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best audio interface for strictly vocals
Old 4th June 2020
  #1
best audio interface for strictly vocals

hey everyone. I'm current using an apex ribbon mic.. with a focusrite 2i2 usb interface. my old mic i still have is an at2020. I'm curious if i spent say 300 on an audio interface, if the quality in sound would be much different than what i currently have? also I have a reflection filter already i use, but I'm about to go buy some pvc pipe and moving blankets. because right now i record in an open room. i just want the clearest sound possible. thoughts? opinions?
Old 4th June 2020
  #2
Quote:
I'm curious if i spent say 300 on an audio interface, if the quality in sound would be much different than what i currently have?
No not at all. There will be no noticeable difference between your Focusrite and any $300 interface, Unless you can buy a $2000 for $300. Then you are cooking with olive oil!!!
Old 4th June 2020
  #3
copy that, thanks!
Old 5th June 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
You have a good enough interface that spending $300 to improve it won’t get you $5 of noticeable change.

You have a low budget ribbon and a low budget condenser. Neither is awful, but neither is a top example of its type.
For $300 you can buy a dynamic mic that will be a different sound that may (who knows) work better on your vocal. I would suggest the Telefunken M80 or the Sennheiser 945. $300 is a fairly high budget for a dynamic. If you can scrape up another $75 or find one used, buy the Aston Stealth. It has some different settings that give you three or four sounds.
Dynamic mics are a good ladder to help you quickly climb out of the audio basement, and they don’t require you to have a great recording room. The mics I suggested will sound great and different with the interface you have.
Old 5th June 2020
  #5
it says it's for broadcasting. how will this fare for singing and recording rap vocals? thanks!
Old 5th June 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsmyth View Post
it says it's for broadcasting. how will this fare for singing and recording rap vocals? thanks!
A good “broadcast” mic is by definition a good voice mic. They aren’t broadcasting a lot of harmonica playing or whistling. The SM7b and the RE20 were originally designed as broadcast mics. But they’ve been on a lot of recordings.
If you look at the Aston Microphones site and look at the Stealth, you will see that it has settings for voices and instruments that were selected by a large panel of working sound engineers. It is quite a mic.
Old 6th June 2020
  #7
I just bought one, it's coming tomorrow! We will see! Hopefully I'm happy with it!
Old 6th June 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsmyth View Post
I just bought one, it's coming tomorrow! We will see! Hopefully I'm happy with it!
Please post back after you’ve used it for a while. Let us know what you think.
Old 10th June 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 
syntheticrhyme's Avatar
With your interface, you may not have enough gain to properly power a mic like a Shure S7mb. That interface has 46 db of gain. Make sure you have enough for the mic you are getting or else you can get a cloud lifter.
Old 10th June 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by syntheticrhyme View Post
With your interface, you may not have enough gain to properly power a mic like a Shure S7mb. That interface has 46 db of gain. Make sure you have enough for the mic you are getting or else you can get a cloud lifter.
The Stealth has an active circuit that will detect 48v phantom and power an internal amplifier in the mic. It adds more gain than a Cloudlifter. Too little gain is not a problem with the Stealth.
Old 24th July 2020
  #11
Lives for gear
 
s12512's Avatar
To be honest the behringer umc series usb interfaces are pretty good!! the focusrite isn't terrible at all. I've used the behringer with amazing results. make sure its the one with the Midas pre's. I would put more money into a mic. you'll get better results. if you can squeeze another $100 get a used rode k2 and call it a day. or even a blue ember ($99). that little mic is amazing. don't need to spend a killing these days to get amazing results. I have tons of expensive mics and some cheap mics. lately I've been choosing the cheaper mics (blue ember, blue blueberry, slate ml-1, rode nt2a) over the more expensive mics (Neumann m149, u87, c414, etc) and nobody can tell a thing!!
Old 24th July 2020
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
TikkoRome's Avatar
Universal Audio Apollo Twin series. There isn't a better interface on the market and, since it allows you to choose which preamp, and other hardware, you want it to emulate; there never will be a better sounding interface. If one does exist someday, they can just develop a model of its preamps and match it.
The only catch is that the hardware is expensive and the software isn't any cheaper.
Old 5th August 2020
  #13
Gear Nut
I had a cheap mic and cheap interface. I bought a babyface pro interface for like 800 bucks and it made my cheap mic and quality so much better. A cheap interface won't make much difference but the Babyface pro will be a big step up without spending 2 grand.
Old 30th August 2020
  #14
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by TikkoRome View Post
Universal Audio Apollo Twin series. There isn't a better interface on the market and, since it allows you to choose which preamp, and other hardware, you want it to emulate; there never will be a better sounding interface. If one does exist someday, they can just develop a model of its preamps and match it.
The only catch is that the hardware is expensive and the software isn't any cheaper.
NICE FEATURE SET HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SOUND LOL

the apollo series and apollo twin definitely aren't the BEST sound sounding anything and there are a LOT of better sounding interfaces

my old apollo thats now in the production room doesn't sound anywhere near as good as my current motu unit and it has nothing on the lynx hilo which makes the apollo sound like meh at best
like back in the day when i went from a delta 1010 to an apogee unit.. night and day difference
Old 30th August 2020
  #15
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razorboy's Avatar
 

ihavetoagreewiththat
Old 30th August 2020
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MixedByMrHD View Post
NICE FEATURE SET HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SOUND LOL

the apollo series and apollo twin definitely aren't the BEST sound sounding anything and there are a LOT of better sounding interfaces

my old apollo thats now in the production room doesn't sound anywhere near as good as my current motu unit and it has nothing on the lynx hilo which makes the apollo sound like meh at best
like back in the day when i went from a delta 1010 to an apogee unit.. night and day difference
STRONGLY Agree.

I have on my desk, right now, an RME BabyFace Pro FS, an Apollo Twin USB, and an RME UFX ii in the portable rack next to me. On a shelf beside me I have a Focusrite 2i4 (gen1), a Focusrite 18i20 (gen3) on the rack under my desk, and a Behringer X32R in the rack behind me.

Two weeks ago, I bought the Babyface and the Apollo Twin at the same time. They're both quite good. I'm keeping the Apollo Twin and sending the Babyface back. This is not due to the sound quality. The RME is a little better sounding to me, and has the glorious TotalMix and Windows drivers.

Now, I am religious and biased about my RME interfaces. My entire career is based around my UFX. I adore it. In the application for my desk I'm sitting at right now, I was using a focusrite 18i20 (it sounds basically the same as my 2i4.) and it just wasn't cutting it. I found myself taking the time to patch in the RME rather than use the already hardwired Focusrite. To solve this problem, I bought the RME Babyface and the Apollo to compare them against each other.

I'm keeping the Apollo because I like the access to the plugins. It's new fancy knobs to twiddle and has an incredible Valley People Dyna-mite emulation available for it that I am in love with.... but seriously... if you want quality, $900 is a fair price for that Babyface. It's a fair price for the Apollo, too, with all it's added extra processing power.

Mediocre mics are sufficient for rap vocal demos. You NEED better converters to handle all that dynamic range that comes form spoken, screamed, and sung lyrics; you NEED better converters to make that future big money mic you're dreaming of actually work. In other words, Mid-Tier Mics and excellent converters are a better buy (and a better foundation to build on) over an excellent mic with low-end converters. Every time. I've made a career on this theory; You can too.
Old 30th August 2020
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsmyth View Post
hey everyone. I'm current using an apex ribbon mic.. with a focusrite 2i2 usb interface. my old mic i still have is an at2020. I'm curious if i spent say 300 on an audio interface, if the quality in sound would be much different than what i currently have? also I have a reflection filter already i use, but I'm about to go buy some pvc pipe and moving blankets. because right now i record in an open room. i just want the clearest sound possible. thoughts? opinions?

Not really.

Higher end interfaces usually get you a slightly cleaner sound.

Less noise, less distortion, more linear freq response,

Chances are though you might not be able to hear the difference though or maybe just a small increase in sound quality.

Even low end interfaces are pretty good these days.

That said higher end interfaces have some advantages but you still have to research as different interfaces have different features.



Lower latency (can improve vocal tracking experience) or better performance/ stability at low latencies. Usually you will need to go Thunderbolt though.

Higher gain preamps. Not that useful for most condensers but can be very useful for ribbons/dynamic mics.

Built in effects, preamp modeling.



UAD Apollos are great for the latter.

I'd say something like the RME Firefaces for low latency, and probably high gain preamps (although I never tried these personally but the 75 db gain sounds promising).



But Focusrite Scarletts are great workhorse interfaces (especially newer gen models). Pretty decent workable sound quality. Workable low latency. Air feature works great too for darker mics.
Old 2nd September 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsmyth View Post
I just bought one, it's coming tomorrow! We will see! Hopefully I'm happy with it!
Does “tomorrow” mean three months in Canadian? Did you get the mic? If so, what do you think?
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