Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface (Resolved got ZOOM UAC-8) !

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dante
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Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface (Resolved got ZOOM UAC-8) !

Post by dante » Tue May 21, 2019 1:01 pm

Rack Mount, with MIDI - preferably valve. I know ART have Valve USB mic pre's - but not rack mount ? Theres a ZOOM one thats rack mount and USB3 and has MIDI I/O but its not valve.

This is for the times when my XITE-1D is down (like now due to Reason issue). I need a rack IO to fall back on and since I already have USB3 ports installed on a seperate PCIe card I thought that would be best for bandwidth at 96Khz.

If its valve, then I can make my Behringer Ultragain Pro redundant and free up 2U.
Last edited by dante on Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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spacef
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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by spacef » Wed May 22, 2019 6:14 am

usb3 was not made for audio but for storage. It is not compatible with most USB 2 audio cards (as most USB 3 owner may have realized when they tried to plug their audio card to a usb 3 plug).

Nowadays there are a few sound cards using USB 3 (but not so much.... ) . I would recommend to go to the product forum and see what people are saying. Not sure you are getting anything better than with USB 2 .

Let us know if you find out that it has become good for audio :-)

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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by dante » Wed May 22, 2019 1:06 pm

From Sweetwater the front runner is - https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -interface

Out of the following 3 - the Focusrite is only USB2 and the Presonus has no MIDI but the Zoom has MIDI and is USB3 - from what Ive read - USB3 is a magnitude of order higher exchange rate than Firewire - which is definitely used for audio. In the context of bandwidth being bandwidth - whats the difference between audio, video or any other kind of data ?
ZOOM-UAC-8.jpg
Zoom UAC8
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Presonus Studio 192.jpg
Presonus Studio 192
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Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre.jpg
Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre
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valis
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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by valis » Wed May 22, 2019 2:08 pm

USB2 has plenty of bandwidth for Audio, more than you would likely ever need.

In the past, the issues with USB were related to the fact that it's a PIO mode of moving data (programmatic I/O, ie entirely software layer and cpu driven, with no buffers in hardware and entirely dependant on the interrupts being able to be served in time). However some years back Intel & AMD implementations for *native chipsets* improved to the point where RME declared they were able to run with smaller (software) memory "safety" buffers than even their PCIe cards, and so their lowest latencies were from then on with the USB solutions they offer.

This does NOT mean all USB implementations are the same, either in the chipset in the soundcard (made by 3rd parties and adopted by soundcard vendor for their use) or in the motherboard/computer side of the implementation (for 3rd party chipsets that give extra USB channels beyond what the cpu's chipset provides).

Intel & AMD USB3 implementation brought in compability issues with many audio cards, though this was because the native implemenations were more STRICT than the 3rd party (addon) chipsets that came out first, and audio cards had to be adjusted accordingly with their implementation. Now it's rare to find a USB2 based audio card that does not play well with native and 3rd party onboard USB3/3.1 controllers. But as always, do your homework.

Finally, it's NOT necessary to have a USB3 implementation on your soundcard, as long as the information in the previous paragraph is accounted for.

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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by yayajohn » Wed May 22, 2019 3:43 pm

Looks like the Focusrite is a USB-C

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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by dante » Wed May 22, 2019 6:57 pm

I think its gonna be the Zoom. Gets a 5 star rating here - https://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-aud ... -converter - and it reckons its 8 x faster than USB2 and 6 times faster than firewire, and does 4 x oversampling both in and out, high end AKM AK5388 A/D converters - and high resolution internal sampling over and above the conversion sampling rates. Retails at well under 1 large ($829AUS) here --- https://www.storedj.com.au/zoom-uac-8-u ... -interface

So I guess this is THE ONE !!!

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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by spacef » Sun May 26, 2019 1:45 am

impatient to read your review about it :-)
thanks for the explanations valis :-)

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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by dante » Sun May 26, 2019 1:15 pm

At the moment, since the iusue with Reason is fixed by 10.4 update - I don't need the Zoom. But having been forced into doing the research, I think I will buyed it anyway. Why ? Because looks like a great unit for redundancy which I can also use for more I/O even when the Scope stuff is working.

At the moment, I'm using UAD2 plugs for mixing and mastering, and Scope for ProWave and ProTone. Offloading mastering duties to UAD2 has meant XITE-1D has more polyphony for John Bowen synth duties. My 'D' is now a dedicated Tenacious D Bowen Machine (TDBM).

Beyond that I'm thinking of running Scope at 48KHz whilst running Reason at 96Khz - I can do that by running the TDBM Analog outs to the ZOOM - effectively isolating it from the Reason clock (versus using ADAT). That will give me even more synth poly on the TDBM - I can turn it say into a dedicated Scope Modular 4 system.

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Re: Whats a good USB3 Audio/MIDI Interface ?

Post by dante » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:43 pm

Took delivery of the ZOOM UAC-8. Its an awesome piece of kit - although I haven't tested everything on it yet. EG A/D converters, in built DSP etc.

In terms of using it WITH Scope - I haven't got it to do everything I wanted. I managed to slave the XITE-1D and PCI Cards at 96KHz using ADAT SMUX and route proWave and proTone output back into my Reason mix, but when I pressed the 'loopback' button on the UAC mix app for mixdown, it wasn't capturing the proWave and proTone output. Might be something I have to tweak.

But in terms of using it for redundancy when Scope is down, it will fit the bill nicely and then some. Has a great mixer app - for example, if I were to split my Reason mix into 8 submixes (bypassing the Reason SSL) and sending those to the UAC Drivers - theres facility in the UAC Mix App to create 4 independent mixes and send those to musicians who wanted their own mix.
uac-8-mixer.jpg
UAC-8 MixFx
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