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USB audio interface for live performance
Old 8th March 2014
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
USB audio interface for live performance

I am looking to set up a live performance rig with my MacBook (retina, Mavericks).

I need a usb interface that has 2 ins and multiple outs and midi I/o.

I want to run my vocal microphone into one channel/input in Ableton Live and my electric bass into channel 2. I need the vocals (being processed live) and backing tracks in ableton to go to the main outs to the PA system via main outputs in the interface. I then need to process the electric bass live simultaneously and have it routed to a separate output that runs to my bass amp without it being monitored through the PA (main outputs)

I cannot imagine that latency would be a horrible problem.
I also do not need some separate audio interface control software to be running along side of ableton, so I need the interface to be class compliant.
First of all, is all this possible?
Secondly, any suggestions for a usb interface where I can do all this?

Thank for any input,
Old 8th March 2014
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
First of all, yes it is entirely possible. But you may run into latency problems depending on the buffer size you use. But based on experience, a low buffer size with some "not-so-heavy" processing plugins, it should generally be fine, but you just need to take note of the potential dropouts with a low buffer size.

For more "complex" routing, I recommend using audio interfaces with a built in digital mixer.
Some recommendations are the Focusrite interfaces with their "Mixcontrol" Mixer, and also the more expensive RME "Totalmix" Mixer.
You are then able to route your audio to the places you want by "mixing" it within the software mixer.

You can take a look at this:
Scarlett 6i6 | Focusrite

It has 6 in and 6 outs, with MIDI I/O as well. I think this is the only "cheapest" model they have that has the Scarlett MixControl feature.
This model has 2 pre-amps with 48v phantom power, so it will work if you are using a condensor mic for your vocals, and it has(switchable) instrument level inputs so plugging in your electric bass directly into the interface would be no problem.

Main outs of the interface (1 and 2) can go to the PA directly, while the bass can come out of another output (3 for eg.).
But do take note that these are line outs, so you might run into potential issues when plugging the line output(low impedance) into a bass amp input, as most if not all amp inputs are generally expecting a high impedance instrument level signal.

Do let me know if you need help proposing solutions as I have a few in mind already =)
Old 10th February 2018
Here for the gear
Sorry about this being 4 years late, but how did it work out in the end?! My band's mixer has recently packed up, so I've just tested my interface (Presonus Firestudio Project) through a PA system while using some simple processing in Garageband. Sounded great! I'm sure as long as the mic preamps are OK quality it should work fine?
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