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Any audio interface that has just blown you away? Audio Interfaces
Old 16th August 2016
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Any audio interface that has just blown you away?

I'm no expert, having only tried 3-4 audio interfaces, but they all sound pretty much the same to me. The workflow and the mixers have been different, but the sound, not so much.

Have you ever heard (whether you own/owned it or not) one that just blew your proverbial dress up? Something noticeably head-and-shoulders above the rest?


Thanks.....
Old 16th August 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Lenzo's Avatar
I'm not sure blown away is the terminology I'd use, but my Symphony is the first one I've had where I'm very satisfied with the sound. There is a noticable difference between my BLA 002r and my BLA Apollo. With nothing added or subtracted the sound field, the texture of the instruments is just pleasing all the way around. Great solid bottom.
L.
Old 16th August 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 
loopy's Avatar
 

MOTU Ultralite AVB.... Never thought I would see the day that MOTU went to the dark side of Windows but they have... Excellent interface and Windows support is fantastic....
Old 16th August 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Cgbravo's Avatar
 

My newly acquired Antelope Zen tour, have only used a few interfaces..mind you this is using their mastering grade outputs with my Dynaudio Bm5a mk1 compacts which I have owned for 5-6 years and are in mint condition (I have taken great care of them) after upgrading from the scarlett 18i20 and they sound great with this interface, they are good ref monitors, but listening to a final mastered song on these with the zen tour is awesome.

M Audio
003 console
Mbox Pro 3
Scarlett 18i20 (Last interface, just sold)
UAD Apollo Quad (Friend)
Apollo 8 (Friend)
Old 16th August 2016
  #5
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Led Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
I'm not sure blown away is the terminology I'd use, but my Symphony is the first one I've had where I'm very satisfied with the sound.
L.
I'd have to second this. The Symphony has definitely been very satisfying to use and the sound quality is outstanding. I've never felt like I needed to upgrade the converters.
I'd say as well that without good monitoring it's difficult to hear the difference in converters.
Old 16th August 2016
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
DJKeys's Avatar
Focusrite Clarett

I recently purchased a Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre and couldn't be happier. Simple software, pristine sound quality, and can track and overdub with no discernable latency. Flexible I/O, built like a tank, very impressive. I have owned interfaces from Motu, Avid, and Presonus and this Focusrite product is the best I have used so far.

-dj
Old 16th August 2016
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJKeys View Post
I recently purchased a Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre and couldn't be happier. Simple software, pristine sound quality, and can track and overdub with no discernablel latency. Flexible I/O, built like a tank, very impressive.

-dj
I looked into that one recently.....wish it had Windows Support.
Old 16th August 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robn View Post
I'm no expert, having only tried 3-4 audio interfaces, but they all sound pretty much the same to me.
That's my impression as well. IMO the diff's in most equipment these days are minimal....
Old 16th August 2016
  #9
Biggest difference I noticed was a while back, maybe 10 years ago, when going form "budget" interfaces from Presonus and M-Audio to an RME Fireface 800. I think it's fair to say I was blown away by the sound and features at that time in a way that hasn't happened in recent years.
Since then I've stuck with RME for my main interfaces and owned some Apogees too which I've found were more or less in the same league.
Old 16th August 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Led Music View Post
I'd have to second this. The Symphony has definitely been very satisfying to use and the sound quality is outstanding. I've never felt like I needed to upgrade the converters.
I'd say as well that without good monitoring it's difficult to hear the difference in converters.
Yeah, monitoring is crucial. Huge difference when I treated my room and added a d-box for monitoring. Not sure if coming straight off of the symphony would be different than the d-box, but had that before the symphony and the detail with this setup is excellent. For those who think all convertors sound about the same, something is amiss in your room. Or with your hearing. And I don't say that to be insulting. I"m just guessing there are a good number of slutz who have been around a lot of loud music and haven't checked their hearing lately.
L.
Old 19th August 2016
  #11
Gear Maniac
RME Fireface UC. Sounds better than seven others I've tried and used over the years. Very reliable and solid also.
Old 19th August 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
Rme, but because of the best and most powerful softwareinterface and mixer of them all!
Old 19th August 2016
  #13
Lives for gear
 
AudioGaff's Avatar
Easy, that would be the UAD Apollo.

Using extremely high quality plugs in near zero realtime regardless of DAW buffer size along with Apollo Unison is Grand Slam Game Changer in productivity and work flow. At least it is on a Thunderbolt Mac.
Old 20th August 2016
  #14
If you have TB on a mac then UAD Apollo. In on FW still and I have a SF FW Apollo quad the original that started the UAD explosion and have been very happy. Had a lot of issues at first, some mine some UAD, but customer service/ support was great! I came from the gray Mbox (3?) pro series interface that came with pt8/9 I forget. Not that the Mbox pro was bad, just nothing pro about its limitations for a "pro studio". The sound was probably it's highlight ( Mbox pro) but again no comparison to the Apollo and mine is the first gen. Most have moved up to the new BF Apollo's and say the sound is even more refined and better, more pure, I am intrigued but would be a decent investment for new computer etc
Old 20th August 2016
  #15
These pre amps are incredible
https://postimg.org/image/u9vrvyzfj/
Old 20th August 2016
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Hardsinc_'s Avatar
 

I'd suggest it's not so much about blown away, but more about the final result of the music. Clarity and translation.
Old 20th August 2016
  #17
First I am a home hack, and not a professional.

After using dozens of interfaces, and churning gear like butter, the quality of many interfaces is really amazing.

For me, transitioning to Metric Halo, and a ULN-2 was an aha. Proved to be more than I needed and I sold it in a bout of temporary insanity (after spending hours and hours learning MIO).

Currently happy with an Audient id14 which (to me) gives me all I need. Amazing bang for the home enthusiast buck.

That said, if MH came out with a new 2 channel interface that had the 'wedge shaped form factor' (like a Apollo Duo or the Audient iD22) I would buy it up in a second. MH 3rd gen converters + 3rd gen pre amps (2 channels please), in a wedge form factor, and with USB connectivity please. Still mourn the loss of Mio - Soft Sat and Haloverb.
Old 21st August 2016
  #18
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadgad65 View Post
First I am a home hack, and not a professional.
Don't sell yourself short, someday you'll be a professional hack.
Old 21st August 2016
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Actually my Audient id22 blew me away
The ad converter made a big improvement to my recording.
Preamps are very nice too
Old 21st August 2016
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Hardsinc_'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grazi View Post
Actually my Audient id22 blew me away
The ad converter made a big improvement to my recording.
Preamps are very nice too
Ordered an id4 yesterday, just for portable use, we'll see, we'll see No reviews up yet either. Interested to hear how good that Jfet pre amp is too. I've used some Lynx etc stuff, but then everything's been ran through a Neve 5316 console and ATC's, so it's too hard to judge.
Old 21st August 2016
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Im sure you will like it. Its really high quality stuff.
The ad converters are the best ive ever heard.
The preamps are top notch too!
Old 21st August 2016
  #22
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
I got and Apogee Symphony i/o. I quit thinking about conversion. It never comes up anymore.
Old 21st August 2016
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Arksun's Avatar
The first time I went from consumer grade Creative Soundblaster AWE64 to the Emu APS back in 1998 was probably the biggest jump in quality I ever experienced. Even though Emu had been bought out by Creative at that point, it was predominantly the EMU brains behind the APS and it sounded great.
Old 21st August 2016
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Jantex's Avatar
 

To be honest, Antelope Orion Studio is quite blowing me away after using Symphony I/O for last 4 years. Routing capabilities are mad, sound is much different but much clearer and somehow helps me translate things better. It sounds in a way more HiFi on DA, while preamps and AD Re imho the best I have heard.
Old 21st August 2016
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Hardsinc_'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
The first time I went from consumer grade Creative Soundblaster AWE64 to the Emu APS back in 1998 was probably the biggest jump in quality I ever experienced. Even though Emu had been bought out by Creative at that point, it was predominantly the EMU brains behind the APS and it sounded great.
Similar yeah, I went from some ancient on board stereo audio that was probably not even always 16 bits, to an EMU 1212 pci card, that was definitely a huge step up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioGaff View Post
Easy, that would be the UAD Apollo.

Using extremely high quality plugs in near zero realtime regardless of DAW buffer size along with Apollo Unison is Grand Slam Game Changer in productivity and work flow. At least it is on a Thunderbolt Mac.
Can they run at higher than 48k now?
Old 22nd August 2016
  #26
Gear Head
Though this my first, I LOVE my RME UFX.
And TotalMix FX is EXCELLENT!
Old 12th September 2016
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
IMS731's Avatar
 

My Zen Tour has opened me up to what higher end conversion/components bring. The DA Monitoring mastering grade is the best I've heard, open, clear like a telescope/microscope into your mix. Has everything I need right now I/O and the pre-amps are nice. Work well along side my outboard. Been with it for 2 months now and it hasn't disappointed in any way. Built in plugins are NICE and FREE! Now that's a bonus.
The routing is some of the best I've used. Once it clicks it's simply drag & drop, you realize you can send things just about wherever you need it to go.
All in, very pleased and satisfied!
Old 12th September 2016
  #28
Lives for gear
I was blown away with SSL alpha link once I added a Black lion word clock.
Old 12th September 2016
  #29
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deuc647's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
To be honest, Antelope Orion Studio is quite blowing me away after using Symphony I/O for last 4 years. Routing capabilities are mad, sound is much different but much clearer and somehow helps me translate things better. It sounds in a way more HiFi on DA, while preamps and AD Re imho the best I have heard.
Hey Jantex, so you prefer the DA of the orion to the DA of the symphony?
Old 12th September 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Jantex's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Hey Jantex, so you prefer the DA of the orion to the DA of the symphony?
I would say it doesn't sound as neutral and doesn't have as much depth. It is more upfront and very bright. So definitely hyped in a way, but somehow helps things to translate really well for me.
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