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Thread: ADC stand alone vs Audio Interface

  1. #1
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    ADC stand alone vs Audio Interface

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    I'm on my second Audio Interface after taking a step up from a very entry level unit. Sadly the 'better' unit has developed a problem, and it is also now OOP. My seller will honor a return.

    The replacement model has USB-C, which I don't currently have on either of my computers. yes, converter cables are available.

    I have a 2-channel mic/instrument pre-amp and a 2-channel compressor available. I was planning to use them with the now malfunctioning AI utilizing the line-in inputs on the back of the unit. The replacement AI had line-in inputs like the old one. But I just learned that there is neither gain trim nor metering if you use the line-in inputs. You're left to monitor the levels in the DAW. Well, beggars can't be choosers, or can they?

    So I looked at ADC stand-alone units, and was shocked. How are the audio interfaces doing ADC at their price points? The ADC stand alone units are ghastly expensive, 4, 5 times and more (some much much more) the cost of the AI.

    Are the ADC in your audio interfaces that grossly inferior to the stand alone units? What am I missing here?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2012
    Hampshire, UK
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    Many of the stand-alone ADC's are boutique items that are aimed at the top of the market. There are very few mid market convertors around - I use the Sonifex RB-ADDA which was the only one I could find at the time I bought it. My Zoom interface also works as a standalone convertor and the sound quality is little different to the Sonifex (although the Sonifex is more suited to professional use in other ways).

    However, if you expand your search to look at units with a higher channel count the choice widens. Audient have their ASP800 and 880 units with 8 inputs while Focusrite have a range of units with 8 inputs and often 8 outputs as well. For sheer value for money you can't beat the Behringer ADA8200. If you partner these with something like an RME Digiface USB you end up with a very expandable system that benefits from RME's legendary driver quality and Totalmix software.
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration

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