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  #1  
Old 11-05-2016, 07:28 PM
Tony Sutorius Tony Sutorius is offline
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Default Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

Gidday all,

In frustration I'm ditching my not-actually-Windows10-compatible-despite-what-Avid-claims MX03, and want to replace it with a simple but really stable 3rd party ASIO interface with good prospects for a long and boring life working with Protools 12.6+ and occassionally as a punch-in audio interface for Media Composer.

In particular, I want a manufacturer who provides very solid Windows 10 drivers, and who have an excellent track record for not abandoning driver support for their existing users.

Hardware wise all I need is USB connection, stereo line outputs, and one phantom-powered XLR input for voiceover work.

Current candidates include Presonus Audiobox 22VSL, Focusrite Scarlett Solo and Steinberg UR12.

Any strong recommendations or obvious choices, or conversely UNrecommendations?

Thanks guys, really appreciate it!

Tony

Last edited by Tony Sutorius; 11-05-2016 at 08:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2016, 03:08 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

First of all I would recommend to not get one of those super low end interfaces for the use with PT12. Even if you might not need lots of fancy stuff, even if you might not record more than 1 mic assumingly in the nearer future these super low end boxes are not really suitable for Pro Tools at the end of the day.
Itīs the overall quality, the connection types, just the whole technical thing etc. Pro Tools simply was not made to work well with this stuff.
If you want to keep it really low budget start with the $150-200.- interfaces at least. Otherwise you wonīt get out of your frustration in the long run probably.

Next thing is that there will be quite a big difference as for the brands if running the interface on Windows or Mac. If using a Mac in this below $500.- price range I always use to recommend Focusrite interfaces for the one simple reason...they got the best sound quality of all the stuff up to 500 by far. And they are working well being stable and reliable on macOS systems most of the time.
Unlike with Windows systems unfortunately. As far as I remember these low budget Focusrite gear used to work ok with Windows 7 and prior versions of WinOS but there happened serious driver issues with all the newer versions of Windows and Iīm not sure if they have gained control of it so far.
Means, if you are on Windows I rather would stay away from the low priced Focusrite stuff at the moment.

The by far best Windows driver as for quality, stability and support you definitely will find at RME audio interfaces. There ainīt anything better out there in this particular department. Their Windows driver quality and support are almost legend. The only problem with these nice boxes...they are not cheap at all.
So you would want the best drivers for the use with Pro Tools on a Windows system? This would be a great sounding, very current even portable option. And the most affordable one from RME.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BabyfacePro
http://www.sweetwater.com/c682--RME--Audio_Interfaces

Anyway. Iīm aware of that you were not asking for an interface in that price range yet I wanted to show you the best option for your needs theoretically.
Another brand who always used to make reliable stuff for Windows audio systems in the lower price range have been Steinberg. The reason for that just may be that their DAW Cubase always has been connected more to Windows systems than to Macs. Now Cubase does work well with Macs too but Steinberg used to start it all on Windows once and they are still good with Windows related stuff.
So my personal recommendation (if you will not consider investing more for a RME unit) will be one of those little Steinberg boxes but not the UR12 which is the super low end version. Go for the UR22mkII at least
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UR22MKII
or even the UR242
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UR242
which are both still below $200.- ($149.- and $199.-) and they both got balanced outputs already and offer better overall quality finally.
Steinberg offers Windows 10 compatible drivers yet as you might see there (just scroll down to find your specific model).
http://www.steinberg.net/en/products...downloads.html
Both got good reviews and even seem to be sounding decently for the price.

Presonus use to make good quality stuff as well in general but I found it not to be the best sounding units compared to others. Not that bad of course but Focusrite stuff in the same price range used to sound a lot better, a lot more "expensive" in a way. So I have read many reviews about the Steinberg boxes which said them to be pretty good sounding too.

To sum it up.
You may consider investing more in a RME Babyface Pro for example which would be professionally sounding, of latest technology and future proof as for drivers and stuff. Definitely worth the money for Windows users who want pro audio quality and the best drivers (incl. support) for Windows on the market.
If on the other hand even the Babyface Pro (cause itīs RMEīs most affordable interface) will be way too much money, go for one of the Steinberg units but do yourself a favor and do not go for just the UR12 but rather the UR22Mk2 or the UR242. You know, itīs not only the amount of preamps or the connection options which make the difference finally. It is worth it.

Hope you can find the right one for your needs and you will have more fun with it than you obviously had with the MBx lately.
The best of success to you.

Cheers.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2016, 09:21 AM
8dB.co.uk 8dB.co.uk is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

RME for Windows every time. They've developed their own USB drivers. My 802 is rock solid. Not cheap but if you want an ultra reliable work horse RME is your way forward.

Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2016, 09:20 PM
Tony Sutorius Tony Sutorius is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

Thank you both for your replies! Especially you VRW, that extensive reply was absolutely outstanding and extraordinarily pro-social of you.

I'm clear on the benefits of RME, though have decided for now to go with Steinberg. Where I live (New Zealand) the price difference is quite considerable, but actually the bigger consideration for me is reducing complexity in the video edit suite... that pretty lights-flashing Babyface would just invite finger-poking around here, which would no doubt lead to drama and late-night callouts for me!

I'm taking your advice VRW and have gone for the not-quite-bottom-rung UR22mkII.

Thanks to Brexit's unseemly effect on the pound this is great value from Amazon UK at the moment, so I have bought it there.

Thanks again to you both, outstanding. I hope others can benefit from your advice in the future.

Tony
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2016, 06:56 AM
scontrer scontrer is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

I'm also experiencing errors (DAE, Buffer,...) with PT 10 on Windows 7 hence I'm considering to replace my MBox 2.

Based on your advises, my shortlist is RME Babyface Pro and Steinberg UR242.
I have seen a 2nd-hand RME Babyface for 300 USD hence I was about to buy it till I noticed that in fact it is NOT the Babyface pro, but the previous previous version (the white Babyface, with no pro)
Would this "old" babyface contribute to solve the PT errors (mainly thanks to the RME drive which is known to be very stable)?
I guess the main difference between the old and the babyface is mainly related to pre-amp quality (in most cases at home, I don't record except guitars for demos).
Or would the Steinberg UR242 be a better trade-off between price, quality and stability?
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2016, 08:34 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

Quote:
Originally Posted by scontrer View Post
I'm also experiencing errors (DAE, Buffer,...) with PT 10 on Windows 7 hence I'm considering to replace my MBox 2.

Based on your advises, my shortlist is RME Babyface Pro and Steinberg UR242.
I have seen a 2nd-hand RME Babyface for 300 USD hence I was about to buy it till I noticed that in fact it is NOT the Babyface pro, but the previous previous version (the white Babyface, with no pro)
Would this "old" babyface contribute to solve the PT errors (mainly thanks to the RME drive which is known to be very stable)?
I guess the main difference between the old and the babyface is mainly related to pre-amp quality (in most cases at home, I don't record except guitars for demos).
Or would the Steinberg UR242 be a better trade-off between price, quality and stability?
If you consider upgrading in the future to Windows 10/Pro Tools 12 etc. go for the Steinberg UR242 only. These are working even better on Windows 10
than on Windows 7 obviously (according to many reviews out there) and they are the by far more current product.
And, no, the Babyface Pro ainīt just upgraded mic pres. Itīs a completely new piece of gear technical-wise. Check it out.
http://babyface.rme-audio.de
If you could afford the Babyface Pro you might go for it! This is a really good new audio interface which you would have for years probably.

Anyway if you do not consider upgrading anytime in the future but stay with W7 and PT10, maybe rather go for the older Babyface.
https://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/babyface.php
It is out of production already but RME still delivers drivers for it and it may suit even better to W7 and PT10 technical-wise than the Steinberg UR242.

Again, if you could afford the new Babyface Pro this would be the best option probably. No matter if you are upgrading your OS and DAW in the future or not.

The best of success to you!
Cheers.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2016, 09:10 AM
scontrer scontrer is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

Many thanks for your feedback VRW, very helpful.

I will try to save for the Babyface Pro since it sounds that its quality justify the additional expense compared to the Steinberg :)
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2016, 01:04 AM
scontrer scontrer is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

I started to check the RME offering, and they have plenty of very interesting products :)

For about twice the price of the Babyface Pro, it is possible to get 6 times more inputs (Fireface 802, or UFX) which would enable to record my drummer (and to replace my 002R).
Are the Line inputs closely as good as the Preamp inputs?
Are the extra 200 USD of the UFX (compared to the 802) worth the expense?
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2016, 01:40 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

Quote:
Originally Posted by scontrer View Post
I started to check the RME offering, and they have plenty of very interesting products :)

For about twice the price of the Babyface Pro, it is possible to get 6 times more inputs (Fireface 802, or UFX) which would enable to record my drummer (and to replace my 002R).
Are the Line inputs closely as good as the Preamp inputs?
Are the extra 200 USD of the UFX (compared to the 802) worth the expense?
The Fireface 802 is the more current product but the UFX was the next step higher once as for the class. They say the converters of the 802 to be the latest generation which might be the most
important thing to know.
The 802 has got less features than UFX and probably the pres are a bit better at the UFX. Nevertheless the FF802 seems to be a very good piece of gear and way more current than the UFX.
You may find this discussion interesting.
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=19555

As for the extra 200 for the UFX have a look at this.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/manufacturer/RME
Sweetwater offer the UFX for a reduced price which will be even 200 less than the 802. This looks pretty interesting. Just keep in mind that the 802 theoretically is the more current product but
the UFX has been RMEīs upper class interface for a long time. So it canīt be bad. Especially if you stay on W7 and PT10 the UFX might be a great option for you and multiple steps up from your
Mbox. This is a serious piece of gear indeed. If however you consider upgrading to the latest version of OS and Pro Tools later the FF802 will be worth checking out as well.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FirefaceUFX
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Fireface802
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2016, 01:59 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Most stable simple interface under Windows 10

Just another option I wanted to show to you.

If you get the Babyface Pro and the brand new Focusrite Clarett OctoPre you get enough inputs to track live drums, 12 very good and very current mic pres
(2 on the Babyface Pro, 8 on the OctoPre) for much less money.
The Babyface Pro will be $750.-, the Focusrite Clarett OctoPre will be $700.- which will be $1450.- all together.
And you will have kinda two systems with that solution as you can use the Babyface Pro on the go without the OctoPre and if you need more inputs you go to
connect the OctoPre via ADAT to the Babyface Pro and then have 12 mic pres/inputs available.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BabyfacePro
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ClarettOcto

Just as another 3rd option.

Wishing you the best of success for whichever solution you will go finally.
Cheers.
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