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Old 10-31-2017, 10:32 AM
cjsmithley cjsmithley is offline
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Default Moving to a computer based system. Interface help appreciated.

I have been recording for a while now on a Zoom R8 recorder and am to the point now that I'm ready to move on to something more capable. I initially started by recording directly to the device and moving audio over to Audacity to do some basic editing and then tried using the unit as an interface to record in GarageBand and Audacity, but I haven't been super impressed with the results so far (perhaps I just need to put a bit more work into it to get to a point where I'm happy with it). Either way, I'm looking to upgrade and I've narrowed my search down a handful of options--although I would gladly take other suggestions.

What I'm looking for:
  • 4+ XLR inputs (the most I'll be recording at one time is 2 sdc, plus direct for fingerstyle; add ldc for vocals, occasionally)
  • At least 24-bit/48kHz
  • Must be thunderbolt or usb
  • At least one--preferably two--midi input(s)
  • I like the idea of having a dual recorder/interface to use as a controller and for portability to record live performances (although, I could just use the R8 for that if needed). Does a standalone interface perform better than a recorder/interface? I also can't seem to find any with midi inputs that are usb/thunderbolt - anybody know of one?
  • Prefer to keep the budget around $500-600 for the interface, although there is a little wiggle room, and I don't mind lightly used
  • I'm planning to upgrade to either AbletonLive or Logic Pro in the not-so-distant future, if it makes a difference.
  • Any other considerations I'm neglecting?
Here are some of the options I've come up with:Any personal experience, thoughts, etc. are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for sharing your time and expertise!
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:29 PM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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The Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 is what I have and it works perfectly for all my needs. If it broke down, I'd buy another.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:22 PM
rdm321 rdm321 is offline
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Another vote for Focusrite. I use it to record in both GarageBand and Logic, and I'm always happy with the results.
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:35 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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These are supposed to be released tomorrow. Antelope is a very well regarded name. Based on reputation alone, I'd bet these units will be good bang for the buck. The Discrete 4 with Basic FX is likely going to be a bit above your price range but I don't know how much the street price will be.

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2017/...dio-interface/
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:03 PM
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I'm another Focusrite Scarlett user. I have an 18i8 and it has been a good and dependable interface. The Discrete 4 as linked above does look interesting though. I wonder if there would be a noticeable improvement in recording quality assuming all other parts of the chain remain the same?
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:42 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Vintage King has it up on their site. It's priced at $895 but it looks like good value for that money as it's a lot more than just an interface.

From the VK description:

The Antelope Audio Discrete 4 is a an audio interface featuring four console grade, six transistor, fully discrete microphone preamps with high quality conversion. The internal preamps can handle up to 121 dB of dynamic range, and with the use of FPGA FX, can be turned into authentic models of the industries top Tube, Transformer and discrete preamps.

The Antelope AFX platform is an ever expanding hardware modeling engine. Included with the Discrete 4 are a variety of preamp models, guitar amps, transformer and tube FX, and a huge selection of vintage EQ’s and compressors. All accessible within your DAW via the ConnectAFX plug-in.

Discrete 4 offers a total of 14 inputs and 20 outputs through its two ADAT connections and onboard S/PDIF connection. Right out of the box comes with four analog inputs that can accept mic or line level, four analog line outputs for monitoring and cue system setups, and two re-amp outputs to send any line level signal back through an amp or loudspeaker.
An Entire Signal Path of Customizable Sonic Excellence

With the internal DSP and FPGA FX system, both the engineer and performer can monitor classic microphone preamps, EQs, compressors and FX in real time. You can choose to print these settings in the recording process, or have the ability to record dry and add all the FXs back in during the mixing process. The entire signal path was designed for optimal level with any microphone. Take full advantage of these amazing features by adding the new Antelope Audio Verge and Edge microphones, which were specially designed for the Discrete series preamps.
Monitor FX During Tracking – ConnectAFX Plugin For The Mix

Right out of the box, you will have access to 50+ FPGA plug-ins. These plug-ins can be recorded and monitored in real time through the use of internal DSP, offering no latency to the engineer or artist. Use them with Discrete 4 through EasyPanel or in a DAW via the new ConnectAFX plug-in. Due to the component-based modeling platform, they sound and respond just like the real hardware.

Transform your guitar rig into some of the most iconic vintage amps and cabinets on the market through the front panel hi-Z input. You can then add vintage compression, EQ, or studio effects which can all be monitored in real time with zero latency. You can choose to only monitor these effects and just record the direct input, allowing unlimited flexibility later in the mix.
Remote Control

Most all of the features of the Discrete 4 can be controlled through a downloadable remote app. Including input levels, talkback levels, and monitoring and headphone levels. Musicians can control the sound of their headphone mix through their phone, allowing the engineer to keep a proper eye on the recording levels.
Free FX Library Included

Including exclusives from BAE, Grove Hill, Gyraf and Lang

Receive an ever-growing bank of Realtime FX plug-ins when you register your Antelope Audio interface. With your purchase, you gain access to emulations of top-of-the-line gear, helping your achieve the sound you're looking for.
FPGA FX bundles

Antelope's new breed of hardware-based effects are broken down into four, gear-specific packages: Guitar Classics, Equalizer Legends, Vintage Compressors and Auraverb, a reverb designed by Antelope's hand-picked team of mathematicians, including company founder, Igor Levin.

GUITAR CLASSICS

Burnsphere (DE) / Marcus II Overange 120 (UK) / Tweed Deluxe / Top 30 / Darkface / Modern / Plexi 59 / Rock 75 / Rock 22.10 / + more amp and cab FX coming soon

EQUALIZER LEGENDS

Veq-1A / Vmeq-5 / Veq-HLF / BAE 1073 / BAE 1084 / LANG-PEQ2 / UK-69 / Veq-55A / Veq-55b / Veq-STU 089 / Veq-STU 169 / Veq HA32C / BAE 1023 / Neu-W492 / Neu-W495 / Neu-PEV / ParametricEQ / Veq-4K Black / Veq-4K Brown / Veq-4K Pink / Veq-4K Orange / + more EQ hardware-based FX coming soon

VINTAGE COMPRESSORS

Antelope FeedForward / Grove Hill Liverpool / BA-6A / SMT-100A / FET-A78 / ALT-436C / Stay-Levin / VCA160 / Tube 176 / X903 / Gyraf Gyratec X / FET-A76

AURAVERB FEATURES

→ New algorithmic reverb runs in real time on Antelope’s own DSP engine
→ 24 custom presets created by Brian Vibberts for various instruments and styles
→ ‘Color’ and ‘Richness’ parameters enable users to control different textures and densities
→ PreDelay can delay the onset of reverb by up to 150ms
→ Long and smooth decays feature no digital artifacts
→ Create your own savable presets and share with other AuraVerb users
→ Signals can also be routed from DAW software as a Hardware Insert
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:14 AM
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I wonder if the recording quality would be perceptively better than a Scarlett?
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:50 AM
Hurricane Ramon Hurricane Ramon is offline
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Thumbs up Scarlett Series


I've a 6i6 2nd.gen. and it's quite a unit .
  • Audio clarity is really quite remarkable
  • 2 headphone monitoring it super
  • Midi in/out <===<<<- I need
  • 4 outputs for routing as you wish is really cool
  • 6 inputs work for me

I have yet to tap into the power of it by using an
SPDIF outboard FX unit into it via it's SPDIF in/out's .

Got me a new one by haggling for $200.00 heh heh heh .
Great software bundle too .

EZ :

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Old 11-01-2017, 03:09 AM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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You mention "I haven't been super impressed with the results so far"
Are you not happy with the flexibility you have or the sound quality you are getting?

Any of the interfaces you mention would be a step up but, working on some basic room treatment (absorption and/or diffusion) would go a long way to improved recordings. This can get expensive but should not be an afterthought.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:35 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbroady View Post
Any of the interfaces you mention would be a step up but, working on some basic room treatment (absorption and/or diffusion) would go a long way to improved recordings. This can get expensive but should not be an afterthought.
Absolutely. But research the topic before you fall into the beginner's trap of wasting a lot of money on the foam products which have minimal efficacy.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:38 AM
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Do thunderbolt only interfaces require external power?
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:03 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Another one for your list: The Tascam US16X08 https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/US16x08

But I agree with the comments about your recording/mixing environment - If you can't get decent recordings using the R8, why not? What are the problems?
Room treatment (not foam) is one of the best investments a home recordist can make as none of us have the best recording environments. The ability to 'record what you hear' and also to accurately monitor for mixing purposes are crucial.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Song View Post
Do thunderbolt only interfaces require external power?
Not sure exactly what you mean by external power ? ....There are few "bus powered" TB interfaces (that I know of) 2 from Zoom and 1 from Resident Audio
Then a number of the lesser expensive units with fewer I/O connections/features use wall warts (AC to DC), and then units with more I/O and more features will usually have 120v AC direct connection
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:48 AM
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I use the Presonus Studio One Pro software and it has great sound quality, flexibility, stability and ease of use.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:28 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobolo Kid View Post
I use the Presonus Studio One Pro software and it has great sound quality, flexibility, stability and ease of use.
Studio One is your DAW. The OP is inquiring about interfaces.
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