Recommendations for an interface?


#1

My Saffire Pro 24DSP is being a bitch lately and keeps failing on me. This thing hasn’t had new drivers for years too, the support just isn’t there for the product anymore.

I’m looking for a USB c interface I think, I wanna future proof things as much as possible. I was looking at the newer Focusrite Scarlett series, but read a few reviews where people claimed theirs were buggy, idk what do you guys think. I don’t mind spending a little more for something slightly nicer that will last though, like $350 tops though is what I’d consider right now. Idk a whole lot about interfaces aside from entry level stuff.


#2

MOTU, or universal audio are the best imo


#3

How many inputs you need?

In my experience, drivers are pretty much just prettied up versions of the cheap stuff until you get to around the $600 pricepoint and up. That’s where MOTU comes into play, the cheap RMEs pop up (Babyface), Scarlett gives way to Clarrett if you stick with the Focusrite brands, etc.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with Scarlett IMO. There’s too many of those things out there for Focusrite to quit supporting them. I’ve heard some artists say it’s what they use on tour because if anything happens they know they can run to Best Buy or whatever and they will have something in the Scarlett range to get them through the show.

If you want long-lasting, RME is known for still supporting gear that’s like 10 years old (with new drivers). If I were going to spend big money, that’s who I’d go for, but I have a Scarlett to hold me over until I get there. Ideally (and I don’t even know if this is possible) I’ll be using my Scarlett as an ADAT expansion when I replace it with something better in a few years.


#4

Just two inputs for stereo, I can run my mixer into it for more inputs.
Probably will go with the Scarlett, yeah it seems like that’s the most common entry level interface so probably much more support, even though the one that keeps failing on me is from the same company lol, but I do trust it cause of how much more recent that series is.


#5

Likewise MOTU’s are absolute work horses. When my 828 MKii was still working (I got like 6 years or more out of a used one and the mkii’s were outdated when I bought mine). I went through a non-supported Windows update and it STILL worked for about half the time I was actively using it. MOTU have some pro-sumer priced interfaces now, but they look cheap to me and I can’t imagine the DACs are as good as the more expensive stuff.

I’ve been using a Scarlett 2i2 (?) I got from the back of someone’s trunk lmao…and had no problems.


#6

Fun fact, most interfaces probably use the same half-dozen DAC chips. You have Analog Devices, AKM, Burr-Brown (which I never hear about anymore), Texas Instruments, or maybe a THX chip to choose from. You buy the chip from them, get the implementation documents (which basically tell you what voltages power it and which pins to connect which signals to) from them, and then slot it into your design.

I know this from a company called Schiit in their hifi dacs. The $100 Modi uses an Analog Devices 4490, which (until recently) was the same DAC in their $400 Bitfrost, and the same in their $700 Gungnir. What changes is the power supply quality and clock quality feeding the DAC to lower noisefloor and jitter, but the actual piece doing the work is the same across most devices. Same goes for audio interfaces and probably the A/D Converter side as well. I pay attention to I/O and drivers above all on the interface, and know that the price is driven by the software and how well the off-the-shelf hardware is implemented.

That’s not to say the implementation of those A/Ds and D/As isn’t important, those same half dozen chips power 99% of the dozens of audiophile DACs out there and companies do get different results with their various implementations. And absolutely you can get into bespoke DAC designs, for $2000 and up. Not sure where bespoke A/D starts, but last I heard it was the size of a refrigerator and if you have to ask you couldn’t afford it.

And then you have RME doing stuff with FPGAs and Universal Audio adding SHARC dsp for real time plugin acceleration, and I’m sure there’s other differentiators out there too. That stuff is really cool, even if I’d probably never use it.


#7

The more you know


#8

Not doubting you @White_Noise but my experience in upgrading to the MOTU from a quick succession of much less expensive (MSRP) interfaces was that I got a clearer/cleaner signal to me ear. Maybe it was just what I wanted to hear : )

Also, spot on, I know for a fact that at least my 828 MKII defo has a TI chipset.


#9

Whats you budget. Personally I swear by RME. Ive got a Fireface 800 and drivers still supported, I purchased 2nd hand in 2009 from Matt (keyboard sessionist for Jamiriquoi at the time). They are rock sold.
However not the cheapest but you do get what you pay for.


Ii know the babyface offers way more inputs than you need, but is their entry interface I believe.

The other option is why not look at a midi/audio interface integrated. Something like Maschine Mk3 may bode you well and bring other options to the table fo the money. Its a great audio interface and also headphone monitoring as well as other benefits you can look into.
https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/5543085934082231722?lsf=seller:1512475,store:1578833091695462841,lsfqd:0&prds=oid:2906095911261384272&q=MIDI+Controllers&hl=en&ei=EkokXqrLLdScgQbpmbGwBg&lsft=gclid:Cj0KCQiAmZDxBRDIARIsABnkbYQ_tHQj8Pxk1iHzYeUIfi6qVkfzLSZavtmwF6lI46gmk5zsCSGOSacaAjI9EALw_wcB


#10

I know its more expensive but swear by Focusrite Clarett 8 pre (i have the USB one).

Plenty of I/O and ADAT for my modular, the Clarett replaced an apogee duet and i was very surprised with the difference in sound quality as i didn’t think i’d actually notice, every project i fired up each individual sound seemed to have more surface, this phenomenon only lasted for a brief time as the Clarett them became my normal sound, id be gutted if i had to swap back to apogees duets smaller surface sound (which is the only way i can describe it)
Been using clarett for months nows, never had one single pop/click or stammer since the day i plugged it in the drivers are rock solid on my 2008 Mac Pro set-up.

Nothing wrong with apogee duet they do sound superb just clarett seems to be the a different league.


#11

Ended up getting a Focusrite Scarlette 18i8 3rd gen. I’m pretty happy with the purchase. Not too crazy but still nice.