Looking for advice on MIDI-USB interfaces

Hey all,

My M-Audio M-Track 2x2M recently decided to completely die after spending months of random disconnects and driver issues.

I am back in the market for an audio interface and have no interest in giving M-Audio more of my money after my recent experience.

I’ve read great things about the Focusrite Scarlet 4i4, and am curious to hear from this group what you recommend.

Here are my requirements/work environment:

  • Windows 11
  • Ardour Version - I plan to update to the latest
  • MIDI I/O - Mandatory
  • Low latency - Essential … since i’m playing live via MIDI i need the lowest latency response possible
  • Live monitoring - As important as low latency
  • Line/Mic inputs - Less important. I primarily use this interface with my Roland D50 as a controller, and to drive my Tannoy Studio Monitors and am not really doing live mixing from any other source.

I’m looking for a USB MIDI interface with solid build quality that sounds great and one which I will not be fighting constantly with Windows drivers randomly not recognizing it (I’m looking at you M-Audio).

Is the 4i4 4th gen a good candidate based on my requirements above? Are there better alternatives?

Thanks in advance!

If you don’t need all of the inputs, I have had good experiences with the Behringer UMC204HD.



Thanks Keith … looks like a solid option.

I see it has USB2.0 … will that have any noticeable difference in latency when playing live via MIDI as compared to USBC?

No. USB C is just a connector.

The Focusrite models run USB 2.0 protocol over it.

This gives no latency benefits.

Also, see this:

Now, whether you can get better latency with one audio interface or another depends a lot on your system, and the audio drivers in use.

This may also be of interest,. although it doesn’t include the latest Focusrite models:



Thanks for those links and additional information Keith.

And that review video was well done and very helpful. I think you’re bang on with the suggestion of the Behringer in my situation, and it’s even more affordable than some of the other options I was looking at.

I’ll provide an update once I’m up and running again to close the loop for anyone who might stumble on this thread in the future.


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Update: I purchased the UMC204HD a few weeks ago, and since day 1, I am getting audio dropouts every 3-5 seconds regardless of the audio source. I’ve done tons of troubleshooting on my side, and now have a ticket open with their support team.

I’m on Windows 11 with the latest patch, and the latest driver for the device.

This still could turn out to be an issue on my side with hardware or configuration, but my initial experience is less than positive and I wanted to add this update as things progress.

Everyone’s experience will vary, but at the moment, I would not recommend the UMC204HD.

I will provide more updates if/when support is able to resolve the issue with this device.

What buffer size are you using on what type of computer? I own a UMC1820, and on one machine I can set the buffer size to 64 and get no audio dropouts, and on others I have to use a buffer size of 256 or higher to eliminate them. Audio dropouts are likely due to your software settings and computer hardware. It is less likely they are due to the UMC204HD unless you happened to pick up a defective unit or cable.

Did you try a different USB cable? And different ports? And could you provide some system specifications if possible?

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