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Do I need an audio interface when working inside the box? Audio Interfaces
Old 12th September 2016
  #1
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Winegarden's Avatar
Do I need an audio interface when working inside the box?

Hello!


I have an RME Babyface lying around, but I'm wondering if I need it at all. The thing is, I work only inside the box. That's why I believe my Babyface is useless and I'm thinking of selling it. Do you agree?

The only thing I believe I would need would be something that has a better sound quality than my Mac Pro (5,1). Or do you think this Macs internal card is good enough?

What would you recommend in my case? Or do you believe I don't need anything at all and my internal card is sufficient? I do wish to have a good quality sound, but I don't record anything. Only virtual instruments, etc.


Thank you!
Old 12th September 2016
  #2
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winegarden View Post
Hello!


I have an RME Babyface lying around, but I'm wondering if I need it at all. The thing is, I work only inside the box. That's why I believe my Babyface is useless and I'm thinking of selling it. Do you agree?

The only thing I believe I would need would be something that has a better sound quality than my Mac Pro (5,1). Or do you think this Macs internal card is good enough?

What would you recommend in my case? Or do you believe I don't need anything at all and my internal card is sufficient? I do wish to have a good quality sound, but I don't record anything. Only virtual instruments, etc.


Thank you!
keep the babyface ... the mac internal does not compare .. only use internal it if you cannot take the babyface with you .. say an airplane where space is limited or maybe just some editing but anything that requires you to Need Good audio i was avoid ..

thats my .02 ... cheers john
Old 12th September 2016
  #3
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Winegarden's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
keep the babyface ... the mac internal does not compare .. only use internal it if you cannot take the babyface with you .. say an airplane where space is limited or maybe just some editing but anything that requires you to Need Good audio i was avoid ..

thats my .02 ... cheers john
Okay, but the Babyface is mainly for recording, right? And I don't record anything, I mean not anything at all. I was thinking of selling it and buying something cheaper that has the same perfect crystal clear sound, but no recording feature. Or isn't there such a thing?
Old 12th September 2016
  #4
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jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winegarden View Post
Okay, but the Babyface is mainly for recording, right? And I don't record anything, I mean not anything at all. I was thinking of selling it and buying something cheaper that has the same perfect crystal clear sound, but no recording feature. Or isn't there such a thing?
understood ... imho, you are not going to get much better for cheap .. unless you need the money you know my opinion .. keep it

now, someone else with some cheaper option for you Should come along here shortly .. no lack of options / opinions here

thats what Slutz are for !!!

cheers john
Old 12th September 2016
  #5
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Agree you should keep the babyface. Great sound and great drivers. Stable. Even though youre Out only, a heavy project will benefit from RME drivers.

If you have the itch though, look into 'DACs' (output only). Plenty around. You could probably get something cheap but good audio quality. But youd surely be missing that driver!
Old 12th September 2016
  #6
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If you are working with Virtual Instruments you'll appreciate the lower latency. Besides that better audio quality can reveal details and flaws important to mixing.
Old 12th September 2016
  #7
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Winegarden's Avatar
I'm definitely interested in better audio quality, better than the Babyface if possible too. I just thought I'd spend the extra money I paid for the recording feature rather for even better audio quality. If there's such a thing anyway. But maybe I'll keep the Babyface then. I've often heard that RME has good drivers.

But what I noticed is that when the Babyface is selected as the audio output on my Mac, my Mac can handle less tracks in Logic. I've ran the Logic Pro Benchmark test (there's a thread on here somewhere) and I got around I believe 5-10 tracks less when running the Babyface.

Like I said, I'm thinking of keeping the Babyface then, but I will always work inside the box, so even in the far future, I don't see the use of recording anything through the Babyface.
Old 12th September 2016
  #8
Old 12th September 2016
  #9
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szmola's Avatar
You could buy just digital to analog converter, just for monitoring. That way, you could get better conversion for same money as Babyface.
Check out Benchmark DAC1 or DAC2, super crystal sound.

But, also, I would suggest that you double check if you really think that you'll always stay in the box.
Old 12th September 2016
  #10
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microwave's Avatar
If you just need a very good DAC the Mytek Stereo 96 is excellent and cheaper than many others. Having said that, I'd keep the RME. What if at some point you will need to record something?
Old 12th September 2016
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winegarden View Post
I've often heard that RME has good drivers.
The best.

Quote:
But what I noticed is that when the Babyface is selected as the audio output on my Mac, my Mac can handle less tracks in Logic. I've ran the Logic Pro Benchmark test (there's a thread on here somewhere) and I got around I believe 5-10 tracks less when running the Babyface.
The lower the latency the more CPU intensive things get. You can easily set the Babyface higher for mixing to get the same results as your internal audio by raising the sample buffer to 512 or even 1024.
Old 12th September 2016
  #12
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Winegarden's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by szmola View Post
You could buy just digital to analog converter, just for monitoring. That way, you could get better conversion for same money as Babyface.
Check out Benchmark DAC1 or DAC2, super crystal sound.
That was my thought, getting a better conversion / sound for the same money.

I've checked out the DAC1 and 2, seen the price I suppose the quality and transparence of the sound is much better than that of the Babyface? (It's not really the same money in this case because it's twice as expensive, or, in the case of the DAC2, 4 times as expensive )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
The lower the latency the more CPU intensive things get. You can easily set the Babyface higher for mixing to get the same results as your internal audio by raising the sample buffer to 512 or even 1024.
Thanks, I wasn't aware of the fact that it's more CPU intensive. Makes sense now.


As for recording some day… I actually do have some hardware synths that I could record, but I never did. And I don't do vocals, nor do I play or record the guitar or other instruments. In fact I'm thinking of selling my hardware stuff because I never touch it. I'm not a professional or anything, just some dude doing music with plugins on his Mac Pro, but still I do wish to have a good sound quality. It's just for me really, I like to hear clearly what I'm doing and how it sounds in "reality", that's why I'm after that clear and transparent sound.
Old 12th September 2016
  #13
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sell it and buy something cheaper, theres loads of options in the 150-250euro category with decent DA conversion, all you need is a 2i/o device

there was an Aphex in2 on blowout for 100euro at Musicstore.de recently, just checked and its gone unfortunately
Old 12th September 2016
  #14
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Winegarden's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by colm View Post
sell it and buy something cheaper, theres loads of options in the 150-250euro category with decent DA conversion, all you need is a 2i/o device

there was an Aphex in2 on blowout for 100euro at Musicstore.de recently, just checked and its gone unfortunately
Actually I don't mind paying more than the Babyface is worth if the quality of the sound is really better. (and renouncing on the record feature)
I don't mind buying second hand either.

Oh and I forgot to mention, I work on Sennheiser HD 25s. I'm not sure if that plays a role. I never use monitors. I don't have the money to afford the room that monitors require. My results are much better on headphones, especially because I know there really really well.

Just wanted to say that, in case it makes a difference.
Old 12th September 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winegarden View Post
Actually I don't mind paying more than the Babyface is worth if the quality of the sound is really better. (and renouncing on the record feature)
I don't mind buying second hand either.

Oh and I forgot to mention, I work on Sennheiser HD 25s. I'm not sure if that plays a role. I never use monitors. I don't have the money to afford the room that monitors require. My results are much better on headphones, especially because I know there really really well.

Just wanted to say that, in case it makes a difference.
well then I suggest a nice DAC and better headphones. Ive been using hd595 for a few years now. you can defintely improve on those hd 25s, no point upgrading your headphone pre amp without upgrading the 'phones too
Old 12th September 2016
  #16
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JBL lsr305's might suit, I dont have a good room either, they work well for me. have been mixing without monitors for years but there comes a time when you need to start using them
Old 12th September 2016
  #17
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szmola's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winegarden View Post
That was my thought, getting a better conversion / sound for the same money.

I've checked out the DAC1 and 2, seen the price I suppose the quality and transparence of the sound is much better than that of the Babyface? (It's not really the same money in this case because it's twice as expensive, or, in the case of the DAC2, 4 times as expensive )
Well, you know, it's the best to hear the difference by yourself. I heard DAC1 but on Barefoot MM27 in acoustically treated room, it was WOW!
Sorry, I am almost always thinking about second hand gear...DAC1 can be found for about 500-600 dollars second hand! Including shipping and eventual import tax to Austria the price should be around Babyface.
Old 12th September 2016
  #18
Gear Nut
 

If your primary objective is downscaling to put some cash in your pocket, I'd say keep the Babyface unless you really need the money. An original Babyface will only get you a few hundred I think, and for that money or less, you'd be hard-pressed to get something significantly better. Plus you never know. One day you'll get this amazing idea for a sample that you'll have to go out and record yourself, and then you'll slap yourself for getting rid of such an awesome interface.
Old 13th September 2016
  #19
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Winegarden, are you satisfied with your plugins? You might find it better to start with reviewing your VIs and effects plugs before messing with your conversion. (I agree that you should also upgrade your phones before as well.) Good plugs (and phones) will probably make more of a difference to your sound than conversion. There are a lot of awesome plug makers out there today and the difference from stock plugins is IME phenomenal. I won't mention my personal favorites in this thread because they're arbitrary, but it really is worth going down this rabbit hole before looking at conversion, especially if you have a BF at your disposal.
Old 13th September 2016
  #20
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m_gant's Avatar
 

Your cans are your bottleneck my friend,unless you know them & are attached to them. No point in messing with the marginal difference in conversion you may hear switching from RME. Any major dude will tell you.
Old 13th September 2016
  #21
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Winegarden's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by colm View Post
well then I suggest a nice DAC and better headphones. Ive been using hd595 for a few years now. you can defintely improve on those hd 25s, no point upgrading your headphone pre amp without upgrading the 'phones too
I bought the 25s at the time because they were flat response and I heard that they have a neutral and transparent sound. Is that wrong?
However, they put too much pressure on my ears, so I was already thinking of changing them. Maybe against HD 599s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by szmola View Post
Well, you know, it's the best to hear the difference by yourself. I heard DAC1 but on Barefoot MM27 in acoustically treated room, it was WOW!
Sorry, I am almost always thinking about second hand gear...DAC1 can be found for about 500-600 dollars second hand! Including shipping and eventual import tax to Austria the price should be around Babyface.
Yes, I would buy it used too and I've found some around Europe already so there wouldn't be any import tax to pay. I read that there's several models of the DAC1, one early "pre-facelift" model that had some issues…? Can't find much about it, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaolin View Post
Winegarden, are you satisfied with your plugins? You might find it better to start with reviewing your VIs and effects plugs before messing with your conversion. (I agree that you should also upgrade your phones before as well.) Good plugs (and phones) will probably make more of a difference to your sound than conversion. There are a lot of awesome plug makers out there today and the difference from stock plugins is IME phenomenal. I won't mention my personal favorites in this thread because they're arbitrary, but it really is worth going down this rabbit hole before looking at conversion, especially if you have a BF at your disposal.
I am satisfied with my plugins, but what kind of plugins are we talking about? Virtual instruments or effect plugins? Send me a PM with your favourite plugins, I'd be curious to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
Your cans are your bottleneck my friend,unless you know them & are attached to them. No point in messing with the marginal difference in conversion you may hear switching from RME. Any major dude will tell you.
Thanks for being honest. I'll consider swapping them. I'd like to have a good gear that's still good in many years. Stuff that doesn't need to be updated, basically, "neutral" gear if it can be called so. I want a transparent, clear sound. So I don't mind upgrading whatever needs to be upgraded.
Old 13th September 2016
  #22
Gear Addict
 
divine source's Avatar
 

Since you're not using monitors and your headphones are far from being flat, you should upgrade the headphones first (i would go with AKG K-712) before you changing your soundcard coz its a good one for your needs and you wont get much for it second hand.
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