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Audio Interface for Electronic Music Production and Mixing
Old 16th July 2019
  #1
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Audio Interface for Electronic Music Production and Mixing

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for budget friendly audio interface for electronic music (future garage, neotrance, wave/trap) production and mixing. My main computer (older Dell 2012) has 8gb ram, intel core i5, windows 7 64-bit, (1xUSB2, 2xUSB3)

Audio Interface should be: small/transportable as I travel a lot, high quality headphone out (preferably with headphone amp to drive Sennheiser HD600 properly), high quality converters, good latency performance, I don't need many I/O as I will use only one mic to measure frequency response in my room and use only one set of studio speakers.

My budget is about 250EUR/300USD

I already have Steinberg UR22 mkII which I think is pretty good unit, but I miss some features. It has good latency and I'm able to work with mixes that has like 80% CPU inload without major bugs or glitches. It has downsides also I don't like its converters - sounds dull, too flat a bit lifeless and I feel I might be doing some mistakes while mixing, using too much plugins and so on. Headphone amp is really bad, doesn't drive my HD600 properly.

I've also tested Audient ID14 which was amazing to some degree. I liked the converters and headphone amp and felt confident that my mixes will translate with less plugins. However the latency performance was not so great. 48kHz/24bit I had to dial the buffer size up to 2048 and still was experiencing glitches and unworkable dropouts.
-> In comparison with Steinberg UR22 mkII I was getting similar results 48kHz/24bit buffer size 256. Note: Used very CPU hungry project as a test between the two to see the performance and also noticed that I might have been using too much plugins, because it was project I made solely with Steinberg UR22 mkII.

I still felt like Audient purpose is was solely recording and I don't record at all, I couldn't justify the buy. Can someone recommend audio interface which would satisfy my needs?

My suggestions:

Audient ID4:
+ small, enough I/O, not overpriced
- I'm not sure about converters in comparison to ID14 (may sound like what I already have), latency issues same as ID14 I suppose?

Audient ID14:
+ still small, great audio quality, I actually liked the software
- pretty pricey to take on while traveling, latency issues

Zoom UAC-2:
+ USB3, good latency performance
- heard about high distortion levels, not sure about converters

Focusrite Clarett:
+ good overall, best specs out of these
- pricey, I would make no use of preamps, air button, I/O and I don't want to pay this much product that I'll not fully use

I'm leaning towards Audient ID4 the most right now, but I jut don't know...

Please give me any suggestions you might have and also experiences with each product if you have any of these or similars. Thanks.
Old 17th July 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 

I would really reccomend the audient. It's hard to beat for the price. I get excellent latency on mine. I actually replaced an RME Babyface Pro with my Audient id22 and haven't noticed any drop in latency performance and the RME is praised for its drivers.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by readaz View Post
I would really reccomend the audient. It's hard to beat for the price. I get excellent latency on mine. I actually replaced an RME Babyface Pro with my Audient id22 and haven't noticed any drop in latency performance and the RME is praised for its drivers.
Thank you for your opinion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Joe_Crow's Avatar
 

I love Focusrite interfaces but they are pricey. Audient should be fine for what you want it for.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Crow View Post
I love Focusrite interfaces but they are pricey. Audient should be fine for what you want it for.
Thank you for your suggestion. Which Focusrite interface have you used? Anything specific you point out about the one you've used? I could stretch my budget.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

If you're not going to use the pres to record, the Zoom and the Audient gear is fine for your purposes. The Audient DA is slightly better but the pres are nastier than the Yamaha ones in the Steinberg. The Zooms have way better latency than the Steinbergs for MIDI stuff. For a good headamp in your interface, you'll need to up your budget. None of this stuff is really a big upgrade from what you already own in conversion quality either. You will need to really up your budget to hear a significant a difference.

Then, you can get a good, two channel DA with a good headamp. Think something like the Dangerous Music Source or Lavry DA 11. You can just use a separate cheap USB measurement mic from someone like MiniDSP.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
You will need to really up your budget to hear a significant a difference.
I politely disagree with that statement, right now I'm trying both Audient ID4 and DA conversion also mic preams is really much better than on Steinberg. I did a test (with HD600) and let my girlfriend hear both of them and even she could tell a difference and shes Huawei earbud user. I've also tested ID14 which is even touch better than ID4, but on ID4 I do not experience audio latency problems unlike on ID14 which is strange. ID14 provide enough power to drive HD600. I do agree that if I stretch my budget I'll get better product.

And thanks for suggesting DACs thats exactly what I needed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Sound quality is irrelevant if the drivers aren't excellent - you want to make electronic music so it's all about the drivers.

I would look for a second hand babyface.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
without doubt Audient iD14 would be my no1 choice. You may need to look into getting a new computer though, never had problems with latency on any audient interface, look into why this is happening.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
I would look for a second hand babyface.
I'm not a fan of german products (never again). Besides Babyface? You pay like 5x the price of Audient ID4, get same converters, same stability, plus one (for me) useless D.I. and ADAT. Not gonna do that ever. I'd rather pay for Apollo Twin at that cost, or Apogee Duet.

Conversion quality is irrelevant? I'm not gonna take you seriously. I doubt theres something more important than that in audio interface. I much rather be mixing songs that I hear clearly with less plugins than otherwise.

However now I use ID4 and I'm very satisfied for what it brings at that cost. More than enough for my needs. The only downside is that it doesn't have individual hp control, not a dealbreaker.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Audient's drivers are not ideal for what you want to do. Research them.

Also - WWII was a lonnnnnnng time ago. Things change.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
you want to make electronic music so it's all about the drivers.
What on earth does that mean? Yes driver stability is important, but drivers don’t make music or even any sound...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
Also - WWII was a lonnnnnnng time ago. Things change.
Wtf my boy. I don't make techno and my experience with any german products from washing machines, facial hair trimmers to audio is just terrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
Audient's drivers are not ideal for what you want to do. Research them.
I know many have problems with them, I think the problems are linked to their higher stuff that comes with software. ID4 does have very stable drivers unlike ID14 in my experience.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by drnovskyd View Post
Wtf my boy.



I know many have problems with them, I think the problems are linked to their higher stuff that comes with software. ID4 does have very stable drivers unlike ID14 in my experience.
"No German products" ... "never again" ... you really don't see it?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by subframe View Post
What on earth does that mean? Yes driver stability is important, but drivers don’t make music or even any sound...
It helps if you read the post in conjunction with the actual subject of the thread...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
"No German products" ... "never again" ... you really don't see it?
I don't make techno and my experience with any german products from washing machines, facial hair trimmers to audio is just terrible. I was also refering to Steinberg ur22 mkII I had, Beyerdynamic headphones I had, Native Instruments DJ controlers I had and Adam Audio studio monitors I had basically the higher the price was the bigger the crap was.

Only german product I still have is HD600, which sucks in comparison to Shure products at the same pricepoint. I'm no germanophobe I just have my experience.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drnovskyd View Post
I don't make techno and my experience with any german products from washing machines, facial hair trimmers to audio is just terrible. I was also refering to Steinberg ur22 mkII I had, Beyerdynamic headphones I had, Native Instruments DJ controlers I had and Adam Audio studio monitors I had basically the higher the price was the bigger the crap was.

Only german product I still have is HD600, which sucks in comparison to Shure products at the same pricepoint. I'm no germanophobe I just have my experience.
That's not the Germans fault you bought their cheap stuff.

The Shure headphones all fall apart when the volume is turned up. The HD 600 is much better.

Steinberg is made by Yamaha. The UR 824 sounds far better than any Audient product due to Audient's nasty preamps but you will truthfully be using none of the functionality of either and be wasting your money.

Beyerdynamic is only good for DT 770 for tracking and the drummer version of it. You have no use for their products. Their audiophile headphones are far too bright.

Adam's cheap stuff is crap and made in china. Their made in Germany X series (especially A7X) and S series sound quite good. Now they are owned by Focusrite, a British company.

You are not recording any actual instruments. A Zoom UAC-2, used Babyface, or used DAC/Amp combo are fine for your needs
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
That's not the Germans fault you bought their cheap stuff.

The Shure headphones all fall apart when the volume is turned up. The HD 600 is much better.

Steinberg is made by Yamaha. The UR 824 sounds far better than any Audient product due to Audient's nasty preamps but you will truthfully be using none of the functionality of either and be wasting your money.

Beyerdynamic is only good for DT 770 for tracking and the drummer version of it. You have no use for their products. Their audiophile headphones are far too bright.

Adam's cheap stuff is crap and made in china. Their made in Germany X series (especially A7X) and S series sound quite good. Now they are owned by Focusrite, a British company.

You are not recording any actual instruments. A Zoom UAC-2, used Babyface, or used DAC/Amp combo are fine for your needs
Ahhh yes...

SRH1840 are better headphones than HD600, get over it. Do not understand why would you turn up volume with headphones. Do not do that ever, or you'll damage your hearing.

UR824 uses the same preams and D/A as whole UR series. Nowhere near Audient stuff which uses the same preamps in their high end consoles in all their interfaces. I do use microphone inputs ocasionally, for frequency measuring and recording stuff. Please don't compare uncomparable and look up the specs.

I did had DT770, those are 150,-€ headphones which are not good for anything except for tracking, but not even for that, because your ears get tired of them in 15 minutes cause of the circular design of pads and I have small ears.

I didn't used Adams cheap stuff. I've used A series which is basically the same pricerange as AX series nowdays. Adams were the worst of them, lower midrange hole, basically a hi-fi speaker distributed as studio monitor. Look it up, Adams are known for their bad lower midrange, doesn't matter if it's AX, A or any other series, electronic music producers don't use them because of the lacking bass too, even on big systems and everyone just prefer Focals or Genelecs over them.

I'll not take your advice as you have no idea what you're talking about.

I still don't understand why would I pay more that I did for the same stuff. Don't get me wrong but none of that stuff was cheap.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
Steinberg is made by Yamaha. The UR 824 sounds far better than any Audient product due to Audient's nasty preamps but you will truthfully be using none of the functionality of either and be wasting your money.
no,

the preamps on audients are just fine, yamaha do not make better preamps, that's codswallop
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by drnovskyd View Post

Conversion quality is irrelevant?
Read the whole sentence lol.

You can have the best sounding interface in the world and its of no use if you can't operate at low enough latencies to actually track through vstis without latency and run a lot of vsti tracks without pops and clicks - those are the two most important qualities in an interface for electronic musicians, assuming you aren't just drawing in all the midi or copy pasting samples.

You have an older system, so I recommended RME who has the best USB drivers.

Last edited by Reverb; 4 weeks ago at 02:48 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
kuasalogam's Avatar
Does it have to be bus-powered, or you don't mind external power?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drnovskyd View Post
Ahhh yes...

SRH1840 are better headphones than HD600, get over it. Do not understand why would you turn up volume with headphones. Do not do that ever, or you'll damage your hearing.

UR824 uses the same preams and D/A as whole UR series. Nowhere near Audient stuff which uses the same preamps in their high end consoles in all their interfaces. I do use microphone inputs ocasionally, for frequency measuring and recording stuff. Please don't compare uncomparable and look up the specs.

I did had DT770, those are 150,-€ headphones which are not good for anything except for tracking, but not even for that, because your ears get tired of them in 15 minutes cause of the circular design of pads and I have small ears.

I didn't used Adams cheap stuff. I've used A series which is basically the same pricerange as AX series nowdays. Adams were the worst of them, lower midrange hole, basically a hi-fi speaker distributed as studio monitor. Look it up, Adams are known for their bad lower midrange, doesn't matter if it's AX, A or any other series, electronic music producers don't use them because of the lacking bass too, even on big systems and everyone just prefer Focals or Genelecs over them.

I'll not take your advice as you have no idea what you're talking about.

I still don't understand why would I pay more that I did for the same stuff. Don't get me wrong but none of that stuff was cheap.
You’re just another edm bedroom producer who has no idea what he is talking about and you don’t do anything related to recording anyway. Move along. You don’t need any of this for your soundcloud page.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
no,

the preamps on audients are just fine, yamaha do not make better preamps, that's codswallop
if your guitar tone sucks or you have damage in presence region of hearing. Audient pre is thin and strident crap versus the okay Yamaha pre. I don’t want to get into this here as op is clearly another opinionated recording newbie with no budget and has no reason to give two ****s about preamp specs or buy any of this for his sound cloud page
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Here for the gear
 
drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
You’re just another edm bedroom producer who has no idea what he is talking about and you don’t do anything related to recording anyway. Move along. You don’t need any of this for your soundcloud page.
This thread is about electronic music audio interface. So you better move along if you want to talk about something more ,,recording related.'' I'm sorry I've hurt your feelings and that you don't like my unpopular opinion, cause you're obviously a Steinberg user (I was once too, never again). If recording vsts is not related to recording music than go record your mashing rocks and sticks on your yamaha pres you homo habilis.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
if your guitar tone sucks or you have damage in presence region of hearing. Audient pre is thin and strident crap versus the okay Yamaha pre. I don’t want to get into this here as op is clearly another opinionated recording newbie with no budget and has no reason to give two ****s about preamp specs or buy any of this for his sound cloud page
https://youtu.be/KOeLJRzRANM

There is obvious difference. Steinberg sounds confused, muddy and lifeless. Audient sounds balanced, a little on the brighter side, but with enough midrange detail.

Anyway I doubt that guy you were talking to is newbie. He has a nice collection of gear.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drnovskyd View Post
https://youtu.be/KOeLJRzRANM

There is obvious difference. Steinberg sounds confused, muddy and lifeless. Audient sounds balanced, a little on the brighter side, but with enough midrange detail.

Anyway I doubt that guy you were talking to is newbie. He has a nice collection of gear.
That’s what I’m talking about. The di doesn’t sound great on either of them and The Audient has pushed presence and lacks low end and body. This makes a big deal when cabs are miced up and I’m not sure the guy in the video is using an external power supply with that Yamaha. The Yamaha keeps the body and you can eq the upper mids and treble easily if it’s dull with your rig but that is easy to fix. Now if you really want muddy and dull, check out the pres on Behringer’s interfaces. Really strident? The Zoom gear.

All these guys like Behringer(Midas) and Audient advertise that their pres are the same as in their consoles and that makes their pres great but every time I’ve seen an Audient console, the pres weren’t being used.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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drnovskyd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
That’s what I’m talking about. The di doesn’t sound great on either of them and The Audient has pushed presence and lacks low end and body. This makes a big deal when cabs are miced up and I’m not sure the guy in the video is using an external power supply with that Yamaha. The Yamaha keeps the body and you can eq the upper mids and treble easily if it’s dull with your rig but that is easy to fix. Now if you really want muddy and dull, check out the pres on Behringer’s interfaces. Really strident? The Zoom gear.

All these guys like Behringer(Midas) and Audient advertise that their pres are the same as in their consoles and that makes their pres great but every time I’ve seen an Audient console, the pres weren’t being used.
Ummm no. Audient has more body than Steinberg actually. Steinberg is just piece of undetailed mud. You can't add real detail into undetailed recording by lifting the upper harmonics.

Comparing Audient to Behringer? Thats like comparing Jaguar to Fiat.
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