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  #1  
Old 01-02-2022, 02:25 PM
John9281 John9281 is offline
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Default Which Audio Interface to Purchase? - I Specify My Goals

*** Software ***
Pro Tools, Version 2021.12.0 Trial
Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, OS build 19043.1415
***************

Goal: While running Pro Tools, I also need to listen on a browser to LinkedIn Learning class videos teaching Pro Tools.

This would require that I could separate the audio output from the Pro Tools going to say a headset while the LinkedIn Learning class audio output going to say my motherboard Realtek audio output to a speaker.

The motherboard Realtek audio output does not appear to have an ASIO driver so maybe using the Realtek built-in output audio is not possible. I notice that some Scarlett (Gen 3) models have two headphone jacks.
Could one Scarlett headphone jack go to a headset while another headphone jack go to my external speakers?

It is also not clear if I have the Focusrite Control whether I could also run Voicemeeter Banana?

It seems like both the Focusrite Control and Voicemeeter Banana must be set as the default audio device to work. But since you can only have one default audio device, it is an exclusive-or situation so you cannot have both running at the same time?

For my situation, please let me know if there is a better solution I should consider than the Scarlett.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Old 01-02-2022, 09:38 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Which Audio Interface to Purchase? - I Specify My Goals

A reply, bit also a bump so other folks might see this. I do want to make sure you are really asking the right questions here to select an interface... because so far you don't give folks seeing this much to go on.

You've currently got a Roland UA-25EX and having driver problems and are looking for an interface with better ASIO driver support... but something similar in capabilities to the UA-25EX? Is two built in mic preamps enough? How many DI inputs needed for guitars/bass etc.

I think the UA-25EX has S/PDIF on TOSLINK out and in, do you need that or other S/PDIF or ADAT digital IO capability?

It is connecting to a Windows computer that has what connectivity? USB 2? USB 3.1 Gen 2? USB 4? Thunderbolt 2? Tell us *exactly* what computer connectivity you have. Or tell us exactly what make/model of computer or motherboard.

Do you want dedicated headphone outputs (e.g. separately addressable from the main outputs)... esp. nice if you need to give performers/talent their own headphone monitoring mix.

You can also tell us what you are doing with this... like I want to record a acoustic guitar and vocals at the same time, or record vocals and an electric guitar cab at the same time, etc. Any clue can help.

Does the interface need to be portable/transportable?

Prefer bus powered or is AC power OK?

Some idea of your budget would help.

---

You really should not be using a headphone output to drive line level inputs. Look for an interface with additional line level outputs and use those if you want to drive something that needs a line level input like monitors. And any Scarlett interface from a 4i4 on up has those extra line outputs.

But... you are likely making all this harder by combining Windows and other app audio with your Pro Tools system. And you've had several problems recently just getting ASIO sound to work at all. So I'd really suggest trying to get stuff working separately.

I'm not a Voicemeeter Banana user, but if you *need* what it can do then great, but I would consider entirely separate systems audio for systems sounds and general apps and just run that through a reasonably priced (edit: didn't mean to say "expensive") pair of monitors. KISS. That may be enough for listening to your training videos. And Voicemeeter Banana being on your system now *might* be helping cause some of the ASIO driver-in-use problems... as I think you are also thinking/debugging.

And one reason I don't use anything like Voicemeeter Banana on Windows is well I really use a Mac. But I also use RME interfaces with their nice loopback support built into TotalMix FX (the RME equivalent to Focusrite Control)... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpt7LczeAvU. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-Zeruz-9Zk. And IIRC that works on Windows, including from Windows Audio and concurrently a DAW using the ASIO driver. And in terms of driver quality RME is up there with the best, if not the best, anal-retentive Germans with a large in-house software team, but RME interfaces are in a price band above interfaces like the entry level Focusrite Scarletts. Motu also makes nice interfaces. Presonus is another vendor of nice low-end interfaces and above.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 01-03-2022 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 01-03-2022, 05:29 AM
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JoelG JoelG is offline
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Default Re: Which Audio Interface to Purchase? - I Specify My Goals

Generally you don't want Windows or other applications using your audio interface at all -it will cause more problems than it is worth.

That said, I think you have two options:

1: Look for an audio interface that is multi client (I don't know what ones are, and haven't done this personally)

2: (What I've done previously) use an output from your audio interface, send it to an input on your computer sound card.

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Old 01-03-2022, 01:49 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Which Audio Interface to Purchase? - I Specify My Goals

Hmmm, I know of no interface that solves all your needs, but there are ways to reach your goal, and here is one to consider:
Buy any modest interface that suits your recording needs(this will allow you to run Pro Tools). The Scarlett is a good option. For listening to, and taking to the learning class, use a USB mic(for taking) and the on-board sound card(for listening). So you can hear everything at once, take the on-board audio output, and your interface output and patch both to a small mixer(think Alto, Behringer, Alesis, etc) and use either headphones, or powered studio monitors. All the mixer needs are 2 stereo line inputs, so you only need to spend around $50 Doing it this way keeps Pro Tools separated from class audio(which seems a good thing to me).
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Old 01-04-2022, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Which Audio Interface to Purchase? - I Specify My Goals

You should be able to do what you need with just about any interface.
When you listen to your classes in the browser, just have your Windows sound device set to Realtek stereo out, which would use the Windows WDM driver. You can just connect a set of speakers to the main out on the back of your computer.

This frees up your ASIO audio device for exclusive use by Pro Tools. You could then listen to the output of PT through headphones or by connecting another set of speakers to the output.

I guess first you need to answer some of Darryl’s questions so we understand exactly what you need, but this should be possible.
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