#1
So basically this is just another, what do I need for my home recording setup?
I currently have my laptop, a HP Pavilion dv7 and i use Reaper as my DAW. Im hoping to buy a MIDI keyboard soon, (probably the M-Audio Axiom) and will probably connect that straight into the computer. My main problem is that I'm looking at audio interfaces and now I'm thoroughly confused, do I want one that I can plug the midi device into, as well as my guitar, or do you only use the audio interface for recording with mics/guitars and other analog devices?
One other thing, when in Reaper I am able to use my computer keyboard to play some VST synths, but there is a bit of latency, will getting an actual keyboard fix this, or as I said before do I want to get an audio interface that also takes MIDI, or is it just my computer?
(By the way I'm looking at the Mackie Onyx Satellite FireWire Audio Interface, thoughts?)
If you can help me out that would be great.
#2
How many USB ports do you have? If you've got enough for both the interface and the keyboard, then no you don't need a MIDI-capable interface (nice choice of keyboard btw). Doesn't mean you should stay away from ones with MIDI ports, just you won't have to use them.

And if you get a firewire interface you'll only need 1 USB port for the keyboard

The latency problem is 100% your computer. It could be your soundcard, in which case the interface will solve the problem, or it could just be a crap processor.

I haven't looked at the Satellite in-depth, but for that price you could get a Phonic Firefly or an ESI DuaFire, or even a Presonus Inspire. Look long and hard before making your mind up
#3
One thing that a MIDI port could do for you is to provide MIDI timecode. If your MIDI keyboard plugs in USB, which the pretty much all do these days, then the MIDI port could still be useful, if, for instance, you plan do use something like a hardware drum machine or synth or keyboard workstation, or something like that.

If you use a piece of hardware, using MIDI timecode, you can make the hardware clock sync to your DAW's clock, instead of the hardware's internal clock. What this does is sync up the tempo according to the DAW. If you tried to record a drum machine pattern without being sync'd up, it would stray out of sync more and more.

Also, some pieces like a POD have MIDI for automation, and also, I'm not sure if they still do it this way or not, but at one time they used MIDI to implement custom patches created with included software.

More and more things are being done through USB these days, but having a MIDI in and MIDI out on your interface is still a good thing to have, whether you aniticipate needing it immediately or not.

What's your budget for an interface?
#4
The latency has to do with the ASIO driver latency. Lower it for recording (including using the keyboard or whatever. It will get rid of the delay). Raise it back up for playback so your sound doesn't pop and all the effects are sure to work properly.

And I didn't read great things about that Mackie. Before buying anything, I'd read EVERY thing I could find on it and similar products you're looking for.
#5
Thanks for the advice so far.
Ive got 3 usb ports, one is usually taken up with my mouse, but that still leaves two so theres no problem there. My processor is a Core 2 Duo 2.8Ghz, so it must be my soundcard. (although I am also running Vista...) Do you know if Reaper even has the capability to synch up the MIDI timecode, my friend uses Reason which does and he says its really useful when recording drums like you said.
Also, how do I change the ASIO driver latency up and down?
My budget for the interface was originally only $100 or so, but I figure Id rather spend a bit more now and get something decent to save having to upgrade it later, so maybe $200-$400.
#6
I'm almost positive that Reaper will send MIDI time code. I barely ever use Reaper, but that's a pretty common feature.

As for using Reason with Reaper, that's not MTC. That's something entirely different, using something called Rewire.

As for your interface, $200-400 is probably a much better range to get you something you'll be happy with, and will remain happy with for a while before you feel the need to upgrade.

Do you have a firewire port? Hopefully you do.
#7
Quote by Twyman88
Thanks for the advice so far.

Also, how do I change the ASIO driver latency up and down?


Options > Preferences > Audio > Device > Audio system

If an ASIO driver isn't on the list, I would recommend downloading ASIO4ALL. Very fast installation and, assuming you're using the default Microsoft audio drivers, much better in terms of latency control and quality.

Once it's installed or if it's already installed, choose it. Now once it's chosen, click "ASIO Configuration". Now play with the ASIO Buffer Size. Set it as low as you can without the sound popping for when you're recording or keyboarding the VSTs. Set it as high as you can for playback.

Also, if you're having problems with ASIO4ALL and have a Creative sound card, download Creative ASIO instead.
Last edited by .h3xagr4m. at Aug 16, 2009,
#8
I do have a firewire port. But for bedroom recording is it worth getting firewire over USB?
Also, when changing the latency like you described, am I doing that in my DAW or through control panel?
I think thats most of my major questions answered, now just to find a good Audio interface..
#9
The latency difference between firewire and USB, in my experience, is worth it. And you should be able to set your latency in your DAW. And make sure to use ASIO drivers, they help a lot.

If you're looking for a firewire interface, this one looks good. I don't have any personal experience with it, but I've heard a lot of good things about it's big brother, and I believe they share the same components.

M-Audio ProFire 610

It's at the top part of your pricerange, but I've found that if you go for something better than what you think you need, you'll be happier with it, and you'll be happy with it for longer before you feel like you need to shell out more money to upgrade. It saves money in the long run.
#10
i figure rather than make another thread I'll put this in here, hopefully someone will read it.
I'm looking for an Audio interface for bedroom recording aka, maximum of two inputs, will probably only use one most of the time. Going into my laptop. Do I need firewire, or will USB be fine? I'm looking at spending around $200 AU Ive found these
M-Audio Fast Track Pro for $220
E-MU 0202 for $150
presonus USB Audio Box $220
Tascam Us144- $300

and Firewire interfaces-
M-Audio Firewire Audiophile (currently sitting at) $220
M-Audio 410 $240
*These are all in Australian Dollars*
Thoughts?
Any of these good deals, or have you got any other suggestions to look up? Any help is appreciated