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Audio Interface

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Audio Interface

Postby trash116 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:20 pm


I wondered if anyone could offer some advice for my home studio

I've currently got a Steinberg UR22 interface, which has served me well, and was fine when i was primarily recording with my limited kit - mainly guitar & vocals.

Over time my kit list has grown and i've branched out from just recording guitar+vox.

Basically i want someway of keeping all my kit connected so i can just walk into my studio an play and record instead of keep unconnecting things and connecting the instrument i want to play/record to the UR22

What's the best way to do this? - a new interface with more inputs or some other way?

If it's a new interface - any recommendations?

My kit that i want connected is:

1. Guitar
2. Mic
3. Bass
4, Moog Model D
5. Juno 106
6. Roland Boutique Tr08
7. Roland Boutique Tr09
8. Roland Boutique TB03
9. Cyclone TT03

And (old) rackmount and effects pedals to used as external send/returns from my DAW
10. Yamaha SPX90
11. Alesis MidiVerb ii
12. Eventide Space
13. Delay Box

Someone had mentioned a focusrite scarlett 18i20 - which seemed good and a good price --- but then someone else recommended spending more because of latency and quality of pre-amps on that.... They recommended a RME UFXII..... which is more pricey

Any advice -- on the best option on how what i want would be great

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Re: Audio Interface

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:24 pm

A larger interface is the obvious way forward.

I quite like the Focusrite Scarlett interfaces -- for the money they perform very well: latency isn't bad and the preamps are pretty good... but if the budget can be stretched the RME is a better product and is likely still to be supported long after the Scarlett range has been forgotten! Plus, the total mix software that comes with the RME interfaces is brilliant for setting up monitor mixes etc.

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Re: Audio Interface

Postby Wonks » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:02 pm

An alternative is a patch bay, so that everything can be basically kept connected and you just have to move a couple of parch cables at most.

Though if you now want to record more than one synth in stereo at a time, then you will need an interface with more inputs. Again a patch bay will still help keep things manageable, but with one, you might not need as many extra inputs as you thought.
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Re: Audio Interface

Postby Humble Bee » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:45 am

If you only record one or two things at any one time it would probably be easiest to get a decent mixer/console with a few auxes for your fx and a few busses going to the audio interface.

Just figure out how many inputs of each type you need, how many aux sends and returns and how many busses you need for the tracking and then you can see what is available.

I know Allen Heath zed series are popular but there are loads of options...
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Re: Audio Interface

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:03 am

Given the list of equipment you have there I'd second considering a digital mixer that also doubles as an audio interface if your budget allows. I use an A&H Qu16 and my only regret is that I didn't stretch to the Qu24 ;-)

Seriously though, if you're looking to upgrade it does make sense to go for something as flexible as possible and for me the change from a 'standalone' audio interface to the A&H was a revelation. It can be used as a standard mixer when not using the computer and as a soundcard with 22 inputs and 12 outputs (on the Qu16) when you are, all over USB. Not quite as many as the RME UFXII but you do also get a wealth of onboard FX and dynamics processing in the box.

It's almost like having another instrument. It may not be for you if you only record one or two things at a time, if space is tight or other considerations make it a challenge but speaking as someone with a lot of sound sources (for a home setup anyway) and a desire to keep cables to a minimum it's super convenient as I use it for non-computer purposes as well.
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Re: Audio Interface

Postby ef37a » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:13 am

The idea of an upgrade to a multi-input AI is a nice one but seems to me a bit of an overkill if you are still just putting down two tracks at a time?

The new genertion of USB mixers are also attractive but, looking at the instrument list the mixers all seem to lack MIDI ports? Be a shame to have all that flexiblity THEN find you cannot record/route MIDI data! Personally I would look at a good mixer capable of organizing all the audio feeds into the UR22. Later a decision could be made to upgrade the AI if needed but maybe not to a zillion ins and outs? Another two or four might be all you need?
Naturally look for a mixer with enough buses.

A conventional mixer also gives you the ability to play and monitor instruments without the AI and PC.

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Re: Audio Interface

Postby CS70 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:07 pm

Was in your position a few years back.

First used a patchbay, but it was an hassle as like you I have just enough outboard to require many inputs, but not enough that the work of patching/unpatching cables make sense.

So I sold the patchbay and got myself an interface with only line inputs/outputs.
I chose an old, second hand RME Multiface which does the job beautifully. There's the Tascam us-20x20 (Drew has it if I don't recall bad), the big Scarletts - and of course more modern RMEs.

Now everything is connected at once and works a charm, at a flip of a switch.
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Re: Audio Interface

Postby The Elf » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:36 pm

I'd echo the advice to look at an RME interface. A Fireface would be a good option, with an added Creamware/Ferrofish A16 for more line inputs, or a Behringer ADA-8x00 at a lower cost. Personally I would advise you to add a couple (or more, depending...) of patchbays in addition to more inputs - not instead of. A patchbay is not simply a piece of utility gear - it is a creative tool that lets you try out chains that would be a pain to create otherwise. It will also let you choose the path that any gear takes on the way to be recorded - and that is not always the one it will sit on while you're just working out ideas. A properly configured patchbay needs no cables in the from to just work when you power on - that's what 'normalisation' is all about.

I also have a studio full of synths and I wouldn't want to work without TotalMix - it really is that good. I upgraded from my Fireface to a MADI-based system that gives me oodles of I/O, but the cost rises significantly and it is arguable that at that stage Dante is maybe worth a look.

The joy of being able to work with any of my studio gear without having to patch and without a mixer in tow, is both liberating and inspiring.
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Re: Audio Interface

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:06 pm

CS70 wrote: There's the Tascam us-20x20 (Drew has it if I don't recall bad),
Not quite, I have the 16x08, which is a lot of inputs for the money, but the 20x20 might be a better fit for the OP and the optical in/out makes it more expandable (plus it's USB3). However you're also talking double the outlay and you're into the focusrite territory - whereupon you might reasonably start thinking about RME...
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