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Behringer UMC1820

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Paul White

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Behringer UMC1820

PostSun May 03, 2020 7:59 pm

Does anyone have experience with the Behringer UMC1820 for audio output with HW? I need to replace my Audiofire 12 and perhaps add a couple of extra channels. While a Focusrite solution may be nice, to get 14-16 channels I would need to spend over $2,000 here in Australia. The Behringer solution comprising the UMC1820 and the ADA8200 costs around $800 for 16 (maybe 18) channels. I know you get what you pay for, but the Behringer option is certainly attractive from a budget perspective!
Paul White
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micdev

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostSun May 03, 2020 8:08 pm

Hello Paul,

Have a look at Motu. I'm personally using a Moto 24Ao - https://motu.com/en-us/news/introducing-the-24ai-and-24ao/; also the 16a is another choice, but you're paying for inputs that you won't use. The 24Ao offers 24 outputs for less money (since you don't pay for inputs).

You will need to buy 2 snake cables (DB25 to XLR for example) for up to 16 channels, 3 snakes for 24 channels.

The 24Ao is $999USD and offer a better sound with more recent electronic components (D/A converter for example). Great price/quality ratio.
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François

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Paul White

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostSun May 03, 2020 8:43 pm

Thanks Francois. That looks to be a nice unit, and being output only, I am not paying for unwanted input channels and microphone preamps. However it is $1,850 here without the DB25 cables.

I will put this on the list.
Paul White
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micdev

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostSun May 03, 2020 9:07 pm

Yikes... I see that your AUD is even worse than our CAD...

Have a good day... for me it is "good night"
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François

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Tweedle_Dee

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostMon May 04, 2020 10:50 am

Paul White wrote:Does anyone have experience with the Behringer UMC1820 for audio output with HW? I need to replace my Audiofire 12 and perhaps add a couple of extra channels. While a Focusrite solution may be nice, to get 14-16 channels I would need to spend over $2,000 here in Australia. The Behringer solution comprising the UMC1820 and the ADA8200 costs around $800 for 16 (maybe 18) channels. I know you get what you pay for, but the Behringer option is certainly attractive from a budget perspective!


For what it's worth, I bought one a few years ago and while it worked fine for me (for the few days I had it), I ended up wanting more control over how the channels are routed within the device. I returned it and got the MOTU Mk4 which has a very powerful matrix interface.
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organsRgreat

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostTue May 05, 2020 5:59 am

I have a mixture of units here - MOTU 828 Mark 3 hybrids linked to Behringer ADA8200 ADAT units to get more inputs and outputs. I honestly can't hear any difference in sound quality between the outputs of the MOTU and Behringer units - and my speakers include a pair of Quad ESL57 electrostatics, which have much less distortion than magnetic speakers. I also have a Cymatic LP16 providing outputs from another computer; the Cymatic units are known to use "cheap and cheerful" converters, but they sound really good to me. The LP16 costs around £220 in the UK; it gives 16 outputs from its back panel, and I think the stereo headphone output can be set up to give another two, though I haven't experimented with that option yet. My conclusion is that we have reached the stage where any sound cards we are likely to use with Hauptwerk produce so little distortion that speakers make much more difference.

On the other hand I have a Behringer line mixer on which one of the mute buttons gave up after about a year - it sticks in the "mute" position, which is not very helpful! The potentiometers on that mixer still work perfectly. I had exactly the same problem with mute buttons on a much larger Behringer mixer. I think their electronics are probably reliable, but they cut corners by using cheap components for some of the buttons. Adding more speakers probably does more to improve sound quality than any sound card can, because more speakers mean less distortion - see

http://www.pykett.org.uk/EndOfPipeOrgan.htm#Distortion
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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostTue May 05, 2020 11:35 am

I've used the 1820 and ADA solution. It works well. The driver doesn't work on Windows 7 which is tiresome, but otherwise, it's been fine. Good cheap solution.

The Cymatic u24 gets you even more ouputs pretty cheaply too. I bought two thinking they could be linked together, but they can't, so I had to send them back and get a MOTU. But I've no reason to think that it wouldn't work ok. Again, the driver doesn't work on Windows 7!
I haven't tried the LP16.
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javawizard

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostTue May 05, 2020 11:48 am

I've got the UMC1820's little brother, the UMC204HD. The sound is fantastic. That said, it's 192 kHz as compared to the UMC1820's 96 kHz, but that shouldn't make a difference for any sample set produced today.

Do let us know how it is if you go for it. I've been tempted to purchase one to expand beyond the 4 outputs I have right now...
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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostTue May 05, 2020 1:00 pm

I have a a MOTU Ultralite Mk4 interface, which gives me 8 channels, and a Behringer ADA8200, which takes a digital output from the MOTU and decodes it to give me an additional 8 channels, which I use with 14 speakers plus a subwoofer. The Behringer was very good value for money and the quality isn't noticeably inferior to the MOTU using Behringer active studio monitors.
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Paul White

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostWed May 06, 2020 12:28 am

Thank you for the replies!

I have decided to go with the Behringer 1820/8200. The cheapest solution is obviously Cymatic, and there have been positive reports here about the LP-16. However I want to stay with balanced outputs to the speakers (currently have an Audiofire 12), and the LP-16 uses unbalanced outputs. The MOTU would probably be the technical choice, or if money were no object, something from RME. However I have to make a judgement on how much of the additional performance I can actually realise with my setup. I have 8 Behringer 2031A powered speakers with a Velodyne sub. The 2031As have performed without trouble over 10 years or so, but there are certainly better speakers around. Would a MOTU sound substantially better than the 1820 through the 2031As? Perhaps I could hear my bad notes more cleanly <groan>, but I wonder if the actual improvement would justify spending around $A2,000 versus $A800.

I will report back here after I get the equipment, which will be 3-4 weeks. Thanks again for the responses.
Paul White
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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostWed May 06, 2020 3:37 am

I had some problems with what I think was intermodulation distortion in the upperwork (2 foot and mixtures), particularly with more stops drawn, probably exacerbated by my aging hearing (distortion is a feature of sensorineural deafness, along with a phenomenon called recruitment, where sounds at normal volume are perceived as unpleasantly loud; since the threshold is raised in deafness this greatly reduces the dynamic range of the auditory system). After trying different equipment, including audio interfaces from RME and MOTU, the greatest improvement in the sound came with the upgrade from HW4 to V.
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Paul White

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostWed May 06, 2020 3:56 am

I find that fascinating Julian! Do you have any thoughts on why the improvement occurred?
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micdev

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Re: Behringer UMC1820

PostWed May 06, 2020 6:05 am

I find that fascinating Julian! Do you have any thoughts on why the improvement occurred?


While many are saying that the built-in reverb convolution engine is "THE" features in Hauptwerk 5, sound improvement is I think "THE" one.

Martin could explain in details what makes this improvement, but Hw5 audio section was completely re-written, based on newer libraries etc. End result... more clarify, more airy sound. The larger the registration used, the more you will "hear" the improvement over Hauptwerk 4. Bass seems more controlled, more musicality.

This is not subjective, I've upgraded many of my clients, without mentioning the sound improvement... when they emailed me back after playing for an hour they were always talking about the sound improvement.

Of course, like everything in the "audio world" everything is linked... the end results being limited by the weakest link in the chain (audio source, audio interface, D/A converter (external or built-in), speakers etc).

Don't expect to hear that must difference with a cheap built-in audio interface and crappy computer speakers, but with good, recent equipment (especially audio interface), Hauptwerk 5 will shine more than ever.
Best regards
François

Virtually sharing my enthusiasm and experience with you
Worldwide technical assistance, consultation and ready to play system.

http://www.HauptwerkConsultant.com

AND Hauptwerk Support Manager

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