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Alternatives to the Zoom UAC series to achieve my goals?

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  • Alternatives to the Zoom UAC series to achieve my goals?

    So I made a previous post here that outlined some of the things I wanted to accomplish by converting over to a VST based setup paired with my acoustic drums. With the input I got, I think I'm in the home stretch of building my Sweetwater/Reverb cart, but before I push the buy buttons I want to get some more feedback from you guys here. The functional purpose of the setup has expanded a little bit since I began this process.

    - Trigger chain will be my acoustic kit > thick Evans 2 ply heads > Roland RT series triggers > Roland TD10/12/20 interface or EDrumin > Zoom UAC interface > Laptop > Reaper > Superior Drummer

    - Sound output would be Reaper > laptop > UAC > Mackie HM4 Headphone amp.

    - Cymbals will be miced with two overheads. It would be nice to maybe also run a snare mic to blend with SD3 sounds.

    - All guitar and bass effects are external and not handled by the laptop or VSTs in Reaper.

    - I would now like for the other two band members to run their guitar and bass signals into the interface to be mixed and recorded with the drum sounds and monitored back out in the practice room with headphones. There is also a vocal mic. This creates a problem with the Zoom UAC-2 interface due to it's two in setup. The UAC-8 is overkill input and price-wise. I've read lots of posts in this forum recommending the UAC interfaces based on it's low latency MIDI > USB performance, but

    Is there an alternative MIDI interface to the Zoom UAC in the $350-450 range with five or six quarter/XLR inputs that will still achieve sub 10 ms roundtrip performance for all three of us monitoring back while also recording? Something that's also rack mountable would be just gravy

    - All three of us prefer to both hear and feel loud volumes coming back at us. Our practice room also has a PA setup where the monitors and amps are maybe 13 feet away from anyone's ears at the furthest. Is this a workable alternative where I could scrap headphone monitoring and use a blend of the PA and amps, or am I just setting myself up for everyone in the band to fight against a delayed version of themselves?

    - Sidenote: I realize there would be terrible amounts of bleed running cymbals and live amps and PA monitors in a small room in conjunction with overheads and a snare mic. I suppose for the recorded material I'm just hoping to achieve demo quality material.

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by Acidline; 05-26-20, 12:56 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Acidline View Post
    So I made a previous post here that outlined some of the things I wanted to accomplish by converting over to a VST based setup paired with my acoustic drums. With the input I got, I think I'm in the home stretch of building my Sweetwater/Reverb cart, but before I push the buy buttons I want to get some more feedback from you guys here. The functional purpose of the setup has expanded a little bit since I began this process.

    - Trigger chain will be my acoustic kit > thick Evans 2 ply heads > Roland RT series triggers > Roland TD10/12/20 interface > Zoom UAC interface > Laptop > Reaper > Superior Drummer

    - Sound output would be Reaper > laptop > UAC > Mackie HM4 Headphone amp.

    - Cymbals will be miced with two overheads. It would be nice to maybe also run a snare mic to blend with SD3 sounds.

    - All guitar and bass effects are external and not handled by the laptop or VSTs in Reaper.

    - I would now like for the other two band members to run their guitar and bass signals into the interface to be mixed and recorded with the drum sounds and monitored back out in the practice room with headphones. There is also a vocal mic. This creates a problem with the Zoom UAC-2 interface due to it's two in setup. The UAC-8 is overkill input and price-wise. I've read lots of posts in this forum recommending the UAC interfaces based on it's low latency MIDI > USB performance, but

    Is there an alternative MIDI interface to the Zoom UAC in the $350-450 range with five or six quarter/XLR inputs that will still achieve sub 10 ms roundtrip performance for all three of us monitoring back while also recording? Something that's also rack mountable would be just gravy

    - All three of us prefer to both hear and feel loud volumes coming back at us. Our practice room also has a PA setup where the monitors and amps are maybe 13 feet away from anyone's ears at the furthest. Is this a workable alternative where I could scrap headphone monitoring and use a blend of the PA and amps, or am I just setting myself up for everyone in the band to fight against a delayed version of themselves?

    - Sidenote: I realize there would be terrible amounts of bleed running cymbals and live amps and PA monitors in a small room in conjunction with overheads and a snare mic. I suppose for the recorded material I'm just hoping to achieve demo quality material.

    Thanks for the help!
    Most decent interfaces will do it sub 10ms latency, that's pretty bad. The zoom can do it much faster. However that also depends if you mean including the triggering latency. I'm not sure how low latency it has to be to not get flams between the acoustic sound and the triggered sound. Maybe a module would be better suited, a 2box maybe?

    Otherwise look into a used zoom maybe.

    The focusrite interfaces are quite popular as well although not quite as low latency capable as the zoom but should be good enough.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by frankzappa View Post
      The focusrite interfaces are quite popular as well although not quite as low latency capable as the zoom but should be good enough.

      Originally, I was looking at one of the Scarlett series, but was told in that previous thread to avoid them based on latency specs. One of my favorite drum Youtubers uses the 18i20 in his trigger setup. I've never heard him complain about it, but I'm not sure how it performs for him in a setting with other musiciansrunning in his DAW vs. just recording SD3 waveforms for his youtube videos.


      I suppose I should state that for this initial purchase, simply not hearing overt flamming or something that's going to throw me or the other guys in the band off is my main objective. I'm not trying to achieve the upper echelon of latency shaving. I've never used a triggered or electronic signal as my primary sound, so my ears arent going to be as jaded and exacting as some of you with a decade or two of use experience might be.
      Last edited by Acidline; 05-26-20, 01:10 PM.

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