Good budget audio interface

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by recode, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4

  2. Presonus Audiobox

  3. M-Audio M-Track Plus

    0 vote(s)
  4. Native Instruments Complete Audio 6

    0 vote(s)
  5. ALVA nanoface

  6. Roland Duo Capture

    0 vote(s)
  7. Steinberg ur22

  1. recode


    Sep 10, 2013
    Hi everyone, I'm really tired of searching for an good budget audio interface. I recently got my Scarlett 2i2 and I was disappointed because audio interface was good itself, but it was always clipping when I played directly with INST/Hi - Z switch on. I sent it back for money return. can anyone recommend me something around 200 euros maybe less or slightly more. thanks.
  2. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Sounds like you might like something designed to plug a bass guitar in straight, active or passive, line 6 interfaces are good for this.
  3. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    I assume the application is home recording?

    I'm using a Roland Quad Capture at the moment. I've heard nothing bad about the Scarlett units. I hope you spent some time investigating possible solutions to your clipping problem before you sent yours back. Did you experiment with the software compressor that probably came with the unit? Did you consider ways to manage levels along the signal path prior to running into your A/D? I run a compressor in front of my Roland Quad Capture, set to give very gentle compression (no more than about -6 to -8 dB reduction in the loudest parts). I never have a clipping problem in the A/D or in the DAW itself, and in my opinion, it sounds better than running the instrument directly into the A/D.
  4. recode


    Sep 10, 2013
    thanks for replies everyone. I had an issue with clipping on my 2i2 even with gain set at zero. I think it's not normal. I don't want to use any software, I need to record instruments directly because later I want to reamp the sound.
  5. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    Passive pickups?
  6. recode


    Sep 10, 2013
    yeah, I have passive pickups on my basses both.
  7. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    i opted for the scarlett 6i6 (disclaimer: i havent bought it yet but soon), just because it has 2 headphone output with personal level control,
    i am also going to record guitar and bass direct through sansamp (VTDI for me, PARADI for gui****) at the same time so the extra headphone output will come in handy

    also the Scarlett MixControl hopefully help in dealing with the routing of the signal.

    For 50 bucks more i just could think that they are worth the extra penny
  8. This maybe more than you want to spend, but I've had no regrets at all about choosing an Akai EIE (I have the 16-bit version; there's also a 24-bit for about $75 more). It's not as known/popular/'cool' as the ones listed in the poll but, in the admittedly-limited comparisons I've been able to do against others' Presonus and/or Focusrite intefaces, it has more than held its own. I particularly like the USB in/outs; I have a USB HD and keyboard connected to it and just need to connect my Macbook, fire up Reaper and record straight to the EIE's drive.
  9. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    While I can't make any claims about any of the specific interfaces, I did have an M-Audio Duo USB that was an utter disaster. Their driver maintenance is abysmal. It had a Windows 98 driver. I had to use a hacked version to get it to kind of sort of work with Windows XP, and nothing beyond that. It has since been recycled...

    So I steer clear of M-Audio...

    Considered using a small USB mixer and going DI --> Mixer --> Computer?
  10. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    My guess on this is that most people will have experience with one, maybe two, rather than being able to compare. I have read about the issue with the 2i2 and clipping, but I don't have that with my 18i8. I have no problem recommending it, fwiw. I think we're at a lucky time that there are many quality options available.
  11. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Have you contacted Focusrite about this? I've never run into this issue on my 2i2 even with an active Ibanez and the gain turned up pretty high.
  12. Another vote for the 2i4. I use mine not just for recording, but I run all the audio on my entertainment system (TV, computer, stereo, etc) through it, and haven't had a single problem with it.

    I used to use an M-Audio interface of some sort (don't remember exactly what model), and it worked fine, but had issues with the pre-amp noise/volume and then the knobs started shorting out and then it would only give me mono out of the headphones. This was about 2 years of use.
    Jim Carr likes this.
  13. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I have the Steinberg ur22. It has comparable or better specs to any other 2x2 (2in, 2out) that I looked at, and has a Hi-Z switch if you are plugging in a particularly hot instrument direct.

    Another route to consider if you already have one is going through your DI into the interface to make the signal easier to handle.
  14. whatizitman


    Sep 9, 2014
    Santa just brought me a foocusrite solo (the non-iOS one), and it is perfect for me. I held off buying a 2i2 or 2i4 cuz I just couldn't justify the price. The solo is $99. I will say that I have not tried the instrument input. I just used my BDI21 to xlr, and it worked like a charm.