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What interface for Reaper on Mac?


fretmeister
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If you only need two inputs I'd go for the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

Sounds great & I use it on both my Macs - it works with both Snow Leopard & Mavericks with no problems at all for me.

Edited by RhysP
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I started off on a Native Instruments Guitar Rig Session, which is the little bro to the Komplete Audio. Now whilst I've got no idea how different it is to the Komplete Audio it was a solid little box, and I had no complaints whatsoever.

However, I'm now using a Focusrite Forte, which are a step up in quality from the Scarlets. My word, it sounds great. Such clarity! I know a guy who upgraded from a Scarlet to a Forte and said they were worlds apart. I've not done a lot of recording with the Forte but the preamps are meant to be superb. One review (here: http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2013/04/24/focsurite-forte-review/) says "As much as it pains me to say it, my beloved Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 sounds like a child’s cassette recorder compared to the Forte." The downside is that these are £330 so are much pricier than the ones mentioned already.

Both have been very stable. The Native Instruments one is rock solid on both Mac and PC. I've not had the Forte long enough to be able to pass judgement on stability but it's been great for the last four months. I've only used it on Windows though since I ditched the Mac for recording a year or so ago. I use Reaper too and the Forte has a very nice DAW control option that I use for starting/stopping recording. Very handy as I just hit the huge button to get going!

Software wise you get the control software for the interface (you can control everything via the software which can be handy) and the Focusrite Midnight EQ and Compressor plugins, both of which sound great and are very transparent. They don't come with any presets (which I always find handy as a starting point) which is a shame but they're aimed at people who know more about what they're doing than me I guess :)

I've got Komplete Elements (the earlier 7GB one not the newer 3GB one) and it's great. Tonnes of sounds in there. Don't forget that you can get a substantial amount of instruments and effects from their free players too: http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/bundles/komplete-players/.

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i have tried many of the budget models and by far and away the best sound quality (for the money) was the Roland Quad capture (£185), i know several people who upgraded from the focusrite scarlett range as soon as they heard the difference on my system, i honestly think for the money the is nothing better out there, the duo capture EX uses the same preamps and is a little cheaper if you dont need the digi i/o and extra processing.
they are great units and i cant recommend them highly enough.
i have not tried the Forte but i have heard good things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

RME Babyface

Audient iD22

Apogee Duet (only if you run a Mac)

The rest are not as good one way or another. Do yourself a big favour and by a really great interface from the get go, it'll save you lots of time and effort fiddling with your computer trying to get the best out of it, or wishing you had really decent preamps or dealing with driver anomolies. In the long run you will probably end up spilling the cash on one of these three anyway.

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[quote name='Mornats' timestamp='1405591676' post='2503299']
Any reason the Focusrite Forte isn't in your list? It's usually up there with that lot. Just curious that's all :)
[/quote]

The units I have mentioned I've either used or talked to people I know who use and all of them are considered very stable. Plus the audient preamps are really excellent (I've got an Audient asp008 and they have the same preamps). Of course even then you may have some bizarre configuration on your machine that means you dont have a perfect experience, but you have at least minimised the chances of this, and RME definitely have excellent forums, support and direct customer service.

RME are the only audio interface company that designed and makes its own USB chip (to the best of my knowledge), so if you want a USB interface, the very best driver stability is without doubt through RME, their preamps are very clean and sound superb. There is nothing wrong with their Firewire performance either. I have a UCX, its performance is simply flawless, the sound quality is staggeringly good to my ear. The Totalmix software is really brilliant.

Apogee were for the longest time the de facto interface for Mac users, they are very tightly integrated into Mac iOS, and I've never head anyone complain about their devices ever.

Focusrite are getting plenty of reports of driver issues, instability etc in the forum reviews I've looked at. That alone for me means they can't be on that list. No matter how great you preamps are - they good be Neve for all I care - if you have any kind of stability issue the device is useless, since you cant trust it for serious work. I spent too long dealing with dropouts and glitches and occasional strange behaviour and coming up with coping strategies for these issues to put up with it if there is a tool that 'just works'.

Finally the Forte is 4 in 4 out, and thats your lot, the ones on my list can all be expanded with an 8 channel ADAT lightpipe interface. Because one day (sooner than you think) you are going to need to record more than two tracks at a time, and a stereo interface is too limited. There are plenty of 8 channel options out there, my preferred device is the Audient ASP008, but the ASP808 looks fantastic too (and its cheaper). In fact studiospares is moving their old ASP008 stock for approximately half price, which is a steal for that kind of quality gear.


I've recorded hours of music concerts with my UCX at sample rates up to 88.2KHz and never, ever had a drop out or glitch of any kind. I still always set up the Zoom H4n as a backup stereo device just in case the unthinkable might happen, but I have never had to use it to cover up an issue from the UCX.

One down side to the Audient is that it doesnt support MIDI at all, they say at Audient that no device can do MIDI and audio stably, I don't know for sure (I don't actually use MIDI) but I would be surprised in the extreme if the RME devices didnt manage just fine.

Edited by 51m0n
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[quote name='winterfire666' timestamp='1404752916' post='2495430']
i have tried many of the budget models and by far and away the best sound quality (for the money) was the Roland Quad capture (£185), i know several people who upgraded from the focusrite scarlett range as soon as they heard the difference on my system, i honestly think for the money the is nothing better out there, the duo capture EX uses the same preamps and is a little cheaper if you dont need the digi i/o and extra processing.
they are great units and i cant recommend them highly enough.
i have not tried the Forte but i have heard good things.
[/quote]

A rock solid unit with great drivers. I also own the smaller Duo - Capture EX which also doubles up as a superb interface for the Apple iPad. The Quad is the best 'bang for the buck' I feel.

I'm also a very big fan of Reaper.

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Can't argue with what you said about the Forte. I've heard people complain about the drivers but haven't had a problem with them yet. That's not to say I won't though of course. It was above my budget and I was pushing it really to get one so it would have been out of the question to drop the extra £100 on something else. I still think whether my ears are up to hearing the difference or not but until I get our singer down again for some recording I won't know. I'd possibly need a better mic than the Shure PG48 I got cheap though...

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another +1 for RME from over here. sounds great, really high level quality. also agree with the advice of spending a bit more on a quality interface at the start. unless you know for definite that you only want a fairly ok basic recording with no intention of increasing quality then i'd spend a bit more and get better quality otherwise you'll get something basic and then when you hear it you'll wish you'd spent and extra few hundred quid. you'll only want to upgrade in the future anyway so why not start off with something better at the beginning?

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[quote name='51m0n' timestamp='1405945043' post='2506744']
One down side to the Audient is that it doesnt support MIDI at all, they say at Audient that no device can do MIDI and audio stably, I don't know for sure (I don't actually use MIDI) but I would be surprised in the extreme if the RME devices didnt manage just fine.
[/quote]

Not sure why they make that silly claim, my Babyface runs MIDI (din pin) as good as gets.
Quite easily over 100 MIDI tracks without freezing etc, and the timing is spot on.
Apart from Bass/Gtr plus some occasional vocals etc, most of my work is MIDI based
and RME has been the most reliable regarding that (well for me anyway).
Although my son uses a Quad Capture, and the MIDI performance on that is very good.

Personally I would save up the extra dosh and get a RME Babyface,
Thomann and Soundsalive do them for £380.00 delivered.
http://www.thomann.de/gb/rme_babyface_blue.htm
http://www.soundsliveshop.com/p/RME_BabyFace_USB_Audio_Interface/RME-BABYFACE

Edited by lowdown
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[quote name='lowdown' timestamp='1406016573' post='2507439']
Not sure why they make that silly claim, my Babyface runs MIDI (din pin) as good as gets.
Quite easily over 100 MIDI tracks without freezing etc, and the timing is spot on.
Apart from Bass/Gtr plus some occasional vocals etc, most of my work is MIDI based
and RME has been the most reliable regarding that (well for me anyway).
Although my son uses a Quad Capture, and the MIDI performance on that is very good.

Personally I would save up the extra dosh and get a RME Babyface,
Thomann and Soundsalive do them for £380.00 delivered.
[url="http://www.thomann.de/gb/rme_babyface_blue.htm"]http://www.thomann.d...byface_blue.htm[/url]
[url="http://www.soundsliveshop.com/p/RME_BabyFace_USB_Audio_Interface/RME-BABYFACE"]http://www.soundsliv...ce/RME-BABYFACE[/url]
[/quote]

Me either, seems very odd to me.

Having said that the Audient interface is very very good for audio.....

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  • 4 years later...
On 17/07/2014 at 10:15, 51m0n said:

RME Babyface

Audient iD22

Apogee Duet (only if you run a Mac)

The rest are not as good one way or another. Do yourself a big favour and by a really great interface from the get go, it'll save you lots of time and effort fiddling with your computer trying to get the best out of it, or wishing you had really decent preamps or dealing with driver anomolies. In the long run you will probably end up spilling the cash on one of these three anyway.

RME Babyface still on the list 51m0n? I'm looking for a small portable interface I can use with my laptop and to get my daughters into recording? 

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Just to update this thread a little bit (there are some posts from 5 years ago), the Focusrite Forte is no longer a current product (so may not run as expected on newer operating systems), but most importantly I'm happy to say that our drivers have come a LONG way since 2014.

But as I said, just in the interest of an updated thread.

Cheers
Si // Focusrite

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18 hours ago, Mornats said:

That doesn't give me faith in the long term life of my Forte. It's working well at the moment but no guarantees for the future?

When a product is discontinued, we will support it (software/driver updates for new operating systems etc) for 2 years past the discontinuation date. I’ll need to check when the Forte was discontinued.

Even with current products, we only ‘officially’ support current operating system versions plus the previous version of said OS.

As you can imagine, it’s nigh-on impossible for us to test ALL historical versions of Windows and OSX when we have to update software for a new operating system. So whilst generally it will be fine unless Apple/Microsoft choose to issue some serious change, as I say, we only ‘officially’ support current and the previous version.

Whenever a new operating system is issued by Microsoft or Apple, we always test all of our products, including a number of popular discontinued products and publish a full list of our findings, such as the below:

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/115005393865-Focusrite-product-compatibility-with-Windows-10-Fall-Creators-Update-

As you can see, Forte is still working nicely with the latest Windows 10 update, although there are some issues with some programs that utilise WDM such as Skype.

That being said, with both current and discontinued products, our Tech Support team will ALWAYS try to help with any issues found, so whilst they might not be able to guarantee a software update for an old OS or a discontinued product from 10 years ago, if they can find a workaround, they will.

Si // Focusrite

p.s.
Official wording of our Support Policy:

"Our team of technical support engineers offer free worldwide technical support via e-mail and Livechat and are available to call in the UK, Germany and US on local rate phone numbers. This support is offered for the lifetime of your product. The only exception to this is with regards to software drivers and other software where due to the ever changing OS platforms we aim to support all products for at least two years beyond the point the product is discontinued (no longer available for general sale), unfortunately it is not always possible to offer support in the form of software and driver updates beyond this period. There is, however, no limit to the time our support team will be on hand to help you get up and running and overcome any technical issues you have using our products."

 

Edited by Sibob
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