Advice on audio interface and software for home recording?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Alex79, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking into buying an audio interface in the near future (September, after moving house). I'm not a complete novice, but close.
    I currently have Ableton Live Intro, a starters edition, and a Firewire Terratec Phase X24. I never really managed very well with this and I mostly blame Ableton Live for this, the concept is just rather strange and everything seems counterintuitive to me.

    I also have a Sennheiser microphone that I like a lot (E609 or E906?).

    My new interface needs to fulfill the following criteria:
    - work with MAC and PC (I want to use my MBA for recording)
    - power off USB
    - allow both XLR/mic in recording and direct guitar. It seems some of the cheaper ones don't have a mic preamp.
    - MOST IMPORTANT: easy to use recording software included

    My budget would cover the following devices:

    Focusrite 2i4 - Fluff (? bearded guy on Youtube) uses this and his demos sound great, and I like the -10 db pad switches, BUT: it comes with Ableton Live again and that almost rules this one out completely
    Presonus Audiobox 22VSL - Ola Englund from The Haunted uses this on his demo; I like this a lot, but I have no idea how the software Studio One Artist is.
    Steinberg UR22 - It comes with Cubase AI 7, which is supposed to be easy to use (claim from the website), but the interface is very cheap and I find that suspicious.
    Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 - Cubase LE 6 and a really cool look; I'm just worried that this might be designed more for DJs than musicians.

    Advice, suggestions and recommendations greatly appreciated!
     
  2. DavidLopezJr

    DavidLopezJr SS.org Regular

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    The 2i4 is my favorite of the bunch.

    Honestly for software either use Reaper or wait until Studio One Prime comes out (100% free).

    I work out of Pro Tools and would had recommended Pro Tools First (free version of Pro Tools) but it has limited track options and a ton of other limitations (Ive used it and hate it). Studio One Prime will have a ton of great features.

    The graph here explains the features Studio One Prime will have:

    http://studioone.presonus.com/compare-versions
     
  3. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    Line 6 UX1 would be another cost-effective option.

    I'd also go with Reaper or maybe Audacity.
     
  4. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Presonus Studio One, Reaper and Logic are probably the easiest options for a DAW.

    Logic is out because you want PC compatability.

    Reaper is cheap as chips, but Studio One is freakin' awesome. Like I've been using it since the first version came with an interface I got, and I"ve been using it since for all my writing (still mix in Pro Tools because I'm a sucker like that).

    Presonus Interfaces are hit or miss for some people, but the newer ones are actually REALLY well made and about on par with the focusrite stuff nowadays.

    So Focusrite + Reaper.

    Or Presonus + Studio One.

    Try both softwares (there's a fully version demo of S1 on Presonus' site, so check that out)

    I mean... if you want to drop serious cash: RME Babyface + Studio One Pro is my favourite portable music making setup. But that's a ....tonne of money.
     
  5. manana

    manana SS.org Regular

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    Why would you care if it is bundled with software? Few, if any, are bundled with quality DAWs. Your BEST bet is getting the 2i4 (i have one and love it) and getting reaper (60$ license, unlimited trial too)

    Reaper is an underrated, very powerful DAW. I have heard nothing but bad things about presonus interfaces on here.
     
  6. jerm

    jerm SS.org Regular

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    2i4 and Reaper here. love it, just wish I got the Scarlett 6i6 for SPDIF reamping with my kemper though..
     
  7. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

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    I used to have the Line 6 UX1 and I have to say it is the best "cheap" audio interface I have ever owned. The only problem is the lack of phantom power. If you don't need that, just go for the UX1.
    As for the software, it really depends on what you need. Just real instruments? Then anything will do. Lots of virtual instruments and midi? Then you need something more reliable. I am a Cubase guy, because it was the first DAW I came in contact with, more than 20 years ago. I find it quite intuitive and well balanced between audio and midi.
    I have a soft spot for Live, too, just to sketch out some ideas, but I find it impossible to make any decent mix with it. Reaper is always a good choice, even if it is not my favourite it has everything a home-recording guy will ever need.
     
  8. Basti

    Basti not much space to wr

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    Steinberg UR22 is often recommended above the Focusrite hype. I have the Roland DUO-Capture EX and it works great, it's for Mac, Windows and (iPads apparently) and fulfils all your critera.

    Reaper is a bit of a no-brainer, it's free/ cheap so there's little margin for error
     
  9. Drezik27

    Drezik27 SS.org Regular

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    I have the 2i2 and reaper.

    More than gets the job done.
     
  10. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the advice!

    If I go along the route of getting a separate DAW I could also consider the Mackie Onyx Blackjack plus, probably, Presonus Studio One or Cubase.
    I like the fact that Mackie has put really good preamps into that interface.

    Any thoughts on the Mackie?
     
  11. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    NIKA6 + Reaper, NIKA6 is solid interface, no problems with it, plenty of inputs/outputs..
     
  12. atoragon

    atoragon SS.org Regular

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    I would go for the presonus + studio one. the interface is very good, and the daw is probably the best one, in my opinion.
     
  13. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Avoid
    like
    the
    bubonic
    plague.

    They're just... I dunno... they never update their drivers and there's all sorts of issues.
     
  14. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    they have product line that is aimed for DJs, it's called traktor, but it's not a case of Komplete Audio 6
     
  15. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    That's a bummer.

    It looks like the Presonus has everything I want then, good sound and an intuitive software package.
     

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