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Which Audio Interface?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

helloitsmeagain
KVRer
 
18 posts since 8 Mar, 2012

Postby helloitsmeagain; Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:52 am Which Audio Interface?

So i just got my first non soft synth synths. i'm having so much fun with them i might just pop a blood vessel.

BUT

right now i'm listening in my headphones and can't get any audio into ableton. that's cause my current AI is a behringer UCA202, which i suspect is not up to the task i have in mind.. cause when i jack either the dark energy or blofeld into it, i get very little audio signal but tons of other crap. i think i just fell into trap...

so, i'm gonna buy something that costs more than 30 usd. but i need some advice here. where do i start?

firewire? usb? seems not much of any issues these days...

is this post in the wrong thread?

line-in should be good. no need for pre-amps. :?

and why does the Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 have 8 inputs but the Focusrite Forte, with 2, costs the same?

can i just ignore them both and buy the much cheaper Lexicon Omega 8 x 4 x 2? or should i just get a mixing desk?

Right now outboard i've just got the dark energy, a blofeld, a bcr-3000 and a midi keyboard. i'll probably add a drum machine when i can get the cash...

i'm so confused. if anyone can point me to which wikipedia article i need to read, that would help a ton.
zeep
KVRian
 
1314 posts since 17 May, 2005

Postby zeep; Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:21 am

Choosing an audio interface:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep08/a ... rfaces.htm

Choosing A PC Audio Interface:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov04/a ... sician.htm

Google for differences between X and Y if you want answers quick.
helloitsmeagain
KVRer
 
18 posts since 8 Mar, 2012

Postby helloitsmeagain; Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:57 am

Honestly, i had come across those links and read them already but they did little to illuminate me... I'm hoping that someone on the board has had a similar task and could share their experience... might be important to mention i'm on a macbook pro
zeep
KVRian
 
1314 posts since 17 May, 2005

Postby zeep; Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:12 am

If you want a good audio interface you will spend more than $30 yes.

For an entry level audio interface look towards spending +/- $350 - $450
Brands like Focusrite and M-Audio are good for starters and work on OSX.

I'm on both pc and macbookpro and on the mbp i use the optical out and connect it to the TC BMC-2. But the digital out of the macbookpro isn't a pro audio output though, so if you want to mix professionally on the macbookpro then you need a good interface.

USB will be just fine.

If i were you, i'd look to one of the entry level audio interfaces from one of the above brands. If you think you want even better quality (AD/DA) then look towards Apogee :)
olepro
KVRAF
 
1541 posts since 19 Apr, 2003, from Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby olepro; Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:32 am

Your interface need a normal line level signal, so you should be able to get a fine hot signal from your Blofeld through the Behringer into the Daw.
___The Jepptunes___
"Accept All the Good"

Sound design for SQ8L and Alchemy
zeep
KVRian
 
1314 posts since 17 May, 2005

Postby zeep; Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:46 am

UCA202 is horrible.
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8327 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:31 am

helloitsmeagain wrote:firewire? usb?
Better not choose firewire, USB is better (less compatibility problems.) However if you have a desktop PC and don't plan on switching to a laptop, then PCI cards are even better (less CPU overhead needed)
helloitsmeagain wrote:is this post in the wrong thread?
Nope, you created the thread (in the right forum) so that can't be wrong ;-)
helloitsmeagain wrote:line-in should be good. no need for pre-amps. :?
If you don't plan on singing / rapping / vocoding / recording acoustic instruments, then you can do without a mic preamp indeed.
helloitsmeagain wrote:and why does the Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 have 8 inputs but the Focusrite Forte, with 2, costs the same?
Presumably because the Forte is "mastering grade" quality (120 dB dynamic range) while the Saffire is of slightly lower quality (108 dB dynamic range)? Plus the interface design is very different.
helloitsmeagain wrote:buy the much cheaper Lexicon Omega 8 x 4 x 2? or should i just get a mixing desk?
I'd rather not use cheap mixing desks with USB, they usually can only record the main outputs of the mixer. That Lexicon unit looks good, but the technical specs are not quite as good as those of Focusrite. Weather you can notice that in practice is another question.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!
jcschild
KVRian
 
1176 posts since 25 Dec, 2003, from Kentucky y'all

Postby jcschild; Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:13 am

good but affordable Steinberg UR series. the new UR22 is $149
Ashe37
KVRian
 
571 posts since 6 Jun, 2009

Postby Ashe37; Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:42 am

Be aware that blofeld on USB + USB audio interface often= distortion and noise.I had to put an inexpensive DI between my Blofeld and my interface to resolve that.
basslinemaster
KVRist
 
340 posts since 20 Sep, 2012

Postby basslinemaster; Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:24 pm

zeep wrote:UCA202 is horrible.


Is it?

http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/b ... eview.html
helloitsmeagain
KVRer
 
18 posts since 8 Mar, 2012

Postby helloitsmeagain; Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:57 am

great stuff guys, thanks so much for the input. at least it points me in the right direction for what i should be looking at.
camsr
KVRAF
 
4757 posts since 16 Feb, 2005

Postby camsr; Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:14 pm

BertKoor wrote:
helloitsmeagain wrote:firewire? usb?
Better not choose firewire, USB is better (less compatibility problems.) However if you have a desktop PC and don't plan on switching to a laptop, then PCI cards are even better (less CPU overhead needed)
helloitsmeagain wrote:is this post in the wrong thread?
Nope, you created the thread (in the right forum) so that can't be wrong ;-)
helloitsmeagain wrote:line-in should be good. no need for pre-amps. :?
If you don't plan on singing / rapping / vocoding / recording acoustic instruments, then you can do without a mic preamp indeed.
helloitsmeagain wrote:and why does the Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 have 8 inputs but the Focusrite Forte, with 2, costs the same?
Presumably because the Forte is "mastering grade" quality (120 dB dynamic range) while the Saffire is of slightly lower quality (108 dB dynamic range)? Plus the interface design is very different.
helloitsmeagain wrote:buy the much cheaper Lexicon Omega 8 x 4 x 2? or should i just get a mixing desk?
I'd rather not use cheap mixing desks with USB, they usually can only record the main outputs of the mixer. That Lexicon unit looks good, but the technical specs are not quite as good as those of Focusrite. Weather you can notice that in practice is another question.


The whole trend with USB/Firewire interfaces was to lower the noise floor. I can't speak for USB or PCIe sound, but my firewire interface has an exceptionally low loopback noise floor at -97dBFS. Yeah, compatibility with firewire is a mess, but noise performance is exceptional if your preamps are integrated with the device. If anyone would like to quote their loopback (line out to line in) noise figures and compare I would be most agreeable.
Image
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8327 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:03 am

You get a low noisefloor through a good ADC chip, good opamps and good shielding. RMAA measured the noisefloor at -106.4 and crosstalk at -107.6 on my PCI card. So that's not exclusive to USB/FireWire cards for sure!
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!
camsr
KVRAF
 
4757 posts since 16 Feb, 2005

Postby camsr; Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Sounds like a winner then. The important part is preamps on the same board as the ADC.

Who makes your interface?
Image
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8327 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:05 am

camsr wrote:Who makes your interface?
ESI. I have a (discontinued) AudioTrak Maya 1010.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!
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