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Hmmm...interfaces again.

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Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby hooty2 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:10 pm

Hi all,
I'm getting into this music making malarky..& just had my daughter's (sic) drum kit tuned.
The competent & affable drum tech'guy responded to my query about small interfaces with a negative re: RME.
(preamp quality)
In my lounge i have a casual set up for spontaneous strumming and singing workouts (anything worth keeping is transferred to dedicated room)...in that room i have a RME UFX which i like...
In the casual lounge i use focusrite 18i6 (1st gen)...enough i/o, but I'm wanting more headphone oomph (using AKG k271mk11), and a more configurable GUI, &...a bit of reverb/delay (not printed)
So...
I surprisingly got finance for RME Babyface and almost pressed the 'do it' button.
My drum tech' said Apogee or UAD gear is much better.
Can anyone throw something into the mix?
Ch
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby James Perrett » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:44 pm

Your drum tech is spending too much time on Gearslutz.

Preamp quality is rarely an issue these days once you get up to a competent level of gear. I'd much rather choose an audio interface based on driver quality and proven long term support.
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:45 pm

Not much, RME are pretty highly regarded on here and the SOS mic preamp shootout revealed that pretty much any modern interface* has preamps that are better than a domestic room can benefit from.

Also the UFX has more I/O than the Babyface Pro so I'm not sure whet you hope to achieve with the Babyface?
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby MOF » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:12 pm

I have no RME experience, I had the original Apogee duet, which I still use with my old Firewire laptop when away from home and a UAD X4 Thunderbolt interface, which replaced the Core 2 Duo ‘silverface’ interface, there was a perceptible sound quality improvement but not a massive difference. I’m pretty sure the headphone amp’ will be powerful enough.
There is the added benefit of practically zero latency through their very nice Unison plugins.
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby The Elf » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:58 pm

Not once have I had to re-record a part because my RME pre's weren't up to it. :lol:

Wizard's First Rule...
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby adrian_k » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:29 pm

The Elf wrote:Not once have I had to re-record a part because my RME pre's weren't up to it. :lol:

+1
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby hooty2 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:33 pm

first off...apologies if the initial reply sent from phone suddenly appears (it seems to have got lost)
I appreciate the reassurance given from you guys.
Worryingly, i'm shocked at how easily my own experience and understanding was dented by the tech's comments
There is a pattern in many of my other posts, in that the creative artistry seems to defy the lack of tech' know-how & experience...not to a great extent but enough to keep me delving deeper. (i come from an arts & art therapy background).
The support (candid or otherwise), from this forum has been massive in it's/your influence).
I've had great experiences with my UFX, recording on varied locations in ways i never thought possible due to background and age!
It's (UFX) easy to use, routing is great totalmix is greater, and reliability is a top need for me.

The UFX is part of a semi-permanent rig in my home studio room. It is fully employed again at home when (a thing of the past at the moment)...the 'lounge' becomes a 'live room' (denotes the nature of activity merely..i do know my place in the scheme of things:)) with lines run into the 'studio room'. Here audio is split to preamps/RME/DAW & to a Soundcraft Expression 2. I use this (ex2) to practice monitor work and to gain experience for that moment when my pro colleague throws me into some deep end unannounced!

To address Sam directly: My comfy chair is where i doodle and play & have an array of mics littered around (i live alone..how did you guess)....when something appeals i variously get audio down via the 18i8 (error in OP noted) & transfer basic takes to the main room (where space is more cramped) to work on with more focus. Also, drinks and things are banned form the main room.
an important factor when on family duties away from home, hardware wise, i'm getting smaller and portable with the iloud monitors and now (i did it) the Babyface.
The totalmix swings it for me and hopefully more guts in the headphone output.
If it all sounds too well heeled i just sold my old & heavy but reliable back up camco amps (not for much sadly) to pay for the Babyface.
I value the comments from others around other gear and experiences, so big thanks to all.
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:07 pm

It's difficult sometimes when what you want, after significant research, is some reassurance and what you get is a curve ball :headbang: :D But, you can be assured then none of your kit is going to compromise your recordings.
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby hooty2 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:25 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby CS70 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:34 pm

hooty2 wrote:My drum tech' said Apogee or UAD gear is much better.
Can anyone throw something into the mix?
Ch

I will give you a hint: he's a drum tech. :bouncy:

(Drum) jokes apart, I have both UAD and RME and once things get recorded, I can guarantee you nobody can say what's been recorded with what. And you can usee an Apogee of 10 years ago and still nobody will be able to say.

Music and performance aside, it's the room, the mic and a modicum of engineering skills, and all that matters 1000 times more than whatever preamp you are using, unless you want to drive them (and even then).

Everything else usually doesn't survive a proper A/B test and therefore it's self delusion.
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby Ramirez » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:49 pm

I use an RME MADIFace Pro, Babyface Pro and 802 regularly, and have absolutely no issues with the preamps in either. They are all great machines.
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby manwilde » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:59 pm

This ^.

A friend of mine and I run some tests one afternoon on a fairly treated room using mic splitters and Sonarworks Systemwide, and also different mics, to compare some 500 series good preamps with those on the UFX and the Octamic (both by RME) on different sources: drums, guitar amps, vocals, etc. The only difference we could tell was when recording a bass line through a REALLY driven 500 preamp. Yes, nice saturation, gritty, rock and roll sound. But if you want to record clean signals, is it worth the extra expense?. I think not. Not at least 90% of the times...
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby Arpangel » Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:36 am

My view...
Interfaces like any other piece of recording gear have a sound, some more than others, those that have less of "a sound" are often called transparent, and are expensive.
Regarding interfaces I believe in spending as little as possible, also, interfaces are boring, but we have to have them, the only time I get another one is if one breaks or I need more inputs.
Ones that stand out for me are Focusrite, definitely worth a look, great sound. Motu are also good, and easy to use. M-Audio are worth checking out, take no notice of the low price tag.
RME? I agree with your drum-tech, RME have a good reputation but my previous interface an RME UCX isn’t here anymore, it was replaced by a Focusrite, and I now own a Motu 828 and a Behringer UMC1820, both are still here and have no intention of leaving.
I’ve nothing against RME, they do have a sound, and a lot of folks like them, but I didn’t get along with mine it just wasn’t my taste and it’s probably not your drum techs taste.
Don't take opinions for granted, some makes seem beyond criticism, but if someone was to ask me what I’d recommend, it would be those I mentioned above that are still in my studio.
I will say, RME Total Mix is a possible seller, it is good, and sometimes, choices aren’t based just on sound quality alone.
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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby Urthlupe » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:38 am

Hey Hooty2 - and congrats on purchasing a device and getting on with what’s important...... :-)........

I’m v surprised by your drum tech’s comments - maybe he/she was thinking in terms of facilities (for instance preamp modelling). But I’m also a tad unsettled by Arp’s above, discussing these particular audio interfaces (all in a very similar place market-wise) as if they obviously exhibit characteristic manufacturer ‘sounds’ that are clear as night and day, and so would consequently rule them out as choices. We’re not talking Burl here, right?

I have RME Babyface 2 and UFX interfaces in mobile rigs and the Apogee Symphony mk2 in the studio rig. I go waaay back with the Apogees, and regularly use Focusrite (I have a number of their small interfaces which I currently loan to students), Presonus, UAD and most of the others mentioned in various client and educational settings. Over the years I’ve had too too many go through the studio - MOTU, Digidesign, MAudio, Avid, Yamaha, etc etc.

And quickly - in terms of mic preamps - I have a decent choice of various Neve, Audient, RND, SSL and API preamps in hardware for comparison. In my experience, both the Babyface and UFX pre’s work very well. The reason I have RME in the mobile rig incidentally is that I’ve also found them to be pretty rugged in construction and reliable in use. In fact I’m right now in Wales with a Macbook and Babyface :-). It’s raining....

So in a spirit of providing (unnecessary) support....... all of the manufacturers you mention provide audio interfaces within that market sector which perform exceptionally well. Once you have carefully analysed the facilities and workflows on offer then you should buy with confidence..... and you have :bouncy:

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Re: Hmmm...interfaces again.

Postby Arpangel » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:56 am

Urthlupe wrote:But I’m also a tad unsettled by Arp’s above, discussing these particular audio interfaces (all in a very similar place market-wise) as if they obviously exhibit characteristic manufacturer ‘sounds’ that are clear as night and day, and so would consequently rule them out as choices. We’re not talking Burl here, right?

This is my opinion only, but interfaces do have a sound, and just like other items of recording equipment, we all have our different preferences. And as I said, sometimes buying decisions aren’t based completely on audio quality alone.
RME are very well built, sturdy, have good facilities, and Total Mix is almost a must have, probably the best software of any interface on the market.
I bought my UCX about seven years ago, and didn’t get along with it, maybe things have moved on a bit, if I ever need another interface I’ll check them out again.
Burl? yes, fantastic, sounds wonderful to me, but the words "diminishing returns" spring to mind, and stuff like that should sell itself, you shouldn’t have to persuade people it’s good.

:)
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