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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs. PreSonus AudioBox - Importance of Latency "In-the-Box" Audio Interfaces
Old 22nd December 2016
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs. PreSonus AudioBox - Importance of Latency "In-the-Box"

I'm looking to buy an audio interface, and I was wondering how important low-latency products are if you are making music purely "in-the-box". I've narrowed things down to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (Gen 1 or Gen 2), and the PreSonus AudioBox. I understand that the Gen 2 Scarlett has low latency (and is the most expensive of the bunch).

I'm still trying to understand latency, but from what I understand, if a system has higher latency, it takes longer for data to travel into the computer, get processed, and be played by the monitors (or headphones). So, I can understand why this would be important if you have a musician playing along to recorded audio within the DAW (since it will be delayed), or if a singer is be recorded to music that is playing. However, if you were 100% in-the-box, would a higher latency system just increase the time it takes from you hitting play on your DAW to the time it takes for sound to be produced by the monitors?

If latency does not matter as much in such a situation, I figure that I should go with the Gen1 Scarlett 2i2 (CAD$155), or the AudioBox (CAD$140), instead of the Gen2 Scarlett 2i2 (CAD$210). Those are prices on the Canadian Amazon, by the way. I'm leaning towards the Scarlett more than the AudioBox (and its only $15 more anyways), but I am not sure if it is worth spending the extra money for the lower latency Gen2.

Thanks in advance for any comments!

EDIT: I should also mention that I've heard bad things about the 2i2 drivers. Would anyone like to comment on this?

EDIT 2: Sorry for posting this in the wrong spot!
Old 22nd December 2016
  #2
Gear Addict
You're correct on latency- it only becomes an issue if you're trying to monitor the signal being recorded and there are effects applied to it or you're on an underpowered machine or another reason that causes a noticeable delay. Monitoring through a separate chain is preferred- a lot of interfaces now can provide zero latency monitoring by sending a copy of the signal directly to the headphones or line out. This can be configured in the interface's software.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inestima View Post
You're correct on latency- it only becomes an issue if you're trying to monitor the signal being recorded and there are effects applied to it or you're on an underpowered machine or another reason that causes a noticeable delay. Monitoring through a separate chain is preferred- a lot of interfaces now can provide zero latency monitoring by sending a copy of the signal directly to the headphones or line out. This can be configured in the interface's software.
Thanks a lot for the reply! I was also wondering, do you mind explaining what you mean by 'monitoring through a separate chain is preferred'? I'm not quite sure if I understand. Also, I imagine that the zero latency feature would require more processing power?
Old 22nd December 2016
  #4
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glo View Post
Thanks a lot for the reply! I was also wondering, do you mind explaining what you mean by 'monitoring through a separate chain is preferred'? I'm not quite sure if I understand. Also, I imagine that the zero latency feature would require more processing power?
Generally in commercial studios they will create monitor mixes for each musician on the analog board, which never goes into and back out of the DAW, so no latency. I think most use a system like HearBack or Aviom which is specially designed to distribute those mixes, but that's another discussion. The zero latency feature does not require any extra processing, it's a separate chain or send built into the interface that never goes into the DAW.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inestima View Post
Generally in commercial studios they will create monitor mixes for each musician on the analog board, which never goes into and back out of the DAW, so no latency. I think most use a system like HearBack or Aviom which is specially designed to distribute those mixes, but that's another discussion. The zero latency feature does not require any extra processing, it's a separate chain or send built into the interface that never goes into the DAW.
Ah, okay, I understand now. Thank you!

So, just to make sure I got this correct, since I won't be recording any audio (all sounds will come from synths/samples/etc. in-the-box), and my only audio output will be to my monitors, I'm okay with not spending the extra money to buy a lower latency interface? If that's the case, I'll probably just go with that Gen1 Scarlet 2i2.
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