Interface Recommendations

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by KidForToday, Jan 15, 2024.

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  1. KidForToday

    KidForToday Noisemaker

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    I’m looking for interface recommendations as someone new to the recording game in a small home studio. I realize there are “entry level” and “pro-grade level” units and I’m interested in getting feedback on the list below based on the praise and positive reviews. I think an 8-input interface will be a good place to start and this will be connecting to either a Mac M1 or M2-chipped computer using Ableton. I think I’m going to skip using an external mixer and use Ableton, etc. for that task. I prefer to be budget conscious as possible, but don’t want to go cheap and can validate spending over $500+.

    Here is the gear that I’ll be working with: one mic for vocals, six string guitar, bass guitar, Juno 106, Oberheim OB-6, Roland MC 707 Groovebox, Novation 49SL MkIII MIDI Controller, and a Boredbrain Patchulator V2 8-channel Patchbay, Sony MDR7506 and Sennheiser HD 650 headphones. I will likely be adding a few hardware effects pedals, but not more than 3 or 4.

    Here is the list of interfaces:

    - Audient iD22.

    - Audient iD44. (Some owners report build quality issues and headphone noise.)

    - Metric Halo LIO-8 mkIV. (A LOT of people say these are the best and that I could find an earlier used one, but make sure it is 3-D card DSP equipped and to add a Mamba UDB - Custom ULN-8 DB25 Patch Bay.

    - MOTU MIDI Express XT. (Some people are saying this won’t hold up and doesn’t like the new M1 and M2 Mac chips.)

    - PreSonus Studio 1824c USB-C.

    - Universal Audio APOLLO TWIN X QUAD HE.

    - Universal Audio Volt 476P.


    Thanks for the feedback!
     
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  3. tommyzai

    tommyzai Platinum Record

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    I'm really liking Audient. I only needed the iD14mk2, but you have listed units with more inputs. No headphone issue for me.
     
  4. mk_96

    mk_96 Audiosexual

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    I mean, if what you need is lots of inputs, you can rule out most os what's on the list unless you consider external I/Os (which is extra money), and depending on where you live might be tricky to get your hands on.

    So, just to be clear, do you really need all that stuff (mic, synths, etc.) to be all connected at the same time to the interface?

    If so, the LIO-8 and Preonus 1824 are your only real options without adding extra stuff. Maybe add the audient EVO 16 to the list, heard good things about that thing.

    also the motu MIDI Express only has MIDI i/o, so not really an option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2024
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  5. opp

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    consider how many inputs/outputs you need simultaneously? If only tracking one at a time you wont need a huge input count, plus you have a patch bay so add that into the routing scenario. I do all the same as you with only 2 inputs on my interface.

    I dont use mac so cant comment on whats best for your model. but personally I like lynx and prism if you can find them in your area for the right price.
     
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  6. KidForToday

    KidForToday Noisemaker

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    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. KidForToday

    KidForToday Noisemaker

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    I like the idea of leaving everything connected and to avoid jacks/plugs wearing out. I'll check the gear out you listed, thanks. Agreed on the Motu, I forgot to remove that from the list!
     
  8. DonCaballero

    DonCaballero Producer

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    I couldn't be happier with my RME Babyface Pro.
    The main selling point of the UAD interfaces is tracking through plugins, but unless you're already invested I don't think the included plugins and a few under-powered SHARC chips are anything special.

    Using Reaper's Input FX I can record with any plugin baked in with the same *near real-time latency using my RME, and I'm sure other DAWs have similar functionality.
     
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  9. Blu

    Blu Producer

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    RME interfaces for the best stable and efficient drivers ever (I can't stress enough how important drivers are), solid build, solid audio quality. Consider buying used if you want to save money.
     
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  10. opp

    opp Guest

    "RME interfaces for the best stable and efficient drivers ever"? I totally disagree with that statement but anyway. op should decide on the pc first then make a shortlist of interfaces and read up on any issues they may have together. all interface brands can come with some niggles rme included.. just check out their forum full of issues and complaints :winker:

    if you want to stay around $500 bucks though rme lynx prism all probably out. so I think youre on the right path with audient or maybe black lion. both ive read lots of good things about. if you can do a shootout thatd be best.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2024
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  11. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Audiosexual

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    If you can find me some LIO-8/4 | ULN-8s mkIV for $500 I'll take four.

    PM me right now -- :knock:
     
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  12. DonCaballero

    DonCaballero Producer

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    It's definitely true that no interface is guaranteed to work perfectly with every configuration, and it's wise to check for issues with yours, but RME's drivers have long been regarded as the best in their class for stability and performance.

    If you check the most recent Low Latency Performance benchmark database, 3 of the top 4 are RME.
    The #3 Lynx can run 86% the number of multi-band compressors, 90% of the convolution reverbs, and 89% of the non-convolution reverbs. The number of plugins you can run is a pretty objective measurement of "efficiency", and by that metric RME indeed has the "best stable and efficient drivers"

    Compared to the Focusrite it replaced, my Babyface Pro can run far more plugins with 49ms total real-time latency (all buffer sizes) than the Focusrite with 119ms RTL so it it wasn't just an upgrade in sound quality.

    You can certainly get very capable interfaces for less money these days, but another option is to buy used like I did. I'm much more confident I'll still have working drivers in the future for my older RME than for many brand new interfaces being released today...:dunno:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2024
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  13. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    Did you mean to type 4.9 milliseconds? There's no way these numbers are correct for a $1000 interface...
     
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  14. phloopy

    phloopy Audiosexual

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    RME Babyface <--- :wink::like::yes::guru:
     
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  15. opp

    opp Guest

    if only the sound quality were as good doh
     
  16. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Audiosexual

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    RME Digiface USB will give you digital mixer with 32 inputs and 34 outputs (headphones included), but you'd need separate racks to provide I/O via ADATs, in the long run it could be very cost effective option and you would also avoid patchbay altogether
    :chilling:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Ramones

    Ramones Noisemaker

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    Go Audient, it's a no brainer. iD14 is brilliant, even the Mk1...
     
  18. Blu

    Blu Producer

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    You "totally" disagree, ok, but why? Care to elaborate? Which brand do you consider better than RME in terms of driver stability and efficiency?

    The forum full of issues and complaints argument isn't a measure of how stable and efficient, especially in respect to other manufacturers, RME interfaces drivers are. Every manufacturer forum is full of issues and complaints. RME way less than others.

    I run RME interfaces since 2006. I had 6/7 different PCs and never a single problem. Set and forget really. The only issues I had were with non
    Texas Instruments chip Firewire cards back in the days but since acquiring a TI chip FW card I had 0 issues. With 0 issues I'm talking about decades without A SINGLE crash or click/dropout if working within the natural limits of my (well thought out) PCs configurations.

    I have plenty of friends with Babyfaces, Firefaces, UCXs, UFXs etc... that share the same trust in RME.

    The only complain I find relevant about RME interfaces is about PCI express interfaces like the AIO that can/could have electrical interfaces noises but there are simple solutions for that.

    In regard to efficiency don't take my words for it, just read this chart: https://dawbench.com/images/DAWbench LLP Database-December-2022.pdf

    These are facts.

    Here you can read a little about low latency performance for a specific OP's question in my post #30 https://audiosex.pro/threads/usb-in...-44100-hz-16-samples.72638/page-2#post-733059

    You mentioned Prism interfaces: great sound quality but efficiency? Very poor performance

    Lynx products are way out of the +500$ price range (we're talking 3500$ and up interfaces so I don't even consider them and they are slightly less efficient than the most efficient RME interfaces anyway)

    Another contender could be the Presonus Quantum even if less efficient than the best RME offerings but I heard about quality control issues and I don't have any experience with these interfaces so I can't comment on them.

    Other contenders would be Antelope Audio (unreliable at best, plenty of horror stories about them to not considering them even for a second) and Metric Halo (great interfaces sound quality wise but way out of OP's price range and not on par with others in regard to efficiency of drivers from what have been measured).

    In regard to sound quality there are "better" converters out there but I'd prefer to use something like a Digi/Madi face with pre/converters of choice than any other alternative if seeking for the best possible sound. Personally I don't need any upgrade in sound quality though. Preamp and converters are really not a problem in these days even with 200$ budget interfaces and I prefer spending my money on other things.

    You can find a used Babyface at less than 500$ used btw,

    Since you totally disagree please enlighten us with your knowledge, I'm all ears!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2024
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  19. saccamano

    saccamano Rock Star

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    Hahaha - :rofl:
    Lynx... After those assholes screwed me (and countless others) on the "Lynx One" I vowed never again would I ever look at, touch, or recommend any Lynx product, EVER. The Lynx one piece of shit was actually hardware wise a decent card, BUT the assholes running that company flat out flushed ALL Lynx One users down the toilet because of their absolutely shitty drivers and attitude. 600$ card pretty much left to sit on the shelf after 2 years of marginally mediocre use simply because the assholes at lynx would not supply it with ASIO & WDM drivers. The result of this being that this card no matter how good it was electronically (or how expen$ive), with only MME drivers, could not be used in a pro-audio capacity because it lacked the proper driver support needed by most every piece of pro-audio software out at the time... Mainly I think because in their minuscule pea brains the greedy powers that be at lynx-studio decided that the Lynx II, an even MORE expensive card was going to get the driver updates that the "One" card should have gotten. Absolute B.S..

    There's NO WAY you go wrong by purchasing an RME audio interface. The hardware and software/driver support is second to NONE.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2024
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  20. opp

    opp Guest

    :facepalm: oh jesus lordy lord lord! yet another internet forum thread ruined by rme fanboys. shocker.

    im just gonna leave this here for op and go do better things with my time...

    rme driver issue mac site:forum.rme-audio.de

    ^copy and paste that into your search engine and be amazed by the thousands of driver issue complaints - one forum, one issue, mac only. change your search terms and you will find there are literally tens of thousands more complaints on the rme forum alone.

    now search any world class tracking, mixing and/or mastering studio and be shocked to see they do not use a babyface pro, but rather a lynx and/or prism interface.

    prices start at less than $500 and go way up.

    enjoy!
     
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  21. saccamano

    saccamano Rock Star

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    Lynx-Studio is a joke. A very bad joke, as in a joke on who ever buys their junk. AS for apple, never touch the stuff. Dunno how many "world class" studios ya'll have been in but they certainly aren't sporting lynx-studio garbage and if by some chance they were I'd wonder what they were thinking. Comparing apples to oranges with the "baby-face" in world class studio's? That interface is not meant for large scale settings. It's targeted at small individual and project studio settings.

    To the OP - there's always gonna be haters who will attempt to impose their will for one reason or another. I recommend RME because like the millions of others out there (yes even many "world class studios") who use RME gear every day without issue or fail on both platforms, in professional and private situations, I can say from personal experience their hardware and drivers are solid as proverbial rocks. Do with the information what you will.
     
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