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-   -   Audient iD4/14/22 preamp quality vs standalone preamps (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/1109679-audient-id4-14-22-preamp-quality-vs-standalone-preamps.html)

fastconcept 30th August 2016 01:20 AM

Audient iD4/14/22 preamp quality vs standalone preamps
 
Dear gear adorers,

I am looking for a good quality audio interface. I don't need that many ins and outs, so an audio interface as the budget Audient serie (iD4/iD14/iD22) would be fine.

Now I am looking for the best quality in conversion and preamp (as far it's possible around $500).
I have read on the internet the whole Audient interface range have the same high-quality preamps as their popular ASP8024 console (a console with a $42000 price tag). I wonder if that's really true, or it's just a part of their marketing. I cannot imagine their interfaces with a $200-500 price tag uses 'exact' the same preamp as the one build in the $42000 console.


Secondly, to what quality standalone preamp (say Crane song, a colored Neve, Universal Audio etc) can we compare the (uncolored) Audient interface preamp?
Is it fair to say that the iD4 preamp is the same quality as a preamp with a 500-1000 (or higher) pricetag? I cannot imagine it's in the same league, but maybe (hopefully) I am wrong...

Can anyone clear this up? What's the truth in here? Did anyone compare (A/B) them or have some inside information about the iD series preamp vs ASP8024's preamp? Anyone compared the preamp to a high quality standalone preamp?
Or will the (clean) iD serie preamp enough, so I make clean high quality recording and after I color them with some Slate or Acustica preamp plugins?

I hope you can share your findings.

Thanks in advance kfhkh

Mikey MTC 30th August 2016 02:09 AM

I believe saying something is "the same preamp" doesn't tell all the story. I'm guessing that there will be other things going on in the console that will create a different sound - perhaps transformers or other components that the small interface won't have.

I remember something similar in the world of converters back when Digidesign (Avid) had their 192 range out. A competitor brought out a much cheaper product, claiming to use the same converter chip. It was then refuted by many saying that the actual chip was just one piece of the puzzle in making a quality converter.

But having said that, I'm a recent owner of the iD14 which I'm absolutely loving. The preamps sound fine, though I haven't yet shot them out against anything in a meaningful way. On my small laptop rig, I was coming from a MBox 2, so the bar wasn't very high, but the iD14 has exceeded my expectations.

In fact, a month ago my monitor controller blew its power supply and I ended up actually using the iD14 as my main monitoring station for 2 weeks during the repair. It sounded a little different to me but not "bad" different by any means.

dadgad65 30th August 2016 02:54 AM

Use to own an iD22 and after a while using an MH ULN-2, I now have an iD14. Have never used the iD4, and believe it is only 1 channel.

If memory serves the iD22 has insert, which would allow you to use different preamps if you want flexibility in that regard. The iD14 has two powered channels however no inserts.

I have been happy with the iD14 and will say that it is tremendous value for $300. This was recorded with an iD22 years ago.

This, this and this were done with the iD14.

Good luck.

Hardsinc_ 30th August 2016 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fastconcept (Post 12102978)
Dear gear adorers,

I am looking for a good quality audio interface. I don't need that many ins and outs, so an audio interface as the budget Audient serie (iD4/iD14/iD22) would be fine.

Now I am looking for the best quality in conversion and preamp (as far it's possible around $500).
I have read on the internet the whole Audient interface range have the same high-quality preamps as their popular ASP8024 console (a console with a $42000 price tag). I wonder if that's really true, or it's just a part of their marketing. I cannot imagine their interfaces with a $200-500 price tag uses 'exact' the same preamp as the one build in the $42000 console.


Secondly, to what quality standalone preamp (say Crane song, a colored Neve, Universal Audio etc) can we compare the (uncolored) Audient interface preamp?
Is it fair to say that the iD4 preamp is the same quality as a preamp with a 500-1000 (or higher) pricetag? I cannot imagine it's in the same league, but maybe (hopefully) I am wrong...

You might take a minute to consider the smaller units have less pre amps circuits....

fastconcept 30th August 2016 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dadgad65 (Post 12103101)
Use to own an iD22 and after a while using an MH ULN-2, I now have an iD14. Have never used the iD4, and believe it is only 1 channel.

If memory serves the iD22 has insert, which would allow you to use different preamps if you want flexibility in that regard. The iD14 has two powered channels however no inserts.

I have been happy with the iD14 and will say that it is tremendous value for $300. This was recorded with an iD22 years ago.

This, this and this were done with the iD14.

Good luck.

Great recordings, thanks kfhkh

omegaomega 28th September 2016 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dadgad65 (Post 12103101)
Use to own an iD22 and after a while using an MH ULN-2, I now have an iD14. Have never used the iD4, and believe it is only 1 channel.

If memory serves the iD22 has insert, which would allow you to use different preamps if you want flexibility in that regard. The iD14 has two powered channels however no inserts.

I have been happy with the iD14 and will say that it is tremendous value for $300. This was recorded with an iD22 years ago.

This, this and this were done with the iD14.

Good luck.

Have you noticed that the iD14 preamps sound a bit different than the iD22?
Even though Audient says it's the same preamp, most recordings I've heard of the iD22 sound really nice whereas the iD14 recordings I've heard are very good but not as good as the iD22.

It could be the converters or the recordist's abilities, but since you've had both, have you noticed any difference in the preamp quality between them two?

dadgad65 28th September 2016 08:23 PM

My ears are simply not that good to hear a difference. I will also add that my recordings were done with different guitars, strings, and effects.

The id22 recording was of a (then) new guitar without any eq or effects added to the final track. The id14 recordings all have added 'sauce'.

Sorry can't give you more of a definitive answer.

omegaomega 28th September 2016 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dadgad65 (Post 12163622)
My ears are simply not that good to hear a difference. I will also add that my recordings were done with different guitars, strings, and effects.

The id22 recording was of a (then) new guitar without any eq or effects added to the final track. The id14 recordings all have added 'sauce'.

Sorry can't give you more of a definitive answer.

I've heard your recordings and saw you've used different guitars.

No worries, thank you for your answer!

kenny1969 24th October 2016 01:02 PM

Hi
thing is are they saying the preamps are exactly the same in all their products are are they saying they are the same design , which to me , design doesnt not necessarily mean the same sound and quality , however I can say I have a id14 and I am happy with it , it just does its thing without any hassle..which is what an interface should do..

omegaomega 25th October 2016 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenny1969 (Post 12212360)
Hi
thing is are they saying the preamps are exactly the same in all their products are are they saying they are the same design , which to me , design doesnt not necessarily mean the same sound and quality , however I can say I have a id14 and I am happy with it , it just does its thing without any hassle..which is what an interface should do..

I agree 100%.
They do say "same design", yet I'm sure the actual parts are not the same, and therefore, I think my question is valid.
It would be great to find someone with both an id22 and id14 to comment on the actual preamps sounding the exact same or not.

The thing is, that I don't think the id14 has any real competition at the market today.
It probably is the best sounding interface and stereo preamp at this price point right now, possibly DI too, plus the size makes it portable enough to carry in a laptop bag, whereas the id22 seems quite bigger.

I'll give an example.
I have a Steinberg MR816 which I think sounds very good and when a friend needed a small portable interface, I recommended the UR22 to him.

Well, even though I haven't listened to it in my own studio, I can't really say the UR22 sounds as good as my MR816, when listened to his recordings/mixing sessions in his studio.
Same preamps, right?
Yet, his recordings with a Neumann TLM103 can't really be called "pro" sounding.
He was previously using an Apogee Ensemble, a Drawmer 1960 or a TL Audio C1 with the TLM103 and the vocals he used to track were much better sounding...

Are the converters so different? Something different in the preamp section?
The UR22 to my ears sounds good, but not like the MR816.
Even though his clients seem very happy with the results, the UR22 vocals sound like a "demo" to me, rather than a professional vocal sound.

So, I came to be a bit suspicious of the id14 vs id22 preamps/recording quality as well.

kenny1969 25th October 2016 08:30 PM

Absolutely , I find it hard to believe that my Id14 that cost 189 pounds has the same quality of a console that costs many thousands , ,ot is all just marketing hype , however as you rightly said , for the price point I don't think there is much competion , , I had a scarlet 2i4 , I didn't like it that much , I know many people love them but for me I found the pre amps to be a little dark sounding . .I might be wrong but that's how it sounded to me..
the Id14 pres sound more open and clear to me , and I did actually have a id22 before the Id14 , but it developed a nasty crackle on input one when turning the gain up or down , and as I wasn't using all the features on the Id22 I went for the Id14 , I can say that from memory I don't think there was a difference in the sound and if there was it wasn't anything that was noticeable ...but I didn't have the id22 that long , only a couple of weeks

kenny1969 25th October 2016 08:46 PM

One thing I can say is I did have a ur242 , and I know what you mean ,the pres to me were lifeless I think is the word I'm looking for ....

I opened a mix on the id22 that had been done on the ur242 , and it sounded more open and wide . I had to make adjustments to the mix , obviously with the ur242 I had mixed it to that image I was getting from that system , and everything sounded different on the id22 , the ad/da on the id22 was better quality and after some adjustments the mix sounded better...the bass and lows was the main things that needed adjustment..

Karloff70 25th October 2016 09:01 PM

Guys, I reckon the preamps are probably identical. But the conversion isn't. And in the big desk the signal goes through a load more circuitry so there will be a small difference there, too, although no transformers. Plus whatever different conversion you might use.

From recordings I have heard I will agree it seems the ID22 sounds a noticeable bit better than the ID14, but I think it's the conversion.

kenny1969 25th October 2016 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Karloff70 (Post 12215384)
Guys, I reckon the preamps are probably identical. But the conversion isn't. And in the big desk the signal goes through a load more circuitry so there will be a small difference there, too, although no transformers. Plus whatever different conversion you might use.

From recordings I have heard I will agree it seems the ID22 sounds a noticeable bit better than the ID14, but I think it's the conversion.


Valid point about the extra circuitry on the console ,, they do say the id22 and better converters than the id14 , but I didn't have the id22 long enough or spend enough time with it to say I could notice any major difference . . I can say though that it sounded good

Deleted User 23rd November 2016 03:30 PM

iD14 / iD22 Preamps
 
Not sure if people are still interested in this thread, but it looks like there is a difference in gain structure between iD14 and iD22 preamps - don't know how much that would change the sound, if it does at all:

Quote:

I've seen a lot of people talking about the gain of the preamps on the iD14 and iD22. The iD22 has +60dB of gain whereas the iD14 has +66dB of gain with a +10dB software boost available through our iD mixer software. The same preamp design is used across both interfaces however with component values slightly changed. It is in fact the same design we have used on all our preamps including our ASP8024 large format console.

Quoted from Daniel @ Audient UK from this thread:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...ient-id22.html

komiie 6th February 2017 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dadgad65 (Post 12103101)
Use to own an iD22 and after a while using an MH ULN-2, I now have an iD14. Have never used the iD4, and believe it is only 1 channel.

If memory serves the iD22 has insert, which would allow you to use different preamps if you want flexibility in that regard. The iD14 has two powered channels however no inserts.

I have been happy with the iD14 and will say that it is tremendous value for $300. This was recorded with an iD22 years ago.

This, this and this were done with the iD14.

Good luck.

Nice! What system are u using and what are the average buffer latencies?

dadgad65 6th February 2017 05:14 PM

Komiie

I am low tech. Garage band on a Mac.

Best regards.

ikamy 18th May 2017 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonFriend (Post 12272557)
Not sure if people are still interested in this thread, but it looks like there is a difference in gain structure between iD14 and iD22 preamps - don't know how much that would change the sound, if it does at all:




Quoted from Daniel @ Audient UK from this thread:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...ient-id22.html

Im planning to buy Audient interface ID14 with TLM 102 microphone, do you think its a right combination ?

I dont have extra money to pay for external pre amp or phantom power or anything else

Sharp11 18th May 2017 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenny1969 (Post 12215327)
Absolutely , I find it hard to believe that my Id14 that cost 189 pounds has the same quality of a console that costs many thousands , ,ot is all just marketing hype , however as you rightly said , for the price point I don't think there is much competion , , I had a scarlet 2i4 , I didn't like it that much , I know many people love them but for me I found the pre amps to be a little dark sounding . .I might be wrong but that's how it sounded to me..
the Id14 pres sound more open and clear to me , and I did actually have a id22 before the Id14 , but it developed a nasty crackle on input one when turning the gain up or down , and as I wasn't using all the features on the Id22 I went for the Id14 , I can say that from memory I don't think there was a difference in the sound and if there was it wasn't anything that was noticeable ...but I didn't have the id22 that long , only a couple of weeks

Unfortunately, i think you're suffering from a cognitive bias, roughly speaking, it's called "priming", where you've already planted the seed in your brain to convince yourself that big things can't come in small packages.

You cannot measure the differences between different mixes made on different gear, especially if you KNOW what the gear used was - the only way to really know is to remove all visual cues and do a double blind test.

However, is it really worth it to you to go through all that trouble? Audient makes a terrific set of interfaces with expandability, that you can travel with and use to record anywhere, something you cannot do with the company's $42K console.

And if Audient say it's the same pre, I'm willing to believe them, the circuitry in a preamp has shrunk, along with everything else today - thanks to surface mount technology, which is in everything, including Neve, Summit, API and SSL preamps and high end analog synths, it's what makes it possible to enjoy such great sounding gear and keep it reliable and relatively affordable - and worth manufacturing! The latter of which is something we should all kneel down at the alter of SMT for ;)

My take is for you to purchase the Audient, appreciate its quality and transparency and make tons of recordings! And invest in good mic's - which is more important!

konstantine 23rd May 2017 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ikamy (Post 12631377)
Im planning to buy Audient interface ID14 with TLM 102 microphone, do you think its a right combination ?

I dont have extra money to pay for external pre amp or phantom power or anything else

I have a TLM 102 and use it with my iD14, I think its a great combo!

ikamy 20th June 2017 02:03 AM

Bought Audient ID22 + WA87 (Mic)

So far , quality Pre amp

cyjanopan 16th September 2017 04:40 PM

I'm a big fan of Audient pre's, so much I use two ASP800 and recommended their interfaces to multiple musician friends. Recently one of them recorded all vocals through iD14 for the whole album I recorded and mixed, and used some old Groove Tubes GT30 microphone. I think it turned out great!