Suitable Audio Interface for Home Studio?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by dazloe, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. dazloe macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    Hey there, recently I bought Logic 8 and I have been thoroughly enjoying every moment! It's now come to my attention that investing in a good audio interface would be wise. I checked out the MOTU ultralite mk3 and that looks great, but I have also been looking at Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1. If anyone has any experience with either of these 2 sound cards which do you think would be the better buy? I would just be using it to run monitors through, recording guitar, bass, vocals, running a midi keyboard and ultimately running an analog synth through. If you have any other recommendations that would also be great :) Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
  2. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Just to set the record straight on something first.... A 'sound card' implies an internally fitted PCI card or similar, which you can't do on a laptop of course. Audio Interface would be the proper term here, as per your thread title. Sorry if that makes me look like a pedant, but it makes things clearer for most folk :)

    Ok! So first, do you anticipate recording multiple tracks simultaneously? Or would 1 or 2 tracks (stereo) at a time suffice? Same for outputs, do you need more than stereo for outputs? Like 8 or 16 outputs for example? You could playback say, 48 tracks inside the computer, but still only need a simple stereo in/out..

    Secondly, How much of a fuss pot for sound quality are you?

    Motu stuff is very good however. I doubt you would be disappointed with it. The sound quality is generally great, build quality is nice and the drivers are rock solid (Motu still support my 7 year old 828 mk1!)
    So if you do happen to need multiple in's and outs, then an Ultralight would be great,

    I've no experience of Native instruments interfaces however, so can't really comment on that.

    If for example, you only needed stereo in's & outs, and also happen to want top notch quality, then interfaces like the Apogee Duet are also great. A little simple by way of features (No midi ports or digi Ins & outs), but then not everyone needs a high feature count (Firewire only too). They sound superb however. So its another one to look at perhaps.

    If your mac has Firewire, then I would generally go for an interface that uses it, over USB. USB can be perfectly good, but on Macs at least, Firewire is that little bit more dependable in my experience.
  3. dazloe thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    Thanks! Audio Interface it is, I just thought I would try and pretend that I know lots of words used in audio production...:D

    I'll only be recording about 1-2 tracks at the same time and I'll only need a stereo in/out.

    good sound quality is a must for me, I would dish out extra money for better sound quality no doubts. The ultralite is sounding good, it doesn't bother me to have extra ins and outs, who knows what the future will bring! Thanks for your help :)
  4. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    If you only need stereo in's and outs, you are fussy about sound quality and your Mac has FireWire, then the Apogee Duet is a must! It looks a little strange, but it does a fantastic job. Definitely worth a look :cool:
  5. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    If you are only going to record one or two tracks: Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1.

    Small, records in extremly high quality, usb-powered and a lot less then the Duet.
  6. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    I have a Duet but I doubt this can be beat for the price.

    EDIT: TASCAM product is gone from link, guess its surprise at $99.
  7. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Even though I dont have the kontrol 1, I have Native Insturments Audio 8 DJ and that interface is pretty good.
  8. dazloe thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    Everyone: Thanks for your time :) I am settling with the MOTU Ultralite mk3. My birthdays on saturday so I think it's the perfect time to spoil my self :) Thanks again for all your seggestions, if any of you are on the verge of choosing an interface pm me and I'll give you my personal opinion of this one, thanks again!
  9. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have been using MOTU interfaces for 10 years now. I started with my 2408MK1 and then the MKII. About two years ago I made the mistake of getting an M-Audio interface. I hated every minute if it. Then went and got an 828MKIII. The thing was I wanted the 2408MKIII but did not want to pay the extra $500 for a PCIe card. The 828MKII and MKIII would be worth while to look at, also the Ultralite as you mentioned. I can't say about the NI, because it would take a lot for me to leave my MOTU behind again. I can say though that you should keep in mind that NI is a software company and mainly sell softsynths. That beening said, they only recently got into the hardware market. Any reveiws on their interface seems only so so.

    I see you picked the MOTU, great choice.
  10. rhoydotp macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2006
    WARNING: don't buy tascam us-122

    i have this and it works very well with Tiger. since upgrade of Leopard, driver behavior is erratic. with the latest driver it works though, but who knows what will happen with another update.

    also, cannot aggregate this with other device since it is considered an aggregate device already :(

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