Recommendations for a new Interface?

with industry Pro, Nick Batzdorf

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

Post Reply
Ted
Active
Active
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:32 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Recommendations for a new Interface?

Post by Ted » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:29 pm

Hey guys, I think my interface is kaput. I've had it for a long time and it's the first and only one I've owned. It's a Lexicon Lambda. The other night I was working on a track to get the submission in two hours before the deadline and started to get a bit of a weird noise in my headphones and an "error" message kept popping up in Logic saying something about a number of "samples" and a mismatch between an audio and a MIDI device-- I can't remember the exact wording. I ended up not being able to add anymore audio input and had to get creative and just cut out the guitar solo section that I was working on to get the song out the door for submission.

I came back the next day and tried to use my interface to monitor a different project in Logic and everytime I would hit play, I'd hear no sound and the same message would pop up on the screen. My brother has let me borrow his Focusrite Scarlett Solo to get me through the week-- though I haven't tried it yet because I have to go find the quarter inch adapter for my headphone plug,

So assuming my interface is toast can anyone recommend a great sounding, low latency interface that won't break my bank.? I don't need anything with more than two inputs so I was maybe going to see how the Scarlett works and maybe go with something like that. But I've always seen people raving about Apogee Duets and UA (Apollo?) devices which are in the $600+ range and I wonder what's so great about these units to justify that price jump... Do they have that much more pristine audio quality than something like my old Lambda or what? What's the main upgrade in these units?

I was thinking about upgrading to a nicer interface at some point anyway and if there's that much of a difference between those type of units and the basic Lambda then maybe I'll consider making such a leap now so I don't have to spend more in the future. But I was just wondering if any of you here can tell me what are the real perceptible benefits of the interfaces moving past the $ 200 range but keeping under around $800 or so? And of course what interfaces people here use and love.

Thanks in advance!

Ted

lesmac
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 1420
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:53 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Tasmania Australia
Contact:

Re: Recommendations for a new Interface?

Post by lesmac » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:58 pm

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... dient-id14

Best quality and value for money IMHO.

User avatar
andygabrys
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 5423
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:09 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Summerland, BC by way of Santa Fe, Chilliwack, Boston, NYC
Contact:

Re: Recommendations for a new Interface?

Post by andygabrys » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:54 pm

Ted,

First off:
...... an "error" message kept popping up in Logic saying something about a number of "samples" and a mismatch between an audio and a MIDI device-- I can't remember the exact wording.

This happens when your I/O buffer size is small (like 64 samples). Its worse when you have a lot of plugins and / or VIs going.

So record if you can at lower buffer size - then pop the buffer size up for mixing (generally 1024 works much better).

But if you can't record - then try "low latency mode" in Logic which can help - then when you go back to mixing turn it off. you can set up a key command to do that.

Another option is to freeze everything but the current recording track, or BIP everything else.

Or buy a more powerful computer. Not joking.

Read on to how an interface can help thisL

.....a great sounding, low latency interface that won't break my bank.? I don't need anything with more than two inputs so I was maybe going to see how the Scarlett works

There you go. They are great. So is the one Lesmac posted.

These days all interfaces for $200-$300 are pretty good quality and the low latency drivers - and the main issue of latency is how you run logic (see above).

But I've always seen people raving about Apogee Duets and UA (Apollo?) devices which are in the $600+ range and I wonder what's so great about these units to justify that price jump... Do they have that much more pristine audio quality than something like my old Lambda or what? What's the main upgrade in these units?

Apogee have been used in pro studios for eons. They are one of the best. Universal Audio less so but close.

These interfaces are sleek design and feature rich. Like the UA interfaces have some of the lowest latencies out there with a LOADED logic session without putting the buffer size at 64 samples or using Low Latency mode.

And they also run as UAD plugin accelerators. Not necessary for everyone but certainly nice for some.

.....I was just wondering if any of you here can tell me what are the real perceptible benefits of the interfaces moving past the $ 200 range but keeping under around $800 or so? And of course what interfaces people here use and love.

In general:

More expensive convertors (but not always)
better signal path that might be "cleaner" but again not always
more doohickeys like zero latency pathways, or more monitor outputs, or several headphone mix outputs etc.
more preamps
combo xlr / 1'4" jacks rather than separate.
meters on the interface
built in effects.

Spend more, get more stuff.

You can also spend multi thousands on a Burl of Lavry two channel convertor that might be more usual to see in a mastering studio. That's a different game though. They are spare on features and ALL ABOUT top quality conversion.

And of course what interfaces people here use and love.

I have an Apogee Duet 2. Next one I buy will be a Universal Audio but am waiting until I get a machine with Thunderbolt ports. I am doing fine with this Mac Pro 5,1 for now.

The Apogees are great.

Depends on the kind of music you are doing though, and your experience level.

If you record 100% real instruments, and mix with a spare amount of plugins and use outboard preamps and compressors and maybe eq's your conversion (arguably) matters a lot more. In those cases you might want to spend more on a super sweet interface.

If your room sucks, you have no treatment, you don't have much experience, and 90% of your stuff is virtual and then 10% electric guitars and bass - buying a super expensive interface is great if you have $$$ but not necessary and you can make bigger gains with your technique by investing in mentorship and a couple select types of plugins for mixing. Or even just mentorship.
Last edited by andygabrys on Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ted
Active
Active
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:32 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Recommendations for a new Interface?

Post by Ted » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:33 pm

Thanks guys for taking the time to give me some great answers on this subject.

Les, that Audient interface looks like would be perfect for my needs based on all the good reviews I've read about it. The price point is pretty decent too.

Andy, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions in great detail. This thread does dovetail a little bit with that other thread about "best production computer"-- and you gave some excellent insight on that one too.

I plugged my brother's Focusrite Scarlett into my iMac and had the same issue... so it looks like maybe it wasn't the interface after all. I could understand if this problem was happening in a project with a bunch of live tracks loaded up with effects chains, so I pulled up some projects with minimal number of stripped down tracks and was getting the same "error" message.

I decided to do some software updates-- both to my OS and to Logic-- and it somehow seemed to take care of the problem this time.

I agree that i'll probably have to get a more powerful Mac at some point... I wish they weren't so expensive. I've had two or three previous iMacs that I had bought new and they died on me at various points in and out of warrantee. The last time my previous one died-- after I'd already had the hard drive replaced-- I didn't have the money for a new one (the past few years have not been the best for me financially) so I actually went for a year without a computer.

During that time I made a lot of tracks in my phone and on an iPad-- though they were limited to what can really be done on those platforms. Last year my brother surprised me with a really nice "like new" used iMac that he got a sweet deal on from a coworker. That's what I'm using now. Hopefully it holds up for a while.

Yeah, at some point I'd like to get a really powerful Mac that isn't an iMac. I really love working in Logic and I can't stand Windows machines anyway. I had a buddy who wanted to make music-- I told him to save up for a Mac and Logic would be cheaper than ProTools in the long run. He ended up using a cheaper Windows machine and then blowing a lot of money of ProTools and he hates it-- he's jealous of how quickly I can make great drum tracks with Logic's Drummer feature.

But back to the issues I was having-- I'll try the low latency mode if it happens again.

Cheers,
Ted

User avatar
andygabrys
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 5423
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:09 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Summerland, BC by way of Santa Fe, Chilliwack, Boston, NYC
Contact:

Re: Recommendations for a new Interface?

Post by andygabrys » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:30 pm

Hey Ted,

Something that happens with all DAWs is that occasionally the preferences get corrupted.

Do a google serach on how to "delete Logic X preference files".

For whatever reason this usually is easier than doing a reinstall, although a version update usually solves this too.

The preference files contain things like your custom key shortcuts and your buffer size etc.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests