One among my hobbies is taking part in music. My buddy and I saved up for an Eight-track Tascam recorder within the early 2000s and obtained hooked on recording tracks. As soon as digital audio workstations got here down in worth, I tossed apart the magnetic tapes. Just lately, I made a decision to improve my pc to the most recent 27-inch iMac, and I noticed an excuse to alter up my music-making peripherals as effectively.
My previous audio interface, which interprets microphone and instrument alerts into one thing that a pc can perceive, makes use of a FireWire 800 connection. Apple hasn’t shipped any computer systems with FireWire since 2012, so to get my mini studio again up and operating, I might both purchase an adapter for $7 or a complete new interface for about $200. Naturally, I went with the latter. I selected the most recent iteration of Steinberg’s UR22C ($190) due to its built-in MIDI ports, Yamaha’s D-Pre preamps and — neurotic although my reasoning could also be — its USB three.1 connection.
The overwhelming majority of audio interface producers nonetheless use USB 2.zero. Firms like Focusrite declare that, whereas USB three.zero has a a lot larger bandwidth than USB 2.zero, it does not scale back a sign’s latency and subsequently has no sensible profit. What these firms are lacking is the truth that USB three.zero differs from USB 2.zero in the way it handles one thing known as knowledge polling.
With USB 2.zero, knowledge is transmitted after the host (the pc) asks the system (the audio interface) if it has any knowledge to ship. The system might have knowledge to ship, however has to attend till it is pinged — or polled — by the host to really ship the information. With USB three.zero — and by extension USB three.1 — the system can ship knowledge as quickly because it’s prepared. Briefly, USB three.zero and USB three.1 do present decrease latency.
What this implies for musicians is that there will probably be much less time between pushing a key on a synth and the ensuing audio taking part in from the audio system. And sure, a USB 2.zero interface would in all probability deal with my audio wants completely fantastic, however why downgrade after I might improve to USB three.1?
The UR22C labored completely fantastic out of the field. Usually I’ve to enter Apple’s Logic Professional preferences and make some changes to remove any lag, however to my ears, I did not even must hassle. I attached my Nord Lead 2X in stereo mode for some panning results, set the interface to report at max bit charge and pattern size, and hit report. Despite the fact that the UR22C needed to course of two tracks concurrently, I could not discover any issues within the recordings.
I am wanting ahead to plugging my Shure Beta 57 mic into one of many unit’s two mixture inputs and testing out the Yamaha D-Pre preamps, that are normally solely present in greater finish items.
By way of construct high quality, the UR22C is spectacular, however not fairly as much as snuff with my earlier interface, the Presonus FireStudio Cellular. The UR22C is housed in an understated black and grey steel enclosure and appears pure atop my black JBL 305 monitor. The place the unit falls brief, in my view, is its controls. The FireStudio Cellular had microswitched knobs, so altering acquire setting was tremendous intuitive. The one factor shut provided by the UR22C is a detented 12 o’clock setting on its combine knob. One good characteristic although is the outsized output quantity knob, which makes it straightforward to regulate when switching between loud and quiet synth presets.
Total, I am pleased with the UR22C, although a part of me questions whether or not I ought to’ve simply gotten over my USB 2.zero neurosis and bought the extra extensively used Focusrite Scarlett 4i4.
“IRL” is a recurring column through which the Engadget workers run down what they’re shopping for, utilizing, taking part in and streaming.