Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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CCraigwest
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Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by CCraigwest » Fri May 31, 2013 4:39 pm

I'm looking into getting an audio interface to start doing some live recording. I want to be able to have multiple tracks recording at once, well really just three or four, and I'm looking for the best audio interface for this. I am currently using a Macbook Pro with Ableton 9 Suite, and want to utilize the APC40 and MPK49 that I have while recording other instruments in a live setting. Should be capable of doing this right? And if so what audio interface would you, the community, suggest?

Quez
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by Quez » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:23 pm

I have the same question, but I'm looking for a 1 or 2 inputs audio interface, lowest price-range, but still, better than just plugging it in directly.

bosonHavoc
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by bosonHavoc » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:59 pm

Depending on budget and i/o needs
but if you want top of the line RME is really awesome.
one of my students just upgraded to an RME from a presonus set up
and the sound quality could definitely be heard.

for budget motu, and focusrite are great options.

the main thing with latency is get that buffer size down to like 128/256 (or lower) and just watch how hard you push your CPU
todays computers are awesome and can handle allot.
I used to run live bass, vocals, and percussion with minimal latency on an 3ghz P4 lol
with todays i7's its cake.. but you still have to watch how hard you push it.
with a bigger house their is a tendency to fill it with more stuff :)

@quez take a look at the focsrite scarlett 2i4
i have 2i2 and like the size, portability, and cost.
but I will be swapping it out for the 2i4 so i can have a seprate headphone out.

Stevejaz
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by Stevejaz » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:24 pm

+1 for the RME Babyface.
I lashed out on one of these after buying a new MBP and have absolutely no regrets.
I'm an old guy and as my Grandfather, who was even older (LOL) used to say.
The pleasure of quality lasts longer than the satisfaction of a cheep price.
The sound quality is astoundingly clean and clear and the reverb and delay are all I will ever need.
It is only 2 input, with balanced out. (I can plug it straight into a 1500 Watt PA no probs)
But it is expandable through an optical input giving up to I think 9 more inputs.
The resultant quality of those inputs would depend of course on the quality of the connected preamps.
It is however an awesome bit of gear and in my opinion well worth the price, especially as it is expandable.

Quez
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by Quez » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:06 am

Personally i'm all about using lowest-priced stuff... if its worth it.
I've seen some Yamaha audio interface(s), around a 100$.. is the 100$ audio interface stuff not even worth considering ?

edit : removed my kinda newbie question about midi port

Stevejaz
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by Stevejaz » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:35 am

Funk N. Furter wrote:
Stevejaz wrote:+1 for the RME Babyface.
I lashed out on one of these after buying a new MBP and have absolutely no regrets.
I'm an old guy and as my Grandfather, who was even older (LOL) used to say.
The pleasure of quality lasts longer than the satisfaction of a cheep price.
The sound quality is astoundingly clean and clear and the reverb and delay are all I will ever need.
It is only 2 input, with balanced out. (I can plug it straight into a 1500 Watt PA no probs)
But it is expandable through an optical input giving up to I think 9 more inputs.
The resultant quality of those inputs would depend of course on the quality of the connected preamps.
It is however an awesome bit of gear and in my opinion well worth the price, especially as it is expandable.
How does the FX in it work with Live? Can you use it on returns?
Interesting question. I will try it and let you know. I have just been using it to record guitar loops for modal style jamming. I am not that tech savy and it took me a while to get as far as I have with the software that comes with it.
As far as I understand it, some of the DSP is handles by the unit and some by the host PC, if that helps. I am sure there are more knowledgeable people than me on the whole concept.

timday
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by timday » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:53 am

If you're recording you really want to look around for reviews and go for whatever has the niocest mic preamps and ADCs in your budget. If you don't have a vast amount I'd vote for Focusrite - their mic pres are very clean in general, even their low end stuff. You also get a plug in suite with the Scarlett range which has a geniunely nice compressor, gate, and reverb.

If you have a little more money I've heard good things about MOTU and RME kit but I haven't used it personally.

Quez
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by Quez » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:40 pm

thanks, i'll keep that in mind.

ChiefNugget
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by ChiefNugget » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:00 pm

I've been so completely happy with the RME Babyface it's ridiculous. With an older notebook computer I had no luck using a Focusrite Scarlett 18i6, and I had problems with the MOTU Track 16 driver initially with my new Windows 8 computer. The MOTU went back for an RME. From what I can tell, RME is the only company that builds its USB driver from the ground up instead of putting a new GUI and tweaking a stock chipset driver. This extra effort from RME seems to make the Babyface the lowest latency, best performing USB interface available.

I have run five or six VSTi with a few effects (EQ, distortion, delay, chorus, reverb, sometimes compression) on each track and process effects on live input guitar and vocal tracks playing at buffers of 96 samples. The total latency is reported at something like 6 ms, and I had to make no adjustment in Live's audio interface latency compensation (the Babyface reported to Live accurately). The CPU meter only touched about 30% (i7 quad-core mobile).

I use a Behringer ADA8000 to add extra analog outputs (and mic inputs) to the setup. The Babyface tops out at 10 inputs (and outputs) with the ADA8000 which is enough to track a pretty fully mic'ed up drum kit.

As much as I love the Babyface, there are less expensive ways to have that number of analog inputs for recording (i.e. Presonus VSL, Focusrite 18i20). You could try one of them first to see if it suits your needs.
I need a baby sit my boys and work the day job plug-in.

login
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Re: Help wanted: Advice on audio interfaces.

Post by login » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:42 am

For a cheap one get a focusrite, the 6i6 (2 preamps, 2 line inputs) or the 18i8( 4 preamps, 4 line inputs), the amps are good enough.

Other option, depending on the intruments, is motu track 16, or the ultralite (two preamps, 6 line inputs).

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