Recommendations for simple no-nonsense audio interface that just works? (Win 10)

Massimo

Active Member
I have recently purchased a Focusrite Clarett 4 Pre USB and I am extremely happy with it, I used to have drivers issue with an old M-Audio fire wire sound card and also with a couple of USB 2 soundcards but Focusrite is rock solid and the software that comes with the interface is a joy to work with... I am considering getting A Scarlett Solo 3rd generation for my laptop due to the quality and size...

Cheers,

Max T.
 

LowweeK

Monkeying with libraries
MOTU has just released 2 new budget interfaces M2 & M4 (2i/2o and 4i/4i), with midi, lcd display, class-compliant USB and Sabre DAC.

(I still have a good old 828mkII that’s rock solid - on Mac)
 

Pier Bover

Active Member
MOTU has just released 2 new budget interfaces M2 & M4 (2i/2o and 4i/4i), with midi, lcd display, class-compliant USB and Sabre DAC.
Wow those interfaces look great and the price is very competitive.

I still have a good old 828mkII that’s rock solid - on Mac
I had the 828mkII ages ago. It was rock solid but the DA converters were not great... A couple of years later I switched to an RME and it was like my ears had been cleaned.
 

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
I've owned a ton. The FocusRite Scarlett and PreSonus AudioBox iTwo and Steinberg UR12 I've used all sound and work great and have good mic pre's. Pick your favorite color, lol. The PreSonus iOne or iTwo connects the easiest to an iPad if that's a need. BTW, the iOne has a single XLR but it's still a two channel AI for mixing and composing. I'm about to post a request for people to vote over at PreSonus on a request I put in for a new product, a compact AI with no mic pre's. I just want a small mobile sound card and don't want to spend $649 on the Apogee Duet!
 

Pier Bover

Active Member
I'm about to post a request for people to vote over at PreSonus on a request I put in for a new product, a compact AI with no mic pre's.
I still have an old Echo Audiofire 2 collecting dust which is exactly that. Awesome 2+2 channels of ADDA and nothing else. Unfortunately 1) it runs on Firewire and 2) Echo doesn't make drivers anymore for either Windows 10 or macOS.

IMO the best minimalistic interface these days with good audio quality without breaking the bank is the Audient iD4. I've heard past Audient Windows drivers were not great but so far I've had zero issues.

You could look into the world of audiophile DACs but I don't know how the latency would be for music production.
 

tav.one

Life is Good
NO M-AUDIO NEED EVER come to my door again.
I totally agree with the feeling, but please make an exception for their Sputnik microphone if you ever come across one, that is the only piece of M Audio I've allowed in my studio. Its one of the best pieces of gear I've owned and its heavily underrated. Very unlike M Audio.
 

bill5

Active Member

jonvog

New Member
Scarlett 18i20 1st gen user here. Had a lot of issues over the years, but at some time they released new drivers, no it works more stable. Nevertheless: after reading a lot into the topic, the moment the scarlett stops working, I gonna get an RME. Never met a single person let down by this company and their products. Those are a bit more expensiv, but if it saves you a lot of headache down the road, it could be worth it...
 
OP
creativeforge

creativeforge

Barefoot Heart Music
I gonna get an RME. Never met a single person let down by this company and their products. Those are a bit more expensiv, but if it saves you a lot of headache down the road, it could be worth it...
I'll have to switch my thinking for a bit and look beyond my initial goal. RME on the road, solid? Audient also looks good on paper, I read positive reviews.
 

vicontrolu

Senior Member
Waiting for reviews on the latest motu interfaces. They look great and if drivers deliver, they could be a great alternative to RME's babyface, if you dont need that many IOs.
 
OP
creativeforge

creativeforge

Barefoot Heart Music
Yeah, well, it's thin out there right now for these units. I think I will let them be reviewed and tested more too. I'm not that technically knowledgeable so I seem to respond to empirical experience reviews better.
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
Latency 2.5 ms?
the 2.5ms latency is based on 32 Sample Buffer size. I'd be more curious as to how it performs at higher buffer counts.

The standout features of the Motu seems to be
1. Beautiful LCD Metering. Better than anything out there right now. Probably the most standout feature.
2. Independent Phantom Power switch and Independent Monitoring switch. Also a standout feature in this price range.
3. 60db of preamp gain which should run an SM7B without need of a Cloud Lifter although it might still help.
4. High Quality ADDA converters.
5. Allows both Mono or Stereo Monitoring. A must have feature these days IMO.

As long as the drivers are stable, and I believe they are given the Motu reputation, then I think this might be a better option than the Audient ID4 unless you find the Audient knob useful for assigning to some of your DAW parameters, which is unique to Audient and pretty cool. Also the Audient DI is supposed to be top notch.
 
OP
creativeforge

creativeforge

Barefoot Heart Music
As long as the drivers are stable, and I believe they are given the Motu reputation, then I think this might be a better option than the Audient ID4 unless you find the Audient knob useful for assigning to some of your DAW parameters, which is unique to Audient and pretty cool. Also the Audient DI is supposed to be top notch.
MOTU drivers should be good, but the Audient windows drivers I'm not sure. Audient windows drivers: I read somewhere (surfed too much to remember) that the best practice with the drivers is to install them first BEFORE plugging the unit. Then once it's done, plug the unit.

I'll have to check this closely. I was pretty much set on the Scarlett 2i4 Gen3, but the features you point out also appeal to me... those meters, phantom on two channels, MIDI I/O (old synths here), and MOTU converters are highly rated. Not in store yet in Canada (Long & McQuade), though.
 
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pderbidge

Senior Member
MOTU drivers should be good, but the Audient windows drivers I'm not sure. Audient windows drivers: I read somewhere (surfed too much to remember) that the best practice with the drivers is to install them first BEFORE plugging the unit. Then once it's done, plug the unit.

I'll have to check this closely. I was pretty much set on the Scarlett 2i4 Gen3, but the features you point out also appeal to me... those meters, phantom on two channels, MIDI I/O (old synths here), and MOTU converters are highly rated. Not in store yet in Canada (Long & McQuade), though.
I had read the same about Adient drivers in the beginning but also read that the newest drivers are very solid and that the Latency is on par if not better than the Focusrite. One good thing about the 3rd gen Scarlett's is that even the line inputs in their combo jacks are decoupled from their preamp. This means if you are connecting outboard gear, such as a high end preamp , that the signal will not pass through another preamp like it did on 2nd gen (which is a good thing) so even the 2i2 3rd gen would be a good choice for people with external preamps and outboard gear. I'm not sure if Motu or Audient does this or not. The Motu M4 has dedicated line inputs on the back so that makes it a safer choice than the M2 for those with outboard gear until we know if their combo jacks are wired the same way as the new Scarlett's or not. I'm sure the issue is overblown but at the same time why pass your signal through another electronic component like the preamp if you don't have to?
 

SBK

Active Member
wanted also to say about the Motus' interfaces. Although I do not know their stability and heard rumors for their support 10 years ago that it is not good