Help with Picking a USB Interface

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by eriwebnerr, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    Hi, I am looking for a budget ($100 - $200 max) USB interface for recording. I am currently using a Line 6 TonePort UX2. I have been very happy with it, that is until I tried Peavey's Revalver MKIII and Waves GTR Solo. Tone and feel wise, the amp models are just several steps better than what the Gearbox software can do. The problem is, I am having a hardtime getting the UX2 to play nice with these other pieces of software. I am using ASIO to interface and I am getting too much latency.

    I really like that the TonePort has "zero" latency monitoring and that it works perfectly as a standalone. I much prefer standalones to plugins. In fact I rarely use plugins, I like to hear what I am playing right then and there. So my questions are:

    • Is latency just a given when we are talking about most standalones? Have I been spoiled by Line 6's "Direct Monitoring"?
    • Should the UX2 be able to work with the other software I mentioned? Maybe I am just configuring something wrong?
    • If you would recommend another USB Interface, which one and why?
    Your thoughts on any or all of the above are welcome.

    As a side note: I see that Line 6 now has new interfaces that look like the old TonePorts with a makeover. I assume these are replacements as the price has dropped on the older Toneports. I wonder what the big difference is. They are bundled with a new Pod farm plugin. I wonder if those would be better than the UX2 as far as working with other software? Oddly the sound sampes sound better than the UX2.
     
  2. buddyboy

    buddyboy Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm still very new to this whole recording stuff, but I've settled on Reaper as my recording software. My guitar and bass is plugged into an M-Audio Solo Firewire interface. Sometimes I use a stomp box before the interface. I only record by myself (no other players), so the store I bought it from suggested it.

    Using this interface with Reaper and various plug-ins, I get absolutely no latency issues on a pretty standard PC.

    The M-Audio was pretty cheap iirc.
     
  3. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    Buddyboy,
    Thanks for your help on this. I think I had a compounded problem. I am using a laptop that was great for its time (Toshiba Tecra 2Ghz w/ 2 GB RAM), but is now 4+ years old and is dogging it. I would guess the bottle neck is the old Mobile CPU and FSB speed of the Motherboard.

    The other problem was that I was using Acid 5 to record and it did not allow monitoring of plugins before or during recording, only after the track is recorded. I downloaded Reaper and found less latency using a VST as opposed to the standalone.

    So, all that being said I found posts here and on the Line 6 forum saying that the toneports can work just as good with plugins or other modeling apps as any other interface. By tweaking the buffer size I use with an ASIO client in the Line 6 driver, I have found this to be true.

    I was able to get minimal latency with GTR Solo but my CPU was at 80 - 90% allocated to GTR at all times. Bottom line, it looks like its time for a upgrade to my computer, not my USB interface.

    Also, for any who are interested, it doesn't look like the old tone ports are going away. They are simply dropping the price and marketing them more toward vocalists or all around recording as the new "POD studio" interfaces don't include bass or preamp models. From everything I have read, the interfaces are exactly the same, the new ones just have a shiny black exterior. The real difference is the software. Toneports come with Gearbox and POD Studios come with the new POD farm plugin. However, toneport users can buy POD Farm for $49 - reduced from its street price of $99.
     
  4. Tubes and Strings

    Tubes and Strings Supporting Member

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    Be sure to set the buffer size in Revalver to be quite small. That helped a lot for me. I could hear the latency until I did that...
     

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