USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
rexcasteel
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:27 pm

USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by rexcasteel » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:55 pm

Any thoughts and recommendations on a good USB audio interface?

I compared half a dozen and narrowed down to:

> TASCAM US-1200

> ROLAND UA-22 DUO CAPTURE EX

I like the TASCAM's 6 inputs (and other features - "low-latency monitoring, high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio, on-board DSP mixing, and on-board DSP effects) but it has no MIDI.

The ROLAND does MIDI but has only 2 inputs. Audio resolution capability seems to be lower (but I don't know much about that or how important it is). This unit can be powered by AC or AA batteries in addition to USB - not sure when I might ever need that.

Both have dedicated volume control for monitoring and that seems important.

What else is important here?

I'd like to keep cost around $200 or below but would go a little higher if I could get best of all worlds (more than two inputs *and* MIDI).

Most important, though, is a quality product.

Primary purpose is for recording instruments (mostly bamboo and ceramic flutes) and voices into Ableton. Also, Roland V-Drums (hence the MIDI).

Thanks for any help!

- R

Richie Witch
Posts: 1011
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:10 pm
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Richie Witch » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:30 am

Steinburg UR242
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UR242

I've heard a lot of good things about the Steinburg.


Other than that, it's pretty hard to squeeze that more than 2 inputs and MIDI into a sub-$200 package, without getting crap preamps.

If you look for an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra on eBay (or Craig's List) that would give you a 6-in/6-out interface and MIDI in/out, and it usually sells for $125-$150. It also has built-in DSP and inserts on channels 1 and 2.

You just have to look for serial numbers with "9" as the sixth character--these are the good ones. Those units with an "F" as the sixth character have a known manufacturer's defect that causes them to intermittently disconnect from the computer over time, progressively getting worse once it starts. As long as you avoid those serial numbers though, it's a great interface.

I've had both--a good one and a bad one. I loved the routing options and when I was ready to upgrade, I was able to resell it for what I paid. Of course, the bad one I had to toss--lesson learned the hard way. :oops:
"Watching the Sky" ~ A 4-track EP of piano, strings, and Native American flute

rexcasteel
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:27 pm

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by rexcasteel » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:11 am

Pretty awesome response there.

Thanks!

- R

Richie Witch
Posts: 1011
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:10 pm
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Richie Witch » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:50 am

You're welcome! 8)
"Watching the Sky" ~ A 4-track EP of piano, strings, and Native American flute

granted
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:18 pm

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by granted » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:27 pm

ROLAND UA-22 DUO CAPTURE EX

I have this as a backup audio interface. It's good. I did not like the ASIO latency choices. I'm used to RME and their latency scale 32, 64.128 ... The ROLAND UA-22 DUO CAPTURE EX has an odd latency scale. Also on the ROLAND UA-22 DUO CAPTURE EX I could never get a low latency. I don't think this interface would be a good choice for your drumming setup.

rexcasteel
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:27 pm

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by rexcasteel » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:05 pm

Good stuff - but absolute Greek to me.

I will make some coffee and let Google take me to school.

Thanks!

- R

Guillermo Barrancos
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:05 am

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Guillermo Barrancos » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:09 pm

Don't forget FocusRite Scarlett range of USB Audio devices.

I have the Scarlett 2i2 myself and like it a lot.

Enorc vs Robot
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:39 pm

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Enorc vs Robot » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:56 pm

I use an AudioBox 44vsl and have had good luck with this unit. They make a 22vsl also, maybe worth checking out. I run Win7 on a quad-core with SSD and 16GB ram and am able to use Ableton as both a looping station and guitar amp at the same time. I can play a note on guitar and the latency to my headphones is not distracting.

rexcasteel
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:27 pm

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by rexcasteel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:01 pm

Thanks everyone for the help. I'm going to try the Steinberg UR44.

- R

Division Monarchy
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:54 pm

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Division Monarchy » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:20 am

I'm a fan of the Focusrite Scarlette series myself. Although if I had the cash I would probably upgrade to something from Universal Audio. I used to swear by MOTU, but their stuff got really awful.

Modler
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:00 am

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by Modler » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:03 am

Hello guys, sorry if I'm slightly off topic but this is the most related thread I could find.

I've been having a massive issue with smoothness of my audio output. I'm using Live 9 32-bit on a new laptop with a fast processor & 16GB ram. I've fiddled with the input & output buffer size and driver error compensation settings quite a bit, and even increased the buffers all the way up to 5712, but still the audio is coming out super choppy and glitchy. I've also tried all the different bit depth/sample rates, and tried the output to my external and internal soundcards but problem still exists.

It does however seem to be worse mostly when I'm running a project with a lot of external VST effects though, but these are a crucial part of my songs. I've thought of upgrading to the Live 64 bit version as a possible solution but I'm worried if all my 32-bit VSTs would still be compatible. Any suggestions? Or would someone at least point me to the right thread for this? THANKS...

smutek
Posts: 4489
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2003 3:30 pm
Location: Baltimore,United States

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by smutek » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:59 am

Modler wrote:Hello guys, sorry if I'm slightly off topic but this is the most related thread I could find.

I've been having a massive issue with smoothness of my audio output. I'm using Live 9 32-bit on a new laptop with a fast processor & 16GB ram. I've fiddled with the input & output buffer size and driver error compensation settings quite a bit, and even increased the buffers all the way up to 5712, but still the audio is coming out super choppy and glitchy. Any suggestions? Or would someone at least point me to the right thread for this? THANKS...
Definitely off topic, but for what it's worth, I've got a mid 2014 2.6 Core i5 MacBook Pro. Not the newest machine, but not ancient either. I get pops and dropouts at 512 samples, with only 16% on the CPU meter, using 4 tracks with external instruments and a handful of VST's. Like, not even a remotely heavy track. It doesn't make sense. Then I open Logic and run 4 or more soft synths, plus effects, at 128, even 64 sample size and everything runs great - plus recorded midi from my BeatStep Pro is coming in tight, not a 1/4 step off like it does in Live.

It's to the point where I'm probably just going to start using Logic because I don't even want to use Live anymore, which sucks because I *just* spent the money a month ago on Max For Live and the upgrade from Live 7 to Live 9.

You can look at these help threads, but they'll probably just depress you.

https://www.ableton.com/answers/live-9- ... -interface

https://www.ableton.com/answers/ableton ... 0-cpu-help

rexcasteel
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:27 pm

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by rexcasteel » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:28 pm

MODLER: I'd be inclined to create a new topic and get the largest number of eyeballs onto your post.

SMUTEK: Throwing up the hands and switching to Logic makes me wanna cry!

Finalizing my USB audio interface choice the other night, I stumbled onto a thread about VSTs that also made me want to cry (or go buy a 4-track cassette machine and just make music instead of troubleshoot and chase compatibility).

Here's the link: https://www.ableton.com/answers/vst-3-compatibility

I'm not sure to what extent this could be contributing to the difficulty.

DIVISION MONARCHY: Focusrite Scarlette was on my shortlist of 3. I think I got seduced by the prospect of 4 mic inputs but that George Martin name in association with their preamps and those red shells almost had me.

Checking out your SoundCloud...

musikmachine
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:56 am

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by musikmachine » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:17 pm

A bit over your budget but i think it's worth mentioning the Audient ID14: https://audient.com/products/id14

2 x Class-A Audient Console Mic Preamplifiers
High Performance Burr Brown AD/DA Converters
1 x Discrete JFET Instrument Input
Main Speaker Output
Independent Class-AB Headphone Output
Full Monitor Control Functionality (software controlled)
ADAT Input for Expandability
Low Latency DSP Mixer
iD ScrollControl Mode
All-Metal Enclosure
USB2.0 Bus Powered
24bit/96khz

smutek
Posts: 4489
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2003 3:30 pm
Location: Baltimore,United States

Re: USB Audio Interface Recommendations, Please?

Post by smutek » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:57 pm

rexcasteel wrote:Thanks everyone for the help. I'm going to try the Steinberg UR44.

- R
Did you get this yet, if so how are you liking it? I've got a Scarlett 2i4 which has been great but I need more inputs. I'll be upgrading in the next week or so and the UR44 has been on my short list.

I've been leaning more towards the Scarlett 18i8 - 8 physical inputs + SPDIF i/o for hooking up to something like a Lexicon effects unit, (which I plan to get at some point as well) for about $50 more than the UR44.

Fwiw - here's a used 18i8 on reverb for ~$260
https://reverb.com/item/686742-focusrit ... Hwodc9UKCg

Post Reply