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Best Interface under $200 (with midi)

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Ridley, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Ridley

    Ridley Active Member

    What is the best interface I can buy for around $200 dollars that has a midi input/output? I originally bought the M-Audio Fast Track USB ($100) which has worked well, but I'm going to want to make my own beats so having a midi input would be ideal. (Unless I can somehow plug my keyboard into the Guitar input on the device) Please help. I only have a few more days left to return this.

    I've read that the Scarlett 2i2 is an amazing interface. Could I connect my Yamaha keyboard to the 2nd XLR jack?
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    If you just want to add a midi keyboard or midi drum interface, there are numerous midi to USB interfaces for about $30. That being said, if you can find a good used one for $200, I'd say go with the TC Konnekt 24D. They've been discontinued which means you can find them on EBay for much less. They're a top notch interface using FW400 (IEEE 1394A) with great preamps and an excellent MIDI implementation.
    Best of luck,
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member


    I'm wondering if you have a couple of things confused? Let's go backward.

    You can connect the audio output(s) of a Yamaha keyboard into any line level device...including the Fast Track, or the Scarlett. The connection(s) depends on the keyboard output configuration. If it's a stereo keyboard (whether it's a stereo TRS 1/8" or 1/4" output jack, or left and right 1/4" jacks) you can plug it into an audio input, if you have the right cables/adapters. that will record sound from the keyboard.

    You mentioned MIDI. Neither of the units you mentioned will allow you to connect MIDI I/O to/from the keyboard. Do you understand what MIDI is? (I'm not trying to be condescending, but the discrepancies in your post suggest that maybe you misunderstand MIDI.) Do you know why you need it?

    You don't need a MIDI interface unless you intend to use your Yamaha keyboard, or any other MIDI input device, to enter MIDI INTO the computer (or otherwise control the program from an external device)...OR...have the computer sequencing program playing back sounds from the Yamaha keyboard (or any other MIDI-capable outboard sound module).

    You can arrange beats in the computer program, and you can enter and assign MIDI-responsive data to the tracks.

    Please explain why you believe you need MIDI? You may. You may not. What do you want to do with MIDI? Knowing that will help narrow your available choices recommendations.

  4. Ridley

    Ridley Active Member

    Before posting I was a bit confused on MIDI. I realize what it does now and could still use it. I've been looking at the Saffire 6 interface. Is that a pretty good one? I realize it is only USB 1.1 though. I want to return the FastTrack today and Guitar Center sells them for 200 bucks. I'd prefer to not have to get something from Ebay. I budget is 200 dollars.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Saffire is a respectable unit within that budget range (under $200). Just to confirm, MIDI doesn't actually transmit any audio whatsoever and a MIDI track within a DAW still has to be sent to a MIDI instrument (or VSTi plugin instrument) to produce actual audio which can often mean running your keyboard/controller back into your interface via TRS cables.
  6. Ridley

    Ridley Active Member

    Is the USB 1.0 an issue? I know the FastTrack I have now is USB 2.0. I'd like it to be able to record using 2 mics and the keyboard through midi at the same time. Possible without latency?

    If I use the Saffire 6 and my keyboard, will I still need a midi controller?
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If it is USB1.0 then yes, that is an issue. The Scarlet is getting quite good comments and as a rule, I don't like the Saffire preamps unless you compare them to something like any M-Audio device. The irony being that M-Audio supposedly started out using Focusrite technology in their preamps.

    Your keyboard if it is MIDI capable becomes your MIDI controller. The Kaptain and many others here are far more knowledgable about MIDI than I am. I'm an acoustic guy by training and trade.

    So, make sure whatever you get is at least USB 2.0 or Firewire of any type and has enough gozintas.
  8. Ridley

    Ridley Active Member

    It is actually USB 1.1 after checking.

    I've been checking out a few things. What about this interface?

    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and then using Midi to USB for the keyboard. Would that be a better option? The Scarlett 2i2 is USB 2.0 and has great reviews. I don't want to pony up 300 for the better (with Midi ports) Scarlett 18i6 right now.
  9. Ridley

    Ridley Active Member

    Basically it comes down to these two options.

    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or Saffire 6. Which is the better unit?
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I would hope the Scarlett would be better since it is the latest and should in theory better the defects of the Saffire series. But, I have not compared them personally. Go for at least USB2 or you won't be happy.

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