Interface comparison - UA vs Audient

dcrigger

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For mixing / mastering, absolutely. But dedicated DSP chips are always going to be better for real-time actions like low-latency recording. Computers are (by design) multi-purpose machines, and there's no way to ensure that something else isn't ramping up the demand on processes just when you need your CPU to be processing a convolution reverb. It's hard enough for the computer architecture to keep the disk i/o running smooth enough to allow multiple tracks to be written, let alone trying to also maximize available processor power.

Dedicated hardware will always have a purpose, even for prosumer uses (IMO)
:) I would only disagree with your last sentence. In that after 40 years of watching computer tech develop, stating "always" in this way, seems to me to be just like saying "never" as in "There will never be a time when dedicated hardware will be unnecessary." IMO the history of computer development is the embodiment of the idea... "Never Say Never".

I'm not disagreeing with your assessment of the current state of low-latency recording - I kinda said so in the previous post. But to assume that situation won't change - through changes in prioritizations within OS's, simply having so much, faster power rendering it a non-issue, or other solutions not yet conceived - is a prediction I put zero faith in.
 

Ray Dee Oh King

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I dont know? Our last recording had 32 tracks, all had some sort of plug in running, some had multiple plug ins, side chains, routed busses, etc....Id run multiple instances of Ozone 9, and my computer didnt miss a beat. Not a single hiccup. I mainly use Izotope products with Reaper. If youre running a fast enough computer, its fine. However I do see how UAD plug ins can be pretty beneficial, but not necessary.
 

bpaluzzi

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:) I would only disagree with your last sentence. In that after 40 years of watching computer tech develop, stating "always" in this way, seems to me to be just like saying "never" as in "There will never be a time when dedicated hardware will be unnecessary." IMO the history of computer development is the embodiment of the idea... "Never Say Never".

I'm not disagreeing with your assessment of the current state of low-latency recording - I kinda said so in the previous post. But to assume that situation won't change - through changes in prioritizations within OS's, simply having so much, faster power rendering it a non-issue, or other solutions not yet conceived - is a prediction I put zero faith in.
If Moore's law has taught us anything, it's that as processing power increases, the OS requirements increase in lockstep. I'll stick by my prediction of always needing dedicated hardware for highest real-time performance. My day job / degrees are in computer science and mathematics, so this isn't a random guess I'm making :)
 

Tornado

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The thing about plugins is that every time one is released, it's always touted as "just like the hardware!" (a compressor or amp simulation for instance). Then in a few years, a new one is released that requires more power because "Actually, this one sounds just like the hardware!". Software will always tend towards pushing the limits of the hardware because we always want to do more in the same amount of time or less. That includes development time as well. I write a number of things using Python at work, and it's not because it runs fast. It's because it's fast to develop, and modern hardware makes it run fast enough.
 

sw532121

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I am a UA user owning both an Apollo Twin and Apollo x8p. However, I'd strongly consider the Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre. 8 great sounding mic pres for an excellent price.


Evan
 

Cauldronics

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For mixing / mastering, absolutely. But dedicated DSP chips are always going to be better for real-time actions like low-latency recording. Computers are (by design) multi-purpose machines, and there's no way to ensure that something else isn't ramping up the demand on processes just when you need your CPU to be processing a convolution reverb. It's hard enough for the computer architecture to keep the disk i/o running smooth enough to allow multiple tracks to be written, let alone trying to also maximize available processor power.

Dedicated hardware will always have a purpose, even for prosumer uses (IMO)
Wouldn't optimizing a computer for recording and mixing be part of that equation? It's common now to remove apps and processes that aren't needed in order to let the machine perform music production tasks to its fullest ability. How many people do this and how often probably depends on their level of professional versus semi-pro or home usage.
 

bpaluzzi

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Wouldn't optimizing a computer for recording and mixing be part of that equation? It's common now to remove apps and processes that aren't needed in order to let the machine perform music production tasks to its fullest ability. How many people do this and how often probably depends on their level of professional versus semi-pro or home usage.

Even with a hyper-optimized machine, there are still general-purpose OS- / kernel-level tasks that can/will happen. The all-too-common issue of protools / logic crashing + losing a session is due to these types of processes causing enough lag in the system that the machine can't keep up.

At the prosumer-level that the Apollo devices are targeted at, I haven't seen many (any) people do the type of optimizing to even get it to that level. This is things like removing bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ethernet capabilities -- people just generally don't do that for their machines, because very few prosumer users have machines that aren't used for ANYTHING except audio. (which would mean no email on the computer, no ability to send files to/from dropbox / yousendit / etc., no ability to search for a manual / hint / troubleshooting online, etc)
 

dcrigger

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Wouldn't optimizing a computer for recording and mixing be part of that equation? It's common now to remove apps and processes that aren't needed in order to let the machine perform music production tasks to its fullest ability. How many people do this and how often probably depends on their level of professional versus semi-pro or home usage.
Yes that absolutely plays into - but not enough to negate what bpaluzzi is saying. Not in situations where real-time monitoring with effects on the source is needed - and even moreso, when recording large numbers of tracks at the same time (full band tracking, orchestral work, etc).

In the mac os for instance, there is just no way to make the computer prioritize the "credit audio" processes above the rest of "keeping the computer running" - and for that to change, there needs to be both more resources, and either enough of them so that the audio work would not reasonably touched, or OS fixes to be able to adjust that.


I believe, bpaluzzi feels that whatever extra horsepower becomes available will automatically be gobbled up by greater demand for plug-in resources. I disagree - again, because of the history of ProTools HD. There was a day when you could hardly do anything with multi-track digital audio without dedicated hardware - and yet, now today, only the top professionals in very specific situations use Pro Tools HD systems.

Why? - Because just because additional power can be used for more and more demanding plug-ins - they don't have to be. The choice eventually could become being able to run a reasonable sized session with extremely low latency on existing hardware - and for some, choosing to do so, rather than purchasing the always absurdly expensive dedicated hardware.

My point is this is a similar path to one we've been down before. I track drums - recording 12-16 tracks at a time - everyday with no need for dedicated hardware. That was once utterly impossible to do (and according to some would never change) and yet, here we are.

Will the most demanding users always have a need to utilize the best cost-is-not-an-issue solution, but the most demanding use solutions continue to fall to cheaper methods - as they have for years.

I don't thing bpaluzzi and I are disagreeing on the black and white of this - but rather the depth usefulness of what will likely develop in the grey area in-between. At least, that's my take on it.
 

bpaluzzi

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Yes that absolutely plays into - but not enough to negate what bpaluzzi is saying. Not in situations where real-time monitoring with effects on the source is needed - and even moreso, when recording large numbers of tracks at the same time (full band tracking, orchestral work, etc).

In the mac os for instance, there is just no way to make the computer prioritize the "credit audio" processes above the rest of "keeping the computer running" - and for that to change, there needs to be both more resources, and either enough of them so that the audio work would not reasonably touched, or OS fixes to be able to adjust that.


I believe, bpaluzzi feels that whatever extra horsepower becomes available will automatically be gobbled up by greater demand for plug-in resources. I disagree - again, because of the history of ProTools HD. There was a day when you could hardly do anything with multi-track digital audio without dedicated hardware - and yet, now today, only the top professionals in very specific situations use Pro Tools HD systems.

Why? - Because just because additional power can be used for more and more demanding plug-ins - they don't have to be. The choice eventually could become being able to run a reasonable sized session with extremely low latency on existing hardware - and for some, choosing to do so, rather than purchasing the always absurdly expensive dedicated hardware.

My point is this is a similar path to one we've been down before. I track drums - recording 12-16 tracks at a time - everyday with no need for dedicated hardware. That was once utterly impossible to do (and according to some would never change) and yet, here we are.

Will the most demanding users always have a need to utilize the best cost-is-not-an-issue solution, but the most demanding use solutions continue to fall to cheaper methods - as they have for years.

I don't thing bpaluzzi and I are disagreeing on the black and white of this - but rather the depth usefulness of what will likely develop in the grey area in-between. At least, that's my take on it.
Absolutely -- I guess my position is best summed up as:

there will always be a need for dedicated DSP, but not everyone will need dedicated DSP.
 

Tornado

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Has anyone developed an OS just for running audio? When it gets to that level are we going full circle and coming back to dedicated dsp?

There have been some attempts with heavily customized Linux distros, but of course your choice of software and drivers to actually run on it are limited. It's just not worth the time or effort when something like MacOS is perfectly capable.
 

gbow

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If it were me, I would chose an RME interface. Many to choose from. And if necessary because of how many inputs you wanted, I would go with a Focusrite Octopre Clarette for an ADAT pre.

By the way, all the discussion on "latency" with ADAT. Just remember, every 12 inches farther away you place a microphone, you incur about one millisecond of delay. So placing overheads 36 inches away gives you 3 ms. Room mics that are 10 feet away give you ~10 ms. This is orders of magnitude more latency than you will get by running the mic through an ADAT pre.

As mentioned, I would not split a stereo pair. So I wouldn't put one overhead through the ADAT pre and the other direct into the interface. But the difference would be more noticeable because you're using two different pre's than from the latency.

Bottom line, be sensible with your recording and don't sweat the ADAT connected pres.

gabo

NOTE: It's not exactly one ft per millisecond. But the real number depends on the air temperature and pressure. But for this type of thing, just approximate to 1ms per ft.
 

mgdrummer

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Big fan of the Audient stuff. I have the iD44 and an ASP880, they sound great! I can’t expect I’d get much better quality without spending a significantly more money.
 


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