USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

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botface
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USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by botface » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:59 am

I'll shortly be looking for a USB audio interface.

I need 4 simultaneous inputs, ideally switchable between mic/line/ Hi-Z with separate level control for each so that I can capture 4 independent tracks in MC.
Separate outputs for headphone and studio monitors would be good, again with independent level setting.

There are all sorts of other features I'd like but my main requirement is for the unit to have very quiet mic preamps. Any recommendations?

Lelik
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by Lelik » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:32 pm

You didn't tell what budget.
Anyway, as a not-too-expensive option, I'd suggest the M-Audio M-Track Quad.
I don't have it, but several M-Audio devices have been very good for me.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by Mark Bliss » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:26 pm

I can only go on feedback, reviews and reports I have read, not on personal experience. But I have to say I continue to see/hear consistent conversations about issues with drivers for the M-Audio stuff, so I would feel a little apprehensive about that choice personally.

If mic preamp quality was a major priority on my wish list, within a reasonable budget-I'd look at the Presonus line.

If bang for the buck value was my priority I'd be (am) looking hard at the Tascam 1800. It may not be the perfect all around solution, but Its been offered at $199 for a while now. Not much competition with those features in that range.

If money was no object, (ahem) I'd have to do more research I think........ 8)
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gypsy101
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by gypsy101 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:34 am

if you're going to go for 4 you might as well go 8,the price difference isn't far off but the options are.

probably the best bang for the buck-
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audi ... -interface

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audi ... -interface

I would stay away from the new Tascam US-1800s. the reviews get worse by the day.
they are coming out w/ this new unit but I haven't seen U.S. prices yet-
http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/137th- ... -us-16x08/

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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by trevlyns » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:13 am

Have a look at Focusrite too - great mic pre's
Keep on trackin'

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Mark Bliss
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by Mark Bliss » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:34 am

For the record I meant Focusrite, but have heard good things about Presonus as well.

I suspect the problem with the Tascam 1800 might largely be that it is outdated and obsolete relative to what is currently on the market. But if you have simple needs it might work out acceptably. I keep an old 122MkII I keep in my laptop bag for portable use, and its simplicity serves me well for my needs. Dirt simple and functional. And outdated.
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botface
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by botface » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:17 am

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out.

I came across the Akai EIE Pro. It seems to do everything I need and is relatively inexpensive. I' m just not sure about the mic pre's. Unfortunately the specs don't include noise figures. Has anybody used Akai stuff?

Also the Behringer FCA1616 seems to fit the bill. I'm aware of Behringer's reputation but wonder if that's really justified

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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:31 am

What I have read on the Akai is that it is a great piece of hardware with one potentially large problem.
No ASIO driver.

And I know some people who love their Behringer stuff. Appears they might have had a run of mixers a few years ago with some unreliable components, but I think that is in the past.
But it seems their weakness might be in poor customer support.

Since you have expressed you are weighting your decision heavily on the mic pre's I think I would be leaning toward the Focusrite stuff, still assuming we are talking home/project studio budget level here. Based on the product specs, presentations and many reviews I have read, you would probably have to go to pro studio level and possibly individual component pre's and A/D converter components and such to get much better.
Just my opinion, but based on MUCH reading.
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by gypsy101 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:09 am

Mark Bliss wrote:What I have read on the Akai is that it is a great piece of hardware with one potentially large problem.
No ASIO driver.
the original EIE didn't but the PRO does.
And I know some people who love their Behringer stuff. Appears they might have had a run of mixers a few years ago with some unreliable components, but I think that is in the past.
But it seems their weakness might be in poor customer support.

Since you have expressed you are weighting your decision heavily on the mic pre's I think I would be leaning toward the Focusrite stuff, still assuming we are talking home/project studio budget level here. Based on the product specs, presentations and many reviews I have read, you would probably have to go to pro studio level and possibly individual component pre's and A/D converter components and such to get much better.
Just my opinion, but based on MUCH reading.
researching & buying A.I.s is a major headache. :roll:
some of the best companies have the worst customer service & some others have sold off partial product lines so current or older drivers are a pain to find.

whatever you do,try to buy from someone like Sweetwater w/ a free 2 year no-hassle return/replace warranty. these things are so cheaply made now & pretty much obsolete by the time they hit the shelves that you can realistically look @ replacing them before that warranty runs out due to one thing or another.

Happy Hunting.

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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by trevlyns » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:19 am

Behringer is designed in Germany and manufactured in China - but to the highest ISO 9000 standards.

It's trashy reputation is not justified nowadays.
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Mark Bliss
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:36 am

gypsy101 wrote:
Mark Bliss wrote:What I have read on the Akai is that it is a great piece of hardware with one potentially large problem.
No ASIO driver.
the original EIE didn't but the PRO does.
Thanks for the info Gypsy, I wasnt aware of that.
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by Ianpb » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:08 am

The Akai EIE Pro has some diabolical user reviews on Amazon. All that glitters is not necessarily gold.

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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by botface » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:12 am

So, is there a consensus that Focusrite have the best (IE quietest) mic pre's?

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trevlyns
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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by trevlyns » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:39 am

have a look at what Graham says - around the 7 min mark...

http://therecordingrevolution.com/2014/ ... dio-video/
Keep on trackin'

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Re: USB Audio Interface. Recommendations?

Post by BremenCole » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:14 pm

Just wanting to just in and say I had the Akai EIE Pro. Do not buy it. It is a constant pain. I suffered with it for a year and finally gave up. The drivers are all screwed up, and Akai as typical of them, did not fix it.

Just some friendly advice :)
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