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Help needed on finding decent audio interface

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Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby Moon_man89 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:18 am

Hi I'm looking for an affordable but decent audio interface so I can use my PC/near field monitors as an amp. Not really sure what I'm looking at, I just know that using just a female to male adapter is not the way to go and that having nothing to play out of sucks. An apollo x would be great but $1.7k is a bit out of my price range. A guy in a video demonstrated a used Focusrite 2i2 but I can't find them at that price. I think I've seen the behriger ucm22, It sells for $70 which is cool. I don't mind not having all the perks of the Focusrite scarlett 2i2 because even the free amp sims are a huge upgrade from what little a solid body can resonate (nothing). Your help is greatly appreciated. I'm open to suggestions that's worth spending a little more.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby Wonks » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:36 pm

If all you want to use the system for is as a guitar amp, then at first glance the Behringer UMC22 looks like it will do. It has a high impedance (1 Megohm) instrument input, so you can plug your guitar straight in.

What I don't know about is the latency of the system. It doesn't have dedicated sound-card drivers, but used the generic ASIO4ALL driver, which is better than native Windows drivers, but not as good as a dedicated driver in terms or reducing latency.

Your PC needs to get the sound from the interface, get it into your DAW, then let the amp software process it, then get the sound out of the DAW and back to the AI to send to the speakers. The DAW and amp sim processing is basically a fixed time period, the only variable in the overall latency being the interface and its drivers and minimum buffer size.

There's input latency and output latency, plus the PC DAW/sim processing time, which all adds up to the round-trip latency.

I've looked for definite figures for this for the UMC22 but can't find any so far. I've seen reviews where people say it's 'good', but that's all very subjective. There's a big difference between 11ms round trip latency and 23 ms latency. You may not notice with the first value, but you almost certainly will with the second. This can make it very hard to play, and you'll then start playing ahead of the beat a bit to compensate, which won't translate well when using a standard guitar amp.

As you want to use an amp sim, then you can't make use of the direct monitoring feature on the UMC22, which will be latency free, as you'll only hear the untreated guitar signal.

If you were going to expand into more complicated recording situations, then spending a bit more for a two mic preamp interface would be well worth it.

Maybe someone else can comment on the minimum round-trip latency of the UMC22 with the smallest buffer setting available?
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby ef37a » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:58 pm

Wonks, the UMC22 does not have a proper ASIO driver.
The 204HD which I have does (and is a bit twitchy) but I have not as yet had a chance to check the latency.

I shall see if I can get on it over the weekend.

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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby Wonks » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:45 pm

ef37a wrote:Wonks, the UMC22 does not have a proper ASIO driver.
That's what I said. It uses ASIO4ALL (or at least its an available download from the Behringer web page for the UMC22).
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby ef37a » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:57 am

Wonks wrote:
ef37a wrote:Wonks, the UMC22 does not have a proper ASIO driver.
That's what I said. It uses ASIO4ALL (or at least its an available download from the Behringer web page for the UMC22).

Sorry!

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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby IvanSC » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:49 pm

ASIO4ALL is not a proper ASIO driver. Its a kludge that cons your system into thinking the interface IS ASIO capable. Sorta works but not that good.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby Moon_man89 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:33 pm

Ya latency is a bit of a thing with me. For me it goes against the grain when your taught meter. Some people say they're getting latency's from 2-7ms which is great. Did however have some reviews about the twichyness. This compared to a few bad reviews on the scarlett 2i4 for only $40 more which are only about not being delivered or some guy throwing it on the floor and in the trash because he couldn't figure out how to connect it to his PC :think: Haven't found anything about the latency so I asked the users on amazon. Gonna wait on that and check other reviews.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby DanR » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:03 pm

Take a look at the Steinberg UR22C. Considering one myself.
Has amp sims built in too.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby ef37a » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:13 pm

DanR wrote:Take a look at the Steinberg UR22C. Considering one myself.
Has amp sims built in too.

Nice but for lses than another tenner you can get the 242 which has two extra outputs and Cubase.

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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby DanR » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:58 pm

ef37a wrote:
DanR wrote:Take a look at the Steinberg UR22C. Considering one myself.
Has amp sims built in too.

Nice but for lses than another tenner you can get the 242 which has two extra outputs and Cubase.

Dave.

Two extra inputs rather than outputs. I think all the interfaces have Cubase included.
It would be a good choice over the UR22c although the phones volume level is a little low according to some reviews.
Depends on headphones used though.
It has been improved on the USB 3.0 C models.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:34 am

DanR wrote:Two extra inputs rather than outputs. I think all the interfaces have Cubase included.
It would be a good choice over the UR22c although the phones volume level is a little low according to some reviews.
Depends on headphones used though.
It has been improved on the USB 3.0 C models.

It'll be a lack of power delivery to the headphone amp over the bus connection. I'll point out that this is the case with every none wall powered USB interface when working with high impedence headphones, rather than a fault of this specific unit as you only have a finite amount of power to play with when it's delivered via the USB. USB-C raises the amount of power that can be delivered, although it's up to the interface design implimentation to take advantage of that properly.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby CS70 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:44 pm

Moon_man89 wrote:Ya latency is a bit of a thing with me. For me it goes against the grain when your taught meter. Some people say they're getting latency's from 2-7ms which is great. Did however have some reviews about the twichyness. This compared to a few bad reviews on the scarlett 2i4 for only $40 more which are only about not being delivered or some guy throwing it on the floor and in the trash because he couldn't figure out how to connect it to his PC :think: Haven't found anything about the latency so I asked the users on amazon. Gonna wait on that and check other reviews.

Keep in mind the interface is only one of the links in the chain. When you use software synths (including guitar amp emulations running on the PC) you need also a computer with enough throughput and good (quasi)real time performance characteristics.

The weakest link in the chain is what matters, not the strongest. There's no joy in having a super fast interface working with a computer unable to run the amp emulation (which is simply a set of calculations on each sample) fast enough. Similarly, there's no joy in having a super-duper CPU if the rest of the system is not able to keep pace for some reason.

That's why people can - and do - experience wildly different minimum latencies with the same interface.

If you *just* want to play the guitar, the safest way imho is to buy a hardware emulator - there's many these days that cost no more than a cheap interface (or even have a basic interface included) and can be connected directly to any powered speakers - including studio monitors.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby Moon_man89 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:49 am

Hey sorry busy. It's worth noting that I'll be replacing my i5 6500 and z170 mobo with an i7 9700k and compatible board. However I'd think it'd still be fine with the i5. I also plan to use multiple instruments, guitars, keyboard, vocals, and bass.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby DanR » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:53 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
DanR wrote:Two extra inputs rather than outputs. I think all the interfaces have Cubase included.
It would be a good choice over the UR22c although the phones volume level is a little low according to some reviews.
Depends on headphones used though.
It has been improved on the USB 3.0 C models.

It'll be a lack of power delivery to the headphone amp over the bus connection. I'll point out that this is the case with every none wall powered USB interface when working with high impedence headphones, rather than a fault of this specific unit as you only have a finite amount of power to play with when it's delivered via the USB. USB-C raises the amount of power that can be delivered, although it's up to the interface design implimentation to take advantage of that properly.

Thanks, useful to know.
My Scarlett 2i2 1st gen is USB 2.0 bus powered and drives a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M20x headphones no problem.
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Re: Help needed on finding decent audio interface

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:38 pm

DanR wrote:Thanks, useful to know.
My Scarlett 2i2 1st gen is USB 2.0 bus powered and drives a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M20x headphones no problem.

Sure, that sounds right for those as they are 47ohm impedence, so I would expect them to be both easy to drive and pretty bloody loud on anything you plug them into.

It's when we start talking the 300 or 600ohm cans that this becomes a serious concern.
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