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kzmaier

8 in Audio Interface recommendations?

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Looking at the following,  I think they are all USB2.  Any Cakewalk user input/experiences are welcome.

Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 - Good price and reviews!  Are drivers up to date for Windows?

PreSonus Studio 1810c - Like the input meters!  Would be happy with 1810 but cannot find one.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 3rd Gen - Had good luck with 6i6!

Thanks in advance!!!

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i have the UMC1820 - it's very nice and the drivers support pretty low (6ms roundtrip) latency although for mixing you would want that way higher. preamps are good, and has decent headphone levels. it can extend to an ADA8200 8ch using the ADAT optical, and i'm using a optical to RCA (cheap on Amazon) to output the optical SPDIF clock to my internal 1010LT and 66 cards. i can't run all 20ch or so using native drivers, but can using ASIO4ALL. i do wish they had the 8 XLR on the front though... currently i breakout the back panel XLR out using some low-Z over ethernet boxes i made, but it would make patching easier if they were on the front.

definitely recommend the UMC1820 for low cost and generally good performance.

Edited by fossile

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Unless money is no object, you really should mention your budget, otherwise you'll just get pages of everyone listing what interface they use.

Personally, I'd recommend anything by Steinberg.  Not surprisingly, their drivers and build-quality are top-notch as they've got big bucks behind their R&D (Yamaha).

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16 hours ago, kzmaier said:

Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 - Good price and reviews!  Are drivers up to date for Windows?

PreSonus Studio 1810c - Like the input meters!  Would be happy with 1810 but cannot find one.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 3rd Gen - Had good luck with 6i6!

The U-Phoria and Scarlett will have about the same round-trip latency ~6ms (when set to minimum buffer size at 44.1k).

Presonus Studio 1810c round-trip latency will be a couple milliseconds higher.

 

Fidelity wise, it's a wash.

Driver wise, it's a wash.  None have the pedigree of RME.

 

Out of those choices, I'd go with the Behringer U-Phoria.

If you've used any of the X-series digital consoles playing live, you've used some of the same technology (mic preamps, etc).

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I have 5 laptops and the Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 was not recognized by 3 of them. Nothing shows up in the Device Manager at all.

Must be compatibility problems with some chipsets. Very strange.

The power transformer does't seem to be very well shielded. When I mounted it in my rack it caused other devices to hum, including Behringer's own ADA8200.

I also have Tascam's US-1641, 1800 and 16x08. They are excellent. Unfortunately the 16x08 only goes down to -12dB which means drums distort even with the input turned right down to minimum. The older two go to -2dB and are fine with drums.

The OctaCapture goes to -6 which is better. It's big brother, the StudioCapture, goes to -2dB. I have both.

Roland and Tascam have kept up with their drivers so far.

 

Edited by twelvetone

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12 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

I would also need a good PCIe thunderbolt card.

Quantum is a great choice... as long as you understand the one weak point (there's no onboard DSP for routing/mixing/loopback-recording).

ALL monitoring has to be done via software.

IOW, If you have an Axe-FX or Helix (guitar processor)... or a keyboard... and just want to sit/play (monitoring thru the Quantum), you'll have to fire up your DAW and use it to setup the desired monitoring (Levels/Routing/etc).

 

Note:  You can't add a PCIe Thunderbolt controller to just any motherboard.

  • Motherboard has to specifically support a Thunderbolt-3 controller
  • Motherboard must have a Thunderbolt-3 header that matches the type used by the Thunderbolt-3 add-in-card

The Thunderbolt-3 add-in-card resides in a full-length PCIe slot... AND has to be connected to this Thunderbolt-3 header on the motherboard.

Thunderbolt-3 works great on a Win10 PC. 

Just make sure you've covered all the details.

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I went with the PreSonus Studio 1810c.  The IO was just right for my setup.  Ran 4 hour session without reading the manual.  Biggest problem was guitarist demanding to have 2 Peavey bass amps at 11.  Going for the Back Keys thing.  Good thing no one was home.  They were happy with the results.  Reading the manual now, didn't have time before session and was nervous through session not having experience with the interface.  I am going to run a few more tests.  I will provide thoughts once complete.

Ken

 

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On 9/30/2020 at 8:31 PM, Colin Nicholls said:

If I were looking to replace my venerable PCI ECHO Layla 3G, then I would probably be looking at the Presonus Quantum 2626

I would also need a good PCIe thunderbolt card.

Wow Echo Layla, now there's a blast from the past, LoL. Are you still running Windows 2000 or X Pee? That was a SERIOUS contender for reasonably priced (lower end) multi channel audio interfaces, that were still rather costly for us non rock star money making recording enthusiasts. 

 I opted for it's slightly less expensive main competitor The M-Audio Delta 1010. My main motivation was because the payments for financing the Delta 1010 with a new AKG 414 + a very nice shiny new Focusrite ISA mic preamp to go alone with the AKG 414 + Teletronix LA2A Line Level Amplifier I had purchased the year before, and the new deal was more closely aligned to to my financial "comfortable zone".  My original goal was to make double payments and pay them all off in 6 months instead of a year, but an unforeseen Teamsters Union strike put a kink in that plan. It only lasted 2 weeks but that set back my financial plans & stability back 6 months, so  I had to occasionally limit my beer and weed consumption from time to time in order to make my payments on time, which I wasn't in the least happy about, but it was doable and well worth the effort. I still managed to keep the everyone in the household reasonably happy and comfortable and to pay my loan off in 9 months without the added expenses of ending up in divorce court.  😏

 And that's when life turned GOOD! Much thanks to Cakewalk releasing the ground breaking/recording universe changing SONAR 4 Producer. My dreams of actually recording 8 tracks of audio at a time into a computer with confidence had FINALLY BECOME A REALITY! 😮 After a few months of enjoying that, I toyed with the idea of selling my Tascam DA88's, and almost did until I upgraded Windows 2000 to XP, my new found confidence and reality took a SHARP TURN for the worse. 😡 In those days, there was no such things as simply checking a box with you mouse and rolling back your OS to a previous version. In those days, there was no such thing of "Cloning" your hard drives and you had to find your own drivers and install them yourself. In those days it took about  WEEK  to meticulously and very carefully rebuilding, tweaking and reconfiguration to upgrade a computer workstation for recording, and another week to get it back to the way it used to work as expected.

So to make a long story shorter, had to wrestle with Win XP for a couple of months before I finally found the time to reinstall Win 2000. And I ran Win 2K up until Cakewalk and all 3rd party vendors stopped supporting it which was about a year or less before Win. Vista was released. I skipped Vista entirely and used XP until the stable x64 bit version was released, and rebranded WINDOWS 7 Pro x64. And then life became, very, VERY GOOD again with a GIANT LEAP FOREWARD into the wonderful and extra powerful universe of x64 computing for all software taking the MANY advantages of x64 bit, and the ability of running XP (mode) in the background in x32 bit on a VM (Virtual Machine) for all my older favorite software that didn't/couldn't.

I used to love my Delta 1010's PCI cards and was kind of heart broken when M-Audio dropped driver support after Windows 7, and would have been more then willing to purchase and replace my 20 year old Delta 1010 PCI cards with the newer, faster, more better PCIe card slots instead of dropping the PCI line entirely and opting for USB interfacing which took a while for computer tech to catch up to get past the latency issues in the USB well into USB v2.

Gone but not forgotten, I donated my 2 Delta 1010's to my buddy Frank's kids Win 7 based home recording studio which just crapped out last year.

Being perfectly happy and happier with performance Cakewalk's CA2A clone of the Teletronix LA2A, I traded my Teletronix for a 2006 Honda CRV 4 years ago that still looks and runs 100% GREAT. 

 Well so does the LA2A, but it can only be used on one mono track at a time. Cakewalk's CA2A can be used on as many tracks as I want, in mono or stereo, and being I have a very POWERUL AMD FX 8370 8 core computer/workstation that has no problems running and supporting Cakewalk's "Input Monitoring" I can run not only ProChannel, but ANY  FX plugin I want in "real-time" whilst recording...  As in 2x more audio FX plugins then I could run with Windows 7 then I CAN with Windows 10. Pro. 🤪🤪

 And am I the only one here who appreciates the difference in performance, functionality, and sound quality from VST2 to VST3 audio FX plugins? How MUCH EASIER & FASTER it it to use Melodyne with Cakewalk's ARA support?

 I clearly and obviously noticed the differences simply by updating/ comparing my older Waves v9 plugins to the current v11. Waves v9 plugins still work & sound great of course, but v11 sound & PERFORM 😮😮😮😮 AWESOME!

 And also if you love Melodyne v4, you are in for some really TASTY TREATS with v5. The boyz & girls at Celemony got BUSY with some GREAT results.

 And so I shall close my "Why it's always a great idea to keep abreast of modern tech" rant, I should also like to point out one more thing.

As much as I love my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB gen 2 audio interface.. As long as you DO NOT have preexisting DAW projects recorded over 24 bit/48 k/Hz, I have to say in all honesty the difference in price of the Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 should be the clear choice winner for those on a tight budget.

24 bit/48k/Hz is the industry standard, and Behringer ADA8200 does not support bit depths and sample rates higher then that.

 And in reality, with today's modern high powere multi core computer tech there is no real reason to record any faster sample rate then that. Back in the days of single core 32 bit CPU's that ran under 2 g/Hz and buss speeds under 1000 m/Hz the only way to achieve lower recording latency was to crank UP the sample rate speed.  

 There has been an ongoing argument for decades over whether us humans can actually "hear" the difference between recording made 24/48 and 24/96. I have conducted and been to and thru more than a few double blind tests in top notch professional recording studio ENVIROMENTS, and it's been proven every single time  NO HUMAN BEING can tell actually the difference with their EARS.

I have used, tested, and compared Behringer's ADA8200 hooked up to my 18i20 via ADAT and got rock solid EXCELLENT results at 24 bit/48k/Hz with the 18i20 used as a timing master with the ADA8200 slaved to it running a very negligible 2ms lower latency then using the ADA8200 as master with the Scarlett as a slave.

 And YES if you listen carefully you can actually hear the difference between the Focusrite preamps and Behringer's Midas preamps, however it might not be as easy as you would think to verbalize or put into words what the difference is you hear.

 Personally I prefer the sound of the Focusrite preamps, but the only real answer as to why is, because they sound very familiar, I'm "used" to hearing them sound the way they do... ?... 🤔

 But the difference isn't as great as it is listening and comparing them through Sony MDR 7506 or Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones or the VAST difference between any and all near field monitors that are accurate enough to tell the differences. 🙆‍♂️

 

 

Edited by Steev

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>> are you still running Windows 2000 or XP ?

@Steev, as per my signature, I'm running Windows 10 1803. Until 1903 I never had any issues with the Echo Layla drivers on Windows 10.
I don't even know that I'd have problems with the latest Windows (2004?), but I just got frustrated with the shitty disruptive update process and froze my system at 1803.

Prior to the ECHO Layla3G, I had M-Audio Delta 66. Another very nice interface in its day, for the $$.

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On 10/11/2020 at 12:43 PM, Colin Nicholls said:

>> are you still running Windows 2000 or XP ?

@Steev, as per my signature, I'm running Windows 10 1803. Until 1903 I never had any issues with the Echo Layla drivers on Windows 10.
I don't even know that I'd have problems with the latest Windows (2004?), but I just got frustrated with the shitty disruptive update process and froze my system at 1803.

Prior to the ECHO Layla3G, I had M-Audio Delta 66. Another very nice interface in its day, for the $$.

Ahhh, me now thinks I made a bad choice back in the day deciding on the Delta 1010 and blowing off the Echo Layla, as this is just proof positive that Event is willing to go the extra mile for customer support. M-Audio said enough is enough, 20 years of FREE support is ENOUGH refused to certify the M-Power drivers for Win 10. That was really the only problem, and it was an easy enough hack, but having to hack along with my hacking my Edirol PCR MIDI Keyboard Controller I thought, hmm, maybe enough is enough, in computer years this stuff is ancient dinosour tech, and all these hacks I'm doing are goobering up Windows Registry which slows the system down I've been using these products for over a dacade+ with great service so maybe it's time I man up a couple bucks for newer more modern toys. And I'm really glad and very happy I did.

 Not only did Focusrite prove that "OH YES YOU CAN" get super low latency out of a USB 2 audio interface, and Novation proved how much easier, faster, and more "intelligent" a a newer tech MIDI keyboard controller can be with Novation's "AutoMap" which is pretty good at searching, finding, and setting and MAPPING itself up to VST and VSTi plugins, every time I open a DAW project in CbB. It's also intelligent enough to recognize Mackie MCU protocol and ignore everything my Behringer X-Touch DAW controller is Mapped to, and head straight for mapping out most 3rd VSTi instruments, and VST audio FX.

Not a  perfect job mapping in CbB, but it does most of the work and SUPER EASY to create and modify any MIDI maps and it will remember them there after.

The old trusty and beloved Edirol PCR, which I still use on my Mac/ Protools machine is nothing short of being a serious PITA to map and Heaven HELP the FOOLS who don't SAVE the MIDI MAPS to a SAFE PLACE and never forget where you saved them, or sooner or later you will be DOING IT AGAIN. 😡

 

Oh yeah, the dreaded and scary Windows Update program, it's always a tad hard on the nerves, but it really is a "condition" that's kinda like a necessary evil that can and WILL turn into serious problems if you wait too long, and go into it blindly and don't prepare for it by making SURE all your drivers are up to date. And that's something the Windows updater isn't exactly stellar at doing, and I've found that's the #1 cause of the proverbial "Shit hitting the fan" during major updates. 😏 But there are a few 3rd party  apps that are very good at it, such as my favorite WinZip Driver Updater does a very good job. There is a free version, which is a PITA because it starts up and checks for new driver versions every time you boot up into Windows, which really slows boot times down, and will annoy you with popup adds until you buy it. But THAT'S the price of FREE. 😜 However, it's one of the best $25 (us) I ever spent, considering it does a MUCH more through job then the Windows updater does, and what can take you HOURS to do yourself in mere minutes. As well as save you the hassles of the dreaded " BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH."

It also not only speeds up the time it takes major quarterly Windows updates complete, it's extra insurance that they do, OR successfully roll back if the don't. 👍

I think v2004 is definitely quickest, easiest and smoothest update yet, and many bugs fixed/removed and an improvement in functionality.

I also recommend using Win 10 Pro so you can schedule updates, and keep an eye out for MS's "Patch Tuesday" policies and manually update, or chose to hold on Wed, or Thursday to have the time make sure nothing is causing problems. If so you can roll back anything that's not a mandatory security patch..

 

Yeah I know, nobody like to take out the garbage either, but if you don't you gotta keep living with the garbage. And all these things, once taken care of makes everything you do with your computer run smoother and more efficiently with a clean uncluttered Windows Registry and current up to date drivers are really essential for a smooth running DAW. 😊

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I'm still using my 18i20 - I love the pre's on that thing. 

However I'm likely to upgrade to an RME Digiface USB in the near future, allowing me to use my existing hardware / interface pre's via ADAT, while take advantage of the RME's excellent low latency drivers.

The Digiface USB has 4 x ADAT inputs giving a maximum of 32 inputs / 34 outputs @ 44.1K / 48K. 

Anyone looking for a cheap way of getting an RME should take a look at the Digiface USB. 

An RME Digiface USB + Behringer ADA8200 will set you back around £500, with the option of adding or upgrading the ADA8200 to something better (e.g. Focusrite Octapre / Clarett Pre 8 / Audient ASP880) at a later date... or just adding a bunch of ADA8200 if you're happy with their pre's.

If you've already got an interface with an ADAT out already, then you're half way there already.

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