Question: Interface for Live Gig Use w /VST/plugins


I had purchased an interface through AMS I thought would work (presonus) and it didn’t cut it so I sent it back. I know that RME Babyface is the way to (of course), but the price-tag is high. However, I’m willing to get into 12 months of $62 mo. to purchase it.

Before I do this, do any of you established guys on the forum have any other options you might recommend? Here is my scenario. I have: 1) all VST/plugin keyboards from the laptop (TruePianos, Lounge Lizard EP4, VB3 II, UltraAnalog, OPX II Pro, and GSi MilesTone trumpet, 2) the need for at least one microphone input for my sax mic, and 3) hardware DSP mixing in the interface.



Hi Chuck

Many different options available. I personally chose Focusrite, and would buy it again. I’ve had no problem with it. Driver issues plagued the earlier versions, but didn’t experience those. If you only need 1 mic input and simple output, a 2i2 would be an inexpensive choice. In US they run around $150.00. Latency has never been an issue with these. I would always suggest purchasing a “powered” interface, as USB power could be iffy. I run several mics, guitars, sax…whatever thru my 18i8 with no problem. There was a recent positive discussion about Behringer, but I have no experience with it. @RackedBrain is also a sax player and recommends it.




Hey Chuck,

I use the Babyface Pro as my primary. I use a Behringer UMC404HD for backup. I’ve been blown away by the Behringer driver, latency, and the price is outstanding. That said, RME TotalMix can do the built-in effects (but I don’t use them) and it has digital In/Out. It comes in really handy for sax and flute mics and direct monitoring. I can get direct monitoring with the Behringer, but it’s a little kludgy. The Behringer does not have any form of digital output (no S/PDIF or ADAT). A C3 State w/binding can turn TotalMix sends up so when I switch to sax or flute, the right mic comes on. When I switch back, all the mics are muted. All of this works with my in-ears the Babyface drives. With the Behringer, I do muting by turning the audio route on or off.

In summary, TotalMix is the biggest difference, but it gets complicated quickly. And as for digital out, I only use that recording, not live.



I have a few and i too use a “load” vst’s live and the Motu Ultralite AVB has worked flawlessly. Multiple outs, small size and a lot of features for a 1/2 1U rack space interface. The latency (RTL) for monitoring/recording over USB3 is comparable to some thunderbolt interfaces. The price is around 650.oo usd. Good luck, there are a lot to choose from…


i’ve found that the BF pro has limited outputs: 2 x balanced xlr and 2 as a 1/4in stereo unbalanced (commonly used as a headphone output).
if you want to send stereo synths and your mic as separate outputs to the house pa then you’re going to limit your ability to monitor live on the interface itself. you can probably fudge it with splitting the headphone output.


You can use something like the Behringer ADA8200 to split the BF ins and outs to 8/8. I think that’s what @Torsten does.

I send a mono kb and a mono horns to FOH. I receive a general mix from FOH and, using TotalMix, combine everything for my IEMs.


but does the Behringer UMC404HD have its own driver or is it using ASIO4ALL?


Correct! That’s my “big” setup - works a charm, but a bit bulky (need a rack to carry it around). My small setup is a Zoom UAC-2. The price tag is very bearable, and the low latency performance is excellent - a definite recommendation if you can live with 2 outputs! But unfortunately, no DSP mixing, so will probably not work for you.

ATM, I’m experimenting with a Behringer UMC404HD for more outputs - seems to have pretty good latency behavior as well. But again, no DSP mixing.




does the Behringer UMC404HD have its own driver or is it using ASIO4ALL?

Behringer has their own well-written UMC ASIO driver.I say well-written because the latency (at least for me) seems to equal the much-more-expensive RME BabyFace Pro. The driver is solid, but has very few features (like RME TotalMix).


Hmm, but overall, the Scarlett series’ low-latency performance hasn’t been too outstanding - seen a number of mixed reviews and measurements.

They’ve recently announced their 3rd generation of Scarletts - wonder if there have been any improvements on the latency side?

Sorry for the slight off-topic…




??? Sorry what does that mean…


Hey Torsten

I went through a long research period before dropping a dime on Scarlett. Much of that research was from what actual users were experiencing, not so much journalistic reviews. I also saw them in action in 2 local studios and was impressed with the low latency. My ears were my measuring test. Since I was looking for a mid-range unit, the more expensive offerings were not considered. I would not put a higher $$$ unit through the rigors of my gigging life. Fortunately, the 2 Scarletts I purchased are like tanks, and have held up to the constant barrage of load-in/out, heat/cold, high humidity/heavy rain, and fit my particular needs. I’ve experienced no latency problems whatsoever.
Thanks for the info on the 3rd generation…was not aware of their new products. Also glad to hear Behringer is performing well.




I am using a 1st Scarlett 2i4 in my live rig and very happy with it. Focusrite were selling them off cheap a few years back at half price, so I could buy a main and spare unit for the same price as one. :slight_smile:


Second upvote for Focusrite. I’ve bee usibnt Scarlett 18i6 and never had a lick of problems. HW mixing, … allows me to send main outputs to the board and my own mix to the headphone jack, with one of the inputs being the rest of the band. Really like it. Super clean.


I just got myself a focusrite claret 2 pre - very happy with it!


Never tried Focusrite but hear good comments.
Personally I have had bad luck with MOTU UltraLite MkIII (loud “vynil-like” noise in the middle of a live TV show until complete computer reboot). Could be a power supply issue but nevertheless I just don’t trust it for live anymore.
Bought RME Fireface UC the next day and couldn’t be happier - never a single issue.
The single most important thing in an audio interface for live playing is its drivers and stability.


Also The Motu Ultralite has on board DSP efffects and 2 Mic Pre’s…check their website for more detailed features …


I wanted to let everyone know that I appreciate everyone’s comments. Final question. I narrowed it down to three (3) concerning latency and my needs for internal DSP function/power:

RME Babyface Pro
MOTU Ultralite MK4
Zoom UAC-4 (or 8)

The Zoom internal DSP (& MixEfx software) gives you reverb and delay, but no EQ or compression.
This unit is highly rated by everyone.

The MOTU internal DSP (& MK4 Mixer software) gives you full signal processing, very impressive mixer, and lots of hardware inputs and outputs.
However, I had read really bad reviews about the drivers and stability of the MK3 (previous version).

The RME Babyface internal DSP (& TotalMix FX software) also has full signal processing.

…so then, my choice would be to go w/ the Babyface, …unless anyone has anything good to say about the MK4 version of the MOTU…


I knew the Fireface USB had the built in processing but My Babyface Pro has no compressor or Reverb just Eq.



Yea, support at Synthax told me that The RME “higher” models provide full DSP processing. The Babyface Pro apparently has true onboard DSP mixing, routing, and EQ. Synthax told me it will provide reverb and delay to the TotalMix FX mixer, but only if you are using a Mac or Win computer (not an iPad), and that those effects are not onboard DSP generated, but generated from the TotalMix FX software program on the computer. In the grand scheme of things though, the EQ is what is mainly needed by me. There are better quality reverb & delay out there as plug-ins.