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Good, cheap audio interface

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by eukatheude, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Hi. I need to upgrade my soundcard since the integrated one is about to get toast, and it was terrible anyway. I have put my eyes on the M-Audio Fast Track MkII and the Steinberg Ci1, and i'm more inclined on getting the second one. However i still have some major doubts: will these work perfectly with Audition (especially for the monitor/daw mix knob on the Ci1)? Will i get a good tone with a good volume, unlike with my realtek stock card? Will the music listening quality improve (i have good headphones and mostly use lossless formats)? Will i need a DI or a compressor? Am i better off getting only a DI/something like the sansamp bass driver?
    Thank you
  2. I have an M-Audio mobile pre ... which looks to be pretty similar to the mkII. I haven't had any issues with it at all, though I got it on clearance for like half price.

    I'm able to get good tone with good volume with it, though I run through a number of VSTs (all of the ones I use are free, as long as audition is compatible with VSTs, I've never used it).
  3. Sounds like almost the same thing, except the model i'm looking at is a little cheaper and with less knobs. Which VSTs do you use?
  4. I actually just reset my computer and am currently in the process of getting them back (and I use reaper, which has some built in that I use).

    Some of my favorite VSTs are:

    ModernLimiter (antress) - limiter
    T-SLEDGE (sweetboy) - multiband compressor
    3rd_bass (fretted synth) - solid bass processor
    C3 MultiBand Compressor
    Dub Delay (TAL) - delay
    FA3 Full (fretted synth) - guitar processor, can be used with bass
    dblue glitch - weird glitch/electro processor
    UpStereo (QuikQuak) - stereo enhancer

    There are so many free VSTs out there ... this is just a short list of ones that I use for bass and/or mix/mastering. Check out http://www.kvraudio.com/ and browse around for free plug-ins.
  5. Thank you! I use TSE BOD which is a Tech21 bass driver simulator, and Fretted Synth's HelianBass
  6. Inverse Kinetix

    Inverse Kinetix

    Jul 12, 2012
    For an audio interface, I can't recommend the focusrite saffire 6 enough


    it comes with a bunch of decent software, including ableton.

    For VSTs, there are loads of free ones available, of which I have been using a few TAL ones, I also really like the sound I get from Camelphat stuff.

    http://www.vst4you.com/about.html << free stuff


    don't cheap out on your audio card if you can help it, it will bite you in the ass later.

    Have fun!
  7. bedjka


    Oct 11, 2012
    Hamburg Germany
  8. I'd be willing to buy a better card, if i had the money. :) For that i'll have to wait a couple of months. Still, can you answer my question? As for the software i'm pretty comfortable with audition, and i'm not really willing to learn to use many other DAWs except maybe pro tools.
  9. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    So am I understanding this right? If I had something like say this unit here: M-Audio Fast Track Pro Digital Recording Interface I would not need a sound card? I didnt realize that these units were APUs within themselves.. I always thought they were interfaces and that you would still need a somewhat decent sound card on your PC. I have a SB card that's kind of old but is a good card.. but if I had one of these or something like it using say Reaper or Cakewalk MC5 (which I got on sale at BB for $20 a few months back) I could bypass my sound card?
  10. Inverse Kinetix

    Inverse Kinetix

    Jul 12, 2012

    An audio interface IS a sound card, most are external (usb) ones now.

    When you are recording into a DAW, the system will most likely use what are called ASIO drivers to control the sound, it bypasses the windows system and interfaces directly with the hardware thus reducing latency.

    When you are watching videos/listening to music etc, the audio interface will by controlled (in many cases) by the windows drivers (you can set it up to use asio IF you want).

    In answer to you question, the interface you mentioned will allow you to have 4 mono (2stereo) inputs at once with 2 mono (1 stereo) output.

    It will work for what you want, I couldn't comment on the quality. If that is around the price you are looking at, you might be interested in


    the preamps are very nice in these focusrite products.

  11. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Focusrite makes great stuff for the pricepoint. I also like the Presonus stuff too. I run a motu though.
  12. Hey, i appreciate your answers though i'd love if someone could answer my questions. Thanks!
  13. DuraMorte


    Mar 3, 2011
    It might help to quote or repeat the questions you feel haven't been answered, because reading the thread, it looks like a lot of good info has been posted.
  14. Aight:
    will these work perfectly with Audition (especially for the monitor/daw mix knob on the Ci1)? Will i get a good tone with a good volume, unlike with my realtek stock card? Will the music listening quality improve (i have good headphones and mostly use lossless formats)? Will i need a DI or a compressor? Am i better off getting only a DI/something like the sansamp bass driver?
  15. DuraMorte


    Mar 3, 2011
    Probably. Yes. Yes. No. No.
  16. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    For those with experience, which has the better pres, Motu 4pre or the Focusrite Saffire6?
  17. Thanks! Then with the interface it is. I'll wait till i can afford something like the Saffire 6.

    EDIT: I see the Saffire 6 supports sample rates only up to 48khz, while the 2i2/2i4 goes up to 96. The 2i4 costs a lot more but the RCA outputs seems nice, and so do the halo thingies on the knobs. On the other hand the Motu shows line levels directly on the front panel, it seems like a nice feature. Also, what i see the more pricey models have ADAT inputs, what's exactly that? Is it possible to find it on cheaper cards? Is this one good?
  18. DuraMorte


    Mar 3, 2011
    Ignore samplerate. Just look at what features you need vs. what you can afford.
    ADAT inputs allow you to chain a preamp like the Behringer ADA8000 to the interface for more channels. If you're recording full bands, it is indispensable. If you're recording yourself, it's completely unnecessary.
    I've heard mixed reviews on the US-series. Read up, find reviews from people running similar recording systems as you will be, and see if they have any problems.
  19. Well i found a 2i2 on ebay for 90&#8364; w/ free shipping... I guess i'll go with that.
  20. So i got the 2i2. I'm not entirely satisfacted as for the volume and the latency when monitoring through the DAW, since it's pretty much the same as before. I use the direct monitoring of course, but it's weird not to see an improvement. Any advice on making the most out of this interface?

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