Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jim Fogle

Have You Tried BandLab Link Audio Interfaces?

Recommended Posts

I've been looking at the Link audio interfaces BandLab is selling in the BandLab store: https://store.bandlab.com/

Will anyone that purchased one provide a review?  I truly hope so.

So far there are two audio interface product groups analog and digital.  The Link Analog  https://store.bandlab.com/products/link-analog-recording-interface  and the Link Analog Mini  https://store.bandlab.com/pages/link-analog-mini  are the two analog interfaces while the Link Digital  and Digital Duo https://store.bandlab.com/pages/link-digital make up the digital products.

The Link Analog was released first while the Link Mini has not been released.  The Link Digital and Link Digital Duo were just released.

Unfortunately the listed product specifications do not include technical data such as input impedance, signal to noise ratio, power drain, gain, frequency response and so on.  It would be nice to have this type of information for comparison with similar products.  For example, look at the "Specifications In Detail" section on the Focusrite website for their Scarlett 2i2 audio interface:  https://focusrite.com/usb-audio-interface/scarlett/scarlett-2i2

 

Edited by fogle622

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jim!

I was looking around everywhere to find some user feedback or discussions around the Link Anlog but there is basically nothing (except your fairly old thread here...) which makes me wonder a lot too. Have you bought one of the Bandlad interfaces in the meantime? I have bought the Link Analog recently and I'm having an issue with it that would be interesting to discuss with other users since I'm not sure if it's a standard behaviour or if I got a defective unit.

So all you Link Analog users out there, would you please step forward?! 😀

Cheers
Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Simon Mair  I haven't purchased anything yet.  What problem are you experiencing?

I was interested because of the pricing.  Especially since the BandLab Store web pages have a banner stating

Quote

FREE SHIPPING WITHIN USA & CANADA

However, once I found the fine print that states

Quote

For orders of at least $149, we provide free shipping within the continental U.S.   Any order below $149 will have a flat shipping fee of $15.

That kind of takes away any price advantage Bandlab had.

So I started checking out the website information a little closer.  I couldn't find any information about device drivers or conversion specifications so I e-mailed my questions to Bandlab.

The digital interfaces do not ship with a driver disk and drivers are not available for download from the Bandlab Store website.  Instead Bandlab uses generic Microsoft USB drivers.  Last, the digital interface recording specifications are 44.1 sample rate at 16 bit depth.

I maybe wrong but I believe purpose built external hardware works best when paired with purpose built drivers.  While the recording specifications match the commercial CD standard I prefer using 24 bit depth for recording as it provides more gain setting headroom.

 

Edited by Jim Fogle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't tried them, or even really thought about it, they are just not up to the task really, I look at them as toys. I think they are mainly aimed at people who use the BandLab app and record with their phones or similar, just a cheap easy way of connecting to their device. I doubt anyone is really going to trade in their current interface for one of these or anything. 

Azlow3 put it best on the old forums

Quote

I do not know why they call it an "audio interface", technically it is a small portable pre-amp which allows connecting guitar/mic to the mic input of build-in audio interface of phone/tablet/notebook.

http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/3776855

 

Edited by ensonced

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jim Fogle said:

@Simon Mair  I haven't purchased anything yet.  What problem are you experiencing?

I was interested because of the pricing.  Especially since the BandLab Store web pages have a banner stating

However, once I found the fine print that states

That kind of takes away any price advantage Bandlab had.

So I started checking out the website information a little closer.  I couldn't find any information about device drivers or conversion specifications so I e-mailed my questions to Bandlab.

The digital interfaces do not ship with a driver disk and drivers are not available for download from the Bandlab Store website.  Instead Bandlab uses generic Microsoft USB drivers.  Last, the digital interface recording specifications are 44.1 sample rate at 16 bit depth.

I maybe wrong but I believe purpose built external hardware works best when paired with purpose built drivers.  While the recording specifications match the commercial CD standard I prefer using 24 bit depth for recording as it provides more gain setting headroom.

 

I got the simple Link Analog one mainly to be able to quickly record some ideas on my iPhone. It doesn't need any drivers since it's transferring the audio data analog by simply using the headset jack of the iPhone or any other smartphone which makes it a super easy to handle device.


The issue that I've experience was a nasty clipping at the XLR input (even with gain close to zero) as soon as the signal exceeded "whisper" level. In other words, I had to dial down my guitar amp (miced with SM58 directly into the Link Analog) below my normal bedroom level to escape the clipping.

Meanwhile, I spoke to the guys at Thomann where I got it from and they think that I've simply gotten a defective interface, so I will return it asap. However, I've also figured out that it's easily possible to use my "old" Lexicon Omega Interface with iPhone/iPad by simply using a (no-name) OTG camera connection kit. First tests were successful with a decent sound quality, so that would clearly be my most favorite solution. Even if it's not as mobile as the Link Analog. So looks like I will also be leaving the Link Analog train again soon.

Edited by Simon Mair
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ensonced said:

Haven't tried them, or even really thought about it, they are just not up to the task really, I look at them as toys. I think they are mainly aimed at people who use the BandLab app and record with their phones or similar, just a cheap easy way of connecting to their device. I doubt anyone is really going to trade in their current interface for one of these or anything. 

Azlow3 put it best on the old forums

http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/3776855

 

That covers it really well. If you're completely new into recording and only have a phone at hands, it's a super simple solution to get some recordings on your phone. The sound quality was completely acceptable (given that the massive clipping truly was due to a defective device...). The latency however made direct monitoring almost impossible.

Knowing now that it only takes an OTG adapter to connect a normal USB interface to most smartphones, I'd recommend to go down that path with a cheap Behringer interface since those offer a lot more features regarding monitoring and signal pre-amping. With a bonus, that you can use the same interface if you want to switch to a computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/2/2019 at 2:31 AM, ensonced said:

Haven't tried them, or even really thought about it, they are just not up to the task really, I look at them as toys. I think they are mainly aimed at people who use the BandLab app and record with their phones or similar, just a cheap easy way of connecting to their device. I doubt anyone is really going to trade in their current interface for one of these or anything. 

Azlow3 put it best on the old forums

http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/3776855

 

I agree Azlow 3's description fits the Analog Link and the Analog Link Mini.  But the description doesn't work for the Digital Link or Digital Link Duo as they are converting analog signals into digital data.  However the inclusion of cables with 1/8 inch TRRS connector implies it is primarily for use with hand held devices and not studio grade equipment.

https://bandlabtechnologies.com/press/8686-full-family-of-bandlab-link-recording-interfaces-now-available

https://store.bandlab.com/

Edited by Jim Fogle
Added store hyperlink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys. Any experiences with the Link Digital (the audio interface one). Does it compare with other cheap interfaces such as Behringer UM2, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@Reinielle Matt, I don't think any forum member has tried a BandLab digital audio interface.  Certianly no one has published a review in the forum.  However, your question prompted me to look at the BandLab store again. There have been some changes since 2019.  There is a note that the BandLab Store in the link only ships to Canada and the US.

For the continental US, also known as the lower 48 states, shipping and delivery  has changed to free with any sale above $25 US.  Sales less than $25 incur a flat $10 US shipping and delivery fee.

The shipping and delivery fee is $20 US  to Canada, Alaska and Hawaii.

Also, BandLab published Link Digital and Link Digital Duo specifications.  The specifications are the same for both digital devices except for differences created by one versus two channels such as the number of controls and dimensions. 

Quote

Sample rate: 48kHz; Bit depth: 16 bits; 1/4" & XLR Neutrik Combo Jack; 1/4" Stereo output; 1/8" Headphone output; Master Volume knob; Input Gain; Phantom power (48V) and USB-C compatible.

Finally the webpage for each device has a link to a device specific quick start guide.

Edited by Jim Fogle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...