Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Hardware > Third Party Interfaces

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-03-2016, 05:25 PM
smokeydan smokeydan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 45
Default Really portable interface?

Hi,

I've been asked by a client to find him a very small, portable interface to use with Protools (11.3) on a Macbook Air (Thunderbolt and USB)

He only needs a maximum of two mic inputs and headphone socket. Ideally there will be no extra power supply required (i.e. powered from the Thunderbolt cable)

I've been looking mostly at Thunderbolt interfaces as I believe there will be less issues with latency - (compared to USB)

The Zoom TAC-2R is small enough for his needs and will run without a separate power supply, but I've been told the sound quality isn't great - does anyone have any experience with this unit and ProTools?

The other small interface I saw online is the Resident Audio T2 - again, small, no need for a separate power supply, but I've seen some reviews of this and the T4 where users were having reliability/compatibility issues with ProTools and higher than promised latency - again, does anyone have experience with either of these models?

So the UA Apollo Twin and Focusrite Clarett 2Pre seem like better alternatives from a quality point of view, I know a couple of people who use the Apollo and are very happy - but they are a both a bit bigger than my client would ideally like, and also the need for an external power supply is an issue for him..

The Presonus Firestudio mobile (using a Thunderbolt to firewire adaptor) could be an option - does anyone have an opinion on these for use with a macbook air?

I've been more or less ruling out USB devices because the USB interfaces I've used in the past have too much latency to monitor through Protools and he wants to be able to monitor himself through plug-ins in Protools. But perhaps this is no longer a problem with USB3? Does anyone have any recommendations of a USB interface which can be used in this way with acceptable latency?

Or does anyone have another solution which they could recommend?

many thanks,

Dan
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-03-2016, 05:39 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 5,257
Default Re: Really portable interface?

Apollo Twin - portable, meets requirements, added bonus of having UAD DSP processing. Pros vs. Babyface: no breakout cable needed. Thunderbolt. Better DSP selection

RME Babyface - portable, meets requirements, added bonus of (limited, but free) DSP processing. Must use included breakout cable when using microphones. Pros vs Apollo Twin: smaller, cheaper

RME Babyface Pro - same as Babyface, except: no breakout needed, slightly larger and more expensive than Babyface (but still cheaper than Apollo Twin).

While the RME interfaces listed are USB 2.0, they are very high quality and exhibit very low latency, sometimes as low as you would expect from Thunderbolt or PCIe.
__________________
Pro Tools HD 12.4, Pro Tools "Vanilla" 12.4, Artist Transport, 2x Artist Mix
Studio Blue: RME UCX, Win7 Pro, i7 960, 16GB || Studio Green: RME Babyface, Win10, i7 7700HQ, 16GB
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-03-2016, 05:47 PM
smokeydan smokeydan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 45
Default Re: Really portable interface?

Hi Mesaone, OK, I'll look again at the RME interfaces - I know a lot of PC users who rate them, but I don't know any Mac users who use them.

Thanks for your response.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-03-2016, 05:59 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 5,257
Default Re: Really portable interface?

I'm a die-hard RME fan, so you can take my enthusiasm for their devices with a grain of salt. That said, the main selling point for the Babyface line in your case is the small size.

If you're willing to deal with the bulkier footprint of the Apollo, many people would consider it a superior device. I disagree - but mostly because I just don't want to buy into the UAD ecosystem, and I really like the routing/mixing software that comes with RME stuff.
__________________
Pro Tools HD 12.4, Pro Tools "Vanilla" 12.4, Artist Transport, 2x Artist Mix
Studio Blue: RME UCX, Win7 Pro, i7 960, 16GB || Studio Green: RME Babyface, Win10, i7 7700HQ, 16GB
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-04-2016, 09:50 AM
groundcontrol's Avatar
groundcontrol groundcontrol is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 961
Default Re: Really portable interface?

I've made a couple orchestral recordings where I used a Babyface with a MBAir as my backup system without problems.
__________________
Can you please send yourself over fiber to go spam some other forum?

Darryl Ramm
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-06-2016, 01:12 PM
BScout BScout is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,090
Default Re: Really portable interface?

USB3 increases bandwidth and power availability. It doesn't decrease latency (which isn't an issue with proper drivers and USB2 controller chips.) It's very dependent on the hardware company. That goes for Thunderbolt devices too -- they can be implemented poorly and have more latency (for instance if internally they have a bridge controller.) On 2 AD/DA converter devices, thunderbolt's features don't really come into play; companies putting out devices using it on these limited devices are just doing it for marketability.

RME Babyface Pro is fantastic. Babyface regular is discontinued and the Pro is a huge step up (DSP FX, different converters, headphone impedance/gain, etc) more than the lack of needing to use a breakout cable.

You should also look at the Apogee Duet for your needs. It does less than the Babyface Pro but fits your needs. I wouldn't bother with the ProTools specific one since you can use Core Audio drivers on the Mac.

Both will suit your needs and have better track records in support than UA Apollo, Focusrite, or Presonus. That's an important consideration if you want to be making music and not messing with getting things running all the time. You should visit the community forums for each of these products to get a feeling of the on-going complaints. I only have experience with Zoom's recorders (no audio interfaces) and never heard of Resident Audio.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-06-2016, 11:36 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 5,257
Default Re: Really portable interface?

I don't know about the converters, but the DSP is the same. Yeah they did add a second headphone jack for low impedance headphones. Preamps are newer too, but I haven't tried them so I don't know how they are.
__________________
Pro Tools HD 12.4, Pro Tools "Vanilla" 12.4, Artist Transport, 2x Artist Mix
Studio Blue: RME UCX, Win7 Pro, i7 960, 16GB || Studio Green: RME Babyface, Win10, i7 7700HQ, 16GB
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-07-2016, 06:57 AM
CME CME is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ardmore OK
Posts: 3,205
Default Really portable interface?

Don't have one, but I've always planned to buy a Sound Devices USBPre2 when I need a small travel interface. Have no idea about latency. But should be built like a tank and from the samples I've heard is super clean. It's definitely very compact also.

Now if you can manage a little more space. Like 1RU, the metric halo ULN-2 is very travel friendly IMO. I had one and two different ways to carry it. For just the essentials I had a laptop bag that fit it and my MacBook Pro easily. And when I needed more stuff a laptop backpack. It can also be powered over the FireWire bus in most situations. But never tried via thunderbolt to FireWire adapter. It could need the external psu in that situation. But can also he powered by a 12v battery. Just my .02.
__________________
2009 Mac Pro - Dual X5650 Xeon 6-core 2.66Ghz procs, 48GB of Ram, SATA 3 and USB 3.0 PCIe cards. R9 280X video card. macOS Sierra. Harrison Mixbus 32C, Studio One 3, Reaper, and pro tools 12 when I have to.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-07-2016, 02:04 PM
smokeydan smokeydan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 45
Default Re: Really portable interface?

Thank you all for your responses! The Babyface Pro is looking like the best bet based on various opinions offered -

I found some old bench test comparisons from 3 or 4 years ago which suggested the round trip latency (for the olde Babyface) was more or less on a par with the firewire MBox 3 Pro - so, good enough for my client's needs -

have any of you come across more recent latency comparisons?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-08-2016, 04:23 AM
BScout BScout is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,090
Default Re: Really portable interface?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CME View Post
Don't have one, but I've always planned to buy a Sound Devices USBPre2 when I need a small travel interface. Have no idea about latency. But should be built like a tank and from the samples I've heard is super clean. It's definitely very compact also.
Built like a tank and good mic pre but much noiser than the usual (higher up) Sound Devices equipment. Much, much noiser. Where the introduction of this noise is coming from is of question but Sound Devices haven't improved the product though the price has gone up quite a bit since launch.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Portable USB interface advice needed Georgerob FireWire and USB Audio Interfaces (Win) 3 01-27-2014 10:04 AM
ProKeys Sono 88 - 88-Key Portable Digital Piano with USB Audio Interface & PRO TOOLS sweetambition Pro Tools M-Powered (Win) 4 02-03-2011 12:46 PM
Most Portable Set-Up NoiseRoom 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 4 09-11-2007 11:44 AM
need HELP getting portable. regis Pro Tools TDM Systems (Mac) 4 06-09-2004 11:43 PM
can i run 001 on a portable mac? linelites 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 22 04-01-2001 09:51 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:23 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com