Which Audio Interface Should I Buy?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by zachjonesmail, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. zachjonesmail

    zachjonesmail Member

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    Hello Gear Page community,

    I am in the market for an audio interface for apartment recording. I'm new to this. I'd to like to be able to come home and easily create songs with my instruments/mics without having to unplug and switch things around all the time. I'd like good enough quality that I could eventually upload my songs to Spotify or similar platforms. Music is my main hobby so would like a good UAD interface that lasts. Thank you! Details below

    It would be great to know:

    What would you recommend if money wasn't an option?

    What would you recommend for under $1200?

    Basic Needs:

    I use vocal mic, guitar with pedalboard (possibly mic'd or Line out), bass, midi keyboard.

    - I'd like to record my vocals and guitar at the same time but split these into separate tracks into Logic or Protools. This will be JUST ME recording, not a full band.

    -I'd like to then be able to pick up the bass and/or play the midi keyboard easily and add those tracks to the computer program.

    -I would like to be able to monitor my vocals and guitar in my ear via headphones in real time. This is mostly for personal use as I'd like to get used to hearing my own voice as I'm singing.

    -Not requirement but it would be a plus to allow for one other player to accompany me at the same time when I'm singing/playing guitar, i.e. bass or midi keyboard, though I've heard that midi keyboards only require a USB to the computer and are not connected to the interface?? Assume they will NOT need a vocals mic.

    Thanks!

    -Zach
     
  2. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    You answer a lot of the questions but you might check out the sticky on gear advice to help ensure you provide the info needed for people to provide relevant suggestions.
     
  3. northfortyrecords

    northfortyrecords Supporting Member

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    I'd recommend the Audient iD4 for $200. For a little more, which would allow expansion in the future (12 inputs total), I'd recommend the RME Babyface FS Pro for $900. A used Babyface Pro or UCX can be found on the used market for much less and are still awesome tools that you can count on.
     
    flatdream likes this.
  4. dB

    dB Member

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    I have similar needs and I'm looking at the SSL2 and the iD4. Leaning towards the SSL2 as (I think?) it will be easier to record stereo effects due to the pair of XLR inputs. Not sure which software yet, but I think I'm liking the free version of Studio One.
     
  5. makerdp

    makerdp Member

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    sounds like a PreSonus 1810 will do nicely for you and save you quite bit under your budget. If you want to step up the quality a little but get a little less out-of-the-box IO (but expandable to more IO than the 1810) then the Audient iD44 is an awesome choice.
     
    flatdream likes this.
  6. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    Which platform will you be running? Windows or Mac?
     
  7. zachjonesmail

    zachjonesmail Member

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    Mac. What do you guys think about the Apollo Twin MK II? Thanks.
     
  8. Solarflares

    Solarflares Member

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    Get modern.
    The new Motu M2 and M4 are USB-C ,class compliant , and have true low latency. They are iPad friendly , and you can then run Studio One on all your Apple stuff - or a friend’s iPhone even!
    M4 would be enough for you , and your input/monitoring needs. Only $300 too.
    Otherwise it’s RME for their driver-stability and low latency. Babyface is rather liked.

    I’d get the M4 Motu if I were you. Especially as a first time DAW user.

    Avoid the old stuff , unless you really know your way around driver-issues and conflicts.
     
  9. ZeyerGTR

    ZeyerGTR Member

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    When I got a new mac last year, i had to replace my "old reliable" Presonus Firepod (it worked fine, firewire just wasn't supported :( ) and went with an Apollo Arrow. Simple, cheapest decent Thunderbolt interface I could fine, and it works great. I'm quite happy so far, although only 2 inputs.
     
    ford likes this.
  10. nl128

    nl128 Silver Supporting Member

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    I started off with a UA arrow just to get my feet wet in recording . I'm basically in the same situation as you and have similar goals. I loved the arrow and the UA plugins but I eventually bought a apollo quad just because I needed more DSP to run the plugins I wanted to use.

    The arrow and apollo are basically the same as far as sound quality and use goes. The only difference is the apollo can have more DSP chips to run more plugins at once.

    If you're going to be printing your tracks straight to your daw , you can get away with the arrow and it's single DSP chip.
     
  11. kiki_90291

    kiki_90291 Member

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    If you want to just leave everything plugged in, you need something with sufficient ins to handle all your instruments/mics. On the higher end of your price range, something like the MOTU 828es has 8 inputs built in and would work. In addition, it has digital ins, so you can connect additional hardware to give you more inputs. The Apollo and RME desktop units provide the same ability (but they have fewer inputs built in, so you'd have to expand immediately.
     
  12. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    I was going to suggest that to you if you were using a Mac. You will be able to get the Luna DAW software free to use with it. Take a look at some of it online. I can’t wait to use it myself and have held of buying a new DAW as I haven’t been all that happy with what I was using.

    That being said, I have had a couple of UA interfaces over the years with no issues. I currently have had an Apollo x8p and it has been great for the past year. I’ve taken it out to do remote recordings of my band and used it a tone at home in my own studio setup. Not a hiccup at all.

    I have quite a few UAD plugins so it is nice to use these with the unit in place and nothing else to add.
     
    ford likes this.
  13. zachjonesmail

    zachjonesmail Member

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    I have been led to the Motu M4. It has extra line in's and seems to be at a much cheaper price than the Apollo. The ultimate goal is to get the tracks into Logic. I am not very familiar with DSPs or what they are used for exactly. Do you guys think this Motu device would be a good option? Thank you.
     
  14. makerdp

    makerdp Member

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    USB-C is just a connector... it still runs on USB 2.0, which is fine, there's just a LOT of confusion about what USB-C actually means. It's nothing more than a different cable.

    IMO, the M4 checks very few of your boxes.

    Here is why I suggested the Presonus 1810...

    4 XLR mic pres (two double as instrument DI and all four can be line inputs)
    4 dedicated line inputs
    2 channels of S/PDIF I/O
    6 outputs
    ADAT expandability for 8 more inputs down the road
    MIDI I/O for legacy keyboards, etc.

    The M4 only has two mic and two line inputs.
     
    Jerrod likes this.
  15. Kronos147

    Kronos147 Member

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    If you want to record the keyboards MIDI performance data, you can do that at the same time if you only have a 2 channel interface.

    You could get an interface that has more ins. Lynx Auroras 8 channels are in your range now.

    Else, you could get two channels, and only jam with keyboardists that like your keyboard plug ins, and maybe get a patch bay.
     
  16. SideBMusic

    SideBMusic Member

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    I really like my Universal Audio Apollo Twin. Great converters. The sales crew at Sweetwater.com have been very helpful over the years for me and I recommend contacting them for advice. All of the salespeople I have talked to are experienced with music and have provided good information for my purchases.
     

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