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New Audio Interface Advice

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New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Chambo » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:45 pm

Hi I'm looking to replace an audio interface.
Would like to have 8 ins 8 outs (to a multichannel speaker system - which may be expanded over time).
Use a newish Mac. Just a bit lost in the work of what's available at the moment.
Decent budget - need to buy new (for the warranty)

Any advice is helpful
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:02 pm

You're going to have to be a bit more specific and narrow it down a bit.

Are you looking for a Thunderbolt or USB connection?

How many of the inputs need to have mic preamps?

What exactly does 'a decent budget' mean?

Interfaces can't generally be expanded, although some place more nicely than others with additional interfaces. So do you really mean you need more than 8x8 IO now? Or that you want just 8x8 IO now, and maybe add a second compatible interface later? Or you want an interface with one or more ADAT interfaces to add additional I/O later?

My personal recommendation would be to look at the offerings from RME. Solid designs with very good specifications and fantastic drivers that are supported almost for ever! Nothing else comes close IMHO.

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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Chambo » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:17 pm

Thanks.
Possibly 4 mic pre amps, although need to be flexible int he future
Thunderbolt looks to be the order of the day - but open to advice
Around £1500ish

Yes ADAT expandable
8 I/O is fine at the moment

The RME kit looks great, think they do one or two bits of Thunderbolt equipment.
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:08 pm

Bear in mind that USB is likely to be more future proof than Thunderbolt given Apples habit of changing/discontinuing interfacing options on their devices.
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Rudog11 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:20 pm

I am new to trying my hands at recording my drums.
I have a Behringer ada8200, but since I'm dumb and thought it WAS an audio interface... I need an actual audio interface.
My question (I've searched google and ended up with no answer) what audio interface would be compatible with the preamp?

Do I need an interface with 8 microphone inputs as well? or could I use something like a focusrite scarlett solo?
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:35 pm

Rudog11 wrote:My question (I've searched google and ended up with no answer) what audio interface would be compatible with the preamp?

Any USB (or whatever your preferred computer connection format is) interface that has ADAT input (and output) ports.

The ADAT 'lightpipe' optical interface carries eight channels at 44.1 or 48kHz sample rates, and the ADA8200 has an ADAT input and output. So if you connect the ADA8200 to your interface with a couple of fibres, it will provide eight additional mic/line inputs and eight line outputs to whatever analogue I/O your interface already provides.

...could I use something like a focusrite scarlett solo?

Sadly not, as it doesn't have ADAT interfacing.

One good option would be the RME Digiface USB for around £350. That just has ADAT ports, so you could expand your channel count in and out of the computer with more ADA8200s (or better mic pres/ I/O boxes) in the future. And you receive the benefit of superb, well supported drivers and the TotalMix engine for monitoring.

There are several other RME interfaces with their own preamps and ADAT ports, such as the FireFace UC, but that's around £750.

I think the least expensive Focusrite interface with ADAT inputs and outputs is the Scarlett 18i20 for around £420.

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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby ronmac » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:49 pm

One good option would be the RME Madiface USB ....

Shouldn't that suggestion be for a Digiface USB?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIHmvIKwIOM
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:37 pm

:oops: Oops.. yes, sorry. I know what I meant... :lol:

I've corrected my original post.

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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Chambo » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:59 pm

I've had a look at the RME interfaces and read some interviews about their drivers.

Have they stopped making the Fireface UFX II? Noticed it had DC Coupled Outputs.

But so do the smaller Fireface UC, and UCX.
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:00 pm

Chambo wrote:I've had a look at the RME interfaces and read some interviews about their drivers.

Have they stopped making the Fireface UFX II? Noticed it had DC Coupled Outputs.

But so do the smaller Fireface UC, and UCX.

I bought a Fireface UC just before Christmas, and a REALLY happy with its audio quality, driver performance and expandability 8-)

I wasn't aware that it had DC-coupled outputs though - the manual quotes a frequency response down 0.1dB at 1Hz @44.1kHz sample rate, which suggests a very slight low end roll-off.


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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Chambo » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:10 pm

Appears so
https://www.rme-audio.de/fireface-uc.html

How does the Channel 7/8 work?
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Kwackman » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:18 pm

Chambo wrote:Appears so
https://www.rme-audio.de/fireface-uc.html

How does the Channel 7/8 work?

You mean Outputs 7/8?
Headphone output on the front panel.
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:26 pm

Thanks Chambo - hadn't noticed that!

And to add to Kwackman's info on output 7/8, yes it will probably get primarily used for headphones, but in the Fireface UC manual it simply states "This output is of a very low impedance type (30 ohms), which can also be used for headphones".

I've already got a headphone output on my Lavry DA10, so could well end up using the Fireface UC 7/8 as additional high quality unbalanced line outputs, along with a suitable stereo to mono adapter cable.


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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Rudog11 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:15 pm

Thank you for your reply,Hugh.

For clarification, since my ada8200 preamp has 8 mic inputs, will the interface I need to buy also require 8 inputs as well?
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:30 pm

Martin Walker wrote:...the manual quotes a frequency response down 0.1dB at 1Hz @44.1kHz sample rate, which suggests a very slight low end roll-off.

I'd say that was a very very very very very slight low-end roll-off! :lol:

Yes, the UC has DC-coupled analogue outputs, ideal for some interesting synth control applications.
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:32 pm

Rudog11 wrote:For clarification, since my ada8200 preamp has 8 mic inputs, will the interface I need to buy also require 8 inputs as well?

No, all you need is an optical input which accepts ADAT format data. One of the cheapest interfaces if you only want inputs is the Audient iD14 but I'd also recommend the RME Digiface USB as it gives you all the advantages associated with RME for relatively little money.
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:34 pm

Rudog11 wrote:For clarification, since my ada8200 preamp has 8 mic inputs, will the interface I need to buy also require 8 inputs as well?

No, it will just require an ADAT digital input to accept the eight-channels from the Behrimger preamps, which will supplement however many other inputs and/or preamps are available on the interface.

However, the Digiface box I mentioned earlier has no other preamps of its own.

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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Chambo » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:10 am

On the RME UC/X are the levels of the inputs controllable by the single knob on the front?
Does this control the levels for all of the outputs, headphones etc?
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:05 pm

From the manual here: https://www.archiv.rme-audio.de/download/fface_uc_e.pdf

RME wrote:The rotary encoder serves to set the input and output levels directly at the unit. This is not only useful in stand-alone operation, but for example also when setting up the monitor volume. Pushing the knob changes the encoder from CHANNEL to LEVEL mode and back. Pushing the knob for more than a second activates either the single channel or stereo setup mode.
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Re: New Audio Interface Advice

Postby Chambo » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:25 pm

Thanks, I think that would be a pain to use live for me...without a mixer.
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