Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820

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husker
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2017/02/28 21:41:26 (permalink)

Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820

I am in the market for a new interface.  I started with a simple Tascam US 4x4, but will be outgrowing it very soon.  I do no vocals or guitar, I am simply connecting multiple hardware synths to the AI. 
 
I had thought about the Tascam 16x08, but I've read several folks have had problems with this interface (including a long thread on this forum).  I've kind of narrowed it down to the Scarlett 18i20 or the Behringer UMC 1820
 
Both have 8 usable inputs.
 
The Scarlett seems to be well regarded, with current drivers, good support.  Downside is that it is $200 more than the Behringer.
Behringer is substantially cheaper, but kind of an unknown with Sonar.  
 
I need as many inputs as possible and want a rack mounted unit.
 
I'm sure we have some Sonar users here who have first hand experience with both units, so I would like to solicit opinions.
 
Thank you.

Sonar Platinum
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Interfaces - Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen / MOTU Midi Express XT USB
Hardware - Roland FA08 / Moog Slim Phatty / Nord A1R / Maschine Mikro
 
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    batsbrew
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/02/28 22:31:20 (permalink)
    more expensive,
    but a step up,
    would be a RME UFX
     
     
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    #2
    patm300e
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/01 12:05:16 (permalink)
    I went with the Behringer XR 18.  I believe it has the same preamps, but is only 48K 24 bit.  It does not got to 96k.  I typically record in 48K 24 bit anyway so it is not a problem for me.  The added benefit is that this box is also a digital mixer as well as an interface to the PC.  A Lot of flexibility.  I have not use the mixer with a band as a mixer, but it does work well as an interface!  Note price has dropped since I bought mine.  They are about $600.00 now.
    I paid $700.00.  This is a USB interface (I am using USB 2.0).  It also has monitoring capabilities that are really nice as well!

    SPLAT on a Home built i3 16 GB RAM 64-bit Windows 10 Home Premium 120GB SSD (OS) 2TB Data Drive.  Behringer XR-18 USB 2.0 Interface. FaderPort control.
    #3
    Slugbaby
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/01 14:08:13 (permalink)
    This may not be much help as I've never used either of those specific models...
    I've owned both Behringer and Focusrite products before, and the Behringers have always felt cheaply-made and have worn out/ broken fairly early.  My Focusrite interface is sturdy and reliable.
    Perhaps Behringer build quality has improved in the last couple of years, but I'm very wary of them.

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    #4
    fireberd
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/01 15:12:34 (permalink)
    There have been comments, that I've read on forums, that the Behringer's do not have the lower latency like some other brands, and less support.  I have some Behringer equipment - an X-Touch and a Power Play Pro 8 headphone amp and both have worked well, but they are not recording interface units.  I have no idea if there is any Behringer support for either of these if a problem developed.
     
    OTOH I have some Focusrite equipment - an ISA One preamp and a 6i6 2nd generation (my backup interface unit) and both of these work well, and there is Focusrite support.  What dealings I've had with Focusrite support has been prompt and helpful.
     
     

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    Ozone, (backup unit Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd Gen)

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    Cactus Music
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/02 00:35:07 (permalink)
    The issues the person was having with the Tascam ( I was part of that thread) were seemingly more a system issue than a Tascam driver issue. Not everyone has problems with that interface, but still I don't blame you from shying away. Behringer, even though I know they may have improved, is the only equipment I ever bought that totally failed on me before I got my money's worth, so sorry, not going to ever trust them again. 
     
    I've narrowed my search down to a Motu Ultralite Mk4    http://motu.com/products/proaudio/ultralite-mk4  
    It's a price jump but I think it's time I got out of using less than perfect equipment. 
     
    RME is another company I would go with. 
    My Focusrite 6i6 is a great interface but does not have enough inputs for recording drums or a band. I still use my old Tascam us1641 for this without issue. Both suffer so, so pre amps and not great RTL performance. 
    I'd like to take the next step and do it right, so Motu and RME is where I need to go. The Motu unit would also serve double duty as a live mixer with remote control capabilities.
     
    If all you want is more XLR inputs for recording drums you cannot beat the price of the Tascam's. 
     
     

    Johnny V  
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    #6
    husker
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/08 03:45:46 (permalink)
    Thank you all
     

    Sonar Platinum
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    Interfaces - Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen / MOTU Midi Express XT USB
    Hardware - Roland FA08 / Moog Slim Phatty / Nord A1R / Maschine Mikro
     
    #7
    riojazz
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/10 00:38:05 (permalink)
    I used to dislike Behringer quality but my X-Touch is very well built.
     
    I have several Focusrite Scarlett interfaces including the 18i20 1st gen. and all work great.  Support is excellent.  Be sure to get 2nd generation models.
     

    Software: SONAR Platinum; Adobe Audition; Band-in-A-Box; Izotope Ozone; Encore; Melodyne; V-Control Pro; Win 10/64-bit.

    Hardware: Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd; Roland Integra-7; TCE Finalizer; Presonus Central Station, Behringer X-Touch.  Home built i7 with 16 GB RAM, SSDs.
    #8
    Jim Roseberry
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/10 17:47:11 (permalink)
    The Behringer unit is using the same tech that you'd find in their digital mixers.
    Quality is far better than what many folks typically associate with Behringer.
    Behringer has absorbed some top tier companies/people/technology (Midas, TC Electronic, etc).
     
    The Behringer UMC-1820 will sound/perform reasonably well.
    Lowest possible round-trip latency isn't the UCM-1820's forte.
     
    Between those two audio interfaces, I'd go with the 2nd generation Focusrite.
     
    If you've got the budget, I'd recommend having a look at MOTU or RME.
    RME is more expensive, but it's the type of audio interface that'll last a decade... and you'll never give it a second thought.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
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    #9
    husker
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/12 02:14:25 (permalink)
    Well, I didn't plan this to happen.  Dropped into the local Guitar Center today, and somehow ended up walking out the door with the brand new Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen for $360 out the door.  Was $450 at SweetWater, so I feel like I got a pretty good deal.
     
    Got it hooked up tonight, and most things are working, except playing back audio tracks.  The Focusrite is set correctly in the preferences, but still no joy.  I'm sure I have something set wrong, I'll go through the manual tomorrow AM.  I'm just new to all of this.  This is clearly an upgrade from my Tascam.
     
    I see folks report their latency - can someone explain to me how to do this?  Is it done within Sonar?

    Sonar Platinum
    Homebuilt  -  Gigabyte GA-170 HD3, Intel Core i7 6700k OC 4.5 GHz, Corsair Hydro H50 Cooling, 16 MB GSkills Ripjaw DDR4-2133, SanDisk Ultra II 960 Gb, NZXT-S340 Case, ASUS VE-278Q
    Interfaces - Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen / MOTU Midi Express XT USB
    Hardware - Roland FA08 / Moog Slim Phatty / Nord A1R / Maschine Mikro
     
    #10
    fireberd
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/12 12:52:07 (permalink)
    In the Preferences/Audio Devices make sure the 18i20 is selected in both the Input Drivers and Output drivers. 
    The latency is shown in bottom section of the Audio Driver settings panel.  (I have a 6i6 2nd Gen - my backup unit - and my latency for a 64 buffer size is shown as 4.1 ms for both Input and Output. 
     
    My Focusrite Control, which is probably the same as yours, is on defaults.   

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    Sonar Platinum 64 bit. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
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    #11
    husker
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/12 15:35:12 (permalink)
    Got it all working now.  Thank you.  One follow up question....
     
    And I know this is probably an impossible question to answer, but what is a good "starting point" for Sample Rate and buffers?
     
    I do mostly audio out of my FA08 and Moog, as well as some VSTis.
     
    At 44.1 and 128 buffers, I get around 13.1 ms round trip. 
    At 96 KhZ and 512 buffers, I get 50.7 ms round trip.
     
    I don't have much experience, but are these in line with what I should expect?

    Sonar Platinum
    Homebuilt  -  Gigabyte GA-170 HD3, Intel Core i7 6700k OC 4.5 GHz, Corsair Hydro H50 Cooling, 16 MB GSkills Ripjaw DDR4-2133, SanDisk Ultra II 960 Gb, NZXT-S340 Case, ASUS VE-278Q
    Interfaces - Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen / MOTU Midi Express XT USB
    Hardware - Roland FA08 / Moog Slim Phatty / Nord A1R / Maschine Mikro
     
    #12
    fireberd
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/03/12 17:17:11 (permalink)
    I can't say.  I do mostly "analog" recording and low latency is a priority.  I usually record 24 bit/44.1Khz.  Both my main unit (MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid) and the 6i6 are set at 64 buffers.  You have basically the same PC as I have and I do not get any dropouts at 64 buffers and lower latency than what you show.  The biggest issue with latency, as I see it, is when you try to record with something that is already recorded. 

    Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Dobro, Tele, Gretsch Chet Atkins, 4 and 5 string basses, etc. 
    ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
    Sonar Platinum 64 bit. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
    Ozone, (backup unit Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd Gen)

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    #13
    emwhy
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/04/06 15:54:09 (permalink)
    Thought I would chime in here. I have used both the UMC 1820 and the Scarlett 18i20. You can achieve better round trip latency with the Scarlett depending on your system. On my desktop I use a pci express card for USB audio devices, all the USB processing is handled on the card and there's no sharing of bandwith with other usb devices. This will go a long way in helping to get low buffer settings to work smoothly and dropout free.  With the Scarlett I was able to get the buffer to 32 and it was stable for me (but see below). The lowest the UMC 1820 will go is 64 but I really couldn't hear much of a difference when monitoring between the 2 at those settings. Both units sounded very similar, the Scarlett pres are a tad bit warmer to my ears, but I use several external preamps so that's a not an issue. The Scarlett is bigger and built like a tank, but the Behringer is not a cheap build at all the only real drawback being wall wart power supply. Both units handle ADAT without any issues. One thing the Behringer has that I like is each of the 8 channels have line/inst switches as well as pad switches. The Scarlett only has those options on the first 2 channels. The Behringer also has a knob to adjust between the direct signal and the input monitor signal from SONAR whereas the Scarlett only allows control of that in their software. Not a big deal either way, but the software with the Scarlett let's you set up a lot of nice mixing options for monitoring. The Behringer doesn't come close on that.
     
    Unfortunately both me and one the other producer where I work had to return the Scarlett units. We both had issues with the devices losing connectivity in our DAWS and both of us had issues with odd noises coming from the unit when engaging the transport from time to time. He was using his on a MAC with Pro Tools, I was using it with SONAR on a PC. Not sure if these were just bad units or there were driver issues. So, while I still think the Scarlett is the better unit, the Behringers have performed better for us and the cost saved us some $$. Your results may (and probably will) vary.
     
     
     
    #14
    BobF
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    Re: Soliciting Opinions - Scarlett 18i20 vs Behringer UMC 1820 2017/04/26 18:34:49 (permalink)
    Probably late for the OP ...
     
    Through a twisty route, I recently acquired a UMC1820.  It's working very with SONAR for me.  I run it at 128 sample buffers and get sub 10ms RTL, which is perfect for my use.  I haven't bothered with trying 64 yet.
     
    I like it and will be using it as my primary interface.

    Bob  --
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