Accurate Audio Interface

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
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syntheticsolutions
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Accurate Audio Interface

Post by syntheticsolutions » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:32 pm

I have been recording for the past year using a range of analog synths and a Foucsrite Pro40.

I have started to notice the floors in my interface. The pro40 seems to loose a lot of high frequencies and also dulls down the low/low-mid frequencies. I get a feeling that my dynamics are also suffering.

It has took me just under a year to realise the full extent of the loss with the pro40 and I am now stating to consider a better one. I don't want to spend a great deal if I can help it but I appreciate you pay for what you get.

Can anyone suggest a truly lossless interface that will give me a fully accurate representation of my synths in the digital domain? I have bee told the RME 800 Fireface is a good interface.
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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by Hybrid88 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:36 pm

Yep RME's are good, Apogee Duet could be another one to consider :)

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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by madtheory » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:26 pm

Prism Orpheus.

However, you should upgrade your speakers and fix the room acoustics first.

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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by syntheticsolutions » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:44 am

madtheory wrote:Prism Orpheus.

However, you should upgrade your speakers and fix the room acoustics first.
I record and playback my recordings in a range of different spaces ranging from my home recording space to the neve studio at my college. I also reference in headphones when necessary. I am quite sure the problem is not with my room acoustics.

The Prism looks great but it is a little over budget for now :/ The apogee and RME look more in line with what I want but I'm not sure if they will provide me with the completely lossless recordings that i want.
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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:14 am

The Apogee Duet 2 is very clean sounding, if you're after something like that the RME Babyface is great as well, and has really nice DSP mixing included and the option to expand via ADAT as well. The Fireface 800 is a generation behind in the RME range at the moment, if you need that many inputs you should be looking at the Fireface UFX (which is what I use, it's great) or the UCX if you don't need as many inputs. The new Apogee Quartet looks like it will be good as well if you don't need too many inputs, although I think for the price the FF UCX might be a better buy.

You aren't going to get anything of the quality of the RME and Apogee stuff without spending a lot more money, although I've heard the new Digidesign interfaces sound particularly good. The UA Apollo looks pretty good to me as well.

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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:32 pm

I own the Pro 40 and notice no degradation as you describe.

Reduced dynamic range esp. sounds odd to me. It's not like the dynamic range of analog synths is that great in the first place!

I'd take a look at the rest of your chain before laying out big bucks for a better interface. Good luck.
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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by syntheticsolutions » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:50 pm

meatballfulton wrote:I own the Pro 40 and notice no degradation as you describe.

Reduced dynamic range esp. sounds odd to me. It's not like the dynamic range of analog synths is that great in the first place!

I'd take a look at the rest of your chain before laying out big bucks for a better interface. Good luck.
It took me some time to notice the problems with the interface.

The loss of high frequencies are the main problems imo, these became increasingly apparent after using my synths via direct inputs to my monitoring system and via mixing consoles. I have conducted A/B tests and there is a distinct loss of high frequencies when monitoring the two in series.

The dynamics aren't a huge problem, maybe I am just asking too much from my synths in that respect.

Im not sure what you mean by "the rest of your chain" I record my synths directly in via high quality audio cables and use the Adam A7x monitors for playback. My signal chain is as simple as can possibly be.

Thanks for the advice on this, I am going to look into the RME stuff this week :)
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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by krushing » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:35 am

There's not gonna be a solution that's "completely lossless", though...every conversion is gonna lose something - but of course, at the high end of things, the "losses" are so minimal that it's pretty impossible to hear them.

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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by dubold » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:35 am

I would suggest recording a sine wave and some pink noise through your interface, then looking at the recorded waveform with a spectral analyzer to see exactly what is happening. If you're really getting some dramatic rolloff of frequencies at both ends of the spectrum, that might indicate either a fault with the interface, or one of the connections.

If the degradation is really minor - just wondering whether your A/B comparison between "through-interface" and "direct to monitors" connections could have had a difference in impedance?

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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by pflosi » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:16 pm

If you're ok with simple inputs and don't need (mic / instrument) preamps, I can also vouch for MOTU interfaces. Their ADC / DAC is good, only the preamps are not really good. Cheaper than RME / Apogee...

But yeah I agree with the others that advice you to make sure it definitely is the interface. Despite using only high quality cables as you state, have you tried swapping cables / different interface inputs?

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Re: Accurate Audio Interface

Post by hyphen nation » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:23 am

Has anyone tried the UA Apollo yet?

I had an RME UCX that I had bought from a friend. I barely used once, and it had to go back to him. He had bought an Apollo, but when it arrived they were still developing PC drivers/compatibility, so he needed the RME back. I'm more and more tempted to create a set up that is completely in the box, and this with all the UA plugins and power seems like a really cool option. I may stick with RME/Apogee stuff. If I didn't need a bunch of inputs the quartet would be pretty tempting too.

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