I have been reading with interest the recent discussions about linux audio interfaces on this forum. I’m trying to improve my tracking chain (aren’t we all?) and capture/conversion, and I’m trying to isolate the weakest part of that link. I suspect it might be conversion.
I have two inexpensive boxes, a Yamaha/Steinberg UR22mkII and a MOTU M4. I ran some tests this weekend to A/B what I believe is the effect of the A/D and D/A of the interface convertors. I have a single line in (mic’ed acoustic guitar into external preamp) passing through the box to my headphones via the ‘mix’ knobs on the audio interface. In linux, I have jack connecting the single line in to the two output channels. When I turn the hardware mix knob to the left (hardware monitoring of input), I hear a certain clarity and detail to my picking and strumming; when I turn it to the right (software/daw monitoring of input), I hear less clarity and detail, and it feels ‘blurry’.
I realize this isn’t incredibly scientific, but I did enlist my kid to randomly pick a side, and most of the time I could guess which side it was.
Both interfaces seem to colour the sound, and somewhat in the same way.
Perhaps one of you experts could sanity check this for me? It seems like this is an ok perceptual way of checking a conversion roundtrip, and I don’t think the latency or me physically holding/playing the guitar during the listening test has a substantial effect here. I feel like I have a very nice sound going in (don’t we all?), but am losing some of it in the recording.
On a related note, has anyone out there had success with higher-end conversion devices on linux/usb? I see claims of usb CC, but I’m wary of that (eg. MOTU M4 needed a quirk in linux kernel driver, from forums things like Lynx HILO claim CC but don’t actually work on linux). Anyone try a Dangerous Convert AD+, Prism Lyra, Grace M900?