Old 11-08-2017, 07:09 AM   #1
mykrobinson
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Default Stupid Question of the Day: Behringer vs FocusRite

Don't laugh

I currently have a 1st gen FocusRite Scarlett 18i20, and for the most part, it works well, except for the seemingly well known issue of input issues. For example, if I turn the gain all the way down, I can still clip the input if I am tracking drums or a hot guitar DI. I am told that issue is fixed with the 2nd generation, and I am at a point where I am seriously considering selling the interface and replacing it with something else.

I'd like the 2nd generation of the same model, however, I am also looking at the Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820, which "looks" similar in function ( i know it doesn't have the robust Mix Control software suite). It is several hundred dollars less, which would allow me to also purchase another pre to have 16 channels versus 8.

Am I insane for considering this over the FocusRite? What are some of your experiences with the UMC1820, if any? The MixControl software, quite frankly, was a bit confusing for me at times, so the prospect of controlling my routing directly from Reaper seems like a plus, and the MIDAS pre on the X32 at my church seems to do well for tracking.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:14 AM   #2
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Hard one to call. In my experience the hardware of the budget end of focusrites equipment is not all that whereas Behringers seems to be catching up in terms of both design and component quality.

I suspect it will all come down to drivers etc., which until recently focusrite really didnt seem to have a handle on, but their Mk2 versions of the saffires and scarletts do seem to behave much better in terms of both reliability and driver performance.

Whilst I dont think we are even close to the "nobody makes a bad performing interface any more" I DO think the differences in performance across the board seem to be shrinking of late.

Not very helpful I know but hopefully this will give you food for thought & ammunition when you go searching all the music forums for opinions.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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I've no complaints about Behringer gear in general. However, re: the 2nd Gen Focusrite stuff---

I had an 18i8 2nd gen. Constant dropouts and skips in recorded audio. Clicks and pops in playback.

Sold, got a 1st gen 18i20. Zero problems. Tested with recording CD playback non-stop of several albums-- no issues. Same version of Reaper, same everything (system, etc).

I definitely have not had good luck with the 2nd Gen Focusrite stuff.

The Behringer looks good. Definitely doesn't have the routing magic that the MixControl has (at least from what I can tell?) but.. definitely looks like a good competitor.

Be wary of the 2nd Gen drivers... that's all I'm saying. They say they improved everything, but I didn't see any type of improvement.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:07 AM   #4
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While I can't say anything from experience regarding the budget Focusrite range or their drivers, I can say that Behringer have made progress in spades regarding build quality and sound quality. I have two of their ADA8200 units connected to my Fireface UFX and am extremely happy with the sound quality and build quality.

I haven't had any experience with Behringer drivers though.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:09 AM   #5
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Just a comment. You're probably not going to be able to sell the 1st gen FocusRite for any significant amount. So go for an interface that's a clear upgrade but also keep the FocusRite. Use them together (make an aggregate device) and get 16 channels (or 8 + whatever the new one has). Then only use the Focusrite for inputs it can handle.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:21 AM   #6
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I say Roland over these two.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:48 AM   #7
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A work-around would be an attenuator, but it could be expensive if you need to attenuate more than one input at a time. If you know how to solder, you could add a couple of resistors to a cable and make an attenuating-cable for (nearly) the same cost of the cable & connectors.

For the guitar, I assume there are volume pedals that can attenuate. Or again, you could make an attenuator very-cheaply if you know how to solder.

Quote:
...also keep the FocusRite. Use them together (make an aggregate device) and get 16 channels (or 8 + whatever the new one has).
From what I've read here on the forum that's a royal pain to set up. It's probably not worth the trouble.

And, the clocks won't sync perfectly... One will always run a little faster/slower than the other. (Pros can use a master clock and interfaces with master clock inputs so it's not a problem.)
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
Just a comment. You're probably not going to be able to sell the 1st gen FocusRite for any significant amount. So go for an interface that's a clear upgrade but also keep the FocusRite. Use them together (make an aggregate device) and get 16 channels (or 8 + whatever the new one has). Then only use the Focusrite for inputs it can handle.
That. I have a a 2nd Gen 18i8 and it's been pretty flawless, but I bought it to control the future Claret Octo-pre that I haven't figured out how to sneak past my wife just yet.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Hard one to call. In my experience the hardware of the budget end of focusrites equipment is not all that whereas Behringer seems to be catching up in terms of both design and component quality.
That about sums it up.

Except that FR have experienced support staff and Behringer just tries hard when you're lucky.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVDdoug View Post
From what I've read here on the forum that's a royal pain to set up.
On Windows...

It's almost a breeze on a Mac.

Real disadvantage: the aggregate device is limited to what the worse one in the aggregate can do. Mostly sample rate, of course, but also, latency.

And you can't aggregate some interfaces. Tascam, fi, doesn't support it. Don't call them, even if it works with some of their interfaces.

In most cases, it's just a few clicks in Audio/MIDI setup, typing a name for the aggregate device and go.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome_oneil View Post
That. I have a a 2nd Gen 18i8 and it's been pretty flawless, but I bought it to control the future Claret Octo-pre that I haven't figured out how to sneak past my wife just yet.
When you figure that out, please post it here. There are quite a few of us who would be interested...
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:58 PM   #12
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I had their big Euro desk once great animal
I just purchased a pair of Behringer Media 40usb active speakers
I could not believe the quality for the price...
I use them on my 2nd recording setup in a different room not used yet for critical listening.
You never know later.

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Old 11-08-2017, 04:23 PM   #13
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Apologies if I am missing something obvious, but why not buy one of the aforementioned Behringer ADA8200 ? Should plug in to the Focusrite ADAT input and do the following;

1) Give you 8 inputs that don't clip
2) Give you 16 input channels right now.
3) It's affordable.
4) You can learn the actually quite good mixcontrol software :-)

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endorka View Post
Apologies if I am missing something obvious, but why not buy one of the aforementioned Behringer ADA8200 ? Should plug in to the Focusrite ADAT input and do the following;

1) Give you 8 inputs that don't clip
2) Give you 16 input channels right now.
3) It's affordable.
4) You can learn the actually quite good mixcontrol software :-)

Cheers,
Jennifer
Hmmm... That's a good thought
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endorka View Post
Apologies if I am missing something obvious, but why not buy one of the aforementioned Behringer ADA8200 ? Should plug in to the Focusrite ADAT input and do the following;

1) Give you 8 inputs that don't clip
2) Give you 16 input channels right now.
3) It's affordable.
4) You can learn the actually quite good mixcontrol software :-)

Cheers,
Jennifer
I'm in total agreement Jen. The ADA8200 has Midas preamps and they sound very transparent. Hard to beat for the price. In fact, they'd be hard to beat at multiples of the price!
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:30 AM   #16
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Yup, I've been using mine a while now with the Focusrite 18i8 1st generation. Combined gives 12 mic + 4 line + stereo SPDIF inputs. Lovely sound and much easier to setup and operate than I thought it would be.

Cheers,
Jennifer


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Originally Posted by ReaDave View Post
I'm in total agreement Jen. The ADA8200 has Midas preamps and they sound very transparent. Hard to beat for the price. In fact, they'd be hard to beat at multiples of the price!
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffsounds View Post
When you figure that out, please post it here. There are quite a few of us who would be interested...
I was kinda hoping for some tips.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:04 PM   #18
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I have a Behringer FCA 1616, works fine for me.

That Behringer you're looking is on sale at Sweetwater, 50% off, $99 including free shipping. That's almost a no brainer.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:09 PM   #19
mykrobinson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter5992 View Post
I have a Behringer FCA 1616, works fine for me.

That Behringer you're looking is on sale at Sweetwater, 50% off, $99 including free shipping. That's almost a no brainer.
You're gonna have to post a link for that. The ADA8200 is $199 and the UMC1820 is $299, unless you have found a glitch in the matrix somewhere.
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