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Thread: UPGRADING my voiceover/live streaming gear: Which (budget) interface to go for?

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    Question UPGRADING my voiceover/live streaming gear: Which (budget) interface to go for?

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    So. I have previously gotten some valuable and good advices from this wonderful community, which i am very grateful for. After saving some money, i am ready for an upgrade to my humble studio. And now, i have come to the part where i need to upgrade my interface, where my current one is the Behringer UMC202HD. I feel like i am at the point where i feel like my UMC202HD doesn't cut it anymore. It's more of a bother than anything else. Not sure how to describe it, but i feel that i don't get enough with that interface for my purpose, which is being a voiceover artist/voice actor and a live streamer. While it was good enough when i started with this, i feel like it's about time to do an "upgrade" now, even though that these upgrades seems to be a budget-option...

    A little bit about me and my field of use for the interface:
    - First of all, i am located in a distant village far north of europe (scandinavia), where the nearest studio is...well...not even worth considering for me, hence why my home studio is the only option for me. This also means that shopping on Amazon is NOT an option for me (because Amazon doesn't ship here). Also, there are no nearby places where i can test things out before i buy them, unfortunately.
    - As mentioned, my primary fields are voiceover/voice acting, live streaming, narrating and some occasional podcast, usually with a friend of mine.
    - My budget for the new interface will be up to $300. I understand that i will be rather limited because of this, but i should be able to get an interface that i can work very nicely and quite semi-professionally with, at least from what i have seen elsewhere and others be capable of doing.
    - I don't own a Mac, so i will do all my work through either a laptop or a PC.
    - While i do most of my work alone, i do have a friend i every now and then work together with, but that's usually for podcasting and some voiceover-sessions. Saying this, means that i definitely need an interface with the option to have at least 2 mics available. I will be using Behringer HA400 for the getting the 2x audio outputs.
    - There are no instruments involved in my work. Note: IF i would be using any instrument, it would be to connect a keyboard to it, because my mentioned friend plays keyboard actively, so we might get the idea to do a collab some day, but having a MIDI out/input is not important!

    My current mics:
    - For my voiceover sessions: Røde NT1 and Techzone Audio Stellar X2 (i switch between these, depending on what kind of voiceover job i am doing).
    - For my live streams: Røde Procaster (this works optimal for my kind of voice-range, which is about as average as it get as it is neither deep nor too bright. I can fetch an audio sample if needed?)
    - Note: I will eventually buy TLM102 or 103, depending on my budget, but that'll not be done just yet...

    I have gone through several reviews and videos on youtube and google, and so far, i have noted down the following interfaces that are all in my price range, in no particular order:
    1: SSL2 / 2+ (quite the price difference on the regular and the 2+ it seems, but the SSL2+ do have the MIDI-ports + 2 headphone ports, which can come in handy)
    2: Audient ID14 (apparently, there's ID14 mk2 available as well, but it's quite the price difference between the mk2 and the regular ID14)
    3: Audient EVO4 and EVO8 (considering that both are pretty much identical, evo4 would probably do as fine of a job as evo8, considering that i will have max 2 people using it at once)
    4: MOTU M4 (those MIDI-ports can come in handy at some point, but not for the moment)
    5: Steinberg UR-RT2 (it's a little bit above my price range, so i reckon the others mentioned are as good as this one, or?)

    Out of those 5, it does seem like the SSL2+, EVO4 and M4 are those that seems to be hitting me good, but yea, i am not sure...

    So, with the above things taken into the consideration, what would be the natural upgrade from UMC202HD for me? Any suggestions?

    I hope i have given as much information as needed for you to advice/assist me in buying the right interface. If anything else is needed, do let me know. Pardon for all the tl;dr-text, but i hope i was as thorough as possible.

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    Hmm, not EXACTLY sure what it is you are 'upgrading' for? Can you point out any specific limitations of the 202? I had a 204HD and found it fine in terms of noise and sound quality. Mic pre's are good enough for a dynamic (but maybe not V/O with a 7b!) so nay bother with a capacitor.

    I would strongly suggest the Native Instruments KA6 Mkll in every possible way except! My Mk1 has very feeble phnatom power, won't run a Fethead and you have two capacitor mics (and I think the Tl is a bit hungry?) Matbe they have fixed the problem in the Mkll?

    You mentioned the likelyhood of plugging in a keyboard? Best then to get an AI with two mic/line/guitar inputs plus two more line inputs. I would suggest the MOTU M4 but it is on back order almost everywhere.
    You are blowing hot and cold about MIDI? Jus fekkin get it!

    I am sure you would be happy with something with the above spec from the Focusrite range? N.B. The current "8i6" does NOT have the connectivity of my old one AFAICT.

    Just found out that people have been able to get their NI KA6 Mk1 interfaces replaced for ones with upgraded spook juice capacity so I think we can be sure the Mk ll will be fine. I would still like that MOTU but who knows when?

    Dave.
    Last edited by ecc83; 5 Days Ago at 05:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Hmm, not EXACTLY sure what it is you are 'upgrading' for? Can you point out any specific limitations of the 202? I had a 204HD and found it fine in terms of noise and sound quality. Mic pre's are good enough for a dynamic (but maybe not V/O with a 7b!) so nay bother with a capacitor.

    I would strongly suggest the Native Instruments KA6 Mkll in every possible way except! My Mk1 has very feeble phnatom power, won't run a Fethead and you have two capacitor mics (and I think the Tl is a bit hungry?) Matbe they have fixed the problem in the Mkll?

    You mentioned the likelyhood of plugging in a keyboard? Best then to get an AI with two mic/line/guitar inputs plus two more line inputs. I would suggest the MOTU M4 but it is on back order almost everywhere.
    You are blowing hot and cold about MIDI? Jus fekkin get it!

    I am sure you would be happy with something with the above spec from the Focusrite range? N.B. The current "8i6" does NOT have the connectivity of my old one AFAICT.

    Just found out that people have been able to get their NI KA6 Mk1 interfaces replaced for ones with upgraded spook juice capacity so I think we can be sure the Mk ll will be fine. I would still like that MOTU but who knows when?

    Dave.
    I have the KA6 MK2. I haven’t tried more than one condenser at a time, but I’m sure it can handle it.

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    " i feel that i don't get enough with that interface for my purpose,"

    Please describe what you DON'T like about your current AI. The recently shared link to reviews of AIs under $500 seemed to show there is little difference in sound quality from most AIs.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    " i feel that i don't get enough with that interface for my purpose,"

    Please describe what you DON'T like about your current AI. The recently shared link to reviews of AIs under $500 seemed to show there is little difference in sound quality from most AIs.
    Yep. It’s all about features. Not sound quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowsofFritz View Post
    Yep. It’s all about features. Not sound quality.
    I was asking the OP.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    I was asking the OP.
    I was just agreeing with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowsofFritz View Post
    I was just agreeing with you.
    Right! Now that we have that cleared up...What features/functionality do you think you are lacking Chaos?

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Right! Now that we have that cleared up...What features/functionality do you think you are lacking Chaos?

    Dave.
    Pardon for saying that, as that derailed the whole thread. It's doing a nice job, yes. Not going to change it immediately, but when i do, what would be a step up from my current UMC202?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaoshead View Post
    Pardon for saying that, as that derailed the whole thread. It's doing a nice job, yes. Not going to change it immediately, but when i do, what would be a step up from my current UMC202?
    Well, in terms of facilities almost anything will be a 'step up' from the 202! Here are some things to consider.

    Most folk upgrade becuase the find they need more inputs (and less often outputs). The first step id something like the NI KA6 which has two extra balanced line inputs (and 4 balanced outs). These do not however have gain controls but are nonetheless useful for feeds from say a synth, drum machine or, in my case, a cassette machine. Next up is 4 mic/line/instru inputs, with controls.

    From 4 analogue inputs the next stage is usually a leap to 8 M/L/I inputs. S/PDIF is not as common as it was but can be useful. For example, most FSTVs have a S/PDIF clean feed so you could record TV sound. Some up market synths have a digital output, freeing up two analogue ones. ADAT is another consideration. Means the purchase of an ADAT pre amp but gives you an instant extra 8 mic/line channels.

    Along with all this extra connectivity you often find sophisticated software routing systems. Complex but I am told very powerful and useful if you put the time in to understand them. Focusrite have their system and RME one of the most highly praised in "Total Mix"

    Multiple headphone outputs are useful and MIDI ports a no brainer IMO, i.e. you WANT them! You might want an AI that can be controlled from a phone or pad?

    So! Keep a personal blog and write as you go "WTF can I NOT do with this basic AI that I would like to?" Once you have compiled a list, get stuck into the AI reviews in Sound on Sound (they mut be 6 months old to get thjem for free but you NEVER want to buy the very latest tech' unless you have more money than sense!) Once you have found a likely candidate...ASK HERE! There is likely a bod that has one or had one and can give you chapter and verse.

    Dave.

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