Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface?

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
206
Reaction score
60
I just discovered my LG Gram 17" laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port. Not sure I know what it is :) Other than it's faster than standard usb? I was looking for an audio interface with at least 8 mic preamps. Does anyone have any experience with or recommend any Thunderbolt 3 interfaces? Does it matter? I was looking at standard USB like Focusrite 18i20 and Presonus Studio 1824C
 
Last edited:

dcrigger

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
6,014
Reaction score
3,553
Location
California
And what the Thunderbolt 3 is supposed to buy the user of the 2626 is extremely low latency - in the roundtrip in about 1 msec range.

That plus the fact that the 1824c has only one set of ADAT digital I/O's, where the 2626 has two and the 1824 only has word clock out.

The 2626 is definitely a step above the 1824c - likely worth the $100 to most users - worth even more for anyone needing more than one set of optical I/O's.

I actually owned one of these for a bit as it is quite the bargain for an 8 channel interface with two ADAT digital inputs - meaning you can bring 16 more digital channels.

Just what I was needing 6 months ago - I had tried an Audient iD44 with it's four mic pres and two pairs of ADAT input and had incompatibility issues with it (honestly particular to my specific situation) - anyway in a pinch, I replaced it with a 2626. Which worked and sounded great - but really didn't quite sound as good as the Audient.

The Audient was $700, the 2626 was $600.

Anyway so though the 2626 was really quite good - I had just invested too much time and effort in the acoustics of this room to settle for a DtoA playback that was not as good as what I had just heard with the Audient. Leaving me to spend even more money on a MOTU 8Pre-ES (about $1100) but all the same connectivity and 8 pres. I did have a chance to A/B an Audient against the MOTU and they were comparable within the ability of my hearing to discern - yet without the possible compatibility issues I had been having - plus an extra 4 mic pres... though it was $400 more.

Anyway - though it may not read like it - I would whole heartedly recommend the 2626 to anyone looking for an eight input interface that can be expanded easily in the future (really a plus for us drummer types - for instance, I run 11 mics as my normal set-up for drums) in that price vicinity. I don't know that there's anything better right now without simply spending more money.... almost twice as much money.

The 1824c may be cool to - but if you already have Thunderbolt 3, I'd go for the 2626 for sure.
 

musiqman

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
1,841
Reaction score
1,291
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I still use my two Presonus Firestudio Tube interfaces (released in 2008) over Firewire in my studio setup. 20 mic pre-amps and 12 line inputs, and 6 line inputs + midi I/O in a 2 unit high combined set.

1620729036704.png


These can be had used for under 150 bucks each and are still working.

The only downside is that you cannot link them together in a Mac environment, so you have to use two cables.

I am looking into the new StudioLive rack series to upgrade so I can use them in an AVB setup which makes it possible that the rack is in the studio, and my second (edit) mac is in the house.
 

dboomer

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
1,117
Reaction score
530
Location
Visalia CA
Another vote yes for 2626. It is simply the lowest latency interface around which is very important to me as I do a lot of jamming on the internet. One thing to know about 2626, which was a benefit to me but not everyone, is that is is not a standalone mixer and must be used with a computer program. That is an additional benefit for internet jamming.
 

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
206
Reaction score
60
And what the Thunderbolt 3 is supposed to buy the user of the 2626 is extremely low latency - in the roundtrip in about 1 msec range.

That plus the fact that the 1824c has only one set of ADAT digital I/O's, where the 2626 has two and the 1824 only has word clock out.

The 2626 is definitely a step above the 1824c - likely worth the $100 to most users - worth even more for anyone needing more than one set of optical I/O's.

I actually owned one of these for a bit as it is quite the bargain for an 8 channel interface with two ADAT digital inputs - meaning you can bring 16 more digital channels.

Just what I was needing 6 months ago - I had tried an Audient iD44 with it's four mic pres and two pairs of ADAT input and had incompatibility issues with it (honestly particular to my specific situation) - anyway in a pinch, I replaced it with a 2626. Which worked and sounded great - but really didn't quite sound as good as the Audient.

The Audient was $700, the 2626 was $600.

Anyway so though the 2626 was really quite good - I had just invested too much time and effort in the acoustics of this room to settle for a DtoA playback that was not as good as what I had just heard with the Audient. Leaving me to spend even more money on a MOTU 8Pre-ES (about $1100) but all the same connectivity and 8 pres. I did have a chance to A/B an Audient against the MOTU and they were comparable within the ability of my hearing to discern - yet without the possible compatibility issues I had been having - plus an extra 4 mic pres... though it was $400 more.

Anyway - though it may not read like it - I would whole heartedly recommend the 2626 to anyone looking for an eight input interface that can be expanded easily in the future (really a plus for us drummer types - for instance, I run 11 mics as my normal set-up for drums) in that price vicinity. I don't know that there's anything better right now without simply spending more money.... almost twice as much money.

The 1824c may be cool to - but if you already have Thunderbolt 3, I'd go for the 2626 for sure.
Awesome info. Thanks!
 

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
206
Reaction score
60
Another vote yes for 2626. It is simply the lowest latency interface around which is very important to me as I do a lot of jamming on the internet. One thing to know about 2626, which was a benefit to me but not everyone, is that is is not a standalone mixer and must be used with a computer program. That is an additional benefit for internet jamming.
What do you mean it's an additional benefit for internet jamming?
 

dboomer

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
1,117
Reaction score
530
Location
Visalia CA
It means you will be hearing yourself at the point your computer sends out your data as opposed to as you put it in. So while it technically puts you late from your hands to your ears it puts you closer in time to your bandmates by a few ms.

To know whether tou are monitoring input or your computer the simple test is - if you can hear your drums in your headphones when your interface is on but you are not running a program, then you are monitoring input. You don’t want that. You want to hear yourself after the sound has run through the program.

I typically add even more delay as I can handle about 20 ms between what my hands play and my ears hear (even though that sounds terrible) it helps keep me in time with the other players. It is of course a compromise but it works well for me.
 


Top