Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VIs

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BigChrizzle
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2017/02/25 13:24:09 (permalink)

Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VIs

Good afternoon,

I am on the PC Platform (Intel i7-6850k, Gigabyte x99P-SLI, 32 GB Corsair LPX RAM, Apollo 8 Quad TB) using Sonar Platinum on Windows 10. I use almost all virtual instruments to create my music, and I record vocals/acoustic instruments through a Slate VMS. I purchased the Apollo 8 Quad Thunderbolt and am unable to get it to a latency low enough without the audio engine constantly dropping out. My computer has more than enough fire power to execute this. I've checked the UAD forum and it seems UAD is more focused on stability than lower latency. So they recommend 512.

So that leaves me with selling the Apollo 8 for other viable options. My concerns are I/O, converters, and low latency drivers so I am able to play my many virtual synths and record through the Slate VMS in realtime. I previously had a Delta 1010 and was able to do this with no issue, but I recently upgraded my PC and it doesn't have PCI-Legacy slots. 

I am trying to decide between one of the newer MOTU interfaces (leaning towards the 1248 if the latency is low enough) or an RME UFX. Turning to my fellow 'slutz for advice, particularly those running pro level studios with virtual instruments. Looking for something where I could get an Apollo Twin later to take advantage of the Pres(but not be my main interface)

Thank you in advance,
#1

42 Replies Related Threads

    Sanderxpander
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 14:10:14 (permalink)
    I can only say I've been really happy with my Fireface UCX and have never got a MOTU interface to work (as) problem free on my PC. Lowest (roundtrip) latency is I can get is 2.9ms over USB but most of the time I don't need it to be that low and for VIs you don't need roundtrip anyway. Also, RME TotalMix is in my humble opinion the most flexible and powerful routing app available.

    I don't run a full time professional studio, I play keys for a living and produce maybe 30 percent of my time, most often on location with live vocals and lots of in-the-box production. I use my UCX with Sonar and Ableton and lots of VIs. Just to give an indication of my background.
    #2
    Zargg
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 14:12:12 (permalink)
    Hi. I can only comment on RME, but I am very pleased with my Uxc. It is very stable, and low latency. And the TotalMix is a beast of its own. It has given me zero problems this past year and a half I have owned it.
    Can recommend RME with all my heart 
    All the best.

    Ken Nilsen
    Zargg
    BBZ
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    #3
    highlandermak
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 14:12:48 (permalink)
    Good day,
    I too am/was in the same situation as you. My story goes similar that I had the delta 1010 which I absolutely loved but had to upgrade due to the lack of a legacy PCI slot in my new desktop. I initially purchased the Presonus 192 which was one of the first usb 3.0 interfaces. I thought surely it would work in my studio. To my dismay it was worse especially when it came to using VIs which I exclusively use for drums and keys. I had to bump my block size up so much when using VIs that there was no way to record live vocals or instruments due to the lag (30ms+ RTL) . There was however a recent update for my desktop which was specifically for the USB drivers that added some improvement. I was able to drop the block size down to give me around a 14ms RTL but is still not very good when recording live. In the meantime I had purchased what was to be a mobile alternative the focusrite 6i6. As an experiment I installed the 6i6 into my desktop and have had no issues with it at all. My RTL with VIs is around 9ms and thinking of purchasing the focusrite 18i20 to replace my presonus 192. The sound quality is great and have had no complaints. Now some presonus users have reported they have had nothing but success with the presonus 192 but I have a feeling it is on a case by case basis of success vs failure. Good luck 

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    #4
    Razorwit
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 14:30:35 (permalink)
    Definitely RME, and you should really take a look at Antelope audio. I've owned both and they're both great.

    Good luck,
    Dean

    Intel Core i7; 32GB RAM; Win10 Pro x64;RME HDSPe MADI FX; Orion 32 and Lynx Aurora 16; Mics and other stuff...
    #5
    tenfoot
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 21:24:09 (permalink)
    +1 for RME. I have tried many interfaces  (including an 828mk3) and currently use a Fireface UFX on my main daw. As an indication of how good the company is, I had an old PCMCIA RME system called a Multiface that I bought in 2001.  I gave it to a friend years ago and he is still able to download current drivers and is running it under windows 10 on a desktop with a pcmcia adapter. It is 16 years old and going strong.

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-01, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface UFX (ASIO driver), Behringer X32 Producer (WASAPI Driver), Behringer X32 Rack (WASAPI Driver), Novation Ultranova, Yamaha Motif Rack, Yamaha P85 Keyboard, Roland Handsonic HPD-15, Roland A-Pro 300, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
    #6
    11Dreams
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 22:10:12 (permalink)
    Well I guess I'm old school but to get around latency I use an external mixer... its always Zero latency issues.  going back to my Delta 44 up to my Tascam 1800 recoding 14 mics of drums to a backing track. is this an old trick is there a reason one would not want to do this? 

    Spelling, grammar, typing... not my thing. so excuse my type~os
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    #7
    tenfoot
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 23:02:40 (permalink)
    11Dreams
    Well I guess I'm old school but to get around latency I use an external mixer... its always Zero latency issues.  going back to my Delta 44 up to my Tascam 1800 recoding 14 mics of drums to a backing track. is this an old trick is there a reason one would not want to do this? 


    An old school solution indeed! Pretty foolproof way to get your tracks down, but you will introduce noise from the desk and your audio interface latency will still come into play if at any stage you are going to use midi and vst synths/fx.

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-01, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface UFX (ASIO driver), Behringer X32 Producer (WASAPI Driver), Behringer X32 Rack (WASAPI Driver), Novation Ultranova, Yamaha Motif Rack, Yamaha P85 Keyboard, Roland Handsonic HPD-15, Roland A-Pro 300, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
    #8
    bitman
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/25 23:09:26 (permalink)
    RME.
    #9
    tlw
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 00:20:48 (permalink)
    Another vote for RME here. I've no complaints at all about my UFX, and can get sub-10ms round trip latency at quite heavy cpu loads, getting sub-10ms 'outgoing only' which is what counts with software synths is usually no problem at all.

    Sonar Platinum 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit, I7 3770K Ivybridge, 16GB Ram, Gigabyte Z77-D3H m/board,
    ATI 7750 graphics+ 1GB RAM, 2xIntel 520 series 220GB SSDs, 1 TB Samsung F3 + 1 TB WD HDDs, Seasonic fanless 460W psu, RME Fireface UFX, Focusrite Octopre.
    Assorted real synths, guitars, mandolins, diatonic accordions, percussion, fx and other stuff.
    #10
    11Dreams
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 00:37:09 (permalink)
    tenfoot
    11Dreams
    Well I guess I'm old school but to get around latency I use an external mixer... its always Zero latency issues.  going back to my Delta 44 up to my Tascam 1800 recoding 14 mics of drums to a backing track. is this an old trick is there a reason one would not want to do this? 


    An old school solution indeed! Pretty foolproof way to get your tracks down, but you will introduce noise from the desk and your audio interface latency will still come into play if at any stage you are going to use midi and vst synths/fx.


    Not a debate in anyway but I have no noise issues. their simply isn't any noise, there is color when I use the Mackie but that's a good thing too me. :) The only noise I ever find is system related and below -90.
     
    I thought I would have a latency issue when I put an amp plug on my bass and hit echo but it was still zero.
    I think Cakewalk has nailed the latency thing at least for me.
    If I happen to use a midi controller it plugs in usb with zero issues. I think though, there are too many setups and drivers that can fix or mess up  an audio chain. It's definitely a balancing act and if I can get it to work anyone can.
    ha!
     
    Kind of why I asked is because if I spent $3000 on an interface I would want to use it. It seems to me that routing through a council would keep me rolling plus they look cool! :)

    Spelling, grammar, typing... not my thing. so excuse my type~os
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    #11
    kb420
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 02:09:36 (permalink)
    Focusrite has some really great options.  I would at least give them a look.  I just bought a 2nd gen Scarlett 18i8.  The drivers are great.  Latency is much better than my Motu Audio Express.  

    "Now, excuse me while I jump into my Jaguar; I need to board my private jet for the usual weekend trip to my mansion on the Big Island. I think Trixie, Crystal, and Heather are already there...must not keep them waiting in the hot tub!"
     
    -Craig Anderton-
    #12
    Sanderxpander
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 04:17:35 (permalink)
    RME Totalmix is basically a mixer, and has no latency apart from the tiny AD/DA conversion (only a few samples). Additionally, it lets you route the signal from every input to any combination of outputs at any level individually for each output. And that's in its "basic" mode. It's easy to use (at least the basic mode is) and mind-bogglingly powerful. At 0% CPU load. Really, if budget doesn't stand in the way of getting a UCX, 802 or UFX, they're killer options.

    And as was already mentioned, their dedication to current drivers for all their devices is awesome.
    post edited by Sanderxpander - 2017/02/26 04:46:38
    #13
    karhide
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 04:39:45 (permalink)
    +1 for RME.
     
    I bought the FireFace 400 in 2007 after having issues with a Motu unit and have not looked back.  The 400 is still going strong but my main interface is now the UFX.

    Sonar Platinum Intel Core i7 8GB RAM Samsung Evo 1TB system drive Windows 10 64bit - RME FireFace UFX - Focusrite OctoPre MK II - Audient Mico
     
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    #14
    metz
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 05:24:29 (permalink)
    RME!
    #15
    mudgel
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 05:54:31 (permalink)
    Many of the more modern audio devices will allow you to use their onboard DSP for fx and mix monitoring so you can have effecvely zero record/monitor latency.

    The newest RME flagship is the UFX+ and it is absolutely superb.

    Waves Digigrid hardware along with Waves plugins is a superb system for low latency recording/monitoring.

    It's a bit pricey but I've been using it (Waves Digigrid IOS and IOX units) for spectacular results over the last year or so. All works over standard Cat5e or 6 Ethernet. At this time it pretty much only works with Waves plugins but as I have them all it was a great way to leverage that investment. If you're not worried about price too much it's definitely worth a look.

    Mike V.

    STUDIO:Win 10 x64, SONAR Platinum x64, 
    PC: ASUS P9X79 PRO, INTEL i7 E3930k, 32GIG DDR3 1800, 7 TB SSD & SATA III Storage
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    #16
    bz2838
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 11:30:03 (permalink)
    RME for sure!

    Purrrfect Audio:  Intel i7 7700k (Kabylake), 32Gig DDR4/2133, Windows 10x64 Pro, USB RME Babyface, Sonar Platinum Current
    #17
    Sheanes
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 11:42:39 (permalink)
    you have the Apollo connected to a thunderbolt port right ?
    (+ 1 vote for RME...reliable and low latency).
    #18
    tlw
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 11:46:31 (permalink)
    11DreamsI thought I would have a latency issue when I put an amp plug on my bass and hit echo but it was still zero.
    I think Cakewalk has nailed the latency thing at least for me.
    If I happen to use a midi controller it plugs in usb with zero issues. I think though, there are too many setups and drivers that can fix or mess up  an audio chain. It's definitely a balancing act and if I can get it to work anyone can.
    ha!


    Latency is determined by three things more than anything else.

    The first is how well the computer can handle the requirements of near real-time audio processing, which is related to the processing power of the cpu and data bus but can be thrown by things such as badly written device drivers or drivers which take too much time in their share of the multi-tasking jobs, amd may have nothing to do with audiomprocessing at all. On Windows PCs wi-fi drivers are a notorious example of this, though Macs generally don't suffer from the same issue despite using similar hardware.

    The second is how efficient the audio interface's driver is and the interface hardware itself. Many interfaces have a kind of built-in "secret safety buffer" which is added to the buffer set by the driver but not reported by the driver to the DAW. Few interface manufacturers will acknowledge what the real-world minimum possible latency of their products is. RME are one of the exceptions and do explain this, and the internal latency of their devices is about as low as the laws of physics allows them to be. Their PC and Mac drivers are also very well behaved indeed.

    The third factor is plugins. Some can cope with doing all their stuff within the time allowed by a very small audio drover buffer so add no additional latency. Others can not, or rely on things such as "look ahead" and add varying amounts of latency to the driver-set value. Things like convolution reverbs, compressors with a "look ahead" function and linear phase eqs tend to be the worst culprits. Again, few manufacturers say what the latency implications of their products are, Waves being a notable exception.

    So your bass amp plugin is presumably coded to create as little internal latency as possible, which is what you'd expect from a competently written amp emulator because it's very likely to be monitored through the DAW.

    As for mixers, an RME UFX is basically a 12 input channel (8 line, 4 mic/line), 8 hardware output channel digital mixer controlled by their Totalmix software which looks and behaves like a high-end traditional mixing console with a huge number of routing possibilities, comprehensive eq and dynamics, basic reverb and delay and the ability to further inputs and outputs via ADAT plus SP/DIF. Which can be configured as a rack mount live mixer controlled by an iPad if you want. Their mic pres are also pretty good as it happens.

    Sonar Platinum 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit, I7 3770K Ivybridge, 16GB Ram, Gigabyte Z77-D3H m/board,
    ATI 7750 graphics+ 1GB RAM, 2xIntel 520 series 220GB SSDs, 1 TB Samsung F3 + 1 TB WD HDDs, Seasonic fanless 460W psu, RME Fireface UFX, Focusrite Octopre.
    Assorted real synths, guitars, mandolins, diatonic accordions, percussion, fx and other stuff.
    #19
    ryecatchermark
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 14:31:25 (permalink)
    RME is awesome!!!! I had nothing but problems with a MOTU 828x with Sonar Platinum.... I switched to a RME Babyface Pro and it has been 100% stable with much lower latency on the same buffer setting.

    Mark K.
    Asus G752VY Laptop.  Intel Quad i7 6700HQ 2.6 GHz. 32 GB RAM. NVIDIA GTX 980M. Windows 10 Home 64bit. MOTU 828x.
    #20
    karma1959
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 14:52:25 (permalink)
    I have the RME UFX and would highly recommend it. 

    Sonar Platinum x64 on Win10 64, Dell T7400 w/ 8 Xeon cores, 8 Gbyte RAM, 3 hard drives, RME Fireface UFX, UAD-1, Mackie Control, Adam A7X
    #21
    konradh
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/26 16:21:55 (permalink)
    This is a tough question because every issue of "Sound on Sound" or "Recording" magazine has another batch of interface reviews and they are almost always positive.
     
    MOTU has been good to me, and people I know love Scarlett but I don't recall on comments about latency and VIs.
     
    I do almost all VIs and have to change my ASIO setting when I am tracking to get latency under control (and then back again for mixing).  I'm sure you already know that.
     

    Konrad
    Current album and more: http://www.themightykonrad.com/

    Sonar X1d Producer. V-Studio 700. PC: Intel i7 CPU 3.07GHz, 12 GB RAM. Win 7 64-bit. RealGuitar, RealStrat, RealLPC, Ivory II, Vienna Symphonic, Hollywood Strings, Electr6ity, Acoustic Legends, FabFour, Scarbee Rick/J-Bass/P-Bass, Kontakt 5. NI Session Guitar. Boldersounds, Noisefirm. EZ Drummer 2. EZ Mix. Melodyne Assist. Guitar Rig 4. Tyros 2, JV-1080, Kurzweil PC2R, TC Helicon VoiceWorks+. Rode NT2a, EV RE20. Presonus Eureka.  Rokit 6s. 
    #22
    WDI
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/27 01:12:19 (permalink)
    I've used an RME Fireface 800 since Windows XP and now on OSX and it's been relatively problem free. I say relatively because there was some issue at one point with corrosion on the line inputs. It was a known issue and RME fixed it for free. But as far as software goes it's been good.
     
    Even though the preamps at the time where supposed to be pretty good, I've found them to be very flat and dead sounding compared to a Tascam M2600 which is only a very average mixing console. I really don't use the mic pre's on the RME.
     
    As far as A/D conversion I really can't tell a difference between the analog signal and the digitized conversion. So that's good.
     
    Latency for soft synths has never been a problem.
     
    I would not have any issues with purchasing another RME.

    Sonar 7 PE
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    Old stuff: ARJO
    #23
    Jeff Evans
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/27 14:24:19 (permalink)
    I have had a bit to do with both Focusrite and RME and the newest Focusrite models are real nice as RME as has always been very good too.  The latest Scarlett models are getting excellent reviews and amazing latency performance as well. Clarett is still a lavel better though no doubt about it.
     
    And to WDI be careful with MicPres that sound bright.  It is often a sign of an inferior Mic Pre.  I have found over the years the the real nice Mic Pres have a very smooth and warm sound actually. I would think the RME Mic Pres are much better than the Tascam MicPres. Try recording through them and see.  (an example is the Roland VS700R audio interface. It has this super warm sound. At first I thought it was lifeless compared to say a Yamaha digital mixer Mic Pre but after a while I got real used to it and realised it was actually normal and the Yamaha was over bright)
     
    Thunderbolt is amazing by the way. I have just got an iMac and running Studio One on that as well as my Windows setup. Thunderbolt is fast and I mean fast.  So far it is the best response playing wise to virtual instruments that I have ever encountered. 1.2 mS at 44.1K folks!
     
    I have got an RME interface and love it and lately I have been working with a borrowed Fireface 800 and it too is real nice as well. RME are great at supporting older models too with the latest OS systems. Something that should be taken into account.

    Specs i5-2500K 3.3 Ghz - 8 Gb RAM - Win 7 64 bit - ATI Radeon HD6900 Series - RME PCI HDSP9632 - Steinberg Midex 8 Midi interface - Faderport - Studio One V3.5 - iMac 2.5Ghz Core i5 - Sierra 10.12.5 - Focusrite Clarett thunderbolt interface 
     
    Poor minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas -Eleanor Roosevelt
    #24
    Amicus717
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/27 14:35:06 (permalink)
    I've used a a few interfaces over the years: M-Audio 2496, EMU 1212M, Roland V-Studio 700, ESI Juli@, and now an RME Babyface. And the RME is far and away the best I've ever worked with in regards to stability, sound, efficiency and ease of use. I am a total convert to RME, and I can't see me buying anything else going forward. 

    Sonar Platinum, Windows 10 Pro 64, Core i7-5820K Haswell-E CPU, 32GB DDR4 RAM, RME Babyface, Adam F7 monitors, Mackie MCU
    #25
    batsbrew
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/27 16:04:45 (permalink)
    +10 for RME

    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
    https://soundcloud.com/bats-brew
    --
    Sonar 6 PE>Win XP>RME Babyface Pro>Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GH>GeForce 8400>2GB DDR2 SDRAM
     
    #26
    Jim Roseberry
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/27 17:42:08 (permalink)
    • RME
    • MOTU is a close second
     
    Both RME and MOTU offer low round-trip latency.
     
    RME audio interfaces are more expensive, but it's the type of interface that'll last a decade... and you won't give it a second thought.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
    jim@studiocat.com
    www.studiocat.com
    #27
    musicroom
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/27 22:10:58 (permalink)
    Interested in this thread for a friend of mine who is wanting the same thing while keeping the costs under 700. Does the Babyface offer this same kind of latency performance as the others mentioned here?

     
    Dave
    Songs
    ___________________________________
    Desktop: Platinum / RME Multiface II / Purrfect Audio DAW  I7-3770 / 16 GB RAM / Win 10 Pro / Remote Laptop i7 6500U / 12GB RAM /  RME Babyface



     
     
    #28
    AT
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/28 00:09:34 (permalink)
    Lynx

    https://soundcloud.com/a-pleasure-dome
    http://www.bnoir-film.com/  

    The silence of a falling star 
    Lights up a purple sky
    And as I wonder where you are 
    I'm so lonesome I could cry
    #29
    batsbrew
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    Re: Looking to buy a pro Level, Low Latency Audio Interface (Not named Apollo) for many VI 2017/02/28 22:32:49 (permalink)
    musicroom
     Does the Babyface offer this same kind of latency performance as the others mentioned here?




    yes

    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
    https://soundcloud.com/bats-brew
    --
    Sonar 6 PE>Win XP>RME Babyface Pro>Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GH>GeForce 8400>2GB DDR2 SDRAM
     
    #30
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