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Audio interface

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by Cerb, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    So I've been using the M-Audio M-Track 2X2 for a while and it has some features I really like, like the large master volume knob, the direct/USB blend and the format. What I don't like about it is the limited headroom. I've been having problems miking up the amp and recording because I either have to turn the amp up until it gets too loud or I hve to dime the gain on the interface which produces a lot of noise. Reading the specifications, the M-Track should beat the mixer but it doesn't.

    Lat week I was to the local music store and bought a little mixer with USB and it gives me tons of headroom. For the first time I can record the miked amp at bedroom levels with great results. It does however have some issues:

    • It doesn't allow me to monitor and record at the same time since that will create feedback. I can live with that and work around it although it's inconvenient.
    • There is significant bleed of the monitored sound. Even when I use headphones, the monitored sound bleeds over to the miked channel, a lot.
    • There are built in effects that I can apply to either or all channels. It's not something I need but they also don't work, they're just dead. If nothing else, this is a good reason to return it.

    So to the question what do I get instead?

    I'm considering:

    I know all of the above are quite different compared to each other but they all tick the basic boxes and some of them tick more. I need at least one channel with a good mic preamp and at least on line input. I'd like more but those are bare minimum. I like not havint to turn on the computer so the portable recording devices tick those boxes but they are not must haves. I know the Scarlett and UR44 have way more inputs than I really need but those ones are what's in stock at the store.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Bladesg

    Bladesg Senior Stratmaster

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    What's your budget?
     
  3. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    I guess the Boss BR-800 would be the top. It's overkill though.
     
  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'll stand over here and watch, because I have the same interface with the same problems. I'm decidedly cheapskate low budget though. :)
     
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  5. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeah, I often go for the chea stuff too but it oftenbturns out more expensive in the end. Like this time.

    It's a good thing the mixer is actually broken so I can return it.

    I should have gotten something better when I bought the M-Track too and I wouldn't have been here now...
     
  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I would have gone for the Focusrite, but they hadn't got any in stock at the local emporium and I needed it that day, as we always do...
     
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  7. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Senior Stratmaster

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  8. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    Tascam is now owned (for the time being) by Gibson. If a Tascam interface runs as a class-compliant device (no driver needed), you’d be okay... but if it needs a driver, god help ya when you need a new one.
     
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  9. dbbluesproject

    dbbluesproject Senior Stratmaster

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    For the amount of money you want to spend, I would get a good preamp instead of buying a new interface.
    The Art tube MP is very good for the money, it also works great with vocals and bass.
    It will give you more headroom, better sound and better control over the input volume.
    That having been said.....what mixer did you buy.....?
    The input/ headphone bleed issue sounds like a setup issue not an equipment issue.
    Anytime you are monitoring and recording in the same room you are running the risk of feedback and bleed, regardless of what equipment you have......ESPECIALLY with guitar amps.
    If I knew which mixer you bought and how you have it set up maybe I could help more.....?
    What does your signal flow from the guitar to the amp to the mic to the interface look like?
    Do you have a decent set of studio phones that don’t bleed much.....
    As a general rule (yes some exceptions exist) don’t try and record a guitar amp and monitor through speakers in the same room...
    I’m not convinced you can fix this problem by just throwing money at it......it may be able to be resolved otherwise.....
     
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  10. 33db

    33db Strat-Talker

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    Focusrite is a good product, I use an older Native Instruments interface that is excellent,
    https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/audio-interfaces/komplete-audio-6/
    they make a newer model that cost ~half of the one I have.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...truments-komplete-audio-2-usb-audio-interface


    Or go bal;ls out and get this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...-usb-duo-2x6-usb-audio-interface-with-uad-dsp

    Has its own DSP for effects which is nice, pre amps are allegedly excellent.
     
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  11. montemerrick

    montemerrick you can't stay the fool Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i have the first gen m-audio m-track , which was great for awhile but i'm currently treating as broken because i have to set its gain so high (nearly all the way up) to get a decent signal...
     
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  12. JaxStratGuy

    JaxStratGuy Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I currently have a Scarlett 2i4 combined with a 2-channel USB mixer (created an aggregate audio device in the Mac). My next interface will probably be the 18i8. I'm sure I'll max out the 10 analog inputs but if so I'll add an Octopre.
     
  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Return of the Red Helmet Strat-Talk Supporter

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    What mic are you using?
     
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  14. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'm not sure I'd use the word want to spend ;) I hadn't considered a preamp but the idea is not a bad one. The interface I have is known for this particular issue though, @montemerrick and @Thrup'ny Bit have the same one with the same issue and reading reviews we're not the only ones. It's a shame because there are many things I really like about it.

    The mixer is the Alesis Multimix 4 USB FX. I first recorded while monitoring through the studio monitors. This usually causes some bleed over as you'd expect but not much, The microphone (Sennheiser e609) is fairly insensitive and the amp is on the side of the monitors with the front end of the mike directed at the speaker. This time however the bleed over was much worse than it usually is but I figured it was because I I had a much better signal with the mixer so I switched to headphones for monitoring. Ther was no other room sound than the amp and whatever acoustic noises (not audible in the recording) the guitar was making. Much to my surprise the bleed over was just as bad with headphones, much worse than I would usually get when using studio monitors and my regular audio interace.

    The signal flow was guitar - Digitech Trio+ (band in a box and looper), the Trio then went to the amp that output only the guitar and to channel 2 on the mixer for the drums and bass parts. From the mixer it went into reaper via USB. The monitoring was first done through the monitros and direct from the mixer, not via Reaper.

    After that I tried the same thing but with headphones, same result basically.

    I then thought that the bleed over was between channel 1 and 2 on the mixer so I first recorded the bass and drums from the Trio into Reaper and then recorded the guitar by monitoring my previously recorded track in Reaper, that time it wasn't direct monitoring but from Reaper out through USB to the mixer, also with headphones. Same result. I'm now fairly certain that the bleed over is from the master channel on the mixer, I can't any other reason this would happen?

    The headphones are Sennheiser HD 25.

    Same exact problem I have.

    Sennheiser e609. A few months ago I had a thread on how I had a 5 kHz noise when I recorded with this microphone. You gave me some good advice but I never got rid of the noise. I figured it was either the microphone, the amp or the speaker. I did not get the same annoying noise yesterday, it's a different amp, same speaker, different cab, same mike and different recording interface.

    Even when I had the annoying noise on the recordings I always thought the room sound was good but I still can't draw any conclusions as to what exactly caused the issue before with all those variables changing.

    All I know is that this is the happiest I've ever been with the sound I get out of an amp and how that sound is recorded. There are only a few more small kinks to sort out.

    Thanks!
     
  15. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    Forgot the pic of the mixer:

    IMG_20190414_105900.jpg IMG_20190415_232726.jpg
     
  16. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Return of the Red Helmet Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Get a large diaphragm condenser.
     
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  17. JaxStratGuy

    JaxStratGuy Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

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    What do you suggest? I just picked up a 609 myself but I'm not 100% sold.
     
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  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Return of the Red Helmet Strat-Talk Supporter

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    MXL V67.
     
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  19. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    Would this also work for recording acoustic guitars? Also my search shows a V67G, is that the one?
     
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  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Return of the Red Helmet Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yep.

    A condenser is more sensitive than a dynamic. You don't need as much preamp gain because of the active circuitry in the condenser.

    If you're recording at a loud SPL, dynamics and ribbons are great. But if you can't crank it up...enter the condenser.
     
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