Simple interface recommendation for use with PreSonus D8

In brief, I’m new to Ardour (semi-new to Linux) and I’m just now getting it with the Ubuntu Studio distro. I’ve used ProTools a fair amount in the past, but not for a few years now. Trying to get back into more serious audio stuff now.

Anyway, I have a PreSonus D8 that’s pretty old (probably 2010-ish) that I used to use with my Digi002 rack. My hope is to get a simple 2- or 4-channel interface that works well with Ardour so that I can:
a) use it for recording demos/rehearsals
b) hook the D8 into it for 8 extra channels to record full band performances

My first question is: does this setup sound feasible or am I missing some important consideration?

My second question is: if it sounds feasible, I would love some recommendations on a good interface to choose.

Thanks in advance! I’m looking very forward to getting into this world of non-proprietary audio software.

Hi, welcome!

Does your D8 have ADAT out? If so, you’d be looking at something like an Audient iD22 or iD44 so you can plug your microphone preamps in that way. I just picked up an iD44 myself for the same purpose although I’m looking at the Scarlett Octopre or Behringer ADA8200 for the separate preamp unit.

So, yes to it sounding feasible and after much research I can recommend either of the Audient interfaces (the Audient preamps are apparently amazing at this price point). The iD44 arrives Thursday and I plan on posting on the classical workflow conversation soon after. From everything I read, it is fully Linux-compatible.

Please, be very, very cautious when recommending Audient interfaces for the kind of “expanded” functionality such as ADAT or internal mixer, when using with GNU/Linux. The fact that internal dacs/adcs + usb work with generic alsa usb driver is a little miracle already, but, usually, internal mixer and adat/spdif, switch, sync switch, dsp effects etc. is controlled by custom software which, most of the time is not available for Linux, unless someone reverse engineers the software.

Having said that, I sincerely hope I am wrong. Please, post us your findings when you get iD44.

Fair enough. I think the worst that could happen is that it defaults to SPDIF without the custom software which, of course, would limit things to two extra digital channels. @seth127 might just have to buy an 8-preamp audio interface. In any case, Ardour can be used exactly the same on Windows and he’d certainly be able to select ADAT in that instance. As you know, I use both Windows and Linux for various reasons explained on other conversations and perhaps this is a good case also. Linux for most things but when you need to engage ADAT for band recording, use a Windows partition/system. Of course, Linux-only would be great but sometimes life (and lack of drivers) forces us to make certain choices :wink:

I will report back!

Thanks for thoughts! I’ll look into the Audient stuff. Looking forward to hearing your report back on it. Oh and yes, the d8 has ADAT optical “lightpipe” for its connector.

I also stumbled on some old posts (2012) saying the Presonus 1818VSL works well on Ubuntu.

That’s the interface that Presonus pairs with the d8 in their promo and the price is definitely right, so that has me interested. Any thoughts on that one?

Other recommendations are welcome too of course.

As @vasakq mentioned, there seem to be a good number of audio interfaces that work out-of-the-box on Linux these days. The only question is whether ADAT works. As per my earlier comment, that might be tricky. I don’t know what would happen if on the Audient you set the digital to ADAT via Windows and Mac and then plugged directly into Linux. Perhaps it retains the setting or maybe resets to SPDIF. I’ll look into it. If you are looking for a solid and inexpensive interface, I can personally vouch for the Behringer UMC series as I own 204HD, 404HD and 1820 (not used the ADAT myself but the conversation here Behringer UMC1820 And Ardour seems to suggest it works perfectly along with the Behringer 8-channel pre-amp unit connected via ADAT!).

EDIT: I also think the pre-amps on the Behringer are perfectly good and rank in the same ballpark as the Scarlett pre-amps from Focusrite. Clean and neutral. I’d have no hesitation adding the Behringer ADA8200 unit into my workflow.

Presonus 1818VSL works well with Linux but it does not have zero latency monitoring, so it’s totally useless for doing overdubs. I would advice against buying a 1818VSL unless the only use for it is to record live performances and never record new tracks while listening to previous tracks.

I had a 1818VSL but I just sold it to a friend of mine who uses macOs. On Mac and windows you can enable the hardware mixer inside 1818VSL and get near zero latency monitoring, but the software does not work on Linux.

Ahhh, great point! These are exactly the kind of insights I needed from this forum. I hadn’t even thought about that issue.

So I guess my ideal setup would be:

  • 2-channel in
  • zero (or very low) latency
  • fairly cheap
  • use this ^ for demos and overdubs
  • then it has the ADAT lightpipe so I can add the d8 and have 10 channels to record a simple live setup.

That may be an impossible combo to find, but I’d be mighty happy if anyone had ideas. Any latency issues we know of with the Behringer or the Audient that was mentioned above?

This is not exactly what you asked for but the Behringer UMC1820 has zero latency monitoring, ADAT, it’s cheap and every feature works with Linux. It has 8 mic inputs so it’s bigger than a 2 input device. I have the UMC1820 and I use it with Behringer ADA8200 (8 mic inputs + ADAT) to get a maximum of 16 input channels. The sound quality is good and quite transparent. Behringer devices are sometimes faulty from the beginning and needs to be sent back, this happened to me with the UMC1820. I got a new device and never got any problems since.

I have tested Audient ID4 (not 44) and did not like how one knob is used to control many different things. But that might be alright for others.

Great, I think I linked to your success story above. Agreed on the UMC1820. Great device (never had any QC problems, myself) and in the same league as Scarlett, Presonus etc. Based on all the reviews, the Audient range will no doubt have slightly better preamps but as yet unsure about ADAT functionality in Linux.

Thanks all. I think the UMC1820 sounds like the best bet. I was hung up on this idea of only needing 10 channels total, but I don’t know if there are any 2-channel units that have the ADAT capability.

Anyway, the Behringer is cheap and gets good reviews and I can just get a little two rack case and put that and the D8 in it and I’ll be good to go.

Thanks again for the input.

Perhaps make it a 3 or 4 rack. One really terrible experience made me subsequently purchase a 1-rack Furman M-8X2 power conditioner :wink: I don’t think you’ll regret the UMC1820…

I have a power conditioner, a UMC1820 and a ADA8200 mounted in a rack and have been pleased with that setup. No proprietary software to fuss with to gain access to additional features or change settings, just exposed hardware ready to use. I am more of a Windows user these days, but it works out of the box on AVLinux (Debian), configurable through ALSA.

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