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USB audio interface hunting - price/quality

posted on #1
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Posts: 6
Joined: 16.01.13
Hi there everyone!

I'm thinking of getting a usb audio interface so i can finally properly integrate my bass playing with some of the sequencing stuff i do.
The problem is i can't be helped but to be completely overwhelmed by the sheer offer of devices that faces me.
It's usually not an option to try out these kind of devices in the store so i came here to find out what pitfalls you may have encountered...

I already saw one post about a budget usb interface i should watch out for so i was wandering if anyone else had problems with cheap devices?

Personally i'm not looking to record a whole band or drummers or anything like that. Just to be able to properly record a bass, guitar, keys or occasional vocal(xlr input would be real bonus).




I haven't tried them out yet but at the moment i'm looking at the steinberg devices between 140-240 euro and they're looking pretty good! Has anybody got a reason for not to get this or possibly another suggestion?
posted on #2
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Posts: 236
Joined: 09.05.11
Hi 4board,
I have very good experiences with the focusrite saphire USB 6 interface, about 240 €, two input Jack or XLR, high quality preamps, comes with some good software effects.
I think the quality of the preamps is the most important factor, when it comes to interface. And phantompower yes.
Little inconvenience: Sometimes I get some static electricity in the circuit, probably because of the alimentation via USB. So I have to disconnect and reconnect. So the non USB version with cable might be an option. Machine works on every Windows or mac, but not for Linux systems.

And I have heard some good things about the M-Audio interface, a bit cheaper.
posted on #3
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Posts: 6
Joined: 16.01.13
thanks for the tips, i'll be sure to post whatever i get and how the expereience witht the device is. i've been a bit pre occupied so i still haven't een able to get one
posted on #4
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Posts: 335
Joined: 25.03.12
"There are two paths you can go by but in the long run you can still change the road you're on..."

One is to get a general interface with mic/line inputs. In order to get a decent instrument sound you have to either mike an amp or have a separate processor.

The other one is using a dedicated instrument interface. Most digital effects have a usb output and function well as recording interfaces. This requires that you have good monitors on your computer.

Previously i used a Line6 guitarport. It is similar to a POD but is completely computer controlled. When recording instruments i really like the HighZ input and the dedicated ampsimulations and effects. Much easier that miking an amp and a lot less noise. Its discontinued now but a Pod studioGX is 88EUR.

Now i got my fractal axefx2 so there is no question what to use
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #5
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Posts: 2082
Joined: 30.12.10
I'd like to underline what nilton says about the HighZ input... if you want to plug your bass directly into the interface without any other amp/pream in between, you should definetly make sure the Instrument Jack has a high ohms value - a regular line in Jack looks the same, but is desiged to handle signals coming from other gear liek mixers, preamps or whatever, while your bass pickup needs a high impedance jack to sound any good. Took my quite some time to finally understand that, so thats one good tip to know. Of course, quality preamps and 24bit A/D converters are the thing to go for as well... and when looking for user recommendations, I'd also be on the lookout for any latency issues... propably best to use one device for input AND output of the computer sound, so there is hope the device will be able to adjust its internal latency in a way you can really play along to a track coming from your computer without the latency causing you to lag behind half a second on the recording.

Just my two cent...
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #6
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Posts: 4
Joined: 19.05.13
Hi..

Sorry for my bad english.. ( french answer welcome ! ) :|
i need HELP !! : hesitation between roland ua11MK2 and M-Audio fast track MK2 ( both less than 80 euros ) .. i play just guitar and bass, no vocals, and i have sony vaio windows seven 64 bits...
Thanks a lot .. hope i will record stereo soon .. :)
posted on #7
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Posts: 21
Joined: 23.12.12
I use my Zoom B3 multi-effect pedal with USB out to record to my pc.

Might be worth looking into, it's a really nice pedal with tons of options! (build in tuner, looper, drum patterns and lot's of usefull effects and can be used as audio interface)
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

Plato
posted on #8
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Posts: 4
Joined: 19.05.13
thanks for the answer ghostfish.. i v already multi effect (zoom) pedal and loop station (jamman) ( i record with it but only mono line entry, so mono export.. ) . . i 've just been to my guitar shop at home, they will receive on tuesday the M-audio M track, with logiciels Air Music Ignite et Ableton Live Lite. hope it will be good. little more than 100 euros.
see that next week for my birthday !! :D
posted on #9
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Posts: 2082
Joined: 30.12.10
hey Brunarca -
why are you unhappy about recording in mono?! Are you wanting to mic up your acoustic stuff? otherwise with e-guitars and basses, mono is all you need I'd say... just wondering :)
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #10
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Posts: 21
Joined: 23.12.12
I only thought drums were recorded in stereo:)
Unless you use production tricks like stereo reverbs or ping ping delays most instruments are recorded as a mono channel.
You can ofcourse pan it in the mix afterwards.
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

Plato
posted on #11
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Posts: 4
Joined: 19.05.13
Thanks guys for help. in fact my problem is not exactly stereo recording, but i try to explain : i record from my loopstation, which entry line is mono, so the tracks done by wikiloopers become mono when i put them in my line in ... so my final result is mono. that the reason why i need a normal capture interface (with stereo line in).. my loopstation is just good for making loops with my guitar, but not for recording on a stereo existant track.. do you understand my english ? ;)
posted on #12
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Posts: 18
Joined: 20.02.13
Brunarca: je te recommande la Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ou 2i4. J'ai la 2i4 et je n'ai rien à redire.
posted on #13
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Posts: 21
Joined: 23.12.12
You could ofcourse record your part on the loop station and paste it on the original music (which is in stereo) in Audacity or any other software mixer program
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

Plato
posted on #14
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Posts: 7
Joined: 16.11.15
good review here: -

http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/13-of-the-best-budget-usb-audio-interfaces-570850
posted on #15
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Posts: 990
Joined: 16.10.11
I use a Behringer Guitar Link UCG102 16-bit/48kHz, 1-channel USB Audio Interface and Guitar Rig software. I love it easy and cheap in price at $39.00 the program is a little pricey but works great.Check it out here--- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Rvjalqqpo

Or Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/251975532486?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&lpid=82
Edited by Rickplayer on 22-11-2015 15:52
posted on #16
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Posts: 48
Joined: 10.03.13
I stopped the AVID product.
It's Zoom R8 I bought recently. This is an audio interface, sampler, recorder and controller. I use only the audio interface and controller. I got this at $ 120 :)
posted on #17
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Posts: 27
Joined: 14.02.15
just curious what the ekit drummers use? I currently use just a peavey pv8( non-usb )and when its time to record, do you record as you play along w/ a backing track? or record just the drums then add backing track in software?
Edited by R_T_71 on 04-12-2015 02:59
Everything is practice :)
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