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MIDI Guitar & MIDI Bass user forum

Choosing an audio interface and speakers connection

I’m interested in purchasing the software because I want to turn my electric guitar into a midi controller and the pc into a virtual amp. But first I need to understand how to connect my instrument with the PC/Windows.

I was thinking to buy something like FOCUSRITE Scarlett 4i4 (so I can also connect my synth with it) but seems like that is mainly good for just recording audio and not monitoring?

Also I would like to know whether I have to connect the speakers to the audio interface or I can leave them connected to the PC/Windows. I’m currently using wonderboom 2 bluetooth speakers ( so it’s not possible for me to connect them to the audio interface).

I’ve been told that bluetooth speakers have some latency but I can’t notice it when I use them for gaming so I think maybe is okay if the latency is imperceptible and is a matter of milliseconds.

To summarize my questions are:

  • Which audio interface, within the budget of a scarlett 4i4, is recommended to do the job?
  • Can I leave my speakers connected to the pc and not the audio interface (so that the only connection is the USB one)?

I’m ignorant on the subject so I’d appreciate a little help thanks.

Hello, welcome in this forum :grinning:

Being French, I can’t give you links to tutorials but there are plenty that will allow you to easily understand everything about DAW, audio interfaces, their use, how to make them work.

Concerning the connection of a synth, I cannot answer you without knowing its reference. Some synths can work only via USB and don’t need audio or MIDI connectors, others need an audio connection but can also work via USB to send and receive MIDI data, etc.
In any case, choosing a Scarlett 4i4 is perfect for your setup with an excellent quality/price ratio.

I am very cautious about using Bluetooth, not only because of the latency issues that can arise but also because of the influence on system stability.
I use a last generation bluetooth system for testing my music in general public listening condition but I can not play live with it because of latency and because of unrealistic sound.
Bluetooth is ok for gaming, listening to music and movies, but It will never replace a pair of traditional monitoring speakers not only to avoid sound delay but also to get a real sound and not an embellished but false sound image.

Connect imperatively your speakers to an audio interface which will replace the internal windows sound card for all applications, even gaming.

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Get an M2 or M4 if you need the I/O and Eris 3.5 monitor.

M2 has a loopback and can play a DAW at 48k and windows at 44.1k at the same time is why I like it.

You want to spend a bit more, have a good look at the SSL and Audient interfaces. I returned the small evo interface because plugging in the headphones kills the main outputs.

Buy from good guys who take returns in case you run into problem.

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The 4i4 is a good choice but for sure you will need real monitors.
All interfaces have direct monitoring now so you easily can blend your direct signal (guitar) with the audio playback from the DAW.
The Motu and Focusrite interfaces are both good. I have a M4 and a Scarlett 6i6. My only problem with the M4 was it is only buss powered and I had to buy a PCIe USB 3 card to get rid of audio crackles.

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Many thanks for the replies they’ve been helpful.

Yes at the end I’ve decided I will buy two speakers to connect them directly with the audio interface. My doubt now is about the outputs on the rear of the 4i4.
They look like 6.3mm jack outputs I think?
Do I have to buy speakers that support both 3.5mm and 6.3mm jack input?
What is the difference between them? I can read on some speakers “balanced” vs “unbalanced”…

Also I’ve been told by Focusrite support that ASIO drivers for windows are limited to 1 device, so in order to use a separate device for input and output, I would need to use software such as Voicemeeter banana: https://vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/banana.htm

But since I’ve decided I will use the speakers directly with the interface I guess I don’t need that additional software anymore, is it correct?

Thanks again

You’re talking speakers, you need self powered monitors. What comes out of interfaces is line level audio. The Eris 3.5 monitors are the only little speakers that sound like they have a sub. I have some 5" Maudio monitors that need a sub, these have so much bass for little speakers, hard to believe.

There’s always going to be a way to hook it up, buy a cable if you need one but most everything is user friendly in the entry market. Shop I/O, then quality and features.

Do you have a DAW? Buy an interface that comes with a lite version DAW unless you already know DAW software. Course I’m a big fan of Studio One but cubase, ableton, any of those would be good to get into.

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Reaper is a good alternative to start learning daw: the advantage is that it is free until you decide buying it - or not. And it is low cost.