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Audio interface for guitarists?
#3008910 09/20/19 07:37 PM
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parker7 Offline OP
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I'm torn between an Audient Sono and the IK Multimedia AXE I/O. Anyone own either and can give me the lowdown?


"One of the key issues to learning guitar is making mistakes." --Robben Ford
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Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
parker7 #3008929 09/21/19 12:04 AM
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This is one that you probably should choose based on the features that you're most likely to use. Study the web pages. Based on what I've seen at the NAMM show, I'd hazard a guess that if you're accustomed to quickly getting a sound with a conventional amplifier setup and then get on with your gig, you'd find the Audient to be more familiar, though honestly I think its tube is probably just as well modeled in software these days, and it certainly doesn't make for a tube mic preamp, at least in the conventional sense. The IK might have the edge if you're doing mostly studio work and like to fiddle with knobs to see what you can create.

Both companies have a solid reputation, with IK being more software oriented and Audient being more hardware oriented, but either should be able to do a good job at what they're designed to do. IK has been modeling the electric guitar chain with their Amplitube series of products for a good many years, while Audient gets their amplifier/cabinet/mic/room simulation from Two Notes, a software developer that's gained a reputation for pretty accurate emulation of known products.

Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
parker7 #3008949 09/21/19 05:58 AM
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Maybe we aren't talking about the same thing, but what I'm thinking of is generally referred to as "re-amping" where you have a DI box that allows you to run into your amp but also record dry that you can run through different amps and adjust after the initial performance. In that case, the interface is ANY good audio interface, not specific to guitar. I like the Radial products in terms of bang for the buck.


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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
parker7 #3008957 09/21/19 11:44 AM
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The devices that parker7 asked about offer the re-amping function, but that's not their primary job.

These are real audio recording interfaces - analog audio in, digital audio to a computer via USB. Both have one or more balanced mic inputs with phantom power in addition to high impedance unbalanced "instrument DI" inputs. Both offer a variety of digitally simulated guitar recording chains covering the whole path from the amplifier input jack through the speaker cabinet, to a mic picking up the room sound, and on to the computer . The Audient offers a genuine12AX7 tube in the chain while the IK does everything in software.

These gizmos also provide a headphone amplifier to which a stereo playback mix from the computer DAW can be added for monitoring while overdubbing. In other words, a complete recording chain - just add the computer and a DAW program. Oh, and talent, too.

Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
parker7 #3009010 09/22/19 02:21 AM
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Talent? Pfff.


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Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
parker7 #3009011 09/22/19 02:25 AM
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Both companies are well liked, and they're both pushing hard to nail down the guitarist-with-computer demographic. IK has been doing modeling for a long time, but they're a bit newer to the game when it comes to digital conversion and the like. That said, I do like their iOS interfaces more than I don't. (My ideal iOS interface is currently a hybrid of the iRig Pro I/O and iRig Pro DUO, with neither one getting a 100%.) Audient is a well-respected name in the conversion industry and Two Notes is considered the amp modeling company to beat, but putting them together may work like chocolate and peanut butter, or like beer and tonic.

For a guitarist, tone and feel are everything. Try them both, preferably at home, preferably for several days each. Any reputable online seller with a decent return policy should allow you to get away with this for no more than the cost of shipping.

mike


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Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
Dr Mike Metlay #3009033 09/22/19 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mike Metlay
Both companies are well liked, and they're both pushing hard to nail down the guitarist-with-computer demographic. Audient is a well-respected name in the conversion industry and Two Notes is considered the amp modeling company to beat, but putting them together may work like chocolate and peanut butter, or like beer and tonic.


A/D and D/A converter chips are so good these days that getting the bits right is the easy part. The hard part is still with the power supply and proper internal grounding. It's the gozintas and gozoutas built around a decent converter chip that makes for more transparency, or more "character" if that's what you're after, when considering input-to-output performance. Where Audient's strength lies is in their analog circuitry and construction, as fallout from making some really good sounding analog consoles, so the tube in the Audient might be worth a hoot. However, as far as I can tell from the manual, you can't bypass it and have a solid state instrument input, so part of its sound is defined by what they're doing with that tube. For the mic input, you have the option of running the solid state input stage through the tube before it gets to the modeling circuitry and A/D converter, however, due to its position in the circuit (and no input transformer as you'd need with a true tube-input mic preamp) it'll never be a phat toob mic preamp other than whatever what's modeled.

Absolutely, it's all about tone, but I can't see anyone instantly disliking either of these units. I expect that throughout their life cycle, they'll be upgraded with more models, so unless you find a sound that you absolutely love, make sure you understand, and are comfortable with the user interface. You don't want to have to look at the manual every time you want to hunt for a new sound.

Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
Mike Rivers #3009259 09/23/19 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
However, as far as I can tell from the manual, you can't bypass it and have a solid state instrument input, so part of its sound is defined by what they're doing with that tube. For the mic input, you have the option of running the solid state input stage through the tube before it gets to the modeling circuitry and A/D converter, however, due to its position in the circuit (and no input transformer as you'd need with a true tube-input mic preamp) it'll never be a phat toob mic preamp other than whatever what's modeled.


Great point, didn't realize that. Yeah I think I might try both interfaces at home and take advantage of some solid return policy ...


"One of the key issues to learning guitar is making mistakes." --Robben Ford
Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
parker7 #3009298 09/23/19 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by parker7
I think I might try both interfaces at home and take advantage of some solid return policy ...


That's the best way to decide which one, if either, you like best. Let us know what you find when you get them in hand.

Re: Audio interface for guitarists?
parker7 #3009498 09/24/19 09:53 PM
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Most of the time I plug straight in clean and use either Amplitube or Guitar Rig to get a tone. I've used Voxengo Boogex, which is free and really good if you take the time to dial it in.

Sometimes, I plug into my Tech 21 Tri AC pedal. This offers a range of tones that are Fender-ish, Marshall (or Vox)-ish and Mesa-ish. Use a battery, true DC power cannot create noise.
The Tech 21 is also great for bass in the Fender-ish mode.

Then you have more choices for an interface. I hugely prefer having two headphone outs. Using a Presonus Quantum right now and it works well for my needs.


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