Krauser
Ibanez Recommender
Join date: Sep 2007
166 IQ
#1
I'm looking to get a simple recording interface to use an SM57 with my 5150 through my MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion and then recording with Reaper. I was looking at a Line 6 UX2 because I can get one for 130 bucks today but I heard there were issues with sound (crackling an cutouts) under OS X mountain lion. Are there any good interfaces anyone would recommend to record with for around 150 dollars that work easily and well with Mac OS X Mountain Lion? I heard the Saffire 6 is a damn solid option and I'll be willing to spend a little more to get something that's worth it, but $200 is definitely the top of my budget. Does the Saffire 6 play well with OS X? I'll be running it through a 2012 MacBook Pro 2.9GHz i7 model (Ivy Bridge with USB 3 if that changes things).

EDIT: I've looked more into the Scarlett 2i2 by Focusrite and it looks to be exactly what I want from an interface. Has anyone had any personal time with one of them? All the reviews seem to be very positive and stress audio quality and reliability of the signal and tone which is all I really need.
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Last edited by Krauser at Nov 26, 2012,
Highelf04
UG's ONLY Batgirl
Join date: Oct 2010
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#2
Got a macbook pro (brought last year)
Got a UX2

It's worth it....nuff said

EDIT:-
From my music tech friends
Here's what they all use

M-Audio Fast track
Line 6 UX2 (like 4 of them use this....not just me)
Line 6 GX (I think....like the small one, with just one guitar port)
An Alto Mixing desk (not sure what....dunno tbh)

Everyone uses a mac in our department (we all run Logic xD)
I mean the UX2 is realllll good
I love it to bits!

Haven't ran into anyone in my music department who uses anything except the above brands tbh :/

No one I know actually owns a focus rite....
Not that there's anything bad with them.....just no experience with them (I mean, I bought my UX2 based on recommendations from my mates)
Last edited by Highelf04 at Nov 26, 2012,
Krauser
Ibanez Recommender
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#3
Is that all under the latest versions of ML? I'm just going to be using the interface as a throughput for an SM57 and I'm not really interested in a lot of the POD stuff that comes with the UX2. I'm just looking for a good sounding, well built, reliable interface to mic a 5150 with an SM57. My friend has a UX2 in his room that I may borrow to try out but I'm running Snow Leopard on this MacBook and the one I'm going to be using for recording and mixing will be running Mountain Lion on an Ivy Bridge platform.
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oneblackened
Better Than You At Mixing
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#4
Go for the Scarlett 2i4 or a Presonus Audiobox 22VSL (NOT THE AUDIOBOX USB, IT'S A PIECE OF CRAP).
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Highelf04
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#5
Quote by Krauser
Is that all under the latest versions of ML? I'm just going to be using the interface as a throughput for an SM57 and I'm not really interested in a lot of the POD stuff that comes with the UX2. I'm just looking for a good sounding, well built, reliable interface to mic a 5150 with an SM57. My friend has a UX2 in his room that I may borrow to try out but I'm running Snow Leopard on this MacBook and the one I'm going to be using for recording and mixing will be running Mountain Lion on an Ivy Bridge platform.

Yeah I've been using Mountain Lion since it came out
Not sure about my friends though.....(operating systems don't really come up in conversation at the pub much tbh)
It should be fine realistically for what you're doing
I mean, I can't see any problems with it....

EDIT:- Derp, since you're using a Mic anyway, you won't be using a quarter inch jack xD
Derp derp
Krauser
Ibanez Recommender
Join date: Sep 2007
166 IQ
#6
Quote by oneblackened
Go for the Scarlett 2i4 or a Presonus Audiobox 22VSL (NOT THE AUDIOBOX USB, IT'S A PIECE OF CRAP).

Quote by Highelf04
Yeah I've been using Mountain Lion since it came out
Not sure about my friends though.....(operating systems don't really come up in conversation at the pub much tbh)
It should be fine realistically for what you're doing
I mean, I can't see any problems with it....

EDIT:- Derp, since you're using a Mic anyway, you won't be using a quarter inch jack xD
Derp derp

Yeah I've been checking out the 2i4 and it looks to be a lot more appropriate for what I'm trying to do with an interface with regards to recording. Not that the UX2 is a bad option, I just think the simplicity of the 2i4 (considering I don't need to mess with the POD stuff that I wasn't going to use anyway) is really selling it, at least for me. That and the extra outputs of the 2i4 are nice. I'll def keep looking into the UX2 and I'll give my friends a shot when I get around to having the opportunity to try it with Mountain Lion and my setup though.
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lockwolf
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Join date: Jun 2007
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#7
If you've got a Mac and are willing to spend the money, anything Apogee is the best you're going to get under $500 and will be a noticeable step up from anything. You can pick up the Apogee One on eBay for under $200 used putting it in your budget.

Other than that, the Focusrite series is always solid.
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MatrixClaw
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Join date: Nov 2006
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#8
Since you're wanting to mic an amp stay away from anything Line 6, the preamps in them are terrible. Their DI inputs are good, but mic preamps, yuck.
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oneblackened
Better Than You At Mixing
Join date: Oct 2007
360 IQ
#9
Quote by MatrixClaw
Since you're wanting to mic an amp stay away from anything Line 6, the preamps in them are terrible. Their DI inputs are good, but mic preamps, yuck.

I almost feel like the presonus would be better, seeing as it has higher gain pres than the focusrite. Then again, I can't see any issues with the focusrite either
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
lockwolf
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#10
Quote by oneblackened
I almost feel like the presonus would be better, seeing as it has higher gain pres than the focusrite. Then again, I can't see any issues with the focusrite either


Considering myself & many others have had little problem with the Pres on the Focusrites, I don't think it would matter that much.

Still, I highly recommend the Apogee One since you've got a Mac
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Krauser
Ibanez Recommender
Join date: Sep 2007
166 IQ
#11
Quote by lockwolf
Considering myself & many others have had little problem with the Pres on the Focusrites, I don't think it would matter that much.

Still, I highly recommend the Apogee One since you've got a Mac

Yeah I was looking at the Apogee One but I was just thrown off by how simplistic it looks. I could be wrong, but I feel like the Scarlett 2i4 gives me a bunch more options that I don't have the with Apogee (for example, recording my cab with 2 mics in different locations simultaneously).
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Krauser
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#12
Also, I found a bundle online that has the Scarlett 2i2, a Samson C01 Condensor mic, Samson SR850 Headphones, a 20 foot XLR to XLR Microphone cable, a 10 foot 1/4" instrument cable, and two 15 foot balanced interconnect 1/4" TRS to XLR Male Cable Adapters, for 209 bucks. I'm contemplating whether to jump on that because the 2i2 and the Condensor alone is more than 209 bucks. Thoughts?
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strangedogs
An Old Dude with an AX...
Join date: Mar 2006
120 IQ
#13
I use a Focusrite SAPPHIRE on my Mac and it's KILLER sounding!!!!!
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
lockwolf
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#14
Quote by Krauser
Also, I found a bundle online that has the Scarlett 2i2, a Samson C01 Condensor mic, Samson SR850 Headphones, a 20 foot XLR to XLR Microphone cable, a 10 foot 1/4" instrument cable, and two 15 foot balanced interconnect 1/4" TRS to XLR Male Cable Adapters, for 209 bucks. I'm contemplating whether to jump on that because the 2i2 and the Condensor alone is more than 209 bucks. Thoughts?


No, don't. Its a cheap mic that doesn't sound good. Plus, like its been said before, the 2i2 doesn't have a pad which helps with direct guitars.
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Krauser
Ibanez Recommender
Join date: Sep 2007
166 IQ
#15
Quote by lockwolf
No, don't. Its a cheap mic that doesn't sound good. Plus, like its been said before, the 2i2 doesn't have a pad which helps with direct guitars.

Yeah I didn't, I was just curious about the C01 for simple vocal recordings and maybe grabbing some room sounds like cymbals while messing around with takes and whatnot, but I'm going to go with the 2i4. I've been spending a lot more time with Reaper trying to get things down because this will be my first audio interface and, while I'm somewhat familiar with messing around with DAWs, I'm still baffled by most things in the program. That said, Reaper seems really solid and I've been able to learn a lot by just importing existing MP3's and messing with plugins and VSTs on them.

That said, thanks a bunch guys. I'm going to go with the Scarlett 2i4. Is there anything else I'll need or anything that would be beneficial to get to facilitate a good quality recording besides the interface, Reaper, a good mic, and just generally having good tone?
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ChemicalFire
King of Bacon Pancakes
Join date: Oct 2007
451 IQ
#16
Quote by strangedogs
I use a Focusrite SAPPHIRE on my Mac and it's KILLER sounding!!!!!


Well the 2i4 is just a re-branded Saffire in a fancier looking box and I think it has USB 2.0 support too.
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Krauser
Ibanez Recommender
Join date: Sep 2007
166 IQ
#17
Quote by ChemicalFire
Well the 2i4 is just a re-branded Saffire in a fancier looking box and I think it has USB 2.0 support too.

Yeah the Saffire is more of a legacy product that supports USB 1.0 and 1.1. The Scarlett line is setup for USB 2.0 and is less, from what I've heard, prone to giving you issues with newer OS's like Mountain Lion and Windows 8 as it's meant to support the newer software (hence replacing the Saffire).
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Krauser
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#18
Don't mean to be bumping again, but I noticed the Komplete Audio 6 as an interface that's comparable to the Scarlett 2i4. The only thing that's interesting me is the included software solely so I can get some drum samples to utilize the midi drum tracks I have. I don't know of a way to get drum VST samples but if there are good ones that can suffice for metal and hard rock that come with the Komplete Audio 6, it might sway me from the 2i4, because they both look like excellent quality interfaces. Can anyone confirm if the included software will come with drum samples I can use as VST's over a midi in Reaper?
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lockwolf
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#19
The drums that come with the KA6 are probably not very well suited for Metal. They're the Abbey Road 60's kit. You'd be better off buying a separate program like Steven Slate Drums EX (The best and only virtual drums in my mind) or digging for the thread we have on how to do it for free in Reaper than using the Abbey Road Kit for metal.

You could mix a metal sound with the kit in Komplete, but thats like using a hammer to screw in a screw.
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Last edited by lockwolf at Nov 29, 2012,
jof1029
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Join date: Nov 2003
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#20
im pretty sure you are supposed to use a hammer with nails...

but i agree, buying a different inteface just for that software might not be the best choice. there are a few programs out there that will do a better job, and there are free ways to get virtual drums using a sampler that would be good as well.
lockwolf
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#21
Quote by jof1029
im pretty sure you are supposed to use a hammer with nails...


I gotta stop posting right after I wake up :p
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ChemicalFire
King of Bacon Pancakes
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#22
I love how all the forum regs are slowly starting to use GB-esque style metaphors xD
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diabolical
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2005
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#23
If you're on a Mac check and verify that you have firewire. If you do - go that route as it is more efficient and the drivers are rock solid. Going the USB route will give you more problems and you'd have to run at higher latency.

I'd recommend a PreSonus product like Firestudio Mobile or just look up Saffire or any of the other comapnies that provide firewire products. I currently have USB and firewire audio cards and hands down the firewire beats USB in lower latency on all of my machines.
Krauser
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#24
Quote by diabolical
If you're on a Mac check and verify that you have firewire. If you do - go that route as it is more efficient and the drivers are rock solid. Going the USB route will give you more problems and you'd have to run at higher latency.

I'd recommend a PreSonus product like Firestudio Mobile or just look up Saffire or any of the other comapnies that provide firewire products. I currently have USB and firewire audio cards and hands down the firewire beats USB in lower latency on all of my machines.

Yeah my machine has FireWire. I know that Focusrite has a series of Saffire pros that are identical in function to the 2i4 but offer FireWire instead of USB. I honestly wish it had both because I know FireWire is a better interface for this kind of stuff but I'm severely limiting the amount of computers I can use it with in my home as my only Macintosh is my laptop and the rest are windows 7 machines with USB ports. It'd probably be worth it though if I confine myself solely to my MacBook Pro for all my audio work.
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diabolical
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#25
If they PCs are desktops you can install FW interfaces or if they have expansion ports. I did get a PC with expansion port just so I can run my FIrepod if needed for portable recording, although I do have a small USB interface (Edirol, piece of crap btw) that covers the occasional little mixing task or tracking job.
lockwolf
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#26
Honestly, the differences between Firewire & USB aren't noticeable until you start tracking 4 or more inputs at the same time or start tracking at higher sample rates. As far as stability with FireWire, from my experiences, I've had a ton of problems with it on both Windows & Mac.
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diabolical
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#27
In my case it was noticeable even on one channel with fw beating usb hands down on the Mac. In the PC world there are some issue with fw card chipsets that could get dicey (apparently the TI chipset is preferred), in my case out of the box fw interface built into the mobo worked out great so never had to deal with that problem but I did have it on another XP machine which became useless thanks to the fw problem.
Krauser
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#28
Quote by lockwolf
Honestly, the differences between Firewire & USB aren't noticeable until you start tracking 4 or more inputs at the same time or start tracking at higher sample rates. As far as stability with FireWire, from my experiences, I've had a ton of problems with it on both Windows & Mac.

The most I'd be doing at once is 2 (as it's only a 2 input interface) and most likely will only really be utilizing a single input for guitar cab recordings so USB should be fine.
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diabolical
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#29
I'd suggest that you look for interface that has pass through monitoring. I know the PreSonus range has it for sure, most of the other ones should as well.
If you need to track on a more dense mix you can bump up the latency to handle the processing, and still be able to monitor your signal.
Last edited by diabolical at Dec 2, 2012,
Krauser
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#30
Quote by diabolical
I'd suggest that you look for interface that has pass through monitoring. I know the PreSonus range has it for sure, most of the other ones should as well.
If you need to track on a more dense mix you can bump up the latency to handle the processing, and still be able to monitor your signal.

Doesn't the 2i4 have passthrough monitoring? I know there's a switch that allows you to hear the direct signal... unless that's different from passthrough monitoring.
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lockwolf
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#31
They all call it different things but basically theres Direct Monitoring (What your getting before it hits your DAW) and Passthrough or whatever you want to call it (What you get after it hits your DAW & comes out).

I'd say at least 75% of interfaces have a way to switch between the 2. I know for a fact Presonus, M-Audio & Focusrite all do.
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Krauser
Ibanez Recommender
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166 IQ
#32
Quote by lockwolf
They all call it different things but basically theres Direct Monitoring (What your getting before it hits your DAW) and Passthrough or whatever you want to call it (What you get after it hits your DAW & comes out).

I'd say at least 75% of interfaces have a way to switch between the 2. I know for a fact Presonus, M-Audio & Focusrite all do.

Yeah the 2i4 has one, I was just curious if there was something I was missing
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