QC usb vs interface

Hi, im just curious on the QC ability to capture Audi and DI via its USB to having a dedicated interface.

Is there any benefit to me buying a nice AI like an Apogee or UA when i’m just recording guitars and bass or can I save my money in this area? Im curious as to what the benefits of each are. It seems lots of the Axe FX guys record direct but i’ve always had to use an AI with my Kemper.

Regards

Alex

Dunno if there’d be any benefit to adding a dedicated interface to the equation. You’d go through an extra set of DA-AD conversion with associated loss of fidelity & added latency. Can’t imagine what you might get that would make up for that. I stopped using an interface when the AxeFx II came out and have continued that practice since getting a Helix.

With a serial connection, there really will not be any benefit, on the contrary there will be harm, and the sound will be brought to the quality of the weakest link in the chain. But it seems to me that alexdoyleguitar had a different approach in mind: to capture sound with a high-quality interface and send via USB to DAW, then via USB to the Quad Cortex for processing, back via USB to a computer, and then via USB to a high-quality interface for playback. Along the way, recording a DI and processed sound if required. In general, it will really work, a latency will be added, and it will not be too high (I think 4-6 ms), but is it worth the effort and cost that the percentage of quality that will be obtained? It seems to me that spinning any knob on an amplifier, equalizer or guitar by a few of degrees changes the sound much more than changing the AD-DA converters, And such a change should not be regarded as the best/worst, but simply as different.

IME, digital reamping is done after the part is recorded so latency is a relative non-issue.

Considering that monitoring of the processed sound can already be carried out on Quad Cortex, then only half the delay of this entire transport chain accumulated on USB buffering will interfere with us (2 ms for delivery from a high-quality interface to a computer and 2 ms for a computer to Quad Cortex). It’s not very convenient, but it’s possible to play. Possible to do even more trickier. To record DI and processed sound, use the described chain, and for monitoring, create a second chain by directing the sound from the high-quality interface to the Quad Cortex directly with an analog wire, this will reduce the delay by ~ 2ms out of 4ms lost on the USB (if it is true that the DA-AD converters of our high-quality interface and Quad Cortex work out at least for 1ms).
But in my opinion, although it is possible, it is absolutely not worth the effort and cost, the sound of even an average audio interface for $ 200-300 is so good that personally I don’t even think about sound quality at all. To say nothing of Quad Cortex, I think it will have a great sound.

thanks for the responses.

I just want to have a high quality amp and DI signal into my DAW. I wasn’t sure if having a higher end UA or Apogee interface would be a worthwhile upgrade over just using the QC usb. Currently I have a kemper and there is no interface ability so having a decent audio interface is needed. Will the QC + usb - DAW provide better/equal/worse result than QC - UA Apollo or similar - DAW.

All I want is the best RAW audio from the QC, DI signal for potential re-amps and lowest latency while tracking . Im happy to invest in a higher end interface if needed

How could it be better going through an interface? You’re going through an additional round of DA / AD conversion. You might prefer the sound through an interface but it’s not going to be objectively better as you’re losing fidelity and adding color that was not intended by the 4C hardware/software designers.

So, let’s look at all the options for how to create this golem =)
Green lines indicate a DI signal, red - processed. To calculate the latency, you need to sum the delay every time a signal passes through a block that involves buffering.
Option number one, the most unfortunate one, it will not only add a slight latency, but also make the Apollo purchase completely pointless, in whatever order the interfaces are connected.


Option number two will allow you to make a high-quality recording of DI and processed sound. And also monitoring through Apollo high-quality outputs, but this will be the biggest latency - 13ms.
And option three, a hybrid, will allow you to record high-quality DI and processed sound, and get a fairly low latency when monitoring, only 6 ms, but through less high-quality outputs of Quad Cortex. In general, this will delay the monitoring line by only 3 ms than when using only the Quad Cortex, in my opinion it is quite acceptable.

I use a RME UCX because not only are its converters good quality, but its drivers are the best. If all you’re interested in is guitar then Helix/AXE/QC will be great - but if guitar is just part of what you do as a recording artist then having a top class audio interface will be imperative. No point using QC as my AI if it can’t run Omnisphere and Kontakt and SD3 etc as well as my RME.
I think the OP’s question was a good one and something I’d like to know the answer to as well: will the QC be comparable, in terms of running full recording projects, to class-leading audio interfaces like RME or will it not?

I think you overstate the imperative for a quality interface a bit. There are a lot of platinum records out there that were recorded on interfaces that aren’t necessarily better than what you find in a $200 unit today.
As for “No point using QC as my AI if it can’t run Omnisphere and Kontakt and SD3 etc as well as my RME”, about the only use case where I wouldn’t disagree with that statement is where you record a dry guitar signal into your DAW and reamp though the 4C over USB. Even that use case doesn’t work so great for tracking because latency going through all that hardware is likely to detract from the performance.
So, yeah, if I had a nice interface and was reamping everything through the 4C, I might try splitting the signal (monitoring through the 4C to minimize latency) and grabbing a dry signal through the interface but even then I’d be pretty surprised if one could tell the difference after reamping vs. using the 4C to capture that dry signal.

1 Like