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Best audio interface around 100€

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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.....!

Dave.
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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!

Dave.
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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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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:28 am

TNGator wrote:
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.

I think you are talking about active PC speakers?

Studio monitors fo not come with cables and the cables needed are XLR balanced. It is usual for for the XLR to be of the "combi" type so that it can also accept TRS 1/4" jack plugs but they are certainly NOT "guitar" cables.

Studio monitors are not that different from the better quality hi fi speakers. The likes of Kef. B&W, and Quad have striven for decades to produce accurate speakers and indeed many of their products have served admirably as studio monitors. The main difference is that these days the vast majority of "monitors" are active whereas hi fi units are almost all passive and need an external power amplifier.

The OP would probably be better off to continue with good quality headphones and check results on an audio system, even in the car rather than buy into the bottom end of the "monitor" market?
There will always be great debate but truly accurate monitors start at about £1000 the pair?

Dave.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby The Elf » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:15 am

TNGator wrote:The monitors will come with the cables and are those 1/4 inch type (like a guitar lead).
I would be wary of generalisations. Monitors rarely come with cables of any description, and the cables (i.e. connector pairs) that are required may be of several basic types. In many cases an active monitor input will be better served by a balanced connection (XLR or TRS) and these are significantly different to a 'guitar lead'.

Maybe a tad pedantic, but worth mentioning if, as you say, you are planning on changing your own system at some point! ;)

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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:07 pm

The Elf wrote:
TNGator wrote:The monitors will come with the cables and are those 1/4 inch type (like a guitar lead).
I would be wary of generalisations. Monitors rarely come with cables of any description, and the cables (i.e. connector pairs) that are required may be of several basic types. In many cases an active monitor input will be better served by a balanced connection (XLR or TRS) and these are significantly different to a 'guitar lead'.

Maybe a tad pedantic, but worth mentioning if, as you say, you are planning on changing your own system at some point! ;)

Beaten by the valve!

Fair comment Elf and no... not at all pedantic. What I am going to change is actually the audio device also. I saw the OP post and thought it might be a good opportunity to jump in. In my case budget is also an issue but I could afford to 150 to say 200. My M Audio is at this stage going to be found in the back woods with a bullet in it.
Well from day 1 it had a known issue (which i never knew till i bought the darn thing). The pre amps are awful. Not to worry..I bought an ART tube pre amp. Great little device and only about 40 bucks. But my model M audio is no longer supported so no new drivers. If I am in my DAW and switch to Itune or YT the driver drops out of the DAW. I have to exit, switch off the M Audio and go back into the DAW. Sometimes this can take about 3 attempts. And now its gotten worse. I am starting to play around with virtual amps and latency is an issue. The latency control slider is now greyed out and wont move. I see a Native Instruments device got a great mention here and its about 200. But this months SOS gave a terrific review of the Gen 3 Focusrite and it is about 160. If the Focus is just as good as KA6 I can save myself 40 bucks (Euro to be precise). I'd like something with good preamps , midi and a device that when adjusting latency settings is not a trip to hell.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:11 pm

ef37a wrote:
TNGator wrote:
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.

I think you are talking about active PC speakers?

Studio monitors fo not come with cables and the cables needed are XLR balanced. It is usual for for the XLR to be of the "combi" type so that it can also accept TRS 1/4" jack plugs but they are certainly NOT "guitar" cables.

Studio monitors are not that different from the better quality hi fi speakers. The likes of Kef. B&W, and Quad have striven for decades to produce accurate speakers and indeed many of their products have served admirably as studio monitors. The main difference is that these days the vast majority of "monitors" are active whereas hi fi units are almost all passive and need an external power amplifier.

The OP would probably be better off to continue with good quality headphones and check results on an audio system, even in the car rather than buy into the bottom end of the "monitor" market?
There will always be great debate but truly accurate monitors start at about £1000 the pair?

Dave.
Apologies Dave.. What I was trying to explain but didnt do a good job was the type of connection. They look similar to a guitar lead as opposed to the smaller input type we see on headphones. My own monitors are active? In other words they need to be plugged into the mains via kettle leads. They are M Audio BX5. But thats another topic :)
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Subsonix Steve » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:53 pm

I am quite surprised no one has mentioned the audient id4, it has exceptional mic pre amps and works with no messing about. if i missed it then all well and good but really bang for buck i heartily reccomend it.
as for using headphones, that really depends on your environment.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:29 pm

Anyone any thoughts on this model Presonus AudioBox iTwo ? 2 mic inputs and midi.
I'd only need a max of 2 XLR combo inputs and midi. Depends on the pre amp quality and of course driver support by the manufacture. Its only about 100 euro on Thomann.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:49 pm

Is the sample rate a critical factor guys? Native Instruments have a model with 192Khz and Presonus have one with only 90 something K. Should a feller go for the model with the higher value sample rate? Would the lower rate mean you would struggle with latency issues when using a lot of midi tracks or perhaps guitar amp simulators.
My current m audio is breaking my heart with this particular issue.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:31 am

TNGator wrote:Is the sample rate a critical factor guys? Native Instruments have a model with 192Khz and Presonus have one with only 90 something K.

Anyone offering 192kHz sample rate in a budget interface is doing it strictly for marketing purposes. While there are good reasons for using a slightly higher sample rate than 44.1kHz, even 96kHz could be considered higher than necessary for audio. There is very little useful signal above 20kHz unless you are conducting scientific research into bats or whales. Plenty of good recordings are still made at 44.1kHz or 48kHz sample rates.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:05 am

James Perrett wrote:
TNGator wrote:Is the sample rate a critical factor guys? Native Instruments have a model with 192Khz and Presonus have one with only 90 something K.

Anyone offering 192kHz sample rate in a budget interface is doing it strictly for marketing purposes. While there are good reasons for using a slightly higher sample rate than 44.1kHz, even 96kHz could be considered higher than necessary for audio. There is very little useful signal above 20kHz unless you are conducting scientific research into bats or whales. Plenty of good recordings are still made at 44.1kHz or 48kHz sample rates.

Great info James. Thank you so much :clap:
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby ef37a » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:13 am

James Perrett wrote:
TNGator wrote:Is the sample rate a critical factor guys? Native Instruments have a model with 192Khz and Presonus have one with only 90 something K.

Anyone offering 192kHz sample rate in a budget interface is doing it strictly for marketing purposes. While there are good reasons for using a slightly higher sample rate than 44.1kHz, even 96kHz could be considered higher than necessary for audio. There is very little useful signal above 20kHz unless you are conducting scientific research into bats or whales. Plenty of good recordings are still made at 44.1kHz or 48kHz sample rates.

I tend to agree James but like "Class A pre amps" and "rms" watts if you don't offer these things the punters don't consider your gear!

Same goes for mic pre amps that sail past 200kHz. No earthly reason for it unless you want to record bats* (and even then you would get a bat detector!)

The most important specification perhaps is noise floor? Should be -100dB fs or better. Not that a worse spec would ever likley be a problem but a low noise floor shows a certain care in the construction?

Good, low latency, stable drivers are a must and Native Instruments excel at those.

*I would like to capture the ultrasonic doings of hedgehogs. Anyone know of a mic that goes past 50kHz, is waterproof and costs about ten bob?

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