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
The Case Against Using an Audio Interface Digital Converters
Old 28th September 2016
  #1
Gear Addict
 

The Case Against Using an Audio Interface

I write music on my Macbook Pro, mostly in the box with vsts. Sometimes I download samples or work on collaborative projects and audio is delivered to me.

I usually work with a good set of trusty headphones, but I'm considering moving to monitor speakers. Do I really need an audio interface to be part of this operation, or can I just connect my Macbook headphone jack straight to my monitors?

What are the advantages of an interface, besides being able to record? Will it make my projects sound better than they do with my Mac Core Audio soundcard? I currently have no problem with performance issues, as it's a new, top spec machine. Why would this be an advantage?

I'm curious about interfaces that ship with their own software (e.g. the famous UAD plugins). Besides that I don't really see the point. Can anybody make the case for it?

btw, side question: I am assuming that if I buy a UAD interface, like the Apollo Twin, I will be buying access to the plugin suite but not to the plugins themselves. I will also have to pay for each plugin separately, correct?
Old 28th September 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rightclick View Post
I write music on my Macbook Pro, mostly in the box with vsts. Sometimes I download samples.
Do you work with virtual instruments or trigger samples with a keyboard of some type?
Old 28th September 2016
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Do you work with virtual instruments or trigger samples with a keyboard of some type?
Yeah. Both why?
Old 28th September 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

If you're doing no recording at all, you don't need an audio interface — you can simply buy a two-channel DAC. Your Macbook does have a built-in DAC, but a separate, dedicated unit will provide a more accurate and detailed sound. I'd recommend looking into the Apogee Groove or the Cambridge DACMagic.
Old 28th September 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rightclick View Post
Yeah. Both why?
Are you happy with the latency you are getting without an audio interface? If so you should be fine as is.
Old 19th October 2016
  #6
Here for the gear
I'm using a Groove as DAC for composing and production. I've been going for the minimal/convertible desktop to portable approach and have pretty much ceased recording external sources in favor of VIs and MIDI controllers - not that I did that much anyway except for a little variety. I route the Groove through a Palmer Monicon to a set of Focal CMS 40s. The Monicon is essentially a Y-cable in a box with a nice volume knob. When using headphones, it's a par of Beyerdymamic DT-880s.

Probably get a lot of 'why would you do that' remarks but it works for me. I can completely understand the challenge to the traditional interface model if your not taking anything in from the outside world. Perhaps this the opposite of a Gearslut, but I have owned my share of stuff over the years and just now enjoying the flexibility - not to mention 'the unbearable lightness of being.....'
Old 19th October 2016
  #7
Lives for gear
 
zephonic's Avatar
It really depends on the audio interface, but yes, to me it feels like the internal soundcard of my MacBookAir has better LLP than external USB devices.

For live situations, I wouldn't bother with an audio interface and just get a proper DI box like this:

Radial StageBug - Active Acoustic Direct Box

or this:

Radial ProAV™ - Multimedia Direct Box

Companies like MOTU and Lynx have very good LLP drivers for MacOS, but with most of the generic ones I wouldn't bother.
Old 19th October 2016
  #8
Gear Addict
 
kelldammit's Avatar
actually, i use a pc laptop and rme babyface for similar purposes (mostly monitoring, though i may record the occasional guitar).
the pigtail connects my midi controller and monitors, but i can just unplug that and work mobile with the headphone jack, without the daw "disconnecting" my midi controller, etc...and i can still record the odd guitar direct.
love the flexibility.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #9
Here for the gear
Actually, wish I never sold my RME Babyface 'classic' - overall, best interface I ever owned.
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