recommend an audio interface

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by paradice, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    looking for a USB powered interface with coax s pdif in

    found this for not a lot of money

    http://www.gear4music.com/Recording..._rFu-ZHuM6-L-t8-B0YGPHnDS1MTPaQBPUaAidx8P8HAQ

    the focusrite ones seem to come up in a lot of 'best interface' searches

    http://www.juno.co.uk/products/focusrite-scarlett-2i2-usb-audio-interface/435776-01/

    will the sound quality be much different between the 2 I've listed?

    how much would you need to spend before a notable difference?
     
  2. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    I have no experience with the ESI.

    I have experience with the Focusrite.

    The Focusrite is fine. It doesn't sound bad, but not that great either.

    If I really had to gamble a choice between the two I'd go for the ESI.

    It has less features. On the Focusrite you're paying for more expensive hardware such as combo XLR/TRS connectors, knobs, switches and mic pres. Also all the things that go with that such as more complicated assembly, panel cutting etc. It doesn't sound like much but these things all add up especially in units as reasonably priced as these.

    No.... just put the money into the converter circuit. I'd rather have it sound better than have more bells and whistles. That is unless you need mic pres, then the focusrite is the winner...

    Don't take what I say as a defining truth between the two....this is just a good guess on my part.
     
  3. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Hey Freddy!

    Does your opinion of Focusrite interfaces extend up the food chain, or just apply to the lower price stuff?

    Just wondering because I built my cellar studio around the Saffire Pro 40.

    I used to be a Presonus guy, but when they went USB and cheesy looking, I left the flock.
    I have been very happy with this so far and it's been very versatile.

    I really like that it can be hard programmed to work live without a PC attached. I can set the inputs and routing as a template and load them into its on-board memory.
    Very stable and reliable too. But what do I know?
    That's why I'm asking...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    I have one of these Saffire Pro 40s as a backup in one of our smaller theatres at the Shaw Festival, the Royal George: https://www.google.ca/search?safe=off&q=royal%20george%20theatre%20shaw%20festival&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwik8aahlpzRAhXs7IMKHdOuDpMQvS4IRzAB&biw=1920&bih=950&tbs=lf_msr:-1,lf:1,lf_ui:1,lf_pqs:EAE&npsic=0&rflfq=1&rlha=0&rllag=43254200,-79070423,323&tbm=lcl&rldimm=15647492820440043119

    The main interface we use is this Apogee Symphony:

    [​IMG]

    Whenever I do a test of the backup system the Focusrite is very acceptable....especially considering that the Apogee costs a lot more. So yeah, the Saffire is fine. I've never used either of them for recording though....only playback.
     
  5. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Thanks, Freddy, as always!
    And thanks for the link. Another cool place to put on my bucket list. :)

    But most importantly, did RUSH ever play there? That's really the deciding factor for any venue I might want to visit.

    If it wasn't good enough for them, well..... :laugh2::laugh2:
     
  6. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    I don't think they ever played at the George. But believe me, I've mixed (and performed in) live music concerts there, it's a great sounding room....only 313 seats, it was built in 1915 as a vaudeville theatre to entertain the troops.

    Here's an onstage perspective:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Sweeeet!

    Man, you should write a book!

    To hell with the political memoirs, I wanna see what Freddy's built, seen , played at, and done! With pics!

    Thanks again for sharing. :thumb:
     
  8. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    ended up getting a Focusrite 6i6...thought it was better to have the option for mic's

    the ESI was maybe a bit too much on the budget side...I wanted to have headphones and speakers connected permanently so im not fannying about with wires constantly which it couldn't do, dunno about the monitoring levels contols either

    the 6i6 seems ok so far, nothing to compare it against other than my PC soundcard, it's better than that

    one thing that's confusing me is if I select the s pdif 1/2 channel the volume is lower than if i select 1 AND 2 in the custom mixer...?
     
  9. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    On mine the S/PDIF has its own volume slider in the control panel, and is assignable to any other output.

    I'm also not sure what you are comparing with. Do your speakers have both line and S/PDIF inputs? So when you switch you hear a volume difference?

    And are you sending A and B to S/PDIF and line out at the same level between them?

    All levels being equal in the focusrite control panel could still lead to differences on the speaker end.

    S/PDIF is a stereo digital stream, line out is pre-amplified analog. How your speakers convert and amplify the digital stream internally is likely different than how they amplify the line input. Could account for the difference.
     
  10. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    just normal active desktop speakers with RCA L/R inputs

    I had s pdif out from my modeller to s pdif in on the 6i6

    in the focusrite control app there is an option for custom mixer...you can select s pdif 1 OR s pdif 2 OR you can select both 1 and 2 by activating both .... there is also an option for line in 1/2 on a single button, instead of activating 1 and 2 separately

    the USB desktop scarlett I've bought isn't ideal for my setup tbh, maybe a bit hasty with that decision.....it's went out of sync twice in the short time I've used it...is that a USB only thing or can that happen with firewire toio?

    I went for USB as I've never used firewire before except with a video camera years ago - is it a much better way to connect?

    I'm looking in to rack mounted interfaces like the one in your earlier post now to try and tidy up my limited space

    any info would be appreciated....

    looks like all rack mount solutions have far more but I really only need 1 mic, 1 line in and coax (and optical? would be handy..) s pdif

    thanks
     
  11. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    I've been very happy with the pro 40 so far.

    The things you mentioned about the USB and syncing have always been a concern of mine. Also the latency issues. That's why I left Presonus when all their new stuff went USB.

    I like the fire-wire setup on these. They have been very reliable so far.

    I am running a workstation PC with win7. It is not updated, it is not online, and I have disabled most unneeded service in Windows.

    I have 2 of these pro 40s hooked together. I liked them because of the ADAT in / outs on the back.

    And I run the S/PDIF out to my converter to drive my monitors.

    They will also faithfully drive your monitors directly through the line outs on the back.

    Just checked. This thing is REALLY versatile. You can switch the optical over from ADAT to S/PDIF (3and4) if you like. It already has coax S/PDIF (1 and 2).

    In case you didn't already know S/PDIF is a stereo protocol by design. Don't need 2 connections for stereo.
     
  12. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Oh, and you can check their site for compatible FW chipset cards. These are no brainer add in cards that are recognized by the OS as legacy hardware. No driver needed.
     
  13. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    had to google ADAT, 8 channels through 1 cable? sounds good but that's what I mean...I only need 1 of each really, I suppose all rack interfaces are aimed at studios/pros

    this focusrite only has 1 S pdif connection in btw... the 1 and 2 is for the left and right so it lets you select left spdif, or right spdif one at a time, or you can highlight 1 and 2 and it plays both, or there's a seperate button which says 1/2 which gives you both
    it just seemed a stronger sound when selecting 1 AND 2 instead of the 1/2 button
     
  14. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Sorry for the confusion, I knew it when I typed ADAT. That's outdated digital technology that only dinosaurs like me still have around. :D

    I only mentioned them because that's what they are called in the manual. They are flip-able to a second S/PDIF in or out if you need one.

    This interface is usable in studios but is not generally considered top end and is still relatively affordable for what it offers at the price. I'd say a step up but not 'elite' by any means.

    I have used the Presonus firestudio mobile with good luck in the past too.

    2 mic inputs and 6 line in and 2 out. firewire interface. ASIO support for DAWS. Metal box.
     
  15. RandyRhoadsLesPaul

    RandyRhoadsLesPaul Senior Member

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    It depends. I have a Native Instruments' 'Komplete Audio 6' interface. It is a 2-channel interface with a MIDI input/output and studio outputs. It also has 2 direct-input for guitars

    Typically, many beginners to recording start with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. Personally, I find the interface of that confusing, so I do not use it. Also I heard that it gives trouble at times.

    So, what exactly do you want to do? Are you planning on tracking multiple instruments at once? Are you searching for MIDI inputs and outputs? How many studio monitors to you want to attach to it? Which interface are you comfortable with?

    Good luck!
     
  16. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    I've used a POD XT for maybe 10 years...it acts as an interface so perfect for recording guitar, just need the USB cable and the ASIO driver...

    now I've got another modeller that has no interface...it has L/R 1/4 jack main outputs and spdif out are the options

    I have a digital piano with L/R jacks too but anytime I've recorded with that I connect it straight to the PC with USB, then it works as a midi controller in Ableton (or whatever)
    It would be good to use the piano's own sounds tho, the touch sensitivity is a bit funny with midi sometimes

    I would have got the 2i2 but the cheapest one with coax s pdif was the 6i6

    no real plans to record more than 1 thing at once but I may aswell get something with a bit of headroom instead of the bare minimum..

    've no real experience with line level, balanced, unbalanced etc...still learning..

    now looking at PCI card interface like this one...
    https://www.thomann.de/gb/marian_tr...KqymRXohri1PxgwxwYDH5ror8izQeJzalHxoCxzvw_wcB

    no headphone socket tho...that's another thing, the jacks on my pc's onboard sound are getting dodgy so want to plug headphones/speakers straight in to the interface
     
  17. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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  18. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    That's a good read!

    Let us know what you decide..
     
  19. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    will do

    it's a good read but I already want these...

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JCT9...&ascsubtag=6aad8f7fecf7b1f68caf3bf1eeac45db_S


    sooner I'm back at work the better :D

    seriously tho...it mentions PCI cards being the best
    then doesn't mention them again

    I might be missing something but this cards has everything I need apart from coax spdif, only £135 whereas other PCIe cards are nearer £1k, and above

    http://www.dv247.com/computer-hardware/esi-juli-24bit-192khz-stereo-audio-midi-interface--43792

    would be almost as tidy/simple as using the POD, switches on with the pc and no wires across the desk

    or buy a bigger desk and move everything in to another room...
     
  20. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    odd, that link came up to KRK monitors....
     

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