Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 23 Old 09-13-16, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

Hi please can someone tell me which is the better choice?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 23 Old 09-13-16, 09:22 PM
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

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Hi please can someone tell me which is the better choice?

Thanks in advance
I do not know much about the Scarlet. I have a Quad-Capture, though.

One thing I really like about it is the mixer panel in the device driver has a numeric gain indication for each of the two mic preamps, in 0.5 dB increments. So the gain can be set with high repeatability. It is very convenient for gain calibration.

My one complaint is that it does not have a LED indicator for Phantom Power On. Seems like a no-brainer, almost every cheap interface has one. It is not a show-stopper, though. I really like the numeric gain readout.


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post #3 of 23 Old 09-13-16, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

Hi Wayne thanks

So it has a digital control?

Thank you
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-13-16, 10:14 PM
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

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Hi Wayne thanks

So it has a digital control?

Thank you
Not really a digital control. The only control is the knob on the front panel of the Quad-Capture, which is an analog control, no detents, pure analog.

But there is a digital READOUT of the gain set by that knob. So it can easily be set to any desired gain, in 0.5 dB increments.

For instance, when I want to calibrate the gain for use with my BeyerDynamic MM-1 mic with REW, I know that the +27.0 dB gain setting is just right for a 75 dB SPL with a -30 dBFS measured input level. I just
  • turn on some periodic pink noise, the precise level does not matter
  • turn the input gain for the mic preamp to 27.0 dB
  • NOW adjust the REW output level so the measured input llevel is -30 dBFS on the REW SPL meter
  • click on CALIBRATE, enter 75.0 for the SPL reading, click on FINISH.
  • calibration is DONE!


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post #5 of 23 Old 09-14-16, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

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Not really a digital control. The only control is the knob on the front panel of the Quad-Capture, which is an analog control, no detents, pure analog.

But there is a digital READOUT of the gain set by that knob. So it can easily be set to any desired gain, in 0.5 dB increments.

For instance, when I want to calibrate the gain for use with my BeyerDynamic MM-1 mic with REW, I know that the +27.0 dB gain setting is just right for a 75 dB SPL with a -30 dBFS measured input level. I just
  • turn on some periodic pink noise, the precise level does not matter
  • turn the input gain for the mic preamp to 27.0 dB
  • NOW adjust the REW output level so the measured input llevel is -30 dBFS on the REW SPL meter
  • click on CALIBRATE, enter 75.0 for the SPL reading, click on FINISH.
  • calibration is DONE!
Hi Wayne thank you

How do you know the 75db spl, or is there any other way of doing this?

I am trying to work out if I get the either of these two or get a plug in play mic/pre e.g. the XTZ. Please feel free to comment.

With the digital readout it would come in handy to make sure it stays at that level, instead of having mic gain pots?

Is this the UA - 55 http://www.roland.co.nz/products/quad-capture/ the one you have?
Is there another Roland UA - 55 Quad Capture or is this the only one, I thought I saw the same name but with "Professional" at the end?

Thank you, trying to understand this.

Last edited by Phillips; 09-14-16 at 03:33 PM.
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post #6 of 23 Old 09-15-16, 06:19 AM
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

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How do you know the 75db spl, or is there any other way of doing this?
When I say "I know that the +27.0 dB gain setting is just right for a 75 dB SPL with a -30 dBFS measured input level," the only way to know this is to go through a regular level calibration using an SPL meter. This was done once a number of years ago, and is reconfirmed from time to time.

The little procedure I outlined is simply a shortcut for day-to-day REW setup, an example of what is possible with the digital gain readout. If you trust that you can simply set the knob and never move it, then the gain readout does not help you. But then what if you bump it or move it without thinking? Then you have to re-calibrate. Can you set the interface aside for a few weeks and trust the seting of that gain next time you pick it up? I am not comfortable doint that. Can you mark the position of the knob? Probably only accurate to +/- 2 or 3 dB. The readout is accurate to +/- 0.5 dB.

It is not really THAT big a deal, just a little convenience / time shortcut thing that I like.

Quote:
I am trying to work out if I get the either of these two or get a plug in play mic/pre e.g. the XTZ. Please feel free to comment.
The XTZ mic is good, it is calibrated for 90 degree use. There is no calibration file. It is made to be +/- 1 dB accurate. So there is no way to accurately use it in the 0 degree orientation, unless you create your own calibration file, which is possible but is a pain.

A USB mic or the XTZ mic will not allow you to use timing loopback for accurate time measurements. Having that feature is a must for me. I still use a UMIK-1 from time to time and have and use the XTZ mic, too, where FR is all that is needed, and no time info is necessary.

I have no experience with the Scarlet, and no idea what special features it might have.

Quote:
With the digital readout it would come in handy to make sure it stays at that level, instead of having mic gain pots?
The Quad-Capture DOES HAVE MIC GAIN POTS, like almost all audio interfaces. The digital readout tells you what the gain is set at using that pot. Turn the knob, see the readout number change accordingly, set the gain accurately where you want it with the front-panel gain pot by watching the digital gain readout.

Quote:
Is this the UA - 55 http://www.roland.co.nz/products/quad-capture/ the one you have?
Yes. Pretty sure I paid about $250 for mine.

Quote:
Is there another Roland UA - 55 Quad Capture or is this the only one, I thought I saw the same name but with "Professional" at the end?
It is the only one I have ever seen.


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post #7 of 23 Old 09-15-16, 03:36 PM
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

I use the 2i2 audio interface. It is a very good inexpensive audio interface for REW use. It has a couple very minor shortcomings, but is basically as capable as any of the other low priced units. Its shortcomings are unlikely to be significant for any of the typical REW applications.


I also have an easy method to calibrate the REW SPL meter when using the 2i2. It does not require an SLM. The method could be used for other similar audio interfaces as well. The advantage of the process is that it is quick and easy. It is almost as easy as the method Wayne found for the Quad-Capture Interface. It only requires a TRS to XLR loopback cable. For those that change the input gain on the audio interface between REW sessions this is much easier than using the SLM method or the method using a multi-meter. [It is basically a simplification of the multi-meter method I previously used.]


I can provide details if you or others will find this helpful.
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post #8 of 23 Old 09-15-16, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

Hi Wayne thank you very much

Does the Quad Capture have digital readouts for inputs and outputs?
I think the digital readout, this would be handy like you say for re assurance that it is exactly at the correct setting like you say bumping etc.

So I need a reference reading/point for SPL

I thought there is a XTZ pro mic calibration file?

Thanks again
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post #9 of 23 Old 09-15-16, 06:52 PM
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

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I also have an easy method to calibrate the REW SPL meter when using the 2i2. It does not require an SLM. The method could be used for other similar audio interfaces as well. The advantage of the process is that it is quick and easy. It is almost as easy as the method Wayne found for the Quad-Capture Interface. It only requires a TRS to XLR loopback cable. For those that change the input gain on the audio interface between REW sessions this is much easier than using the SLM method or the method using a multi-meter. [It is basically a simplification of the multi-meter method I previously used.]

I can provide details if you or others will find this helpful.
I, for one, am curious what you have come up with. Please share.

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Phillips wrote: View Post
Does the Quad Capture have digital readouts for inputs and outputs?
Only for the first two inputs. Not for inputs 3 and 4 (digital) and not for the outputs.

Quote:
I think the digital readout, this would be handy like you say for re assurance that it is exactly at the correct setting like you say bumping etc.

So I need a reference reading/point for SPL
Yes, initially. This can be done with a borrowed SPL meter, or with a UMIK-1 or similar calibrated USB mic that has the reference gain in the mic calibration file. Once it has been determined, and the input gain is set as described above, that reference meter or mic is no longer needed for that purpose. So, if there is a way to borrow such a reference, you will only need it for a short time. Some would want to keep a SPL measurement reference around for quick level checks or whatever, and some would be fine without it. That is your call.

Quote:
I thought there is a XTZ pro mic calibration file?
Oops. Yes, you are correct, there is one. I had forgotten that.

The only driver needed is the Windows generic driver. And there is a single calibration file which works for all XTZ Pro mics, not a unique calibration file for each mic manufactured, like most other calibrated mics. The XTZ Pro mics are designed and manufactured (or selected) to work with that calibration file. The calibration file covers the range from 10 Hz to 22 kHz.


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post #10 of 23 Old 09-15-16, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture

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jtalden wrote: View Post
I use the 2i2 audio interface. It is a very good inexpensive audio interface for REW use. It has a couple very minor shortcomings, but is basically as capable as any of the other low priced units. Its shortcomings are unlikely to be significant for any of the typical REW applications.


I also have an easy method to calibrate the REW SPL meter when using the 2i2. It does not require an SLM. The method could be used for other similar audio interfaces as well. The advantage of the process is that it is quick and easy. It is almost as easy as the method Wayne found for the Quad-Capture Interface. It only requires a TRS to XLR loopback cable. For those that change the input gain on the audio interface between REW sessions this is much easier than using the SLM method or the method using a multi-meter. [It is basically a simplification of the multi-meter method I previously used.]


I can provide details if you or others will find this helpful.
Hi thanks for your reply

I would also like to know how you did it + would this work for other programs?

Thanks again
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