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interface recommendations?
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Author interface recommendations?
odditymedium
hello, i need an interface

requirements:

- multichannel out (minimum 4 out for quad/ambisonics, ideally more than 4)
- not hyperexpensive (dunno, is 500 too little for an interface?)
- simple to use
- portable. no rack units please
- bombproof?
- plays well with reaper
BenA718
Focusrite have a few interfaces in their Scarlett range that will work. I currently use three of them, a Solo, 2i2, and 18i20 depending on where I am and what the session calls for. The preamps are great, they are very sturdy, and work fine regardless of your daw situation. Depending on your setup, you may want to use a patch bay as well to simplify connectivity. In my big 4U recording rack I have an SSL channel strip, OctoPre, 18i20, and patch bay prewired which will give me 16 channels of simultaneous i/o via USB.
jimfowler
If you can bump your budget up a few hundred you could get a used Lynx Aurora 8.
odditymedium
i should've mentioned i'm looking for portable units. i've edited the post.

the focusrite scarlett 6i6 looks pretty good to me: https://focusrite.com/usb-audio-interface/scarlett/scarlett-6i6

will i get four independent outputs for quadraphonic/ambisonics with this?
solaris
odditymedium wrote:
i should've mentioned i'm looking for portable units. i've edited the post.

the focusrite scarlett 6i6 looks pretty good to me: https://focusrite.com/usb-audio-interface/scarlett/scarlett-6i6

will i get four independent outputs for quadraphonic/ambisonics with this?


yes but 4 outs is not really enough for effective ambisonics.
for a simple quad setup, no problem.
odditymedium
so how many out do i need for the simplest effective ambi setup? 6? 8?
LameAim
I’d look at the MOTU Ultralite mk4, or if you’re willing to blow up the budget, the RME UCX. I have the UCX’s bigger brother (the UFX) and it is rock solid.
odditymedium
is motu reliable?
fac
I have a Presonus AudioBox 1818VSL and I'm very happy with it. I use it with a late-2015 21" iMac with GarageBand, Studio One Artist and Audiomulch, and it works just great. At $400, the price is great as well.

Don't have much experience with other interfaces, but I've used a couple of Tascams (US-800 and US-144) and they both had constant driver and compatibility problems. My other interface was an old GadgetLabs 4/24 PCI card, which eventually died with my old 2005 DAW.

If I had to buy a new interface today, I would not doubt going with Presonus, probably the Studio 1824, which has 8 analog inputs, plus 8 analog outputs besides the main stereo output.

I don't see how a rack unit negates portability. I also don't see how a small-factor interface has enough space for 8x8 analog I/O, but if four outputs are enough for you, maybe the Presonus Studio 6|8 ($250) will meet your needs. It actually has 6x6 I/O if you include the S/PDIF connections.

So, I don't know about other brands but Presonus is good, avoid Tascam.
Luap
odditymedium wrote:
is motu reliable?


In my experience, yes.
Moskowitz
My experience suggests that getting something recent from a reputable brand that suits ones requirement re: i/o is the most important thing. Not all $500 interfaces are the same but it is not like they are vastly different - I like MOTU and would look into the incredible variety of small (Ultralight) interfaces they have.
AdamJay
I've been pleased with the MOTU Ultralite MK4. It can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

Pros, for me:

    Latency is very low. 2.00ms in, 1.98ms out, at 44.1khz and 64 samples.
    Can be used as a mixer.
    Can be used as a stand-alone A/D converter as part of another system.
    ESS Sabre32 DAC , 123dB Dynamic Range (A-weighted)
    "British EQ" in the console software is surprisingly solid and serviceable, but entirely optional.
    MIDI I+O
    10 1/4" outputs, plus headphones, all separate.
    AVB Mixer routing is highly flexible
    iOS Control
    $515-$549 new if you shop around
    Very capable headphone output amp.
    Plenty of DSP if you wish to exploit the onboard mixer/router with EQs/dynamics


Cons:

    Require's PSU
    Screen is a bit bright in a dim studio, but some "Dim It" strips work.
    No ethernet for AVB Networking. It might be MOTU's only "AVB" device that doesn't have this.
    LA-2A "Leveler" DSP only available on busses and groups.


I've had higher end stuff in the past. Metric Halo, Apogee, Lynx. For the $, the MOTU UL MK4 is fantastic and punches well above its weight. It just works.


FWIW, I added 10 more inputs to mine with a $125 used Travler MK1 (ADAT) and $62 M-Audio Flying Cow 24bit (S/PDIF).
I opted for these because they also do D/A, and therefore allow me to set the master clock from the newer MOTU UL MK4.
umma gumma
Roland Octacapture

8 inputs, using it with Reaper myself.

I was bringing it to rehearsals, to record everyone multitrack: it's small & portable

I especially like the auto level adjust: select the channels, tell everyone to play at full volume, and it sets the levels

probably really cheap used too, sub $300 I bet?

they also make a 4 input version
ranix
I have an 18i20 myself and I like it. I recommend it, but watch out! There is a "first generation" and a "second generation" and you want to make sure you don't get the first generation version, it has some issues.
Rex Coil 7
odditymedium wrote:
hello, i need an interface

requirements:

- multichannel out (minimum 4 out for quad/ambisonics, ideally more than 4)
- not hyperexpensive (dunno, is 500 too little for an interface?)
- simple to use
- portable. no rack units please
- bombproof?
- plays well with reaper
How much money you got?

* USB?
* USB2?
* USB3?
* USB3.1?
* Thunderbolt?

I just bought a Behringer U-Phoria UMC 404HD interface ... USB2 .. 4 outs .. 4 inputs .. MIDI I/O .. built like a shovel .. $107.00 shipped.

I was v.e.r.y. reluctant .... I mean, a Behringer interface? For $107.00 bucks? Really now! HA! ... I was just in the bathroom, and when I was washing my hands I looked in the mirror, and it did not say "STUPID" on my forehead!

But you know what? .....

I read sooo many positive reviews, saw sooo many positive videos. Most latency reports put it anywhere between 1.5ms to 3.5ms round trip. Now, the 1.5ms round trip .... yea right. But, like in the Olympics where you toss out the highest and lowest scores .. that put it's latency somewhere around 2.5ms round trip. On USB2 no less!

Thing is, USB2 is actually capable of pulling that off ... depending on how many simultaneous out/in audio signals you have going on. If you're not asking very much of the system/DAW/interface/CPU then it's capable of producing very low latency figures (as long as the drivers are worth half a shit). The UMC404 HD uses ASIO4ALL drivers ... and it would appear that the ensemble of ~that~ interface with ~those~ drivers produces some pretty high performance. Again, as long as you're not recording a drum kit with a dozen mics while playing back two channel playback monitor reference all at the same time. Especially troublesome if you're also applying a shitload of VST FX/synths while doing all of that hoop-jumping/recording/playback.

Neat thing is that Behringer interface is also a 4ch stand alone mixer.

If your computer is a powerhouse with balls like a bull, the Behringer interface will do you fine (as long as you're not asking too much of it, the way I depicted in my descriptions above).

$107.00 bucks. seriously, i just don't get it

Or you can throw two fistfuls of money at the situation to gain another half millisecond of lower latency.

Totally up to you.

Just check a few videos, read a few reviews. You've absolutely NOTHING to lose by doing so other than a few hours of your time. Better that than spending money you don't need to spend to buy improved latency that your computer isn't capable of providing in the first place. You have to build your house on solid stone, if you spend all the money in the world on the finest home ever built, but build it on sand or a muddy hillside, all of that money was wasted.

So if you follow the advice of someone that insists you'll only do well if you buy a $2K interface (even though you're using a 4th generation i3 CPU on a 5 years obsolete motherboard/chipset) ... that $2K interface isn't going to bring home $2K worth of performance.

As long as your computer is up to the game, that Behringer will really do the job. But don't listen to me, do your own research!

Again, totally up to you. thumbs up

EDIT: BTW ... this ain't my first rodeo. I've been doing this since Cakewalk was called "Twelve Tone" and fast bad-ass computers had 286 CPUs and we were running on an OS called DOS 5.

My newest computer is an (unfinished as of yet) ASUS Prime Z370-A - Intel i7-8700 eighth generation - 16GB DDR4 3000 mhz RAM - 240Gb M.2 NVME SSD - 1TB 7200 rpm SATA3 HDD - Win10 machine.

Granted this Behringer interface is the weakest link in the entire machine, it's still going to provide just fine performance until I'm willing to pop for a hot-rod interface.

pbear :(
Rex Coil 7
AdamJay wrote:
I've been pleased with the MOTU Ultralite MK4.
What connection standard? USB2 ... 3 .. 3.1 ... Thunderballs ... Firechicken ... helium laser? ... low orbit satellite?
chvad
odditymedium wrote:
is motu reliable?


Also rock solid MOTU experience here. My long lasting Focusrite Saffire Pro 10io finally died a few months back and I replaced it with the MOTU828mkIII. Works fantastic. Connected via Firewire in Win7 btw.

I have a pair of Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 units for live shows that have also worked well. Those by contrast, USB and on Win 10.
vromr
Motu outputs will also get you CV outs via SilentWay or other converter software, don’t forget. If you get an older model than current gen, you get lower voltage outs but they’re still good enough as GATE/TRIGGER/CLOCK outs.
odditymedium
any one else using the roland octacapture? looks real good from out here, but dunno if roland is reliable?
BugBrand
I just put up a Motu 4Pre for sale in BST - might well fit the bill?
odditymedium
thanks tom but i need more outs

so an interface is not only for getting things INTO the computer, but also OUT, right?

i might be a bit daft here, but please tell me if i'm mistaken:

the main reason i need an interface is for quadraphonics and ambisonics.
lets say i have 4/6/8 (or 200, whatever) files/tracks in my DAW, and i want to spatialise the sound out on 4/6/8 speakers.

will the roland octacapture let me do this? how do i have 8 independent outputs from the octacapture? doesnt seem like roland's software allows for this? can a DAW override it? does any other interface allow for independent outputs?

how do pro sound artists/professionals do ambisonics/spatial sound with 6/8/12 speakers?
TXBDan
I'm also interface hunting and the MOTU Ultralite mk4 is my current #1 contender. Thanks for the feedback on it, i've mostly be searching on gearslutz.

That said, I can't find a damn reason not to try the Behringer UMC404HD besides vanity. The more i dig into it, the better it seems.

There are many other options, Presonus, Steinberg, etc, but many will have some of the inputs as HiZ only. Seems like there's always a catch.
andybizarre
There`s already lots of good advice in this thread. In my opinion the host interface and driver quality are the most important criteria while choosing a new audio interface. The right host interface will keep latencies and CPU utilisation low, as well will the driver, and will still be usable with your next studio computer. At the moment, only AVB and PCIe look promising in this regard. Maybe a cheap USB can do RTLs of 3ms, but hogs half of your CPU without doing any DSP.
If you want excellent drivers and support for years to come, choose MOTU for Mac and RME for a Windows machine. Both provide drivers for products which were released 15 years ago!
dubonaire
odditymedium wrote:
thanks tom but i need more outs

so an interface is not only for getting things INTO the computer, but also OUT, right?

i might be a bit daft here, but please tell me if i'm mistaken:

the main reason i need an interface is for quadraphonics and ambisonics.
lets say i have 4/6/8 (or 200, whatever) files/tracks in my DAW, and i want to spatialise the sound out on 4/6/8 speakers.

will the roland octacapture let me do this? how do i have 8 independent outputs from the octacapture? doesnt seem like roland's software allows for this? can a DAW override it? does any other interface allow for independent outputs?

how do pro sound artists/professionals do ambisonics/spatial sound with 6/8/12 speakers?


DAWs can route channels to independent outputs. Some artists also use software like Max/MSP. If you want 8 outputs I think Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 or Clarrett 8Pre are going to be best bang for your buck. I think they are the best value - I've had two and they were rock solid.

If you want more you really need to look at something like UAD Apollo X16 which you can chain, or Antelope Orion 32+, or something like MADI.
umma gumma
odditymedium wrote:
thanks tom but i need more outs

so an interface is not only for getting things INTO the computer, but also OUT, right?

i might be a bit daft here, but please tell me if i'm mistaken:

the main reason i need an interface is for quadraphonics and ambisonics.
lets say i have 4/6/8 (or 200, whatever) files/tracks in my DAW, and i want to spatialise the sound out on 4/6/8 speakers.

will the roland octacapture let me do this? how do i have 8 independent outputs from the octacapture? doesnt seem like roland's software allows for this? can a DAW override it? does any other interface allow for independent outputs?

how do pro sound artists/professionals do ambisonics/spatial sound with 6/8/12 speakers?


it does have 8 1/4" outs on the back, I have never needed more than two: but you could probably route them in your DAW...might be a good idea to talk to a store/demo it etc?
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