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Audio interface for non-recording producer?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Audio interface for non-recording producer?

Hey guys, I just joined and picked so many useful info here, thanks for that! I was wondering is it bad to make music on gaming audio card as I have now (ASUS Xonar DG) Does sound translates bad compared to professional audio interface, I ask this because I already have plenty of power on this one. And as stayed on top recommend me some.. I wont record anything, just need power and good well translated sound. Thanks in advance. My budget is 250-300$.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ananaspapaja View Post
[. . .] gaming audio card [. . .] compared to professional audio interface [. . .] I wont record anything [. . .]
I'm not at all equipped to provide advice with low-end theory solutions. So if we can look beyond budget for a moment at your underlying objectives.

I don't understand your objective. . .Not recording anything, but - I suppose - your are wanting more clarity to judge or mix the sounds you have?

Are you using [powered] speakers or headphones or both?

There are professional-grade monitor DACs and/or monitor amps that may make more sense. I don't know what would be in your budget, though?


Welcome to the jungle,

Ray H.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

The Xonar has DSP built in (according to the website). It says it's intended to make your games sound more exciting by boosting the high and low frequencies. It might do other stuff to the audio; it's not exactly clear. If you can't disable those features then it's not good for making music.

If you need an interface for making music but you don't need to record, then check out the m-audio Air Hub. It's exactly for that purpose.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Head
While I usually don't give blanket recommendations, I'm nearly certain you'll be fine with either an entry level Scarlett interface, or one of the Behringer Uphoria UMC interfaces. I like the Behringers since they have midi in/out which could be convenient for later gear if you intend to get some sort of hardware synth.

Most built in sound cards range from being fine/neutral but lower powered, to coloring the sound and having some funky frequency stuff going on. It's good to have something discrete for headphones and speakers you may invest in. Any basic interface is going to give you fine sound through just about any headphones or speakers (though the output volume on certain speakers might be lower than required if you wanted to throw a house party from them, depending on the speakers).

You could also get a headphone amplifier by itself, which would give you the juice to power whatever headphones you want, and you could skip the desk real estate of an interface. But, if you intend to use monitor speakers, I'd just grab a cheap interface. You shouldn't need to spend more than $150
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

You can go for a 2nd or 3rd Gen. Scarlett-Solo-Interface by Focusrite, it's quite common in the low-budget field. IMO very good value for the money and got a lotta positive reviews. Only downside is the Meter, which is as good as non-existent, since it only has an circle type LED around its Gain knob, but it shouldn't matter that much while being on a PC with a Monitor and as long as you don't record.

But IF you wanna hook up a Mic or an Instrument later on, you're armed, 'cause it has two Inputs: XLR and Line.

All in all I'm happy with my Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
Why should he spend money on an interface when he isn't recording anything?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Why should he spend money on an interface when he isn't recording anything?
Are you going to let logic get in the way of mindless audio enthusiasm?

I’ve noticed that when logic appears in the virus thread, it is attacked until its immune response is overwhelmed and it sickens and dies.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
That would explain the nausea.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
That would explain the nausea.
And the lack of taste.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
ilikefruit's Avatar
Just so I understand, you are going to listen only and not record anything?

If this is true, piper is giving you sound advice (yes, pun intended).

Any audio interface will do if you just want to listen and get good audio.
But in music production you don't want an interface (or speakers and headphones) that embellishes the audio. You want it do be as flat as possible so you can easier hear if you need more bass or treble and stuff.

Does that make sense? So if you current interface boosts frequencies then that is not in your best interest.

What to get?
Something without preamps, some good flat headphones and speakers.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Why should he spend money on an interface when he isn't recording anything?
If the goal is to have "audiophile" headphones (higher ohm presumably) driven properly and monitor speakers plugged into something down the road, a cheap interface is the most efficient way I know of to accomplish that. Otherwise, a headphone amp by itself would be fine for headphones.

Sound cards in general haven't worked well for nicer headphones in my experience, and while I think there is a lot of snake oil in the headphone amp market, OP seemed like they wanted basically a good discrete sound card. Cheap interface is pretty much the most cost efficient way to go on that to get proper IO for producing in the long term imo. The mic input can be ignored, but whether it's there or not the price range is similar. My friend who produces hip hop without any live playing does this to drive his HD650s and power his monitor speakers. That M-Audio Air Hub that piper recommended looks good for OP.

But the proper answer I guess would be if there's nothing wrong with their current set up to their ears, and they don't intend on using monitor speakers, then no need to buy anything.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Why should he spend money on an interface when he isn't recording anything?
Because the audio card he has colors the sound and he needs an accurate presentation of the music he's making.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuffka der Dick View Post
You can go for a 2nd or 3rd Gen. Scarlett-Solo-Interface by Focusrite, it's quite common in the low-budget field. IMO very good value for the money and got a lotta positive reviews. Only downside is the Meter, which is as good as non-existent, since it only has an circle type LED around its Gain knob, but it shouldn't matter that much while being on a PC with a Monitor and as long as you don't record.

But IF you wanna hook up a Mic or an Instrument later on, you're armed, 'cause it has two Inputs: XLR and Line.

All in all I'm happy with my Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen.
I wholeheartedly agree with this I think given your budget this would be the best option for casual music making. You will want something to help give gain to your speakers (if you have any) plus just having the possibility to record something is a good option to have for the future. You should also see if the ASUS Xonar DG is noticed by your at all DAW as well.

My recommendation is to try searching for a used one to cut the cost of any audio interface you choose to purchase. But the Scarlett's are a good beginner option that will help you out at the moment while also giving you the option to do a little more as well!

Hopefully this helped out a little,
D. Rowe
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Specific recommendations should likely be based on the use cases that need to be supported by the OP. Still unanswered, but critical - I think - are what exactly does the OP want to accomplish, and is the OP using headphones or speakers, or both? If using speakers, in what acoustic environment? If using headphones, the OP is likely to benefit from a device that provides cross-feed. . .if any such thing is available in the price range?

@ ananaspapaja : You need to be more specific about what you are looking to accomplish, and what monitoring gear/environment you intend to leverage.


Kind regards,

Ray H.
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