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-   -   Any audio interface that has just blown you away? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/1107335-any-audio-interface-has-just-blown-you-away.html)

robn 16th August 2016 01:51 AM

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.....

Lenzo 16th August 2016 02:06 AM

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.

loopy 16th August 2016 02:27 AM

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....

Cgbravo 16th August 2016 02:39 AM

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)

Led Music 16th August 2016 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lenzo (Post 12077210)
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.

DJKeys 16th August 2016 05:43 PM

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

robn 16th August 2016 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJKeys (Post 12078247)
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.

bill5 16th August 2016 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robn (Post 12077189)
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....

NikHz 16th August 2016 06:06 PM

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.

Lenzo 16th August 2016 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Led Music (Post 12077379)
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.

Terence T 19th August 2016 07:31 PM

RME Fireface UC. Sounds better than seven others I've tried and used over the years. Very reliable and solid also.

tenderboy 19th August 2016 07:44 PM

Rme, but because of the best and most powerful softwareinterface and mixer of them all!

AudioGaff 19th August 2016 07:46 PM

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.

ChaseUTB 20th August 2016 09:06 AM

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

chuckebaby 20th August 2016 01:00 PM

These pre amps are incredible :lol:
https://postimg.org/image/u9vrvyzfj/

Hardsinc_ 20th August 2016 07:35 PM

I'd suggest it's not so much about blown away, but more about the final result of the music. Clarity and translation.

dadgad65 20th August 2016 08:53 PM

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.

Deleted 86c3d96 21st August 2016 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dadgad65 (Post 12085580)
First I am a home hack, and not a professional.

Don't sell yourself short, someday you'll be a professional hack. heppy

Grazi 21st August 2016 07:42 AM

Actually my Audient id22 blew me away
The ad converter made a big improvement to my recording.
Preamps are very nice too

Hardsinc_ 21st August 2016 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grazi (Post 12086228)
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.

Grazi 21st August 2016 09:22 AM

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!

Deleted 86c3d96 21st August 2016 02:17 PM

I got and Apogee Symphony i/o. I quit thinking about conversion. It never comes up anymore.

Arksun 21st August 2016 02:38 PM

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.

Jantex 21st August 2016 04:37 PM

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.

Hardsinc_ 21st August 2016 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arksun (Post 12086585)
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 (Post 12083900)
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?

buggz 22nd August 2016 12:31 AM

Though this my first, I LOVE my RME UFX.
And TotalMix FX is EXCELLENT!

IMS731 12th September 2016 03:31 AM

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!

elegentdrum 12th September 2016 04:54 AM

I was blown away with SSL alpha link once I added a Black lion word clock.

deuc647 12th September 2016 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jantex (Post 12086729)
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?

Jantex 12th September 2016 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deuc647 (Post 12131941)
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.