Recommended Live Audio Interfaces

Hello everyone!
I’m a seasoned (read old!!) live and studio keyboard player but am new, as of today, to GP.
I have a subjective question for anyone interested: What is your preferred live performance audio interface when using GP?
As a point of information, I’m currently using a 2019 16" MacBook Pro and an Arturia MKII88 controller for live use. I use a slew of different instruments ranging from Kontakt 6 and Analog Lab to Ivory, Lounge Lizard and the Korg Collection.
I am really just curious to hear what everyone feels works best for them and their particular setup.
Thanks in advance for your observations and educated opinions. I’m always seeking to learn new and better ways of making music!!

Perhaps you can find tips here:

Almost impossible to answer this one without some sense of your budget

I already have a studio setup so the budget would be under $500 for the live interface.

For those who like features more than simplicity…
If you want the most bang for the buck, and learn a “system that now is ubiquitous in the audio world”, an Behringer X32 Rack will not only handle anyone’s needs for “audio interface and mixing/routing for a keyboard rig”, but you can also record you whole band at the same time :grinning: (Mind boggling to have 32 channel audio interface, 40 channel digital mixer, including 16 mic preamps, etc, etc… all in one unit!).
But you probably have to be of the “technically inclined, feature hungry, power user” mentality to go that route.
I love my X32s (I own two X32 Racks, and an X32 Compact)

On the high end - you will find the RME interfaces like the BabyFace Pro which are fantastic, but as @dougalex pointed out - there are some interfaces out there that offer a LOT of great stuff at lower prices.

I regularly use XAir Behringer interfaces for the entire band. Ton of features. Nice MIDAS preamps and it serves as a mixing board for the band.

Presonus offers some great interfaces with low latency, TASCAM and FocusRite are there too - there are others of course …

It depends if its just for you, how many inputs and outputs you need and so on.

Thanks everyone for your input, it’s greatly appreciated!
The Behringer certainly has the greatest Bang for the Buck, as they are known.
However, I wouldn’t be requiring nearly the number of I/Os it offers so it would be overkill for my application.
The RME looks promising for the kind of small combo/ solo work I would be involved with.

I would also take care of having a multi-client ASIO driver, like the RME one, to be able to work with multiple GP instances.

Just to point out that the multi-client ASIO stuff is for Windows only. @baby88 is on OSX I think so this is not an issue - all interfaces are multi client.

Happy man :wink:

The RME stuff is awesome, both in terms of audio quality and software drivers. But although well worth the price, it’s not cheap.

Good point @djogon. For live purposes I am running Catalina on a 16" MacBook Pro.
At home, in my studio, I’m using the UA Apollo x8 interface with Cubase 10.5 and the UA quad core UAD plug-in card.
My primary interest in GP lies in the live application as it relates to my keyboard setup and virtual instrument use in the context of solo or small ensemble work and strictly for the keyboard organization/ instrument access, not mixing a band or large ensemble use.

Yes, this is true for almost all keyboard players using GP including me (one of the developers). But I use an RME UFX which has (among various other output types) 8 XLR audio outputs all of which I use on stage (to allow FOH to have finer control over my mix)

If you only need a stereo output (or you can use lightpipe), then the RME Babyface Pro is awesome.

Thanks @dhj!
At this point I don’t need the multiple outputs so the Babyface Pro sounds like a good recommendation.
Thanks again to everyone for your valuable input!!

The Focusrite Clarett Thunderbolt interfaces have very low latency. I don’t know if they’re made anymore, but you can find one I’m sure. I use the Clarett 2 Pre and am very happy with it.

Correction, I have a Clarett 4Pre. I have a Yamaha TX7 going in the analog inputs, along with Virtual Instruments and External MIDI keyboard.

I apply multiple plugins to the TX7 signal. I can layer it with a VI on percussive keyboard patches and there is no noticeable delay between the audio signal coming in and out again with the computer generated sounds. It feels like they’re together as I play. That’s great latency when you can do that.

I’m very happy with Presonus Studio 26c. Not too expensive, very low latency, usb c bus powered and 4 outputs. Works fine with macbook pro.

I find the xr18 has an annoying delay. My info may be old, I stopped trying to use it as an interface 2 years ago. I use an rme Babyface Pro now and love it.

I just want to point out that the XR18 is not an audio interface: it is a really nice mixer, particularly in live and it has, to a limited extent, a buit-in A/D converter which allows recording, but no ability to be used for real-time processing.

As a digital « mixer », it has obviously both A/D and D/A converters. :wink:
It is true that beside the market positioning, the difference of possibilities between some audio interfaces and this kind of « mixer » is quite confusing.
By the way, even if it is a bit more expensive (but not that much regarding the overall price of a band equipment), I am surprised that people seem to consider more the Behringer XR18 than the Soundcraft UI24R…