Which USB Audio Interface?

Discussion in 'Musicians' started by Madmaximus, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Madmaximus

    Madmaximus Member

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    So, for a PC, what's an inexpensive (non-junk) USB Audio Interface. I have a $20 Chinese one I got 10 years ago and never used, but I'm thinking it might put me off the whole experience :)

    I know nothing about them so I thought I'd learn on the go with my good friend utube :)

    Prolly just guitar and mic going in. I think all pedals and drum machines amps would be emulated inside the PC with the usual freeware (for now) software?

    I was looking at a Focusrite Scarlett Solo Gen 2, which looks like a good choice, but as I said, I know SFA about this stuff.

    :thumbup: Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. Raykay

    Raykay Member

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    Is firewire an option for you? I have a focusrite audio interface but it's firewire only!
     
  3. Madmaximus

    Madmaximus Member

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    Is it bad if I say I have no idea if firewire is an option for me or not? Lol. I know I've never used firewire for anything, but I'm not really sure if my computer is setup for it or not. I'll need to hang upside down off the desk to check with a flashlight, or dig in the shed for a manual. :)

    I'm thinking firewire would prolly mean less latency?
     
  4. alexb618

    alexb618 Member

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    i use a fairly basic m-audio m-track unit. was about $100, never needed anything more than that.

    sounds like it will do exactly what you want.
     
  5. Madmaximus

    Madmaximus Member

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    I think I've seen a few of them and they seem similar to what I mentioned above? I might have to do some reading of the different models.
     
  6. alexb618

    alexb618 Member

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    you can definitely run a guitar and mic at the same time with the m-track that i have. a couple of years ago i was using guitar rig to do exactly what you are trying to do, i don't know what other software is out there now but it all worked well for me.
     
  7. Madmaximus

    Madmaximus Member

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    The more I read the bigger a headache I get.

    The focusrite one I mentioned above seems the "easier" option. It shows the sound levels with the LEDs and whatnot and it has the "normal" (to me) cable inputs and I think comes with good software and DAWs - what ever they are...lol.

    Other units I'm not so sure of and I presume I have to buy different cables (XL1 or something?) for them . I'm thinking they must record better?

    Anyways, I'm not sold on anything yet, but it all seems to be coming back to money and how much I can spend right now as I drown in debt...lol.

    Going to take a panadol and do more reading later, though I'm starting to think that's just making it worse.
     
  8. alexb618

    alexb618 Member

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    i can send you my mtrack if you want to borrow it to see if it suits... definitely want to get it back though!
     
  9. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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  10. Loop Goose

    Loop Goose Member

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    I have a Focusrite Scarlett Solo Gen 2 sitting on my desk doing nothing, that I was planning to sell on OCAU in the near future. I used it for a while, and it worked great, but I wanted an ever so slightly warmer sound, so have moved to the Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB. There is a huge price difference, but overall they sound quite similar to me. The Apollo Twin has more gain headroom than the Focusrite.

    If you sign up to the Focusrite newsletter and register a product with them, each month they give random VSTs and synths away for free, and discounts on others. I picked up a copy of Addictive Synths which sounds great, along with a whole bunch of other fx filters and parametric equalizers.

    The Universal Audio deal is a bit different. You buy an interface, and it includes a certain amount of DSP processing power. You can then load in different modules based on the amount of DSP computing power they use, and can purchase additional units to boost processing power, or change to better plugins that are more efficient.

    I only use mine for making electronic music, playing games etc, but both units worked well for me.
     
  11. Ethan W

    Ethan W Member

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    Chiming in - I have a focusrite 2i4 that works well. Really low latency for amp sims (bias) and live monitoring of microphones.

    The solo and 2i2 should be just as good, but with fewer in/outputs.

    The coloured signal LED rings are handy if you change guitars a lot and want to avoid clipping on higher gain pickups.
     
  12. Madmaximus

    Madmaximus Member

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    I tried hanging upside down from my desk and looking but there was a port hidden behind some USB cables I couldn't see. I did, however finally found my manual and no firewire.

    Alexb618, thank you for that incredibly kind offer. :thumbup: If I can't make headway on a choice I might take you up on it, but for now I'll rely on reading and reviews to choose.

    Ethan W, the colored LED rings are what actually peaked my interest after seeing them in a review. I suppose a LED level meter would be more handy, but I'd never seen that kind of thing before so I really thought it was cool.

    Loop Goose, PM on the way. And I haven't heard anything (too) bad about the Focusrite brand/people so I'm definitely tilted that way. The newsletter deal seems a typical example of why people like them so much. A company doing good by their customers isn't so easy to find these days.
     
  13. Madmaximus

    Madmaximus Member

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  14. Ethan W

    Ethan W Member

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    Yes, but you'll get terrible latency, which is a big no-no for amp sims and live monitoring. Dedicated interface>USB mixer.
     

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