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  • Audio Interfaces recommendations

    I have an old MAudio Profire 610 which has done me well, but MAudio aren't providing drivers for it on anything after macOS El Capitan, so I'm left with a dilemma, do I stick on an old OS, and buy the necessary converter cables to make it work on my MBP, or do I bite the bullet and buy a new USB2 one?

    I wasn't happy with firewire really. The lack of hot plugging and the drivers seemed to get confused if I put the computer to sleep rather than restarting.

    So is USB any better with the sleep issue? I'll be using it with a laptop and will need to unplug it all the time when I'm not at my computer desk, but I don't want to have to restart the computer when I do it.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a good, cheap(ish) USB audio interface that will work on modern Macbook Pros? The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 seemed perfect, but they say you need to 2i4 to have it working well with guitars but that's getting more than I really want to spend.
    Ghost Signs - Ambient tape loops and guitars :

  • #2
    The interfaces I have used have not been the best ever, but ok.

    First I used my Asus D2X card. I still use the MIDI card part of it. Sound-wise it was good, but the only audio jack was a stereo line input.

    I then used a MBox 3 Mini I got with a ProTools bundle. 2 inputs, sounds decent. The volume control pot has gotten wonky over the years though. Full up it is fine but crackles a lot when adjusting or listening at a lower level.

    The last box I tried was a Presonus Audiobox 44VSL. 4 inputs, sounds decent, but clicks and pops on occasion when recording or listening. I wouldn't recommend any Presonus hardware based on this and reading their forums when trying to solve the VSL's problems. They seem to universally have trouble with much of their hardware which seems to be solved by ending the product lines and then support. I still use the VSL for dubbing old 4 track material, but I have to set the buffer high (doesn't matter when dubbing cassettes rather than a live recording) but rely upon the MBox for daily use.

    I have heard good things about the focusrite scarlett series. My next interface will most likely be a Focusrite; I have an ISA One mic pre and have been really happy with it. Like you mentioned the 2i2 is problematic with guitars since there is no pad. I found the 2i4 at B&H for almost the same price os a 2i2, but I don't know how tight your budget is.

    EDIT: Even cheaper here on clearance.

    EDIT: Also did not consider you are across the Atlantic--shipping would kill those sale prices.
    Last edited by aoVI; 10-24-2016, 11:15 AM.


    • #3
      i use scarlett 2i2 and it's rad

      i don't use it with guitars though.
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      • #4
        This summer I purchased my first audio interface. It's an iConnect Audio 4+. So far I am happy with it. I cannot compare it to any other interface as far as sound, but it doesn't seem to introduce any unwanted sounds. I have used it with a guitar and a hardware synth with no issues. And it works fantastic for connecting a Mac and an iPad for concurrent midi and audio to/from both. My only complaint is that I have not succeeded in sending audio from a DAW in a PC laptop to a DAW in my Mac. It's a buffering problem and I suspect it may be with the older PC rather than the interface.
        For my day to day use on iMac or MacBook and/or iPad I think it rocks. 4 mic/line inputs plus the digital ones, etc.

        It was around $250 from Sweetwater.


        • #5
          Thanks everyone. I went for the 2i4 in the end. I'm sure it'll be fine, I'm just annoyed I can't use the old interface I have that is in perfect working order. I hate forced obsolescence, not so much that I need to spend money but even just the waste of resources it all is. Rant over
          Ghost Signs - Ambient tape loops and guitars :


          • #6
            Originally posted by iainx View Post
            I hate forced obsolescence, not so much that I need to spend money but even just the waste of resources it all is. Rant over
            Ha! Rant away Iain,

            This is a subject close to my heart...

            I have a perfectly working USB controller keyboard, PCR-300, that is in my shed. It is no longer "supported" by W10 but I find it hard to throw it in the skip.

            Also, back from when I had quite an extensive hardware set-up, I have two Midisport 2X2 and a 4X4 sitting there, ready to be thrown away. No longer "supported."

            Back on topic... I hope your new card serves you well Iain


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            • #7
              Originally posted by iainx View Post
              Thanks everyone. I went for the 2i4 in the end. I'm sure it'll be fine, I'm just annoyed I can't use the old interface I have that is in perfect working order. I hate forced obsolescence, not so much that I need to spend money but even just the waste of resources it all is. Rant over
              that's what I have - I never think about it, which is exactly what I want from an interface. I would buy it again.

              re obsolescence, couldn't agree more. All my old computer tech gets recycled through a friend who volunteers through St Vincent's de Paul, where he has set up a system to rebuild and recycle computers


              • #8
                2i4 arrived today, and seems to be exactly what I needed on a quick play about and it doesn't seem to have any issues with it being unplugged. So I'm happy with it, just unhappy I needed to get it. At least it looks pretty sitting on my desk, all red and shiny
                Ghost Signs - Ambient tape loops and guitars :


                • #9
                  WRT obsolete gear.... Years ago I bought a MOTU Midi Timepiece AV which has a parallel interface. Some time after purchasing the first one I bought a second one used 'just in case'. Both worked fine in XP but with Win 7 and later they basically don't work due to how parallel ports are handled in new OSs and new machines don't even have them. Needless to say it really bummed me out that all the money I spent ended up being for two high priced patchers. :(. Fast foward to last month and I finally had enough of these taking up shelf space and collecting dust. I got hold of a Dell GX280 pc that was being cycled out of can get these dirt cheap and its small and quiet. It came with XP . I remote into it from my Win7 machine, so no dedicated monitor, keyboard or mouse needed. I connected a MTP to it, installed the driver and its worked great. The next step was installing RTP Midi (free) on the GX280 and my other machines. I also installed some Midi applications like the software Klee sequencer and such on the GX. I also have my K2000, Linnstrument and Arturia Lab49 controllers and computer Midi ports plugged into the MTP. The controllers that have USB connections are connected to the workstation computers. So basically I turned the GX280 into a Midi server....and its working out great. The GX allows me to edit routing in the MTP which comes in very handy. They still work basically as patch bays but I now have a lot more versatility with them. I still need to get a bridge between the MTP midi ports and RTP midi ports but that shouldn't be too difficult.

                  The point is...if you have old tech, it is possible to get some more mileage out if it.
                  Last edited by des; 11-05-2016, 11:01 AM.


                  • #10
                    I used ESI USB audio interfaces for years - first the ESU22, then the Maya22, but in both cases the drivers kept getting thrown out and I'd have to reinstall them regularly, which was driving me nuts. I went for the Presonus Audiobox (the little 2 input one) and have no issues with it. Works fine.
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