The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson
Old 2nd January 2014
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson

The Audient ID22 and the SPL Crimson both appear to be, on paper at least, very affordable high quality interfaces aimed at a similar target market.

With Audient offering an educational pricing of £450 (in the UK initially), the price difference is a mere £32 in favour of the SPL Crimson. Even at list price the difference is not that great for people who are truly interested in great sound quality over price. For the record, the UK list prices are Audient ID22 £590 and SPL Crimson £418. Current prices in Euros from a large German online retailer are Audient ID22 €699 and SPL Crimson €488. I'm sure somebody can update the latest US $ prices.

Being interested in both of these interfaces, and without having any experience of either of them, I would be very keen in an A v B discussion pitting the strengths and weakness of each device against each other.

Feel free to comment if you are in are similar position to myself, or even better if you have experience with any of these devices
Old 2nd January 2014
  #2
141550
Guest
for some reason i wasnt impressed with the the pres on the ID22 from the samples on their site. sound is subjective, one man trash is another mans treasure, so you might like it. it sounded a bit harsh for me. i havent heard the SPL Crimson yet, but im opting to purchase that product without trying cause it has features i need. i cant complain at that price point, they both seem solid. i think in this situation A/B shootout would be great, cause they are both competitive products at similar prices.
Old 2nd January 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I bypassed the Audient and the Drawmer for a few reasons.

Audient pres are no doubt very clean but sample rate for the audient is only 24/96

Crimson is analogue signal path and 24/192 if needed.

The Drawmer is only monitor controller.

Both have ability to insert outboard.

Crimson is one sexy beast.

It would be easier for you to download brochure and manual and make relevant analysis.

I have one on the way soon as Sweetwater receive and send.

Cheers
Old 2nd January 2014
  #4
Gear Head
 

These are certainly similar but also quite different products. I have a Crimson but Christmas has prevented much testing.
I havent yet A/B tested with my old interface (mackie Satelitte) but playback of high resolution music seemed to be much more detailed and transparent on the Crimson (perhaps recent purchase illusion!!). I have partly purchased the Crimson to use it in conjunction with a HiFI set up also (can't afford multiple high end DAC's).

* If you want lots of expandability clearly the ID22 is the ticket (but without expanding you are limited to 2 inputs - I think there are plenty of occasions when 3 or 4 are needed even in home studio settings. For example recording a guitar amp with two mics and DI at same time. Recording and acoustic in stereo with a vocal mic. For me 4 inputs (with the ability to add another 2 via S P/DIF) is fine.
* Crimson is a fully functional stand alone analogue monitor controller. With the ID 22 the volume and monitor control is done digitally. Aside from the potential "resolution" issues this presents it means the ID22 needs to be used in conjunction with software - which effects longevity of use as a monitor controller. Even if I use another interface in the future the crimson will continue to be a great monitor controller (or useful as mobile interface with a laptop or ipad)
* The larger form factor of the crimson makes it very comfortable to use. Its a bit bigger than an A4 page.
* I don't really care if a product can do 192 kHz. 96kHz is more than enough in my view (Audient make the same claim).
* While the Crimson lacks inserts you can't add outboard gear. Anwendungen: Sound Performance Lab
Infact it is quite useful because you can record both the dry track and the wet track individually. Plus of course with outboard pre's you can insert other outboard.

my thoughts anyway
Old 2nd January 2014
  #5
141550
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodybet View Post
These are certainly similar but also quite different products. I have a Crimson but Christmas has prevented much testing.
I havent yet A/B tested with my old interface (mackie Satelitte) but playback of high resolution music seemed to be much more detailed and transparent on the Crimson (perhaps recent purchase illusion!!). I have partly purchased the Crimson to use it in conjunction with a HiFI set up also (can't afford multiple high end DAC's).

* If you want lots of expandability clearly the ID22 is the ticket (but without expanding you are limited to 2 inputs - I think there are plenty of occasions when 3 or 4 are needed even in home studio settings. For example recording a guitar amp with two mics and DI at same time. Recording and acoustic in stereo with a vocal mic. For me 4 inputs (with the ability to add another 2 via S P/DIF) is fine.
* Crimson is a fully functional stand alone analogue monitor controller. With the ID 22 the volume and monitor control is done digitally. Aside from the potential "resolution" issues this presents it means the ID22 needs to be used in conjunction with software - which effects longevity of use as a monitor controller. Even if I use another interface in the future the crimson will continue to be a great monitor controller (or useful as mobile interface with a laptop or ipad)
* The larger form factor of the crimson makes it very comfortable to use. Its a bit bigger than an A4 page.
* I don't really care if a product can do 192 kHz. 96kHz is more than enough in my view (Audient make the same claim).
* While the Crimson lacks inserts you can't add outboard gear. Anwendungen: Sound Performance Lab
Infact it is quite useful because you can record both the dry track and the wet track individually. Plus of course with outboard pre's you can insert other outboard.

my thoughts anyway
great comparison info.

i thought crimson couldnt do outboard inserts too. it would of been dope if they had at-least 4 channel analog outs.

but on the SPL site, that diagram on crimson page, it shows it can be used for inserts through 2 analog outs of the Speaker B? or no?
Old 2nd January 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
but on the SPL site, that diagram on crimson page, it shows it can be used for inserts through 2 analog outs of the Speaker B? or no?
Absolutely yes and that is why I bought it

Cheers
Old 2nd January 2014
  #7
I'm thinking about these two and apogee duet, I only want the best quality in DA conversion and a good pre for the mic I want to buy (Neumann TLM 102). Apogee looks the best in paper in DA but I would like to have a digital conexion like spdif (don't care if optical or digital). I'm goona get crazy :/
Old 2nd January 2014
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unmasked truth View Post
great comparison info.
it would of been dope if they had at-least 4 channel analog outs. but on the SPL site, that diagram on crimson page, it shows it can be used for inserts through 2 analog outs of the Speaker B? or no?
you can use 4 outputs (Speaker A and B) to process signals via outboard gear. You just need to set the Speaker A outputs to unity gain so you have a line level signal (The Speaker B output is automatically at Line Level when the device is in Artist Mode).
This of course would mean you could only monitor the signals via headphones but for analogue processing purposed i think that is fine.
Old 2nd January 2014
  #9
141550
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodybet View Post
you can use 4 outputs (Speaker A and B) to process signals via outboard gear. You just need to set the Speaker A outputs to unity gain so you have a line level signal (The Speaker B output is automatically at Line Level when the device is in Artist Mode).
This of course would mean you could only monitor the signals via headphones but for analogue processing purposed i think that is fine.
wow, thats awesome. i never thought about using headphones only and using Speaker A as insert channels too. very smart. that makes it more the better for me.
Old 3rd January 2014
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

How are the buffers? How low can you go?
Old 15th January 2014
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

ID22 price reduced by 25% in the UK!
Old 15th January 2014
  #12
great news!!! I think I'm going to order this week :D
Old 15th January 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Man View Post
ID22 price reduced by 25% in the UK!
Really? Where?!

R.
Old 15th January 2014
  #14
In most of the shops, here is an example :

https://www.kmraudio.com/audient-id2...-interface.php
Old 15th January 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL_HERALDO View Post
In most of the shops, here is an example :

https://www.kmraudio.com/audient-id2...-interface.php
Wow. That's quite a good deal I reckon. I checked these out for a buddy of mine a few weeks ago (not sure if he bought one already but...) and they are amazingly featured at that price. I especially liked the fact in had inserts and ADAT as well as simple yet nicely implemented monitor controls.

Sweet deal.

R.
Old 16th January 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
Well on paper the SPL Crimson seems to have more features and is generally more bang for the buck. Since it has 6 fully independent inputs (2 mic pre amps, 2 instrument inputs and 2 line inputs) and 6 outputs that includes two independent headphone amps. It also has Midi I/O which the ID22 lacks. The ID22 has 2 inputs, 2 FX send/returns and 6 outputs but just a single headphone amp.

But they both have High pass filters on the mic inputs and digital I/O which is unusual for audio interfaces in this price range.

The ID22 is selling for about £450 whilst you can get the SPL for £399. I know which one I'd get if I didn't already own a Babyface (which is more compact/portable and is fully bus powered - no need for external power).
Old 18th January 2014
  #17
Gear Nut
 

I went with the Crimson mainly because:
a) Windows support (if Audient had already rolled this out I would have heavily considered it)

b) it's cheaper (I was also able to get it on sale so even more savings here in the US - was able to save at least $112 here in the US, not sure how long the sale will last)

c) more inputs (big difference between 6 inputs and a max of 2), although no ADAT expandability. This will be more conducive to my workflow and I won't feel restricted
To a lesser extent, other pros are:
d) more full-featured monitor controller
ability to switch between different sources
(also, it's an active analog design, I haven't been able to verify that Audient's isn't digital but I assume their's is also an active analog design. Unless it's digital attenuation in which I'd give preference to SPL)

e) input level monitoring for the 4 inputs on the front panel, albeit crude and not particularly useful aside from basic indication (Audient's does NOT have input monitoring, only output monitoring for the 2 channels which I find less useful)

f) midi i/o - nice to have, although not a deal breaker for me. I prefer USB controllers anyway - don't have to deal with latency settings

g) additional headphone amplifier (not a big deal for me at all, but I suppose I can keep two pairs of headphones plugged in all the time for convenience?)
Having said that, I was heavily considering the Audient since:
a) Upcoming Windows support

b) Has already been extensively reviewed having been brought to market first, and very well-received (any significant flaws should have been brought to light by now)

c) Driver and LATENCY performance seems very positive so far. This is a huge factor for me and I have to admit that I'm SPECULATING the Audient will beat out the Crimson here. Latency figures on the Crimson posted by users on here so far have not been very good but supposedly there will be a fix on how the RTL is being reported. I can only be hopeful.

d) A/D D/A conversion is excellent (Crimson is supposed to be quality as well). BUT, comparing specs on paper the Audient wins. However, it is not clear how the tests were conducted and as always not all relevant information was given for a direct comparison, and as always specs don't tell the whole story. I am, however, prone to being swayed by specifications, with or without clever marketing, and admittedly Audient looks a lot better. I am speculating the Audient might have an upper edge here. But there's no doubt in my mind the Crimson is still a cut above what I consider older generations of converters in this price range.
Old 18th January 2014
  #18
I Bought the audient mainly because the adat extension. I must have at least 10 channels.
Otherwise I might as well ended up with the spl.the Audient preamps is pretty good but I bet the crimson preamps is kind of good to.really good interfaces for the right price it seems.
Old 19th January 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
They both have fully discrete microphone preamps. So they both should really sound sweet. It's a steal for the price honestly.

Most other interfaces in this range use off the shelf chips for the preamps. The Duet and Babyface for example use TI PGA2500 variants.
Old 19th January 2014
  #20
Gear Nut
 

The latency figures people have reported have not been very good so I'm waiting to hear from either SPL or other users. Who knows, maybe I'll end up with the Audient or RME in a few months.

edit: Here are the converter specs listed on both mfg websites. The Crimson has the features I want but I wish they would publish more measurements:

Audient id22
ADC LINE INPUTS (Insert Returns):
(measured at optical output under AES-17)
THD+N @ -1dBFS (1kHz): <0.002% (-94dB)
DYNAMIC RANGE: 117dB un-weighted
120dB A-weighted

DAC OUTPUTS (1-4):
(measured from optical input under AES-17)
THD+N @ -1dBFS (1kHz): <0.0008% (-101dB)
DYNAMIC RANGE: 110dB un-weighted
114dB A-weighted

SPL Crimson
AD Conversion
THD+N ratio @ 1kHz (-1dBFS): 44.1kHz: 0,01 %, 48kHz: 0,01 %, 96kHz: 0,01 %
Dynamic range converter chip (manufacturer's specification): 115 dB
Dynamic range measured via Line Input > AD Converter > DAW > SPDIF Output:
44.1kHz: 110dB, 48kHz: 110dB, 96kHz: 107dB (unweighted)

DA Conversion
THD+N ratio @ 1kHz (-1dBFS): 44,1kHz: 0,006 %, 48kHz: 0,006 %, 96kHz: 0,007 %
Dynamic range converter chip (manufacturer's specification): 115 dB
Dynamic range measured via SPDIF Input > DAW > DA Converter > Speaker Output:
44,1kHz: 106dB, 48kHz: 106dB, 96kHz: 104dB (unweighted)

The numbers suggest the Audient outperforms the Crimson in dynamic range and THD+N. The Audient was tested under AES-17 and seems to provide more information. Having said that, if the drivers/latency are decent I'm still springing for the Crimson.

EDIT: I got some feedback from SPL who sent me a RTL figures for various buffer sizes at 48 khz. They're not particularly good (actually comparing with the latency database here on GS they seem quite high), but I won't be using too many VSTi's. In fact, I imagine I'll be tracking with the monitor mix knob almost exclusively (zero latency), except when playing keys. For that I might use a separate hardware rompler or just use USB MIDI.
Old 21st January 2014
  #21
Gear Head
 
dred's Avatar
I do have the same problem. Don't know what to choose. My feelings go with Audient, mostly because I have ASP008 in the studio. The bad thing is that, id22 doesn't have clock.

Btw - how big id22 is? Is it easy to travel with it?
Old 31st January 2014
  #22
My Audient iD22 arrived today .... WOW !!!!! First listening session with it and I feel is a really great improvement over my TC Impact Twin. Soundstage is HUGE on my KRK V6 series 2 and on my AKG K701; pretty fast transient response, detail in reverb and delay tails simply AMAZING, ... first contact is great but have no time at the moment to test the preamps and have more listening time, in the next days I will write a more detailed review. Great Audient!!!!!!!!!

I also post the latency which Logic Pro X shows (Mac Pro 4,1 , CPU 4 x 2,66ghz, 16gb RAM).

Listening session performed by:

- The Game - West side Story
- Young Savage - Camos N J's
- Alae Noctis - Bad Business
- DVBBS & Borgeous - Tsunami (Jay Cosmic Remix)
- Vicetone feat. Collin McLoughlin - Heartbeat
- Rafa Blas - Mi Voz (various songs)
- Halestorm - Halestorm (various songs)
Attached Thumbnails
Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-captura-de-pantalla-2014-01-31-la-s-15.45.47.png   Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-captura-de-pantalla-2014-01-31-la-s-15.46.06.png   Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-captura-de-pantalla-2014-01-31-la-s-15.46.20.png   Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-captura-de-pantalla-2014-01-31-la-s-15.46.33.png   Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-captura-de-pantalla-2014-01-31-la-s-15.46.45.png  

Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-captura-de-pantalla-2014-01-31-la-s-15.47.00.png  
Old 5th February 2014
  #23
Company Rep
 
audientworld's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL_HERALDO View Post
My Audient iD22 arrived today .... WOW !!!!! First listening session with it and I feel is a really great improvement over my TC Impact Twin. Soundstage is HUGE on my KRK V6 series 2 and on my AKG K701; pretty fast transient response, detail in reverb and delay tails simply AMAZING, ... first contact is great but have no time at the moment to test the preamps and have more listening time, in the next days I will write a more detailed review. Great Audient!!!!!!!!!
Thanks so much El Heraldo!! This is what we like to hear!

Enjoy the unit

-T
Old 5th February 2014
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

How is this particular little battle taking shape, is anybody nudging ahead so far? Any news on ID22 Windows drivers?

I would like to thank both of these companies for bringing some much needed dynamism to the interface market, both are excellent first attempts.
Old 5th February 2014
  #25
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Man View Post
How is this particular little battle taking shape, is anybody nudging ahead so far? Any news on ID22 Windows drivers?

I would like to thank both of these companies for bringing some much needed dynamism to the interface market, both are excellent first attempts.
We are beta testing beginning this week, should not be long after that.

The good news is they say it can work on older 32 bit XP machines too!

War
Old 10th February 2014
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
We are beta testing beginning this week, should not be long after that.

The good news is they say it can work on older 32 bit XP machines too!

War
I'm eagerly awaiting your results.
Old 13th February 2014
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Spl crimson vs. Audient id22

Guys,

This is my first real post on gearslutz. I felt compelled to write this since I was facing the exact same choice - SPL Crimson vs. Audient ID22.

In the past week I have had the opportunity to test out both the SPL Crimson and the Audient ID22. I bought the Crimson but was still curious enough about the Audient so I bought it as well and thought I will return one after doing a head to head comparison.

My system is a brand new latest Macbook Pro, 16GB RAM, 1TB Flash, the highest available processor. So this machine is no slouch. I run Ableton Live 9 on it with numerous plugins (nexus2, synthmaster, waves gold bundle, soundtoys, sugarbytes, and list goes on...). Some of these are quite memory hungry plugins so I made project with a lot going on to see how these interfaces stack up against one another.

As for the outboard gear, I am using a Rode NT2 mic plugged into the units using a Mogami cable. I even bought a $35 USB cable since there is some talk of improved data transmission rates with higher end cables. I wanted to take out any extraneous factors for my comparison.

At first I just had the Crimson by itself for a few days and generally I was able to run most projects using 128 or 256 samples without getting any crackling while getting a roundtrip latency of around 15ms, using 96khz sample rate (since waves plugins wont work with 192khz). Going below 128 samples was questionable depending on the project size. So, I contacted SPL USA to see if there was anything else I could do to improve the latency. The guy who partly designed the unit actually emailed me directly. He asked if I was using their bitcore driver since it has a much better processing than the core audio driver. This was his response:

"Bit Accurate and Core Audio drivers--
There is a huge difference between the core audio driver and the bit accurate driver. The bit accurate driver is a HAL driver which is an ASIO-like driver. HAL means „hardware abstraction layer“. An abstraction layer is implemented in software, between the physical hardware of a computer and the software that runs on that computer. Hardware abstraction layers are of an even lower level in computer languages than application programming interfaces (API) because they interact directly with hardware instead of a system kernel, therefore HALs require less processing time than APIs.
The bit accurate driver also bypasses the sample rate conversion that is always operating when the core audio driver is used. Apple „hides“ the latency induced by the sample rate conversation, which makes comparison less transparent leading to mis-interpretations.
For example a 32 samples input buffer under core audio is as fast as a 256 samples input buffer with the bit accurate driver. And a 32 samples output buffer under core audio is as fast as a 768 samples buffer with the bit accurate driver (both examples @ 48kHz sample rate). Therefore the bit accurate driver delivers a more stable system performance because bigger buffers can be used and at the time offering a faster performance with less latency.

When to use Bit Accurate and Core Audio drivers?
If you connect the input to the output and you want the loop to stay under 20ms, there is no way to achieve this with the core audio driver.
If you need to play a song with iTunes, there is no way to achieve this with the HAL driver, because system audio cannot be played back with a HAL driver.
If bit accuracy is important for you, e.g. because you want to master a CD, you can only achieve this with the HAL driver.


Here are three spreadsheets showing (see attached files)
A) the buffer size and corresponding latency of bit accurate and core audio drivers
B) Equivalent input speeds and corresponding buffer sizes of bit accurate and core audio drivers
C) Equivalent output speeds and corresponding buffer size of bit accurate and core audio drivers"

So, at first I was like yeah right - core audio drivers should be faster since that's what Apple's OSX uses - but what do I know - I am not a programmer by any means. So, reading Audient's lower latency figures I felt compelled enough to buy it.

So, for the comparison:

Sound Quality:
I ran a light project on both and recorded some vocals to hear the sound quality. Initially I was very impressed with the Audient sound - it was clear, very very low noise floor, and sounded pleasant. Comparing to the SPL, it seemed to have a slightly higher noise floor than the Audient but very negligible difference. After listening to both for a while, I found the SPL to be more natural while the Audient brightened the higher frequencies somewhat and sounded a bit more colored like the Apogee Duet 2 (I used it for a while and ended up returning it). So, in the sound category both were good, but SPL won out by a small margin even though the Audient may have produced a slightly quieter recording (not much of an issue for me since I do mainly EDM type of stuff). Don't get me wrong, both are very quiet but Audient seems a little quieter.

Next, was how do these stack up in a heavier project. What sample size can I get away with before it starts to snap crackle and pop all over the place. With the Audient, I could not run this project even with it set at the highest sample size of 2048. It was crackling all over the place. Whereas, that same project with the SPL - I could actually work with it using a sample size of 1024. So, to me SPL was the clear winner in this category.

Latency:
As for latency, both offer zero-latency monitoring. Audient uses a software mixer to do this (very easy) while the SPL has a very simple hardware knob that allows you to monitor the incoming analog signal with the output from your DAW. So, if you don't need to monitor your vocals with complex onboard effects, both do it very well with simplicity (SPL slightly simple due to no software mixer to deal with). If your vocalist needs some basic reverb, its simple. Monitor your incoming signal with zero-latency and place a reverb on the output of your DAW - it's like getting a predelay for free without affecting the actual timing of your recording.

Other features:

Monitor Control:
Both have monitor control feature to allow connection of two pairs of monitors. No major difference there. On the SPL there is a trim control to equalize the loudness between two sets of monitors - makes it easier to do an A to B comparison of your mix.

Headphones:
Both headphone amps sounded great with my 600ohm senn HD600 and with my Senn HD25-1 II phones. SPL has a second headphone out which makes it easier if you are recording in a small room so you can monitor your vocalist while he/she is using the other set of headphones.

Power switch:
Neither have an on/off switch which kind of sucks. I bought a power conditioner/strip so that takes care of that problem.

Construction:
both are nice and solid. No complaints there.

CONCLUSION:
SPL Crimson was the one for me. I wanted to make sure that I would never have problems using an interface with a heavy project. It also has slightly better sound quality, two headphone outs, and no software mixer to deal with making it a breeze to use. I hope this helps!
Attached Thumbnails
Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-buffersize-vs-latency.png   Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-equi-input-speed.png   Audient ID22 v SPL Crimson-equi-output-speed.png  
Old 13th February 2014
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpatel23 View Post
Guys,

This is my first real post on gearslutz. I felt compelled to write this since I was facing the exact same choice - SPL Crimson vs. Audient ID22.

In the past week I have had the opportunity to test out both the SPL Crimson and the Audient ID22. I bought the Crimson but was still curious enough about the Audient so I bought it as well and thought I will return one after doing a head to head comparison.

My system is a brand new latest Macbook Pro, 16GB RAM, 1TB Flash, the highest available processor. So this machine is no slouch. I run Ableton Live 9 on it with numerous plugins (nexus2, synthmaster, waves gold bundle, soundtoys, sugarbytes, and list goes on...). Some of these are quite memory hungry plugins so I made project with a lot going on to see how these interfaces stack up against one another.

As for the outboard gear, I am using a Rode NT2 mic plugged into the units using a Mogami cable. I even bought a $35 USB cable since there is some talk of improved data transmission rates with higher end cables. I wanted to take out any extraneous factors for my comparison.

At first I just had the Crimson by itself for a few days and generally I was able to run most projects using 128 or 256 samples without getting any crackling while getting a roundtrip latency of around 15ms, using 96khz sample rate (since waves plugins wont work with 192khz). Going below 128 samples was questionable depending on the project size. So, I contacted SPL USA to see if there was anything else I could do to improve the latency. The guy who partly designed the unit actually emailed me directly. He asked if I was using their bitcore driver since it has a much better processing than the core audio driver. This was his response:

"Bit Accurate and Core Audio drivers--
There is a huge difference between the core audio driver and the bit accurate driver. The bit accurate driver is a HAL driver which is an ASIO-like driver. HAL means „hardware abstraction layer“. An abstraction layer is implemented in software, between the physical hardware of a computer and the software that runs on that computer. Hardware abstraction layers are of an even lower level in computer languages than application programming interfaces (API) because they interact directly with hardware instead of a system kernel, therefore HALs require less processing time than APIs.
The bit accurate driver also bypasses the sample rate conversion that is always operating when the core audio driver is used. Apple „hides“ the latency induced by the sample rate conversation, which makes comparison less transparent leading to mis-interpretations.
For example a 32 samples input buffer under core audio is as fast as a 256 samples input buffer with the bit accurate driver. And a 32 samples output buffer under core audio is as fast as a 768 samples buffer with the bit accurate driver (both examples @ 48kHz sample rate). Therefore the bit accurate driver delivers a more stable system performance because bigger buffers can be used and at the time offering a faster performance with less latency.

When to use Bit Accurate and Core Audio drivers?
If you connect the input to the output and you want the loop to stay under 20ms, there is no way to achieve this with the core audio driver.
If you need to play a song with iTunes, there is no way to achieve this with the HAL driver, because system audio cannot be played back with a HAL driver.
If bit accuracy is important for you, e.g. because you want to master a CD, you can only achieve this with the HAL driver.


Here are three spreadsheets showing (see attached files)
A) the buffer size and corresponding latency of bit accurate and core audio drivers
B) Equivalent input speeds and corresponding buffer sizes of bit accurate and core audio drivers
C) Equivalent output speeds and corresponding buffer size of bit accurate and core audio drivers"

So, at first I was like yeah right - core audio drivers should be faster since that's what Apple's OSX uses - but what do I know - I am not a programmer by any means. So, reading Audient's lower latency figures I felt compelled enough to buy it.

So, for the comparison:

Sound Quality:
I ran a light project on both and recorded some vocals to hear the sound quality. Initially I was very impressed with the Audient sound - it was clear, very very low noise floor, and sounded pleasant. Comparing to the SPL, it seemed to have a slightly higher noise floor than the Audient but very negligible difference. After listening to both for a while, I found the SPL to be more natural while the Audient brightened the higher frequencies somewhat and sounded a bit more colored like the Apogee Duet 2 (I used it for a while and ended up returning it). So, in the sound category both were good, but SPL won out by a small margin even though the Audient may have produced a slightly quieter recording (not much of an issue for me since I do mainly EDM type of stuff). Don't get me wrong, both are very quiet but Audient seems a little quieter.

Next, was how do these stack up in a heavier project. What sample size can I get away with before it starts to snap crackle and pop all over the place. With the Audient, I could not run this project even with it set at the highest sample size of 2048. It was crackling all over the place. Whereas, that same project with the SPL - I could actually work with it using a sample size of 1024. So, to me SPL was the clear winner in this category.

Latency:
As for latency, both offer zero-latency monitoring. Audient uses a software mixer to do this (very easy) while the SPL has a very simple hardware knob that allows you to monitor the incoming analog signal with the output from your DAW. So, if you don't need to monitor your vocals with complex onboard effects, both do it very well with simplicity (SPL slightly simple due to no software mixer to deal with). If your vocalist needs some basic reverb, its simple. Monitor your incoming signal with zero-latency and place a reverb on the output of your DAW - it's like getting a predelay for free without affecting the actual timing of your recording.

Other features:

Monitor Control:
Both have monitor control feature to allow connection of two pairs of monitors. No major difference there. On the SPL there is a trim control to equalize the loudness between two sets of monitors - makes it easier to do an A to B comparison of your mix.

Headphones:
Both headphone amps sounded great with my 600ohm senn HD600 and with my Senn HD25-1 II phones. SPL has a second headphone out which makes it easier if you are recording in a small room so you can monitor your vocalist while he/she is using the other set of headphones.

Power switch:
Neither have an on/off switch which kind of sucks. I bought a power conditioner/strip so that takes care of that problem.

Construction:
both are nice and solid. No complaints there.

CONCLUSION:
SPL Crimson was the one for me. I wanted to make sure that I would never have problems using an interface with a heavy project. It also has slightly better sound quality, two headphone outs, and no software mixer to deal with making it a breeze to use. I hope this helps!
nice review
thought USB 2 interfaces have still problems with latest MacBook Pros
Old 14th February 2014
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
nice review
thought USB 2 interfaces have still problems with latest MacBook Pros
I have not had any problems using these USB 2 interfaces with Ableton on my macbook pro.
Old 14th February 2014
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Dutch Dave's Avatar
Great review bpatel.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 765 views: 119785
Avatar for phaces6
phaces6 3rd October 2017
replies: 175 views: 61946
Avatar for mrtnsko
mrtnsko 12th April 2017
replies: 410 views: 105856
Avatar for chinesewhiteman
chinesewhiteman 8th August 2019
replies: 680 views: 135640
Avatar for DirkP
DirkP 3 weeks ago
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…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump