Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
Dee.P.Tree
KVRist
243 posts since 25 Aug, 2015

Post Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:49 pm

generaldiomedes wrote:I own an RME baby face and it is probably the lowest latency you can get on windows without going PCI. Very nice unit and comes with some onboard DSP.

I had an Apollo twin which is nearly as fast but gives you a lot more DSP power vi UAD plugins. Probably my choice if recording vocals .. however .. not enough DSP power to do much beyond running a handful of plugins simultaneously in your DAW so probably looking at master channel effects only. And UAD plugins are expensive. Exchanged it for the baby face as I don’t really record vocals lol.

I also have a Scarlett 2i4 as a backup and it is solid. I think the latest generation has lower latency than mine, but stil not as fast as the RME. Good enough for me to play guitar through an amp sim. Controlling levels is manual so you can’t save presets like the babyface.

Anyhow that’s my experience on a windows laptop with USB.
Thanks generaldiomedes, sir for sharimg your experience about RME, Apollo Twin and Focusrite 2i4. It will be helpful, indeed. :hail:
simonhans73 wrote:Rme is very good an worth the extra money. Very solid performance.
dellboy wrote:
simonhans73 wrote:Rme is very good an worth the extra money. Very solid performance.
Thomann Europe.......

Presonus AudioBox USB 96.........88 euro

RME Babyface Pro..................729 euro

"extra money"......................641 euro

The op's maximum was 150 euro-ish. Is there an RME in a lower price bracket that I could not find ?
I afraid, RME will be out of my reach at this stage. It's advocated by many professionals here and it is truly for Pro Studios and alike.

:pray:
I hope I earn something from music to invest more. :wink: :D

Thanks simonhans73 and dellboy sir for participating in discussion. :hail:

ghettosynth
KVRAF
11421 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:57 pm

dellboy wrote:
Dee.P.Tree wrote:
Is it worth paying Focusrite almost two times than Behringer?


Is it worth going for Presonus Audiobox 96 because they are providing "not so limited" Studio One Artist DAW, and leave Focusrite just because they are prividing limited Ableton Live Lite?
Behringer UMC 204hd here.

Great all metal build quality with Midas preamps. Latency is pretty decent. It is by far the best value USB interface with midi - in - out ports available.

If brand names matter,then go with Focusrite,but the Behringer is every bit its equal in my opinion.

I have Studio One Artist and never use it because it does not have VST support.

Ableton Live Lite is only limited by its track count,and so is useful to learn the basics of Live with,but its not worth paying the extra for a Focusrite just to get it.
I don't have any experience with the Behringer in question, mostly MOTU here. That said, I have a Native Instruments interface that I picked up cheap years ago. Now, I'm not recommending NI, although I've had no problem with mine.

What I'm recommending is that you buy a decent and reasonably low cost 2/4 channel USB interface your first time out and skip the high end recommendations. Here's why, either you will go on and do a lot more with it, or you won't. If you do, I can almost guarantee you that you will want something different in terms of features and capabilities in that second interface. If your first was cheap enough you just keep it around and it will still get a lot of use. I have three MOTU multichannel interfaces and my NI still gets regular use. It's important that it's portable. I can't count the number of times I've needed to throw a laptop and my interface into a backpack to go do some remote music thing.

If you don't go further, you haven't wasted a lot of money.
Last edited by ghettosynth on Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dee.P.Tree
KVRist
243 posts since 25 Aug, 2015

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:35 pm

dellboy wrote:
chk071 wrote:
That said, the Presonus is 30 € cheaper though. I don't think i'll ever need any sample rate as high as the UR22 offers (192 kHz), so, the 96 kHz of the Presonus should be fine. Actually, if i knew about it back when i bought my UR22, i probably would have gone for the Presonus.
I never go over 96 khz either,so the Presonus would do the job fine depending on the quality of the preamps.

If Presonus modified the bundled Studio One Artist daw to include VST ability it would make it even better. They could for instance make it 32 tracks instead of unlimited. Although,for the OP's use, it may be just fine, as he\she is intending to just use hardware synths to audio.
Agree that in most of cases, mixing and mastering service providers ask for 44.1 khz, 24 bits. I think, Streaming services also converts audio to 44.1 kHz if its higher. So, 96kHz is usable.

Yes, studio one artist may be useful. Thanks. :tu:

Dee.P.Tree
KVRist
243 posts since 25 Aug, 2015

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:11 pm

ghettosynth wrote: What I'm recommending is that you buy a decent and reasonably low cost 2/4 channel USB interface your first time out and skip the high end recommendations. Here's why, either you will go on and do a lot more with it, or you won't. If you do, I can almost guarantee you that you will want something different in terms of features and capabilities in that second interface. If your first was cheap enough you just keep it around and it will still get a lot of use. I have three MOTU multichannel interfaces and my NI still gets regular use. It's important that it's portable. I can count the number of times I've needed to throw a laptop and my interface into a backpack to go do some remote music thing.

If you don't go further, you haven't wasted a lot of money.
Thanks ghettosynth, sir. It is really helpful advice. I will keep in mind while choosing one. :hail:

Dee.P.Tree
KVRist
243 posts since 25 Aug, 2015

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:38 pm

Getting deeper....

Presonus Audiobox USB96 does not show line input in its manual but Studio 24, 26, 68 shows. Please see attached images from manual of these models.

To record from a hardware synth, line input is required, correct?

If yes, then Audiobox USB96 does not qualify. Am I making mistake in understanding?

Thanks,
Dee.
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AsPeeXXXVIII
KVRist
389 posts since 17 Aug, 2015 from Finland

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:35 am

Looks like a misprint on PreSonus' part - I'm pretty sure those inputs do include line inputs.

It is curious, though, that there'd be no mention of it.
"Creativity is a lot like sex. When it's spontaneous, it's good, but forcing it makes it bad."
My metal music | My electronic music

Dee.P.Tree
KVRist
243 posts since 25 Aug, 2015

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:17 am

AsPeeXXXVIII wrote:Looks like a misprint on PreSonus' part - I'm pretty sure those inputs do include line inputs.

It is curious, though, that there'd be no mention of it.
Or intentional..?

https://www.presonus.com/products/Audio-Interfaces

Website also has similar images.

Request clarification from all of you and specially who has used audiobox usb96 with line inputs.

User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
8421 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:50 am

Dee.P.Tree wrote:Getting deeper....

Presonus Audiobox USB96 does not show line input in its manual but Studio 24, 26, 68 shows. Please see attached images from manual of these models.

To record from a hardware synth, line input is required, correct?

If yes, then Audiobox USB96 does not qualify. Am I making mistake in understanding?

Thanks,
Dee.
I think you are correct, based on the specs online:

Input/Output

1 USB 2.0 port
2 combo XLR/¼” mic/instrument inputs
2 balanced ¼” main (L/R) line outputs
1 stereo ¼” headphone output
MIDI in/out

As strange as it looks, it seems there are no line inputs.

But this one has line inputs:

https://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-iTwo
Fernando (FMR)

chk071
KVRAF
18540 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:07 am

dellboy wrote:
chk071 wrote:
That said, the Presonus is 30 € cheaper though. I don't think i'll ever need any sample rate as high as the UR22 offers (192 kHz), so, the 96 kHz of the Presonus should be fine. Actually, if i knew about it back when i bought my UR22, i probably would have gone for the Presonus.
I never go over 96 khz either,so the Presonus would do the job fine depending on the quality of the preamps.

If Presonus modified the bundled Studio One Artist daw to include VST ability it would make it even better. They could for instance make it 32 tracks instead of unlimited. Although,for the OP's use, it may be just fine, as he\she is intending to just use hardware synths to audio.
I agree. No VST support seems like a pointless restriction.

BBFG#
KVRAF
5403 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:01 am

Update: I found that Tascam only uses class compliant drivers for Mac and still uses one they supply for Windows. Which answers my question and takes them off my list of considerations.
So thanks largely to this thread and my own previous experience, I've narrowed my consideration list to:

Steinberg UR22MKII or UR242
Focusrite 2i2(2g)

($200.-- is my limit.)

So does anyone have a link to show benchmarks for latency on these?

And driver vs. driver, how can one rate against another?

BTW, my other interface is a PCIe MOTU 24io and it's been rock solid for years.

User avatar
T-CM11
KVRAF
2278 posts since 31 Jan, 2003 from Ghent, Belgium

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:14 am

fmr wrote:
Dee.P.Tree wrote:Getting deeper....

Presonus Audiobox USB96 does not show line input in its manual but Studio 24, 26, 68 shows. Please see attached images from manual of these models.

To record from a hardware synth, line input is required, correct?

If yes, then Audiobox USB96 does not qualify. Am I making mistake in understanding?

Thanks,
Dee.
I think you are correct, based on the specs online:

Input/Output

1 USB 2.0 port
2 combo XLR/¼” mic/instrument inputs
2 balanced ¼” main (L/R) line outputs
1 stereo ¼” headphone output
MIDI in/out

As strange as it looks, it seems there are no line inputs.

But this one has line inputs:

https://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-iTwo
Line inputs is the same as "instrument inputs". It doesn't matter anyway, even if it only had XLR mic inputs - you can still use those to connect a synth.

sprnva
KVRian
1445 posts since 16 Jan, 2013

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:22 am

BBFG# wrote:Update: I found that Tascam only uses class compliant drivers for Mac and still uses one they supply for Windows. Which answers my question and takes them off my list of considerations.
Windows only got a USB Audio Class 2 driver with Windows 10 1703. That's why every interface out there requires drivers on Windows.

I don't know how well the Microsoft driver works (latency-wise or at all) but it should allow class-compliant devices to run.
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T-CM11
KVRAF
2278 posts since 31 Jan, 2003 from Ghent, Belgium

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:43 am

sprnva wrote:
BBFG# wrote:I don't know how well the Microsoft driver works (latency-wise or at all) but it should allow class-compliant devices to run.
Some people are fine with a Realtek chip and ASIO4ALL... that's what you can expect from class-compliant drivers for audio interfaces. A dedicated ASIO driver is usually better.

BBFG#
KVRAF
5403 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:03 am

T-CM11 wrote:
sprnva wrote:I don't know how well the Microsoft driver works (latency-wise or at all) but it should allow class-compliant devices to run.
Some people are fine with a Realtek chip and ASIO4ALL... that's what you can expect from class-compliant drivers for audio interfaces. A dedicated ASIO driver is usually better.
Your quotes got farked. I fixed it here.

And I already had reached my own conclusion to eliminate it from my consideration list as I couldn't find any details on if, when and how they might have improved their drivers. All the things I can find on them don't seem to be favorable though.

So personally, my short list is Focusrite and Steinberg. And since I have H6, that driver is on my system and very persistent, even when it conflicts with other hardware (my MOTU PCIe). So much so, I have to remove it from any system scan folder, but still keep it and put it back whenever there's a HALion update.

But that could be a good thing on my Win 10/ non-MOTU system...

Drivers aside, I'm more interested in latency benchmarks of the two brands now.

dellboy
KVRian
777 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Re: Seeking help to avoid mistake in buying USB Audio Interface as a first timer

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:54 am

BBFG# wrote:
Drivers aside, I'm more interested in latency benchmarks of the two brands now.
Not sure what the real world latency without clicks and pops is for those two,but researching for the op I came across the "Zoom U-24" which a Sound on Sound review said had no problems at 2.8ms. Bear in mind that this usb interface retails at as low as £65 in the UK,then it might be a dark horse budget option for someone.It also incluse Ableton Live Lite daw.The review is for the Zoom U-44 which is slightly more expensive but has extras,and is basically the same....

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/zoom-u-44

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