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Old 07-18-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
metalzeppelin
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Audient iD22 vs Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Kind of a specific question, but hoping I can get an answer.

I am looking at getting a new audio interface. I had it narrowed down to the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 until my Sweetwater Sales Rep suggested the Audient iD22. He said it has the same mic pres as their $50K boards which was a great selling point.

The LS56 with its software looks insanely complicated to use while the iD22 looks very simple. This also makes the iD22 appealing as I am a musician first and no where close to an audio engineer. Also, every review I've seen on the LS56 either gives it 5 stars and says it's amazing or 1 star and says it sucks. While the iD22 seems to be universally 5 stars.

My issue is I was really hoping for a rack mount unit with more than two inputs to be able to record drums, etc. and to avoid an inevitable upgrade in the near future. The only thing holding me back from just getting the LS56 is the uncertainty about the quality of it's mic pres vs the quality of the iD22's mic pres. At the end of the day, sound quality is really my #1 priority and I would sacrifice the rack unit and inputs to have a better sound.

So long story short, are the LS56 mic pres any worse than the iD22's and if they are is it significant enough to sacrifice the inputs and rack mountability and go with the iD22?
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:34 AM   #2
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The liquid saffire 56 seems to have a shit ton problems with the drivers.
Seriously, 9 out of 10 people talking about it report it having lotsa problems with the software stuff, so I wouldn't get one for sure.
Also people say the liquid pre's are useless gimmicks with no real improvement in sound from the other pre's and not enough gain.

The pre's are actually the same from their consoles, or so they claim at least, but I wouldn't necessarily see that as a particularly good point.
Not bad, for sure, but I've never heard anybody praise audient's ASP pre's in my life.
If the thing sounds as good as it looks on paper, it will sound pretty damn good though.

Sssooo, if ya want a big audio interface for that money, either go for a motu 808 or a saffire pro 40 or an onyx blackbird, with my personal vote falling on the last one.
If you want something reeeally good sounding get an apogee duet or an RME babyface, or lurk on ebay and craigslist hoping to find good deals on bigger apogee and RME stuff.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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So is the only difference between the Pro 40 and the LS56 the number of I/O and the liquid pres on the 56? Same pres, converters, sound quality etc? That's all I'm really looking for and saving $500 would be a bonus.

I forgot I had been looking into that one also. Plus I don't need the additional I/O and I have seen the liquid pres are a marketing gimmic too.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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I used to own an ASP008 that I interfaced with my Saffire Pro 40. I'd say the preamps were better, but not significant enough to justify the large price difference - the major difference was in conversion quality and the internal clock. The Audient was much clearer and the clock significantly improved the Pro 40.

If you don't need all the extra pres, I wouldn't bother with the LS56. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd suggest one even if you did. its a cool unit but it uses the same pres and conversion as the Pro 40, you're just paying twice as much for 2 software emulated preamps. For that much, I'd rather just buy 2 real preamps that I know will sound great.

As an alternative to the Audient, check out the Focusrite Forte. The preamps are the same as their top of the line RedNet pres and have a ton of gain. They sound great, better than the Audient IMO, but the Audient probably has it beat in conversion.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:42 PM   #5
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so what is more important, the mic pre's or the conversion quality?

hypothetically 2 units are exactly the same except one has better pre's and one has better conversion, which one is the best choice?
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:58 PM   #6
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Your chain is as weak as the weakest ring.

Not sure if that's the way it is in english, though you get the idea: supposing the first one's converters are as bad as the second's pre's, and the first one's pre's are as good as the second converters, they both suck the same.

It really boils down to how bad something is, 'cause they both are equally important.
IF your using the onboard pre's and converters.

I wouldn't get an interface to have to use other converters, though I may just get an interface to use other pre's, and in that case the interface's pre's won't really matter anything, but I get you wouldn't really wanna spend much money, so I'd suggest getting an interface with good pre's AND converters.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:07 PM   #7
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OK. Makes sense. So in the scenario you presented, the Forte vs ID22. One with better pres and one with better converters. Which is the best overall interface with the best sound quality?
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:38 PM   #8
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I'd say that I would choose better pres over better converters. The difference will be more tangible.

Yeah, really crappy converters will make your music sound like it was recorded through a bull horn, but I think it's pretty hard to find really crappy converters. Even the entry-level stuff seems to have decent enough conversion.

Preamps.... I find even on the entry level stuff, they're perfectly usable. However, moving up to considerably costlier alternatives does yield a significant difference.

However, neither of them will make as much of a difference as getting better mics. I'd rather record, say, a singer with a U87 plugged into a Phonic/Samson/Behringer/Mackie preamp than with an SM58 plugged into an Avalon M5. (depending on the singer, of course...)

CT
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
I'd say that I would choose better pres over better converters. The difference will be more tangible.

Yeah, really crappy converters will make your music sound like it was recorded through a bull horn, but I think it's pretty hard to find really crappy converters. Even the entry-level stuff seems to have decent enough conversion.

Preamps.... I find even on the entry level stuff, they're perfectly usable. However, moving up to considerably costlier alternatives does yield a significant difference.

However, neither of them will make as much of a difference as getting better mics. I'd rather record, say, a singer with a U87 plugged into a Phonic/Samson/Behringer/Mackie preamp than with an SM58 plugged into an Avalon M5. (depending on the singer, of course...)

CT

+1 to this - I'm not sure how much gain the iD22 has on its preamps, but the fact that the Forte has enough to power any mic I can think of would make me sway in its direction over having potentially better conversion.
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