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

OP
creativeforge

creativeforge

the architect
Anyone heard much about the new Steinberg ur22c?

Its only 150€, so is in the price range of the OP.

I'm looking at the the UR44c, so i'm interested to hear thoughts.
I just started watching this review by Julian Krause, who had reviewed the UR22 first gen.

 

Sly

New Member
I have an M-Audio 2x2M that works great however I did previously experience similar issues. My laptop also had other performance issues. My solution was to completely clean up and optimise the laptop and never let it near the internet unless I have to download something too big for transfer by stick, I also have Windows automatic updates turned off so I have effectively baselined the system. Everything works fine now, and the laptop is single use to run Cubase. The 2x2M is running through a powered USB hub btw.
 

AllanH

Senior Member
I bought a Motu M4 and hooked it up yesterday. So far I'm thrilled. The software seems solid, the build is excellent, and it works well with Cubase. I've run a couple of my projects through, and after a bit of Cubase reconfiguration, it works as expected.

Entirely subjectively, but I'd say that my LSRs sound substantially better with the M4 than my previous interface. By "better," I mean far more clarity and separation.
 
OP
creativeforge

creativeforge

the architect
I bought a Motu M4 and hooked it up yesterday. So far I'm thrilled. The software seems solid, the build is excellent, and it works well with Cubase. I've run a couple of my projects through, and after a bit of Cubase reconfiguration, it works as expected.

Entirely subjectively, but I'd say that my LSRs sound substantially better with the M4 than my previous interface. By "better," I mean far more clarity and separation.
Great! Good to hear from someone here about this unit. :) So one question was asked about the knobs, and the XLR inputs - are they sturdy or wobbly when you plug a cable in?

I suspect they will promote these babies at the NAMM, maybe there will even be updates and discounts...
 

AllanH

Senior Member
Mine is sturdy. I have not noticed any wobble as I plug things in. Two subtle but valuable other bits of data: it has rubber feet and does not slide around, and the dials have a rough surface (as can be seen here on the volume dial). The dials move smoothly.
 
OP
creativeforge

creativeforge

the architect
Mine is sturdy. I have not noticed any wobble as I plug things in. Two subtle but valuable other bits of data: it has rubber feet and does not slide around, and the dials have a rough surface (as can be seen here on the volume dial). The dials move smoothly.
Thanks Allan, it's probably going to be my next audio interface. Sometime in 2020, when funds are available. :)
 

Quasar

Senior Member
I bought a Motu M4 and hooked it up yesterday. So far I'm thrilled. The software seems solid, the build is excellent, and it works well with Cubase. I've run a couple of my projects through, and after a bit of Cubase reconfiguration, it works as expected.

Entirely subjectively, but I'd say that my LSRs sound substantially better with the M4 than my previous interface. By "better," I mean far more clarity and separation.
A three month bump. I've been looking for an inexpensive unit for a portable setup too, and, in terms of specs/price, the M2 and M4 look really attractive, EXCEPT many Windows users seem to be reporting random, chronic connection drops, a deal-killer. Don't know how common or rare this is, and wonder if we'll see some driver or firmware fix...

Can I ask if you're on Windows? And if you're still thrilled these months later? Have you noticed any issues?

There's also the new SSL2 and SSL2+ getting rave reviews and worth looking into. Audient has a new entry-level EVO line as well, undercutting their own iD14 and iD22... So many choices and options to consider. I'm torn between just getting the most budget 2i2 (tried and true for what it is) or saving my pennies for the Babyface Pro (has everything I want, but or course radically pricier), and then there is everything in-between in the $100 to $300+ range.

On forums like Gearslutz, one camp says that unless you're spending thousands of dollars, these are all about the same, so just get the cheapest interface that has the feature set you want and it will be good enough. The other camp says stuff like: "The Burr Brown converters blew my Focusrite out of the water," and I don't know who or what to believe.
 

AllanH

Senior Member
A three month bump. I've been looking for an inexpensive unit for a portable setup too, and, in terms of specs/price, the M2 and M4 look really attractive, EXCEPT many Windows users seem to be reporting random, chronic connection drops, a deal-killer. Don't know how common or rare this is, and wonder if we'll see some driver or firmware fix...

Can I ask if you're on Windows? And if you're still thrilled these months later? Have you noticed any issues?
...
I have had no issues. The M4 has been rock solid from day one. I haven't even looked to see if there are newer drivers. Every so often Cubase spikes, but as it's far less frequent than with my previous audio interface, so its a vast improvement. I'm still thrilled and have used it 100s of hours.

I'm on Win10, i6700 with 32 GB of ram and SSDs. I use it with Cubase, Kontakt, Falcon, Play, and 20 to 50 tracks at 48k. The M4 easily drives my 250 Ohm headphones. Very happy.

EDIT: I've also used it with the Spitfire player with no issues related to the M4. Pianoteq, Garritan CFX and Miroslav. [and probably more]
 
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PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
Not the same budget but there is the RME Babyface pro. And, it just works... and really well.
Now that I bit the bullet and got one, I'm ticked I didn't do this way sooner. Recently I saw a Christian Henson vid, he now uses it for his travel rig and loves it.
 

X-Bassist

Senior Member
Hate to be a downer but I have a Scarlett 6i6, the Roland interface mentioned, and a stack of others in my closet because I’ve had problems with all of them once ou get into bigger sessions. With a smaller session they may work fine.

But after finally biting the bullet and getting an RME UC (I’m in film and use the extra outs for surrounds) I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything else. The interface and control software is great, but most of all it’s because of the software driver. That sillly little piece of coding that no one seems to get right besides RME. Changes my big sessions from barely playing with a 1024 buffer to playing okay at 256. I’ve even done some simple recordings at 64 and it’s worked well.

Yes, it was $700 used, but I’ve spent more than that on all the interfaces in my closet. i just wish I had done this when I was first looking years ago.
 

Quasar

Senior Member
Hate to be a downer but I have a Scarlett 6i6, the Roland interface mentioned, and a stack of others in my closet because I’ve had problems with all of them once ou get into bigger sessions. With a smaller session they may work fine.

But after finally biting the bullet and getting an RME UC (I’m in film and use the extra outs for surrounds) I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything else. The interface and control software is great, but most of all it’s because of the software driver. That sillly little piece of coding that no one seems to get right besides RME. Changes my big sessions from barely playing with a 1024 buffer to playing okay at 256. I’ve even done some simple recordings at 64 and it’s worked well.

Yes, it was $700 used, but I’ve spent more than that on all the interfaces in my closet. i just wish I had done this when I was first looking years ago.
This is the rabbit hole I've been going, not down, but up (in terms of price). The UC is I think 11 years old now, but the reviews are 100% stellar. On the other hand, you can watch a video review of the whatever newest $189 2X4 box and note that the buttons are squishy and the knobs are loose... I don't care if the knobs are loose. But what this signifies is that it quite possibly won't work terribly well for very long and will end up in in a closet just as you describe.

I have RME PCIe on my main stationary rig, and don't even think about instability anymore. I get less than 10ms RTL in Reaper at 128 and can seamlessly load at least a few dozen tracks with oodles of VIs and effects. So it might make sense to save-up and get something like a UC or a Babyface Pro for portability. RME–besides the famous driver stability–seems to be the only company offering quality in terms of build, preamps/ADDA and latency for ITB. The Audients, for instance, seem to be terrific in terms of converters, but not so great for latency.

I guess you get what you pay for, and there is no window shopping away this truth. Still, I may try the M4 with the idea of returning it if I have issues, even though returning things isn't usually my style. I just want a simple box that I can carry with me that works pretty okay.
 

haydn12

New Member
I picked up the M4 about a month ago. It's been working great with everything I've thrown at it. I'm working at 128 in Cakewalk by Bandlab for prog rock music. I did have to bump up to 256 for my orchestral templates but I also have about 20 VSTi's in use. I was also looking at the RME but couldn't justify the cost. Ended up picking up a subwoofer and Furman Power Conditioner with what I saved.

Jim
 

SlHarder

New Member
Motu M2 working great for me. Lots of power for any headphones, 44.1 256 is solid, low noise inputs, same Uac as their $2k units, value for money invested.