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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Alesis Andromeda
DOES A GOOD INTERFACE MAKE A DIFFERENCE ?
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MATLESTAR



Joined: Nov 24, 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:22 am    Post subject: DOES A GOOD INTERFACE MAKE A DIFFERENCE ?
Subject description: Audio files in logic are a poor comparison to the A6 played "live" through monitors
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Now i have my A6 firing on all cylinders (thanks sunny,last post) when i record in my synth parts they sound flat and lacklustre, nothing like what i hear through my monitors when logic is just reading the midi notes.

All the detail is lost so im not getting the best out of my A6

with my MAC Im using a focusrite saffire 6which admittedly only cost about £150. Im pretty sure the pre amps are quite cool as i get a good recorded sound out of my guitar and before i actually bounce it into logic the A6 sounds great on my Audio engineering monitors ( about £800 a pair)

Im a little unsure of the science but im thinking its the convertors??

Im too the point where i dont want to record anything else as ive already released stuff recorded thru the saffire 6 and now regret it, or maybe its another issue??

Im looking at an Apogee Ensemble but want to make sure it will solve my issue before i spend the £££££'s!

Any help greatly appreciated!
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The A6 has TRS balanced out, and I´m sure the Focusrite has balanced line inputs as well. The line signal should be good.

How are your recording levels?

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You like the sound of the A6 off the speakers? I can understand why. And certainly there will be a huge difference when you compare the A6 off a PA or any decent speakers and the line signal. That is why it makes perfect sense to record synths off speakers with mics. The way you choose to record your source depends on what you want to capture. Sometimes you want the line signal and sometimes you don´t.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: DOES A GOOD INTERFACE MAKE A DIFFERENCE ?
Subject description: Audio files in logic are a poor comparison to the A6 played "live" through monitors
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MATLESTAR wrote:
Im looking at an Apogee Ensemble but want to make sure it will solve my issue before i spend the £££££'s!


The Apogee is OK, but so is the Focusrite. You should be able to get good results with what you already have.

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sunny pedaal



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

go for rme, best value for the money. a ff400 will do.
record at least at 24bit !
48khz should be oke 96 khz even better.
you'll still hear some difference, but it's very oke that way.
that's how i do it
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MATLESTAR



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for responses

Re micing up the speakers: isnt there an easier way. Id like an interface (if thats the problem) where i can easily and quickly record ideas into logic without losing quality ,surely i can do this with the line signal?? dont really wanna be having to mic up the speakers everytime, also i only have 1 mic so it would all be in mono

why is it when its only when i record/bounce into logic that im losing the quality? do you think it is to do with convertors??

I know a friend of mine records on to DAT player then feeds that into logic. Is that to do with better convertors analogue to digital???

Cheers
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I´m also one one the RME heads here. A reliable brand and brilliant products. These are seriously pro units, so the "wet-t shirt contest"-factor is low. ..Probably not an issue.

Record at 24 bit. Your sample rate is usually decided by the project itself. You will ordinarily not want to hit the files later with SRC - sample rate conversion- so for CD and music for iTunes Music Store etc. go for 44.1khz, or anything dividable by 2.. like 88.2khz etc. If the project calls for something else.. then.. etc.

Keep in mind that your old analog 0 dbvu is in digital recording usually set around -16dbfs to -18dbfs. That means your peaks should be around this level. There is no point in recording anything louder than this.. actually it is a bad idea.


In order to figure out if the interface is bad, try to record analog audio from a CD deck, a tape deck or a tuner. Your interface should be fairly transparent. If the gear is healthy there should not be any colouring of the recording as compared to the source plugged right into your monitoring amp and speakers.

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CoolColJ



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm using a Saffire Pro 24 DSP, and the difference bewteen the original and recorded is not that great to be honest. Minimoogs, Code 8, Jupiter 8, they record well through it.
Something must be up on your end
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sunny pedaal



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: DOES A GOOD INTERFACE MAKE A DIFFERENCE ?
Subject description: Audio files in logic are a poor comparison to the A6 played "live" through monitors
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MATLESTAR wrote:
nothing like what i hear through my monitors when logic is just reading the midi notes.


when everything else is the same , it must be either the converters or maybe something you could set better in logic .( you have the recording on 24 bit / 44.1 or 48khz at least ? )
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

.....? When Logic is reading the midi notes???

Does that mean that the actual audio source for comparison is one of the synths in Logic and not the external source??

scratch

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sunny pedaal



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i think he means the difference between the a6 signal ( when played by logics midi ) and the recorded a6 signal ( recorded as wav in logic )
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You are probably right. Very Happy
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MATLESTAR



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi guys, thanks for the replys..

Yes im talking about the recorded audio file in logic compared to the sound that comes out of the A6 when its being played thru midi off logic.

With a little experementation im getting better results by not using the "instrument" setting on the pre amp which colours the sound a bit and also keeping the recorded level quite low so it peaks into the orange rather than the red but its still far from perfect!
I still find that when im auditioning the sound i.e before bouncing, the sound sounds great and has its own space without much volume and then when i bounce it it sounds a bit lifeless and doesnt sit in the mix as well.

Is this just down to analogue being converted to digital and its never gonna sound as good once its in the digital realm???

Has anyone got any other recording tips?

Thanks Sunny yes im recording in 24 bit and 44100

CoolcolJ- maybe because the interface your using is the higher end version of the saffire 6 thats why your getting better results?? which brings me back to the question " does the interface make a difference??"

elektro- thanks for help, it is the external source im trying to record ( Andromeda A6) im done with the soft synths!!
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sunny pedaal



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i guess you are so good listening that you'll hear the difference between analogue and digitized analog.
and yes some interfaces are better then others. as said for me the rme does the job, although i als still hear some difference, but it's good to live with
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CoolColJ



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Possibly the Saffire Pro 24 DSP might have a better analog section and lower jitter, but I figure they used the same chips
And the 24 is still very low cost...

Try recording at -12db, gives the analog stages better headroom. Not an issue at 24 bit and normalise up if needed

If you feel it's the ADCs then you always get a Mytek 192.
Or maybe it's the DAC? or both.
But the analog stages and jitter does have an effect, but fairly subtle in the scheme of things.

The summing in Logic might just be crappy
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sunny pedaal



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

don't think summing is the subject. logic is quiet oke on that, boggest difference i guess is the interface.
and afcourse the topicstarter who seems to hear pretty well.
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Mefistophelees



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Actually you're listening to 2 interfaces:

1 A6 -> Mac

2 Mac -> Speakers


Your A6 might be recorded perfectly but how it sounds depends on how you get the sound out of the Mac.

Interfaces matter - both of them.

How are you getting the sound from the Mac?

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sunny pedaal



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

with a a focusrite saffire 6 of 150pounds ?
i guess a 800 pound ( adviceprice ) rme , or motu , or secondhand one, might improve the sound a lot.
at least i found after trying some interfaces on and off.
but anyhow, direct analog to analog , will always sound different.
( welcome to the world of analogpurisme .... and beware of the cable-fetishism )

Last edited by sunny pedaal on Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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soundwave106



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sunny pedaal wrote:
with a a focusrite saffire 6 of 150pounds ?
i guess a 800 pound ( adviceprice ) rme , or motu , or secondhand one, might improve the sound a lot.


Probably by a little bit. Looking at the Focusrite model he has, it looks like (at first?) that there are only two inputs. They are not dedicated line level inputs, like several in my RME Fireface 800; I've always found that preamps add "something" to the signal in most cases. It would be better to get something with dedicated line signals.

I'm not convinced that this is the problem though, since it sounds pretty drastic. I'm not sure what is meant by "bouncing" here, but I assume that this is recording the WAV as the MIDI plays back. I would definitely check settings to see if something is up, but in particular I would make sure that volume differences isn't the "real issue" (eg if you are recording quieter than you are playing, psychologically you will prefer what you played louder even though they are the exact same thing.)
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MATLESTAR



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Soundwave- Yes bouncing i mean creating a wav from the midi off logic and my A6 synth as the external source.

Its not a volume difference issue its losing a lot of detail and "sparkle" if that makes sense!!
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Shreddie



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MATLESTAR wrote:
which brings me back to the question " does the interface make a difference??

It can, yes, especially when comparing the built in line inputs on your computer to a proper interface... But to be honest, even budget interfaces these days are so good in comparison to expensive interfaces of just a few years back that it really shouldn't be an issue.

Also, I'm not surprised that not using the 'instrument' setting has made an improvement... That's designed for low level guitar signals, not line level signals such as those from the Andromeda.
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soundwave106



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MATLESTAR wrote:
Hi Soundwave- Yes bouncing i mean creating a wav from the midi off logic and my A6 synth as the external source.
Its not a volume difference issue its losing a lot of detail and "sparkle" if that makes sense!!


What's the rest of your signal chain? Are you plugging the A6 directly into the Focusrite or is there a mixer or FX loop in between?

How are you playing back, directly through the Focusrite? Are you using the RCAs or the line level?

What drivers are you using? (ASIO is usually preferred.)

Having said that, a good interface *can* make a difference. I just have a tough time believing it will really help you, however, I could be wrong here... some of them do indeed do things like have a slightly "less sparkly" treble response. I've just never heard that complaint about this particular product before, and I've always thought the difference in preamps was *subtle*, not *huge*.
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MATLESTAR



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

iYes the A6 is going straight out of the main outputs into the focusrite ,theres nothing else in the chain and im playing back thru the focusrite.
I assume the drivers are ASIO which is standard in logic??

What do you mean by recording at -12db is that in logic?

Thanks for the advice!
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soundwave106



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MATLESTAR wrote:
I assume the drivers are ASIO which is standard in logic??


No, they aren't and don't mind that, because Logic is a Mac only product. *slaps head* ASIO drivers are a Windows thing.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

From a previous post:

elektro80 wrote:
Keep in mind that your old analog 0 dbvu is in digital recording usually set around -16dbfs to -18dbfs. That means your peaks should be around this level. There is no point in recording anything louder than this.. actually it is a bad idea.


In order to figure out if the interface is bad, try to record analog audio from a CD deck, a tape deck or a tuner. Your interface should be fairly transparent. If the gear is healthy there should not be any colouring of the recording as compared to the source plugged right into your monitoring amp and speakers.

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