audio interface somehow would affect internal audio-data processes.

Of course, only 2pauluzz2 knows what he wants to learn about.

I naturally agree with you that we can deviate while being on topic. doghouse's post was 100% on-topic even if it, obviously, could be misunderstood. I'd be willing to admit I made a mistake in my interpretation if you can PM me the logical conclusions that would lead up to the correct one. I don't see it. Maybe it's because I accept what he said as common knowledge? I'm not sure.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:53 pm

So here's a list of all the knowledge multiple members have posted when contributing to the subject. Hopefully no-one will mind I'm paraphrasing and not mentioning who said what. This is simply what I could deduct from what have been posted. Please suggest edits and I'll change this post.
  • 24bit audio interfaces are generally very good.
  • Extra high-quality audio interfaces concerns and can be separated in terms of:
    • Higher quality components such as low noise mic pre-amps and op-amps
    • Better design and unique functions, for example automatic impedance detection or input pad handling.
    • Efficient and reliable drivers/software (lower latency, higher bitrates and stability)
  • To fully benefit from expensive extra high-quality audio interfaces most other gear also need to be top-notch
  • Recording is where audio interfaces display a wider audio quality level
    • Built-in Preamps especially can be of lesser quality in some interfaces.
    • Quality also depends to a large degree on what and how you are recording
    • microphone quality is also important
  • There can be very small differences in playback quality, at least when system is "under stress"
  • Drivers can under some circumstances affect playback quality (unclear which ones, but I'm guessing on stability)
  • For playback the quality of your monitoring, headphones or speakers+room have a larger impact than your interface
  • Some companies abandon older products and don't update for new OSes
  • Audio interfaces never directly interact with internal audio-data processes inside Live, for example freezing/flattening native devices or plug-ins or recording audio-data already inside Live
As the OP I'm thankful for all posters sharing their knowledge and view points.
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2pauluzz2
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Re: Truths about perceived quality in audio interfaces for ITB

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:08 am

That's a great summary :D

Thanks for contributing everyone. I think this thread is a nice source of information for others who might not understand the technical nuances and want to understand better if they are spending money wisely.

(btw, it doesn't really matter but I wasn't confused about whether an audio interface affects internal audio processing.)
"Paul" is fine too.

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