[email protected]

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« on: June 10, 2005, 01:14:22 PM »
Hi,

There are so many products out there, but there is so little time
to test these gadgets.
Can someone recommend a good USB (or firewire) based audio interface?
It needs to have line level balanced I/O and do 24bit/96Khz.
I am running WinXP on a laptop and the primary use of the interface will be making audio measurements with TrueRTA and RMA Analyzer.

Thank You,
Tamas


AnalogPackrat

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2005, 01:36:57 PM »
Tamas,

I have a Presonus FirePod which works fine with my Athlon desktop running Win XP.  The FireBox might be an option if you only need a few ins/outs.  It also has better drivers than the FirePod and comes with a little app to allow some mixing/routing inside the unit.  The FirePod (which costs more, but came out first) has older drivers and no mixing app.  Both of these boxes will do [email protected]  They have balanced I/O, decent mic pres, and DI inputs.

One thing you may run into with firewire interfaces is PCI latency tweaking.  If you search the Cakewalk forum you will find a huge thread on this issue.  If you run into trouble, let me know and I can try to help you out.  I had some "fun" with this on my system.  I don't have any experience with USB interfaces, but I think Edirol make a nice USB2.0 unit.  There's also that new portable firewire unit from MOTU.

Do you plan on using this only for one or two channels of test/measurement at a time?  If so, the FireBox might be the ticket for under $400.

Good luck,
Analog Packrat
If it is to be, it is up to me.

[email protected]

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2005, 01:50:37 PM »
Quote from: "AnalogPackrat"
Do you plan on using this only for one or two channels of test/measurement at a time?


Yes, this interface will be dedicated to measurements, and reference recordings, mostly to compare one circuit to another. Compactness is a an adventage.
Thanks for the recommendation.

[email protected]

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2005, 02:24:00 PM »
Anything useful in the USB camp?

AnalogPackrat

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2005, 02:29:19 PM »
Tamas,

Another possibility is to buy a Mackie (wait, don't vomit yet) FW card for their 16xx series of mixers.  Somewhere recently (maybe it was here) there were some folks talking about doing a DIY FW interface using the card.  Apparently its analog inputs are easy to get at and you just need to download the drivers to get it working.  This would allow you to have more control over the analog end of things.  I think the bare cards go for around $300 and have 8/8 I/O or something.  I'll try to dig up the link for you.

Analog Packrat
If it is to be, it is up to me.

Mark Burnley

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2005, 02:40:33 PM »
Tamas,

I'm looking for exactly the same thing right now- preferably just a balanced stereo line-in without any bells-and-whistles. I want to add my own front end with variable gain, so even a high quality unbalanced input will do, as I'll do the balancing bit myself.

It's for portable equipment testing and calibration, so any other suggestions (preferably USB) would be great thanks!

Mark
O_O tape is life O_O

TomWaterman

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2005, 02:53:10 PM »
If you're going to add the balancing bit yourself, maybe the Echo PCMCIA cards are worth a look as long as your laptops support it. Not the highest quality conversion on the planet but should be reasonably low noise.

About 199quid for the stereo in/out 24/96 job.

    *  1 stereo 1/8" connector
    * Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz, ±0.5dB
    * Dynamic Range: >109dB A-weighted
    * THD+n at -3dbfs, 1kHz sine wave: <0.0014% A-weighted
    * Crosstalk at -3dbfs, 1kHz sine wave:  <0.0005% A-weighted
    * Nominal Input Level: -10dBV
    * Maximum Input level:  +7.2 dBu
    * Input Impedance: 10KOhm

sh*tty 1/8" connectors and the headroom is poor.

Not much else out there for reasonable money.

-Tom

TomWaterman

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2005, 02:55:29 PM »
M-Audio have a 2in-2out unbalanced USB job.

Audiofile 24/96.

-Tom

daArry

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2005, 03:27:42 PM »
the ti/bb PCM2902 might be an idea - not the greatest of specs but a v simple 1 chip usb solution - http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/pcm2902.html

AnalogPackrat

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2005, 03:52:24 PM »
Tamas,

Another possibility is to buy a Mackie (wait, don't vomit yet) FW card for their 16xx series of mixers.  Somewhere recently (maybe it was here) there were some folks talking about doing a DIY FW interface using the card.  Apparently its analog inputs are easy to get at and you just need to download the drivers to get it working.  This would allow you to have more control over the analog end of things.  I think the bare cards go for around $300 and have 8/8 I/O or something.  I'll try to dig up the link for you.

Analog Packrat
If it is to be, it is up to me.


AnalogPackrat

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2005, 03:52:34 PM »
Tamas,

Another possibility is to buy a Mackie (wait, don't vomit yet) FW card for their 16xx series of mixers.  Somewhere recently (maybe it was here) there were some folks talking about doing a DIY FW interface using the card.  Apparently its analog inputs are easy to get at and you just need to download the drivers to get it working.  This would allow you to have more control over the analog end of things.  I think the bare cards go for around $300 and have 8/8 I/O or something.  I'll try to dig up the link for you.

Analog Packrat
If it is to be, it is up to me.

AnalogPackrat

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2005, 03:53:46 PM »
Sorry bout the double post...note to self: do not go "back" and then "forward" through a set of pages that include a forum post  :oops:  :oops:
If it is to be, it is up to me.

moosapotamus

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2005, 10:38:59 PM »
Check out Edirol... I have the UA-1000 (USB 2.0) and I know you don't need that much I/O, but they make basic stereo USB 2.0 interfaces, too. When I did my research prior to getting the UA-1000, it seemed that Edirol has historically had some strong collaborations with Microsoft (well, maybe you are running a MAC). Anyway, I heard that Service Pack 2 for WinXP was developed and released mainly to provide greater support for Edirol's USB audio drivers. YMMV, so do your own research. But, I am very happy with the UA-1000 in my home-based studio. :cool:

~ Charlie
moosapotamus.net
"I tend to like anything that I think sounds good"

Nat M.

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2005, 12:06:28 AM »
I've got the Edirol UA-1000, too, and I'm satisfied with it. Edirol is now making a slightly smaller version of the UA-1000 called the UA-101:

http://www.edirol.com/press/html/2005/040605_ua101_pr.html

I might have prefered this smaller size and fewer features over the full 1U rack space of the UA-1000. It's not a whole lot cheaper, though.

There is also a FA-66, which is a 2-pre-amp, 6-input, small box size, FireWire unit that costs less than $400.

http://www.edirol.com/products/info/fa66.html

Don't know a thing about it, but it's not super expensive, and the UA-1000 was easy to set up and never had trouble, even recording 8 inputs at 24/44.1. Maybe their other units would be pretty good, too. The FA-66 is, like the UA-101, a smaller version of a product that has existed for a while. I think that's a plus.

Some people think that FireWire may be more stable for audio than USB 2.0. I don't know, but I haven't had trouble with USB 2.0.

You might want to research whether Presonus has got its drivers working well for its newer audio interfaces. I bet you really couldn't go wrong with most of the new FireWire or USB 2.0 interfaces out there now.

[email protected]

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2005, 08:05:47 PM »
Oooh, those Edirol products look very interesting. They tend to have balanced I/Os.

BR

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2005, 04:07:29 AM »
Check this one out
http://www.siasoft.com/products/accessories2.html

sold at siasoft, which is the company who makes smaart live..  It must be pretty good.  I thinking about getting that myself...

Besides that, the only thing that comes to mind is the Digi MBox.  It has the balanced ins and outs and it works pretty good.  You can find some for as little as $200 on evilbay.

take care
Gil

[email protected]

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2005, 05:31:21 PM »
I think I am going to try this: "Terratec Phase 24 24/192kHz Firewire Audio Interface". With its two line level inputs/output it seems to fit the purpose, besides being affordable (~$250).

BR

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2005, 10:40:51 PM »
Please let me know how it turns out, since I'm looking to get something similar to that..
thanks
Gil

soundguy

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2005, 12:16:51 AM »
holy, this is what I was freaking out a few months back.  Feature wise, this is what Ive been looking for.

TK, check this link, $199, free shipping.

http://www.jdsound.com/store/product1.asp?SID=2&Product_ID=4225

I might try this out, has anyone used one of these?

This box perhaps would be a candidate for replacing the analog input buffer with a lundahl, that could have some potential.

dave

chips are good with dip...

[email protected]

Looking for good quality USB audio interface
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2005, 12:41:32 AM »
Dave,

That is a good deal on that unit. I will order one sometimes next week.

Thanks


 

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