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Entry level interface- (m-audio M-track 2x2m)

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by kmetal, May 28, 2016.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Secured funding for the I five based laptop. The two very important features to me where the fact that it does turbo boost, and takes the new version of memory DDR4.

    The I five is a Skylake model, the I three is a Broadwell, so the small $60 difference in price is insignificant compared to the expected performance. Beyond that the I five computer can handle 16 gig of ran where the I three computer can only handle eight.

    So I will be scooping up the Acer, as soon as possible, and I'm currently trying to determine if the eight gig of memory I purchased for the AMD computer will be compatible with my Nash drive if not, I'll be taking the memory back to.

    @pcrecord

    I've got a thank you Marco again, if you did not mention the I five in your post I would not have thought to start looking at them, because I thought they were out of my price range. Assuming all goes well with the purchase and pick up, you have saved the day sir.
     
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  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I haven't read all through this thread but only because I am a Samplitude user, to my experience... if you are multi-tracking with Samplitude, I would without question choose a desktop over a laptop with at least 16gig or even better, 32 gig of memory and no less than an i5 processor.

    The video card is crucial as well. If your video card is poor, and to my experience not on a PCI port, as track count increases in Sam, plug-ins used.... your ability to jog smoothly in edit mode smoothly with stutter and freeze. A poor video card is royal PITA to say the least.
    Samplitude is a beast.
    I would check the Samplitude forum for recommendations.
    Do not go cheap on the essentials.

    Its starts with the DAW then a PC build to match the workflow. Then the AD DA for monitoring. After that, its add as you need.
    I have an i5 laptop and it will not multitrack anywhere near what my i7 desktop will do. The difference is night and day.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Here she is. After some research the two computers i5 computers I was considering maxed out at 16gb ddr3l ram. Priced 379/389. This one is also an i5, but handles 32gb ddr 4, 2133mhz. Priced 399.

    This makes my laptop similar in spec to the desktop.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-as...an-black/5238201.p?id=bb5238201&skuId=5238201

    Dude thanks so much for pointing that out. Fortunately my desktop has a pcie based nvidia gt730 graphics card that came stock. I was actually gonna sell it, or remove it to save power from the under powered psu that is proprietary. But I had a gut feeling. Good thing I kept it.

    I'm stuck w the i5 series. I7 of Xeon is when I build my race car daw in a year or two. Otherwise it's very expensive. Both laptop and desktop will have 32gb of ram. Gotta run I'll chime in later on.
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    your welcome.
    An i5 is fine! However this is also subjective to the build which Marco (Donny too as he uses Sam). But I trust Marco knows way more about PC builds and optimization than I.

    I'm just forewarning (just in case) as I am reflecting to my original experiences with early PC and Samplitude. When I left Pro Tools I had quite the learning curve. I soon discovered I had know understanding about converters and interfacing, PC's, dedicated monitoring and optimization.
    But I was determined to start thinking like Katz, Lavry and that circle which is how I was introduced to Samplitude and the concept of what excellent modular conversion does for you. From there I learned about PC and the less is more approach.

    Reaper is another killer platform but it lacks the Pro Audio console feel, Object Based editing that Samplitude has accomplished so well.
    Object Based editing is what enables one CP to do all it can do without DSP help (Pro Tools, UAD). You need a good CPU with memory though. Follow.
    I also do not get caught up in the trap that I need (with few exception) much more than what is in Samplitude. Which is why I keep asking people (for fun) why we need folders full of third party plugins. I mean, how many EQ's does it take to do a bell curve lol. So for at least the essential, Samplitude has that covered. But you do need a solid CP.
     
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  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Not to side track the thread. But to branch out into other interesting PC coded DAW platforms that have worked great.

    Reaper - when I use the same PC I have for Samplitude, with Reaper, I cannot believe how stable and fast everything operates. But Reaper is so bla and empty. But, it is definitely a very well coded DAW platform. Really good for tracking and electronic/ midi music.

    Ableton -another incredibly solid platform but it lacks everything "acoustic approach" to recording. I would like to become more familiar with it for arranging projects I start out in Samplitude. .
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I see why you like this. It looks pretty cool. Crazy price for all it does.
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MTrack2x2M

    M-Audio M-Track 2X2M USB Audio/MIDI Interface Features:
    • Quality 2-channel USB interface at a budget price
    • Captures recordings in stunning 24/192 hi-fi
    • Preamps are clean, low noise, and acoustically neutral
    • XLR/TRS combo input for a microphone or keyboard
    • Dedicated 1/4" TS instrument input for guitar and bass
    • MIDI in/out ports for your controllers and electronic instruments
    • Zero-latency direct monitoring provides a natural recording experience
    • Central monitor knob makes it fast and easy to adjust playback levels
    • Steinberg Cubase LE records and edits multitrack audio easily
    • AIR Creative FX Collection includes 20 quality plug-ins
    • AIR Mini Grand virtual instrument adds color to your arrangements
    • AIR Strike drum arranger provides a big backbeat with a human feel
    • Includes standard USB and USB-C cables
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I went store bought so I could at least have something, next is custom builts. If it weren't for Donny saying he uses a $500 off the shelf computer, in another thread, I wouldn't have even given it a shot. I want the main desktop to be the more powerful daw, with the laptops only requirement as a two ch / mixdown daw. Everything else is bonus. Ideally, between good file management, networked Audio and instrument player, and this new style of printing and bouncing and freezing tracks I have in my head, this will happen-

    I want the laptop to be able to run any session that I have, even if I need to use max buffer sizes. This is so I can make edits and tweaks on the run. Overdubbing would be a bonus, a bonus made much more realistic given the Dsp in the ultralight which can be printed or monitoring only. This takes latency out of the picture when using mix level buffers. Now MOTU's dsp is downright cheesy from my experience, but I think they've re vamped it since the 828mk2 generation. Even if not it's better than no reverb or delay on these touch up ideas or last minute takes before mixdown/mastering. This is a very useful place to have Dsp power. Other than that I have no iterest in dsp, I'll remain native, until the dsp is cross platform and integrated directly into the daw mixer, without the annoying extra window propreitary 'monitoring' mixer like ,UAD, or the ecessive price tag of PTHD and the associated pluggin format.

    I'll probably have to stay about 70% of the Max of the desktop to ensure the laptop will run the sessions but only experimentation will tell. I'm hoping that the 32gb of ddr4 2133mhz ram in each computer, and the fast reliable Samsung SSD drives will help.

    Vsl pro player hosts other vsti so it's possible I can host any necessary realtime vsti on the desktop streaming to the laptop, until I eventually build a dedicated vsti computer.

    So far even including the two interfaces (still saving$), the computer upgrades, and entire software set, all the I'll have spent less than the cost of a new Mac Pro. I've gotten some lucky sales, and minimized any diminishing returns with respect to hardware. Albeit off the shelf is always less powerful than custom at the same price points.

    The waves plug-insI purchased are simply becuase I like them, having used most of them I cherry picked. The big reason for third party plug-insfor me, is so I can easily move around among DP PT and SAm. So I picked some I like either for basic use like the REQ or cuz they're neat like the H comp which can tempo sync release time to the session tempo.

    Other than that is the fab filter bundle which is decided on but not purchased, and a rock solid channel strip. The waves ssl is pretty nice, but I'm waiting to see if there's something I like more, or it goes on sale super cheap.

    All together I've invested about $250 in my waves collection and I've got about 25 plugins. I did good. Lol.

    Funny you mention reaper, as lame as the menu surfing is, it's great. If for some reason a need or want a another daw reaper is first choice.

    Yup. Adobe audition too. Very well coded. I used reaper when I gave up on pt m powered. Great At what it does, just needs more evolution.

    When I build the Xeon or i7 race car computer, I'll need my flagship program to handle my miltimchannel a/v work, since Sam is limited to 5.1 right now.

    I'm going either with PTHD native for $12-1500 on eBay, or sequoia for 3k. Sequoia does 11.1 already and seems to offer a lot towards the broadcasting arena wich is inevitable in my path. With so much else to learn and try and buy, I just haven't gotten around to comparing them.



    This little things bad right ? If I need I third interface I'll probably go this route. For 150$ it's a great deal. My experience w m audio hardware was fine, very stable drivers, 0 hardware Issues. It's just not the best quality. I got my money's worth from the 1814 and have no issues w maudio. They used my device or the lower model on world tours for audio playback (supposedly according to them) and it did fine when I carried it around for recording and playback on my core 2 duo laptop for many years.
     
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I'm hoping to get 32 Audio tracks, 8 mix busses (drums, guitars, backups, Ect), and 8 aux channels out of my daws. If I get more great, if not well, it's still better than no computer at all.

    Also I think the missing peice is a summing device. Something like the folcrum, or the Colman audio device which is a 'straight wire' 8ch speaker switcher w passive summing ability, should hopefully do the trick.

    I've also decided to get rid of my project studio mics, and at least two of my sm-57s, to trade for a new sm-7, md421, or sm-81. Depending on how the deal goes.

    No more cheapo mics. Either nice kit mics like Marcos or just good mics.

    I'm almost debating selling my 414xls towards a mojave tube mic, or a matched pair of 414s. I worry though that the new 414 has more Chinese parts than mine, since Harmon bought Akg in the meantime.

    It's tough to let go of my 414 cuz I love it, just not sure yet. I'm going to see if I can clean the grime off it from all the bars and practice spaces. If not it served me well. I'm only sentimental cuz it's my first good mic and took me tens years to get. Other than that I am only keeping my guitars/gear that's irreplaceable, either sentimentally or otherwise. They only made my guitars models for 1 year. The other guitars are packed up ready for sale. My peavy 6505 guitar combo amp is not rare, but there's magic in it, so I'm either keeping it myself, or selling to my cousins who's got dibs.

    I'm also undecided about keeping my mackie hr824 mk2s. They suck for mixing and tracking because everything sounds good on them, but I really like them for daily regular use.

    So I'm not sure on them. I'm not entimental about them. I got a rediculous deal like $850 for the pair new, so I shouldn't lose any money. Speakers seem to be a tough sell especially in the 1k a pair range. These sell $1300 a pair new. I don't think they are worth 1300 but at 850 I am satisfied with them. Financially either way I've done well w the mackies.

    I think with mid level interface pres/conversion and mid level computing, all pro mics and better monitors will pay dividends.
     
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Just checked the retailer website. Looks like the i5 computer I ordered is $50 cheaper than it was a couple days ago when I ordered. Must be the one to buy! Gonn call them And see if they can Adjust the price online, it won't be shipped to the store for a few more days. Gonna head to Boston in the meantime to drop off the AMD laptop. Wow. $80 more than the AMD and i got the brand new ddr4 version of the acer aspire i5. Fingers crossed here, but super excited.

    It got good reveiws in computer world online. The only complaint was a similar computer was $50 cheaper. Not right now!!!! Yesaa!
     
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    The acer aspire are ok but the monitor could be a bit fragile compare to their Travelmate. . . Just make sure that out don't open and close it by the sides, If you place your hand in the middle/top of the screen to move it it will last a lot longer.
    In fact it's a valid tips for most laptops ;)

    That's an affirmation that all newbies should understand... So far, I like my Yamaha H8, I'd just need to replace my subs with the H8s to get the best of them
     
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  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Awesome will do. Good to know, I'm a bit accident prone, ripping the screen off would be a likely accident. Fwiw I plan to use a dedicated lcd most of the time. Funny you mention it because the reveiw kept mentioning 'how sturdy' it was compared to the similar toshiba. Lmao what they probably meant was, this thing is fragile too!!! Lol reveiws.... UA Apollo 'great conversion and pre amps', they edited out the part where it said '...for a creative sound blaster'

    Glad to hear acer is ok. I was worried a bit. Lol last time I bought a computer they were basically the worst. This was before intel macs and core 2 duo was a brand new thing.

    Just locked in $350 on the acer, instead of $400. Fingers crossed everything works out.

    I've used the h8s or at least the older version of it if there is one. I used it in conjunction w some Meyer HD-1. It worked well for subtle reinforcement where the Meyers lacked, fir a hip hop ep. Bass translated fine. Even at full blast the sub isn't super loud, but that's not really the point. There was no distortions or anything.

    I agree about the newbie thing. I wish in addition to taking a couple different pairs home and settling on the mackies, I had gone into a studio to understand what 'real monitors in a real room' are supposed to sound like. The mackies are essentially hi-fi where most studio monitors I hear are mid forward. Which I don't necessarily like, but the mackies have all sorts of scoop, and a peak at the crossover.

    Looking into focal and dynaudio but it's gonna be a while. I tried to Sell the mackies a few years ago, and no bites, so perhaps I should get them listed and just bank the money.

    I think mixing w a sub is both beneficial and enjoyable. I'll be incorperating .2 in both studio monitors, and the surround setup, which I'm liking qsc's amp for sure, and they're speakers look cool. I hate jbl tweeters, although jbl is the cinimea mixing standRd, they just hurt my face. Lol
     
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  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    When my girlfriend bought her laptop (a Dell) she was hesitating between to models. I found out they were on display at bestbuy. Brought her to check them out. What settled her choice was that one of the monitor was easy to twist the top and felt fragile. She went with the 150$ higher price one but never regret it ;)
     
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  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Update-

    Today I was able to drop off the AMD laptop in Boston and pick up the new skylake i5 minutes before the store closed in a town near my house. Snagged it on sale for $350. 90$ more than the AMD laptop.

    I'm the proud new owner! Yessa! That's a huge element to the setup knocked out, and I finally feel like it's starting to come together. Super excited. So I'll be clearing some room, and selling off my mics and other remaining gear over the next few weeks to clear some space for the new setup and give ye ol wallet a well deserved break.

    Ram, ssd's, and a few software programs and I'm cooking!!!

    I've decided to put the mackie hr8s up for sale as well. The money is well spent on a nicer set, and don't ya know QSC, has some professional reference monitors that pair w their DCA amp line...

    The only mic I'm keeping is the 414 for now. And I'll scoop another 57 or sm 7.

    Interfaces haven't changed yet so once I have the space they'll show up but for now I gotta cool it w the spending. Frankly all this shopping and spec comparing is left me mentally exhausted. But my client in upstate New York is steadily using my services, and if it goes like we hope, it's gonna be another killer looking studio design/build on ye resume.

    So time for some rest, gonna take a break for a few weeks and recoupe.

    I once again have to thank Marco for is priceless advice. For $1200 I ended up with 2 i5 skylake computers, and a dual core NAS w a 1tb drive to start off w. Never ever coulda done it without him.

    Interfaces- (that was the topic of the thread right? Lol)

    The focusrite Scarlett's standalone mode makes it a seemingly impossible interface to beat for $500. It's basically everything an octo ore is and more. We will see how it sounds.

    The MOTU is the cheapest way into networked audio and video and reasonable sound quality. Overall tough to beat.

    Both units iOS compatible, remote controllable, and pretty new. At $1150 that's 16 analog ins/outs 4 digital I/o at 192k. Very difficult to beat i belive. From a bang for your buck all around perspective.

    I'm really looking forward to having some fun again with music. No pressure, no rules, just some good clean fun. It's been a long time but the old chapter is closing and the new one begins. As the rest of my gear fades away the new and improved takes its place. And away we go!
     
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  14. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Ohhhhh yeeeeaaaaaa!!! Lmao. 3 bins of computers, hard drives, and software, and acessories, waiting, just begging to be opened. Couple fake leather wing chairs, and my trusty old $100 acoustic on the left. Nothing more inspiring to get things moving than that. For me at least.

    By this time next year I'll have a bed, a room, and a music room, with all this stuff (and more) running and racked. That's the plan at least.

    image.jpeg
     
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  16. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    I thought you were an older more grandfatherly black gentleman -- you're just a white guy with a beard like me.... I thought I was the only one.
     
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  17. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    You got the 18i20 or the 18i8?
     
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    hilarious.
    Since you are upgrading your gear, I think its time to update your profile too, Kyle. Give us the whole meal deal. :love:
     
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Lmaooooooo!!!! Haha. I'm an old soul. My profile pic is junior kimbrough, a cool blues guy from the missippi delta blues scene. Ala possum records. Lol I just love the purity of nature in that pic.

    I'm getting the 18i20, slated for late August/sept. The difference in price between that and the 18i8 is "only" $150, but you get a twice as many pres, and a full 10 analog out, plus digital. Since I'm gonna be at 192k it gives me a full 10 in 10 out, and I'm doubling that channel count w the MOTU ultralight, which gives me avb networking, and dsp to mess w.

    Since the 18i20 works in standalone mode, it gives me 8 preamps to plug into the MOTU analog in, and allows me to transmit audio into my other computer via its USB port. All without bending behind the desk and needing a flashlight.

    So for me, the best options were the 250$ focusrite (forget model 6i6 I think) or he whole hog.

    Since my current circumstance with my loan gives me a fixed amount of money each week, it's a matter of waiting 2 extra weeks for the full 18i20 vs the others.

    Two other things I like very much is its rackmountable, and uses a standard IEC connector for its internal power supply. The others use an external 'line lump' power supply which I hate becuase they are annoying to fit into wiring schemes in racks, and the plug is a pin jack so it's not the most secure.

    My maudio had a line lump. Sometimes those pin jacks come lose.

    So that was my decision making process. I figured I'd just get the best in the class I'm shopping in. Then there's no 'oh mans I shoulda, I wish I had,...' It's just simply the best I can afford within reason.
     
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Will do. Still gotta do the resources profile thing, and learn how to embed videos properly as you described in the tags thread.
    The computer goose chase is over for a while at least. Just parts and software now.
    Wednesday I have a huge important visit with a state doctor about my case so I'm gonna be on edge till then. But yeah. Lol I'm definatly long over due. I don't think I've updated the my profile since I joined.
    Lol my new gear list is gonna read- tablet,phone, guitars, 414. Lol. Out w the old!!!!
     
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