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> Does The Interface Affect The Sound Of A Recording?
VilleFIN
post Sep 28 2012, 07:10 PM
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Does the interface affect the sound of a recording?

Beacuse I use this Line 6 Toneport.



I'm just curious about it 'cos this devise is quite old. Of course I don't use it's own app anymore (Gearbox) I just bypass it and use GR 5.

I read that Apogee one should go "hand in hand" with Mac's.

I use Macmini with 5 GB ram and Reaper. But then I should buy new Daw, right ?

And I don't have (yet) active speakers but first I'm going to buy a decent headphones.

So if I buy example Apogee one and Audio Technica ATH-PRO5 V MK2 headphones (which I plug in the Apogee) and still use Reaper and GR 5...

..Do I hear the difference ? huh.gif


Oh and I'm just mixing my own stuff, I don't need to go pro thing in here. smile.gif

This post has been edited by WeePee: Sep 28 2012, 07:14 PM


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SpaseMoonkey
post Sep 28 2012, 08:27 PM
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The Apogee does go hand in hand, but that could be because it only works on Macs! laugh.gif But on the other hand I have never heard a bad review about it what so ever. Supposedly one of the best interfaces in that price range as well.

I do believe the interfaces do not change the tone of what's being sent out as it is a flat response. The monitors/headphones is where it will be altered. I know when I run my headphones from my cheap Presonus USB Audio Box it sounds pretty close to if I just direct run them from my Kemper.

I listened to your take on the Modern Rock Collab, I honestly think for as good of a tone your getting now that it would be a bit overkill to buy all new gear. If your set on wanting new gear I'd go for the headphones that right there can make a huge change in how you hear it alone.


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Lovtscho
post Sep 28 2012, 08:37 PM
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Everything between the guitar and your harddisk affects the sound.

A good interface like the apogees, the UA Apollo or from Metric Halo are a good investment. Good cables, a micpre and a good analog comp and/or EQ can also improve the sound. If you record from a cabinet, the mis, the preamp and cables play an event more important role


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 29 2012, 12:10 AM
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The short answer is YES smile.gif Everything in your signal chain impacts your sound. The interface you use can have a big impact. The "Bits" inside the interface govern a TON about the signal and how it gets recorded.

1.)Quality of converters
2.)Quality of Preamp
3.)Quality of internal signal path
4.)Low noise
blah blah blah. smile.gif

So yeah, you should hear the diff between a tone port and an Apogee interface for no other reason than the Apogee is just a better piece. If there were no difference, folks would all just use the dead level cheapest stuff they could find.

what you gotta think about is, will "you" hear the difference. Are you ears trained up and "golden" enough to hear small changes in sound/tone? Are you using high quality monitors that will actually replicate what's been recorded? Are you listening in a room that has been "treated" for sound mixing? Or in a perfectly square bedroom with zero treatment and "room modes" created by perpendicular walls?

Just WADS and WADS of variables come in to play. But still, even with decent headphones, you should hear the diff between a starter interface and a higher end piece like the apogee.

As for software, REAPER is a killer DAW and you can't beat the price smile.gif At some point you may decide you want grow a bit and embrace PRO TOOLS or LOGIC. These are really nice daws with really good bits under the hood. Not to say REAPER isn't good. IT is good. Very good. But so are LOGIC and PRO TOOLS.

Todd


QUOTE (WeePee @ Sep 28 2012, 02:10 PM) *
Does the interface affect the sound of a recording?

Beacuse I use this Line 6 Toneport.



I'm just curious about it 'cos this devise is quite old. Of course I don't use it's own app anymore (Gearbox) I just bypass it and use GR 5.

I read that Apogee one should go "hand in hand" with Mac's.

I use Macmini with 5 GB ram and Reaper. But then I should buy new Daw, right ?

And I don't have (yet) active speakers but first I'm going to buy a decent headphones.

So if I buy example Apogee one and Audio Technica ATH-PRO5 V MK2 headphones (which I plug in the Apogee) and still use Reaper and GR 5...

..Do I hear the difference ? huh.gif


Oh and I'm just mixing my own stuff, I don't need to go pro thing in here. smile.gif



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Sollesnes
post Sep 29 2012, 12:30 AM
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If you have a guy sitting on a 500 US guitar, playing on a 15 marshall amp, it would be silly to tell him to buy red bear picks or planet waves cables or something to improve his tone. His tone would be so bad already, it wouldn't make a difference.

If you already have a tone you are pleased with, go for it (GAS will get you eventually anyway). A good audio interface will not improve your tone in the same way other gear does - it will just suck less from it, and let it be more transparent with a higher audio quality. If you are just recording for fun, rendering in MP3 etc... it really doesn't make much of a difference. You see guys making amazing music with a guitar->USB cable.
A lot of people tend to use ALOT of money paying for more expensive cables, AI, etc because people say they make a difference (and of course they do), but they still have a crappy tone. Your mixing skills, amp or amp emulation software, guitar, pickups, monitors/headphones etc matters so much more. When you get to the point that you need a high quality I/O, go for it smile.gif

Edit: oh also, what's often the expensive part of (especially) cheap audio cards, is the mic preamps. A instrument level doesn't need much smile.gif You might not even see any benifit from upgrading at this point.

This post has been edited by Sollesnes: Sep 29 2012, 12:54 AM
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Todd Simpson
post Sep 29 2012, 05:14 AM
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Some really good points here. All along the signal chain, you can easily WRECK your tone and spending too much money too far down the chain is kinda pointless. If you have a cheap guitar, cheap amp, and questionable playing skills, the best interface in the world won't help that much.

let's assume you've got a decent guitar, decent amp, or decent amp SIM and that you've been practicing wink.gif At that point, have a better interface will hopefully allow you to capture more of what you've been working so hard one. Good tone, good playing.


Todd

QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Sep 28 2012, 07:30 PM) *
If you have a guy sitting on a 500 US guitar, playing on a 15 marshall amp, it would be silly to tell him to buy red bear picks or planet waves cables or something to improve his tone. His tone would be so bad already, it wouldn't make a difference.

If you already have a tone you are pleased with, go for it (GAS will get you eventually anyway). A good audio interface will not improve your tone in the same way other gear does - it will just suck less from it, and let it be more transparent with a higher audio quality. If you are just recording for fun, rendering in MP3 etc... it really doesn't make much of a difference. You see guys making amazing music with a guitar->USB cable.
A lot of people tend to use ALOT of money paying for more expensive cables, AI, etc because people say they make a difference (and of course they do), but they still have a crappy tone. Your mixing skills, amp or amp emulation software, guitar, pickups, monitors/headphones etc matters so much more. When you get to the point that you need a high quality I/O, go for it smile.gif

Edit: oh also, what's often the expensive part of (especially) cheap audio cards, is the mic preamps. A instrument level doesn't need much smile.gif You might not even see any benifit from upgrading at this point.



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VilleFIN
post Sep 29 2012, 09:04 AM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Sep 28 2012, 10:27 PM) *
I listened to your take on the Modern Rock Collab, I honestly think for as good of a tone your getting now that it would be a bit overkill to buy all new gear. If your set on wanting new gear I'd go for the headphones that right there can make a huge change in how you hear it alone.

Yes, the headphones are next investment. I like the guitar tone what I'm getting from Guitar Rig 5 and I still use Ibanez stock pickups in my RG Prestige 1570.

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 29 2012, 02:10 AM) *
The short answer is YES smile.gif Everything in your signal chain impacts your sound. The interface you use can have a big impact. The "Bits" inside the interface govern a TON about the signal and how it gets recorded.

Just WADS and WADS of variables come in to play. But still, even with decent headphones, you should hear the diff between a starter interface and a higher end piece like the apogee.

What you gotta think about is, will "you" hear the difference. Are you ears trained up and "golden" enough to hear small changes in sound/tone? Are you using high quality monitors that will actually replicate what's been recorded? Are you listening in a room that has been "treated" for sound mixing? Or in a perfectly square bedroom with zero treatment and "room modes" created by perpendicular walls?
Todd

Hah my computer is in the corner of our living room. So nothing fancy here wink.gif
The Apogee one is about 220 euros and Logic pro 9 is 149 euros in Apple store. So they're next investments in the future smile.gif

But thanks guys for the answers !!

This post has been edited by WeePee: Sep 29 2012, 09:06 AM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 29 2012, 10:46 AM
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In an ideal world the AD/DA should not change the sound. However as some have already said they can and do have an affect for a number of reasons from lowering signal to noise, adding wanted colouration, adding unwanted colouration/distortion and so on. Whether or not you notice depends on how much they are affecting the signal, how good your monitor chain and room are and how experienced you are at critical listening.

If you're short of cash then changing from Reaper to Logic is not the best use of your money. Most people need to spend time with and learn to use the daw that they have


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Lovtscho
post Sep 29 2012, 11:30 AM
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Of course you guys are all right. If the guitar does not sound good there is almost no need to invest in anything else. My second invest would be in a good interface, headphones and cables third.

I am a big believer in the importance of headphones and monitors, but if your interface is not good from where do you think will you get a good signal to your ear. No headphone or monitor can fix that! The same thing as wih the guitar!


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Guitars: Fender Telecaster, Fame PRS Style Guitar, Ibanez S-450 (I think)
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Pedals & co: STRYMON TimeLine, EHX Soul Preacher, EHX Tone Tattoo, EHX Holy Grail Plus, EHX Big Muff Pi, EHX Super Ego, TC Nova System, TC Polytune, TC Dreamscape, Ibanez TS 808, Digitech Distortion Factory DF-7, CIOKS Powerunit, more to come...
Studiotechnique: Steinberg CSX interface, various mics and outboard, including Alan Smart, Audix, Beyerdynamic, CAD, Chandler, Charter Oak, Empirical Labs, Great River Electronics, Kush Audio, Lexicon, Peluso...
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VilleFIN
post Sep 29 2012, 12:04 PM
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Well I don't complain about my tone I just were curious 'cos this Usb interface is really old. And when I get this Apogee I can compare the tone from Toneport and Apogee.


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korblitz
post Sep 29 2012, 03:33 PM
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To be honest...I don't you think you'll hear the difference between the Apogee One vs. Toneport. There's a huge difference: One has a usb port and the other has a firewire port. That makes a big difference. The Apogee One is aesthetically pleasant while the Toneport, oh well it's made to work. You can't record vocals with the Toneport...well in theory you could, but it's not designed for that.

If you are looking to sell the Toneport, hit me up with a Pm...maybe we can work something out.
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