Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

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Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by jdstamper » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:39 am

I'm still shopping for a new audio interface.

I like the Focusrite Scarlett and the PreSonus products. But I have read bad reviews from a few users of each, who seem to have trouble with latency, or pops & clicks, or other performance problems.

Any advice from Taxi Forum users? Thanks
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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by Len911 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:30 pm

I don't have a usb interface. The latency I would imagine would be if for example singing, that you would send your voice into the daw for effects and back out again to monitor? The solution is to buy an interface or mixer with onboard effects for monitoring, otherwise the daw should compensate as far as recording. The popping and cracking is probably due to having several tracks with inserts and not rendering them before playback, or a need to set the buffer size larger. The solution for that
is to either render or freeze the tracks which renders a track and turns off the inserted effects or instruments. You would unfreeze the tracks if you needed to make adjustments. Ideally it would be nice to have a 100 tracks with an instrument and 10 inserts for effects on each track, though it isn't very realistic.
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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by Kolstad » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:17 pm

I have had a Focusrite scarlett usb and currently a Focusrite Clarett thunderbolt interface. Both have been rock solid, and Focusrite has been fast to update drivers and firmware. Never had one issue with either. Before that I had a TC Electronics interface and that came with all kinds of issues, so I have been very happy with the Focusrites. Latency with the scarlett was about 5ms, and about 2ms now with the Clarett.

No experience with Presonus interfaces.

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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by LamarPecorino » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:58 pm

I have a Focusrite Scarlett that is great! No discernable latency issues so far.
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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by jdstamper » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:14 am

Thanks Len, Magne & Lamar ...

I'm also wondering if the Scarletts have enough gain to drive SM57 / 58 mics.

I love using these mics for almost everything. Yes I've tried other more expensive mics & condenser mics.

It sounds like the Scarlett preamps and many other audio interfaces have to be pretty much at max for these dynamic mics. Do the preamps work OK at max level?

I know lots of people are using cloud lifters, etc, but I'd rather not have to run 2 preamps on a mic to get the level up.

I find it strange that common audio interface preamps are not designed with enough gain for common studio mics.
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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by Kolstad » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:37 pm

I would consider a cloudlifter with dynamic mics. Cloudlifters are not preamps, but pre-preamps for better gain staging. Their function is to take the load off of the preamps in an interface, so the converters sound better in the sweetspot. And youll get less noise because you can turn your interface down.

You can do without though, but it will depend on the source and the use. Recording a horn or a horn section might work fine, but recording lead vocals with a dynamic mic without a cloudlifter may not. imo

If you use to record with dynamic mics, you should try one. Its one of those utility things that makes life easier.
Last edited by Kolstad on Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by Len911 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:58 pm

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... nput-level
The studio recording level (pro audio) of +4 dBu means a voltage of 1.228 volts.focusrite scarlett 2i2=Maximum input level +4 dBu/Gain Range 50 dB /how much gain will be required to amplify the test signal up to a level of one volt. For the SM58, we would need a pre-amp with a gain of 54.5 dB.
https://focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfa ... arlett-2i2

https://522bb370f5443d4fe5b9-f62de27af5 ... nglish.pdf

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-db-volt.htm

https://geoffthegreygeek.com/microphone-sensitivity/
0 VU = +4 dBu.


so if 0 VU=1.228 volts,and you need 54.5 db of gain to get 1 volt, and focusrite has 50db of gain, you can see about where you are. Personally, long ago I had an Sm58, and never had a problem either with cheap preamps I don't recall, or the API 200 @
55db max of gain. Ribbon mics require even more gain, and I never had a problem with the API and 55db gain max.
Cloud Microphones CL-2 Cloudlifter Features: Dual gain settings for 12dB or 25dB of noise-free amplification. Variable impedance loading, sweepable from 150 ohms to 15k ohms.
The device is more of an impedence ultimizing device
than an amplifier, making a device easier to drive amps, as amps create more noise and distortion when driven harder, or more saturation, which might be a good thing?? :lol:
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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by MJFrog » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:34 pm

I have used Focusrite and Presonus interfaces in USB and or Firewire.
In my experience most "Pops & Clicks" issues have been computer related ... with IRQ buss issues on Windows and firewall issues on Mac's.
Latency issues are mostly relatable to how much Processing power and speed you have as well as how much Memory is installed.

The bussing issue on Windows machines might require changing which USB port you use and how many things are plugged in.
Even using Firewire can be an issue if the firewire and USB ports share IRQ's ... which on some machines is the case.

The firewall on Mac's are notorious for causing issues if you use Wi-Fi and it is best to not use internet while tracking no matter what computer you are using.

It is possible to get very good recordings and mixes using these interfaces if your computer is properly set up (optimized)
and you learn how to properly set Sample Rate for the amount of tracks, plugins and resolution (think relative to tape speed but digitally speaking) - 44.1k vs. 48k or higher)
Bit rate should be at or above 16bit ... 24bit / 32bit Float has become the new standard with most pro studios making the leap to 32bit / 64bit Float in the latest versions of DAW's



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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by jdstamper » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:26 pm

Some of the PreSonus interfaces advertise a huge amount of preamp gain. The 1824 and some other models advertise 80db of gain range. Most audio interfaces advertise gain of 60 DB or below, so I'm trying to verify that the PreSonus really has a full 80db of gain.

This would mean for example that the PreSonus could drive an sm57 mic while only using about 70% of its gain, instead of being turned all the way up like most interface preamps.

Just wondering if anyone on the forum can verify that?
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Re: Experience with PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces?

Post by jdstamper » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:12 pm

I found a helpful video here testing the PreSonus 1824 preamp with an SM57, and it seems to drive it pretty well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqee3mnKcD0
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