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Budget Audio Interfaces for Acoustic Guitar


53mph

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Hi guys,

I know this is a big ask but I was wondering if there are any singer songwriters on the board using mainly acoustic guitar (mic or DI) who would recommend a budget Audio interface.

I currently use a Behringer U-phoria but have been thinking up upgrading for a while. Any recommendations under 200? I see that Native Instruments Komplete is currently on offer but I'm not sure whether it's right for an acoustic sound.

I work on a Dell laptop if that helps

Thanks for any help.

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13 hours ago, Glenn Stanton said:

under $200 - Steinberg UR22MkII and not under $200 (usually) the Steinberg UR24C -- in my experience these are rock solid, well built and very clean. that said, i also use the UMC202HD and UMC1820 as my main IO units now.

@Glenn Stanton How are the Steinberg Asio drivers? 

One of my beefs with the Behringer is that it didn't come with  dedicated Asio drivers and I had to hunt down a driver via a YouTuber..

Edited by 53mph
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Has anyone ever used Audient interfaces?

They seem to get rave reviews from users and are geared towards guitarists.

 

Audient EVO 4 Scheda audio USB, Audio Interface per la produzione di musica (2 in / 2 out) USB audio-interfaccia, Alimentazione phantom 48 Volt, 2 preamplificatori microfonici https://amzn.eu/d/0Wc58Rx

 

Or Universal Audio Volt?

This seems to be getting great reviews as an alternative to Focusrite.

Universal Audio VOLT 2 - USB audio interface https://amzn.eu/d/dJdFx0W

 

Edited by 53mph
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I don’t know of any audio interface geared for guitar or drums or vocals.  That is asking a bit much for a $2000 interface, much less a $200 one for use w a specific instrument.  Basically, a good interface/preamp will sound good on most sounds.

I’ve used an audient and they are very good sounding.  A few years ago they used the same pre across the entire line, from cheapest interface to their $20,000 console.  Those were very nice indeed and of all the interfaces pres I’ve used the most “analog” sounding, like there was a transformer inline.  I would check them out first.

for years I used a tascam uh 7000, which not only had double plus good conversion but crystalline pres.  Unfortunately they made it for audiophiles, not musicians, and had high latency and no real expansion capabilities (there was stereo digital in out but no recording of the 2nd unit since tascam told me that they didn’t trust audiophiles with feedback).  Shortsighted.  They had a real winner .  I don’t know how much they go for used.   But it is the best sounding unit until I used the new Neumann mt48, a 2 grand unit.

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18 hours ago, AndyB01 said:

I use one of these (although mine is the older Gen 2). Gen 3 was only released recently, I've used Focusrite gear for decades, unbeatable in my view and yes, I use this for vocal and acoustic guitar work both DI and mic.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Hope it helps

Andy

Thanks @AndyB01 I was thinking of getting the Focusrite, but I've read quite a few reviews that complain of random disconnecting of the unit or changing sample rates. If it was only one person writing this I wouldn't have thought twice, but I've seen quite a few of these comments. I'm guessing you've never had a problem with that, right? These comments are for the Gen 3.

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@53mph I had a Gen 1 for many years and currently have a Gen 2 - I've never had the issue you describe above.

Can't comment for the Gen 3, I'm surprised to learn there is a widespread issue but if there is, I suspect a firmware or driver fix will follow shortly as Focusrite support are excellent in my experience.

Such issues are often caused by USB power settings on the USB port in question on the host computer.

I guess you can only be guided by your own research, I wish you atb with your eventual purchase.

Andy

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I have in order of purchase M Audio Fast Track Pro, Tascam us1641 , Focusrite Scarlett 6i6, Motu M4 and the latest a Zoom L8. 
These are all what we would call entry level consumer gear. 

Anyhow shopping for an interface based on thinking there will be a big difference in sound for $200 is   a very questionable exercise. 
They are all about the same.  

And ask 100 people you will get a 100 answers as it’s subjective.  

You are better off making a list of features you want and compare that. I think you’ll be disappointed in all offerings that are $200 range and the Behringer might be better than some of the others. That’s one that has real ASIO drivers right?  
Out of all my interfaces the sound quality has always been indistinguishable but the features make a huge difference to my work flow.  
I Scraped the Tascam because back then the driver sucked. They fixed it after I bought the Scarlett. I scraped the Focusrite because I hate the monitoring set up. I then scraped the Motu because it craps out randomly( Due to bus power?) So far the Zoom L8 outshines them all because it has 10x the features and everything on my list is there in a neat small package. Zoom was not ever on my radar until I started shopping this fall.  I almost skipped it over because of its past reputation for bad drivers.  Oh and it has a HiZ input that is  working really well with my guitars and bass.   It’s double the price of your budget but that’s my point I’m making. 

Anyhow make that list first.

How many inputs do you need and are they multi purpose? 

How many outs 

How many separate headphone outs. 
Can you adjust the mix of the direct sound with playback using the front panel? 
Is it bus powered and are you aware of the issue that can cause ? 
Does the company update its drivers? Do they have good service? 
Do you need Loopback? 
 

Edited by John Vere
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On 11/6/2023 at 9:12 PM, AndyB01 said:

@53mph I had a Gen 1 for many years and currently have a Gen 2 - I've never had the issue you describe above.

Can't comment for the Gen 3, I'm surprised to learn there is a widespread issue but if there is, I suspect a firmware or driver fix will follow shortly as Focusrite support are excellent in my experience.

Such issues are often caused by USB power settings on the USB port in question on the host computer.

I guess you can only be guided by your own research, I wish you atb with your eventual purchase.

Andy

Hi Andy,

I agree, it's probably the USB ports, but again, just today I'm seeing posts like this on Facebook in the cakewalk group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/cakewalkusers/permalink/10159409687560877/

 

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