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Old 1st July 2015
More cowbell!
natpub's Avatar
Originally Posted by LeOwnwho View Post
Awesome thanks! I am leaning towards the Zen Pro Audio modded Yamaha HS8 that you had mentioned. If i buy these speakers I will most likely need the audio interface in order to plug them in right?
I think you may be a little confused as to what an "interface" means. Mostly, these days, they are combo units that have preamps (usually not all that great), combined with AD converters to go in, DA converters to go out to monitors, and headphone outputs. Sometimes a Hi-Z DI is included to jack instruments straight in, as well as MIDI in and out. Because these are all combined together, a lot of times the quality of each part is not fantastic. Also, since you bought them all combined, if you want to upgrade, you end up having to scrap the thing and then buy something else. What I consider a waste of money.

As much as possible, you may want to look at buying modular--that is, all the parts separately. This is because when you want to change something, or upgrade, you don't have to ditch everything, and can instead just do the one part. Now, combo interfaces can be very affordable, and as you might guess the various parts can be cheap as a result. Subtle bits of noise and unpleasant coloration can result, and build up over multiple tracks until you have too noisy of a recording to use commercially.

There are some very good combo interfaces out there, including the UA Apollo, the Metric Halo stuff, the Prism of course (pricy!), the Antelope Zen, etc. These give you a plug-n-play solution you can run, without knowing any specialized stuff about it. On the other hand, you may want to go modular, and there are great units that do all the same things, but require a little more knowledge. My suggestions above, of the API A2D (combines preamp and AD), and the Lavry Black 11 (a separate DA to output to your monitors and headphones) is something like this. AD/DA units tend to come together, and you will probably find that though you only want 2 channels now, you want more in the future. Something combined with several channels, like the Antelope Orion, or the Lynx Aurora 8/16 with USB, can be great. I've used the Lynx for years and love it. This allows you to use separate preamps, and buy only 1 or more, as you go along (of whatever sound and flavor you like).

It's all a lot to consider, and expensive audio is never something to rush into quickly. Be careful of all the opinions (mine included), and try everything you can. Most pro audio dealers will send you something on trial (assuming you can produce a credit card with that much available on it!), so you can test it in your own room. Sorry to spout out so much info, but it pushes my buttons when I see someone running out with cash-in-hand, to buy stuff they may later regret. Happened plenty to me ya see :-) Hope this helps. Best.