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Interface Question: Does Usb 1.1 Matter?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by blackstars26, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    Hi all

    I have set myself a budget off £200 for getting a audio interface (with two micinputs at least+ midi) and a mic.
    I was wondering does an interface using usb 1.1 matter, because i was lookingat presnous's studio one package, and the audibox usb is usb 1.1, does thismean it’s going to sound worse than a usb 2.0 device?
    Thanks
    http://www.thomann.de/gb/presonus_1_box.htm
    Link to the studio one.
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    With a fair wind, there is no difference in sound between USB 1 and USB 2 since the data is transferred uncorrupted in both cases. However, if I had a choice, I would always go for a USB 2 rather than a USB 1 interface, even for just two channels. USB 1 has so little in reserve when it comes to data rate and throughput that it only takes a disk retry or other unscheduled computer activity to result in an audio dropout.

    Having said that, there's not a lot around at the £200 level that's going to get you a USB 2 or FireWire interface with a microphone that's worth having. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has USB 2 and is worth looking at for around £115, and that might just leave you enough for an SM58 microphone, cable, headphones, and a cheap USB MIDI interface. Even if you had to spend slightly more, this microphone and interface combination would probably sound better than the Presonus package, since the SM58 is a high-quality dynamic mic that will give better results for solo vocals and even acoustic guitar than the Presonus M7 condenser mic, especially in a less-than-perfect acoustic setting.
     
  3. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    Is there an answer to the best audio interface below £150(for pc)
    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB
    Lexicon Omega Studio
    Tascam US-200
    Presonus Audiobox

    I would include the M-Audio Fast Track Pro but it doesn’t sit well with windowsapparently.
     
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Of the ones you mention, the Focusrite, Lexicon and Presonus are in the league above the others when it comes to sonic quality. You would have to weigh up other facilities (MIDI, S/PDIF etc) in your choice. However, as I mentioned above, the Focusrite has the edge in system terms by having a USB 2 interface.
     
  5. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    I know a little about interfaces and mics and pre ampsand that sort stuff but I must confess I know NOTHING about midi, does thequality of an interface vary from one to another or could I just get a midi to usb cable?
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Your only issue with that would be it would require 2 USB ports. One for the audio device and one for the MIDI interface device. Which is not unusual and frequent thing to have.

    When you are just tracking 1-2 microphones at a time and your computer is properly adjusted for audio purposes, there shouldn't be much problem. The problems you are most likely to face with USB 1.1 will be the latency because of the slower transfer rate of that data with USB 1.1. Which is why so many decent USB 1.1 interfaces feature " no latency, direct pass through monitoring of the input source ". Such as that Pre-Sonus Audio Box for around $160 US. I recently setup a client with that unit and was very pleased with it plugged into his new laptop running Windows 7. He has produced a lovely piano album with that along with vocal overdubs. My Avid/Digi M-Box 2, which is also only USB 1.1 has worked successfully for me with up to 4 simultaneous tracks of recording. It also features direct pass through no latency monitoring. I personally don't like that unit but there's no doubt about the fact it works. So it gets pressed into service from time to time on budget remotes. I too would much prefer USB 2.0 since it's about 400 times faster than USB 1.1. For instance you would never consider utilizing an external disk drive with anything but USB 2.0. It takes a crazy amount of time to copy a single song in stereo with USB 1.1. With USB 2.0, it's done in mere seconds. Which is what Boswell was trying to instill upon you. It is a word to the wise in today's higher-speed Computerworld. Hey I even used 3 & 4 external USB 1.1 audio interfaces for 6-8 simultaneous tracks of live recording in a pinch. Monitoring becomes a bitch though and requires the use of an external mixer to be able to monitor all inputs being recorded from the computer. Of course that way, on playback, you are able to output 8 simultaneous tracks into the analog inputs of your mixer. So sometimes you are forced to deal with a multitude of devices so you should know what works well and what doesn't for your purposes.

    I can work around anything
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  7. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    What are you running that uses MIDI? Just wondering.

    Kapt.Krunch
     
  8. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    Cheap keyboard.
     
  9. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    Just a few question, you talk about the Presonus Audibox being good, there are two different models the Audibox which is usb 1.1 and the Audiobox 22VSl which is usb 2.0, are you referring to the cheaper one with usb 1.1?
    So essentially for audio purposes (interfaces) usb 1.1 is fine as long as the device features direct pass through no latency monitoring?
    Lastly whats going to be the differnce in a interface that has usb 1.1 and usb 2.0?
    Thanks
     
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    An interface that utilizes USB 2.0, can get away a lot easier without no latency, direct pass through monitoring. That's because, it can carry its data, bidirectionally more than 300 times faster or is that 400 times? And also because of that, it has no problem dealing with 24 simultaneous tracks for recording since the simultaneous nature of the multiple tracks along with how much bandwidth they interface can deal with won't exceed the bandwidth capability of USB 2.0. It will choke to death if it was USB 1.1 with anything more than 4 tracks.

    In reference to your question regarding the Pre-Sonus Audio Box & it's many variations. Both are essentially identical units. Because one is USB 1.1 and the other is USB 2.0 here are some of the different advantages to be gained. First, both microphone preamps in both units are identical. They both are working at 24-bit with 96 kHz capabilities. Because data can travel so much faster with USB 2.0, that unit features the ability to rely upon the computer's CPU and be able to provide numerous real-time plug-ins such as compression and equalization, reverbs, etc., to be monitored while tracking/recording. There is no DSP chip internally that provides those effects. But it can transfer data so quickly so as to be able to rely on the computer, its speed of processing, and it's quick return to the box for monitoring. Since many people like to hear compression, equalization, reverb in their headphones when they are tracking, it provides for a more real studio experience such as the old-school places with analog consoles and analog recorders with outboard analog processing. It's a worthy thing to consider. While I've set my other clients up with the lesser expensive USB 1.1 units because listening to real time gobbledygook wasn't important to them.

    Now it's all based upon your budget. Kind of like a fight between the Smothers Brothers which one mom liked it better.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  11. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    Focusrite 2i2 and a midi-usb cable or a Presonus Audibox?
    Thanks
     
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Both units are about equal. They both have very similar features and layouts. While the 2i2 provides you with a multitrack software package and plug-in bundle, so does the Pre-Sonus Audiobox. Both software packages and plug-ins are also about equal. There isn't any best but there is. Your choice is dependent upon the aesthetic appearances of the boxes. What software package appeals most to you (trials are available for download to check out). Both are known to have quality microphone preamps. Both feature instrument/line level inputs. Both feature variable monitoring capabilities.

    Pick your color like your wife would choose a car. Choice of red or blue.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  13. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    One warning to mention: if you intend to track the MIDI stream at the same time as tracking the microphones, make sure your DAW is capable of taking a MIDI input via a separate interface at the same time as the mics via the main audio interface. If it will not, this would point you strongly in the direction of an audio interface that has MIDI ports integrated into it.
     
  14. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    I might just be done with it and get the audiobox even thought its usb 1.1 it wil be a good start plus its cheaper.
     
  15. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You'll also have to decide whether you want the USB 1.1 Audio Box or the USB 2.0 Audio Box with its enhanced real-time feature set. It's all around faster. Real-time compression & reverbs are possible, without tracking them while recording for clean dry tracks. It's great when overdubbing to monitor a more real-time experience that way. You can't do that with the USB 1.1 version. So make your decision carefully. That could make a considerable difference when recording and working with other folks. It might even give you better insight in how to provide a better performance of your own. You'll be able to record at slightly lower levels in 24-bit without topping out or distorting your recorded tracks while simultaneously providing you with the dynamic range compression you so desperately need to hear along with any other equalization you deem necessary in providing a good performance. So that's where USB 2.0 comes into play (largely because it's probably wet & more rainy where you are?). So you don't want your little overdubies all wet from being outside. You just want things wet in your cans. It's OK... we won't tell anybody that you wet yourself when overdubbing.

    Forget about number two
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  16. blackstars26

    blackstars26 Active Member

    If I got the audiobox I would get it with this PRESONUS AUDIOBOX STUDIO - Thomann UK Cyberstore because its got everything I need however if I got the focusrite I would put together my own starter kit which costs quite a bit more.
     

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