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Old 30-09-2012, 03:19 PM   #1
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audio interface help

ok i've been producing for like a year and a half now so i'm pretty new at this but lately i've been hearing a lot about the importance of having an audio interface and i've done some research and to be completely honest (this shows that i've still got a lot to learn) i can't understand a damn thing they are talking about. I get that you pretty much need it to convert analog sources to digital and vice versa and stuff like that so i figure since i'm planning on pursuing this as like a career i'm going to have to get one. in general can somebody tell me in normal terms what i need this for and make some suggestions on what modestly priced preferably smaller audio interfaces might be suitable for me.

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Old 30-09-2012, 05:03 PM   #2
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Re: audio interface help

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Originally Posted by Jamb1093 View Post
ok i've been producing for like a year and a half now so i'm pretty new at this but lately i've been hearing a lot about the importance of having an audio interface and i've done some research and to be completely honest (this shows that i've still got a lot to learn) i can't understand a damn thing they are talking about. I get that you pretty much need it to convert analog sources to digital and vice versa and stuff like that so i figure since i'm planning on pursuing this as like a career i'm going to have to get one. in general can somebody tell me in normal terms what i need this for and make some suggestions on what modestly priced preferably smaller audio interfaces might be suitable for me.
I don't understand the science behind A/D conversion, but it matters. I didn't believe it until I upgraded my interface for a third time.

I've gone M-Audio Audiophile PCI Soundcard > Mackie Onyx Blackjack > MOTU 828 MkII.

I honestly can't say I noticed a difference between the <100 USD M-Audio and the at-the-time 200 Mackie. I concluded that this was just my "untrained ears".

I very recently upgraded to a used MOTU 828 MkII that I copped for 250 off eBay mostly so I could route all my hardware and mix my tunes from inside my DAW. I wasn't expecting to be blown away by the sound.

All I have to say is WOW. The MOTU is louder and clearer by miles. So much clearer in fact that I'm seriously considering a fairly big investment in better monitors.

All that being said. Focusrite is probably a good brand to look at for an entry level interface.

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Old 30-09-2012, 05:26 PM   #3
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Re: audio interface help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamb1093 View Post
i'm pretty new at this but lately i've been hearing a lot about the importance of having an audio interface...
can somebody tell me in normal terms what i need this for and make some suggestions on what modestly priced preferably smaller audio interfaces might be suitable for me.
No offence, but a) I'm not sure you're asking the right question and b) I don't think anyone is going to be able to give you a suitable answer based on the information provided.

Firstly, are you really at the stage of trying to decide which audio interface you should get? From your message it sounds like you're not really sure why you need one or how you'll use it. The first question should probably be "do I have a use for an interface?". If no - save your money.

Secondly, re: the information provided: you don't say what kind of music you're making, how you're producing it, what your setup is, etc. Are you on a PC or a Mac? Do you have any external hardware or are you doing everything 'in the box' (presumably in Ableton)? Why do these things matter? If you haven't got any external analog hardware then you haven't got much need for AD converters... yet.

I guess what I'm saying is "don't rush out and buy something just 'cause you keep hearing that it's important". If you don't understand what it does or how you'll use it (and forgive me, this isn't a criticism - I'm just paraphrasing you) then there's not much chance of it improving your production. It sounds to me like you'd be better advised to save your money until you have a clearer idea of what you need - that way you won't buy something now and then have to trade up in a few months when your needs develop.

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Old 30-09-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: audio interface help

^This advice is better than mine by miles.

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Old 30-09-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: audio interface help

thanks everybody i appreciate it
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Old 30-09-2012, 06:36 PM   #6
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Re: audio interface help

basically you dont need an audio interface unless you're planning on buying a set of studio monitors and/or external synths/effects units..

if you decide to splash the cash on some monitors; like relic said, focusrite are one of the best for entry level particularly the saffire 6 usb, which is what im running.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: audio interface help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamb1093 View Post
ok i've been producing for like a year and a half now so i'm pretty new at this but lately i've been hearing a lot about the importance of having an audio interface and i've done some research and to be completely honest (this shows that i've still got a lot to learn) i can't understand a damn thing they are talking about. I get that you pretty much need it to convert analog sources to digital and vice versa and stuff like that so i figure since i'm planning on pursuing this as like a career i'm going to have to get one. in general can somebody tell me in normal terms what i need this for and make some suggestions on what modestly priced preferably smaller audio interfaces might be suitable for me.
If you are going the career route then what school are you going to attend? Most schools around atlanta require AVID interfaces, dont ask why. they are not great and they are not crap either. Go get a diploma or certification for running high end music equipment and you will learn everything you could ever want to know about audio equipment. Save the money you are fixing to shell out on equipment and sign up for some school courses. If you are talking about DJ'ing then there will be a bit more of a hands on learning curve in which case I think this site will help you get prepared to take that journey. Just keep asking questions and dont spend a damn penny until you have a bucket of advice first.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: audio interface help

When I first started making music, I had to use a Numark Mixtrack Pro to route audio from my computer to a pair of Sony stereo speakers I was using.

That was a complete nightmare..
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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Re: audio interface help

Ive gone for the Focusrite Saffire Pro 14, pretty good
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:23 PM   #10
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Re: audio interface help

To save starting a new thread I have a quick question.

I am currently using an alesis IO2 - it was dead cheap and I have had it for years, but it has the ins and outs that I need so I have never had to change it.

I have the music from my mac going to my speakers, and have fairly recently started recording vocals with a decent quality mic, again using the input on the alesis.

The question I simply want to know is if I were to upgrade, no necersrily in terms of number of ins and outs, but in terms of quality, would this:

- improve the quality of the sound that was going to my speakers?

- improve the quality of the audio from the recorded vocals?

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Old 08-10-2012, 10:05 PM   #11
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Re: audio interface help

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Originally Posted by Cracked World Foundation View Post
From your message it sounds like you're not really sure why you need one or how you'll use it.
This is great advice as I have just realized this.

Being new to producing I have a nice little list (Bookmarks) of all this gear I HAVE to have (according to forums im reading.) As im saving for all this stuff it finally hit me, I have no fucking clue what the majority of the stuff is and does.

Yea, it sounds retarted but being new to all this it is easy to get caught up in reading about all kinds of stuff and getting into the mind set of HAVING to have it...

Great words of wisdom Cracked.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Re: audio interface help

^ It's a pleasure, thanks Mike.

I think most of us are guilty at one point or another of falling into needless gear lust. I do it all the time, even though I've more than enough gear to be getting on with and plenty that I'm underutilising. But most of the time - IMHO - we learn more from having limited choices than from endless options: especially now that so much can be achieved with relatively basic technology.

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