Audio interface

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

Moderators: Acoustica Dan, Acoustica Greg, Acoustica Chris, Acoustica Eric

tinpan
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:31 pm

Audio interface

Post by tinpan » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:24 am

Another question off this subject; I usually plug either a mic or guitar right into the PC or into the Diamond audio device. It has been suggested that I use an interface, exactly what does an interface do and can you recommend a low cost one that works well with Mixcraft?
Also I will be upgrading to MC7 however I still have both MC5 & MC6 in my pc do I keep them or uninstall them?
TinPan Don

User avatar
Acoustica Greg
Posts: 20262
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:30 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Optimize your PC for Mixcraft!

Post by Acoustica Greg » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:49 pm

Hi,

Your Diamond audio device is probably an audio interface. An audio interface is basically a soundcard that is designed for home recording. Good ones come with their own ASIO drivers, which allow you to choose ASIO in Mixcraft's sound device preferences. Here's an example of one: Tascam US-4x4

This would provide low latency, which means that there would be a very short delay between when the sound enters your computer and when it exits your headphones.

Greg

gypsy101
Posts: 2322
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: near Music City,USA

Re: Audio interface

Post by gypsy101 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:32 pm

tinpan wrote:Another question off this subject; I usually plug either a mic or guitar right into the PC or into the Diamond audio device. It has been suggested that I use an interface, exactly what does an interface do and can you recommend a low cost one that works well with Mixcraft?
Also I will be upgrading to MC7 however I still have both MC5 & MC6 in my pc do I keep them or uninstall them?
TinPan Don
the simplest & shortest answer is,an audio interface takes the audio signal from a mic or instrument & turns it into digital information that the computer can understand then changes it back from digital to audio so you can monitor through the interface (headphones or speakers).

you can keep both MC 5 & 6 unless you just need the extra room. I have MC2 through 7 on my system.

marc32123
Posts: 464
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:07 pm

Re: Audio interface

Post by marc32123 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:29 pm

An audio interface helps with the quality of sound you can record. Not sure exactly how this works, but I think it mainly has to do with the mic preamps that are in the interface. The pre amps help to amplify and add clarity to the sound that is being recorded.
I was in the same position as you around a year or so ago. I did my research and came across the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It is a very good quality interface for the money, one of the best. It should work for you, unless you plan on recording more than two things at once. It has only two mic pre's, so you could only for example record guitar and vocals at the same time, but not guitar, vocals, and bass. Anyways, other than if you need to record more than two things at the same time, it should be everything you need. It has been for me.
Basically, all you do is plug the audio interface into your computer with a USB cable. One you load Mixcraft, go into the settings and adjust the incoming signal. Then, just plug your mic, guitar/keyboard or whatever into the interface and wal lah, your good to go. Simple and effective!

Here is a link to the Scarlett 2i2. They can be found used for even cheaper, around $100.00...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Focusrite-Scarl ... 3a7f12ef40

User avatar
AHornsby
Posts: 1169
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: NE Oklahoma

Re: Audio interface

Post by AHornsby » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:26 am

marc32123 wrote:An audio interface helps with the quality of sound you can record. Not sure exactly how this works, but I think it mainly has to do with the mic preamps that are in the interface.
I would agree.

The 2i2 is known for the quality of its mic preamp but the only Focusrite preamp I found to be a Class A rated model is the Voicemaster. Someone more familiar with Focusrite could bring us all up to date on that.

The $100 Presonus USB has the Class A preamp design but with 24 bit converters @ 48kHz sample rate.

User avatar
Starship Krupa
Posts: 696
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:05 am
Location: California

Re: Audio interface

Post by Starship Krupa » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:32 pm

AHornsby wrote:
marc32123 wrote:An audio interface helps with the quality of sound you can record. Not sure exactly how this works, but I think it mainly has to do with the mic preamps that are in the interface.
I would agree.

The 2i2 is known for the quality of its mic preamp but the only Focusrite preamp I found to be a Class A rated model is the Voicemaster. Someone more familiar with Focusrite could bring us all up to date on that.

The $100 Presonus USB has the Class A preamp design but with 24 bit converters @ 48kHz sample rate.
What do you mean by "Class A rated?"
-Erik
___________
3.4 GHz i7-3770, 16G RAM, Win 10 64-bit, ATi Radeon HD 5770
2X PreSonus Firepods, Event 20/20's, Alesis Monitor Ones, Alesis Point Sevens
Mixcraft Pro Studio 8.5, Cakewalk by BandLab

User avatar
AHornsby
Posts: 1169
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: NE Oklahoma

Re: Audio interface

Post by AHornsby » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:08 am

Starship Krupa wrote:
What do you mean by "Class A rated?"
Class refers to aspects of circuitry design.

Class "A" has been a gold standard among many audio buffs for some time and while there are advantages, e.g., lower distortion, and utilization of 100% of the input signal, there are also some disadvantages, e.g ., low economy.

Here's a reference to some different classes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplifier#Class_B

User avatar
Starship Krupa
Posts: 696
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:05 am
Location: California

Re: Audio interface

Post by Starship Krupa » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:30 am

AHornsby wrote:
Class refers to aspects of circuitry design.

Class "A" has been a gold standard among many audio buffs for some time and while there are advantages, e.g., lower distortion, and utilization of 100% of the input signal, there are also some disadvantages, e.g ., low economy.

Here's a reference to some different classes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplifier#Class_B
The link you posted does not describe preamplifiers but rather power amplifiers.

I encourage you to revisit that particular feature and decide how important it is to you. Many things go into an audio interface, for instance A-D/D-A converters.

Here's a good article on shopping for preamps: http://tweakheadz.com/microphone-preamps/

It is quite possible to build a crappy sounding "Class A" amplifier. A manufacturer saying that their preamps are "Class A" just means that they are claiming to have used one particular amplifier topology in the signal path. If they are even telling the truth about that (there is no mechanism for ensuring that they are), we have no idea about the quality of the components used to build that circuit.

It is also quite possible to market a preamp that utilizes the Class A topology and not mention that fact on the spec sheet, so just because the manufacturer doesn't scream "CLASS A" in the marketing literature that you are getting something else.

When I shop for mixers or interfaces, I go by listening tests, my own if possible. If the product has a reputation for having good-sounding preamps, I don't care if they are Class A, Class A-B, Class A-B Negative, or Class Clown.

I use a PreSonus Firebox and a Yamaha MG10 mixer, both relatively inexpensive products which have preamps that are said by experienced users to punch above their weight class. And I have no idea what Class the preamps are.

What I'm saying is perhaps you don't need to trip too hard on that one marketing claim.:) If it fits your price and feature complement and other people who use it say that the preamps sound good, go for it.
-Erik
___________
3.4 GHz i7-3770, 16G RAM, Win 10 64-bit, ATi Radeon HD 5770
2X PreSonus Firepods, Event 20/20's, Alesis Monitor Ones, Alesis Point Sevens
Mixcraft Pro Studio 8.5, Cakewalk by BandLab

User avatar
AHornsby
Posts: 1169
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: NE Oklahoma

Re: Audio interface

Post by AHornsby » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:21 am

Starship Krupa wrote: When I shop for mixers or interfaces, I go by listening tests, my own if possible. If the product has a reputation for having good-sounding preamps, I don't care if they are Class A, Class A-B, Class A-B Negative, or Class Clown.
Continually shopping for pre-amps and mixers for some, isn't the hobby but it can become totally subjective with an infinite set of parameters, as you have evidenced with your post.

Sure, we can BEGIN with our sensibilities when it comes to our ears but I'm pretty sure the OP was interested in getting into this a little at a time -- and I would presume this to be the case for 95% of us as MC users. While I don't disregard any subjective experiences, I wouldn't base my decision solely on anyone's ability to hear something I can't.

My point was, in case the OP was not looking for something like ("...your key to sound perfection..." lol) this:

"http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ ... aQodIE4Epw"

... that they could start with something of use objectively (or not) to refine their search.

I'm no PreSonus USB lackey but it sounds fine to me and it's very affordable so, hey. -h

tinpan
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:31 pm

Re: Audio interface

Post by tinpan » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:05 am

Ok so I picked up a Focusrite Scarlett solo studio pack, I like it fine but I still have issues, one being this:
I put my guitar in and with headphones plugged in the interface I can hear the guitar in real time which is great however it's the raw guitar, I want to hear the effects Im adding in the mixcraft 7 program, how do I hear the "real time" guitar with the effects added such as the shredder overdrive. How do I do that?

User avatar
Acoustica Greg
Posts: 20262
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:30 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Audio interface

Post by Acoustica Greg » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:08 am

tinpan wrote:Ok so I picked up a Focusrite Scarlett solo studio pack, I like it fine but I still have issues, one being this:
I put my guitar in and with headphones plugged in the interface I can hear the guitar in real time which is great however it's the raw guitar, I want to hear the effects Im adding in the mixcraft 7 program, how do I hear the "real time" guitar with the effects added such as the shredder overdrive. How do I do that?
Hi,

Click the "Monitor Incoming Audio" button:

Image


Greg

User avatar
fredfish
Posts: 1365
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 12:57 pm
Location: Colchester, Essex, UK

Re: Audio interface

Post by fredfish » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:40 am

Just be aware that the more you load the track up with effects the more likely it is that you will start to experience some latency.

Cheers

John

User avatar
Starship Krupa
Posts: 696
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:05 am
Location: California

Re: Audio interface

Post by Starship Krupa » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:15 pm

AHornsby wrote: My point was, in case the OP was not looking for something like ("...your key to sound perfection..." lol) this:

"http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ ... aQodIE4Epw"

... that they could start with something of use objectively (or not) to refine their search.

I'm no PreSonus USB lackey but it sounds fine to me and it's very affordable so, hey. -h
"Take it from your audio experts at Sweetwater...." :roll:

Speechless.

Disclosure: I am by trade a guitar amp repairman and designer, so I have a grudge about the term "Class A." In the guitar amp world, it is seldom used correctly, and often (undeservedly, IMO) held up as some kind of totem of sonic quality or purity.

Anyway, yeah, PreSonus fan here myself. I've been prowling CL for a while seeking an affordable (to me) used Firepod. 8 mic inputs!

That's a thing that I ran up against, wanting to record real drums: 4 inputs get used up really quickly. So if I'm tracking drums (2 overheads, kick, snare), I can't record anything else at the same time. Number of simultaneous inputs is a factor to consider, especially if one is a drummer or wishes to record one.
-Erik
___________
3.4 GHz i7-3770, 16G RAM, Win 10 64-bit, ATi Radeon HD 5770
2X PreSonus Firepods, Event 20/20's, Alesis Monitor Ones, Alesis Point Sevens
Mixcraft Pro Studio 8.5, Cakewalk by BandLab

tinpan
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:31 pm

Re: Audio interface

Post by tinpan » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:17 am

Starship, you have me at a loss, Im not seeing what any of that has to do with what I posted. What am I missing?

User avatar
Acoustica Greg
Posts: 20262
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:30 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Audio interface

Post by Acoustica Greg » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:16 am

tinpan wrote:Ok so I picked up a Focusrite Scarlett solo studio pack, I like it fine but I still have issues, one being this:
I put my guitar in and with headphones plugged in the interface I can hear the guitar in real time which is great however it's the raw guitar, I want to hear the effects Im adding in the mixcraft 7 program, how do I hear the "real time" guitar with the effects added such as the shredder overdrive. How do I do that?
Hi,

Are you using ASIO in Mixcraft's sound device preferences? If not, try that. You would listen to playback through the Scarlett Solo.

Greg

Post Reply