M-audio 18/14? any good? newbie questions....
Posted on Oct 11, 2005 11:45 pm
The Eternal Student
Member Since: Oct 08, 2005
Hey folks, I'm new to the recording thing here. My background is piano, and a lot of it. I'm wanting to put together a hobbyist pc-based recording/composing setup. My first priority is MIDI for the sweet =) PX-300 digital piano I just got, then next would be recording on a mic or two.
I don't have anything that'll get MIDI into my computer right now, as I have built in sound with no gameport. I'm looking at M-audio's 18/14 as an interface. Anybody used it? I can pick it up for $430 new. Don't really want to fork out the shells for the firepod cause I'm a grad student. Suggestions?
I have sibelius 4 coming as well as Sound Forge 8 (super deals through the college). What else would I need to get started recording for software?
Thanks in advance
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Oct 12, 2005 02:36 pm For the price, its a good unit. If u like midi recording via keyboard, I suggest Reason 3. You may get the Reason adapted version with the 1814, but i'm not sure. Does Soundforge have re-wire capability? If so, reason can be kept in the digital world as virtual tracks within the software mixer. U may want to look into some VST software plug-ins. Hypersonic is a pretty cool plug-in with hundreds of instruments from grand pianos to cathedral organs, woodwinds, strings, synthesizers, etc. Retails for $399
US but Sam Ash sells it for 199. Musicians Friend would probably match that if their price is higher.
Oct 12, 2005 03:50 pm Just checked the Sound Forge product description and didn't see anything about re-wire support. Maybe their next update/upgrade will fix that since virtually all of their competitors do. There are lots of freeware VST and Direct X plug-ins out there though. Again, Hypersonic is a good one as mentioned above.
Oct 12, 2005 04:15 pm Sounds like the 18/14 comes with Ableton Live Lite 4? I've never heard of it, personally, and the Lite version limits you to 4 tracks. I'll have to check out Hypersonic. Probably just get myself started with some composing first before I start thinking about recording anything. I'll check to see if the school can order Reason 3.
I better get back to the books. Thanks for your reply!
Oct 12, 2005 04:47 pm On another note, has anyone had any latency issues with the m-audio 18/14? I was reading in another forum that the firewire m-audio 410 wouldn't get better than 12ms latency.
Suggestions? (note, I'm XP based, not mac)
Oct 14, 2005 09:08 pm You can use protools m-powered with the
I've just ordered one in the mail....
Waiting, I'm so impatient!!
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Oct 15, 2005 01:53 pm The issue with latency is kind of a 2 edged sword. Yes, you can get latency down to a very low number. I can get down to less then 1 ms of latency with my ESI 1010 or the ESI Waveterminal 192m. But that said the problem arise when you start to stack up audio and virtual instrument tracks. While playing all those back you are adding a real load not only to the CPU but to the processors in your audio interface as well. Making it harder for them to talk to each other. The only solution is to up the latency buffer, which intern give you the 12 or 15 ms delays you are seeing on those cards. I dont care who's card it is, latency will be an issue when you get into bigger productions. Now in my case with Sonar and Project 5/2 there are ways around this such as freeze. This allows me to freeze heavy synth or heavily processed tracks into audio and I can once agian attain lower latency.
Since: Apr 04, 2002
If your track count is never going to be high, then latency should never really be a big issue.
And just for the record, anything below say 20ms isnt really noticable at all. I usually try to run heavily loaded projects between 8ms and 13ms just to keep sane and not have to be messing with the buffer all the time.
Oct 15, 2005 02:08 pm Thanks for everyone's comments. So anything less than 20ms, and I'll be ok. Sweet.
If I had a mac, I'd get logic pro with the HUGE school discount. Unfortunately, I'm pc based. lol. I don't like apple's monopolistic marketing scheme (i.e. no building your own) so I will continue to refrain from their products.
The m-audio dudes said I could get 6ms, but that's probably just recording one track, and no other cpu loads. I have plenty of RAM, so hopefully I'll be fine for latency.
Oct 15, 2005 03:11 pm Woo! Order was shipped today from MF! =)
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Oct 16, 2005 06:28 pm kenneth, if you plan and do things right you will be able to probably stay under the 10ms mark without much hassle. It will just take some experimenting to find what works best. Good luck with the new gear..
Since: Apr 04, 2002
Oct 16, 2005 06:31 pm Sweet action, thanks for the help/comments.
Yeah, I'm sitting here looking at the UPS website clicking refresh to see if they actually have picked the package up yet (yes, I know they don't work on Sundays...lol).
Maybe I'll go watch some water boil instead. =)
Oct 16, 2005 07:10 pm Watching the tracking can be misleading. One Friday a few months ago, I was watching the tracking and getting frustrated because I needed the item Saturday and It looked I wouldn't get it till Monday. I had ordered 2 day shipping on Tuesday. I was about to call the people I bought it from and vent. Went to check the mail and to my surprise, the package was on my front porch. Turns out that the web site was not updated correctly or something. To ease the anxious waiting, just download the manual and memorize it while you're new toy is on the truck!
Oct 16, 2005 08:25 pm Great advice! I'm on page 50 of the manual..lol.
OoOo.. and I found out it ships with Reason Adapted, so that'll get me started along with Sound Forge and Sibelius! =)!!
I feel like a kid at christmastime. Is this normal? lol...
Oct 16, 2005 09:23 pm Yep, quite normal. Reason adapted will give you a feel for the program, and I think it'll get you a discount on the full version. U can also buy "Refills" with additional instruments, samples, drums, etc. Be sure to read the manual to avoid some frustration. Not sure how it'll interface with Sound Forge though. Maybe re-wire is there, just not mentioned. Anyone out there know about that?
Oct 16, 2005 10:35 pm oooh, aparently my 18/14, according to UPS tracking under went "import scan" in Auckland this morning. I wonder if that means I'll get it today or tomorrw... The tracking list seems to show it has been for quite a ride across the US.
Oct 16, 2005 11:10 pm U may want to look at Cubase SE or LE or Cakewalk Home Studio to do your recording/midi production. Sound Forge will be good for mastering, but, I don't think its designed for midi stuff. These versions retail for around $100-150 US and can handle up to 64 tracks I think.
dragonorchid, like I told kenneth, quit staring at the tracking and download the manual and start reading! lol BTW, my son was in New Zealand a couple of years ago. Beautiful!!
Oct 16, 2005 11:23 pm I am soo not a manual reading type person... can't you tell. When I get kitsets to put together, I do it like a puzzle, and only look at instructions if I get stuck.
Hehe, thanks though Sound Mind, I've downloaded the manuals, whether I read the... ever... is another story. lol.
I really dunno how I made it through uni and got an engineering degree!
Yes, Nz is beautiful. Today is the best/ most sunny and warm spring day we've had so far. you should all come down!
Oct 16, 2005 11:27 pm Yeah, I know what u mean...unless there is a warning "DANGER...READ THE MANUAL BEFORE OPERATING", I don't either...unless I can't get it to work. I'm a plug n play sort of person. I have to read so much at work that I hate to do it unless necessary.
Oct 17, 2005 10:24 am Yeah, I'll probably have to pick up a multitrack recording software of some sort too. Sound forge is just for editing and its recording options aren't suited for multiple tracks. Have you used Acid Pro?
Personally, I think the trial and error approach is best for your learning experience. Except for when it comes to power-related stuff and assembling computers. Situations like that when you need to know what you're doing.
P.S. I'm going to New Zealand... someday. haha
Oct 17, 2005 10:26 am I put manuals in the bathroom, gives me something to read while pinchin' off a loaf. :-)
Oct 17, 2005 10:30 am I have my Musician's Friend Magazine in the "throne room" ... lol.
Oct 17, 2005 10:42 am Bathroom reading currently:
- Latest issues of Music Tech Magazine and Black Belt Magazine
- Sonar 5 manual
- Bruce Berman's "I got here, you can too"
Oct 17, 2005 11:03 am I had "desktop audio technology: digital audio and MIDI principles" by francis rumsey. I thumbed through it and now am returning it to the library...lol.
The librarians always give you funny looks when you return books to them with toilet paper bookmarks.
Oct 17, 2005 11:04 am bahahahahahaha, I wanna make a joke about stained toilet paper, but I digress.
Oct 17, 2005 11:23 am Even worse is when you're at church and pull out your bible and you have sheets of toilet paper as bookmarks in it too. =) It's tough to be discrete about grabbing those things before a breeze catches them and blows them around the sanctuary.
Oct 17, 2005 03:25 pm "I got here, you can too" in the bathroom? I don't know about that... sound kinda kinky...
Since: Feb 14, 2005
Oct 17, 2005 03:26 pm hehehe, no, it's a book about starting and running a business. I don't really dig the guys ethics (or lack of them) at certain places, but overall, he's rich and I'm not...sooooooo...
Oct 17, 2005 03:48 pm A good entrepreneur (wow, I think I butchered the spelling of that word) book is the one about the dude who expanded Starbucks to what it is today. Howard Schultz. It's called "Pour Your Heart into it"
Not really a how to, but a good read anyways about business practices and what he did to expand it to the place that charges a crapload for a cup of coffee but people frequent anyways. =)
HuePinnipedal Czar (: 3= Member
Oct 17, 2005 06:45 pm Friends don't let friends drink Starbucks . 8 )
Since: Apr 11, 2004
Oct 17, 2005 07:10 pm That's just wrong. Although, most of the time I drink Folgers Gourmet Supreme (oxymoron anyone?!). lol...
Oct 17, 2005 07:16 pm Maybe time for a new poll..."Where do you read?" I have to avoid reading on the throne, fell asleep twice already, can make life interesting.
Oct 18, 2005 12:28 am Soundmind, I asked the Sony support folks, and Sound Forge 8 doesn't support rewire, only Acid does.
Oct 18, 2005 01:39 am Thats what I thought. Not familiar with Acid. I'd take a look at Sonar 5, or any app that supports rewire and VST. If you're considering Reason, u really need rewire support. If reason adapted suits your needs, u can save the 249 or so and get hypersonic for $199. I use both. Hyper has some great pianos and organs, but Reason has more flexibility with it's synthesizers. If I could only choose 1, I'd go with reason. Heck, save up and get both! If you're a keyboard player, you'll have a lot to work with for composing and recording with midi.
Oct 18, 2005 07:51 pm Yeah, I'll have to get something similar to a dedicated multitracker. I'll check the school discounts on Sonar, Reason, and Acid Pro. See if I like Sound Forge's interface and stuff and I might stick to Sony to avoid incompatibilities.
Oct 30, 2005 06:31 am okay, I got the 18/14, but It has a weird audible latency problem... Is there any way to get rid of that? I don't even know how to adjust the latency if you can...
Oct 30, 2005 01:54 pm I hear the fix is to mess with your buffer size. Smaller buffer = less latency, too small a buffer will clip out your music. Larger buffer = ability to record and playback more at the sacrifice of higher latency.
 more specifically, go to your hardware tab in the control panel for the 18/14 and lower the ASIO/WDM buffer there. Default is 256.
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Oct 30, 2005 06:05 pm Yep, try 128 for starters. It is usually a good starting point for most apps.
Since: Apr 04, 2002
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