I was advised not buy a Behringer FCA16/16 (Audio Interface related)

So after much research, I bought one, and it is the best thing in my studio, apart from my Shruthi 4-pole and Clouds module which are cosmically great.

Some misconceptions about this interface reported by numerous youtube reviews…

[1] The line inputs are too quiet…
[2] Latency is poor…
[3] The unit pops and clicks…
[4] The audio interface does not sound as good as it’s more expensive counterparts…

Well, the line inputs are more than adequate and the preamps are clean with plenty of gain, so much so, I use no gain and have to initiate the Pad setting to reduce the level…latency is fine, even when playing an instrument like my nylon string guitar…my unit does not pop or click and works flawlessly when recording 8 tracks of audio at 96k 24bit for more than 40 minutes…I would hedge a bet with anyone this interface sounds as good as any other audio interface at line level!

I really am amazed how good this interface is, not for the fact it is cheap (I paid £133 as I had a £50 Maplin voucher :-D) but because it just sounds great! I now have all the outputs of my synths going through Logic Pro and use multiple effects on each input in realtime, it works perfectly.
Oh the joy of hearing the 4-pole using high end effects like tape delays or superb reverbs, bit crushers, distortions, multi-band compressors and EQ’s ect ect

As soon as my health improves (Rheumatoid Arthritis is back with a vengeance) I’ll do a couple of videos, one showing the preamps when using my guitar, the other showing how I use my outboard synths in combination with my DAW’s plugins :slight_smile:

A few pics>>>>one of the interface and the other showing a recorded wave file of the Shruthi Polivoks, some may note the lack of noise at the beginning of the wave, the other pic showing the main mixer in Logic with some plugins in use :smiley:

It’s funny because I had read a lot of good things about this interface. But then I guess many people will say it’s bad because it’s Behringer.

I’m not surprised it’s good. Since behringer bought Midas they can bring out much better quality products. Their stuff usually isn’t the best you can get but they beat any manufacturer on price and manage to make stuff of a good enough quality for most applications
I remember when there was a time (10-15) years ago when there mixers were of bad quality and gave a lot of problem really soon. But i think their and most of other manufactures as well quality of products went up.

My greatest concerns about Behringer ever was more the non existent quality of their software products like the drivers/editors of BCF/BCR series than the hardware itself. They have good stuff, when it comes to bang for the buck, but really awful stuff too. Best example is the ada8000 as it stinks (sometimes in real), while the ADA8200 is a great piece of hardware.

That’s good to hear. I just heard from Sweetwater that the uphoria umc-1820 is shipping in March. I preordered it like two years ago.

@nightworkxx
Now i remember i bought a Behringer CMD MM-1 DJ MIDI controller about a month ago which i returned to the shop within a day because i was unable to edit it and the ableton live specific drivers were outdated and sucked.
To bad because hardware wise it matched my wishes perfectly.

@nightworkxx

The ADA8200 is on my ‘to get’ list so I get the full 16/16 channels. £160 for an ADAT interface with 8 decent preamps, how do they make them so cheaply?

There is no fancy software for routing all the ins and outs of the hardware, like the excellent RME total mix, but that can be got around in Logic, there are no drivers for Mac either as it uses core audio, nice and simple! :slight_smile:

Even if I came into a ton of £££ I cannot see me upgrading this interface for a more expensive unit like an RME or Apogee, as it does all I want of it.

I don’t think you will be disappointed with your interface Sammy, when it arrives!

@shiftr,

I was worried about getting this device, that was based on some poor reviews, but also for the bad rep Behringer had all those years ago…thankfully they seem to have up’ed their game in recent years; I know their X32 digital mixers are getting a great response.

I have an FCA1616 and really like it. I bought it because I needed something with lots of inputs, since I wanted to mix in the DAW, and something with an ADAT interface, since I wanted to use it with an Expert Sleepers ES-3 (works really well), and something that had a FireWire interface, since I wanted to use it with my 2008 Mac Pro, and with USB interfaces for use with my Mac laptops, and MIDI out for use with my Shruthis. The FCA1616 was the only thing that fitted those specs for under $1000. The fact that it was under $400 when I bought it (even cheaper now) was an extra bonus.

The only downside is that it seems to lack any supersonic low pass filtering, so that if I record my Shruthis at 48kHz, there is a clearly audible high-pitched Nyquist tone due to residual 39kHz PWM carrier signal from the Shruthi. Try it with yours to see what I mean. However, recording at 96kHz fixes the problem. Oh, and the lettering on the panel is flaking off. Other than that, it’s great, and a real bargain.

@Benne

That is good to hear your interface has not given you much trouble! I’ll try recording the Shruthi through the interface at 48kHz as you say to see if mine is the same :slight_smile:

@BennelongBicyclist: Wait, so when you (for example) record at 48kHz it doesn’t have a lowpass before the ADC cutting out everything approaching nyquist? I thought it was standard practice to have an anti-aliasing filter before any ADC. Are you suggesting they omitted such a filter completely, or just that it’s inadequate?

I don’t know if they omitted lowpass filtering , or if it just isn’t good enough to prevent problems due to the 39kHz PWM carrier from the Shruthi (which is of course filtered as well in the Shruthi output circuit). They may have cut corners to keep the price down - it is clearly designed down to a price (which is now very low). Anyway, there’s a work-around - just record at 96kHz. Otherwise, I’m quite happy with mine.

@bennelongbicyclist: the Nyquist tone of 39Khz is still a pretty high one, usually once you’re over 30 you have a hard time hearing anything past 16Khz, so I wonder if it’s not something else you’re hearing.

I guess BennelogBicyclist’s issue is not the 39kHz, but its mirror image at 48 - 39 = 9kHz when you sample at 48kHz with no anti-aliasing filter.

I suspect what’s happening is that the soundcard does not natively supports 96kHz and does a cheap and dirty downsampling in software when forced to work at 48kHz.

That sounds more likely indeed. So you suggest the ADC only works at 96Khz and any other resolution is just a software-converted version of that? Well, for the price you pay, you can’t really expect it to be an RME :slight_smile:

That’s the only explanation I can think of. Modern codec ICs all have built-in anti-aliasing filters, and they have at least 70dB of attenuation above Nyquist (see for example page 10 of this datasheet)

Yep that’s what I’ve learned as well. And anyway, being able to hear anything above Nyquist, even at 44.1Khz takes a Bat’s hearing afaik. )Khz is already pretty high and it might also have some harmonics thought the first harmonic would be 18Khz, which again is probably not something you can really hear in most cases.

@rumpelfilter: I feel like you’re missing the point somewhat. It’s not about hearing things above nyquist, it’s the fact that things above nyquist end up aliasing down into audible frequencies.

So yes its true that the nyquist frequency of 44.1kHz (22.05kHz) is above the range of human hearing, but I don’t see why that’s of consequence when we’re talking about aliasing. 9kHz is perfectly audible, it doesn’t really matter whether it has an audible second harmonic.

s. The first harmonic is the fundamental. I know, it used to trip me up too.

There’s a thread on this forum somewhere about it, In fact, I think the problem was most audible at 44kHz sample rate - there was a clear 4kHz background tone - I even posted examples of it, I think. Olivier’s conclusion was that it was Nyqvist reflection, as he notes above. And yes, the interface probably uses cheap-and-nasty downsampling to implement lower sample rates. However, it works really well at 96kHz, and with FireWire, it keeps up easy using all 8 inputs, and all 8 outputs (via the Expert Sleepers ES-3 over ADAT). And the MIDI timing is tight enough for my purposes. That’s all I need, at least for now. It doesn’t belong in a professional studio, though.

@SirPrimalform: yes Olivier already explained that, I then just got lost in my thoughts and mistyped some words. I was actually agreeing with that.