Audio Interface


#1

Hi, I don’t know if this is the right place to ask, but here I go.

I have a lexicon that has died yesterday, I’ll buy a new interface, I’m playing in a under metal band, so I don’t need anything pro, nowadays the setting is: My notebook with cantabile, backing tracks sounds with click (left channel backing track + click + vst keyboard sounds, and right channel backing track + vst keyboard sounds).

Interface, right channel to the console and the left channel to the in ear for the drummer and I. So far so good, but I’m wondering if I’d be able to do the following:

So far I had been sending the VST sound so low to the in ear because the most important thing is that the drummer could hear the click, but in general I hardly ever get a monitor for me at live so I want to hear my own keyboard through my headphones. If I buy more outputs, can I send every vst, media sound, etc to any specific channel? For example: channel 1, only backing track + keyboard (for the console), channel 2, 100% click, 30% backing track 30% keyboard, channel 3, 50% click 100% keyboard, 50% bkacing track.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough.


#2

The short answer is, you can get almost anything you want. It’s only money. First, I will assume the interface is an ASIO-compatible one. ASIO is highly recommended for any interface (although recent changes in Windows have allowed some to have success with other options). The better (more expensive) interfaces have multiple headphone outs, where each headphone can have a different mix. When you get to the really high-end interfaces, such as RME, there is a separate application that lets you mix your signals to many different outputs (headphone, Hi-Z, Low-Z, etc.). With much flexibility comes much cost. If you look at the “Show Me Your Cantabile Rig” thread, you can read about people’s experience with various interfaces.


#3

Thank you I’ve read that thread but I’ll read it paying more attention!
But I don’t know nothing about sound cards, is this sound card powerful enough https://www.esi-audio.com/products/gigaporthd+/ ?
It has two headphone outs and several outs.


#4

Looks pretty good! The thing about these audio interfaces is it’s usually the DRIVER that makes the big difference. Some of these hardware companies develop a really great pile of circuits and chips, then outsource the driver (because it’s software) to “Moe’s Laundry and Programming Shoppe”. The most popular interfaces seem to be RMI, MOTU (although I’ve had bad luck with MOTU), PreSonus, Focusrite, NI Komplete 6, and Behringer. I have several of these and the best is Focusrite. Although, my Focusrite is a FireWire, not USB (probably why it’s better). RME is #2 for me. NI is built like a tank, but doesn’t have the features the others have (software defined mix outputs). In the USA, head over to Sweetwater and look around at what they carry (minor endorsement I’m not at all compensated for).


#5

Thank you, I understand. RMI and MOTU are out of my budget, but I’ll check out focusrite, behringer and presonus too. I’ll post my choice when I buy it!


#6

Take a look at Zoom as well - I’m using their UAC-2 in my lighter setup, where I only use 2 outputs (my larger one has a Babyface with 8 output ports via ADAT). It’s a lot more affordable than RME (not RMI) - costs around 200 Euros - and its driver performance is great: very low latencies with rock-solid stability. I’ve put my NI Komplete and my MOTU ultralite back on the shelf and run RME and Zoom only.

Yes, it’s not the cheapest interface, but if you want low latencies, Zoom is absolutely worth the invest. Especially when planning to use Cantabile to process audio input - e.g. using virtual guitar amps - low latency becomes essential, since both input AND output latency come into play.

Cheers,

Torsten


#7

I bought the Behringer UMC202HD. It has no 5 pin DIN midi ports but I saw that as a plus since I’m all USB now controller wise. I use Amplitube 4 with bass guitar with it and latency hasn’t been an issue. Only $60 from Sweetwater. It sounds much better than the Lexicon Alpha it replaced.


#8

Thank you all!
I’ve bought a ESI Maya 44+ USB, it was not expensive and it seems to work fine.
Set it up was pretty easy and the whole process was way easier than I had thought it would be!
This interface has 4 output, so I have two channel for the mixer, one for the drummer and one for me, today I’m going to use it for the first time in the rehearsal.
So far the only downside is that the interface has only RCA but is not a big deal.