1 (edited by Bleepmaker 2011-05-15 22:16:12)

Topic: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

In the next few months I will start making stereo music using virtual synths on my PC and vocals recorded elsewhere by my singer. My present audio interface is a TC Electronic Desktop Konnekt 6, which I've only had for a few weeks. I have no complaints about it: it's just that it has become clear that I will need something better. The only analogue input I will need, for the time being, is a mic input so that I can give my singer a rough idea of what I'm aiming for. If necessary I could keep my existing Desktop Konnekt 6 for this purpose.

However, it's difficult to predict future requirements, and I can therefore think of possible arguments (in terms of price and flexibility) in favour of getting a Babyface or an ADI-2 or a Fireface UC. (I cannot possibly afford a more expensive model). The factor that makes it impossible to decide, for the moment, is that I don't know how these three sound compared with each other. Since I want to get the best discount I can - or buy second-hand - I cannot ask a shop for a demo. If anyone could offer an opinion on their relative sound quality I would appreciate it.

My second question arises because I use for monitoring a domestic hi-fi whose pre-amp only has unbalanced inputs. Can any of the above be connected to unbalanced pre-amp inputs, given a suitably wired cable, or would this be a problem?

Thanks in advance.

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Update: I forgot to mention that I also have an M-Audio 192, which has an SPDIF output. Would this be suitable for use with an ADI-2? Please excuse my ignorance.

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

First they all sound equally good.
From what you wrote the babyface seems most suited and future proof/all-round.
Connecting to your amp will not be a problem.
Yes adi2 from spdif is possible, but if I had to choose I would go with the babyface. Generally speaking RME drivers are better then m-audio and TC, which will give you better low latency performance.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

Thanks very much.

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

As vocals are being recorded elsewhere and you are just adding virtual synths, the only function of your soundcard is to output sufficient quality for accurate monitoring.  And you're content to do this through a domestic hi-fi system which, whatever its other qualities, is probably not designed to be accurate.

What has made it "become clear" that your TC is not up to the job?

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

Laurence Payne wrote:

As vocals are being recorded elsewhere and you are just adding virtual synths, the only function of your soundcard is to output sufficient quality for accurate monitoring.  And you're content to do this through a domestic hi-fi system which, whatever its other qualities, is probably not designed to be accurate.

What has made it "become clear" that your TC is not up to the job?

I can't follow music or sound as effortlessly as I would like.

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

>I can't follow music or sound as effortlessly as I would like.

I'd be interested to know just what you mean by that?

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

Laurence Payne wrote:

>I can't follow music or sound as effortlessly as I would like.

I'd be interested to know just what you mean by that?

With music I want to hear all the parts at the same time, and be aware of time, tune and dynamics. With individual sounds I want, for example, to be sure that any softening of or artefacts in the attack are failings of the soft synths rather than of the system.

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

Well, OK.  But out of all the thing you COULD change, different virtual instruments, speakers, room treatment... I think you'll find changing soundcard (unless you started with a VERY cheap-and-nasty one, which your TC certainly isn't) will make least difference.   And if you're on an audiophile kick, you'd be better off looking at a high-quality stereo unit, rather than the full-featured multitrack ones you're looking at.

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

Thanks very much for the suggestions, Laurence.

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

I have been using ADI-2 and am very happy with it. I am using balanced xlr going to my amp SPL Phonitor to HD 800. I am thinking to pull the trigger on Babyface as well and then will do the comparison. I have heard from Synthax that ADI-2 sounds better because of simplicity of board.

Re: Sound quality of Babyface, ADI-2 and Fireface UC? Unbalanced use?

Compared to the FF800, maybe, specs are a bit better. Compared to the Babyface, probably not.

Regards,
Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.