Best soundcard to buy?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Crop Lee
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Best soundcard to buy?

Post by Crop Lee » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:19 pm

Which is the best external USB soundcard to buy for ableton live suite?

Many thanks.

jestermgee
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by jestermgee » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:05 pm

there isn’t a “best”, almost any will be worth while. The differences will mainly be with features and IO.

What’s your budget?
What’s your OS?
What input/output features do you need?
Does it need to be portable?

Crop Lee
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Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by Crop Lee » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:08 pm

Any amount.
Windows 10 Home
Any as I use Speakers usually anyway.
Ideally portable yes.

Crop Lee
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by Crop Lee » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:10 pm

Any amount.
Windows 10 Home
Any as I use Speakers usually anyway.
Ideally portable yes.


Crop Lee
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by Crop Lee » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:23 pm

thanks

TLW
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by TLW » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:02 pm

Take a look at the RME Babyface. RME drivers are very good low latency ones and they tend to support their older products for a long time.
Live 10 Suite, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

Skrzat
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by Skrzat » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:31 am

But I'd suggest you take a deeper look into Babyface PRO, as it's still on their current interfaces list. Original BF1 isn't produced anymore, but still supported. Anyway, BF Pro is just better, nicer, faster, more comfortable. You check the difference and decide. IF you're a musician and play acoustic instruments, then DON'T buy BF1 because instrumental input impedance isn't sufficient for acoustic instrument pickups (guitars, violins and so on). BF Pro has the standard 1Mohm input impedance. Otherwise if you're short on money, you can consider BF1, cause it's still great piece of equipement and still supported and has no competition in driver latency and stability, unless we're talking about the really expensive gear like $5k and more.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by Shift Gorden » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:30 pm

I just got the new UAD Apollo X4 - I absolutely love it. Like, I really LOVE it.

Portable, sounds great, I can link to my Scarlett 18i20 via ADAT, and the console software is brilliant.

zsazsa
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by zsazsa » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:55 pm

- Prism Atlas
- Ferrofish A32
- Antelope orion 32hd
- RME M-32 DA Pro 32 plus the RME M-32 AD Pro

Are probably ok for any budget.

But on a more serious note.
You haven't said what you want to do with it.
If portability is a thing I'd say go with the RME Babyface pro. That is bus powered.
If you only want to have stereo output, no input, you could go for the RME ADI-2
And RME are reliable, great drivers, very loooong driver support and no marketing BS.

Gregory Wells-King
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by Gregory Wells-King » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:40 pm

If I had some savings and I could sneak one past my wife.

I would go for the original Arturia AudioFuse. I.e the smaller of the current gen.

It has all the connectivity and the performance I need for my set up and style of music, more importantly would cover everything for both live and studio use.

That’s just me though.

If your intentions are to set up a big studio to capture live set ups. Then It probably wouldn’t have the configuration you want.

TLW
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by TLW » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:38 pm

Skrzat wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:31 am
DON'T buy BF1 because instrumental input impedance isn't sufficient for acoustic instrument pickups (guitars, violins and so on). BF Pro has the standard 1Mohm input impedance.
Good point on the original BF being discontinued - I hadn’t noticed.

As for input impedance my UFX is 470KOhms on the pre-amped front line inputs. Can’t say I can tell much difference between that and 1MegaOhm, though I rarely use it for guitar because I don’t like amp/fx sims.

A lot of highly regarded guitar pedals have surprisingly low impedance inputs or buffers - the Tube Screamer and SD-1 (which the Screamer is kind of a copy of or is it the other way round...) are 470K on the buffer input. Fuzz Faces are notoriously low input impedance, which is a big part of why they work as they do. It also means they’ve always been true bypass because otherwise they’d kill the “clean” signal. As did old Cry Babies.
Live 10 Suite, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

jonljacobi
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Re: Best soundcard to buy?

Post by jonljacobi » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:44 pm

You'll get almost as many answers here as there are interfaces. Think of your I/O needs, check the forums for outrageous bugs, then buy accordingly. There's a ridiculous amount of hype out there and while I'm sure there are a couple of cheap clunkers out there, I haven't heard anything I thought sounded bad in a very long time.

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