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Best audio interface around 100€

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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! ;)

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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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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:35 am

ef37a wrote:
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?

Dave.
Dang....my backing vocalists are bats and drummer is a hedgehog. :headbang:
Thanks Dave...the latency and driver issues are KEY for me. If NI are really good on this I'll deffo check them out. The presonus is ony 88 euro. but if spending say 150 to 200 gets you a far better NI piece of kit then its worth it. Sometimes just jumping for the cheap option isnt always a good idea when you look at the big picture.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby ef37a » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:44 am

TNGator, you might like to read up on the new F'rite Scarlets in the lataest magazine?

Focusrite have always had a very good following and I am sure their latest offerings will have very well developed drivers?

BTW bit miffed by that review? No rear shots and no mention of MIDI in the text. Which ones have it? The 2i2 was always being trotted out on forums as a great lil' AI but the lack of MIDI (for the price) always put me off.

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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:51 am

ef37a wrote:TNGator, you might like to read up on the new F'rite Scarlets in the lataest magazine?

Focusrite have always had a very good following and I am sure their latest offerings will have very well developed drivers?

BTW bit miffed by that review? No rear shots and no mention of MIDI in the text. Which ones have it? The 2i2 was always being trotted out on forums as a great lil' AI but the lack of MIDI (for the price) always put me off.

Dave.
Hi Dave. Xave here (Tngator). Yes i read that review and Frite were always a fave with a lot of people. Agree 100% on the midi. Perhaps some people think midi is old hat and a dead duck? Maybe the fact that keyboards are now available as usb they think midi is a black and white TV. My ol keyboard here is midi and works great
So yeah....I deffo need midi ports. OK so i need THREE things not two. Good latency, driver support and midi. This is turning into "what did the romans ever do for us" :bouncy:
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby TNGator » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:56 am

ef37a wrote:TNGator, you might like to read up on the new F'rite Scarlets in the lataest magazine?

Focusrite have always had a very good following and I am sure their latest offerings will have very well developed drivers?

BTW bit miffed by that review? No rear shots and no mention of MIDI in the text. Which ones have it? The 2i2 was always being trotted out on forums as a great lil' AI but the lack of MIDI (for the price) always put me off.

Dave.
The 2i4 second gen has midi and is 150 euro. The third gen version is a lot dearer...220. I might run with the 2nd gen model. I'll re-read the reviews to see what the diff is.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:05 pm

ef37a wrote:*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?

Have you tried piezo transducers? They might need a little work to make them waterproof but they're used extensively for underwater acoustics up to a few MHz.
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby cyrano.mac » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:46 am

ef37a wrote:*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?

Most cheap electrets go up to 50 kHz at least. And if that's not enough, there's always this:

https://www.dodotronic.com/product/momimic/

I've used mics like these (the predecessor, called Dodomic) to record bats and rodents. :bouncy:
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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:20 am

cyrano.mac wrote:
ef37a wrote:*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?

Most cheap electrets go up to 50 kHz at least. And if that's not enough, there's always this:

https://www.dodotronic.com/product/momimic/

I've used mics like these (the predecessor, called Dodomic) to record bats and rodents. :bouncy:

That looks ideal but I cannot find a specification? Frequency response, sensitivity.

120ees is more than I wanted to pay and I suspect a cable will bump that up some! Still, don't mind if they are truly weatherproof since I was thinking of a pair of Rycote shields for the existing cheapo dynamics at 70 quid a pop.

All hangs on getting the car MOTt'ed!

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Re: Best audio interface around 100€

Postby Wonks » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:18 pm

They list the mic capsule used so you can find out data on it from the manufacturer's website. https://www.digikey.co.uk/product-detai ... -ND/810005

They quote a frequency range 100Hz-10kHz.

But then in this document, they talk about the output falling off above 10kHz, but also the self-noise at a similar rate:

https://www.digikey.co.uk/en/pdf/k/know ... icrophones

It looks like the output is down by 15-16dB at 100kHz compared to 10kHz, so you'd really need some way to linearise that 10kHz + section before pitch shifting it down into audible frequencies.
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