NI Audio 8 DJ vs. M-Audio FW410
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  1. #1

    Default NI Audio 8 DJ vs. M-Audio FW410

    I've performing for some time with the VCI-100 and been mixing internally using its faders. I feel like it's time to get accustomed to club mixers and external mixing, hoping that the sound quality will be improved - I've always ran into problems and felt like I don't have enough control over the stuff that was coming out of the main club speakers.

    I have a FW410, which is a good soundcard but not really ideal for club environments I guess, for many reasons - jack outputs, dodgy firewire cable that unplugs easily, no indicators and it also requires an external power source when using with a laptop. I'm not so sure about the sound quality, all my performances seemed to suffer a bit from excessive highs and not enough clean bass. Really not sure though if that was my fault.

    I've been thinking of swapping this for a NI Audio 8 DJ which would eventually allow me to start messing with vinyl and also seems more club mixer friendly. Given that many DJ's use Scratch Pro and their sets sound good, I've been thinking this would be a good solution.

    My question is - is the sound quality actually better? Would you recommend this upgrade or is it a rather waste of money?

    What other options would I have - I'm looking for something that can output 4 stereo channels, but this would also let me use timecode vinyl/CD's in the future in case some promoters wouldn't like the idea of using a VCI 100....

  2. #2

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    As far as I've heard, Audio8's sound is crisp like a cracker!

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor DJPhaidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperKokot View Post
    I have a FW410, which is a good soundcard but not really ideal for club environments I guess, for many reasons - jack outputs, dodgy firewire cable that unplugs easily, no indicators and it also requires an external power source when using with a laptop. I'm not so sure about the sound quality, all my performances seemed to suffer a bit from excessive highs and not enough clean bass. Really not sure though if that was my fault.
    I have the FW410 also, and I have had no problems with clean bass or excessive highs. In fact, everything that I've ran through it has come out severely crisp and as it should. I don't run a laptop, but have never had a problem with the FW cable. And for the jack outputs, I just have balanced/unbalanced converter cables for just about every connection I'd need. Only thing I've noticed is sometimes Traktor Pro doesn't pick up the interface on load, but a simple restart and it's good for hours, and I've never had it drop after it was running.

    I would suggest maybe tweaking the M-audio FW410 program that controls the soundcard, and it might fix your problem, then again, maybe not. I think it's a great sound card and does exactly what it's supposed to do.

    13" MacBook Pro 2.7 i7 w/dual Raid0 OWC SSDs - S4 - Ableton Live 8- Lemur- iPad 2

  4. #4

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    My main concern is live club use. The soundcard is great and sounds OK at home, but carrying a power cable is very cumbersome and I'd rather just have the laptop plugged in and ready to go. I think the sound quality problems could be mostly due to internal mixing - I just had the master out as one channel in club mixer, which is not ideal gain wise

    I just want something that's really reliable in clubs and it's easy to set up.

  5. #5

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    i got A8 recently. Upgraded from M-Audio Fast Track Pro. Huge difference... although i got it for DVS, improving sound quality was very nice bonus indeed.
    DJ Blofeld - The Evil Genius
    I shall look forward personally to exterminating you, Mr. Bond.” Ernst Stavro Blofeld to 007
    Doomsday device: TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO, AUDIO 8, VCI-100black 1.3, 2x Technics SL1210mkII

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor silver fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperKokot View Post
    carrying a power cable is very cumbersome and I'd rather just have the laptop plugged in and ready to go.
    I have a M-Audio FireWire 410 and have no problems with the jacks the firewire cable and my laptop (MacBook Pro) powers the interface without the need for a power supply. What lappy have you got??
    fart.

  7. #7
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperKokot View Post
    carrying a power cable is very cumbersome
    Seriously dude, its a power cable not an elephant.
    You soon realise that even though stuff may run fine without power cables its always a good idea to power eveything (imho).

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    Seriously dude, its a power cable not an elephant.
    You soon realise that even though stuff may run fine without power cables its always a good idea to power eveything (imho).
    well i do run my VCI 100 of just an usb chord. never had a issue. actually thing is, that my VCI didn't came with power supply so maybe i just don't know the difference though.
    DJ Blofeld - The Evil Genius
    I shall look forward personally to exterminating you, Mr. Bond.” Ernst Stavro Blofeld to 007
    Doomsday device: TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO, AUDIO 8, VCI-100black 1.3, 2x Technics SL1210mkII

  9. #9
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    No mate i know , my VCI didnt come with a power supply but there are issues (it seems) with certain setups with TPro and the VCI that seem to be solved by using and adapter.

    I think its just safer and less strenuous on the Laptop.

    But thats just me, im ultra safe. I got an adapter for 7.99 for the VCI.
    I dont mind taking stuff with me as long as i have piece of mind.

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor alien2k's Avatar
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    Mate the sound quality of the 410 is excellent don't change it if sound improovement is your goal. I have played with both and there is no diference in sound that you can sense. The great plus that you will get with the A8, is that you are buying an interface that is Trator Scratch certified and will allow you to use DVS. Regarding the power adapter, I must say that I also find lovely that the audio8 is bus powered but is not somehting that would made me make the final desicion.

    Regarding the firewire conector, I know that the 4 pin conector is kind of weak... but I have a good M-auido firewire cable that fits very tight on my laptop. Check if you have the top of the line cable which is much safer than the cheap ones. And if you still feel unsafe you can buy a pci express card with 6 pin conectors (you wont get bus power anyways but is safer).

    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    No mate i know , my VCI didnt come with a power supply but there are issues (it seems) with certain setups with TPro and the VCI that seem to be solved by using and adapter.

    I think its just safer and less strenuous on the Laptop.

    But thats just me, im ultra safe. I got an adapter for 7.99 for the VCI.
    I dont mind taking stuff with me as long as i have piece of mind.
    Most of the vci issues are due to grouding issues, mostly beacuse of the usb conector. In some laptops grounding is not excellent and you can even feel it on the laptop casing, like a small tickling in your fingers. So that ground signal jumps in the usb cable through the connector. According to the genious minds in this forum you can be safer and prevent this from happening using quality usb cables that include a ferrite in order to catch the excess of ground signal in the cable which will cause malfunction. You can also remove the ferrite from other cable that has one like most of the VGA cables. So it make sense that if you use the ac adapter you get rid of those gorunding issues.
    Last edited by alien2k; 05-17-2009 at 10:43 AM.

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