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Best audio interface around 100€

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Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Drop » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:06 am

Okay, so for the start id like to say that im a complete begginer in audio interfaces, recording.. but i have checked few of them but i couldn't choose.

I want an good quality audio interface mostly for rock music but i want a midi keyboard too.. (nektar impact lx25+/https://nektartech.com/impact-lx25-plus/) and i dont understand the connections between midi/instrument, interface and pc, i dont know if ill need some more cables, (if you could explain that to me id be grateful)...

But i have looked up some interfaces so im looking forward to your advices

steinberg ur12 https://m.thomann.de/gb/steinberg_ur12.htm

behringer umc 204 https://m.thomann.de/gb/behringer_u_phoria_umc204hd.htm

Focusrite scarlett solo https://m.thomann.de/gb/focusrite_scarl ... nd_gen.htm

Or you can suggest me some better interfaces if you know, the price can be over 100..

Thank you for all responses
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:54 pm

Not sure what the current prices are, but I bought a Zoom U-44 last year for around that price and I find it sounds good. The mic preamps are slightly noisier than they could be but everything else is great and you can always upgrade later with better preamps/analogue to digital convertors using the digital inputs.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Drop » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:00 pm

Thank you for your advice, but arent there some interfaces that aim more for instrument quality,.. thats what i thought about steinberg...
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby The Elf » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:24 pm

I still think that the Native instruments KA6 is excellent, but you would have to grab one secondhand now. It may be slightly over budget, but I would certainly take it over any of your listed ones.

As to a MIDI keyboard... I've used the Nektars and one wouldn't be on my list of favourites. What features do you want/need?

Connection? USB cable from interface to computer. USB cable from keyboard to computer. It's about as simple as that! You will connect mic's/instruments to the audio interface and connect the audio interface to your amp/speakers. That's the basics of it.

Most decent mic's will use 'balanced' XLR cables. Guitars will use 'unbalanced' TS jack/jack cables. Other 'instruments', such as keyboards, may well use TRS 'balanced' jack cables - you will need to check the manual. Always use a balanced cable where you have the option.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Drop » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:09 pm

So i checked the KA6 and its really out of budget, so if you could suggest something a bit cheaper, something around 100, max 130 maybe ?

For midi keyboard i really dont mind what functions maybe if it would have full scale keys and function to control my daw

And for the connections, do i need speakers ? I have headphones but i dont understand the cables, do i have to buy some more cables if i want midi and guitar with interface ?
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby ef37a » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:27 pm

https://www.thomann.de/gb/tascam_us_2x2.htm

^ Seems to get forgotten but I hear nothing bad about them. A bit over budget but, there are things to consider?

Do not I implore you go for a single mic input AI. Not only will you soon wish for a second mic but these basic AIs are just that, THE most basic facilities (there are some upmarket AIs with a single mic input but these usually have ADAT for channel expansion) Similarly, you really want an AI with MIDI ports. Ok, the keyboard you get might only have a USB connection (but try to find one with at least MIDI out as well) but without DIN ports you have no way to connect to any other MIDI gear.

Native Instruments KA6? Yes, excellent if you can find one second hand. Might even find one heavily discounted now the Mkll has hit the shops? As mentioned, again a bit over budget.

IN budget will likely be one of the Behringers and by all accounts they seem very good. I would advise caution however, I have not seen a review I trust, SOS basically.

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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Drop » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:13 pm

Maybe the umc204 behringer would be ideal ?

Plus i wanted to ask if any of those AI come with cables ? Because some are usb powered and for some i need an extra cable, but do i have to buy it or its within the package ?

Edit: and im sorry ef37a, but i stated that im complete beginner so i dont understand half of what you said :?
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby CS70 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:44 pm

Basically all modern interfaces are more than good enough. Yes there are some whose preamp and A/D conversion quality is a bit better but let's face it, if these issue were really critical you would not be looking at a 100$ unit. The music you make beats anything else anyways.

So theoretically once you know the number inputs you'll need (both now and in a little while, you'll always want more when you get the hang of recording), you could just pick one at random and call it a day.

However, there are differences which aren't related to recording, and they are about quality of drivers and long term support. Most cheap interfaces source their A/D converters to external manufacturers, which may suddenly decide not to support them anymore. That's what mostly causes old interfaces to be, well, old - they no longer work with newer OS versions because the A/D manufacturer does not provide newer drivers for their chips. The driver themselves may be of varying quality - which in the end means lower or bigger latency and of course the occasional BSODs (but these days my experience is that they are more and more rare).

So a lot of what you're paying when you go with the big boys is long term support and a latency as close as the minimum your system allows. $100 is unlikely to cut it, and that means that sooner or later you'll want a new interface.

Nothing to despair tough, for regular tracking is not really a big deal, you're gonna rock all right with a 100$ interface!
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Drop » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:58 pm

Thank you very much for your advices
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Drop » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:36 pm

But what about the midi, should i go for nektar or ? Because i still dont understand how ill connect midi keyboard (with usb) to AI with XLR or 6.3 jack input?
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:57 pm

Drop wrote:But what about the midi, should i go for nektar or ? Because i still dont understand how ill connect midi keyboard (with usb) to AI with XLR or 6.3 jack input?

If the keyboard only has USB then it connects directly to the computer - the virtual instruments on your computer convert the MIDI to audio which the computer then sends to your audio interface.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Drop » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:34 pm

Thank you for making it clear..
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:28 pm

AlI would say is that if you can manage with a two-octave keyboard then maybe the Nektar is actually over-specced, and a more simple 2/3 octave device with minikeys might be a good choice? There are plenty of options out there.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:15 am

The Elf wrote:AlI would say is that if you can manage with a two-octave keyboard then maybe the Nektar is actually over-specced, and a more simple 2/3 octave device with minikeys might be a good choice? There are plenty of options out there.

Good point Elf, then the money he saves on the keyboard could go towards a better interface.

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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby recluse » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:06 pm

I've got the Behringer UMC22 audio interface (the little cousin of the Behringer you listed), and it works very well for my needs (home studio, recording mostly electronic music, but also some vocals and sampling with an SM57 microphone).

With that, a MIDI keyboard, and some decent monitors (I use Yamaha HS7s, but I'm not sure about your price range...these were about $600, but I won't need a new pair of monitors for, like...ever, I hope) or studio headphones, you'll be all set to start making music.

Here's my setup:

[Monitor L] [Monitor R]
\ /
[1/4" cable] [1/4" cable]
\ /
[Behringer UMC22 AI]----------|>[SM57]
| >[Other XLR/0.25" input]
|
| |>[Other hardware]
[USB hub]-----|>[Electronic drums]
| | >[MIDI Keyboard]
|
|
[computer]
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby ef37a » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:39 am

recluse wrote:I've got the Behringer UMC22 audio interface (the little cousin of the Behringer you listed), and it works very well for my needs (home studio, recording mostly electronic music, but also some vocals and sampling with an SM57 microphone).

With that, a MIDI keyboard, and some decent monitors (I use Yamaha HS7s, but I'm not sure about your price range...these were about $600, but I won't need a new pair of monitors for, like...ever, I hope) or studio headphones, you'll be all set to start making music.

Here's my setup:

[Monitor L] [Monitor R]
\ /
[1/4" cable] [1/4" cable]
\ /
[Behringer UMC22 AI]----------|>[SM57]
| >[Other XLR/0.25" input]
|
| |>[Other hardware]
[USB hub]-----|>[Electronic drums]
| | >[MIDI Keyboard]
|
|
[computer]
Hmm...Bit miffed that despite mine (and other's) advice you went for one mic pre and no MIDI but best of luck with what you have.

One DOES wonder sometimes.....!

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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:49 pm

ef37a wrote:Hmm...Bit miffed that despite mine (and other's) advice you went for one mic pre and no MIDI but best of luck with what you have.

One DOES wonder sometimes.....!

Dave.

I think you might need to check your glasses Dave - Recluse is not the OP.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby ef37a » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:53 am

James Perrett wrote:
ef37a wrote:Hmm...Bit miffed that despite mine (and other's) advice you went for one mic pre and no MIDI but best of luck with what you have.

One DOES wonder sometimes.....!

Dave.

I think you might need to check your glasses Dave - Recluse is not the OP.

Ooops! Ok James, my apologies then. I shall add that the suggestion of a "one lunged" no MIDI, cheap as **** AI does not advance the thread much!

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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Von Junzt » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:30 pm

Windows or Mac? If you are using Windows, opt for the Focusrite entry-level model. You can always buy a MIDI interface separately, e.g. a Midisport Uno, 2x2 etc.

The main thing you need to consider are the drivers for the device. If I recall correctly, various companies program their own drivers. However, others are very lazy and only use ODM/ OEM drivers (i.e. drivers made by the company that manufactures the device).

A spiffing example was the Arturia Audiofuse, which was launched with really crappy Windows drivers. I guess Arturia assumed it would be used mainly by Mac users. Arturia wound up releasing a usable Windows driver something like 9, 10 months later.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:36 pm

Drop wrote:So i checked the KA6 and its really out of budget, so if you could suggest something a bit cheaper, something around 100, max 130 maybe ?

For midi keyboard i really dont mind what functions maybe if it would have full scale keys and function to control my daw

And for the connections, do i need speakers ? I have headphones but i dont understand the cables, do i have to buy some more cables if i want midi and guitar with interface ?
Hi Drop. Yes speakers are a must..technically speaking they are referred to as monitors as they are designed differently than hi fi speakers. The monitors will come with the cables and are those 1/4 inch type (like a guitar lead). Your phones will usually plug into a front port on the unit.
I may have to upgrade my own audio device one of these days and I would absolutely need midi ports. My keyboard is midi only. Quite old but works great and was made way before usb was invented. So yeah for me an audio device with no midi is like air con on a wheel barrow. Useless. I see SOS did a review this month of the 3rd gen Focusrite. Quite a bit more than your budget but it got a great review. About €160 I think. Thomans have a pretty good range and you can filter their list using a price filter.
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