Help me decide which interface to get

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by petergrey, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. petergrey

    petergrey Newbie

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    Hello all! I've been a long time lurker here, now I need some hive mind experience.

    I'm in the market for an audio interface up to around 300$.

    I did some research and I found these that seem interesting.

    Focusrite Scarlet 2i4 2nd Gen
    Steinberg UR242
    Audient iD14
    Presonus Audiobox 22VSL
    Ni Komplete Audio 6

    Now, most important thing for me is stable drivers, output sound quality and good latency. I very rarely do any real recording, I mostly work with a lot of VSTis on rather large projects (orchestral music) so converters and recording quality I don't care about (I'd even buy an interface with no inputs if it meant good drivers), just good latency for playing VSTis on large projects and stable drivers.

    So what would you recommend?
     
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  3. Kinghtsurfer

    Kinghtsurfer Audiosexual

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    I own an Audient ID 4... Its rock solid stable... Latency is not an issue... And its AD DA converters are pristine(to my ears anyway)... Besides, the volume knob doubles up as a controller for automation which is pretty cool!
     
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  4. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Audiosexual

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    A bit out of your price range, but that new UAD Arrow looks interesting. I'm wanting to try out a few UAD plugins, and thought that might be a good entry point for that. I'll be soon in the market for a good smaller interface than my current MOTU HD 192.
     
  5. WhiteMidnightProductions

    WhiteMidnightProductions Noisemaker

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    +1 for the Audient ID4 because of the ADAT input. Provides the possibility of extra work later down the line because you'd be able to record drums professionally with ten inputs. And the converters are pretty good. Composer or not you're still an audio engineer and that's money you could be making later on.
     
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  6. m9cao

    m9cao Producer

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    never trust output quality at this price range, buy a apogee element or lynx e22 at least
     
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  7. Jeffriezal

    Jeffriezal Ultrasonic

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    I'm a happy user of iD22 since they came out.

    Base on your budget and list, if you, most of the time working arrangements only with VSTi, the only concern is the driver and the DAC. The Audient unit always built-in with a quality Burr Brown chip. I will recommend you the iD14. After all if later you decide to record some vocal into your vsti arrangments, Audient pre is, IMHO the best among your list. The driver not to say the best, but not the worst either. Nothing will stop you from getting your music done.

    I speak base on my experience as an iD22 user, and I think iD14 not much different besides some external feature not available.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  8. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    I have never used any of the interfaces that you listed, but based on the conversations, posts and articles that I have read over the years, the Audient iD14 is your best bet. Though like I always say when these kind of threads come up, I feel it wise to save up a bit more money and get the next step up. That would place you in RME territory with the Babyface Pro, or dare I say a used Babyface for $300. The original Babyface has drivers that will never quit and a very good DA. It should last you another five or six years at least.
     
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  9. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    I would defiantly stay away from Stenberg UR242 or any units of theirs. I had a Yamaha i88x and when win 7 came out Steinberg did not release new drivers for win 7 ( the unit did not work with win XP drivers ) It was a mad hack to get it to works.. I can not think that would happen since the unit was very expensive but long story short. I sold the unit and got a pro 40. Focus rite has always given new drivers for new OS. I do not know why Steinberg / Yamaha thinks everyone should get a new inter-phase every time MS release a new os.
    The I88x was nice, don't get me wrong, but to constantly keep buying a new inter-phase for a new os is BS to me.
     
  10. BudSpencer

    BudSpencer Producer

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    My interface is a Steinberg UR44 (which uses the same driver and preamp as the UR 242). My OS is Windows 7 x64 and I never had any problem whatsoever. Performance is rocksolid and I consistently achieve latency of 64 samples (not mind-boggly, but more than enough for my needs). When I was shopping for an interface I've read a few complaints about Focusrite's drivers, but it's been a while and they probably fixed any issues.

    Good luck in your quest, mate! :mates:
     
  11. johndoehizzle

    johndoehizzle Ultrasonic

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    look into the behringer umc404hd, i actually use this and its a bang for your buck for sure, 24bit/192khz , u can find it for like 80 bucks on ebay,retails 100, close to 5 star rating everywhere as well. only down side to it is that it DOES have multiple outputs for monitors,but you can only control the volume to the main pair of monitors through the actual interface/hardware , if you have another set of monitors + a sub or 2 other sets of monitors,youd have to control the volume through its software. thats the reason why i run it with the behringer control2usb (monitor controller) . all works well .

    behringer definitely stepped up their game with products and quality these past few years.


    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UMC404HD
     
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  12. hausland

    hausland Noisemaker

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    From the ones you've listed, definitely the Audient iD14.

    It has the best converter and the best preamps of the units you mentioned. In another league to the other devices. Given the quality, it is also the best value-for-money of the options listed by far.

    Now, if you can stretch your budget, do audio recording and dig using high quality plugins while tracking, I'd go with a UAD Arrow as previously suggested.

    But for a straight forward audio interface with good quality sound going in and coming out, the Audient iD14 will serve you very well.
     
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  13. hausland

    hausland Noisemaker

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    Bro, these devices are two to three times the price he's shooting for. Also, "don't trust" is a bit strong. All of his suggested options are perfectly capable of delivering decent sound quality both ways. Acoustic treatment would do more in terms of sound quality for most people than say upgrading from an Audient iD or Focusrite Scarlet to e.g. an Apogee Element.

    Not to say that the interfaces you suggest aren't great or even special (both have wonderful conversion quality no doubt and those Apogee preamps are sweet as hell), but the upgrade game can be played to the bitter end so at one point it makes sense to accept where one stands and make the most of that rather than endlessly chasing the white rabbit.
     
  14. Death Thash Doom

    Death Thash Doom Platinum Record

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    Audient or Focusrite, I have experience with both and I have never had an issue with drivers not working/causing hell and I've always been happy with the sound results both capturing source signal wise and mixing/critical listening wise FWIW.
    I prefer the Audient's mic preamplifiers over the Focusrite Scarlett mic preamplifiers but you said that wasn't the biggest concern.
    I have not compared a Scarlett against an iD14, So I can't speak on that area but the Audient iD interfaces AFAIK uses the exact same AD/DA converters throughout and as said I am more than happy with them and use mainly a Focusrite ISA mic preamp hooked up via ADAT when i need additional inputs.
     
  15. bluerover

    bluerover Audiosexual

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    Audient = worst "vst" latency (maybe new driver will improve it....we'll see) :-/

    Komplete 6 = pretty good "vst" latency w/ spdif ; latest driver update : 25 NOV 2015 :-|

    Focusrite 2i4 2nd Gen : RCA line outs :-( (...and TRS monitor outs) : latest driver update : 11 JAN 2018 :-D

    Steinberg UR242 : Decent overall "everything" : latest driver update : 06 JUL 2016 :o)

    Presonus Audiobox 22VSL : pretty good little box (still a presonus) : latest driver update : 30 JAN 2018 :-D


    For VST instrument latency purposes, from your list, I'd go with FOCUSRITE 2i4 GEN2, or KOMPLETE 6.

    BUT! If your budget is $300, I'd go with ZOOM UAC2 all day long!
     
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  16. bluerover

    bluerover Audiosexual

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    ....ZOOM UAC2 <--- THIS.
     
  17. Plendix

    Plendix Kapellmeister

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    Be aware that most companies lie about their (true) latency.
    I measured some of my interfaces myself and the only ones that told my daw their true latency were RME and Steinberg.
    Mackie and ESI said "2ms" while they had in fact 4 times that latency.

    You should read this:
    http://www.heavyweightbass.net/inde...ce-low-latency-performance-by-vin-curigliano/
    and possibly mayby that:
    http://www.dawbench.com/audio-int-lowlatency.htm

    Over the years RME was the only company that never let me down when there was a new operating system
    and I needed a new driver even for very outdated interfaces.
    Quality is excellent, too, but RME is rather expensive.

    Lately I bought some UR Interfaces from Steinberg and I was more than pleased.
    Quality is as good as RME, good drivers, low latency.. Actually they are built like tanks.
    I don't know what will be in 5 years when I install some fancy new windows, but for now and for what they cost I would recommend Steinberg.
     
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  18. Davey Jones

    Davey Jones Producer

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    UAD Apollo or RME Babyface. Save and get one of the two.
     
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  19. petergrey

    petergrey Newbie

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    Thanks for all the input guys, helped me narrow down my choices!
     
  20. bluerover

    bluerover Audiosexual

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    Which audio interface did you wind up with?
     
  21. e-minor

    e-minor Platinum Record

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    I don't own one, but out of your list i would go with the Audient iD14. as I've heard great things. Perhaps others will continue to chime in.
     
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