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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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  2. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm really gonna be interested in the 18i20 when you get it. I have an M-Audio Profire 610 right now which has been trouble free for me so I'm interested in how the focusrite compares and am very interested in the additional inputs and the quality and feature differences. That 18i20 grabbed me as soon as I saw you mention it.... It just looks quality.
     
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  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I'll be sure to post some samples and reactions. Fwiw I have no real complaints about the maudio stuff. It does what it does.
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    Full disclosure - the PC I bought came with 8 gigs of RAM. I added another stick of 8... and didn't regret it.
     
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  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Good to know D. If your running fine w 16gb, I have no doubts 32 will serve my currents needs just fine.

    I sold all my low ticket items in bulk over at guitar center the past two days. I got 1k total, which is what I figured. They do 50/60% of what they would sell it for, or what eBay completed auctions go for.

    With all sorts of pedals and rack units it would've taken forever w eBay to sell and ship and for the extra 5-800$ wasn't worth it.

    All my money intake is divided by 4 now. 25%- debt, 25%- savings, 25%- gear, 25% whatever.
    So I've paid off the Lenovo, started my home savings account, I'm buying a bycicle with tha watcher money, and have enough for an iPad interface (maudio 2x2 if itd compatible, or other offering froM maudio or focusrite), an sm57 new, and a pair of China made Akg 240s.

    That gear is about 300 give or take some for cables Ect. I'm planning on purchasing it as an interim recording setup while I'm still liquidating, and making a mess building the isolated apartment in my parents basement.

    Once the basement is past the dusty messy phase, I'll pull the trigger on the rest of the computer drives, and MOTU/focusrite interfaces I described in the thread.

    My 414 pays for the new axe, Jackson soloist pro, and my ness cab / ampeg Svt 3 pro should cover the marshal dsl amp head or combo. Give or take a couple hundred.

    That leaves my mackies sale money un allocated so far.

    When the dusty crap is over I'm gonna get a cheap pair of speakers like the Yamaha hs5's as interim speakers for the couch studio.

    I will then use my iPad as a portable micro studio thing when I get an iPad Pro for the studio. Possibly the laptop will become mobile and I'll get a portable interface for it eventually if that's the case.

    My iPad and iPhone are great for the road doing budgets designs and most important remote mix adjustments and file acess!!!!!!!
     
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the Scarlett 2nd gen 18i8 fits the bill for an iOS/mobile unit. That w a 57 and the 240s will run 500$. I'd just get the 2ch 2i2 or solo but I'd have to rig up a USB cable and battery supply becUse they are bus powered and the iPad won't power them. People are doing it like I described but the 18i8 is officially supported by focusrite for iOS. All the externally powered models are.

    Beyond that for the couple extra hundred I get 4 combo pres, and the line/adat ins enough for a full band. With the future uncertain is rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Plus I can leave a beater guitar and bass plugged in di, have a mic on the the guitar amp (split from to the di/amp) and have a vocal mix on tap for my 'singing'

    All while maintaining my 'lazy man' new workflow, remote control, and 192k capability. No repluggin, or gain setting Lol @DonnyThompson

    It's a couple hundred more than I wanted for this iOS setup, but it is what it is.

    The worst part is only two line outs, so it renders two of the pres useless in standalone mode. But my full size system is maxed out anyway w the 18i20 having 10 outs at 192 and the MOTU having ten ins. The other downside is its adat in only, which I find skimpy. Out would be useful. But compromises aside for my portable or spare room needs its fine.

    The cool thing about the 18i20 is it has dedicated monitor outs so I (think) I can leave my stereo 'b' reference going along w my surround while it's in standalone mode. Switching pairs via the app. Gotta check on that.
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Lol I'm waiting for the day I up sell myself so much the salesman talks me down.
     
  8. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    So the 18i20 -- you got that yet or still coming?.... i need an eta -- this is like waiting for your brother to open his Christmas presents while he peels away the wrapping ever so carefully --- killin' me.
     
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Lol I'm sorry my friend. Can you imagine how bad my GAS is!???

    Short answer not for a little while 6 months of so.

    Long form:

    Yes the 18i20 is something I'm still planning on. The eta has been moved to 3-6 months. Probably gonna take advantage of some post holiday sales.

    The reason is two fold.

    First, it's coming in conjunction with the MOTU, since the 18i20 primary role in my setup is its standalone mode for its pre amps. Thinking of it like a remote controllable octo pre, with monitoring outputs. It's USB interfacing is a bonus for use as my laptop interface, and for the 2- daw multirack / mixdown setup.

    So for tracking it's standalone mode and it's 8 preamps hooked to the MOTU line ins/spdif this gives me 8 focusrite and the two MOTU pres simultaneously. 10 inputs are the max for the MOTU and Scarlett at 192k

    For mixdown I'll use the 18i20 as USB interface, either feeding the MOTU or receiving from it, whichever sounds best after experimentation. My first instinct is it will be receiving 2ch from the MOTU and summing box. Just speculating on that.

    Second, is my plan for the basement has changed from just finishing the bedroom I started, to building out the whole basement room-in-room style, with a combo mix/edit/design room, bedroom, bathroom, and Kitchette.

    This puts me up on the couch for another 6 months or so (why not it's been 2.5 years already).

    So I won't be setting up the recording computers until the 'apartment' is mostly done. Mainly to keep things just dust/shrapnel free. And the upstairs spacious since its been packed floor to ceiling, border style, with totes of gear clothing, and tools. This also frees up more time for things like ram and ssd's to come down in price. And saving up. I've also picked out s new guitar, and amplifier, and a whole new mic list. The mics will come along slowly but the new guitar and amp already have money/trade ins allocated.

    Plus my two main guitars need re finishing due to studio grime, and component upgrades. Estimated At $500-1k. Complete overhaul including a light finish sanding most likely.

    With such little space in the couch / living room I call home I can't justify purchasing that studio stuff till there's dedicated space. The reference cinema system alone has 8 speakers and 3 subs, never mind the stereo monitors, and the main (large) screen channel 'entertainment' speakers, 2 dual 18" subs. The amplifiers alone are specing to pull 120A of electricity at full blast, which I'll likely only do for giggles with ear plugs. This will be the real deal monitoring system.

    Needless to say this is getting expensive, but most things will travel with me.

    I estimate
    $1k for computer hardware and software. (Just got the best sounding -imho- expansion packs for BFD while they were half price)

    $12-1500 for the MOTU and avb switcher and 18i20

    $500 or less for beater near fields

    10-12k for the cinima system

    1k for starter mics, shure (3x)57s/52a/sm7

    And 6500-10k for the basement build and partial upstairs re model

    Plus 3k for a beater car.

    Just ordered my bycicle today factory direct for $500. Which I need while I'm in between cars and homes and spending my life on this new gear. Lol

    My real estate agent will probably find my house the first day I go to record downstairs when everything's done. Lol oh the irony. I'll need a place to work while the new home is being properly outfitted.

    I'm not wealthy yet, just crazy.

    So... In the meantime. It makes sense to me to use the NAS drive for archiving and registration tasks.

    And use my iPad and Scarlett 18i6 for tracking a beater strat, acoustic, and my 'singing'. Headphones and possibly the beater monitor set for monitoring, but headphones to start.

    The interface, cans, and a 57 cost about 500$ of which I have $83 in the bank for.

    Eta is about 1-2 months probably closer to 1. I've gotta rip down what's left of the basement dispose of the waste, and I'm in the clear. By then I should have the remaining $427 lol. Plus a few bucks for cables.

    Sorry man, I hate to tease or worse sound like a talker who ain't a walker, but there's a lot, a lot, of peices to this puzzle. The only way I can pull it off is getting only what I need at present, and making my list ahead of time to hit sales. And being very efficient with spending and system design, / gear selection. I only get one shot.

    As is I've ended up w BFD and the expansions as well as the vsl ensemble pro , for less than the usual cost of BFD alone.

    So that's the story for now. I am however decided on both those particular Scarlett models, and the 18i6 likely shares the same analog topography. And probably sounds indistinguishable. Although they do have different power supplies. The 18i20 being internal and iec connected, the 18i6 being external 12v dc line lump. I'm guessing they probably spec the same and the additional power is consumed by the additional pres in the 18i20. If nothing else in theory,the big dog 'shouldnt' sound worse, if there is any difference at all.

    Part of me almost says just start w the 18i20 but I really don't want two of them. And it seems unnecessary for what is supposed to be an iPad demo device. So I've gotta stay disciplined and stick 18i6, which is already double the cost of what I had in mind, for iPad, but makes sense given its connectivity vs price. 2 pres just aren't enough, 8 is much more than I need from a couch. 4 Is efficient/sufficient out of the box, with the opportunity for expansion via it's adat and line in. Plus it comes w the same pluggin set as the 18i20. So if I break the laptop open early I'll be jamming on avid eleven lite edition sooner than later.

    Sorry I prolong procrastinate and over anylize everything. It's in my nature and the only way I have a chance at doing all this on a bare minimum budget.

    Lol who knows, maybe I'm secretly waiting for you to jump first lmao. Not really.
     
  10. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    That just wont do Kmetal - I'm totally skint right now and am living vicariously through the lives of others.... I'm also got you penciled in to take a Hawaiian vacation in October - I could move that to January for you but January I had you doing a ski holiday.I'm willing to drop the ski holiday and bump Hawaii but you'll have to buy the 18i20 first.
     
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  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough!!!!
    I'll be keeping my eyes open for a sale on the 18i20, it really is a better features unit for the price diff. It honestly just depends what my budget looks like in a month. The extra adat could be useful for home Theater purposes.

    And I'd thought I'd made up my mind on the 18i6....

    Gonna have to leave it at either or....
     
  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    @DogsoverLava

    Arghhh! You've vicariously made me aim for the 18i20. It makes sense to go w full featured units for a small difference in price,

    Lol I realized I don't have any mics, so having a ton of pres off the bat w the full studio setup makes no sense. And also it makes no sense for me to have a mobile interface that has less than 8 pres built in. Otherwise I'd need a mixer too, to record a full band. I also don't need that much channel count for a capture daw. The Scarlett's range starts @ $100 so if I need one to toy around w capture DaW's I can just go w the low count ones.

    So I'll simply add external good quality pres/di's to plug into the MOTU as I add mics.

    So overall this makes the most sense, and maximizes functionality, while remaining the most cost effective in the long run. Given the alternative of 18i6 or two 18i20s. That money instead can be put towards pro level pres and di boxes, as I add mics and instruments to the home 'studio'.

    Besides who knows where I'll be next spring and a 2ch hi quality converter can be had for 1k and would be lovely for capture daw, and main tracking inputs, via digital out. And great for stereo monitoring.

    I'm following @audiokid 's purchasing advice and buying for the now.

    Thanks dogsover, you made me think out of my own box, and helped me solve this puzzle. I swear this is my final decision, at least for the mobile / budget interface. So by the end of August I am looking to purchase it.

    Plus there's a lot of sales around then, and 10% off brings it down to $450! Which is really whT I want to get it for.
     
  13. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great! What about that Hawaii trip?
     
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Lol I'm paying for that vicariously thru you my friend,
     
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    The final order has been put on print. Have a few items pending sale and some cleaning up to do and I'm gonna start w wither the 18i20 and the alesis, or the 6i6 and Yamaha or alesis. But the setup is complete on paper at least.


    image.png
     
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Well it's been almost a year!! I just ordered the focusrite Scarlett solo today for $85. After all that banter it made sense at this point, to go w the cheapest budget interface, and the nicest flagship interface I can afford. As opposed to the 18i20 or two of them. Overall performance is a couple db worse on paper w the solo than the other USB powered interfaces vs the big brothers. No big deal. I like the tiny footprint, and bus powere capabilty. For the price it should be plenty of fun to tote around in my backpack and give decent enough latency for tapping out beats or playing riffs.

    I heard the 2i2 last fall and it sounded ok, just fine for pandora and playing around.

    @DogsoverLava not sure if you ended up pulling the trigger or not but I figured I'd let I know I finally did order a Scarlett. I should have some speakers hopefully setup by the end of May so I can maybe offer some thoughts and impresssins.

    The alsesis elevates (monitors) also dropped %30 becuase the mk2 just came out.

    So it seems the near endless waiting this whole time is gonna spare me $65 on this little netbook/streaming rig.

    lol and yes I'm satisfied that I got the best value possible in an entry level interface. Should be at the fedex Pickup location Friday!
     
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I've also seen the 18i20 going for $450 last month, which I think makes it a great buy. Hell I still might get one of those on top of the solo.
     
  18. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    I've started looking beyond the 18i20 --- my suspicion being the jump in quality from my current right wont be that dramatic. I'm now looking at a presonus studio 192 --- I too have watched the street price drop on the 18i20 and it actually spooked me a bit. I'm still dreaming forward a bit but that's where my head is.
     
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Cool stuff. I wouldn't imagine presonus is any better than focusrite at that level. Audient makes an interface and so does spl, both at the same price point but have a rep for sounding better than the others. There's also the new motu stuff which may be a hair better as well.

    I'm interested in what you end up w.
     
  20. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    I'm still all over the map on this.
     
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