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Help! Stuck finding suitable audio interface
Old 19th March 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Help! Stuck finding suitable audio interface

Hey,

First post here, after reading reviews and forums for some time now i got lost completely between the options (or lack thereof)..

I have an M Audio FastTract Ultra, which does not like win10 so i need to find an interface for cubase, which
- should cost about 3-500eur (no set in stone, but don't want to spend in vain, i'm no expert)
- should have MIDI,
- should have good sounding AD/DACs as much as possible for a low price (better then my current)
- should have inputs for guitar/bass/mic plus some without preamp
- most of all should work stable in the software environment
- have an okay latency with a handful of VSTi's and recording
- should work via usb

Most likely i'll have to order via net, would be nice without trial/error.

I was looking at
audient id22 - has no MIDI.. i could still get a MIDI card, but also have seen issues with win10 there
clarett 2Pre - if i saw it right on focusrite page it might have issues with win10
steinberg ur-rt2 - seems like a ripoff at first sight, with nice logos - people seem to dislike the DACs, still i expect it to work flawlessly with cubase at least.

Also my speakers are dead atm, i could get a Mackie MR6mk3 monitor - would that work for mixing? Or do i need something substantially better so that talking about DACs makes sense at all?
I'd really like to have a stable setup to which my ears can catch up and get better.

Any insights would be welcome
Old 19th March 2019
  #2
Gear Nut
 

have you looked at the steinberg ur44?

It has all the features you need and is within your budget. i wouldn't worry about ad/dac to much within that pricerange. there are always better converters...

You should at least have 2 monitors in my opinion. The mackies are fine.
Old 19th March 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk u View Post
have you looked at the steinberg ur44?

It has all the features you need and is within your budget. i wouldn't worry about ad/dac to much within that pricerange. there are always better converters...

You should at least have 2 monitors in my opinion. The mackies are fine.
Thanks for the suggestion. I had the impression if a device costs as much with half the IO the rest inside would be of higher "quality".
Might be i was mistaken entirely
UR44 otherwise sounds perfect by the specs, think i'll go for it.
Old 19th March 2019
  #4
How many inputs do you need (for guitar/bass/mic plus some without preamp) or potentially need in the future? The Lucid 88192 or Apogee Rosetta 800 are in my ebay viewing hist although I settled on the Steinberg UR824. Only because I couldnt pass up a good deal.. it was <400. And I have plans for more gear of course Also, the UR824 has 8 mic/line inputs and the ability to add another 8 by connecting through digital I/O, maybe to an Audient ASP800 which is supposed to be pretty good.

You would just need to get another interface with midi. I have a M4U XT with 4 midi in/out. Fortunately it did not cost much. It s nice (and fun!) to be able to record multiple midi channels at the same time.
Old 19th March 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
Do you have outboard gear? What amount of I/O and inserts do you need?
Old 19th March 2019
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Possibly not what you have in mind but you may like to know that ye olde Focusrite 18i6 is very well behaved on my unremarkable w10 laptop, has lots of what you want and is very expandable.
Old 20th March 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
The DACs in the steinberg URs sound fine. The RTs seem to be well received - haven't heard any negative remarks about the switchable "Neve" transformers. The other bonus point for the RT2 is the onboard dsp giving you the excellent Yamaha rev-x reverb in real time. The 4 channel 44 is cheaper if the transformer option doesn't appeal to you.
Old 28th March 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skySnail View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. I had the impression if a device costs as much with half the IO the rest inside would be of higher "quality".
Might be i was mistaken entirely
UR44 otherwise sounds perfect by the specs, think i'll go for it.
OK! Keep me posted!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geob View Post
I settled on the Steinberg UR824. Only because I couldnt pass up a good deal.. it was <400. And I have plans for more gear of course Also, the UR824 has 8 mic/line inputs and the ability to add another 8 by connecting through digital I/O, maybe to an Audient ASP800 which is supposed to be pretty good.

You would just need to get another interface with midi.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk u View Post
OK! Keep me posted!
Thanks for the help, decided on the UR824.
MIDI IN/OUT is not a real issue any more, and with this interface i have all i need and some room for the future.

Just finished my first song with it, and it's way better then the fast track ultra i had in any possible way.

Only issue i found that it has some noise on the analog outs if the mixer is not controlled by my DAW and no audio is playing.
Weird but irrelevant in my case.
I'm really happy with it now that i had a chance to test it. Runs at 128 buffer size with ~10 softsynths and samplers, sound is clear detailed and great dynamics - surprised how good my cheap mackies sound.. sweet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
The DACs in the steinberg URs sound fine. The RTs seem to be well received - haven't heard any negative remarks about the switchable "Neve" transformers. The other bonus point for the RT2 is the onboard dsp giving you the excellent Yamaha rev-x reverb in real time. The 4 channel 44 is cheaper if the transformer option doesn't appeal to you.
Yeah the steinberg DACs are nice, and the DSP can be useful.
After listening to a couple samples with neve transformers i decided it hasn't much value to me, and probably noone would hear the difference between a software effect and the transformer unless it's on a clean solo instrument.
Even then i might get better sound with a nice preamp or some slight saturation/distortion effect depending on what sound i'm after. Seems really situational.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by skySnail View Post
Even then i might get better sound with a nice preamp or some slight saturation/distortion effect depending on what sound i'm after. Seems really situational.
I'm really happy it worked out. I just realized that audio interfaces seem to be like girlfriends. On that note, here is a funny story... I bought the Behringer UMC404HD and wasnt happy with the sound. It didnt cost much so I replaced the capacitors with somewhat higher uf values (maybe 30% more) and it seemed much better on the low end (or so I imagined) but still wasnt happy. I bought the UR824 but still wasnt quite there, had it black lion modded and was clearer/brighter but something was not right (finally figured out the reverb sounded the same but it lost some warmth/fullness/depth thats hard to describe) although the outputs sounded better and everything through SPDIF sounded wonderful. Finally just for kicks I decided to pull out the modded UMC404HD (four 1/4" inputs and four 1/4" inserts) and now it sounds much better than the aging UR824. It sounds perfect and I'm happy. I'm tempted to buy another UMC404 just to experiment with, this time replace the caps with higher values but bypass them with film caps. Of course that would be just another fun distraction stopping me from finally making music.
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