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Old 12-08-2019, 11:40 AM   #1
screechy badman
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Default New computer, please advise for new audio interface

Hi.

It's my first post here. I've lurked a bit and always found the forum supportive and educational.

I am due to receive a new Windows machine (configuration below) this week and am looking for a decent audio interface to use with Reaper.

I might record 1 or 2 instruments/mics/synths simultaneously and would like to have the option of working in 24bit/192khz, with some midi in and outs. I'm assuming firewire or USB?

On my old Windows 7 machine I've been running the M-Audio Delta 66 Omni interface which has been rock solid and I'll be sad not to use it anymore.

I live in the UK and would be happy to spend up to £200.

I'm new to forums in general so I'm sorry if this post is repetitive or wrongly placed.

I'd greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you in advance.

PC configuration:

- TUF Z390M-PRO GAMING LGA1151 Micro-ATX Motherboard
- 9th Gen Core i9 9900K 3.6GHz 8C/16T 95W 16MB Coffee Lake CPU
- Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) Memory Kit
- Palit GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER DUAL 8GB Turing Graphics Card
- Straight Power 11 CM 750W Modular PSU, BN283
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200)
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:57 AM   #2
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Hi. Here's a recent rundown of some current models: https://www.musicradar.com/news/the-...nners-and-pros

I am sure others will advise on older models that are worth considering.

I would be surprised BTW if a new machine had Firewire.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:09 AM   #3
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For that money, get a Focusrite Scarlett gen 3 and don't look back. Great preamps, super reliable, a breeze to install. They just work.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:54 PM   #4
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Thank you both.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:13 AM   #5
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Offtopic but i am anxious to see DAW performance honest/detailed comparisson tests between I9 9900K and AMD Ryzen 3900X.

Me thinking AMD is really stepping up, against Intel.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Martins View Post
For that money, get a Focusrite Scarlett gen 3 and don't look back. Great preamps, super reliable, a breeze to install. They just work.

Having just spent two weeks with tech support trying to get this unit to install in my PC, my experience could not be further from the above. I took the device back because I was fed up with installing new drivers, doing updates, and a bunch of other things. I’m currently looking for a USB device as well.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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Just bought a Steinberg UR242 and it installed without problem first try. The lowest latency I’ve ever had too!
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by traynor_garnet View Post
Just bought a Steinberg UR242 and it installed without problem first try. The lowest latency I’ve ever had too!
Steinberg's low latency performance is just average ...but the drivers have always been very stable and hardware/conversion/preamps are all fine.

The new MOTU M2 and M4 are an interesting new option for quality of conversion to price ratio and advertised latency is good....but MOTU drivers for Windows have often been problematic and so far this series seems to be no exception.
Hopefully they get this sorted in the next few months with driver updates and these could be a real winner.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:17 AM   #9
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Stella645, please detail what problems MOTU drivers have in Windows. I've never had a single issue with the drivers using my 1st generation MOTU 8pre. Thanks. MOTU drivers have always proven rock solid on both Win & Mac in my rather long experience.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:05 AM   #10
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In the new MOTU M2, M4 thread at gearslutz, it seems lots of users are losing connection to the interface.

I have an 8A which is advertised as a thunderbolt and USB3 device but on USB3 it is completely hopeless..any change of sample rate leads to complete audio loss.
On USB2 it actually works ok...it has only average latency performance though.

While many manufacturers manage to report latency correctly nowadays, MOTU aren't too good with it. As it's a steady 88 samples out on my 8A regardless of buffer or sr I don't get why it's not written into the driver

And although I haven't had my 8A long enough to have experienced this personally, I've read that latency on the AVB range on Windows was significantly lower in some of the earlier releases but has got worse with subsequent drivers.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:19 AM   #11
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I bought a Presonus Studio 26c USBc interface a few months back.

Total plug n play, no issues at all.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:40 AM   #12
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Just in case anyone is following this, I went for the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface.

I had no issues installing it and so far it is running well with all my software and games. Seems pretty solid and doesn't take up much desk space.

That's on Windows 10 and you'll find my pc specs in the first post.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:24 AM   #13
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I got MOTU M4 but it was constantly losing connection so I exchanged it for Steinberg UR44C interface. No issues so far on Windows 10 Ryzen 32gigs ram. In my case the latency with both is the same but Steinberg drivers work great where the MOTU was borderline unusable.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:12 PM   #14
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I'm going to pull the plug on the RME HDSPe AIO PCI-e.
I have a Focusrite 2i2 but I have a lot of outboard that I can't use now that I'm making music and rebuilding my studio right this time.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwert678!!!! View Post
I'm going to pull the plug on the RME HDSPe AIO PCI-e.
I have a Focusrite 2i2 but I have a lot of outboard that I can't use now that I'm making music and rebuilding my studio right this time.
I'd get this as well. If you spend so much cash an a 9900k system, you want to pair it with the best performing interface
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:31 AM   #16
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Wow, your configuration is incredible. i9 processor is very powerful (and expensive). How much it cost?
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwert678!!!! View Post
I'm going to pull the plug on the RME HDSPe AIO PCI-e.
I have a Focusrite 2i2 but I have a lot of outboard that I can't use now that I'm making music and rebuilding my studio right this time.
If I was doing this again, I think I'd almost certainly go for something with Dante interfacing, and then use as many of these:

https://www.ferrofish.com/

as was needed to give me my analog IO.

(spoken as someone who's currently running 32 channels of adat IO with a Ferrofish and a couple of those old Behringer boxes for all that yummy old hardware)
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:03 PM   #18
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That's one hell of a cpu you're getting there.

I'll reccommend the Audient. I've had a scarlett, Alesis and a Roland quad caprture..

The quad would be my second choice, but the audient is on an other level. Id4 if you're on a budget, or ID14 for the total bomb.

That interface has great preamps, headphone amp and converters. No gizmos and blinking lights, just great fundamentals.

Latency is decent on my puny laptop, and great on my DAW.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:46 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

If anyone's interested, this is the machine I went for.

https://www.quietpc.com/sys-serenity-mini-s

I think it's a thing of beauty.

The company is based in the UK and is a pleasure to work with.
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:02 AM   #20
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Default Hi, I am ALSO looking into a new interface

Any help appreciatted:

I Love the sound of my "Focusrite Saffire6 USB" interface but the latency is KILLING me!

I just cant work like this.
I make 16 track recordings to back me when I play live (see my website to hear a real world example)...and as I get more and more picky about rhythym and feel..I just cant go further with my set-up.

I do my drums with Hypersonic..cause that works well. And my DAW is Reaper 5.9
My PC is Dell Inspiron with i7 CPU at 2.6 GhzRAM is 16 GB running Win10

....based on that what would you recommend???
PS: I'm still a little newbie so...if there is something else making my latency horrible..let me know.
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:03 AM   #21
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Default Zoom UAC-2, any thoughts?

Zoom UAC-2, any thoughts?
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:04 AM   #22
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Maybe my Saffire6 USBi s so old it cant keep up?????
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:18 AM   #23
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What is your Saffire set to? What does Reaper report the latency as?

Are you sure you're not adding to the latency with plugins?
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Old 04-28-2020, 12:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Stella645 View Post
What is your Saffire set to? What does Reaper report the latency as?

Are you sure you're not adding to the latency with plugins?

How can I tell what Reaper latency is occuring? (where do I see that)?
Plug-ins? Yes..they do produce some latency..but even with an outboard doing the heavy lifts (UAD-2 Satelite)..and channels muted..its far from acceptable for 16th note hih ates at 153 bpm.
Any advice?
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Old 04-28-2020, 12:37 PM   #25
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.its far from acceptable for 16th note hih ates at 153 bpm.

Not sure what 16th note hi hats or bpm has to do with it....what does this mean?

Channels being muted also has zero affect on latency.
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Old 04-28-2020, 01:20 PM   #26
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Default It says 5.8/11mSecs

It says 5.8/11mSecs ASIO (I use ASIO4 ALL)
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Old 04-28-2020, 01:24 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Stella645 View Post


.Not sure what 16th note hi hats or bpm has to do with it....what does this mean?
1) OOOPS I did not know..Channels being muted also has zero affect on latency.

2) Not sure what 16th note hi hats or bpm has to do with it....what does this mean?
It means when I am in record mode and playing a rapid passage like 16th note Hihats..they dont sit the proper in the track....and sometimes the DAW will skip or pause during the recording UGH!!!
I have tried numerous settings of buffers but still have this problem..maybe its my interface itself?? (The speed of its CPU??)
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:13 PM   #28
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Any help appreciatted:

I Love the sound of my "Focusrite Saffire6 USB" interface but the latency is KILLING me!


PS: I'm still a little newbie so...if there is something else making my latency horrible..let me know.
I had a long ghastly experience with the well-meaning support guys at Focusrite with my Saffire 6 version 1, which worked great with the Pentium core duo I had at the time. Traded up to an i5 and spent literally months trying to get the Saffire6 to run right on my i5.
After trading my saffire with focusrite for the then new 2i2 & then the 2i4, neither of them worked reliably either, so I gave up and bought an RME Babyface. Still working wonderfully. However, Focusrite did put out new versions of the version 1drivers a while back, so before you switch interfaces it would be worth seeing if there is a newer driver available for your elderly beast.
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:45 PM   #29
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..........focusrite for the then new 2i2 & then the 2i4, neither of them worked reliably either, so I gave up and bought an RME Babyface. Still working wonderfully. However, Focusrite did put out new versions of the version 1drivers a while back, so before you switch interfaces it would be worth seeing if there is a newer driver available for your elderly beast.
I have gone to the focusrite website many times and downloaded and reload the "latest drivers"..its made no difference.

After all this time..I thought it was me..but I think the interface just cant transfer data very well.
I looked at the babyface. Its neat looking very spiffy...but looks like you need to graple with it EVERY single time you plug into it. A minor gripe..but...more important...it is ROCK solid? Can one be bought used and it will work without a special dong or whatever? (or a subscription or etc)??? Note Im on a PC. Details above in the thread.
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:26 PM   #30
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Seems the best latency I can currently achieve is 11msec..acc to the top Right on my screen.
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:15 PM   #31
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Default I like, no LOVE my scarlet 18i20 2nd gen

But then again you said you only wanted 2 or so inputs. I had a Tascam US 2X2 which worked okay but at the time both would go into the same stereo channel there was no way to have input 1 go into input 1 and input 2 to go to input 2.They suggested to set the pans on the stereo input to the most extreme left for input one and the most extreme right for input two then set up a sends to different channels...that kind of thing. And their US 1X2 although states it has midi in their literature...well it just doesn't. They claimed they were speaking to the overall family of their US X by X's as being midi capable. Wha??? Yeah they just didn't want to give a refund. They or Amazon.

The only thing I have found to be a problem with Focusrite is that it doesn't work well with Make Music's Finale V26, in playing vst's. Finale insists it has to run with a High Def Sound card. And, most computers come loaded with Realtek's High Def, which seems to have problems all its own with computer mice and some apps. So my cure was just to eliminate the Realtek' drivers from my computer. No, after having this Focusrite and having it with all the programmable monitor outs and all of its other features, there is nothing else I'd get instead. If I had to do it over again. Except maybe get the Claret instead of Scarlett. I simply love it. I put it in a mini rack, with my Brix computer mounted on the back of my monitor, that sits above it, and it has become my sound desk for everything audio I do. And it's expandable up to 20 some inputs. And with the routing matrix of Reaper it is limitless in its capabilities.

Although 192khz 24bit sampling rates? I know it sounds great, really great...but. Now I left a post somewhere on this forum about audio sampling rates a while ago.... And, my buddy that is my sound engineer, took classes from, and has worked on projects with Alan Parsons... one of the guys at the panels for those 4 English dudes, that old four piece band...known as the Rutles...no wait it was the Beatles. Ha Ha a little humor there. Anyways, prior to my buddy taking classes from, and working with Mr. Parsons we had been using 96. whatever khz... and granted it sounds great.

But according to Alan and my buddy also says don't record at anything above 88.2khz 24bit rate. Because it is good enough to collect all that will be needed farther down the road. Lets say you are going to send your stems off to be processed and mastered in a studio, or by a sound engineer ...what have you. Apparently it causes more problems in being able to manipulate the audio files with such high sampling rates. So just for your knowledge, and to be of help I'm passing that on.

Those super high rates of sampling are mostly used in the film industry I was told. Because honestly there aren't any mp3 players that can come close to even 88.2khz. CD's are what 41.1khz and DVD's are at 48.1khz so there really is no need to go over the 88.2khz, unless you are only planning on playing your stuff, to yourself on your computer through the DAW you made it in. And if that's the case Go for it. Because it really does sound great at 192khz, but know that nothing else will be able to play it.

Last edited by Rshwin; 04-29-2020 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Wrote Ruggles not Rutles oops.
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:36 AM   #32
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I have gone to the focusrite website many times and downloaded and reload the "latest drivers"..its made no difference.

After all this time..I thought it was me..but I think the interface just cant transfer data very well.
I looked at the babyface. Its neat looking very spiffy...but looks like you need to graple with it EVERY single time you plug into it. A minor gripe..but...more important...it is ROCK solid? Can one be bought used and it will work without a special dong or whatever? (or a subscription or etc)??? Note Im on a PC. Details above in the thread.
I bought mine used about 6 months after they came out & it is still rock solid to this day. No idea where you got the impression you need to grapple with it... I use it mostly with my Mac Mini at home and with a PC laptop when I am in France.

No issues with either one, even when I use it with a Focusrite octopre LE plugged in to give an extra 8 ins and outs.
I doubt I will sell mine ever, but I suspect you could pick one up pretty reasonably nowadays, since they are "discontinued" but in the grand RME tradition they still update drivers firmware and totalmix on a regular basis, as they do with my RME HDSP 9652 pci in the studio machine.
Most recent updates for my hardware were in feb 2020, so definitely still well up to date.

Sorry - I missed the bit about dongles, subscriptions etc. No. None of that. Once you own it, it is yours & you will get ALL updates free. And as for rock solid, all RME hardware and software is that way in my experience & that of many many others..

EDIT: Damn! Mk1 Babyfaces are selling for more than I paid for mine a few years ago in the UK & it looks the same in the USA. Cheapest one I saw was a fairly battered one sold with no bag or cables for $350!!
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:09 AM   #33
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Zoom UAC-2, any thoughts?
I use the UAC-8 for a live setup, on a mediocre computer with lots of plugins. Depending on the performance of the plugins, I can go as low as 96 samples - which means a very low latency with the Zoom. 128 has never been a real problem so far, at least the guitarists aren't complaining while their pedals' output goes into Reaper, is tweaked a little further, and then goes back into the amps via reamp boxes.
As long as you don't overdrive the preamps - which in this case means no more than -12dBFS - I have no complaints about the sound. Oh, and I needed to activate Windows Developer Mode in order to have the driver installed on the live machine. On my studio computer, that wasn't necessary somehow.
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Old 04-29-2020, 05:52 AM   #34
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I use the UAC-8 for a live setup,...................
As long as you don't overdrive the preamps - which in this case means no more than -12dBFS - I have no complaints about the sound. Oh, and I needed to activate Windows Developer Mode in order to have the driver installed on the live machine. On my studio computer, that wasn't necessary somehow.
Thank you for sharing your experience. -GtrGeorge
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:33 PM   #35
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Default There is a video on figuring it out

Quote:
Originally Posted by GtrGeorge View Post
How can I tell what Reaper latency is occuring? (where do I see that)?
Plug-ins? Yes..they do produce some latency..but even with an outboard doing the heavy lifts (UAD-2 Satelite)..and channels muted..its far from acceptable for 16th note hih ates at 153 bpm.
Any advice?
I don't remember which exact one it was. But it involved looping out the out put of your interface, and plugging the phone jack cable back into an input. There was also a plug-in with-in Reaper to use to determine the latency. One used the plug-in with the actual routing from out puts of the interface and back into it's inputs. It is nothing one should try without the aid of the video though. A hell of a lot of feedback can occur if done improperly. And also don't wear your headphones doing it as well cause....ouch that would hurt.

All I can remember about where the video was -in the video's collection on Reaper- is that it was on the right lower section of their videos. Yes I know that's no real help at all. But Know they have one and a plug-in described in the video to help figure out ones system's latency. I hope that helps.
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Old 04-30-2020, 01:18 AM   #36
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It says 5.8/11mSecs ASIO (I use ASIO4 ALL)
1) ASIO4ALL tends to lie when reporting the latency (it isnt written for your interface so it doesn't know its performance)
2) why do you use ASIO4ALL at all - is focusrite ASIO borked?
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Old 04-30-2020, 01:30 AM   #37
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But then again you said you only wanted 2 or so inputs. I had a Tascam US 2X2 which worked okay but at the time both would go into the same stereo channel there was no way to have input 1 go into input 1 and input 2 to go to input 2.They suggested to set the pans on the stereo input to the most extreme left for input one and the most extreme right for input two then set up a sends to different channels...that kind of thing. And their US 1X2 although states it has midi in their literature...well it just doesn't. They claimed they were speaking to the overall family of their US X by X's as being midi capable. Wha??? Yeah they just didn't want to give a refund. They or Amazon.
That's pretty odd, Tascam pretty clearly marks 1x2 has no MIDI (plus you can find photos of its back easily). Odd thing with the inputs too, I used a 2x2 for a sec and had no weird problems with its inputs. Altough granted, their mixing driver looks kinda complex if arent used to it(I think there was a "DAW" mode in there where everything was quite normal tho).
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:25 PM   #38
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Default maybe now it does

But the ad on its web site and the Amazon ad both listed midi as of last year September. I raised cane with both of them and ...see here this pic is taken directly off of Amazon's response to me stating it wasn't going to give me a refund. You can clearly see that it's own pic lists it with midi, as did its ad and Tascam's online description.

"Bob,



We would agree that the page heading for the US-1x2 is a bit confusing but it is really referring to a "family" of interfaces as indicated by the "US Series Comparison Chart" further down the page."

Directly from Tascam out of their apology/non apology e-mail they sent me. The other pic will clearly identify that it came from Tascam.

"n a previous email we explained about the input selection in Cakewalk, where input 1 of the Tascam is input 1 left in Cakewalk and input 2 of the Tascam is input 1 right in Cakewalk. So with that you would create 2 tracks in Cakewalk. For the first track you would select input 1 left as the input and for the second track you would select input 1 right."

That was from another email from "custser5" for the US 2X2. You can't have out put 1 go to channel/track 1, and output 2 go to channel/track 2 of your daw. You have to play around with setting stereo channels with pans to their extremes, I don't care what he says it didn't work out like he said. And still, it doesn't operate like a true stereo preamp. Because if you want to use it as a mic/line pre amp to route two different inputs to two different sides of a system ie. bass in input 1 going to left side, mic in input 2 going to right side, that can't be done either. Not as a standalone, anyway. I ended up having to use my circa 1978 Realistic Stereo Mic pre amp to get that job done. It is a useful thing but I wouldn't use it for a daw interface because I'm sure there are ones you don't have to mess around panning channels/tracks to get separation of inputs.

I don't tell untruths, or exaggerate. Knowingly anyways.
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Last edited by Rshwin; 04-30-2020 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:25 AM   #39
ivansc
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Interesting. I wonder what the USB connector on the Tascam US 1x2 is for, then...
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:09 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rshwin View Post
We would agree that the page heading for the US-1x2 is a bit confusing but it is really referring to a "family" of interfaces as indicated by the "US Series Comparison Chart" further down the page."

Directly from Tascam out of their apology/non apology e-mail they sent me. The other pic will clearly identify that it came from Tascam.
Yeah, they dropped the ball on that one a bit. Altough seems to be more of Amazon issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rshwin View Post
"n a previous email we explained about the input selection in Cakewalk, where input 1 of the Tascam is input 1 left in Cakewalk and input 2 of the Tascam is input 1 right in Cakewalk. So with that you would create 2 tracks in Cakewalk. For the first track you would select input 1 left as the input and for the second track you would select input 1 right."

That was from another email from "custser5" for the US 2X2. You can't have out put 1 go to channel/track 1, and output 2 go to channel/track 2 of your daw. You have to play around with setting stereo channels with pans to their extremes, I don't care what he says it didn't work out like he said. And still, it doesn't operate like a true stereo preamp. Because if you want to use it as a mic/line pre amp to route two different inputs to two different sides of a system ie. bass in input 1 going to left side, mic in input 2 going to right side, that can't be done either. Not as a standalone, anyway. I ended up having to use my circa 1978 Realistic Stereo Mic pre amp to get that job done. It is a useful thing but I wouldn't use it for a daw interface because I'm sure there are ones you don't have to mess around panning channels/tracks to get separation of inputs.

I don't tell untruths, or exaggerate. Knowingly anyways.
Took my 2x2 out of its retirement and installed the driver. Managed to record some guitar from input 1 to one track and some chinese shortwave to another track with input 2 no problem. In the direct monitoring mode when stereo mode is enabled in the driver input 1 is wired straight to left out, and input 2 to the right. So here seems to be quite normal.
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