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Simple interface longevity

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Simple interface longevity

Postby wireman » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:23 am

I'm about to bite the bullet and replace a PC that is nearly 10 years old.

The audio setup I have is a creative soundblaster Audigy4 which is connected to surround speakers via some Cambridge Soundworks 'amplifier'. These are used for general PC sound and other inputs routing sound from laptop etc when I use. The soundblaster is the default audio device.

For my main audio input and output I have an Echo AudioFire 4 which I sometimes use for recording but whose outputs are connected to a pair of Event Alp 5 speakers. The audiofire is configured as the audio device in Cubase, Wavelab, Sibelius and video editing software.

I will probably go for a similar setup.

I expect that a firewire interface is not going to be sustainable in the future (the audiofire does not support Windows 10 anyway) so would look for a similar USB device. I know that the topic of audio interfaces comes up from time to time (and I have a Focusright 2i4 which I use with a laptop sometimes) but I'm more interested to know what people think about the longevity of these and in particular how likely it is that drivers will be supported for a long time. I don't tend to record into the PC directly very often so want something that is mostly setup and forget.
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Re: Simple interface longevity

Postby Kwackman » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:29 am

RME get a good rep on this forum, and so the Babyface is worth looking at.
I've had one (the original) for white a few years and it has worked thorough many OS updates with little trouble.
I have RME PCI-e cards that must be over 10 years old, and they still get called on occasionally too, and still work fine.
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Re: Simple interface longevity

Postby CS70 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:49 am

RME definitely has the longest longevity (and Motu perhaps, I've been told but I have no direct experience), simply because the fellas produced their own chips and write their own drivers, so it's usually no problem to keep things working when the OS changes some.

That said, a "simple" interface (few channels, no frills) has become now so inexpensive that it's less of an issue nowadays. For interfaces supporting more channels and types of I/O definitely you want something that will last, and then the above applies.
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Re: Simple interface longevity

Postby ef37a » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:11 pm

Question Wireman, are you looking to replace the Audigy 4 with a PCIe card for surround sound because a mew desktop PC is very unlikely to have PCI slots?

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Re: Simple interface longevity

Postby wireman » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:36 pm

I have not got as far as checking detailed configurations but had just assumed that you could still get 2 PCIe x16 + 2 PCIe x1. I suppose those lanes are now going to M.2 slots.
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Re: Simple interface longevity

Postby wireman » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:45 pm

I had planned to look around the Scan 3XS site yesterday and today to get a feel for some standard configurations but got fed up with the continuous errors from the website, need to do other things this afternoon so will come back to this next week.
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Re: Simple interface longevity

Postby ef37a » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:00 pm

You have actually given me the germ of an idea Mr W!

I intend to setup a 5.1 system in my living room but using active speakers. The problem is I cannot find an AV amp/receiver PRE amp. I cannot even find an AV amp that delivers LCR, plus rears plus sub from a gaggle of RCAs? And even if I could they would not be under volume control betcha.

But, for about 30 quids I can get 5.1 PCIe card and cobble the outputs into some sort of control box with balanced outs....loooomg term but wheels are turning in head already!

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