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25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

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music234m
KVRer
 
16 posts since 24 Mar, 2014

Postby music234m; Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:14 am 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

I searched many interfaces under about $150 and ended up with 25 choices.

I don't need MIDI and I don't think I really need a mic port because I imagine I can just plug a mic into the instrument input and I don't really record vocals currently.

I mostly need it to play and record electric guitar without using an amp (just a cord from the guitar to the interface), so it needs a preamp. And for an electric drum kit that has a module (but might use a software brain/module but that's probably just USB and bypasses the interface).

Most of these interfaces say they have mic preamps/phantom but I'm not sure if they all also have a preamp for a guitar without an amp.

I want it to make good quality recordings without a latency anyone would notice.

I don't really need to record multiple instruments at once but that'd be nice to record a jam with other(s).

Here are the 25 choices if someone can actually look through them all and tell me which is the best deal and why they picked it:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roland-Duo-Capt ... 51b53968d7


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rolls-GCI404-Au ... 35d3c3c723


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Line-6-POD-Stud ... 2ecf0fb450


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audiolink-4-Cha ... 461cfa0a74


http://line6.com/legacy/toneportux2


http://tascam.com/product/us-122mkii/

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TASCAM-US-144MK ... 5d4a7a2d03

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tascam-US-122-U ... 2a3959adf8


http://www.ebay.com/itm/TASCAM-US-322-U ... 338c79a813


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tascam-US-125M- ... 3cd2f6eec0


http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-iUR2 ... 3532884.gc


http://www.ebay.com/itm/M-audio-M-track ... 1c3dec0f86


http://www.ebay.com/itm/M-Audio-MobileP ... 4acf96f717


http://www.ebay.com/itm/M-Audio-Fast-Tr ... 4d1ab7a601


http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audi ... -interface


http://www.ebay.com/itm/M-Audio-Mobile- ... 258b77528f


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Behringer-Xenyx ... 3f32b0df0e


http://electronicmusictutorials.wordpre ... k2-review/


http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOQUATTRO


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Behringer-Premi ... 3a8c8fa74c


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Presonus-AudioB ... 3cde4a0a31


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alesis-iO2-EXPR ... 2ecdc2630d


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Focusrite-iTrac ... 2586bd6690


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Presonus-FireBo ... 258bc9886e


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Steinberg-UR22- ... 5afdcfb643


:phones: Thank you.
User avatar
Turello
KVRAF
 
2272 posts since 6 Jul, 2012, from Sick-cily

Postby Turello; Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:28 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

M-Audio Fast Track Ultra... A Little Monster... Believe Me! ;-)
music234m
KVRer
 
16 posts since 24 Mar, 2014

Postby music234m; Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:33 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

They're all safe links too, just so no one's maybe scared to click them. Basically either ebay or manufacturer links.
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8291 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:35 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

music234m wrote:I imagine I can just plug a mic into the instrument input
You can imagine, and the plug fits. But in practice it won't work very well. Mics have a far fainter level than instruments, they need lots more gain. And then there's also an impedance mismatch. But you can get a seperate mic preamp later if you decide you need one.

music234m wrote:I'm not sure if they all also have a preamp for a guitar without an amp.
Look for the keyword Hi-Z. That's High Impedance.. Line level devices (CD players etc) and other instruments (as in synths etc) have a low impedance of below 1.000 Ohm. Electric guitars have an impedance of several 1.000.000 Ohm. That's a normal voltage but very low current. Plugged into a regular line input it will struggle to deliver any power, so you'll get lower quality (more noise, less treble)

Another deciding factor is weather the interface has native ASIO drivers, and weather the driver is coded any good. For instance brands like Behringer and Creative make so-so hardware with crappy drivers. Search the forums for simular threads, you're not the first one to ask this question. It pops up about once a week I think.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
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Monib
KVRist
 
421 posts since 25 Sep, 2004

Postby Monib; Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:13 pm Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

Since you're playing/recording guitar, I would recommend the Line6 stuff. You get a decent interface plus some really good guitar amp modeling and effects.
james0tucson
KVRAF
 
4303 posts since 23 Feb, 2004, from Tucson Arizona USA

Postby james0tucson; Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:32 pm Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

[quote="music234m"]I searched many interfaces under about $150 and ended up with 25 choices.

I don't need MIDI and I don't think I really need a mic port because I imagine I can just plug a mic into the instrument input and I don't really record vocals currently.
[/quote]


I don't want to say "you're wrong" but you might regret getting an audio interface without a preamp.

There's a Focusrite Scarlett in your price range. I didn't notice it on your list. I suggest that you give it consideration.
rod_zero
KVRian
 
633 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:40 pm Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

Steinberg has the best support and drivers in that price range.
dedication to flying
1badninja
KVRer
 
3 posts since 25 Sep, 2013, from USA

Postby 1badninja; Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:36 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

I use a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB. Works great for guitar. Haven't really tried a mic on it.
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b4serenity
KVRist
 
217 posts since 1 Oct, 2010

Postby b4serenity; Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:27 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

1badninja wrote:I use a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB. Works great for guitar. Haven't really tried a mic on it.


Would I be missing anything by buying a used Saffire 6 USB instead of a newer Scarlett version? DO they update drivers and offer full support to Saffire? Did they improve the preamps or anything, or are they virtually the same? :help:
John
"B4serenity"
music234m
KVRer
 
16 posts since 24 Mar, 2014

Postby music234m; Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:20 pm Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

I still need help. I took a few off that list but added others under $120 new/used.

Some say near-zero latency, some say zero latency. Then I learned firewire is supposedly faster than USB but then read things like Firewire only allows for more data to be transferred instead of a better latency rate - something like USB 2.0 is the same latency as long as the computer has good hardware which mine does. But USB 2.0 Maxes out at about 16 channels but I'll only need two channels for now and never over 16. But if I do get firewire, I see firewire PCI card on ebay for like $7 that hopefully aren't crap.

Someone said in a similar thread: "Better than all of them (USB or FireWire), are most PCI or PCIe cards as there are less runtimes."

So should I scrap the whole USB and firewire interface hunt and get a PCI card interface w/ Hi-Z preamp and phantom for the lowest latency? Possible under $120 used?

Also, I'm getting a midi keyboard for softsynths. If it's a myth that firewire has less latency than USB 2.0, then should I just get whatever USB MIDI keyboard I like and not look for a firewire MIDI keyboard (although the only Firewire MIDI keyboard I found googling about them seems to be the M-Audio Ozonic from like 2006).

All I really want is an input for guitar without an amp, phantom mic, 24bit (and 48Khz I read is just fine instead of 96khz), and no noticeable latency. If there's some latency that I shouldn't notice, that will still haunt me as I play.

Part of me says to just buy anything USB 2.0 used for now that's advertised as zero-latency and sell it later for a loss of maybe $10 when I buy something better after learn more about these. But part of me thinks I'll just get used to it and kind of get stuck with something I bought because I didn't have time to fully learn all this. I'm kind of in a rush and thought this would take a few hours to purchase.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
3976 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:07 pm Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

You're over thinking this. Forget firewire, while it can work great, on a PC it's really hit or miss for a lot of people depending on driver chipset, basically, it introduces variables that you don't want to deal with. I have an ozonic still, btw, it's not bad, but the editor software is buggy and AFAIK, doesn't work on anything but XP. It's old, you should avoid old interfaces to avoid problems that you will have difficulty solving.

PCI cards are something of a pain for recording guitar because they almost always have connections close to the card. Some have external boxes, but most have dongles these days. In any case, it's not as convenient for recording from guitar and microphone. Even when you get a better interface in your studio, you will still find the occasional use for a second usb interface, especially on windows. It's a quick way to get a couple of channels of audio from one program into another when your drivers don't support or some other headache causes problems. It's also useful for portable applications, or, of course, you can sell it later.

I read you as risk averse because you are stuck in analysis paralysis over a $120 ish interface. My advice to you is to reduce your list to the higher end of new interfaces and get something that you can take back if you run into problems.

I have an NI interface that I still use a lot for similar purposes as you describe. It's the older version of this:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KompAudio6/

My interface only has a single mic preamp on the front, but it still gets a lot of use because it's a nice heavy box, has a good headphone amp with built in level control and level controls for the inputs as well. I don't like really flimsy interfaces because they will fall off the table at the worst moment.

I'm not giving you specific advice about what to buy, other than to buy new from someplace that you can return the product if it doesn't work for you, so much as some ideas about what has mattered to me in using an interface as you describe.

Hope this helps
music234m
KVRer
 
16 posts since 24 Mar, 2014

Postby music234m; Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:36 pm Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

build quality doesn't matter to me, I really doubt I'll break it, and It will be secured to a desk or on the floor. That's if I get a USB interface.
A dongle with a PCI card is fine too, I'm always in the back of my PC connecting things no hassle, so if that's the only downside of a PCI card, maybe I should get a PCI if it offers the least latency which is my main concern. true? If even possible for under liek $150 used with phantom preamp and Hi-z? I however definitely don't want a complicated nightmare if that's what a PCI card might be- I prefer to just basically plug and play and maybe go to the manufacturer's site and get the latest driver if windows update doesn't do it for me.
music234m
KVRer
 
16 posts since 24 Mar, 2014

Postby music234m; Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:57 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/using- ... underbolt/

Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 is like $150 used/refurb.
Even if I get the card necessary to thunderbolt the saffire pro 14 to a PC, won't it still be Firewire 400 quality?

I'm getting a new motherboard so maybe I should get one with thunderbolt even though I was only planning to spend like $80 on teh motherboard without TB.? or pci audio interface? I'm about to saw screw it all and just get one of the $100 USB 2.0 boxes I linked.
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aMUSEd
KVRAF
 
19651 posts since 14 Sep, 2002, from In teh net

Postby aMUSEd; Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:05 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

music234m wrote:http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/using-focusrite-saffire-interfaces-with-thunderbolt/

Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 is like $150 used/refurb.
Even if I get the card necessary to thunderbolt the saffire pro 14 to a PC, won't it still be Firewire 400 quality?


Looks like it, I doubt you would get any speed advantage from the Thunderbolt port. It would just be a way to use the Thunderbolt port if that's all you have and if you have a Firewire interface.
rod_zero
KVRian
 
633 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:48 am Re: 25 audio interfaces I can't decide, know nothing basically.

Get your facts straight: USB 2.0 is enough to run even 30 channels, stuff byr RME (mid-high end) delivers performance that supasses FW and matches PCI with USB.

The drivers , a little pice of software that enables communicaiton between the interface and the PC, is the most critical part of audio interfaces.

In this regard RME is the market leader and probably the standard wich other interfaces are compared to, other have better Mic preamps, maybe DSP processing but no other interface manufacturer matches RME driver stability and support.

If you look around reviews in the last years Steinberg with their UR line has come as a very good contender, the UR28 is a lot of bang for your buck and often considered a good alternative to RME when on a budget, but their lower offerings as the UR22 and UR44 share the same drivers which have been shown to be of high quality.

I have had Focusrite, Presonus and NI interfaces, each one of them was a waste of money, then I got an RME I porbably won't have to upgrade or change that stuff for 10 years or more.

But I also have recent experience with the Steniberg ur44 and Ur28 and they are quite above IMO to the other stuff in their price range, great low latency at low buffer setting, good sounding preamps and good stability.
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