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SH73

Can you use 2 interfaces in a DAW?

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I wondered if it's possible to run two interfaces into a DAW and use them simultaneously.

I'm thinking 2x Focusrite scarlet 2i2. One for high output pick ups and other for microphones eg. mic up amp or overheads.

I use Ableton live DAW with Windows 10. Internet search mainly shows Mac.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by SH73
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I guess it depends on your computer and DAW allowing 2 interfaces to be used at once, would be interesting to know the outcome, save buying a 4 input and just picking up a cheap 2 input to add, probably in the long run a 4 input AI puts less resources on the soundcard

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On a Mac you can combine two hardware devices as an 'Aggregate Device', so both are seen as one unit with multiple ins and outs. I can't comment on Windows I'm afraid. 

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1 hour ago, project_c said:

The scarlett has 2 inputs I think, can you not use one for mic, the other for instrument?

I have been so.  But thinking running two extra mics.

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Another option would be a cheap mixer for running 2 -3 mics in,  then run them  into interface input. 

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A good analogue mixer is a joy to use, but any blending of sound sources will be irreversably baked in to your recording, on the other hand a poor quality mixer will add self noise and frustrate with low headroom and poor audio quality. In either case you need space to house the mixer and extra expense for cabling, and although analogue mixers are very cheap on the used market, they do require maintenance, so there might be unexpected additional expense.

Probably the more sensible course of action is to accept that you have reached the limits of your current interface and consider making the upgrade to a unit that has the features that you need going forward - if you are happy with the driver performance of your current interface it might be worth a look at the 18i8 or investigating other interfaces with 4 preamps. The cost of an interface upgrade will probably work out cheaper all things considered.

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As far as I know, the Asio drivers do not support multiple interfaces working simultaneously on Windows (10).

Probably (as mentioned above), your best bet is upgrading your interface. But before/if you do. Maybe checkout the link below.

There are mixed results using the free ASIO4ALL drivers (read below). It will cost you nothing to try, so maybe worth a go?

 

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/newbie-audio-engineering-production-question-zone/1043514-possible-use-2-audio-interfaces-1-pc.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by lowdown
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I think I'll stick with one interface to avoid latency and unnecessasy nterference issues.

I have arranged to return my new focusrite scarlet 2i2 2nd generation and get one that has minimum of  4 inputs. The big questions is which one..

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Dilemma 

As a "solo artist " or more like bedroom musician, do I keep Focusrite scarlet 2i2 2nd gen or do I get 18i8 2nd gen? Whilst 2i2 does the job and has so far, I'd like to experiment recording electric guitars with three to four mics which 18i8  is capable due to having 4 mic pre amps. But again this would suit a band or a drummer or am I being greedy ? 2 inputs not enough 4+4  too many?

I can't justify getting clarett pre4.

@Sibob please advise?

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2 hours ago, SH73 said:

Dilemma 

As a "solo artist " or more like bedroom musician, do I keep Focusrite scarlet 2i2 2nd gen or do I get 18i8 2nd gen? Whilst 2i2 does the job and has so far, I'd like to experiment recording electric guitars with three to four mics which 18i8  is capable due to having 4 mic pre amps. But again this would suit a band or a drummer or am I being greedy ? 2 inputs not enough 4+4  too many?

I can't justify getting clarett pre4.

@Sibob please advise?

It kinda sounds like you already know what you want to do?! Ie experiment with more mics, so you would need more XLR inputs to do that. That said, I think it’s pretty rare to record guitars with anything more than 2 mics?! I’m not sure what you’d really be gaining. I guess it would allow you one DI, plus a close mic and ambient mic.

With the 18i8, there are 4 XLRs on the front, the first two of those can also operate as instrument or line inputs, the last two can act as line inputs. The 4 inputs on the rear are purely line inputs.

Si

Edited by Sibob
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5 minutes ago, Sibob said:

It kinda sounds like you already know what you want to do?! Ie experiment with more mics, so you would need more XLR inputs to do that. That said, I think it’s pretty rare to record guitars with anything more than 2 mics?! I’m not sure what you’d really be gaining. I guess it would allow you one DI, plus a close mic and ambient mic.

With the 18i8, there are 4 XLRs on the front, the first two of those can also operate as instrument or line inputs, the last two can act as line inputs. The 4 inputs on the rear are purely line inputs.

Si

Cheers Si 

So if I get 4xlr in front (mic) and first two of them can operate  instruments or line then all 8 can be used as line inputs but 4 on the rear are only line inputs. What is line input for?

Cheers

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There's definitely value in recording both the amplifier mic'd up AND the original signal from the guitar, then exploring "re-amping". Normally you'd do an amount of experimentation to determine the sweet spot for mic placement but recording the original signal is also a good insurance policy. I am assuming this is for 6 string guitar, with an amp which is doing a significant amount of tone colouration eg its quite high gain, or maybe just some gain etc.

That way, you'd not need more than 2 channels. It would depend if you took the original signal from the guitar directly - then you'd need an instrument input (and some kind of pass-thru to the amp) or whether you want to use a DI box, in which case it would be a balanced XLR (but if it were passive, some amount quieter than a normal line input - you'd need to bang up the gain). If it were an active DI then it would be line level. I am not sure if there's any value in additionally taking a line out from the amp at the same time (thus needing 3 inputs) - I don't think so, you'd lose all the nuances imparted by the speaker cone(s).

Of course, if you wanted to record something with more than 2 channels at a time, then it makes sense to invest in a bigger interface. Normally this scenario would be due to either an ensemble all playing at once; or drums. Live drums are a different kettle of fish to record!

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5 minutes ago, paul_c2 said:

There's definitely value in recording both the amplifier mic'd up AND the original signal from the guitar, then exploring "re-amping". Normally you'd do an amount of experimentation to determine the sweet spot for mic placement but recording the original signal is also a good insurance policy. I am assuming this is for 6 string guitar, with an amp which is doing a significant amount of tone colouration eg its quite high gain, or maybe just some gain etc.

That way, you'd not need more than 2 channels. It would depend if you took the original signal from the guitar directly - then you'd need an instrument input (and some kind of pass-thru to the amp) or whether you want to use a DI box, in which case it would be a balanced XLR (but if it were passive, some amount quieter than a normal line input - you'd need to bang up the gain). If it were an active DI then it would be line level. I am not sure if there's any value in additionally taking a line out from the amp at the same time (thus needing 3 inputs) - I don't think so, you'd lose all the nuances imparted by the speaker cone(s).

Of course, if you wanted to record something with more than 2 channels at a time, then it makes sense to invest in a bigger interface. Normally this scenario would be due to either an ensemble all playing at once; or drums. Live drums are a different kettle of fish to record!

I never re amped the guitar but recorded a bass mic'd and through di then mixed them together. I had a desired outcome. I suppose having two mics, one at the centre of speaker cone one closer to the edge of speaker plus one some distance away for ambiance  and a dry signal re amped could essentially, if mixed well, produce a big guitar sound....if not overkill.

possibilities are endless right?

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On 28/12/2018 at 13:13, Dood said:

On a Mac you can combine two hardware devices as an 'Aggregate Device', so both are seen as one unit with multiple ins and outs. I can't comment on Windows I'm afraid. 

That is on a Mac you can combine N hardware devices to make an aggregate device. It doesn't have to be just two. However, you can also use them as individual devices if you want, if they did different things.

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This will do what you want...

Behringer UMC404HD...

... for less than £100.
We use Motu stuff for recording multi-mic (full band, with drums...), with the Traveler, for example, but it costs over £700. Is it worth the difference..? Probably not, for the experiments you're doing. The Behringer would be fine.

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1 hour ago, SH73 said:

Cheers Si 

So if I get 4xlr in front (mic) and first two of them can operate  instruments or line then all 8 can be used as line inputs but 4 on the rear are only line inputs. What is line input for?

Cheers

That is correct.

Line inputs are for things that output line-level, so perhaps synths or a drum machine, lots of outboard gear does. Typically, if you’re only recording guitar/bass/drums etc, you’ll usually want mic or instrument inputs.

Si

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In the world of pro audio, there's ~4 different main kinds of signals/levels, (plus mains power which obviously has a different connector style😞

Microphone level - typically balanced XLR (3 pin) connector
Instrument level - typically an unbalanced 1/4" jack, ie "TS" (Tip and Sleeve)
Line level - can be balanced XLR, balanced 1/4" jack (TRS - Tip Ring Sleeve) or unbalanced 1/4" TS
Speaker level - these days typically a Speakon connector, but there's a lot of 1/4" jack connector too - so don't get these mixed up!!!!

Just to complicate things, some microphones want phantom power, which puts 48V onto the (balanced XLR) wire. Its a low current amount, so not too onerous for interfaces to provide this, or distances, etc but obviously if your microphone wants it, the thing its plugged into needs to provide it. Typically, condenser microphones need it (dynamic ones don't). If I were buying an interface, I'd make sure it has the capability to provide phantom power.

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Focusrite scarlet 18i8 was the outcome. So far so good. Well I hooked up three microphones. Job well done.

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