Audio Interface for mixing

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Laggy, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Laggy

    Laggy Newbie

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    Hello guys,
    I think that the title explains it all. I was thinking about mixing and I found many top mixing engineers use Apollo twin or something for mixing.
    Aside from the UAD plugins, are there major differences between different audio interfaces in mixing area? if i have money right now, I would go for focusrite. but some ppl told me itsn't so good for mixing like UAD.

    and what do you think about uad plugins? does it worth the money?
     
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  3. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Platinum Record

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    You need to answer this question:

    Are you on an Apple? If the answer is yes you can use the new blackface Apollos, if the answer is no and you're on Windows, the answer is probably no. UA supports Apollo on less than a dozen specifically named models of branded PCs, and then you have to use one of only two specifically named Thunderbolt adapters to switch Thunderbolt down from 3.0 to 2.0. So it's a bit of a mess on the PC.

    You're probably best staying away from Thunderbolt on the PC IMHO, but other people's milage may vary.

    Now UAD plugs: yes, yes, yes. They are that good. But the real diamonds in the collection need huge DSP resources. So if you want, say the Manley Massive Passive, you can run 1 (one) instance on a Solo core.

    I've gone for a PCIe octo and using Presonus' USB 3.0 Studio 192 and could not be happier, running at a 256 buffer size. I got both for the same price an Apollo quad + satellite (assuming the recent offer is not revived - free Quad Satellite with any blackface). That offer was generous.
     
  4. realpancake

    realpancake Noisemaker

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    I have always used MOTU interfaces & have never had problems. I currently have an 828 mk3 & an 8Pre they have both lasted a huge amount of time (8pre for nearly 10 years now)

    If i'm honest, I would happily swap to an Apollo given the chance, not only do they sound clean for the price but they look great and the software is easy to navigate and route audio with.

    I use UAD a lot when I'm working and as much as I like their emulations I don't really find anything that can't be done pretty simply elsewhere. I'd say as long as you have some good saturation options and a few choice EQ & compressors you're not missing anything huge.

    Of course they have nice GUIs and maybe you get a sense of gratification from using those certain brand emulations which is worth mentioning but you could probably save some money on an interface that covers your needs if you don't feel suckered in by UAD plugs.

    Having said that even I feel the draw of Vertigo VSM-3 from time to time though so go for it if it feels right.
     
  5. Iggy

    Iggy Producer

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    You'd be better off getting a decent purpose-built interface and then snagging a UAD Quad or Octo card or satellite if you're interested in powered plugs ... even if you're on a Mac. I hear good things about the interfaces, but here's the thing: if you have a separate interface and a card or satellite, and the interface goes down for some reason, you still have the powered plugs (and vice-versa). If your UAD interface goes down, you've lost everything until you get another UAD interface. Plus, you're pigeonholed with whatever the limitations of your UAD interface are. Personally, I'd look into something like an Antelope Goliath (it has a couple of powered plugs, but is mainly just a massive interface with sixteen pres), a Lynx, any of the aforementioned MOTU interfaces, especially the new Ethernet system you can really expand as you go or, if quality if your foremost concern, an Apogee Symphony (which is a Mac-only interface unless you're using it as a PT front-end). There's also the new Yamaha systems for Cubase/Nuendo and Waves' Digigrid system (which turns all your Waves' plugs into powered plugs).
     
  6. TW

    TW Producer

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    No there are no differences for mixing. You can find good converters from a lot of companies.
    UAD Interfaces only makes sense in combination with the plugins. If you compare only the converters there are a lot of companies with the same quality or even better than an apollo for less money. Apogee, rme, spl or audient for example, are easy on par with uad converters (and preamps).


    In case of the uad plugins. It depends. They sound quite nice and often a tiny bit better than vsts. But you can live without them if you test a lot of plugins to find the best vst.

    The main advantage is the dsp in my opinnion. You get more cpu power for other plugins if you use the most demanding plugins from UAD(dsp).
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  7. Aleksandar Iliev

    Aleksandar Iliev Noisemaker

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    If you are looking for accurate reproduction of your mix down (which imo is the most important) you definitely need to look for quality AD/DA Converter. Now it would be awesome if you have one of this + usb stream. You can check the Antelope Pure 2 as it has superior clocking + pristine AD/DA http://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/pure-2/
    UA is no sense as you can always buy UAD DSP Card and use only their plugins.The Ua Interfaces are nothing special, especially for the process of mixing.
     
  8. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Audiosexual

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    the Apollo twin duo Windows version has USB 3.0 but does not work with Mac, no thunderbolt ...
     
  9. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Rock Star

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    Unless you are running signals through external hardware, why do you need an interface just to mix? The mix is all in the DAW. You just need a good converter for audio monitoring.
     
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  10. Laggy

    Laggy Newbie

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    thats a great combination. are you satisfied with the converters of presonus?

    Motu has some great audio interfaces i've ever seen. They're really good. My problem is a lot of ppl now use UAD plugins and they sound really good. so i'm afraid it's a problem of my plugins not my ears :S ... with the minimum effort they get great results and of course i want that too! especially the Ocean way reverb plugin, Lexicon 224, API. Omg they are so sweet :D

    All these option are great but they are so beyond my needs and my money :S. But actually i like the idea of separating between the audio interface and the dsp card. thank you man
     
  11. Laggy

    Laggy Newbie

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    just checked those, i think i will go for the Audient, its cheaper and sound really good ( on youtube at least ) .

    Sooooo expensive :S but i like the idea of separating between the audio interface and the dsp.
    you are right. but sometimes u would need some DI or mic input to overdub, and i want to make sure i pay for mixing and recording device.
     
  12. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Platinum Record

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    Yes entirely, but in this day and age converters are inconsequential compared to the effect that the pre-amps have. Even the lowly Behringers now use the same class of conversion chips once only available in say the mighty PrismSound Orpheus. In just 5 years the issue has become about as valid as comparisons between DAW summing. Modern 96kHz converters are flawless. It's the anolog staging and the control subsystems that determine the quality differentials today. The XMAX Presonus pre-amps are fine and largely transparent.

    And it also raises the issue regarding UA's Unison tech, which allows UAD plugs to be run on the interface before the signal hits storage in the DAW. This is mad to my mind. And to George Massenburgs mind as well. You preserve clarity at all costs until you have no choice. But hey, whatever floats your boat, if you're using Unison. It delivers nothing you can't do after commit to storage, and doing it in the DAW is reversible. Try scraping a Manley Vox Box off your signal if you burned it into the initial file.

    I would have preferred an Apollo, because these are very lovely machines with exacting analog staging pre and post the converters. I tried a Focusrite and a PreSonus in the shop using my trusty Sennheiser Linears and could not say one was better the other. If there's a difference it's beyond influencing my music. The PreSonus offered all the path combinations I wanted with USB 3.0. Job done.
     
  13. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Platinum Record

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    I was talking about the big units.
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Audio interface for mixing technically don't need analog inputs. So any DAC would do fine. If you need just 2 outs or 2 outs & headphone amp, pocket-sized CEntrance DACPort Slim might fit the bill for $99.
    CEntrance makes perfect ASIO drivers, so there should be no problem at all.
     
  15. Iggy

    Iggy Producer

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    Sorry, wasn't sure of your budget! For the money, any of the new MOTU Ethernet interfaces are pretty good and rock-solid on either Windoze or Mac. Plus, you can expand them with additional purpose-built networked interfaces as you go (they have an eight-channel preamp module, an eight-channel headphone amp that I'm eventually planning on getting myself, more analog and digital ins and outs, etc.).

    Right now, I have an Avid MBox 3 Pro Firewire 400 that I bought brand-new almost a year ago for under $700. Four pres, six outs, two headphone amps, cue reverb for recording vocalists who want to hear some splash on their voices, MIDI and SPDIF breakout cables, even a Firewire 400 to 800 cable (which is how I'm set up). It sounds pretty good, and like the new Apogee interfaces that replaced it, it comes with a free year of PT 10, 11 and 12, a free iLok 2 and that Avid extras package they always include with their non-HD stuff (A.I.R., Eleven Rack, a bunch of stomps, etc.). Not sure if you can still pick one up, but I wasn't able to transition from my old interface (a TC Konnekt 24D that now sits unused in my closet) until last September and I was able to get PT 12 on my machine with no hassles.
     
  16. realpancake

    realpancake Noisemaker

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    I have to say the antelope stuff looks really lovely - I notice they are looking for staff members every few months. Unfortunately Bulgaria is a little out of my way!
     
  17. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Rock Star

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    PreSonus Audiobox (I have the 1818VSL) It runs my studio, it runs my live work, it runs my stuff when I am just listening for personal enjoyment. It is very flexible, multiple monitor mixes, sounds fine, I don't know anybody here has had many complaints about PreSonus hardware. The end sound you hear will be more influenced by your monitors or cans than audio converters, unless you go to really high end (expensive) stuff. And it comes with Studio One.
     
  18. Von_Steyr

    Von_Steyr Audiosexual

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    IMO you can use the most expensive audio card but if you suck at choosing the right sound source for your songs or you suck at delivering your idea into the DAW then that 5k audio card aint gonna help you much, son.

    This message is sponsored by Nukem, another quality home game by butler brothers.
     
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  19. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    I use TC Electronic StudioKonnekt 48 for submixing, and also use its Powercore plugins, sometimes even for mastering. It's got a limiter, EQ and compressor which are called Studio Channel [from TC6000], and a TC Studio Reverb. You can use 2 Studio Channels and 1 Studio Reverb simultaneously at 48k. It's a firewire interface that nowadays costs about half of the price of what it used to cost, and it's got really great AKM converters. I'm still considering buying a second one because I need more analogue inputs. :wink:
     
  20. Iggy

    Iggy Producer

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    I loved my Konnekt 24D when I was actively using it, although one of its two FW ports stopped working and I was always concerned that it was just a matter of time before the other one went. It has two powered plugs that I never used, Fabrik R (a fairly transparent and very TC-sounding reverb) and Fabrik C (a basic compressor), plus some non-powered plugs that you couldn't use unless you had the interface plugged in. The main reason I moved on was TC Electronics -- when I contacted them to get a repair order, their first suggestion was that I get rid of it, since they no longer made it, and buy an IMPACT Twin (which they also stopped making). While most companies are constantly updating their products, most of the ones I've dealt with at least stood behind their legacy hardware, which is how you maintain customer loyalty. The Konnekt 24D still works, and they still make drivers for it (for now), but I wound up packing it up and will probably end up listing it on eBay for a couple of bucks.
     
  21. sideshowtmc

    sideshowtmc Producer

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    well if youre gonna spend the price of a uad interface with sub par converters. look into the tascam uh-7000, its a poors man lynx hilo, got one at my house to compare to lynx hilo and ended up keeping it, its that good. converters are amazing but clock is shitty so i use it as an ad/da converter and ended up getting a motu 2408 mk3 on pcie (if youre on desktop, you can find the tascam for around 300 and the motu for the same or cheaper.) but gonna buy the lynx e44 to compare that soon as its suppose to be on par or better than the hilo. but if price aint a thing its all about the lynx hilo, use that at my studio in my mastering suite after extensive research its always comes out on top. look into ad/da comparisons. in my mix suites i run two lynx aurora 16. but prism orpheus is amazing as well (alot of nebula guys recommend the orpheus) and shout out to metric halo as that was my interface for 5 years, if those are over your price point look into ebay and save up a bit and you will appreciate it alot more. also like last guy said if its just for mixing get a great d/a converter, burl is quality.
     
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