Behringer UMC1820 And Ardour

It is a continous knob, so yes, you can set in-between positions.

With an audio player like DeaDBeeF, you can set it up for audiophile playback with no resampling: You select your interface output analog or digital but the important thing is to select an ALSA option with “direct hardware device without any conversions”. You also disable ALSA resampling. FYI, this all works seamlessly without needing to disable pulse audio on your system.

Yes, AFAIK. The UMC1820 (and UMC404HD) comes with its own power supply so it would work without needing power via USB.

Thanks bachstudies. I think I get the whole idea now with the audio interfaces. I have the aforementioned Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen for a long time now, but never had the time to properly try it out while now with all those lockdowns it’s easier.

I 've done a bit more testing today with some bash scripts that I 'm working on and looks better than I thought, although all the mixing/routing options which the Scarlet has still confuse the hell out of me (and imagine I 'm an IT/Linux engineer by profession :stuck_out_tongue:)

I 'm not sure if I want to keep it though or go for the Behringer. I don’t need all those inputs/outputs, but the fact that the majority of the XLRs are on the rear panel makes things easier for my space. Having said that there is no availability at the moment in all the big UK/European music shops for most of the UMC units.

Thanks very much all for the feedback you provided so far :+1:

The recent politics aside and nature of “cloning” other companies’ designs, the UMC series are fantastic devices for the price. As far as I’m concerned they knocked it out of the park with the UMC range. The fact that they work out of the box in Linux is the icing on the cake.

So, at the moment I 'm fine after all the work I did today tweaking my script, systemd and pulseaudio. They all seem to play nicely together with/without JACK. I just need a pair of small monitor speakers (I 'm leaning towards the Fluid Audio F5) and I 'll be sorted. I 'll be keeping an eye though on those Behringer interfaces and if I 'm not happy with the Scarlett I may give them a shot.

Thanks for all your help people! :+1:

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Was this related to the incorrect SPDIF clock sync, or was this some other problem with your original unit?

Anyway, thank you for all the help with this post. Very informative.

It was not related to a clock. Without any audio cables connected the device just clicked continuously. The second device I got had not problems at all.

Thank you [Mikael Hartzell] ( The OP )

This has been a very helpful thread,.

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After reading this thread I decided it is time to try the UMC1820. Ordered from UK new (price in US was too steep) I received it this morning. Less than 3 days shipped from the UK which is faster than buying here in the USA.

For those that uses Jack here is a thread where I describe a HOWTO for getting the UMC to work
jack UMC1820 howto

I can only say one thing… I am completely blown away. Not a Behringer fan due to all the previous low quality crap, but the UMC blows my Presonus so far out of the park it is not funny.

I just happened to have a keyboard player in this afternoon and she commented how much better everything sounds. didnt mention any equipment changes to her. She just said it right of the bat after a minute of playing. She mentions how previously unusable crap sounds (like the horrible unusable guitar patches) suddenly became utterly useful. I am a bit baffled. I cannot believe that there can be that difference between comparably priced interfaces. There is something with the Midas preamps… I am totally sold - period. Nothing changed except swapping the Presonus with the UMC. Same mixbus same eq, same jack, same alsa, same server/Linux same cables. The fact that completely unusable programmed keyboard sounds on the Motif XS8 suddenly now sound useful is beyond comprehension. Those previous crap sounds used to sound flattish and now they have so much depth. Completetely and utterly useful and inspirational. It must be the combination of Midas and an exceptional A/D converter.

She played a few notesm then asked me why this is suddenly so nice what did you do ? Completely independent verification as she was used to the Presonus. I am blown away literally. Some irritating sounding patches now became quite beautiful and useful.

Either Presonus is very bad which it is not really, (I have two and they both sound the same, so no chance of a defect really) or these Midas preamps has some amazing magic to them. It must be the latter. There is definitely a huge improvement in intermodulation distortion. it is my guess that the Midas preamps and A/D is absolutely linear, whereas the Presonus input amplifiers are more non-linear. Low intermodulation distortion (due to ultra l high linearity, will always give a marked improvement in separation of sounds and therefore increase in depth markedly, and that is what I am hearing.

I bought the UMC as a placeholder until I get my Motu B16 and LP32, but I am starting to wonder if the Motu could be better than this. I dont think it can be. The B16 is indispensable to my needs and I need it for several reasons, but I am going to load the LP32 with Midas preamps for sure. Too good sorry.

I guess if you didnt have another interface before you bought a UMC it is not going to be obvious what my experience is. I would like to try an Apogee in future though.

All I still need to get working is SPDIF.

I’m glad you had a good experience with the device. And you probably have better ears than me because I don’t hear that much difference between the audio devices I’ve had (Presonus VSL1818, Zoom R24, Alesis IO2, Alesis IO4, UMC1820). Part of that might be that I’m always recording rock with distorted guitars.

The price has come down since I bought the device and I think it’s amazing value for the 205 euros the device goes for at the moment.

One user had problems with spdif due to the expectation that it would always sync to incoming spdif when it appears on the cable. But the device switches sync to internal and stays there whenever spdif signal disappears. One needs to then change the setting in alsamixer manually when wanting to use spdif input again.

Thanks a lot. I will change it in alsa. Didnt get round to it yet.

I dont know why everybody here hears such a huge difference. It is MASSIVE.

You have to do the test with a very good Production Keyboard like Motif XS8 and not just single staff instruments. It must have the extreme wide spectrum of an electronic production keyboard. As an example a Wurli sounds the same on both interfaces -to be expected. It really happens to change and diverge once you have lots of voices and pads that needs to be separated properly. There are lots such keyboard emulations and patches. The difference is enormous. If a preamp and ADC has linearity problems you will immediately hear the difference as the non-linearity introduces distortion that will remove the depth of the sounds and you will hear that several pure voices played together doesnt separate properly and extra harmonics is created. This makes the sound flatter and voices less separated. Arguably, if you record distorted instruments, the intermodulation distortion of an interface preamp will be masked as the same intermodulation frequencies are likely already created by the distorted source. That is what makes heavy rock great and pleasant, it is the flatness and ball to the wall sound, which will most likely mask a nonlinear preamplifier as the source is already filtered through non-linerarity, the overdriven guitar etc. Therefore under that scenario preamplifier linearity has less of an audible effect as it is another subtle distortion effect way less than the source…

That is exactly what I hear.\ and others hear the same.

Absolutely enormous difference. No turning back for me. And that is taken into account that I really had no interest in Behringer. What I hear must definitely be the linearity of the Midas preamplifiers compared to the presonus. Midas seemingly knows something presonus dont.

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SPDIF used to work out of the box (DAW Channels 9&10), but now stopped working. Where in alsa do you set the spdif clock?
There is no SPDIF clock source setting in alsamixer I could find. There is only Clock Source (internal,optical) but no spdif.

Select “Optical” as the Clock Source in ALSA then set the SPDIF/ADAT button (OPT I/O) on the front of the interface to SPDIF (button out rather than depressed).

Thanks GuntherT

Funny thing is… First time I plugged the interface in and connected spdif cable etc it all worked in my daw. It unfortunately stopped working afterwards. No reason why it stopped working.
SPDIF is something I really like and used to use a lot, but it is way to unreliable on any Linux system. It just doesnt work reliably according to my experience using several interfaces and different Linux instalations.
It is no sweat really. The Midas preamps sound so good anyway, I might prefer them in place of SPDIF.

That is strange since Linux most of the time won’t have any idea if the interface uses AD - converters or spdif to stream audio to it. Syncing is also done inside the interface and Linux has nothing to do with it either. Linux only sees what the interface puts on the usb - cable.

SPDIF does work on windows with the interface so it is not the interface, but it only worked the first time I used it on Linux and then disappeared. Alsa is very finicky. SPDIF is what I have the most trouble with on Linux with interfaces.

Its clearly an ALSA problem/thing.

It is however a small price to pay while using this great interface.

Now two weeks and I am still impressed with this interface.
Really ACE sound compared to Presonus.
I will eventually figure out why SPDIF stopped working. It has always been a problem.

Was it something in your setup or was there something wrong with the UMC1820 ?

I doubt it is the interface, as it works on windows with SPDIF. It must be Alsa, and I sort of bet it is as I had the same SPDIF antics with ALSA and the Presonus. SPDIF iks really handy for my keyboards, but after hearing how nice the Midas preamps sou d with my keys I dont mind not using SPDIF.

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