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Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

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Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby Hugo_jdh » Fri May 29, 2020 1:01 pm

Hey there,

I've been playing guitar for a while and I'd like to get serious with my productions. I've been using Live for a couple months now and I'm looking to buy an audio interface that can support : 1 midi input, 1 mic input and 1 instrument input. I enjoy guitar looping and would like to implement my midi drum pad & some vocals to my productions using Ableton Live.

As I am a student, I'm trying to be mindful with this purchase. I've been looking at the Scarlett audio interfaces and they seem pretty reputable.

I'd really appreciate some suggestions on which audio interface I should consider purchasing.

(Side question: for guitar looping, what sort of pedal should I consider purchasing and how would I attach it to my setup?)

Cheers !
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri May 29, 2020 1:17 pm

The Scarlett interfaces have a decent reputation, . The Zoom UAC2.2 might be worth looking at too (although it's USB3 rather than USB2). And for a bit more cash the new SSL2+ seems to be making good waves.
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri May 29, 2020 1:35 pm

Hugo_jdh wrote:
(Side question: for guitar looping, what sort of pedal should I consider purchasing and how would I attach it to my setup?)

Cheers !

I have a Focusrite Saffire which works well.

WRT to looping do you already have a looper? If not then how much are you prepared to spend on one? I use a TC DittoJam for occasional live looping with the band and practice, because it has only 5 mins of loop time and no memory slots it forces me to play full chorus of rhythm guitar before soloing over it which helps keep my rhythm chops up. I also have a Boss RC30 and RC300 (if I play solo with a looper it gets a bit tedious to re record the rhythm part all the way through before every tune) which can store your loops so something like that may be more useful for integration into a recording rig. Whatever you buy I would strongly advise a looper with at least two footswitches, with a single pedal it's really hard to stop a loop on the beat.
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby wdsteele » Fri May 29, 2020 6:39 pm

Regards a looper integration with your DAW , some have midi sync and I've used a Pigtronix Infinity successfully that way .

In the end though I felt I'd lost much of the spontaneity that using a looper offers and so much prefer to loop independent to the DAW , connect via USB and drag my loops across into my project ; the Boss RC3 will let you do this too.

Ableton had a fairly good looper last time I used it , so maybe try that for a time once you choose an interface , you might find it more efficient in the long run and you can explore controller pedals for extra foot operation if needs be.
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby Hugo_jdh » Fri May 29, 2020 6:39 pm

Thanks for the insight guys, I'll look into those Interfaces.

As for the looper I'm considering two options.
If I were to get a looping pedal strictly for guitar playing, I read quite a few good reviews concerning the DigiTech JamMan Stereo pedal. I'd probably be looking into something in that price range. The other option was to just get a midi foot controller such as the Harley Benton MP-100 and I would pair each foot controller with a function using the looper effect in Ableton (as I would run everything through the software). This would enable me to loop my vocals, midi drums & guitar. Any tips for getting this setup started?

Thanks !
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby Hugo_jdh » Fri May 29, 2020 6:46 pm

That's good to know. Yes I've read good reviews about the Boss RC3 as well. I'll probably head over to the guitar store and experiment with those looper's.

Thanks
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Fri May 29, 2020 9:33 pm

Hugo_jdh wrote:I read quite a few good reviews concerning the DigiTech JamMan Stereo pedal.

I bought one of these early on & couldn't get on with it - all the footswitches had a loud mechanical clunk when you pressed them, which was very distracting, but it also made it very difficult to precisely loop a sequence.

Maybe they changed to soft-touch switches in later batches? I don't know - so I'd strongly suggest having a demo of one of these before you buy.

I currently have a small TC Electronic Ditto, & a Boss RC-30 - and probably use the very basic Ditto more.

Rob
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri May 29, 2020 9:59 pm

I have an RC-3 ing addition to the others I mentioned, it lives in my acoustic guitar gig bag and works for me 'cos I have a second switch to plug into the remote socket, without a second switch it has the same problem all single pedal loopers have which is trying to time a double press with the second press to coincide with the beat you want the loop to stop on. A dedicated 'stop loop' switch is so much easier. Otherwise the RC-3 is great. if you have the budget it's hard to go wrong with an RC-30 though. 3 hours of stereo loop memory, 100 slots to save loops, two pedals, two tracks and it even has a mic input. It's pretty sophisticated.
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Re: Purchasing an audio interface that supports midi keyboard, microphone and instrument input.

Postby ef37a » Sat May 30, 2020 6:10 am

Hi Hugo. When MIDI is involved, Latency, low that is, is all and whilst the latest Focusrite interfaces are very good I am sure I have no experience of them. I do know the Native Instruments KA6 will deliver very low latency and has very stable drivers.

My son has the Jam Man looper and tells me it delivers excellent audio quality, takes a micro SD card for storage and can USB interface with a PC. The operational quirkes get some getting used to however so if you can check a few loopers out at a shop.

Dave.
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