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Audio Interface / External Synth advice

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:22 pm
by marcusm1

i'm hoping someone can provide advice regarding the expansion of my Ableton setup.

Currently I do everything in the box.
I have a Macbook Pro Retina 2015, Novation AudioHub, Push 1, Vestax VCM 600 and a Launchpad Mini

I'm looking to extend my setup with a TR-808 clone, with multiple audio outputs, and need to figure out a good way to integrate this into my setup. In the future I may extend further with a synth or two.

Ideally I'd like to be routing individual drum sounds through separate channels within Live, applying Live and VST effects along the way. I'd rather be able to do this live than recording audio tracks and applying effects to those.

Really I'm looking for an audio interface / mixer which can deal with this sort of setup. Any advice?



Re: Audio Interface / External Synth advice

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:57 pm
by Shift Gorden
Good question, mate.

There are quite a few options out there - but if you want individual channels and also use Ableton's effects with those individual channels then you're probably gonna need an audio interface solution as opposed to a mixer.

I got the Focusrite 18i20 which I absolutely love. Great value, and a really good feature set.

Re: Audio Interface / External Synth advice

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:22 am
by dcease
I'd look into one of the interfaces that allow you to track with DSP effects, such as the UA Apollo, RME UFX and Metric Halo interfaces but be advised, they are all a bit pricey. There are other options but these are all good kit (I can personally attest to UA and RME but have never heard a bad word about Metric Halo).

The nice thing about the UA platform is the ability to use certain plugs to physically change the behavior of the pre-amps- Unison tech which is pretty freaking neat. So you could run an Apollo 8p Quad and plug your synths in and 'mimic' what it would be like running them through, say, a Neve 1073, SSL 4000E or an API desk. You could then add inserts such as Distressor, Roland Space Echo, even Moog filters, all with extremely low latency. Downside? You would need Thunderbolt 2 (your MBP should have), UA plugs do not run natively, and it can get expensive quick, the 8p would set you back 3k and while the plugs that come with the system are good you are going to want more. You can chain up to 6 (I believe) UA devices if you needed more I/O in the future, and a Quad should be able to handle a Unison plug on all 8 channels as well as a couple more inserts before maxing out the DSP.

Re: Audio Interface / External Synth advice

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:26 pm
by marcusm1
Thanks for the suggestions.

Having done a bit of research I've ruled out the UA Apollo and Metric as they're a little more than I'd hoped to pay out at this stage.

I'm considering the RME Fireface UC or perhaps the Motu Ultralite Mk4. Chances are I'll go for the RME as it's highly regarded and also has ADAT, which as I understand it opens up the possibility for me to extend in the future.