The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Best interface for bedroom studio? Audio Interfaces
Old 18th January 2016
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Best interface for bedroom studio?

Right now I'm looking at getting a Scarlett 2i2. It only costs $150 and I've seen guys like Misha Mansoor use them and say they're decent.

Did some browsing on this forum and it seems like the RME Babyface Pro is talked about highly. I'm sure it's good but it's also much more expensive!

Is the 2i2 good enough for a bedroom artist? I'm willing to spend more if it's worth it.
Old 18th January 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

The 2i2 is a great interface. It's hard to find fault with the preamp and converter quality — the preamps are clean and very true to the recorded material, and the converters are quite accurate for their price range.

The major downside is that the instrument inputs are simply not equipped to handle electric guitars whose pickups output too strong of a signal. Most guitars will clip the inputs quite easily, even with the gain turned all the way down. Switching to the line input or turning the guitar's volume knob down aren't really solutions, either, as both will alter your tone considerably.

You could buy an external DI/attenuator to remedy this. You can also look into the 2i4, which has a -10dB input pad; however, I've seen people face the same issue even with the 2i4's pad engaged.

You might also want to look at something like the UR22 from Steinberg or the US 2x2 from Tascam. Whatever you go with, I'd highly recommend testing it before buying just to be sure.

Last edited by tkaitkai; 18th January 2016 at 06:22 AM..
Old 18th January 2016
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

My opinion: No, it's not worth it for you to spend more to get something better than the Scarlett 2i2.

Focusrite's interfaces are all very good and for your purposes the uncertain quality gain from a more expensive interface will likely be disproportional to the price increase.
Old 18th January 2016
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

I have a Scarlett, sounds perfect with my jbls and it's great for recording
Old 18th January 2016
  #5
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
Personally, I would much rather spend something like $500 on the Audient id22 that is going to provide a quality interface you can use for years. Obviously, The Focusrite are a really good value, especially for the beginning hobbyist.

I bought an Apogee Symphony w/Thunderbolt, and the thing is I don't think about the interface. It is going to be a great interface for another decade or more. When you think about it. How much better can these things get?

So my point is to buy once, and build around it rather that buying cheap, and constantly thinking about getting a better one.
Old 18th January 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Eigenwert's Avatar
I'd go for the RME
Old 18th January 2016
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Will The Weirdo's Avatar
I suggest the Audient id22, just a quality unit with features that will cost a lot to upgrade from, and it's expandable. Just one hell of a bang for the buck interface, you young-ins have it so good these days, lol.
Old 18th January 2016
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the responses so far. By the way, I figured I should mention that I would like to use Cubase with whichever interface I choose. I know the 2i2 can be used with Cubase, but I am not sure about the others.

EDIT: Also, I would like to use Waves plugins. This is not necessary, but I hear that they are good.

Right now, from what I have been reading, the ideal choice seems to be the id22. Can I use Cubase and Waves plugins with this interface?

Last edited by endofnight; 18th January 2016 at 07:16 AM.. Reason: Forgot to mention Plugins
Old 18th January 2016
  #9
Gear Nut
With Cubase I would get a Steinberg interface, definitely. The integration is perfect!
Old 18th January 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
 
djwaxxy's Avatar
Don't get Steinberg interfaces theres lots of threads showing how bad they are I had big problems with them.yes they integrate with cubase well but the outputs..inputs..headphone sockets are very bad compared too other products.
If your starting off the 2i2 is good you get some free software with it that's worth the price alone and I works with cubase ...in fact all interfaces work with cubase so you've no worrys
Old 18th January 2016
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Between UR-22 and 2i2.
- soundwise it is almost same to me, it reflect its price category, but both can sound pretty good for your intended use.
- as already mentioned Scarlett 2i2 DI can be clipped with hot signals.. UR22 has slightly more headroom there.
Personally I don't think it is so big issue, hot signal is usually coming from active pickups or guitars with buffered preamp, so its volume control helps without change of tone. Anyway, 2i4 has switchable pad, which solves that and have even more headroom than UR22 and Scarlett Solo has this pad always on at second input.
- Steniberg has bit better drivers and compatiblity IME. Achievable latency performance is roughly the same, but sometimes I've experienced issues and necessary fiddling between released and beta drivers, which is still necessary for Windows 10, with Scarletts. Also reported latency to DAW is bit off with Scarlett. Recent USB drivers by Steinberg/Yamaha were flawless for me.
- Steinberg has MIDI ports, if you want to use it.
- both interfaces uses analog direct monitoring, if you turn blend-pot towards input, you'll hear incoming input signal without any delay. But keep in mind, direct monitoring is always mono for both inputs. Eg. you'll hear both input 1 and 2 in center of stereo image. This is fine for recording guitar or vocals, but with stereo sources (synth, electric piano, stereo guitar fx), it can be little bit weird in headphones. Higher 2i4 model has switchable mono/stereo switch for that.
- both are very simple interfaces, there is no other settings than ASIO buffer size, mentioned Steinberg Cubase integration takes place only for more expensive interfaces with DSP mixing. So there isn't any advantage for UR22 over Scarlett.

So to me, if I would have to pick between the two, it will be probably UR22. For Scarletts, I would probably go with 2i4 due to included MIDI ports, switchable pads and mono/stereo switch for direct monitoring. But you maybe don't need it.

Michal
Old 18th January 2016
  #12
Gear Maniac
Have a look at the iD14 too.

It's basically a stripped-down iD22. It also has a JFET DI, which I'm reasonably sure is better than that on the Focusrite.
Old 18th January 2016
  #13
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by endofnight View Post
Right now I'm looking at getting a Scarlett 2i2. It only costs $150 and I've seen guys like Misha Mansoor use them and say they're decent.

Did some browsing on this forum and it seems like the RME Babyface Pro is talked about highly. I'm sure it's good but it's also much more expensive!

Is the 2i2 good enough for a bedroom artist? I'm willing to spend more if it's worth it.


Remember we can't make a bedroom sound like a 3 million dollar studio. No matter what interface. For what you are doing start with the Scarlett. When your music gets better accommodate accordingly.
Old 18th January 2016
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by endofnight View Post
Right now I'm looking at getting a Scarlett 2i2. It only costs $150 and I've seen guys like Misha Mansoor use them and say they're decent.

Did some browsing on this forum and it seems like the RME Babyface Pro is talked about highly. I'm sure it's good but it's also much more expensive!

Is the 2i2 good enough for a bedroom artist? I'm willing to spend more if it's worth it.
Re: differing quality I think the evidence indicates it's not really possible under real world conditions for the average producer to distinguish the mid-range converters from their luxe counterparts

but then when i was looking up this stuff i decided on a 2nd hand babyface and love it. I think there's some truth to the "poor guy pays twice" thing if you're wondering about upgrading already.

but the rme is a well-made thing, measures better in tests

plus expandable via ADAT
Old 18th January 2016
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassist30 View Post
Remember we can't make a bedroom sound like a 3 million dollar studio. No matter what interface. For what you are doing start with the Scarlett. When your music gets better accommodate accordingly.
You just pay more for getting the same later and being able to get less from your investment in case craving for quality does not stop after buying. Buy the cheapest of the cheapest only if you are sure that this is what you really will want the years to come. Otherwise just might kill some budget in the long run.
Old 18th January 2016
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Eigenwert's Avatar
Maybe buy used when buying ultra cheap. That way you may avoid loosing too much money
Old 18th January 2016
  #17
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djwaxxy View Post
Don't get Steinberg interfaces theres lots of threads showing how bad they are I had big problems with them.yes they integrate with cubase well but the outputs..inputs..headphone sockets are very bad compared too other products.
The few problems compared to how many were sold are quite acceptable. UFX's, Apollo's and all other interfaces also have their issues per volume.
I was using 3 816's for some time and they are stellar. Nothing wrong with the sockets.
Don't believe everything you read. Half the issues are pilot errors.
Old 18th January 2016
  #18
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by endofnight View Post
Right now I'm looking at getting a Scarlett 2i2. It only costs $150 and I've seen guys like Misha Mansoor use them and say they're decent.

Did some browsing on this forum and it seems like the RME Babyface Pro is talked about highly. I'm sure it's good but it's also much more expensive!

Is the 2i2 good enough for a bedroom artist? I'm willing to spend more if it's worth it.
I have the Babyface...not the pro as I bought it last year. fantastic interface.
but I did not start with that and I will maybe improve in the future, but anyone with a limited budget I would start with something that I can afford and in reality, interfaces are not drastically (remember I said drastically before you guys go crazy) different in sound under 1000 dollars. I like what Graham is doing on The Recording Revolution. A great site for those who question what to buy. Especially us bedroom recording artists. You can save yourself a lot of money and make excellent demo's. Let us know if Beyoncé buys anything?
Old 18th January 2016
  #19
Gear Head
When buying an audio interface, you have to ask, "What is my goal?; What do I want to do with it?"

Second, if you are just starting out, you probably won't hear the difference between interfaces.

Third, you don't necessarily need Waves until you figure out how to use a stock plugins like the EQ or compressor. (If you're going for a specific sound, then you can buy a specific bundle, but otherwise it might just be a waste of money).

And lastly, like others have said you're never going to get a pro sound in a bedroom. Or at least not at the start. The best engineers/producers can record in a house or bedroom, but they have the years of developing skills and the gear to do that.

So if you are truly starting out, buy a cheap interface with included DAW software. Learn it. Get the best sound possible from it then figure out what your weaknesses are. It took me years (8+) before I upgraded everything in my home studio.

That being said the 2i2 looks like a fine interface. Instead of buying a BF Pro, you can use that extra money for decent mics, a preamp or other things that would impact the chain more.
Old 18th January 2016
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Weatherman View Post
Have a look at the iD14 too.

It's basically a stripped-down iD22. It also has a JFET DI, which I'm reasonably sure is better than that on the Focusrite.
This or the Roland quad capture UA55. 2i2 and UR22 have known issues as documented. There is a UR22 mk2 but its a bit new to be sure about it.

Let me offer you a tip for a starting bedroom producer, whichever interface you get. A lot of manufacturers claim hardware 0 latency in their units. Unless they have a built in analogue mixer (maybe the babyface?) it is NOT true. People agonise over drivers and reducing latency, but a better way is simply to use a monitor mixer for vocal recording (I use ART My Monitor) and a mono Y cable for guitar (to the interface and a practice amp simultaneously).

Voila! You get true 0 latency analogue hardware monitoring and you can whack up the interface latency, saving CPU cycles and avoiding pops etc.
Old 18th January 2016
  #21
Lives for gear
 
djwaxxy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
The few problems compared to how many were sold are quite acceptable. UFX's, Apollo's and all other interfaces also have their issues per volume.
I was using 3 816's for some time and they are stellar. Nothing wrong with the sockets.
Don't believe everything you read. Half the issues are pilot errors.
the 816s are way way better built than the rubbish ur range I also used a 816 and the difference in quality is night and day.

I had the ur22 and ur44 and both had hissy outputs,low headphone volumes,driver issues,rubbish inputs the onl good thing was it automatically configured itself to Cubase but that's it.
the store I returned it too had pallets full of them ready to return back to Steinberg and all had faults or sent back because they didn't like them.
I contacted Steinberg and they didn't reply for ages but by that point id got my money back..im a massive fan of Steinberg and own nearly all there products I even own a Steinberg houton and ppa-1 but with the ur range they seriously cut corners and tried to make that thing as cheap as they can..but the 816s are well made and have a pro sound too them but that's reflected in the price.

the scarleets are good but if you can try out the zoom uac-2 the offer excellent sound,build quality,and astounding low latency and there the same price ..
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/zoom-...eo-out-save-65!
Old 18th January 2016
  #22
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
This seems to be a dead link...
Old 18th January 2016
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaolin View Post
This or the Roland quad capture UA55. 2i2 and UR22 have known issues as documented. There is a UR22 mk2 but its a bit new to be sure about it.

Let me offer you a tip for a starting bedroom producer, whichever interface you get. A lot of manufacturers claim hardware 0 latency in their units. Unless they have a built in analogue mixer (maybe the babyface?) it is NOT true. People agonise over drivers and reducing latency, but a better way is simply to use a monitor mixer for vocal recording (I use ART My Monitor) and a mono Y cable for guitar (to the interface and a practice amp simultaneously).

Voila! You get true 0 latency analogue hardware monitoring and you can whack up the interface latency, saving CPU cycles and avoiding pops etc.
Those cheap interfaces have essentially zero latency with its direct monitoring, because simple blend-pot is used for mixing signals from input (pre A/D) and computer. So it is working exactly as your analog mixer.
No need to worry about that. Although mixer can help with tactile convenience or other things, it really isn't necessary for monitoring. And if splitting of input signal is feasible, additional good quality DI box is much better choice than some Y cables, because you won't unnecessarily load the source.

More expensive interfaces uses DSP mixer, which provides more options with mixing and routing of signals to your monitoring path, but latency is slightly higher (eg. 1-2,5 ms @44.1k depending on used converter chips), because signal has to go from A/D to DSP engine and back to analog via D/A. Still, practically there isn't issue with that.
Finally there is input monitoring via DAW, where signal also passes though drivers and software at your computer, this has additional advantage of using your plugins for monitoring (eq, comps, amp sims) or virtual instruments.. And this is the part, which separates mens from boys. This is also the reason, why people spending their money for RME. If you really need to use live plugins and instruments from computer with tight latencies, no mixer will help you with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djwaxxy View Post
the 816s are way way better built than the rubbish ur range I also used a 816 and the difference in quality is night and day.

I had the ur22 and ur44 and both had hissy outputs,low headphone volumes,driver issues,rubbish inputs the onl good thing was it automatically configured itself to Cubase but that's it.
the store I returned it too had pallets full of them ready to return back to Steinberg and all had faults or sent back because they didn't like them.
I contacted Steinberg and they didn't reply for ages but by that point id got my money back..im a massive fan of Steinberg and own nearly all there products I even own a Steinberg houton and ppa-1 but with the ur range they seriously cut corners and tried to make that thing as cheap as they can..but the 816s are well made and have a pro sound too them but that's reflected in the price.

the scarleets are good but if you can try out the zoom uac-2 the offer excellent sound,build quality,and astounding low latency and there the same price ..
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/zoom-...eo-out-save-65!
This wasn't really my experience with UR series.. I don't know, if they have some QC issues, but I had or installed several pieces from UR22 release and no has mentioned significant issues, you are describing.
Also from my experience, UR isn't really better or worse made than interfaces at its budget category.. I'm talking Scarletts, Rolands.. let's say sub 150EUR.
Also its headphone output power is roughly comparable for budget bus powered devices, if one has some more sensitive phones with reasonably low impedance, it will work well.. (I used Sennheisers 280 and 380 for example without apparent issues)
With comparison to other interface, I believe one has to be reasonable to given purchase price. If you gonna buy interface, which is two (UAC-2) or three times (used Babyface) more expensive, for sure there is room for improvements. MR816 or UR824 is of course also another league.
So I'm not saying, UR sounds the same as my studio converters, no it can't. But for given money, it can be successfully used for home recording and if it is first interface for someone, who just starting, I would say why not.
For sure, there can be some lemon in the batch.. But as I've said, fortunately this wasn't my case.

Michal

Last edited by msmucr; 18th January 2016 at 10:52 PM..
Old 18th January 2016
  #24
Lives for gear
 
djwaxxy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
This seems to be a dead link...
Links working for me
Old 18th January 2016
  #25
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djwaxxy View Post
Links working for me
I get "HTTP 404 - File not found".

Perhaps they're showing the page only to IPs from the UK?

Never mind.
Old 18th January 2016
  #26
Gear Nut
 

I have a few questions. For those saying that the instrument inputs on the 2i2 can't handle high gain guitars, how do you explain the video below? (@2:12)

https://youtu.be/er9VhozNHNk

Also, it seems like some pro and semi pro guys are not using high end interfaces. Misha mansoor is using a 2i2, Ola Englund uses a Presonus which run around $400-$500, and Keith Merrow uses if I remember correctly, an inexpensive Maudio interface. All of their music sounds awesome ( to my ears).

So what gives here?

Thanks again for all the help!

Last edited by endofnight; 19th January 2016 at 03:18 AM..
Old 18th January 2016
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Those cheap interfaces have essentially zero latency with its direct monitoring, because simple blend-pot is used for mixing signals from input (pre A/D) and computer. So it is working exactly as your analog mixer.

And if splitting of input signal is feasible, additional good quality DI box is much better choice than some Y cables, because you won't unnecessarily load the source.

Michal
Hmm, I think you're right, thanks for the correction. I've seen that on the Steinberg site. I'm surprised there's an analogue pathway on a £100 unit. I understood signal was split to DAW and headphones post A/D. That's how it was till recently. I'd check each unit for sure though, as with the ID14, for example, Audient confirm there's 1.6 ms delay due to being post A/D. And that is a great unit!

As for Y cable, of course you're right there, but if the OP is going to pass his signal through an amp sim, the modest loss in signal strength should not be a big deal and purchasing a separate DI is not a justifiable expense at this point.
Old 18th January 2016
  #28
Lives for gear
Buy the best in your budget range.

If you have $750... spend it on the Babyface or comparable.
If you do not... don't lose sleep over your lack of a bigger budget.

The performance difference will be there... there's a reason for the $600 difference. You're paying for superior stability and DAW performance, cleaner I/O, deep routing, and professional quality everything. But don't kill yourself trying to buy it... people make hit records with less all the time. It's not going to make or break your song... but it's worth it if you can comfortably purchase.
Old 18th January 2016
  #29
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by endofnight View Post
I have a few questions. For those saying that the instrument inputs on the 2i2 can't handle high gain guitars, how do you explain the video below? (@2:12)

https://youtu.be/er9VhozNHNk
It's not really about high gain guitars (if, by "high gain," you're talking about tone) — it's about how strong of a signal your pickups put out.

You don't need excessively hot pickups to drive an amp into metalcore/djent territory. You can do that by simply increasing the amp's input gain (depending on the amp, of course).

Misha probably lucked out with pickups that have a modest output (or he may be using an external DI/preamp/attenuator).

Either way, I owned the 2i2 for two years and tested several guitars with it — many of them, unfortunately, would clip the input even if the gain was set to the absolute minimum. My guitar (an EC-1000 with Seymour Duncan pickups) wasn't that bad, but really digging in and picking hard (as you would with any kind of aggressive rock, punk, or metal) would result in clipping, even with low input gain.

That said, clipping isn't always the worst thing — with heavy guitars, a clipped DI can often still be salvaged, or even serve to make the tone more aggressive. Here's a clip I recorded direct into the 2i2 a while back:



Both DI guitars are clipped, but since the clipping is only occurring on the louder peaks, it's not totally destroying the signal. However, it REALLY sucked any time I wanted any sort of clean tone without overdrive/breakup, and I was always worried that this would damage the preamps/converters over time.

Again, I recommend taking your guitar to a music store and testing out the 2i2 before buying. If it works for you, go for it! The clipping issue aside, the 2i2 is one of the best interfaces in its price range.

Last edited by tkaitkai; 19th January 2016 at 12:17 AM..
Old 19th January 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
 
stella645's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by endofnight View Post
I have a few questions. For those saying that the instrument inputs on the 2i2 can't handle high gain guitars, how do you explain the video below? (@2:12)

https://youtu.be/er9VhozNHNk
He's not using the instrument input....his instrument is plugged into the Torpedo (preamp/cab/mic modeller) and that's what he's recording via the line inputs.
(Edit...it's actually Torpedo Live so his guitar is presumably plugged into an amp and the amp plugs in to the Torpedo)
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump