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Interface for composition
Old 30th January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Interface for composition

Hey all!

So, I'm starting over with all my equipment, interface, monitors, PC, everything.

And I've been scouring the forums here and there for equipment recommendations but haven't quite found exactly what I'm looking for.

Essentially, I am a starting composer using Sibelius/Sample Libraries. I normally use a Windows laptop, and will be building a composition PC in the near future. Right now I am looking to get an interface with monitors to increase the quality of the audio and stop using Windows audio. I will also be doing some recording of instruments here and there, sometimes one or two, other times a 5-piece band setting.. I'd prefer a small mobile interface so I can take it with my laptop, and also use it with my desktop as well. I will also need monitors that will not be mobile.

And lastly, I would prefer to keep it under 500 USD. I have some leeway with that amount but it would have to be for something well worth the extra expenditure. Any and all help is appreciated, thank you!
Old 30th January 2013
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Justin Case's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
If you're going to have many MIDI tracks and sample libraries going on, you'll need an interface with stable drivers and low latency. I'd consider getting Komplete Audio 6, a really good USB interface from Native Instruments (clean, detailed sound and low-latency stable drivers). Nothing (in terms of sound quality and drivers) touches it until RME Babyface, which costs 3 times more than Komplete Audio 6.

If you want more inputs/outputs, take a look at Focusrite and PreSonus interfaces.

You might also want to take a look at this:

Old 30th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
spiderman's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I have a Komplete Audio 6 and a RME 9632 (same card as the new HDSPe AIO). For a desktop and studio installation, RME all the way. The KA6 is a great portable IO but it doens't have the sound quality or stability of the RME. It's miles better than some of the other economy competition but can't hang with the PCIe card.

So... for your price point, I'd say RME AIO. You can expand it with an external converter or RME expansion cards. The drivers and latency levels are ridiculously good.
Old 30th January 2013
  #4
Here for the gear
 
Sergio Bernal's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hello Tenshinjitsu.
IΒ΄m also an amateur on music production, 6 month ago I was looking for the same as you, in my case, I decided to start with a pair of Genelec Studio Monitors (6010) And the relationship between the price and the te quality are pretty good. And related to the audio interface... there are lots of models which are very small and usefull, the only thing I can recommend you is that if your laptop have firewire conection... Try to buy a firewire interface. Greetings.
Old 30th January 2013
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Wow, these posts were all very helpful. I am currently looking at the NI Audio 6 since it's a bit more in price range. A USB interface at that price point looks wonderful. I've tried looking for similar USB around the 250 USD mark but it doesn't seem like there is much better in terms of competition.

I'll have to consider the RME card once I build my music PC. For now, a USB interface will work for my laptop needs until I can dedicate to the card more .

As for monitors, my old monitors were M-Audio Bx5as and those sounded pretty nice for my things. The genelecs seem to have mixed reviews. I know a lot of people also like the KRKs as they seem to be very popular among home recording engineers. Any opinions on monitors?
Old 31st January 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
spiderman's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I'm really happy with my Dynaudio BM5a monitors. I've mixed several films, film scores, and lots of production music with those. It always sounds good in the theater and on TV.

Probably more important than your monitors is the acoustics of you listening environment. I'd plan to spend some money on absorption panels and bass traps.
Old 31st January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Justin Case's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshinjitsu ➑️
Wow, these posts were all very helpful. I am currently looking at the NI Audio 6 since it's a bit more in price range. A USB interface at that price point looks wonderful. I've tried looking for similar USB around the 250 USD mark but it doesn't seem like there is much better in terms of competition.

I'll have to consider the RME card once I build my music PC. For now, a USB interface will work for my laptop needs until I can dedicate to the card more .

As for monitors, my old monitors were M-Audio Bx5as and those sounded pretty nice for my things. The genelecs seem to have mixed reviews. I know a lot of people also like the KRKs as they seem to be very popular among home recording engineers. Any opinions on monitors?
You can't go wrong with KA6. It sounds great, it's built like a tank and the price is right. I was working with ADAM and Genelec monitors before I settled down with Yamaha HS50m. Since I do a lot of TV work, translation is the most important thing to me. And what sounds good on these, really sounds good on every other speaker.
Old 31st January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Didn't realise the Focusrite scored such a low latency rating.

I use a Motu Microbook, very simple, cheap and good drivers IMO. Feels sturdy as well.
Old 31st January 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
^^ Same, I've got the saffire 24 but havent had a problem yet...!
Old 2nd February 2013
  #10
Gear Head
 
Antibalas HiFi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I use an Apogee Duet, which I dig, but I've been eying up RME cards for awhile just for the extra low latency. That said, I imagine that Apogee's drivers perform fairly well considering their one-of-a-kind relationship with Apple, and that they stopped supporting Windows years ago.
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