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TOPIC: Sound Card

Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19455

Hi..

At the moment ive just got a motherboard integrated soundcard.

Its doing ok.. but i've just bought a midi keyboard and need to get something to minimize the latency as much as possible..

ive havent a big budget though and would need to be external usb.. has anyone any recommendaitons for something that hasnt maybe got all the bells and whistles but should be good for low latency?

Thanks

Matthew
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19461

  • Mr Fork
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Wow heya Matthew,

I haven't seen a post from you in ages man. Good to see you're still around. You haven't posted any new tunes though. :(

You always had good little piano snippets.

Anyway I recommend the focusrite series. They have low latency drivers, it's portable, small, and has killer pre amps if you ever need to live record anything. Phantom power for mics too.

us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2

I know of at least one other person on this forum using the focusrite stuff. Check it out.
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19468

  • caris
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I can second the vote for focusrite, though I don't have experience with other gear, I have a Focusrite Sapphire pro 40, and I'm really happy with it. I went with the firewire interface since I wanted to be able to port all inputs to channels and have low latency, but I've been thinking about getting a secondary smaller USB unit for portability and plug and play. Focusrite doesn't recommend hot-swapping firewire, and it's annoying to have to reboot when you want to plug in your audio interface to your laptop, so if I were to do it again I might go straight USB, though I might not since it is nice to have 8 low latency inputs if you want to record something decent size. Anyway, there's my 2 cents.
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19590

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If you only need 2 ins and 2 outs, and don't need midi through the interface, I can highly recommend the Focusrite 2i2. It's small, has a metal chasis, travels well.
I use it with my laptop and run a MicroBrute through it.
Works well.
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19593

looks like its a focusrite! :)

thanks for the recommendations guys.. ill have a look..

thanks mr fork.. yeah i havent had much time to do much music recently. i want to jump into it with both feet one day as so far i havent gone so deep in with production.. and explore it properly, kinda building on the piano as a base.. but seeing where i can take it.. but for now its on the back burner. ill post anything back here when i do something next...
Last Edit: 3 years 11 months ago by matthewmoore3.
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19598

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dversetto wrote:
I use it with my laptop and run a MicroBrute through it.
Works well.

The microbrute is on my wishlist. Can't wait to get it. Jealous right now lol.

Matthew I had the same problem a while back not being able to commit much time. I still can't really but I decided if I waited for the time to commit all at once (at least in my case) it would never happen. So I just went for it and did the best I could with the time I had. Hope you get that time you need though. You had some great ideas.
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19599

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I have an Edirol UA-25. It's served me for 10 years without problems, that could be an option too.

cheers

//Damon Breakz\\
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19624

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I'm rocking a Focusrite 2i4 and I'm quite happy with that! Personally I wish I would've gotten an 8i6 instead, but that's just because I'm lazy and don't like switching out cables xD
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Sound Card 3 years 11 months ago #19666

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LOL I'm that lazy guy. I got the 8i6. Although now that I'm looking at a possible analog summing setup and I'm getting some hardware synths I'm finding I may need more.
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Sound Card 3 years 10 months ago #19718

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Well Merry X-mas to me!

I went and got myself a bright shiny new NI Komplete Audio 6 Interface. I mainly got it because of the Big Knob on top. No really. ;)
My first soundcard (which worked fine) was the Focusrite 2i2. I didn't realize I might need more than one stereo out and now I'm being called on to DJ at the local Art shows downtown. (you have no idea how much fun) So now I can cue up which I couldn't do before and I have a midi in and out. And this thing turns up LOUD. Much more than my old. A nice surprise. And I got all kinds of cool software!

Next - Push
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Sound Card 3 years 10 months ago #19984

ok.. now the big christmas blockage is out the way ill get back on the soundcard trail...

i have another question... seems something focusrite is the way to go.. and 2i2 or 2i4 looks good.... but...

i indicated i needed low latency but i failed to specify completely one of the main things id like to use it for is playing the usb keyboard/piano directly through ableton as much as possible as if its a normal piano.. ie not anything related to recording or production.. just pure general direct playing

ive become aware that even small latency can be rather irritating for the joy of direct playing and have heard of Direct Monitoring.. but am a little confused.. my enthusiasm is preceding my understanding... :) my heads not quite in the ins and outs of it yet... so these are total newbie questions perhaps i know..

would it be possible to use a soundcard ie focusright 2i4 with direct monitoring and play it through an ableton piano sampler with zero latency... or is it suited for another purpose/not possible... is direct monitoring more about bypassing the software samples?

i just dont quite get this direct monitoring business vs very low latency non direct monitoring in regard to playing an instrument through ableton... basically all in all i wanna play nice instrument sounds through ableton with zero latency if possible... but otherwise a minimal amount of milliseconds would be ok... i guess eitherway a focusright 2i4 would do the job..

another thing.. my keyboard is a m-audio keystation.. fairly standard but it has usb and midi output, but doesnt come shipped with a power supply, and gets power through usb at the moment.. will the latency be lower/direct monitoring if possible be more effective midi to midi rather than using usb.. (in which case id need to get the power supply for the keyboard)

hope that all makes sense... really im just trying to get a very good piano sound on some portable stuff that wouldnt otherwise be possible without having a proper piano of some kind... but having it as direct as a proper piano too..

Matthew
Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by matthewmoore3.
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Sound Card 3 years 10 months ago #19985

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Matthew I know what you're saying about wanting realtime playback etc. Being a piano player/performer myself I cannot stand it if there's a delay between when I play and when I hear the note. That being said the focusrite Scarlett 8i6 that I'm using has zero latency and has adjustments so that if you hear latency you can fix it so that the sound happens as you play. I'm using an m-audio axiom keyboard and also have the push and maschine. All of them have zero latency play even if I have a bunch of stuff going on in my track. I think it will be able to handle it just fine as I'm currently using it for the same purposes but if you want to be CERTAIN the best persons to ask would be the team at focusrite. The axiom I have is bus powered and that doesn't effect the latency that I'm aware of.

I have heard of people having issues with latency on lower end computers where large sampled instruments are taking up all available resources and there's no processing power/RAM left to allocate to regulate the latency. You'll probably notice it dropping out and so on if that's a problem though and then it's not the device that's causing the issue. So along with the possibility of getting a focusrite I'd also check your system specs and make sure your system can handle doing the things you're wanting to do.
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Sound Card 3 years 10 months ago #19987

Thanks Monsieur Fork...

This is very helpful... think i can happily go for it then... ill likely get the scarlet 2i4 as im assuming it should be the same in regards to latency and core technology as the 8i6.. price seems comparable... then again the 8i6 seems rather rugged and cool... though id likely never use the extras in the forseeable future... ill just check through some of the finer details first between each one..

my computer is pretty powerful.. well decent quad core i7, 32GB memory ect, so should handle it fine..

Cheers!
Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by matthewmoore3.
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Sound Card 3 years 10 months ago #19988

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I can shed some more light on the 'direct monitoring' feature.
Basically, you have a knob which fades between normal playback and direct monitoring. You can have it halfway so you hear a bit of both or have it all the way to the right for normal playback or all the way to the left for full direct monitoring.
Direct monitoring is only useful if you're using an external instrument, as all it really does is feed back the sound from the inputs directly back out without any latency whatsoever. So, for example, you can listen to a synthesizer you plugged in with 0 latency.
It won't help you when playing instruments in Ableton with your midi-keyboard.
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Sound Card 3 years 10 months ago #19992

ok. thanks for that... makes sense... so youd use it either playing an instrument directly through a hardware synthesizer/sampler of some sort... for means of live performance or hearing what you are playing with zero latency on hardware whilst simultaneously recording into the computer to avoid any off putting latency whilst recording... but then using the computer track once generated..

but then (hopefully) it seems the decent sound cards like the focusrite will minimize the latency to as good as zero anyway for playing through the computer.. all being well..
Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by matthewmoore3.
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Sound Card 3 years 10 months ago #20077

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ups
Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by kim.loco.
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Sound Card 3 years 9 months ago #20145

right.. i got the scarlett 2i4..

im gonna set it up properly at the weekend.. any advice to make sure its up and running nicely... any particular tips, what driver to use etc to make sure it's optimized and low latency as possible...

i know there are often something possible to miss, some driver or other, or some setting you don't notice to make sure the latency is minimized etc.

Also just out of interest.. ive got a power supply for my usb keyboard and can power it by USB too.. if i were to power it by usb and connect to the soundcard by midi, wouldnt that be then sending a midi signal through both wires.. (usb cable and midi cable).. which is why i thought its best to use the power supply (not usb) in case something interferes with something else..
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