Audio Interface

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by mox, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. mox

    mox Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    12
    Greetings all :)
    first of all i would like to say from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! I have been searching for a website that can help me understand and how to create Music for a while now, if any one reading this then this Thanks goes to you too as well! it is highly appreciated :)

    I just started learning to produce music and wanted to know exactly what Audio Interface do i need?

    some info: Right now i'm working with Ableton Live 10, Akai MPD226 , Akai MPK mini mk2 and running on Win 10 64-bit

    sometimes when i make music i feel the sounds on my headphones fade and then goes up again, and it is really annoying since sometimes i loop a section of the track and the volume keep going down and up again. I have read what an Audio interface does but still i do not have such great knowledge like the people in here.

    I'm interested in making Trance,Progressive and Tribal Tracks so Vocals are not important for me plus i do not have Speakers only Headphones, I have read that having Speakers is highly important but at this time i'm not a Pro so i think the Headphones are enough (i may be wrong as u know not a Pro).

    Thank you so much for reading and hope you have a great day :)
     
  2.  
  3. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Location:
    Studio 54
    Hmmm... You never mentioned what your headphones are, but i guess you are overloading your system. Avoid the red volume indicators hehe.
    Speakers are important because "working" long hours with headphones may cause damage. The more you get into it the more you 'll understand how important is to keep your ears healthy as possible.
    https://audiorecovery.com/blog/do-headphones-increase-your-risk-hearing-loss/
    As for the soundcard, anything in the low range will do fine and won't be costly since you are just starting. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd gen), may fit your case fine.
    https://www.thomann.de/de/focusrite_scarlett_solo_3rd_gen.htm
     
  4. fredboudin

    fredboudin Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    22
    Scarlett 2I4 2nd gen, price dropped because of 3rd generation, great value.
    Be carrefull of Presonus audio interfaces (audio USB 96) : I had issues with 2 brand new interfaces and faced a bad Presonus customer support.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • List
  5. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    219
    Maybe you activated the audio limiter of Windows? This can be found in the Windows audio settings and acts as a leveler that raises quiet signals slightly and lowers loud signals.
     
  6. NeverenoghFun

    NeverenoghFun Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2019
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    178
    Location:
    Suburbs of Minnesot
    This was my first thought to. Click through the windows audio settings make sure all those effections and normalizatons are off
     
  7. mox

    mox Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    12
    Greetings all,

    sorry for the late reply was busy due to work and haven't got the chance to work on my projects again, Thank you all for your suggestions and comments, i will be more than happy to provide answers to your questions.

    Sorry for not mentioning my headphones, at the moment they are just regular gaming headset which uses a regular USP, I'm planning to buy Audio-Technica ATH-M50x since I have checked a lot of positive reviews and as I understood is preferred if I will use a Audio interface.

    Also would like to Thank you for your kind concern about the health of my ears, it is really thoughtful and greatly respected.

    I have checked the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd gen) and it is a really great Audio interface with a lot of awesome reviews, however, I was wondering if i may get some of your valuable input on the ( Steinberg ur22c & Steinberg ur22mkii ) are they great? better? I'm not that up to date with any Sound Hardware but from the website it seems that the Steinberg ur22c is the newer version of ur22mkii and thats about it for me to understand other technical issue which your guys have way better input than me xD

    Thank you for your advice, it is highly appreciate it. It seems to me that the Scarlett is a favorite and advised a lot which i highly consider is valuable when it comes to Sound hardware. For the Presonus audio interfaces, of-course i will ignore the brand.

    Thank you for the advice and yes I did check that but it isn't the case it stills drops when i play with the frequencies in my DAW, and what I read is because of the Headphones themselves since they are for gaming cant handle those frequency rates.
     
  8. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    219
    I would advise against buying the small focusrite interfaces. Focusrite has made a name for itself with its consoles and quality products in the 1000+ range. The cheap products are just cheap. Noisy preamps and bad HP-amps. Save a little more and buy something reasonable. The motu m2 for example. Good mic-pres, great converters, good HP-amps, good metering, low latency etc. Motu has been doing a lot right over the last few years when it comes to value for money.

    A little tip: Don't trust reviews. Test yourself. 90% of the reviews are bought. Especially if they are reviews from audio magazines.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  9. Daskeladden

    Daskeladden Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    293
    Get a motherboard with native thunderbolt. Then buy a thunderbolt audio interface like for example Presonus Quantum 2
     
  10. KidPix

    KidPix Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    91
  11. Ballz

    Ballz Kapellmeister

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    58
    Audient has the best budget interfaces hands down. Easily the best preamps plus great converters.
     
  12. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Location:
    Studio 54
    It is a nice budget headphones pair :D. Lots of bass with this one, if you are into any kind of electronic and dance music it's one of the best cheap ones.
    Err nope, they are not better, in fact the new ur22c is just a refresh imho, i 've had it only for a couple of hours recently but it seems the pre-amp is the same and just as noisy as the previous model. Compared to the Focusrite's preamp the UR22c is even more noisy.
    First of all, Focusrite consoles? They only made one analog model (in '87 or '88 i think) that was -sort of- publicly available and they only produced 10 of those due to the extreme cost in manufacturing. It is considered a landmark console but it's something few people are aware of and it doesn't make Focusrite console makers. It just gave them the knowledge to produce all the parts that essentially make a console. Pre-amps, eqs, compressors, channel strips etc.
    I do agree cheap is cheap, noisy pres etc etc. But you just can't advise someone who's just starting to save and buy a (more expensive) quality interface. He will never start making his music lol. I used to hate the early Focusrite interfaces but because of their shitty drivers not of bad sounding pres. The last years they have fixed their drivers so they are acceptable and in fact in the cheap category they have about the less noisy preamps. Generally anything under ~500$ exhibits noisy preamps. So for a newbie i just advise something that will do the job without breaking the bank and without posing any problems. Once he gets the hang of it, he can always buy a new more expensive one and he won't regret spending that 100$ to buy his first audio interface. I know youngsters who blow 100 to have a good time in the weekend.
    Really? It is only slightly better. Its preamp is only a mere one db less noisier than the cheapo Scarlett Solo. It has a better dynamic range i'll give you that and a slightly better facility overall, but at around 200$ it's almost double the money of a Scarlett Solo without having double the quality hehe. Of course this last one is a long discussion so i'll leave it for another time.
    They are pretty alright. But they suffer from the same noisy preamps as all the others in the low category. I 've had an id44 which is their top model @ ~700$ in the studio last summer for a week and did some test recordings with it. Although i admit to liking it, i never understood how they claim it to have Class A pres. When compared vs my 15 yrs old TC Gold Channel, it sounded restricted and not as transparent. When compared to the Antelope Discrete 4, which i use for mobile gigs, it was apparently in a different lower ballpark, with the Discrete being very close to the more expensive Warm Audio WA273 Class A preamp that i use lately in recordings, courtesy of a good neighbour who's kind enough to lend it. Unless the model i had in my hands was somehow a bad revision of sorts, i can't justify it's price tag, although it has a nifty,tactile and really nice interface and design.
    Cheers
     
  13. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    219
    Yep

    10 consoles are 10 consoles. And with these consoles they made a name for themselves. The building quality gave them their reputation.

    Did you test the m2? It is far better than the scarlett. Numbers are not everything. The mic-pres are a real deal for this price. The converters are the best you can get under 500 bucks. The latencies are unbeaten in this price range. And the same applies to the hp-pres.

    And yes, I would actually advise to save some more money and buy the m2 for $170.
    Who buys cheap, buys twice.
     
  14. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Location:
    Studio 54
    10 consoles made a name for Focusrite ? Only within a closed circle of the most expensive studios of the time. For all the rest, their legendary Forte -R.Neve designed- console was just a mention on the USA publication MIX magazine. How old where were you back then bro. Because in '88 i just had finished building and setting up my first studio and it wasn't until about the early to mid 90s that Focusrite studio gear started becoming a household name amongst studio engineers and audio gear enthusiasts. Wtf, i was one of the first to buy a Red3 that is still sold for about 2k second hand. Now that is an example of legendary gear and how Focusrite got to make a name. By having many of their Red (mix intended) and Blue (mastering intended) series installed in every respected studio of the 90s. Not with a console that almost nobody ever used.
    Agreed that the overall package is better & more featured. Yes i tested it very recently too. I get to test all kinds of interfaces since i build the comps to complement them and i like testing them to be honest heheh. I could easily say it's the best ~200 interface for the money (in Europe it retails for 200 euros which is 30% more expensive than 170$). But then again 200 isn't 100 and to this numbers mean something hehe. And if Scarlett wasn't reliable it wouldn't be among the best selling cheap interfaces in both Europe and USA. And as for the "Who buys cheap buys twice" is still the case with an interface like the M2. It's not like you 're getting a Bmw instead of a Fiat, if you know what i mean :)
    Cheers
     
  15. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    219
    Ok, specs:

    The noise EIN is measured at maximum gain. Always! So you've to keep that in mind. The scarlett is MUCH more noisy than the M2.. increased by about factor 2! Also I compare the scarlett 2i2 (3rd gen) with M2 because of the same price range.

    Scarlett 2i2:
    Dynamic Range (mic): 110db (I've measured 109.26db)
    Noise EIN -128dbu at +56db input gain.
    Line Ouput DR: 108db
    HP Output DR: 104db
    Round trip @ 32 samples buffer, 96kHz: ~7ms

    M2:
    Dynamic Range (mic): 115db
    Noise EIN -129dbu at +60db Input Gain.
    Line Output DR: 120db
    HP Output DR: 115db
    Round trip @ 32 samples buffer, 96kHz: ~<2ms (I've measured 1.72ms RT)


    So the M2 isn't twice as good? I don't know what kind of ideas you have. The two interfaces cost the same amount of money (~170$), but the M2 is qualitatively on a completely different level. And qualitywise there is nothing between the Motu M2 and the RME Babyface ATM that can beat the M2.
    I'm just saying.
    Peace
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
    • Interesting Interesting x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  16. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    219
    As for the consoles. Read my first post again. I just said they have become famous for their high-priced products. Not because of their cheap products. Are the cheap interfaces bad? No, they are 10 times better than what we had 15 years ago. They are popular, but they are not the best in their price range today. Only the most promoted ones.
     
  17. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Location:
    Studio 54
    I agree, but Europe pricing being a thing, brings the Motu M2 at 200 euros and the Scarlett Solo at 110. I'd buy the M2 over the Scarlett anytime, but i'm no newbie with a limited budget. The only interfaces that ScarlettSolo can probably beat soundwise are the other equivalent 80-120 euro worth like the Behringer,cheapo Yamaha/Steinberg and only on paper tbh. As for the RTL of the M2 i measured a 3ms at 32s buffer/96k. And the Scarlett Solo was ~7.5 ms at same settings. But usage purpose of such an interface indicates that unless you are recording something really latency intensive, it matters very little. It's not like you 'll be recording drums with the one mic input of the ScarlettSolo, neither with the 2 inputs of the M2. Surely lower latency is better than higher heheh. But both interfaces have a direct monitoring button so for me it's a bit of a tie here...
    But yeah in general you have a point and i agree M2 is the better interface and even a better value for money if you like, albeit more expensive :)
     
  18. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    219
    Sure, the M2 has to cost more because of its 2 input channels.
    Direct monitoring is always a matter of taste. Some like to listen to their input dry and others need effects for monitoring. Especially today with autotune vocals latency plays a big role. When using autotune as an effect, a short latency is a must. With the M2 this is possible. In addition to autotune, you can add an eq, a compressor, a reverb etc. to the monitoring chain without irritating latencies. With the 2i2 or the solo it is impossible.

    The main reason why I recommend an interface that costs so much more is something completely different:

    Dac and hp-amp quality. I guess the thread starter wants to work on headphones.
    Although the saffire provides enough level here (so that's no problem), the sound image of the saffire is muddy compared to the M2 in terms of transient response, dynamics and stereo image. The M2 delivers absolutely dry bass, very high resolution midrange and round treble. So a later investment in better headphones is really an improvement. There's no need to invest in a better interface to maximize the reproduction quality of the new headphones. Therefore: if you buy cheap, you buy twice. That's what I meant by that.
    But yes, that a 170$/200€ interface cannot keep up with an interface in the 1000+ range should be clear to everyone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  19. Ballz

    Ballz Kapellmeister

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    58
    If you look online you will see a lot of people who prefer the sound of ID22's converters over the iD44. I have never experienced noise with my iD22. The preamps are super clean and transparent from my experience. Apparently Audient uses the same preamps in all of their interfaces and consoles but the converters are not the same which will result in them having a different sound.
     
  20. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Location:
    Studio 54
    This doesn't mean it's not there, right? When you deal with all sorts of mic recordings, pre-amp noise matters. (ADC also introduces another layer of noise that we have to consider, but i'll focus on just the preamp for now). I will not get too technical about this, i will only say that for people who only record a few tracks with microphones, pre-amp noise is never an issue. But by rule of thumb the more channels you have recorded with a noisy pre-amp, the more noise you will have introduced in your mix. even ultra clean pres have some kind of noise floor , it's inevitable. Electronic producers -regardless the genre- very rarely if ever face this kind of problems:
    A song created itb with samples and soft synths (even external synths with a line out to your line input) etc, with just a couple of vocals recorded, will sound super clean because only two channels in the mix will have the interface's mic preamp noise.
    A song that consists of i.e 24 audio recordings from microphones (like drums, bass, gtrs, ac.piano, vocals etc.) will have each channel's audio recorded with the pre-amp's noise, which altogether will add a significant noise floor to your mix that you will have to deal with, if your pres are noisy :)
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  21. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    219
    That's right! In addition, when using a ribbon microphone or a dynamic microphone, high gain reserves are required, which makes the noisefloor much higher compared to the use of a condenser microphone.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Audio Interface Forum Date
Wireless earbuds for audio interfaces Computer Hardware Feb 5, 2020
Changing volume through daw instead of audio interface? Mixing and Mastering Feb 2, 2020
Solid State Logic SSL2 and SSL2+ USB Audio Interfaces Soundgear Jan 15, 2020
A hiss sound from MacBook pro 2012 when audio interface is connected Computer Hardware Jan 12, 2020
New Audio Interface Computer Hardware Oct 30, 2019
Loading...