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To add an audio interface or not...

withfoam

Regular
I'm about to jump into the Axe-Fx and will be recording into Logic Pro X. I have a newish MacBook Pro that I'll be using and have a pair of active monitors. My question is about audio interfaces and whether it's worth getting one in front of the computer, after the Axe-Fx, if it has Thunderbolt?

I've been looking at the Focusrite 8Pre and it looks like I'd be getting a jump on latency with that going into my MacBook Pro instead of USB. Is it really that different? Is it worth the $800 for the Pre8 for this?
 

Dino334

Inspired
I use a Tascam 2x2 and have zero latency into Sonar. You might want to check them out....and they are a little over $100. From one Bay Area guy to another, welcome to the AxeFx world!
I'm about to jump into the Axe-Fx and will be recording into Logic Pro X. I have a newish MacBook Pro that I'll be using and have a pair of active monitors. My question is about audio interfaces and whether it's worth getting one in front of the computer, after the Axe-Fx, if it has Thunderbolt?

I've been looking at the Focusrite 8Pre and it looks like I'd be getting a jump on latency with that going into my MacBook Pro instead of USB. Is it really that different? Is it worth the $800 for the Pre8 for this?
 

Jason Scott

Forum Addict
I'm about to jump into the Axe-Fx and will be recording into Logic Pro X. I have a newish MacBook Pro that I'll be using and have a pair of active monitors. My question is about audio interfaces and whether it's worth getting one in front of the computer, after the Axe-Fx, if it has Thunderbolt?

I've been looking at the Focusrite 8Pre and it looks like I'd be getting a jump on latency with that going into my MacBook Pro instead of USB. Is it really that different? Is it worth the $800 for the Pre8 for this?
Do you really need 8 channels?
 

nikk©

Inspired
I would wait. I don't think you'll need it unless you want to record microphones and really need the preamps.
Hi:)

same thought here!

i use an Apogee for my "traditional" recordings (using preamps, phantom power, microphones, line input level signals, multi track Rec...)

The AxeFxIIXLs sound card is excellent to cover my needs in the recording of guitar and bass

(and all instrument with a compatible output signal > Axe), in a very simple configuration :cool:

and this allow to avoid multiple conversions!


Never had a latency problems,

recording with Axe FXIIXL & 2012 Mac Book Pro (17" / 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 / SSD & 8GO ram) / LogicProX

cheers!
 

philipacamaniac

Fractal Fanatic
Do you really need 8 channels?
I'll add to this and say, $800 would be better spent on higher quality ADC/DAC and some decent preamps, like the Audient id22 or SPL Crimson. You absolutely don't need it for the Axe-Fx, which has ultra low latency drivers, but it would complement a project studio nicely.
 

withfoam

Regular
Hi:)

same thought here!

i use an Apogee for my "traditional" recordings (using preamps, phantom power, microphones, line input level signals, multi track Rec...)

The AxeFxIIXLs sound card is excellent to cover my needs in the recording of guitar and bass

(and all instrument with a compatible output signal > Axe), in a very simple configuration :cool:

and this allow to avoid multiple conversions!


Never had a latency problems,

recording with Axe FXIIXL & 2012 Mac Book Pro (17" / 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 / SSD & 8GO ram) / LogicProX

cheers!
Thank you much for your config and experience. I really wasn't sure if it was needed or not, though I figured the latency would drive me insane if I ran into it and would rather just nip it now, preemptively.

Thanks for the responses, all. I'm going to wait and just plug my monitors and laptop directly into the Axe-Fx and see how it goes.
 

Max_H

Inspired
First three responses were from bay area bros haha.

It really depends on what you need an audio interface for. If it's JUST for your Axe FX, I don't much see the point. However, if you're building yourself a nice home studio, go for it.
 

withfoam

Regular
First three responses were from bay area bros haha.

It really depends on what you need an audio interface for. If it's JUST for your Axe FX, I don't much see the point. However, if you're building yourself a nice home studio, go for it.
Thanks! Also good to know I've got backup around,
For now, it's just for the Axe-Fx. I have a small USB Focusrite, if needed for mics.
 

Max_H

Inspired
Thanks! Also good to know I've got backup around,
For now, it's just for the Axe-Fx. I have a small USB Focusrite, if needed for mics.
The latency through USB should be almost nil. If you notice it, then my goodness your ears are good.

We're still up when the East coast has gone to bed. :)
It's funny too because that's where I'm originally from. Santa Cruzzzzz
 

zack

Inspired
The interface on the Axe is excellent...

However, it comes with a downside - fan noise!

For that reason I would advise on an additional interface (focusrite is great imo) - if you are going to be recording things other than guitars, and can't locate the axe far enough from your monitoring environment so the fan noise is not an issue.
 

Guitarmandan

Inspired
I'll add to this and say, $800 would be better spent on higher quality ADC/DAC and some decent preamps, like the Audient id22 or SPL Crimson. You absolutely don't need it for the Axe-Fx, which has ultra low latency drivers, but it would complement a project studio nicely.
Amen to the Audient iD22! money well spent on ADC/DAC conversion and nice preamps
 

vangrieg

Forum Addict
Amen to the Audient iD22! money well spent on ADC/DAC conversion and nice preamps
Very good line inputs, mediocre line outputs both have somewhat limited headroom. Mic and guitar preamps are atrocious with regard to noise levels. 93-96 dB SNR is like the cheapest soundcard quality. Distortion on instrument input at 70 dB is worse than even the cheapest cards have.

So yeah, using this card for converting Axe signal to digital via line inputs sounds like a working idea, although Axe itself is much worse in this regard, so you'll add its output noise to the signal, and that kind of defeats the purpose.

But Audient preamps are anything but nice.
 
I myself had quite a bit of problems with the USB interface for recording audio from my Axe FX II XL+ unit. After some research I found I was not the only user seeing this. It was not latency that I was experiencing but just dependability of the USB. It would drop out for a microsecond or so. (enough to hose the recording in that section). I myself am running a I7 3.8ghz with 16gb RAM. I found out that the various USB devices use the same BUS (even though I had 8 separate ports on the mainboard) was sharing all the bandwidth for the USB ports. USB seems great for sending data lines and program updates, but audio I have always seen issues.

I have added an audio interface to my rack over the last week (Focusrite Saffire 40 Pro) that does not use USB, it isues Firewire. With my testing so far over the last couple of days I have not been able to reproduce the issue I had with the USB interface. With the USB it would happen usually 3 or 4 times in a 20 minute session. I have been testing for probably a combined 8 hours over the last couple of days.

My recommendation would be if you do not have to use the USB for audio then don't. Use it for updates, etc, but use a Audio Interface for recording. I have even done a couple of sample recordings that I already did with the AXE USB utilizing the Saffire and the recording that were processed via the Saffire sound better, more clear than with the Axe USB ones.
 

withfoam

Regular
I myself had quite a bit of problems with the USB interface for recording audio from my Axe FX II XL+ unit. After some research I found I was not the only user seeing this. It was not latency that I was experiencing but just dependability of the USB. It would drop out for a microsecond or so. (enough to hose the recording in that section). I myself am running a I7 3.8ghz with 16gb RAM. I found out that the various USB devices use the same BUS (even though I had 8 separate ports on the mainboard) was sharing all the bandwidth for the USB ports. USB seems great for sending data lines and program updates, but audio I have always seen issues.

I have added an audio interface to my rack over the last week (Focusrite Saffire 40 Pro) that does not use USB, it isues Firewire. With my testing so far over the last couple of days I have not been able to reproduce the issue I had with the USB interface. With the USB it would happen usually 3 or 4 times in a 20 minute session. I have been testing for probably a combined 8 hours over the last couple of days.

My recommendation would be if you do not have to use the USB for audio then don't. Use it for updates, etc, but use a Audio Interface for recording. I have even done a couple of sample recordings that I already did with the AXE USB utilizing the Saffire and the recording that were processed via the Saffire sound better, more clear than with the Axe USB ones.
Thanks for the input!
 

laxu

Veteran
While the Axe-Fx works as an audio interface, it doesn't provide most of the options "proper" ones do. Things like zero latency monitoring for any input signals with control over their levels or which output they are routed to. Obviously it also doesn't have any mic preamps and so on.

If all you want to do is record your guitar then definitely at least try how the Axe-Fx on its own works for your needs. It might be fine. For me it didn't offer enough control so that's why I have it hooked to my old FireWire audio interface over SPDIF so I don't have to change cables or use an expensive switcher for routing to my studio monitors.
 
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