Upgrade interface opinions requested

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Mannynyagain
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2018/11/08 16:30:28 (permalink)

Upgrade interface opinions requested

Hi,

I’ve been recording at home for about 15 years now. I don’t do a lot of recording, only when I write a new song and that’s once or twice a year. I know the quality of my recordings do not come close to most of what I hear in the songs forum. I chalk that up to my lack of skill, inexperience, some degree of laziness and basic poor judgement.

Okay - with my mea culpas out of the way, I was wondering if the actual sounds I’m getting on vocals, guitars and bass could be improved by upgrading my interface. Currently I have a audiophile 2694 PCI card and a little Mackie vkz3 mixer. The vocal mic is an akg C3000. The 2694 is about 13 years old and the Mackie just a few years old.

Would there be any appreciable difference if I switch to one of the new usb interfaces with for example Presonus or Mackie Onyx ?

I realize is a very subjective issue but technology has changed and maybe for a small investment some of my tracks (vocals especially) might sound a bit more professional.

Any insight would be appreciated. I know “learn to use what you have” is an absolutely valid response - I tell myself that all the time. In fact I’ll be the first to say it - “hey Manny, learn to use what you have”.

Hello from New York
My Music 
#1

8 Replies Related Threads

    batsbrew
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/08 20:16:48 (permalink)
    hey manny,
    do a search,
    there are so many threads about this kind of thing,
    it's hard to reiterate the same info over and over and over....
    that said,
    i used to have the maudio 2496 card, went to a maudio audiophile 192 card,
    and after that, bought a RME Babyface Pro.
     
    that's my very strong suggestion.

    Bats Brew music Streaming
    Bats Brew albums:
    "Trouble"
    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
    --
    Sonar 6 PE>Bandlab Cakewalk>Studio One 3.5>RME BFP>i7-7700 3.6GHz>MSI B250M>G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB>Samsung 960 EVO m.2ssd>W 10 Pro
     
    #2
    Mannynyagain
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/08 20:42:38 (permalink)
    Understand what you’re saying. Btw, your tracks sound amazing.

    Hello from New York
    My Music 
    #3
    Leadfoot
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/08 21:05:56 (permalink)
    I used an M-Audio Delta 1010 rackmount for about 12 years. A couple years ago I bought an Audient iD22. They clarity and body of my tracks improved very noticeably. I'm so glad I made the change.
    #4
    stratman70
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/09 01:54:41 (permalink)
    I also used a 2496 for many years. Like you I am in a home studio. I have upgraded but not all that far. I bought a Echo Layla 3G and am still using today with Windows 10 pro and a hi powered new PC build.
    The interface and the mic are OK and should be ok, everything else being equal.
    Better equipment does NOT always mean better recordings. I still have some of my recordings with my AP2496 and they aren't bad at all.
     
    The mackie onyx does have some pretty good mic pres so that would definitely be a plus.........Interface, ?
     
     

     
     
    #5
    Mannynyagain
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/09 02:36:25 (permalink)
    Thanks to you all. I currently just run my Mackie 402 into the 2496. The preamps in the Mackie seemed fine to me but I’ve read that the onyx are considerably better and I can’t seem to get tracks that sound nearly as good as many of those using sonar just like I do. I know my engineering sucks but I thought maybe the straight signals I’m working with (Mackie into 2694) are lacking clarity and that a newer interface might be a benefit- being an upgrade to a Mackie VLZ4 (with onyx Pres) or a Presonus - I really don’t know.

    I did start searching and found lots of info but nothing that gives me an indication that an older mixer + 2694 can be improved upon by newer gear. Which leaves the weak link in the chain as “me”. Every wants a simple answer and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be one.

    Leadfoots response seems to push me into the onyx realm. Hey, better Pres for $100 is not a big investment.

    Hello from New York
    My Music 
    #6
    Jim Roseberry
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/12 13:51:11 (permalink)
    The difference between Mackie preamps isn't going to be "night vs. day".
    The newer designs are slightly better.
    If you're wanting to experience a major improvement from your mic preamp, you'll want to go with a higher-end outboard model. 
    I picked up a Neve Portico-II a year or two back. 
    One of the best gear investments I've made.  Literally everything sounds better running thru it. 
    It's like getting a gear upgrade across all your mics/instruments.
    The downside (of course), is cost.
    IMO, All onboard preamps are slight variations of "pretty decent" (not amazing, not horrible).
    You won't find a lot of color/personality with any of them.
     
    In the OP's scenario, the A/D converters are currently in-the-box.
    A new audio interface (converters outside-the-box) would yield lower noise-floor.
    You may not notice the difference across a single track, but take that 6-8dB improvement (exact amount depends on the audio interface) multiplied across 24+ tracks... and it starts to add up.  It's like peeling a veil of noise away from the project.
     
     

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
    jim@studiocat.com
    www.studiocat.com
    #7
    Mannynyagain
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/12 22:06:12 (permalink)
    Thanks for your input. After lots of searching and reading reviews , I think I may just drop the whole 2694 pci environment and go with a Audient id14 or id22 (if I decide to spend the extra bucks). Worst case scenario is I say (for 1 millionth time) I made a poor choice.

    Hello from New York
    My Music 
    #8
    Wayfarer
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    Re: Upgrade interface opinions requested 2018/11/13 00:02:54 (permalink)
    Mannynyagain
    I was wondering if the actual sounds I’m getting on vocals, guitars and bass could be improved by upgrading my interface.


    Not one bit.
     
    Bill
    #9
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