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Hey all I want to get a new soundcard with preferably 4 inputs. I'm looking at this Behringer UMC404HD Audio Interface but I'm also looking at Focusrite interfaces. What do you think as I want something that's going to work well with Ableton 11 and my laptop? Thanks.

Edited by TheBro
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A bit more info would be helpful; what connections between computer and soundcard are acceptable (usb1/2/3/4/thunder/lightningbolt/fw/etc) how many ins/outs would you prefer, midi or no midi interface, budget. 

Having said that, I’ve been really happy with my focusrite saffire pro. It’s a fw interface, current laptop has only lightning and USB ports but it has been working fine with an adapter. Here in NL they’re pretty easy to find 2nd hand, last time I checked prices were anywhere between 150-250 euro. Also I’ve found their customer support to be really good, when I bought mine new my os at the time had some issues running their software but within a day they had somebody chatting with me and fixed the issue via a remote login at no extra cost or whatever. It has 8 ins and outs and is easily expandable, you can add a 2nd saffire via fw daisy chain, I’m currently using the spdif to connect to my monitors and have expert sleepers in/out modules connected via adat. The mix control software has flexible routing and in addition has a virtual loop back routing thing for when you want to record sound from your browser for example into your daw, which is great for sampling yt videos and such. 

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i usually need up to 4 ins and since i bought better speakers i wanted better converters, almost bought an RME or a higher end converter (i had RME boxes before and i was always happy with them) but ive bought a MOTU M4 interface bc reviews and independent measurements were excellent and imo it's good enough for any 4in/4out duties! the converters are superb (same one you can find in boxes costing thousands) and i can really clearly hear the difference in sound quality vs my other interface Roland Studio Capture (which i still use when i need to record more ins at the same time). also, the headphone amp is clear and loud and the build quality is superb for that price range. the LCD level meters are useful and look nice too! 

edit: the windows drivers are stable! it also works as a class compliant device 

Edited by xox
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4 hours ago, user said:

A bit more info would be helpful; what connections between computer and soundcard are acceptable (usb1/2/3/4/thunder/lightningbolt/fw/etc) how many ins/outs would you prefer, midi or no midi interface, budget. 

Having said that, I’ve been really happy with my focusrite saffire pro. It’s a fw interface, current laptop has only lightning and USB ports but it has been working fine with an adapter. Here in NL they’re pretty easy to find 2nd hand, last time I checked prices were anywhere between 150-250 euro. Also I’ve found their customer support to be really good, when I bought mine new my os at the time had some issues running their software but within a day they had somebody chatting with me and fixed the issue via a remote login at no extra cost or whatever. It has 8 ins and outs and is easily expandable, you can add a 2nd saffire via fw daisy chain, I’m currently using the spdif to connect to my monitors and have expert sleepers in/out modules connected via adat. The mix control software has flexible routing and in addition has a virtual loop back routing thing for when you want to record sound from your browser for example into your daw, which is great for sampling yt videos and such. 

Awesome. That sounds great. I understand Firewire won't work with Windows unless you have a Firewire port. I would love to daisy chain soundcards. Basically my budget is probably £100-150 and looking for something with as many inputs as possible. My laptop has usb c and usb 3.1 but probably will go for a usb 2.0 soundcard due to budget. I've got my eye on Focusrite Scarlett also. Cheers.

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Focusrite makes great stuff. I use a FireWire saffire pro, and it sounds awesome- plus the stand-alone functionality is great. Also several of my friends use scarletts and are happy with them. I recently got a sound devices mix pre for field recording and to use as something to record into and overdub in stand-alone. It will also function as an interface, and it sounds unbelievable. 
 

But, I would definitely recommend focusrite as a company over a lot of the other interface brands out there. Motu is also good, but I’ve ran into some problems with their stuff lately.

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Anyone got experience with Behringer Soundcards? I like the look of the price of the Uphoria ones. 😄

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focusrite scarlett  are fine, but if you have a bit more money to throw in, RME fireface800 is great.

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6 hours ago, TheBro said:

Anyone got experience with Behringer Soundcards? I like the look of the price of the Uphoria ones. 😄

Behringer is making some great stuff these days, but I feel like an interface demands quality that they just don’t produce. Don’t get me wrong- they make good shit, and I even think some of the cheap mixers they were making 20 years ago were pretty good sounding. Even tho everyone else talked shit about them, the hilarious-in-retrospect named “eurorack” mixers suffered more in build quality than in sound. That being said- build quality isn’t something I wanna gamble with when using an interface. It’s fine if I get a cheap $150-300 synth that is built shitty, but an interface........

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Sorry for hijacking the thred but what soundcards fit with the new M1 Macbooks? 

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quick behringer mixer story..a  buddy of mine worked at a pro audio place that was also authorized repair center for dozens of manufacturers including behringer. when someone would bring in a broken behringer mixer under warranty, as per behringer instructions, they were to give the customer a new one rather than repair a broken one because regardless the price of the mixer it was always going to be more expensive to fix (labor) than to just give the person a new one. 

further instructions from behringer were to take the broken mixer and smash it to bits with a hammer in the parking lot. then collect the bits and throw it in a bin so it couldn't be used by anyone else. 

the behringer rep told them "they aren't worth fixing". 

anyway.. as for sound cards.. check on the drivers.. who makes good ones. i only have experience w/motu and RME.. both make good drivers and have been doing so for long time.. jumping through all the hoops w/various OS updates for windows and apples systems as well as FW/USB/PCIe etc etc.. 

focusrite has a good rep too.  

a lot of modern converters are pretty decent and the difference is in build quality, drivers, clocking and analog front end and stuff like that.  clocking makes a huge difference. you can take a handful of interfaces all using the same ad/da chips but w/different clocking technology and they could perform very differently. shitty clock = lot's of errors. 

btw i have a bunch of behringer patch bays and they're fine and i've had them forever. the only behringer thing i've owned. they do some things well. no idea how their interfaces hold up or how the drivers are. 

 

Edited by ignatius
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Yeah, I definitely love the ultra patch pro, it’s probably my favorite patchbay. I didn’t set out to get any specific brand or anything, but after having a few different ones over the years the ultra patch has been solid. I really have no idea how their interfaces would be, I’m just speculating. Really, I would consider myself a behringer fan, so who knows- it could be awesome! I just feel like if you’re trying to decide between a Scarlett and anything else comparable in price, the Scarlett will be tough to beat.
 

My buddy has been having some issues with his motu (I think micpre8?) after updating his Mac OS. He’s been trying different drivers, and dealing with support and whatnot. I would have always said before that I loved motu, but I fucking hate those types of problems. I also had some glitchy stuff happening with a motu midixpress, but I have so much ridiculous midi going on, who knows, it might not be the motu.

I used an rme in a studio I worked in, and it sounded great, and had no errors- but idk how long they used it for, they changed shit up quite often.

Side note on focusrite- even tho I love my saffire for audio- the midi was terrible. It did this thing where, regardless of what program I was using, it wouldn’t pick up the first notes sometimes when recording in a sequence. I returned the unit and got a new one and it did the same thing. No biggie, since I use the motu for midi, but still.....

 

Edited by Himelstein
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14 hours ago, ignatius said:

the behringer rep told them "they aren't worth fixing". 

I’d imagine this is because they contain densely packed circuit boards. That does not make them flimsy or anything, just really, really hard to repair. Meaning you’d spend more on labor costs than the thing cost new.

A lot of electronics is like that nowadays.

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2 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

I’d imagine this is because they contain densely packed circuit boards. That does not make them flimsy or anything, just really, really hard to repair. Meaning you’d spend more on labor costs than the thing cost new.

A lot of electronics is like that nowadays.

and also they all cost like $69 to make or whatever because behringer stuff is made as inexpensively as possible. it's not built w/repairs in mind w/separate circuit boards or a console strip type approach where if one channel goes down you can take it out and repair it while the rest of the mixer works.  it's probably just a couple of large circuit boards in there.. which is the way a lot of things are designed these days.  but back then i think behringer made so many of those things that the cost per unit was cheap as cheap gets and even accounting for dead on arrival units from a shitty factory they still made a profit. 

that being said.. plenty of layered PCBs w/tiny surface mounted components are repairable but it's a pain in the ass and requires someone who knows wtf their doing. 

these days behringer apparently owns an island and it's a factory island where they build everything or most things they sell. 

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42 minutes ago, ignatius said:

and also they all cost like $69 to make

Yup. Packing things together on a PCB is very cheap. You set up a machine to do it, which in itself is actually somewhat expensive, but then the additional costs for each unit you put out are negligible.

Behringer are really good at leveraging economies of scale in this way.


 

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Bought my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd gen second hand for like 200$, seeing as there's a 3rd gen now you might get lucky with an older unit 🙂

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might be more pricey than you'd like but i love my universal audio apollo stuff. the apollo x4 has 4 inputs. its also a money pit with all the tasty plugins.

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It's pricey, but I picked up a used RME babyface a few years ago, and I have never had a single issue with it.  I've tried all kinds of stuff that supposedly 'just works', and RME stuff actually lived up to the hype in that regard.  That being said, people seem to love their A/D converters and pre-amps, and I genuinely can't tell the difference between my old PCI card.  I just love how stable it is.

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any affordable usb audio interface out there with stereo lineins? i want to record some vinyls. or better solution for this kind of job?

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11 hours ago, cear said:

any affordable usb audio interface out there with stereo lineins? i want to record some vinyls. or better solution for this kind of job?

There are several out there, most are stereo, but you also may want to look into a usb turntable- which I’m pretty sure they make. If you have a high quality system already, then I would try and get a high quality in, so something like the apollo but just the stereo one. Now, if you are trying to just get a cheap stereo in, then you could anything from the old cheap m audio delta series up to the cheapest interface you see online. I’d recommend browsing gearslutz tho, for what’s the best cheap stereo in. I’m gonna guess it’s something like m audio or tascam.

M-Audio M-Track Duo – USB Audio Interface for Recording, Streaming and Podcasting with Dual XLR, Line & DI Inputs, plus a Software Suite Included https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Q1V77NR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_AE6BF21ZXTG3DKJE6H6E?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

That should be good for what you need on the cheap.

20 minutes ago, TheBro said:

Guys I think I'm going to go for one of these!!

Tascam US16X08 16-in / 8-out USB Audio Interface - Andertons Music Co.

My question is though can I use the mic inputs for line level synths and drum machines etc?

You should be able to with the right cable, and if you have it switched to line. Also the software might let you switch- I think. Too bad it doesn’t have inputs like this:

9FE99ABE-2315-444F-B230-F1C91EE8B752.jpeg

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40 minutes ago, Himelstein said:

There are several out there, most are stereo, but you also may want to look into a usb turntable- which I’m pretty sure they make. If you have a high quality system already, then I would try and get a high quality in, so something like the apollo but just the stereo one. Now, if you are trying to just get a cheap stereo in, then you could anything from the old cheap m audio delta series up to the cheapest interface you see online. I’d recommend browsing gearslutz tho, for what’s the best cheap stereo in. I’m gonna guess it’s something like m audio or tascam.

M-Audio M-Track Duo – USB Audio Interface for Recording, Streaming and Podcasting with Dual XLR, Line & DI Inputs, plus a Software Suite Included https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Q1V77NR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_AE6BF21ZXTG3DKJE6H6E?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

That should be good for what you need on the cheap.

You should be able to with the right cable, and if you have it switched to line. Also the software might let you switch- I think. Too bad it doesn’t have inputs like this:

9FE99ABE-2315-444F-B230-F1C91EE8B752.jpeg

Mm thanks so you don't know for sure though. 🙂 I think the cable is not the issue as I have xlr to jack it's whether it can be achieved. Oh well I'm just going to get it secondhand anyways and if I can't achieve that I'll sell it on lol.

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21 minutes ago, TheBro said:

Mm thanks so you don't know for sure though. 🙂 I think the cable is not the issue as I have xlr to jack it's whether it can be achieved. Oh well I'm just going to get it secondhand anyways and if I can't achieve that I'll sell it on lol.

It looks like the back of the unit has 1/4” jacks. That link you posted doesn’t show the back, but:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/US16x08--tascam-us-16x08-usb-audio-interface?mrkgadid=3303549775&mrkgcl=28&mrkgen=gpla&mrkgbflag=0&mrkgcat=studio&recording&acctid=21700000001645388&dskeywordid=92700046934848277&lid=92700046934848277&ds_s_kwgid=58700005287207011&ds_s_inventory_feed_id=97700000007215323&dsproductgroupid=475644261020&product_id=US16x08&prodctry=US&prodlang=en&channel=online&storeid=&device=m&network=g&matchtype=&adpos=largenumber&locationid=9014978&creative=285689013555&targetid=pla-475644261020&campaignid=1465808290&awsearchcpc=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0JDIl93v7wIVAAOzAB3wgQ3wEAQYASABEgKekvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

If you look at the back image, there are more balanced ins. Plus whatever switching is allowed with the software and on the front 2 ins. So theoretically you should have plenty of balanced line level ins. If I were you would get a cheap balanced patchbay, if you don’t have one, that way you can easily switch around configurations in front of the unit and not have to fuck with the back of it. Either way, tascam is good, and if you can get one used for a good deal you won’t be disappointed.

Edited by Himelstein
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