Is it worth using an external audio interface with an S4 MK3?
I play out a lot and have been thinking about using an external audio interface. I have always had my eye on the RMEs but at over 1000 GBP they are cost prohibitive. They are also a bit heavy and need an external power supply.
I have recently been looking at the Motu M4 which at 220 GBP is very good value and is bus powered. It also has 24/192hz over the S4s 24/96hz. It also has an excellent dynamic range on the outputs at 120db where I cannot find the S4s.
Also with four outputs I can send to both main outputs and monitors.
If it does also seem with it, I may also get an S2 for backup as the lower end audio interface in that is then moot.
I've have tried all versions of the S4 so far and i liked all of them soundwise. At the moment i really enjoy my modular setup and have to say it's a good thing i could outsource the audio interface from the main controllers. XoneK2 interface works in a pinch, but the Audio2 MK2 for Traktor is absolutely awesome, although they both lack any input sockets. If you don't need those, get one second hand. It's also bus powered and has smaller dimensions than a pack of cigarettes.1
Even though the K2 sounds ok, your audio2 will definitely be an improvement on it. If you do want to improve on that the Motu M2 may be worth looking at. It is getting fantastic reviews everywhere. I use my K2 with my Xone mixer and love the sound quality, unfortunately its not that portable against the S4.
As I am using the S4 MK3 the audio interface is already very good, it's just trying to work out if the Motu 4 is good enough to make a noticeable difference.1
I'll have a look at the Motu M2. And I'd like to hear about it if you are in a position to compare the two and it's no bother. :)1
I don't think that in a club environment someone would be able to determine if you are using an S4 MK3 or an external audio interface. For my opinion, there are completely other aspects which should be considered to get better sound.2
I play more bars than clubs and most do have a decent system in there and if not I do take my own. Can I ask what other aspects are you on about? I'm already playing Flac files and even with them I am choosy about which ones I play and anything badly produced gets binned.0
This is exactly what I was thinking on. The audio files you are using and even more the production quality of the songs.1
To quickly answer: nope. Unless you’re playing venues with esoteric PA’s, excellent acoustic treatment, high end FoH equipment, sober audiences with pristine hearing etc.
In other words: the built in output is not your bottleneck ;)2
Oxy Member Posts: 29 Member
The S4mk3 sounds ok for the price. It does not however when playing on a mid to high end hifi system. The highs are smeared and the lows are definetly not clear and also smeared out. I fixed this by using a real mixer, in my case a DB:4. This made me enjoy playing again.
EDIT: The bitrate of your audio device literally has NOTHING to do with sound quality. It's all about the circuitry around the DAC chip and power delivery. Obvious this lacks the attention to detail in an all in one device.0
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