You are here

Audiofuse 8pre

For feedback and suggestions about the SOS magazine, app, web site or forums.

Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:56 pm

The AI in the current issue looks fabulous value for money for the projjy studio person wanting multitrack capability. Those super pre amps will win user over as well I am sure*.

But..NO MIDI! Surely the interface is intended as the 'heart' of a studio system and the lack of MIDI ports (and the remote control that could give) is surely a silly oversight?

I agree, that rear panel is pretty crowded but they could have squeezed a D sub in above the BNC skts and, though I don't like them, a pair of 3.5mm stereo jacks almost anywhere.

*I tend to think having the higher gain and low noise is the best compromise rather than huge headroom. XLR attenuator slugs are pretty cheap. Extara gain boxes less so.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby zenguitar » Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:35 pm

There is definitely a good case to be made for including MIDI on an audio interface, but it’s not a one size fits all feature.

If you just need to attach a couple of pieces of MIDI hardware a single in/out pair is fine. But as your needs get more complex that single pair soon becomes a bottleneck.

When I was shopping earlier this year I decided to buy an Audient iD14 with no MIDI and an iConnectivity iConnectMIDI+4 MIDI interface. I have 4 pairs of MIDI sockets, 2 USB sockets for iPhone/iPad (which can receive audio as well as sending and receiving MIDI), a third USB socket that can handle up to 8 USB MIDI devices through a USB hub, and Ethernet too. If I wanted to be Hans Zimmer, I could send and receive MIDI over a network to another 4 computers with their own audio interfaces (none of which would need MIDI either). The software gives me 4 MIDI ports with a total of 64 MIDI channels which can be routed to and from any of the attached hardware or computers.

For my purposes; the cost of adding MIDI (whether in cash, case real estate, or development time/resources) is better spent on the audio performance.

My view is that we are fortunate enough to have a wide choice of very good audio interfaces both with and without MIDI. And that is ‘a good thing’.

:thumbup:

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 9275
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:16 pm

Sorry Andy, don't agree re upfront cost.

Adding MIDI at the design stage adds a piddilng cost. Look at all the sub £100 AIs that have come and gone that had it? Even some pretty cheap'ass guitar amps had MIDI ports.

The technology is super mature, the interface boards must cost peanuts. I can only conclude...They forgot!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:39 pm

Companies don't 'forget'... they have long drawn out planning meetings where the design requirements and prices points for each new product are very carefully thought through and debated...

The question from the manufacturer's point of view is, if we add MIDI will we get enough extra sales... or can we hike the price enough... to warrant it... or could we use the panel space and design effort for other things more productively and attractively, or could we reduce the price to make the product more competitive.

It would seem -- and I would agree -- that in this case a single MIDI IN/Out pair on DIN sockets wouldn't be perceived by most potential customers as actually being of much practical use or benefit in a product of this type aimed at its typical purchaser -- exactly as Andy shows by his own example.

And I'm the same... all my MIDI gear is hooked up via USB, not the DIN sockets (hanging) on the back of my interface (card). Most modern keyboards and sound modules have MIDI over USB these days, and any large MIDI-based rig using traditional 5-pin DINs will probably use a MIDI router which will, again, be connected back to the computer via MIDI over USB.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24969
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:28 pm

Yes Hugh, I know I am on a loser here! Heard it all before.
Fact is though, a not so basic USB keyboard/controller does not give you a MIDI input.

I also take you point about the constant meetings re design/marketing/costing decisions but even so, with YOUR vast experience of products you must have asked yourself more than once "Now, why IHN did they not fit THAT?!"

All I can say is, thank heavens for RME!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Sam Inglis » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:48 pm

Have to say I think you're being a little bit harsh on Arturia here Dave!

The original Audiofuse did have MIDI, along with a huge range of other features like phono preamps, a USB hub, etc etc. It was an interesting product but I think it felt like it was trying to be all things to all people, and perhaps as a result, seemed like overkill to a lot of potential buyers. The 8Pre is much more clearly targeted at a specific type of user and is focused very much around audio recording, so it's entirely understandable that they didn't put MIDI on it IMO.

There is also another Audiofuse in the works which is an expanded version of the original and will have all the MIDI you want I think...
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2507
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 1:00 am

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:10 pm

You are right Sam, I AM being harsh on Artura and I make no apology for it!

I just think an interface is not a 'proper' one without it and I don't buy the 'market forces' argument. If Alesis/M-Audio could put MIDI on an 80 quid AI, so could they all.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Wonks » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:10 pm

So where would they put two DIN sockets? Have you looked at the front and rear of the unit?

No space at all for them.

They really aren't important these days, with so many USB MIDI devices available.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10085
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:46 pm

Wonks wrote:So where would they put two DIN sockets? Have you looked at the front and rear of the unit?

No space at all for them.

They really aren't important these days, with so many USB MIDI devices available.

I already answered that Wonks. There is space for a small D sub above the sync BNCs al la Babyface or 3.5mm jacks are becoming common.

Yes, people have said ad.n. that MIDI ports aren't needed much these days, so why do the good guys ALWAYS fit them? Often two sets? And if you look back at synths and related kit in SOS, you will see the stuff is postively FESTOOOOONED with DINs. Where do you think they do that?

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Folderol » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:06 am

Genuine midi sockets have two quite important things going for them.

They are optocoupled, so no earth loops.
They don't magically become different ports next time you boot up.

Oh, and a third one. They are as rugged as hell, and don't go wonky with repeated plug/unplug sycles.
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9135
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby zenguitar » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:44 am

The cost of all the components is peanuts Dave, the question for manufacturers is “how best do I choose what peanuts I spend my money on?”

Whatever price point an AI retails at, the development and manufacturing costs are a tiny fraction of that, to the point where peanuts matter.

I know you have a long-standing preference for AI’s with MIDI sockets, and that’s fine. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat. And whether you like it or not, there are plenty of prospective customers for AI’s who either have no interest in MIDI or have far more extensive requirements that can be satisfied by a single pair of MIDI sockets.

My Audient AI has a function button that can be programmed to audition the M/S side signal AND direct it to a single speaker (something that Hugh regularly berates monitor controllers for that can’t do this). And it’s a perfect example of the peanuts spent on MIDI being better spent elsewhere for many potential customers.

I have no problem with MIDI sockets on AI’s, but there are plenty of equally valid reasons for not having them. And if those reasons mean that I get what I want better or cheaper, I’m perfectly happy that there are other products out there that give you what you want better or cheaper. That’s the whole point of markets!

I’m just sad that you think that my choices and opinions aren’t as valid as yours.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 9275
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:07 am

Don't be sad Andy. Of course your choices (not that you get one with the 8Pre) and opinions are as valid as mine. More so in fact, just not about this! I jest!

Re "marketing". There was a time when manfctrs sent out pre production models for experienced users to try. Now they have 'focus groups' composed of people that OF COURSE know better what us poor punters need.

I am also well aware of the economies that are made in production. Once gear was open to invasion by even quite low level RF. "Cost too much to fit filter components for a rare problem" they said. Legislation fixed their wagon. And the howls of protests we heard about fitting moulded mains plugs were deafening! "Be the end of home elctronics manufacturing as we know it!" The lives saved by moulded mains plugs by the reduction in incidence of electrocution and fire is probably incalcucuable but must be significant?
Bottom line. On a bit of kit costing well north of £600 I refuse to believe MIDI ports could not have been fitted. "Use it (or complain) or lose it".

Just a few magazines that were handy...

Dec 18. Novation 61 SL
Oct 19. Novation Summit
Aug 17. Novation Circuit Mono (jacks) Polyend Perc Pro
Nov 19. Roland Fantom 7. Black Corp Kijimi
Dec 19. Kemper Floorboard amp profiler (an amp FCS!)
All the above have MIDI ports, most in, out and thru.
And in the same issue Simon Sherbourne wrote. "but MIDI (OUT)
on the M32 would have made it a much more, all round bit of travel kit"

Seems to me that one half of the industry embraces MIDI I/O and the other is determined to do away with them!

Oh! I had it from a 'horse's mouth' at Tascam that they DID forget about MIDI for the 2000 interface. Sank soon after.

And again Andy...Peace, love and respect always.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:48 am

ef37a wrote:
Wonks wrote:I already answered that Wonks. There is space for a small D sub above the sync BNCs al la Babyface or 3.5mm jacks are becoming common.

...well, it's a thought... but you actually don't know what circuitry there might already be behind the panel in that space... so trying to squeeze another socket onto the panel might still be impractical even if a D-sub could be shoehorned in.

[quote]...MIDI ports aren't needed much these days, so why do the good guys ALWAYS fit them?[quote]

Traditionalists? No more useful features to offer? ;-)

Sorry Dave... I think the fact is that traditional MIDI is being out-evolved and is of decreasing interest to an every larger part of the potential market. But if 5-pin DIN sockets are still a part of anyone's requirements there are still interfaces around to cater for that. The AudioFuse isn't one, obviously,... but it will still appeal to a lot of other potential purchasers.

Vive la difference! :lol:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24969
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:56 am

ef37a wrote:There was a time when manfctrs sent out pre production models for experienced users to try.

And many still do, as a part of the marketing and R&D evaluations.

Now they have 'focus groups' composed of people that OF COURSE know better what us poor punters need.

'Focus groups' are normally comprised of typical end-users...

Seems to me that one half of the industry embraces MIDI I/O and the other is determined to do away with them!

Quite possibly... evolution, perhaps?
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24969
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:30 pm

I can see I shall get no furher here!

Those that have sorted their rigs sans MIDI cables will not of course agree but there are surely many who have a simple controller setup and just want to plug the damn thing in!

Of course I do not know what is behind that rear panel but when we are graced with a gutshot of gear (less and less often!) there is almost always a lot of fresh air in there.

Evolution Hugh? Could be extinction? I mention again the Tassy 2k!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:32 pm

There is another issue here that hasn't been raised yet. The industry as a whole seems likely to embrace the MIDI 2.0 protocol in the relatively near future, and this no longer supports DIN (or, presumably, mini-jack) connectors. So it's not just audio interface manufacturers who are making MIDI sockets obsolete, it's the MIDI community as a whole.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2507
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 1:00 am

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby ef37a » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:37 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:There is another issue here that hasn't been raised yet. The industry as a whole seems likely to embrace the MIDI 2.0 protocol in the relatively near future, and this no longer supports DIN (or, presumably, mini-jack) connectors. So it's not just audio interface manufacturers who are making MIDI sockets obsolete, it's the MIDI community as a whole.

I was going to say Sam that I heard MIDI was being re-vamped and upgraded but I know little about it.
So, if not DIN how will the 2.0 protocol communicate?

Ok, quick shufty, over USB but kit is shown with TWO cables going to a laptop. How many B ports are we going to need?!

Is there a MIDI 2.0 article in gestation?
Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10831
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:27 pm

I'm not sure the dust has quite settled enough for us to cover MIDI 2.0 in depth at this moment but I'm keeping an eye on it!

I presume it will be agnostic as regards physical connectors, but will require a data rate that isn't supported by the MIDI controller circuits used in DIN or mini-jack links.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2507
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 1:00 am

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:14 pm

ef37a wrote:Those that have sorted their rigs sans MIDI cables will not of course agree but there are surely many who have a simple controller setup and just want to plug the damn thing in!

And there are plenty of other interfaces that will allow them to do just that. The 'fuse may not meet their specific needs... but when did any one product meet everyone's specific needs anyway?

And My rig is not sans 'old-school' MIDI cables. There's lots of them... but I don't interface MIDI via the audio interface, it goes via a dedicated USB-connected MIDI hub.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24969
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Audiofuse 8pre

Postby Folderol » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:26 pm

A properly implemented MIDI 2 device is supposed to be quite agnostic as to fittings, and in the provisional spec backward compatibility is a requirement. However, I don't doubt for one minute that the DIN plug will be conveniently forgotten, and possibly the connector of choice will be RG45, rather than USB

It is supposed to work like fax machine protocols, try a negotiation, and if it doesn't get a response work at the minimum state - which for MIDI would be MIDI 1
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9135
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users