Can AUDIO INTERFACE serve this purpose ??

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by maverickvd, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. maverickvd

    maverickvd Member

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    Hello,
    I need your friendly expert advice on whether to buy an audio interface or not ?

    I'm looking for an audio solution to serve the following purpose:
    More depth/quality in audio coming through my JBL Studio Monitors which I've directly connected to my desktop (via 3.5 mm TRS to Dual 1/4 inch TS Stereo Breakout Cable) which can help me in :
    • learning to produce electronic music (all IN THE BOX, NO hardware instrument)
    • proper FLAC playback (although I can still play flac formats but can't hear much difference in audio quality between a flac and 320 kbps file)
    I'm highly inclined towards buying Audient ID4 (priced at $200). I don't care about the pre-amps and connectivity, but it'll take care of the AD-DA conversion and there'll be a balanced connection with speakers.
    All i care about is : More depth/quality in sound coming out of my monitors.

    Although i don't know whether the difference will be audible or not ?

    What do you guys think ? Feel free to suggest me something else, if that can solve this issue!

    My Gear:
    Dell XPS tower (i7-8700k, 16-gb RAM), Cubase Pro 9.5, JBL LSR 305
     
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  3. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    With a ~200$ interface:
    - more depth/quality: check
    - audible difference between 320kbps and wav, nope, for the simple reason there is hardly any, with 800$ interface and 3000$ monitors, yes, then you wil probably hear it
    - difference to be heard to onboard sound: check
    - more quality coming out of your monitors? Don't know, depends on your monitors. More quality send to your monitors: check
    - other suggestion: Focusrite Scarlett
     
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  4. electriclash

    electriclash Rock Star

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    get the interface, your listening ears develop over time :wink::wink: focusrite products+1
     
  5. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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  6. El digital

    El digital Member

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    Short answer: A "better" audio interface will not give you a night and day audible difference at playback.

    Like a first generation 320kb MP3 vs lossless FLAC will not make a huge audible difference, mobo DAC these days are pretty decent. That said, if you eventually plan to record multiple tracks and/or to use AD/DA converters to process audio with outboard gear, etc... there will be a huge audible difference using a better audio interface, especially the noise floor. Then the jitter...

    Another benefit to a good external audio interface is about latency. A real ASIO interface is the way to go if you want to play VSTi and make your DAW responsive.

    Conclusion: Buy an external audio interface that fit your needs. The Audient ID4 seems to be a good one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  7. panaman

    panaman Member

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    your listening ears develop over time ?

    your listening ears deteriorate over time
    if you`re 15 you`ll hear a difference
    if you`ve been to a wishbone ash concert in the 70s, not.
     
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  8. Olymoon

    Olymoon Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Staff Member

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    I have one Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 dont buy this, too much defaults...
    Audient is a food choice, or, if you can level up the money, Better go to RME.

    Would be interesting to know which "JBL Studio Monitors" exactly.
     
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  9. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    That's really interesting, but not exactly in the 200$ range, isn't it? And I never heard something like this about the 2i4 or 4i4.
     
  10. Olymoon

    Olymoon Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Staff Member

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    As the thread is not about Focusrite, I wont extend:
    Headphone preamp weak, you cant use it with a high quality, and high impedance, professional headphone.They all have the same headphone output.
    Black plastic buttons after some years are beginning to melt (and I live in a very dry place)...
     
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  11. artwerkski

    artwerkski Rock Star

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    RME babyface, fireface will get you a pretty good interface for the tasks you describe. You can spend a little more and find a second hand Apogee or UA online, which will blow your socks off. Especially in the long run. But Focusrites' fine, it will do the job.
    (In the end it's also your speaker setup, cables and your room that make a kit shine, the whole package if you will.)
    Forget about .mp3, FLAC, WAV & AIFF are your friends!
    :wink:
     
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  12. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Knobs are like girls, you have to roll them once a day from left to right gently with your fingers. :yes:
     
  13. maverickvd

    maverickvd Member

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    [QUOTE="which "JBL Studio Monitors" exactly.[/QUOTE]

    JBL LSR 305
     
  14. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    [​IMG]

    Hands down the best DA available today is this, Pro-ject S2 Digital, which is what professional engineers and others that I have total respect for in regard to their experience and work are buying to monitor their audio chains. They say that there is absolutely nothing that can touch it for multiple thousands of dollars. Top notch parts and design put this in perhaps best bang for the buck in all of the audio world. I haven't used it, but from everything I hear about it, this ittle boxwill hopefully land in my lap relatively soon. From the mouth of Jim Williams, "Yes, it slays every other high end DAC here including AKM, Analog Devices, etc".

    https://www.google.ch/search?newwin...WEliwKHe_KBi4Q1QIoB3oECAoQCA&biw=1024&bih=768
     
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  15. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    Agreed on the RME and UAD, also Focusrite as well... Apogee interfaces announced Windows drivers for their One, Duet and Quartet interfaces less than a year ago, so it's a viable high end option as well. But the best sounding of all which i happened to have demo'ed recently is the Antelope Discrete 4 @ ~1000 euros. Not saying that this is the go to for the OP but neither are the RME, UAD and Apogees too. These are all at about 700+ euros.
    Judging by the entry level JBL monitors, a high end card wouldn't do much more than what a cheap Focusrite would. You have to be able to listen to the details and nuances and the 305 is definitely not a high end speaker. With that said, the JBLs will do the job finely paired with a 200-300 euros audio interface. A bigger investment would mean that you also have a great pair of monitors as well.
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
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  16. Boujwa

    Boujwa Ultrasonic

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    Audient ID22 is really good!! I have it, I don't complain at all!
     
  17. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    Yes, surely better than motherboard sound. BTW, Amazon has ID4 at £112 - surely less than $200.

    One thing to perhaps consider - I have a Focusrite 2i2 (1st Gen) and it *only* works at 16bit in Windows. Yes, it does 24/96 in ASIO, so DAWs and Foobar (Music player) can use 24/96. But games, videos, whatever, only 16 bit.

    ID4 does do 24bit using Win Audio:
    [​IMG]
     
  18. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    As will add to what Taskforce so eloquently stated, which is, you can only base your decisions in the process of mixing on what you are able to hear, and in this case the weak link is the JBL LSR 305 pair which you current have. Until you commit to getting more revealing monitors, procuring anything but lower cost/quality AD/DA conversion would be senseless because...

    You cannot mix what you cannot hear.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
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  19. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Why not use ASIO for everything (and disable the onboard and Windows sound properties)?

    I haven't used 16bit since the late 90's (RME and dedicated ASIO all the way here. Currently own the Babyface Pro).
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  20. SquareDjay

    SquareDjay Producer

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    Maybe buy a good interface for now and the future,if one day you will change your speakers.
     
  21. bluerover

    bluerover Rock Star

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    You will notice a very pleasant difference. My recommendations :

    - Audio Interface : RME BABYFACE PRO - with this, you have a solid piece of German engineering; the latency is superior; they will provide driver updates even after the product is discontinued; the ADDA conversion is some of the best in an AIO interface; you will have ZERO problems (just plug n play (w/ driver)); the RME TOTALMIX software mixer is the best on the market.

    - MOGAMI GOLD 2549 XLR Cabling for connection to monitors - People do say that with short balanced cable runs you can use just about any brand of cable, but I never skimp here. The shielding is great, the product is a studio staple. Mogami always. With instrument cables (guitar), however, you MUST (should) use a dedicated, short, KICK ASS instrument cable (for studio recording anyway. Mogami PLATINUM, Monster Studio Pro 2000, ......Hosa ZAOLLA)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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