Helpful ReplyAudio Interface for Laptop

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PilotGav
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2016/06/08 21:18:19 (permalink)

Audio Interface for Laptop

Does anyone know of a good audio interface for portable use with a laptop?
 
It would need to be very small, and would only need a headphone jack. Strictly for mixing in the field.
 
Thanks for any ideas!
#1
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/09 09:03:39 (permalink)
Here's the one I ordered:
 
http://www.audioquest.com/dragonfly-series/
 
post edited by PilotGav - 2016/06/09 10:01:58
#2
TheMaartian
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/09 10:57:58 (permalink)
Glad you found something. I've never heard of the product. Let us know how it works for you.
 
I didn't respond initially, because I thought every suggestion I would have would be much more than you were looking for. I was right. 

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#3
Slugbaby
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/09 11:25:01 (permalink)
I'm pretty happy with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.  Although it has more features than what you're looking for.  Tempting fate, it's also just the right size to provide a flat surface for my coffee.

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#4
lawajava
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/09 22:15:27 (permalink)
Slugbaby
I'm pretty happy with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.  Although it has more features than what you're looking for.  Tempting fate, it's also just the right size to provide a flat surface for my coffee.


I have several audio interfaces. The one I use the most is the Scarlett 2i2. I use bigger ones when I'm doing stuff with a lot more inputs and/or outputs. But for sheer mobility and mixing on the go with my laptop the Scarlett 2i2 works really well.

Two internal 2TB SSDs laptop stuffed with Larry's deals and awesome tools. Studio One is the cat's meow as a DAW now that I've migrated off of Sonar. Using BandLab Cakewalk just to grab old files when migrating songs.
#5
Cactus Music
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/10 14:50:51 (permalink)
If all you needed was headphones (output) and no input,, all I do is leave my interface behind and use the on board audio to muck about.. never been an issue for just editing audio.
But of course you will always need good audio drivers once you get into recording and using soft synths. So I'd be interested to see if what you bought will be much of an improvement over on board audio. Without drivers I doubt it. They claim better audio quality ...hmm.
I've never experienced pour sound quality with any laptop that I could detect. I often just use my on board audio for blasting my backing tracks through the PA at gigs..
 
If I need to be recording I find my 6i6 to be very portable. It's all about audio drivers no matter how portable you want to be. Other wise Sonar will not be happy.

Johnny V  
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#6
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/10 18:02:10 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joel77 2016/06/12 15:20:48
My two criteria are:
 
1) Much better audio (not just louder)
2) AS small as possible
 
I do a lot of mixing through my headphones, and spend a lot of time outside the house. I mean studio. ;-)
 
So I need the great quality, and the portability.
 
It should arrive on Monday. I'll report back!
#7
fwrend
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/10 18:04:26 (permalink)
Cactus Music
If all you needed was headphones (output) and no input,, all I do is leave my interface behind and use the on board audio to muck about.. never been an issue for just editing audio.


This was my first thought as well. I think a wiser investment would be sonarworks headphone calibration software. It did wonders for my AKG K240's.

http://sonarworks.com/headphones/overview/
#8
patm300e
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/14 07:22:11 (permalink)
fwrend
This was my first thought as well. I think a wiser investment would be sonarworks headphone calibration software. It did wonders for my AKG K240's.
http://sonarworks.com/headphones/overview/

+1 for SonarWorks.  I have the Super cheap ($30 at Amazon) Superlux HD 681 Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones  and the SonarWorks helps a LOT.  Don't use these for tracking as they are Semi Open and you will get bleed!
 

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#9
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/14 07:57:00 (permalink)
I should be getting my USB DAC today! Can't wait to hear the difference. 
 
+1 on Sonarworks! I use it with my ATH-M40x phones. 
#10
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 13:17:53 (permalink)
Ok. Absolutely a worthwhile purchase. It's not a subtle difference. 
 
It doesn't color the audio at all, but definitely provides a fuller spectrum and volume boost. Between it and the Sonarworks headphone calibration software I'm so much happier mixing in the field.
 
I highly recommend this for laptop users!
#11
pwalpwal
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 13:40:30 (permalink)
Cactus Music
If all you needed was headphones (output) and no input,, all I do is leave my interface behind and use the on board audio to muck about.. never been an issue for just editing audio.

this, plus i even use the dreaded asio4all ;-)
headphones = sony mdr-7506, comfy and neutral-sounding

just a sec

#12
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 14:02:42 (permalink)
EDIT: False alarm. It was a laptop issue. The DAC is working great with Asio4All, and again, the sound is so much better. 
 
 
I'm having lastency issues :-( I wrote the manufacturer about a true ASIO driver. If they can't supply one this may end my Dragonfly days. Even issues with Asio4All.
 
WASAPI is working ok for the most part with slight glitching here and there. 
 
I'll report back~
post edited by PilotGav - 2016/06/15 14:52:27
#13
pwalpwal
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 14:10:47 (permalink)
oh no! and i was about to post saying the dragonfly looked really nice, bugger :-/
just a thought, can you force it to use the generic windows usb audio drivers? i do this for my alesis photon and gthen wrap it in asio4all, not too shabby

just a sec

#14
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 14:36:04 (permalink)
pwalpwal
oh no! and i was about to post saying the dragonfly looked really nice, bugger :-/
just a thought, can you force it to use the generic windows usb audio drivers? i do this for my alesis photon and gthen wrap it in asio4all, not too shabby


We're good :-) As I edited above, the latency issue was a false alarm. 
#15
telecharge
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 14:36:05 (permalink)
Here's another one to consider...
https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI
 
There's also the UCA222.
#16
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 14:58:41 (permalink)
telecharge
Here's another one to consider...
https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI
 
There's also the UCA222.




My goal was as small a unit as possible.
(That's what she didn't say)
#17
pwalpwal
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 15:16:30 (permalink)
glad you got it sorted!

just a sec

#18
Frostysnake
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 15:27:43 (permalink)
Focusrite iTrack Solo...LOVE IT! It will work with Win or Mac. It's also very compact and durable.

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#19
Frostysnake
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 15:31:50 (permalink)
So how does that Dragonfly seem??  ...that would be cool for quick on the go travel times!

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#20
bluzdog
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 16:11:18 (permalink)
I just stumbled on this from Apogee: http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/groove 
 
Rocky
#21
PilotGav
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 20:12:31 (permalink)
bluzdog
I just stumbled on this from Apogee: http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/groove 
 
Rocky


Nice. But $600! Wow.
#22
gbowling
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 20:15:04 (permalink)
Does the apogee have full asio drivers?
 
gabo

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#23
LaszloZoltan
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 20:22:24 (permalink)
I was going to suggest Cambridge Audio DACMagic XS....but yours is 8 bits better- congrats
#24
Cactus Music
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/15 20:47:14 (permalink)
Good lord-- asio4all,,, now you've buggered your laptop for use with a real interface  :) 
 
I still don't get it///What was so bad about your laptops headphone output? 
I find what's important is the headphones. 

Johnny V  
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Focusrite 6i61st - Tascam us1641. 
3 Desktops and 3 Laptops W7 and W10
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#25
pwalpwal
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/16 06:50:24 (permalink)
Cactus Music
Good lord-- asio4all,,, now you've buggered your laptop for use with a real interface  :)

not here! as well as using asio4all for the onboard realtek and an alesis kbd, i also use an edirol ua-1000 (a so-called "real interface" with its own dedicated asio driver) without any issue whatsoever; i have done this across multiple machines and windows versions for many years - i really don't understand all the hate in this forum for such a useful and free utility

just a sec

#26
Frostysnake
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/16 09:43:15 (permalink)



"Nice. But $600! Wow."



Apogee is never cheap.

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#27
Cactus Music
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/16 12:20:34 (permalink)
Agreed that it is a very good utility driver for when companies do not supply anything at all. But years of helping trouble shoot issues with drivers on this forum has left me with plenty of examples of when it took over and caused conflicts. Of course this will not always be the case.
But often when someone reports that Sonar is not recognizing the ASIO driver for their interface we have found asio4all was installed on that machine too. Removal of asio4all usually solved this issue.
So asio4all needs to be installed as a last resort and with some caution if you are also using a proper interface. Every system is different.
Myself I've never had to use it as I find not problems just using my on board audio and MME mode to muck about when traveling.
I also use a $30 Behringer UCA 200 for live gigs playback. It seems to work fine with Sonar and shows as a "USB audio codex" device. No headphones however.
 
But like all these types of devices without ASIO drivers, if you perform a loop back test you will find your track offset way out of sync. So all fine and dandy for listening but don't attempt overdub recording without ASIO in Sonar.

Johnny V  
Cakelab  
Focusrite 6i61st - Tascam us1641. 
3 Desktops and 3 Laptops W7 and W10
 http://www.cactusmusic.ca/
 
 
#28
gbowling
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Re: Audio Interface for Laptop 2016/06/16 16:37:17 (permalink)
By the way voicemeeter also does the same thing asio4all does.. I started using it because you need it if you want to do screencaptures of sonar and have both the sonar audio and your microphone audio show up on the video capture..
 
gabo

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