audio engine tied to interface quality?

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Ousy
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:41 am

audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by Ousy » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:24 pm

Hi guys,

If all I'm doing is ITB stuff and soft synths. Does the quality of an audio interface matter? ($200 stuff compared with $5k) in the stages before it is output to the speakers. In other words is ableton audio engine tied to your audio interface quality?

jlgrimes
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Re: audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by jlgrimes » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:39 am

Ousy wrote:Hi guys,

If all I'm doing is ITB stuff and soft synths. Does the quality of an audio interface matter? ($200 stuff compared with $5k) in the stages before it is output to the speakers. In other words is ableton audio engine tied to your audio interface quality?
Not much. It will mainly just affect the quality of what you hear and might affect mix decisions but that said, the difference in modern interfaces are minimal.

Ousy
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Re: audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by Ousy » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:30 am

thanks for your reply.

So then where does the quality stop and luxury start when it comes to an audio interface and even monitors? An audio interface can cost from $100 to $5000+ and monitors can cost upwards of $100k.

I watched the videos from https://xiph.org/video/ and according to him from the little i understood the cheapest audio interface from 10 years ago is good enough for our ears. I cannot asses this my self as i have limited understanding and cannot judge with my own ears due to my location. Music and synthesis is a hobby but i like to do things with the best quality.

Stromkraft
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Re: audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by Stromkraft » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:04 pm

Ousy wrote:Hi guys,

If all I'm doing is ITB stuff and soft synths. Does the quality of an audio interface matter? ($200 stuff compared with $5k) in the stages before it is output to the speakers. In other words is ableton audio engine tied to your audio interface quality?
I say it does, if for nothing else a great interface doesn't break down as harshly under heavy load. Likely this is due to really good efficient (and updated) drivers, but this doesn't prevent CPU issues in any other way, so a powerful CPU always apply.

The "audio engine" is always tied to the interface in the meaning that's the only way to get any soundwaves, but it will not affect your export for instance in the slightest.

Great monitors and a treated room (if just the basics) heavily affect how you perceive sound, but so does your mental attitude, energy and experience as well. Building your own experience might be the most important thing.

One can also note that writing great tracks, at least initially, may have very little to do with any of the finer points of audio quality.
Make some music!

Ousy
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:41 am

Re: audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by Ousy » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:22 pm

Stromkraft wrote: I say it does, if for nothing else a great interface doesn't break down as harshly under heavy load. Likely this is due to really good efficient (and updated) drivers, but this doesn't prevent CPU issues in any other way, so a powerful CPU always apply.
So what is the difference between devices with their own drivers and driver-less class-compliant audio devices, like the USBPRE2.
http://www.sounddevices.com/products/po ... ls/usbpre2.
The "audio engine" is always tied to the interface in the meaning that's the only way to get any soundwaves, but it will not affect your export for instance in the slightest.
i understand now how it wont effect the export but what about external DACs then. Why would one use an external DAC like the benchmark-adc1 as opposed to the DAC of the interface?
Great monitors and a treated room (if just the basics) heavily affect how you perceive sound, but so does your mental attitude, energy and experience as well. Building your own experience might be the most important thing.

One can also note that writing great tracks, at least initially, may have very little to do with any of the finer points of audio quality.
I completly agree, this is just something that has been itching my brain. thank you for this very helpful reply.

Stromkraft
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Re: audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:22 pm

Ousy wrote: So what is the difference between devices with their own drivers and driver-less class-compliant audio device
I can't be bothered to use driver-less interfaces, even though some probably are all-right or even great. Once you experience something you think works really well, getting an audio interface is not a priority until your needs change. I'm pretty sure my next interface will be RME again, but I don't see getting a new one happening any time soon.
Ousy wrote:Why would one use an external DAC like the benchmark-adc1 as opposed to the DAC of the interface?
I can think of the external DAC being of better quality or having some kind of compatibility with some other equipment. Or that you need a digital stream to go somewhere before you listen to it.
Make some music!

XSIMan
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Re: audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by XSIMan » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:48 pm

Driverless interfaces you need to use ASIO4ALL or the apple equivalent I hear ASIO4all isn't as optimised as the ASIO driver that comes with RME interfaces.

Tarekith
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Re: audio engine tied to interface quality?

Post by Tarekith » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:12 pm

Typically a standalone DAC will favor accuracy over inputs and outputs, mic pres, MIDI I/O etc. That doesn't mean that a standard soundcard isn't accurate enough for music making, but for people who do say mastering, then you want the best conversion possible.

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