Looking for a new audio interface


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Feb 3, 2021
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Florence, Italy
Hi everybody!
I am looking for advice concerning the purchase of a new audio interface.

At present I own a 2014 Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (I suppose it is a 1st generation 2i4), which is connected to a mid 2012 MacBook pro. I use it as an input/output for my two keyboards: a digital piano (Yamaha P45) connected via USB to the MacBook and a Arturia keylab 61 MKII connected via MIDI to the Focusrite. As a software I am using MainStage 3.5, since I mainly perform live gigs, but I sometimes record music in my home studio with Logic Pro X, so I use also the two mic/line inputs for voice and guitar.

The Scarlett 2i4 has not done a bad job so far, but my main concern about it is the apparently insufficient output signal. Unfortunately I am not (yet) a super expert in audio theoretical concepts, so I will try to explain the problem with simple words: it seems like the interface is not loud enough. When on stage, I usually connect the audio interface to the mixer through a TS jack cable, set the Monitor knob to "max" and the direct monitor knob all to "Playback" side (I still have this last point not so clear...).

Although the Monitor knob is set to max (the master level in MainStage is at 0 dB), it seems that the signal arriving at the mixer is weak. Is the so-called "Maximum Output Level" responsible for this?

So, first of all, I would like to know if I am making some mistake connecting or setting the interface that results in a weak output signal.

Secondly, since in any case I would like to upgrade my audio interface, I would ask for an advice for the purchase. The main features should be: USB connection (is USB3 significantly better than USB2?), 2 line/mic inputs and 2 outputs, MIDI 5-pin I/O sockets. Furthermore, the new interface should be generally better and possibly louder than the Scarlett 2i4 I currently own.

Any advice will be appreciated

thank you and
best regards
Niccolò
 
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