Audio Interfaces

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Generic
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Generic » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:12 pm

Billy's Little Trip wrote:
jb wrote:I SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY SUGGEST YOU AVOID THE FIREWIRE 410. IT FUCKING BLOWS.

Save yourself some heartache.

Get a USB interface. Get a Scarlett 18i6: http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-inter ... rlett-18i6

JB

P.S. Focusrite finally responded to my support ticket, with a firmware updater that fixed my problem. Though they took too long to respond, they did have a fix for my problem. But I'm never going to buy another firewire interface after this one.

So it wasn't a bad firewire board as I expected. That's good to know.
But I'm wondering why it would make any difference if it is firewire or a USB interface? It sounds more like a dislike towards Focusrite's support. My only experience with Focusrite support was right when I bought my unit. They answered the phone right when I called and forwarded me to tech support, which walked me through a setup issue I had. I had my PreSonus as as my default and just needed to change the default to the Focusrite.

Nah, I get where JB is coming from. If I'm not mistaken, Firewire is newer than USB, never became as ubiquitous as USB, and right now, it's looking like Firewire might be outlived by USB.

And of course, because it's less common, it's harder to troubleshoot and get adequate support for, as JB noticed firsthand.

There aren't many (any?) USB 3.0 audio interfaces out there, but once those become common, Firewire might as well be an antique.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:21 pm

Generic wrote:Not sure where Chris saw that I have a Firewire port

Sorry, I misunderstood when you edited your post about the firwire 410. I thought that meant you had firewire.

The reason I like the firewire is that I've witnessed issues with USB interfaces having latency issues. Mainly when songs get track heavy, the latency has to manually be changed as your song grows to keep things running smooth. But as you increase latency, the delay gets annoying while recording to your previous tracks.
BUT, this could just be a slow computer issue of a few years ago and may not be as much of an issue with newer USB ports and faster computers.

But firewire doesn't seem to have these issues. So I'm guessing firewire is a faster path than USB.

But again, I'm no computer guru So for all I know, fireware is the dying breed and USB is becoming more standard and faster. That's a question for fluffy and the other bazinga boys. :D

PS, if going USB, I will +1 to jb's suggestion of the Scarlet 18i6. That thing is sweet and it's a Focusrite. So you know it's good.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Generic » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:38 pm

Awesome. I've added the Scarlett to my wish list.

Do the Focusrite drivers leave a pretty big footprint on your PC? Do they have proprietary software and stuff, or can I just install it once and then pretty much forget about it?
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:32 pm

I installed it once and forgot about it. I'm not sure about foot prints in the sand. I'm more into Darwinism.

I use Cubase for my DAW, so I never open any of the Focusrite stuff. But the Focusrite mixer does have to be set up once. And I think it set it's self up when I installed it, so I really didn't have to do anything as I remember.

I will say that I did make my Focusrite my primary audio device. First off, the amp is superior to my computer amp. And second, I don't have to change anything when recording music, listening to Pandora, watching youtube vids, etc. I use my monitor 1 out for my mixing monitors, the headphone out and the second monitor out to my stereo for listening to music. It's real convenient.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby fluffy » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:43 pm

Generic wrote:Nah, I get where JB is coming from. If I'm not mistaken, Firewire is newer than USB, never became as ubiquitous as USB, and right now, it's looking like Firewire might be outlived by USB.

And of course, because it's less common, it's harder to troubleshoot and get adequate support for, as JB noticed firsthand.

There aren't many (any?) USB 3.0 audio interfaces out there, but once those become common, Firewire might as well be an antique.

Firewire is still pretty standard for audio recording on the Mac, but the Mac is pretty much the only place you see it anymore.

Frankly, USB 2.0 has more than enough bandwidth for any audio thing you'll be ever doing (hell, even USB 1 did); technically USB 2 has more bandwidth than standard Firewire, as well, although that's peak and not sustained. The main problem with USB in terms of audio is latency, but that's been pretty well ironed-out at this point; just don't keep your audio interface on the same USB chain as an external hard drive that you're recording to.

The only place where you really need USB 3 is for external storage.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Generic » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:51 pm

Billy's Little Trip wrote:I installed it once and forgot about it. I'm not sure about foot prints in the sand. I'm more into Darwinism.

I use Cubase for my DAW, so I never open any of the Focusrite stuff. But the Focusrite mixer does have to be set up once. And I think it set it's self up when I installed it, so I really didn't have to do anything as I remember.

I will say that I did make my Focusrite my primary audio device. First off, the amp is superior to my computer amp. And second, I don't have to change anything when recording music, listening to Pandora, watching youtube vids, etc. I use my monitor 1 out for my mixing monitors, the headphone out and the second monitor out to my stereo for listening to music. It's real convenient.


That's identical to how I use my Lexicon, and identical to how I'd be using the Focusrite when I get it. Good to know it'll fit my needs. Thanks!
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby jb » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:59 pm

Couple more points against Firewire:

1. Latest macbooks don't have it. (I currently use a Firewire->Thunderbolt adapter going into the Pro40, and that requires both a Firewire 800 adapater and the thudnerbolt adapter. :P )
2. If I plug my interface into my computer in the wrong order, my macbook crashes. :P :P
3. With the USB 2.0 interface in the Scarlett, I got basically the same latency as the firewire interface. And as fluffy mentioned it's got way more bandwidth than a home recorder will use. I actually wish I had gotten the Scarlett instead of the Pro40. Hindsight.

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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby fluffy » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:06 pm

Oh, yeah, it's really only the desktop systems which have it anymore. Apple's still pushing Firewire via the Thunderbolt adapters and the hub built-in to their displays though, and I suspect they're going to keep supporting it in SOME form for quite some time (because all the pro users will scream bloody murder if they don't) but yeah, even Apple's made it clear that USB is the way of the future for peripherals.

(Now only if they'd start supporting USB3...)
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby fluffy » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:09 pm

A bit on interface bandwidth:

One mono 24-bit 96KHz channel (which is overkill and what the highest-end equipment supports) takes about 288Kbps per channel.

USB2 provides 480Mbps - which is over 1500 times as much. i.e. it supports at least 1500 simultaneous recording channels at the highest specifications used by a modern professional recording studio.

So, yeah, you're not going to be saturating USB2 anytime soon with audio.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Caravan Ray » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:32 am

OK. THis is embarrassing.

For years - whenever discussions like this have come up - I have posted suff like:

Caravan Ray wrote:I used a Tascam interface for about 7 years and it was fine.
Then it died so I replaced it with its later model:


http://tascam.com/product/us-144mkii/

And it is fine too.

It is something I never really think about. So that means it is a piece of equipment that never causes me any trouble (except for that one time the old one died).

I am happy with it. And I am a very fickle person.



Because my Tascam stuff has been trouble free for years.

But since I upgraded to the latest Apple OS - Meerkat or whatever it is - my interface now seems buggered.
Not in a major way - it works - but it keeps forgetting I am using it. So it I go away from the computer while recording - I have to unplug it and plug it back in again. Not fatal - but annoying.

So - what is a good simple idiot proof thing I can replace it with?
I only need one input at a time, input for guitar and mic.

I want SIMPLE SIPME SIMPLE

I cannot over emphasise this.

Plug in. Forget.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby fluffy » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:04 am

M-Audio stuff is generally pretty well-regarded for simple basic recording stuff.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby ken » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:25 am

I have to agree with fluffy that the M-Audio fast track is the way to go, but I'm actually not totally sure they still make these boxes. My suggestion these days for someone who just wants one input for either mic or DI is the Focusrite iTrack. High quality interface that works with either USB or iPad.

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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Sober » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:07 am

My M-Audio MobilePre came back from Afghanistan with input 1 not working, so I'm about to buy a Tascam US-600. Great refurb deal on Amazon, and now there'll be no more input switching when I go from keyboard to guitar to vocals. Yay!
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Caravan Ray » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:10 am

Caravan Ray wrote:But since I upgraded to the latest Apple OS - Meerkat or whatever it is - my interface now seems buggered.

Well - turns out all I needed was to download a new driver or something from Tascam.

It is all working fine again now.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:08 am

Caravan Ray wrote:Well - turns out all I needed was to download a new driver or something from Tascam.

It is all working fine again now.

Buggered = It's always a driver or update of some sort.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby ken » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:43 am

Yeah, always update your drivers!

I've got the Tascam U800 and think it is pretty good. I sometimes think my Fastrack Ultra sounded better, but it could just be the room and time...
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Sober » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:03 pm

ken wrote:Yeah, always update your drivers!

I've got the Tascam U800 and think it is pretty good. I sometimes think my Fastrack Ultra sounded better, but it could just be the room and time...


Do you use the SPDIF/digital in and out? I was never able to get it to work on my Firepod back in the day. It'd be awesome if I was able to plug my Nord in through that, then have guitar, bass, and stereo mics in the four line inputs.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby ken » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:51 am

I use Spdif all the time these days! I'm not sure I've tried it specifically with the US800, but I've had good experiences with my other interfaces. I bought a DBX 386 tube preamp with spdif out just to make use of spdif input on my interfaces. It's a really nice unit.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Sober » Fri May 03, 2013 11:43 am

US-600 up and running, loving the shit out of it so far. Much better-behaved than my Fast Track Pro. I don't have to go into Acid's preferences every time I start up and reselect my interface, it's just always there, ready to work.

I am, however, a dumbass regarding the spdif thing. My current keyboard is a Nord Electro 2, which doesn't have spdif out. I'm a dipshit. Still, I've got the keys permanently routed through inputs 3&4, while 1&2 trade off for vocals and guitars. The easier it is to record, the more you'll record.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby roymond » Fri May 03, 2013 12:14 pm

I just started using the two channel Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and so far it's awesome. And I'm plugging it into a new MBP with an SSD and 16 gigs of ram. I look forward to being able to make music with no limitations.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Sober » Fri May 03, 2013 11:48 pm

roymond wrote:I just started using the two channel Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and so far it's awesome. And I'm plugging it into a new MBP with an SSD and 16 gigs of ram. I look forward to being able to make music with no limitations.


I looked at the Focusrite stuff before settling on the Tascam. Looks cool, but didn't want to chance it on an unfamiliar brand. Let me know how it holds up after a year or two, and that may be my next buy.

Is there such a thing as a spdif DI box? Like, with 2 1/4" inputs and a spdif output? Can't find anything that really fits the bill. I know it wouldn't help the quality of my recordings, but it would permanently free up two inputs on my box, so that I could have keys, electric guitar, bass, and two condensers permanently set up and ready to go.
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Re: Audio Interfaces

Postby Generic » Sat May 04, 2013 7:49 am

Hey, Sober, off topic question, but where are you living right now? Any chance you'll be in Texas this August for Song Fight Live?
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