Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

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ReganO
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Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by ReganO » Wed May 17, 2023 11:30 am

Hey All,

I'm in the market for an audio interface so I can start submitting to more of the piano instrumental listings. I have a Kawai ES920 that I'm currently using as a midi (as well as for playing out). The sound quality it produces is very high level; I'm really wanting to use it in conjunction with my DAW as opposed to the pre-loaded DAW piano sounds. Going forward I would also like to use the audio interface with a mic for singing (DAW recording) and of course additionally with headphones. I'm a Mac user...I've been looking at the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Gen 3. I would prefer to spend less than $200.00 all in (cables etc.) at this time. Thoughts?

Thanks a bunch as usual!!

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Re: Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by cosmicdolphin » Wed May 17, 2023 12:32 pm

To be honest there are no bad interefaces from the major brands these days , I use Audient and they have a more recent EVO range which has some cool features lke Smartgain which will set the input gain for you automatically. Pretty neat.

There is a good comparison of budget inerfaces here https://youtu.be/qqL-IYc4Rn0

Years ago we had no choice but to record our synths and pianos etc. but these days high quality virtual instruments are much easier to edit and generally sound better than any standalone digital pianos with the added advantage of not needing to record them ( and then re-record them if you when you need to change anything which can be a frequent occurence in sync )

YMMV but I'd urge you to look into getting a good piano plugin when you can as recording a digital piano each time for a busy sync producer is probably going to get old real fast.

Mark

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Re: Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by ReganO » Thu May 18, 2023 10:37 am

cosmicdolphin wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 12:32 pm
To be honest there are no bad interefaces from the major brands these days , I use Audient and they have a more recent EVO range which has some cool features lke Smartgain which will set the input gain for you automatically. Pretty neat.

There is a good comparison of budget inerfaces here https://youtu.be/qqL-IYc4Rn0

Years ago we had no choice but to record our synths and pianos etc. but these days high quality virtual instruments are much easier to edit and generally sound better than any standalone digital pianos with the added advantage of not needing to record them ( and then re-record them if you when you need to change anything which can be a frequent occurence in sync )

YMMV but I'd urge you to look into getting a good piano plugin when you can as recording a digital piano each time for a busy sync producer is probably going to get old real fast.

Mark
Hi Mark,

Using a high quality plug-in is more appealing to me, yes! Would you still be of the same opinion knowing I'm using Garageband as my DAW? -OR- Should I invest the money I would have spent on the interface on LogicPro? ...I will have to buy a mic for vocal recording eventually too, but having high quality instrumentation at my fingertips is the priority, of course.

Thanks!

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Re: Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri May 19, 2023 12:00 am

It sounds like you're going to need all three things, a good VST Piano, a fully blown DAW and an audio interface eventually.

If you can't spring for them all at once you can certainly get by with Garageband and the piano you have sounds pretty good, even it will be an inconvenience.

Without the interface and a decent mic there's no way to properly get audio into your Mac so you need to think about which order you want to do things and prioritize.

If you're working in the box then Logic has a decent piano with it so that kills two birds with one stone.

The interfaces are great prices these days if you only need a couple of inputs but if you have to buy a mic as well it's probably going to cost you a little more than Logic.

There is a good comparison at 52 cues of all different piano options inc the one in Logic.

https://youtu.be/3xQnNDvUYIg

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Re: Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by CTWF » Fri May 19, 2023 12:34 am

Further to what Mark wrote, there are also many great free piano VIs, for instance here

https://www.pianobook.co.uk/instrument/pianos/

or at Spitfire LABS, or from the free Kontakt Komplete pack. My so far (but I am small fry) most often placed track is pulsing piano chords from free VIs, and I don't even play piano. :)

If your keyboard synth is very good, it might still be useable if you find an efficient way of sending MIDI to it and record it back - I mean without having to move USB-sticks and cables around. :D

Tom
https://soundcloud.com/ctwf --> 0|°_°|0 <-- I am a producer/composer with TV, radio, and advertisement placements around the globe. -- Music is the mathematical transmitter of human emotions.

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Re: Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by Ted » Tue Jun 06, 2023 10:50 am

I started out with Garageband forever ago and loved it at the time. I then bought a version of Logic and thought it was too hard for me to use, so I went back to using Garageband like a kid who kept using training wheels on his bicycle for too long. haha.

Eventually, Logic became so much easier to use and more intuitive-- and cheaper too. I ended up trying Logic again and this time found it exponentially more powerful and capable, yet just as easy to use as Garageband. Definitely you should make the jump to Logic. After using Logic for a few years I decided to revisit Garageband for fun... it was like trying to draw a portrait with an Etch-a-Sketch. :)

I've been using a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 interface. I bought it at the time because it was affordable and came bundled with some nice Native Instruments software. I would 100% recommend using software plugin keys/piano sounds over what is generated in your hardware keyboard. Maybe a good solution would be to find an interface that comes bundled with some good quality VSTs like I did. During the month of June, NI offers some really good once-a-year deals, including hardware/software bundles--including audio interfaces. You might have a look at their website https://www.native-instruments.com/en/s ... s/#c998593

Some of these are within your specified budget and some are going to cost a bit more than $200 but eventually you're going to end up spending a fair amount of money anyway so keep that in mind.

Good luck!

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Re: Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by Kwall1 » Fri Jun 21, 2024 8:55 pm

I'm late to the thread but FWIW: I've gone from a M-Audio Delta 192 to a FastTrack Ultra then jumped brands this year to a Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre (I needed the inputs for live band recording). I've got some hours on it and so far so good, no glitches. I'm D.I.'ing guitar & Bass and using a UT Twin87 LDC mic for vocals. I realize the Clarett+ series is outside of your stated budget; I'm just attesting to the company and presuming that the Scarlett series is of similar build quality. Another thing is to look for refurbished units direct from Focusrite at deep discounts. I saved BIG $ and the item arrived as new w/same warranty.

I also purchased a Novation Impulse 49 which due to some issues with activating some of the plugins in the bundle, I can say the Novation/Focusrite (under the same corporate umbrella) service support group was very responsive and helpful.

Best of luck on your quest!

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Re: Best Audio Interface to Compliment Current...

Post by BradleyHagen » Wed Jun 26, 2024 10:20 am

Sorry I am late to this as well..... If you are on Mac, I would definitely spring for Logic Pro 11 at $199 - There are definitely enough decent instruments and libraries included within to get you by for now, so 2 birds there....
As far as inexpensive interfaces, a singer that I collab with recently bought one of the UA boxes..... Volt 276 I believe, and it sounds absolutely amazing for the $$$. It also has a built in 1176 type of compressor, so another 2 birds/one stone.... They are on sale all of the time, and sometimes come with a free suite of UA plugins that are usually all pretty killer. As far as mics go, there are a gazillion options for large diaphragm condensers out there.... The Chinese clone stuff is usually pretty good these days.... Just my two pfennigs....
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