#1
Hey guys, recording noob here in need of some advice.

Basically I have a tubemeister 18 with which I want to get into recording using its Red Box DI out.

I tested it at a friend's using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and we pretty much couldn't get a decent tone without making it clip. Now, I've read that this is a common problem with this model so obviously I am in search of something else.

My budget is strictly below 200€, more like in the 150€ range. Is there even a USB interface that won't clip at this price range or am I delusional?

Would a DI box be a better solution which, from my understanding, is built for this purpose and won't have clipping problems?

Problem is that I would like midi functionality and the option to record with a mic when I find the money for a decent one. DI boxes seem very limited at what they offer.

Thanks in advance!
#2
The Scarlett 2i4 has a -10dB pad that fixes the clipping problems of the Scarlett Solo and Scarlett 2i2. Should be within your budget.
#4
Yes I've heard about that pad thing. My question is if it affects the tone in a negative way. Is it just a gimmick that happens to work well or a standard recording feature?

Also what's your opinion on Roland UA-22 Duo Capture-Ex? I haven't heard of people complaining about clipping problems and it comes quite cheaper too.
#5
Quote by BlackRose93
Yes I've heard about that pad thing. My question is if it affects the tone in a negative way. Is it just a gimmick that happens to work well or a standard recording feature?

Also what's your opinion on Roland UA-22 Duo Capture-Ex? I haven't heard of people complaining about clipping problems and it comes quite cheaper too.


As far as I know, nope, it does not affects tone. I wouldn't call it a gimmick. You see, the Scarletts suffer from low headroom, that's what makes them clip if you go direct with a guitar, specially if it has hotter pickups. To solve that problem, Focusrite threw in the 2i4 a pad to solve the clipping problems.

Can't comment on the Roland though. You can also check the Introduction to Recording sticky if you haven't yet. It has some recommendations there, the Roland is among them btw: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1658707
Last edited by DanyFS at Mar 9, 2016,
#6
I have another Roland interface and that has no issues. Look up PreSonus as well, everything they make, I've used to record on and no issues with clipping on their products either.
Lately I've been eyeing Audient (better preamps), so maybe have a look at their stuff too.
#7
I know someone with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and has those clipping issues. He uses a DI box (a cheap ART I think) as a pad. I get files from him sometimes and can't say the DI box is affecting his sound that I can hear.
#8
I'm really confused now.

I've tested again the focusrite and this time there was no clipping at all! Ok there was, but only if we turned up the gain on the card or the amp's master volume. The setup was exactly the same and I dare to say that the settings on the amp were the same too.

Last time the clipping was apparent even at minimal amp gain. Now we cranked up that gain which allowed us to get a far superior lead tone.

How can it be that with (almost) the same settings one day the card would clip like crazy and the other not?
#10
Nope, everything (amp, interface, guitar, player) was the same. The only thing that might have been different is the amp's master volume. It needs to be at most 9 o'clock before it clips. But I don't think we were so dump last time that we didn't try backing it off :P

And with a real cab, master volume on Tubemeister acts as a gain boost too. I don't know if this is true with its emulated output as well, but it surely feels limiting if you can only turn it up a little.

Anyway, the 2i2 is out of the question because it lacks midi inputs. The tests with it have been interesting though. The 2i4 seems the safest option but I am on a pretty tight budget right now.

Is the pad feature the only way you can reliably get around the clipping issue? Because if it is I think saving up a little more for the 2i4 might be the best solution in the end.
Last edited by BlackRose93 at Mar 16, 2016,
#11
Had to change something. Those Focusrite units are very reliable. Have used several.

The 2i4 is well worth the price difference. For the pad and especially the extra outputs.
#12
I don't know why everyone is so hung up on Focusrite, there are other manufacturers out there and as far as I know in this price range only Focusrite seems to have that issue, I've used the PreSonus Audiobox and it doesn't clip as its preamp input is not as exaggerated as the Focusrite's.
#13
Quote by diabolical
I don't know why everyone is so hung up on Focusrite, there are other manufacturers out there and as far as I know in this price range only Focusrite seems to have that issue, I've used the PreSonus Audiobox and it doesn't clip as its preamp input is not as exaggerated as the Focusrite's.


Yeah having listened the 2i2 I think they might be a little too advertised. Don't get me wrong, my friend gets some pretty nice tones using plug-ins, and vocals sound nice as well. But for the purpose that I want it it doesn't seem to cut it.

I have looked at other brands as well, but information seems to be lacking.

Good to know that the PreSonus doesn't clip. What guitar are you using? Would you mind posting a sound clip?
#14
Pretty much everything on my sig is recorded with a PreSonus FP10.
Maybe this as I did A/B against a $1400 mic preamp will be more:
https://soundcloud.com/egregoreband/sets/joe-meek-twinq-vs-presonus-xmax-preamps

Guitars: MM Steve Morse, Jackson Soloist 7 string (EMG actives), LTD M-1000 with EMGs, Basses (3 basses, one Sterling Ray 35, cheap Jackson knockoff, BCRich) with active and passive, numerous other friends have brought to record with, mostly actives.
#15
All interfaces in the same price range as the 2i2 & 2i4 are going to be about the same quality-wise. I myself would not recommend a Presonus as I have an audiobox sitting in my closet that has issues. Had bought another one and out of the box it had issues. When they work they are fine. The more expensive Presonus are supposed to be built better. Other than that, Steinberg, Roland, Tascam, etc. will all sound good. You would have to spend at least $500 to get any improvement in audio quality and depending on equipment, room acoustics & yours ears, you might not notice.
#16
Quote by BlackRose93
Would a DI box be a better solution which, from my understanding, is built for this purpose and won't have clipping problems?
Yes, owner of a Saffire Pro24 which has the same preamps and same issues with instrument clipping at lowest gain. DI box fixed the clipping issue and also improved the sound massively.

The better ones cost money obviously but the one decent one I know of for way cheaper (and use myself) is the Livewire Heavy-Duty DI, around $40 and it gets the job done. c:
#17
Quote by diabolical
I have another Roland interface and that has no issues. Look up PreSonus as well, everything they make, I've used to record on and no issues with clipping on their products either.
Lately I've been eyeing Audient (better preamps), so maybe have a look at their stuff too.


Audient pres are real nice for the $$$. I mean, REAL nice. ASP800? Or are you looking at an iD system?

To the TS, with a 2i2 there shouldn't be any software control that could cause this.
Quote by Watterboy
Do you have any dilithium crystals or fresh warm dumps for sale
#18
Quote by the chemist
Audient pres are real nice for the $$$. I mean, REAL nice. ASP800? Or are you looking at an iD system?

To the TS, with a 2i2 there shouldn't be any software control that could cause this.

iD24 I think, but at this point, but I'd hate to give up my 8 channel Presonus FP10 that I got in 2005 and still going strong as I need the extra channels, unless I just dish out another $200 or so for the ADAT 8 channel expansion making it a 12 track instead and 2 more tracks coming in from my JoeMeek preamps in digital will make it 14 tracks overall.

In the last 2 years or so, I've needed one or two tracks at maximum as I record edrums now, but you never know, I'm talking to a bassist and a drummer now and we might need to cut a new live demo.
Last edited by diabolical at Mar 17, 2016,
#19
Quote by diabolical
iD24 I think, but at this point, but I'd hate to give up my 8 channel Presonus FP10 that I got in 2005 and still going strong as I need the extra channels.


That's how I felt with my Saffire Liquid. Firewire was such a great idea that went nowhere fast.
Quote by Watterboy
Do you have any dilithium crystals or fresh warm dumps for sale
#20
Quote by the chemist
That's how I felt with my Saffire Liquid. Firewire was such a great idea that went nowhere fast.


I am still running firewire on HP laptop i7, one of the last ones made with Express expansion cards. The good thing on the FP10 is that it can be a standalone preamp, if you take out the firewire it is 8 in/8out preamp, so it is not lost. Actually considering how cheap they go now, I am surprised not many people are buying them just for that feature.