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Recommend an audio interface.
Old 1 week ago
  #31
SRT
Lives for gear
FWIW, I went through the new interface plunge a few years back and upgraded from an 828mkII to an Antelope Orion Studio. I had to wade through all of the Thunderbolt/USB and pro-converter hype when making the decision and some years later have the following advice...

Stick with a modern RME. Their modern interfaces have decent convertors regardless of your price range, their USB drivers have a stellar reputation because they are optimized by RME (unlike most vendors), and for the overwhelming majority of small/project studios the extra bandwidth offered by Thunderbolt is irrelevant. Moreover, they have all the options covered if you decide to branch out via MADI or Dante.

Sorry to say that my experience with Antelope has not been a good one. I had hardware issues which they tried to assist me with, but they rely upon a third party repair shop in the US to take care of repairs and it just wasn't adequate to resolve my problems. Oh and the interface works better on my Mac using USB then Thunderbolt (it's all about the drivers). Also their software/drivers and update methods are somewhat funky. At this point I have a replaced out of warranty interface with a dissolving screen and I am paranoid it will die at any time. I will be replacing the unit with an RME, probably UFX+, in the near future.
Old 1 week ago
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I’ve got some weird thing about USB... from the old days. Am I just behind?
No, you are correct!

Microshaft Windblows sucks with USB->MIDI. Evey once in a while it interrupts it making it jittery as hell. This is why we have Macs. Once you take the USB port, it is yours. The midi timing? On pair with an Atari. That means you don't measure jitter in milliseconds, but in microseconds. And that's even without using MTS (midi time stamp) which can go even further in precision - if you have fetish for old analogue sequencers, then you can achieve timing as perfect as that, but IMO an overkill i never use MTS.

Consider this: If you do music as a hobby, just grab mac mini late 2012 (quad i7), put 2x SSD in, put 16GB ram, grab an ole Babyface 1, buy Logic or Reason or both and you are set. Most importantly you spent next to nothing for all that. Logic comes with insane library of instruments and samples and effects and everything you could possibly ever need, ever.


I wanted to recommend you a good audio/midi interface for the PC but if you use MIDI, you will have to go with something older as the newer stuff is mostly USB. Can't think of anything over PCI other than good ole E-MU 1820m. If you don't need MIDI, then grab anything. Literally. Consumer converters have reached transparency ... like some 15 yrs ago.
Old 1 week ago
  #33
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

What DAW are you using?
Old 1 week ago
  #34
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRAZZ View Post
What DAW are you using?
Bitwig.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gear_up View Post
If you mean "converters" as in subjective differences at the component level, no, not really.

But if you mean what you hear, and if the analog design and analog components (e.g. op-amps) in the signal path fall within the scope of your question, then yes.
So, in your opinion, which ones excel?
Old 1 week ago
  #36
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Muser's Avatar
if it was me, toying with the options. I'd probably be thinking the Fireface was still one of the best options. it's just that it went into a failure mode. so I'd be thinking it's by far the simplest to keep using one of those in any case. because it's generally a known quantity on that system.
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
if it was me, toying with the options. I'd probably be thinking the Fireface was still one of the best options. it's just that it went into a failure mode. so I'd be thinking it's by far the simplest to keep using one of those in any case. because it's generally a known quantity on that system.
Yeah, until I had the issue with my 400, it worked flawlessly. I guess the thing to do is get another one. They’re still fairly cheap. When that comes, send mine for repair and keep it for a backup.
Old 1 week ago
  #38
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What combo(s) of RME boxes yields 32x channels of simultaneous Line Level Audio (both types)?

I don't want any Mic Pres built into my Interface, and I want/need 32x channels of Line at once.

The Orion 32 just doesn't have the driver quality and support that RME is known for.
Old 1 week ago
  #39
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jdier's Avatar
I went from FF800 to Lynx Apollo 16, then added an Apollo 8. I have been very happy. One thing I miss is TotalMix software.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I notice a lot of new interfaces are Thunderbolt. I’m on a Dell Windows box, but I’m not opposed to getting a PCIe card. I’ve got some weird thing about USB... from the old days. Am I just behind?
with PCIe you'd need rather long cables (depending on how far away your PC sits from your synths). I had an M-Audio PCI card 13 years ago. No underrun issues at all (as far as I can remember) but the cable situation was a mess.

On the other hand, my (second hand) RME FireFace 802 (USB) has worked perfectly so far (and I usually record/monitor everything with 64 sample buffers @ 44.1khz ). If I were you, I'd use a (cheaper) 2in/2out USB interface as a backup / interim solution until the main interface is repaired.

Regarding the PC USB MIDI jitter that Don Solaris mentioned: It's definitely an issue but I think he made it sound worse than it actually is. Just recently I measured the jitter of some of my own drum synths (Tempest, Rytm, Tanzbaer, Machine Drum) by sending a 32 4/4 bar quarter note sequence to the synths, recording the audio, doing a transient detection, and comparing the detected timing against the ideal / theoretical timing. Turns out the maximum timing deviation (over all 32 bars) from the ideal timing was somewhere between ~5ms (Tempest, avg was 1.72ms) and 1.9ms (Rytm, avg was 0.74ms). In other words: the type of synth used apparently had a bigger influence on the result than the USB MIDI handling in Windows. I for one can't hear timing changes in the sub 2ms range anyway (did some other tests a while back), and on the few occasions where I want two sounds layered with sample-perfect phase accuracy, I simply record+play them in a sampler (it's practically impossible via MIDI anyway, no matter which platform/OS).
Old 1 week ago
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
So, in your opinion, which ones excel?
It can be pretty subtle, but the Antelope Orion sounded really good.

However, drivers and channel count (and avoiding unnecessary features) are my top priorities in an interface, not sound, so I ended up upgrading from the RME UFX to the RME UFX Plus. TotalMix helps also.

I always thought the RME UFX had a very slightly dry sound. I would like to use the word "brittle" here because transients tended to have a particular character that obscured some details, but "brittle" is is much too strong of a word. I'm fairly sure this is the TI op-amps at work but true A/Bs are hard.

On the analog output side, the RME UFX was not up to the level of a Macbook Pro or recent iPhone in terms of subjective sound quality, IMHO.

The UFX Plus does sound better IME, and I'm really happy with it so far.

I know you've crossed out RME though, so I'm sorry this post isn't more helpful.
Old 1 week ago
  #42
Gear Maniac
 

828es or clarett
Old 1 week ago
  #43
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the_soulcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
What combo(s) of RME boxes yields 32x channels of simultaneous Line Level Audio (both types)?

I don't want any Mic Pres built into my Interface, and I want/need 32x channels of Line at once.

The Orion 32 just doesn't have the driver quality and support that RME is known for.
I'd contact them via e-mail. They're usually quick with response
Old 1 week ago
  #44
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jdier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRT View Post
Sorry to say that my experience with Antelope has not been a good one. I had hardware issues which they tried to assist me with, but they rely upon a third party repair shop in the US to take care of repairs...
Just to note, when I had my RME gear it was all serviced stateside by a third party.

I only had one failure, and they were super fast and easy to work with, but at that time, RME was serviced by a third party.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I notice a lot of new interfaces are Thunderbolt. I’m on a Dell Windows box, but I’m not opposed to getting a PCIe card. I’ve got some weird thing about USB... from the old days. Am I just behind?
How about the PCIe RME Raydat? Four ADAT in/out ports for 32 in and out. Two MIDI I/O running on PCIe so the timing's alright. Expandable with another Raydat. With ADAT interfaces you have loads of choice, from $100 ADA8000 up to the real fancy pants stuff. If one goes down just swap it out. The others are still there in the meantime.

http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/hdspe_raydat.php
Old 1 week ago
  #46
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdier View Post
I went from FF800 to Lynx Apollo 16, then added an Apollo 8. I have been very happy. One thing I miss is TotalMix software.
Yeah, the Apollo 8 is on my mind. Before my RME malady, I’d been thinking about possibly adding an analog compressor on my 2 bus, but I kept coming across “shoot outs” that compared the UAD software to various hardware compressors and I was pretty impressed by the software. I sort of filed it away, but when the 400 had to go, I thought this would be an excuse to upgrade that was a bit sexier than just an interface at not that much more expense.
Old 1 week ago
  #47
Gear Head
Where am I.?

I stumbled in here by accident. I don't own a synth, my tastes run to almost all acoustic instruments and I have a current passion for learning and recording drums. I would say that the same discussion on a acoustic recordings board would probably be similar with very few recommendations for Antelope, not as many for MOTU and Apogee and a lot more for Apollo and Focusrite (Red and maybe Clarett).

Exact same recommendations for RME. Everybody admires RME.

When it came time to upgrade this year, I went (from a Clarett) to an Apollo x8 which gave me 4 Unison preamps to play with UAD preamp emulation and 4 line inputs for my outboard gear. I use the Clarett as an ADAT slave and have a MOTU 828x as a backup. Here's the thing: the Apollo converters are heads above the Clarett and the MOTU. They just are. They are also better than an Apogee Duo but I imagine the new Apogees are better.

I was torn between the Apollo and an RME UX+ (is that right?) Because I heard so much about those converters. In the end, the Apollo had better routing for my needs and well...TotalMix's interface looked like a haunted machine, I just didn't think I could sit down to that stern display everyday. I know, silly, I just go for a different kind of ugly.
Old 1 week ago
  #48
SRT
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdier View Post
Just to note, when I had my RME gear it was all serviced stateside by a third party.

I only had one failure, and they were super fast and easy to work with, but at that time, RME was serviced by a third party.
Good to know thanks. I had to send the unit out twice, and both times the turn around time was 6-8 weeks. Sound about the same for you?
Old 1 week ago
  #49
SRT
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
What combo(s) of RME boxes yields 32x channels of simultaneous Line Level Audio (both types)?

I don't want any Mic Pres built into my Interface, and I want/need 32x channels of Line at once.

The Orion 32 just doesn't have the driver quality and support that RME is known for.
This is what makes Antelope so attractive, it's difficult to find a similar collection of features in one interface from other brands. Ferrofish has similar options in terms of channel count.

I could be wrong but I think the most feasible 32 channel line-in option with RME would be an RME backend with MADI/Dante/ADAT connections to w/e converters you wish to use for the 32 line-ins. A MADIFace USB or HSDPe MADI would do the trick.

In my case, I am leaning towards an RME backend with a BURL B16 front end for conversion. Only problem is I need ADAT for an Expert Sleepers Eurorack interface, so I would be forced to do the more expensive UFX+ for ADAT/MADI in one box rather then one of the cheaper options. Still thinking that one through...
Old 1 week ago
  #50
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock View Post
How about the PCIe RME Raydat? Four ADAT in/out ports for 32 in and out. Two MIDI I/O running on PCIe so the timing's alright. Expandable with another Raydat. With ADAT interfaces you have loads of choice, from $100 ADA8000 up to the real fancy pants stuff. If one goes down just swap it out. The others are still there in the meantime.

http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/hdspe_raydat.php
The more I think about this option, the more I like it, though considering I’d have to buy another 8200 to get my required analog i/o, it seems a tad expensive.
Old 1 week ago
  #51
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jdier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRT View Post
Good to know thanks. I had to send the unit out twice, and both times the turn around time was 6-8 weeks. Sound about the same for you?
My experience was over 8 years ago, but it was much quicker than that if I remember correctly. More like 2-3 weeks.
Old 1 week ago
  #52
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login's Avatar
I still don't understand how other companies haven't been put out of business by RME, as time goes by people realize just how excellent their drivers are and how well priced they are for the features they offer.
Old 1 week ago
  #53
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draig's Avatar
 

One of the things I like about the RME's (I have Fireface UCX and Babyface Pro) is they have midi I/O and a good number of direct audio ins.

And RME is just so reliable! Babyface Pro is great for portable as it runs on my laptops power... I can go sit in the park with it, travel with it... and it is my backup.

I do wish I had bought the UFX+ instead of the UCX as it has 4 more audio ins and now I need them.

I looked at the other options in the price range with DSP and in each case there was some limitation. Make sure you check the specific features for what you want
Old 1 week ago
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
The more I think about this option, the more I like it, though considering I’d have to buy another 8200 to get my required analog i/o, it seems a tad expensive.
Looking at the Fireface 400, it's the same sort of thing with fewer I/Os, so a Raydat should be very familiar. If you wanted to sell your Fireface you'd cover a chunk of any upgrade cost. I went for an old HDSP 9652 as I've still got a PCI slot motherboard. There's only 3 ADAT I/Os instead of 4 but I got it for peanuts. For ADAT interfaces I went for Profire 2626s as they have most of the I/O on the back. They run nice and cool too, that's something to watch out for with these audio racks.
Old 1 week ago
  #55
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Is it correct that this RME box and n-ADAT format Interfaces will yield up to a total of 66ch of simultaneous Line Level I/Os? Really? Does Windows see them all as one, or as separate interfaces each with their own I/Os?

(subject to whatever the host PC's limits are)

https://reverb.com/p/rme-digiface-us...-usb-interface
Old 1 week ago
  #56
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
Is it correct that this RME box and n-ADA8000s will yield 8x per ADA8000 up to a total of 66ch? Really?

(subject to whatever the host PC's limits are)

https://reverb.com/p/rme-digiface-us...-usb-interface
Four ADAT in/outs for 32 in, 32 out plus the stereo headphone out = 66 audio channels.
Old 1 week ago
  #57
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
The more I think about this option, the more I like it, though considering I’d have to buy another 8200 to get my required analog i/o, it seems a tad expensive.
Hm, I just realized that would leave me without a headphone out. I could add a headphone amp, but that’s yet another expense and thing to have/plug in.
Old 1 week ago
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Hm, I just realized that would leave me without a headphone out. I could add a headphone amp, but that’s yet another expense and thing to have/plug in.
With my Profire 2626s, they have two headphone outs on the front, but that uses up 2 (or 4) of your audio channels. Another option is to use the SPDIF on the Raydat to a dedicated DAC/headphone amp. That can be quite a rabbit hole though, you can get fussy about the specific DAC and so on. Something like this would probably be alright https://www.amazon.com/KGUSS-TPA6120...dp/B07QTXPWVK/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...mpetitor.7333/

With the SPDIF to DAC/headphone option, I like that the studio rack of crap can be left off while I'm just computering.
Old 1 week ago
  #59
Gear Nut
If it’s going to become your back up when you get the Fireface back then why not get something much cheaper and keep your synth plans mostly intact.

A saw a focusrite Pro 40 go second hand for 250AU the other day. It won’t be as good as your Fireface I’m sure but it’s a temporary backup and keeps other plans intact.

I’ve still got one of these in the rack, albeit unused and it’s definitely not total crap.
Old 1 week ago
  #60
Lives for gear
My fireface 802 has dsp. I dont use the dsp effects too often, but i can say that coming from UAD, rme is amazing. Its so rock solid and i get very low latency. To me the most valuable thing is low latency and reliability. Great sound is a given now. The converters are excellent. Id suggest staying rme and trying out an 802. A good interface is not always super sexy but it will make your life very easy.

Last edited by Methlab; 1 week ago at 03:11 PM..
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