Audio interface help

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Audio interface help

Post by asd36 »

Hey everyone. I am newbie to audio interfaces so I need your help. I want to ask you which audio interface will be best for me. I am using cakewalk and doing some stuff there and also I am going to buy electric guitar so I want to play/record with this ai and in the future I will buy midi keyboard and mic. I was considering focusrite scarlett 2i2 and komplete audio 2 but I feel I will go for presonus studio 24c. It has midi i/o and it is cheaper than scarlett. I was really concerned with ka2 but I found out that it has direct monitoring only for headphones. Weird. But as I understood from ni forum when I will be using electric guitar with daw it will have direct monitoring for monitors (obviously i will be playing guitar with daw cause i need to set some amplifiers/effects) . Am I right about that? Does presonus studio 24c has some weird things that I miss? And what about midi keyboard if I will choose KA2? Are there some possibilites to plugin midi keyboard to this ai with some specials adapters/cables? I know that I can plugin keyboard straight to the laptop with usb but I heard that there might be some problems with latency. And I saw that presonus has 5pin for midi so if I will buy the usb midi keyboard then there Is no chance to plugin it into presonus. Right? And presonus 24c has some trs inputs for instrument and i read this is not good. I dont know what to think about that.
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Re: Audio interface help

Post by James Perrett »

I'm not sure that I can answer all your questions but I wanted to comment on a couple of things...

If you are using software effects on your guitar then direct monitoring isn't relevant. You will need to monitor through your software in order to hear the effects on your guitar.

The other thing to point out is that computers treat MIDI completely separately to audio so it doesn't really matter whether the MIDI interface is incorporated into the audio interface or a separate box. There should be no extra latency involved if you are using a USB connected MIDI keyboard compared to a DIN connected keyboard attached to the audio interface.

One thing I would check is the real world latency performance of your chosen interface because both of your scenarios require low latency to work. I can't find any trustworthy reviews that mention latency for the Presonus.
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Re: Audio interface help

Post by ef37a »

Personally I would always go for an interface with MIDI ports, you might find a MIDI device bargain pre-USB!

As James says, latency will be an issue playing software instruments and I can only suggest again the NI KA6 Mkll as one of the best interfaces for low latency unless you can afford RME. I also like the look of the MOTU M4 but are they still hard to get?

Yes my suggestions are somewhat more expensive than the 'basic' AIs mentioned but the extra connectivity will I am sure serve you well in the future.

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Re: Audio interface help

Post by Chatka »

And presonus 24c has some trs inputs for instrument and i read this is not good. I dont know what to think about that.

No problem with TRS inputs, it only means that you must use balanced 1/4 connector cables when recording your guitar. Well, in fact 24c has combo inputs, which why it's possible to plug XLR or TRS cable to same input. Just don't forget to switch phantom power on, if you use input for recording vocals with a condenser mic.

What comes to Presonus interfaces in general, I have 26c and I've been always happy with it. I record mostly electric guitar through it and with a decent mic, sound quality is exceptional, considering the price of 26c.

It seems that 24c has slightly different tech specs, but I doubt that it makes a big difference to sound quality.

Biggest downside of budget Presonus interfaces are headphone amps, so if you buy 24c, it's better to use low impedance headphones. But for tracking purposes that's really not a problem.

Also, I've never experienced any serious latency problems with 26c in Logic Pro – and all Presonus hardware comes with Studio One Artist and very generous third-party software package.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Audio interface help

Post by merlyn »

James Perrett wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:30 am I can't find any trustworthy reviews that mention latency for the Presonus.

Latency is something I've spent a fair bit of time on so I was interested to check this out. I can't find much sensible information about latency on Windows at all. My inclination would be to measure round trip latency by connecting an input to an output on the interface in question, using suitable software to measure the latency.

Has anyone tried Oblique Audio RTL Utility?

Why are measures like signal to noise ratio always given in interface specs but not the results of a test like RTL Utility?

On Linux it is straightforward to measure round trip latency using e.g. jack_iodelay and there doesn't seem to be quite so much mystery around latency in the Linux world.
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Re: Audio interface help

Post by James Perrett »

merlyn wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 5:20 pm
James Perrett wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:30 am I can't find any trustworthy reviews that mention latency for the Presonus.

Latency is something I've spent a fair bit of time on so I was interested to check this out. I can't find much sensible information about latency on Windows at all.

It was another way of saying "I can't see an SOS review". Most SOS audio interface reviews usually mention latency and there's always http://www.dawbench.com/index.html (though it seems a little out of date).
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Re: Audio interface help

Post by Sam Spoons »

Chatka wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 5:17 pm
And presonus 24c has some trs inputs for instrument and i read this is not good. I dont know what to think about that.

No problem with TRS inputs, it only means that you must use balanced 1/4 connector cables when recording your guitar. Well, in fact 24c has combo inputs, which why it's possible to plug XLR or TRS cable to same input.

The guitar is an unbalanced signal so using a standard TRS lead may or may not work but here should be no need for a special TRS guitar lead, the combo inputs will accept a TS cable (as will most TRS line inputs).
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