TOPIC: Audio interface for live playing

Audio interface for live playing 1 month 5 days ago #22078

Hi, I´m using a Mac book pro computer with Mainstage for live playing, I own an Audient ID4 interface, love the format, is portable, usb powered, and have output connection to PA, on the other side hate the dark tone i get from my guitar and bass, so i´m actually using an old apogee jam USB that i love but no output connection to PA.
Lately i also added a SD buffer in front of audio interface that i love.

I need some advice about a portable interface to carry on live setting, would like 2 instrument inputs for guitar and bass, usb or thunderbold, and output to PA.

Thanks
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Audio interface for live playing 1 month 5 days ago #22079

Hiya
Just a thought this might be helpful...
The Boss GP-10 makes an excellent interface with the added bonus of being able to add a selection of Boss effects before S-Gear in one of the USB configurations if needed, plus footswitch control. It also has guitar modelling if you happen to have a Roland ready guitar with the 13 pin cable. You don't need this however, you can plug straight in on a 1/4 jack. The only lack is 2 inputs. An A/B box perhaps?
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Last edit: 1 month 5 days ago by Jezza.
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Audio interface for live playing 1 month 4 days ago #22082

Two audio interfaces I can whole-heartedly recommend: RME Babyface, Zoom UAC-2

Both have great low-latency performance, also a good high-impedance instrument input for your guitars, and good audio quality.

The RME is one of the "gold standard" interfaces for live VST use, but on the expensive side. The Zoom UAC-2 is comparably affordable, and definitely a good price/performance compromise.

Cheers,

Torsten
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Audio interface for live playing 1 month 3 days ago #22085

Hi Torsten, Zoom UAC-2 looks great, i wish it has same preamp quality as Apogee I love. I have seen there is another model Zoom TAC-2R for a little more. Thanks.
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Audio interface for live playing 1 month 3 days ago #22090

And IK Multimedia Axe I/0 ? looks great and it seems it is created for guitar/bass playing
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Audio interface for live playing 1 month 2 days ago #22095

In all honesty, I have not used it for live playing (yet), but after trying a lot of different solutions I have settled for the Xtone Pro and it sounds really good. I route to a Bose S1 Pro but you can go directly to PA if you want to. Or use another speaker solution.

Hope it helps!
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Audio interface for live playing 1 month 1 hour ago #22108

Wurli wrote:

Hi Torsten, Zoom UAC-2 looks great, i wish it has same preamp quality as Apogee I love. I have seen there is another model Zoom TAC-2R for a little more. Thanks.

The TAC-2R is the same thing as the UAC-2, just with Thunderbird connectivity. I believe, Zoom aren't building it anymore - it doesn't show on their website as an active product. But regarding its audio specs, it should be exactly the same as the UAC-2.

Re preamp quality: I'd say this was relevant if this was about recording super-detailed condenser microphone input (jazz, classical music), but for playing guitar live through a vst amp, I'd say the audio quality of any decent interface with an input impedance of 1 megaohm or more should be good enough.

After all, we're talking about an electric guitar and an amp simulation, where the signal gets wilfully distorted (:horror:) and its frequency spectrum gets brutally cut off by the speaker simulation - the fine differences of the different audio interface preamps won't really be relevant in a live context, IMHO. Note: we're talking decent audio interfaces with a good high-Z input.

My absolute priority for live use are stability and low-latency performance - and for that, the UAC-2 and the babyface have proven themselves in a live setting for a number of years now.

Cheers,

Torsten
Last edit: 1 month 1 hour ago by ToH2002.
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Audio interface for live playing 4 weeks 1 day ago #22109

ToH2002 wrote:

Wurli wrote:

Hi Torsten, Zoom UAC-2 looks great, i wish it has same preamp quality as Apogee I love. I have seen there is another model Zoom TAC-2R for a little more. Thanks.
Re preamp quality: I'd say this was relevant if this was about recording super-detailed condenser microphone input (jazz, classical music), but for playing guitar live through a vst amp, I'd say the audio quality of any decent interface with an input impedance of 1 megaohm or more should be good enough.

Apogee instrument inputs have a character that works particularly well with electric guitars and the difference is audible. If you are accustomed to using an Apogee then you may well miss that character, I think this is what Wurli is getting at. Of course in a live situation there are a lot of other factors.

I also believe that pre-amp (and convertor) quality is important for electric guitars. Because guitar pickups are very dynamic we often end up working at lower input levels most of the time, so it is important that the convertor performs well over the entire dynamic range and that noise remains low.

That said, I think there are a lot of good products available now. In the context of this thread I'm sure that the UAC-2 performs well, Torsten has both this and a Babyface and recommends both!
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Last edit: 4 weeks 1 day ago by mike.
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Audio interface for live playing 4 weeks 1 day ago #22112

I agree with Mike about the Apogee interfaces. I use modelers since their introduction and must have tried almost every interfaces. Right now I am using an APOGEE ELEMENT 46 and from my point of view this is the best ratio quality/ price for a MAC. I even used the Output of the Apogee instead of the AXE FX 3 or HELIX when I had them because the converters were sounding better to my old ears .
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Audio interface for live playing 4 weeks 1 day ago #22115

Hi, I got better results with my Apogee Jam, than with my Audient, also got better results since i´m using a Sunday Driver preamp, but still for whatever reason the first stage gain seems weak and dull to me, if i compare with my home small transistor amp, input signal after tweaking audio interface almost to peak limit is low, get better result if i use my transistor amp line out as the input, nor totally satisfied yet, my guitar is a great clear sounding Les Paul, new 09-42 strings, great Wolftone Legend pickups and use DT 990 pro headphones, I envy people who gets nice tones from S-gear, looking for the perfect audio interface that let me tweak preamp side to get a nice guitar tone.
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Audio interface for live playing 4 weeks 1 day ago #22116

By the way, despite using Lehle SD, i also noticed better result if i use a small patch cable before SD than my 12 feet guitar cable.
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Audio interface for live playing 4 weeks 10 hours ago #22124

Wurli wrote:

By the way, despite using Lehle SD, i also noticed better result if i use a small patch cable before SD than my 12 feet guitar cable.

That's to be expected - it's cable capacitance creating a low-pass filter, thus dampening the high frequencies. Also, there is the interaction between this capacitance and the pickups creating a "tuned circuit" - this creates a slight mid boost (frequency depending on cable capacitance). That's why some guitar wireless setups actually have a "cable simulator" built in to artificially dampen the highs, because guitarists who are used to long cable runs find their guitars too bright when using wireless...

I agree with Mike on general preamp quality, especially the low-noise part - when pushing your signal through a high-gain amp sim, you'll want as little noise as possible, because it will get amplified massively...

I also use the Sunday Driver in the studio, but I go without it live (I try to reduce the complexity of my live setup down to a practical minimum). Yes, the sound is different, but I can usually adjust my live sounds so they work nicely.

Sometimes an easy fix for your input stage is to have an EQ plugin BEFORE S-Gear to shape the clean signal going into S-Gear - can get you better results than trying to use the tone controls in the individual models, especially if you use a very precise EQ like FabFilter Pro-Q or the like.

Cheers,

Torsten
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Audio interface for live playing 3 weeks 6 days ago #22130

Thanks, definitely too complex, too many variables to get a decent tone: cables, buffer, audio interface, FRFR system.... i guess not for an average musician like me, will keep my Matchless DC30 that is plug and play and sounds great anywhere and will use S-gear for home recording and emulate some tones.

Regards
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