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Soundcraft Notepad 5 Audio Interface Review

Rate this interface

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 77 65.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 31 26.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 9 7.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 1 0.8%

  • Total voters
    118

Rja4000

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Do we have a review for a good product similar to this?
Yes, we do.
Any interface with mic input is doing the same, although with less physical knobs.
RME Babyface Pro fs or UCX II are good examples, as are Motu or Focusrite interfaces.
Some of them come with a software mixer emulation. (Like the excellent RME TotalMix)
 

Blumlein 88

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Yes, we do.
Any interface with mic input is doing the same, although with less physical knobs.
RME Babyface Pro fs or UCX II are good examples, as are Motu or Focusrite interfaces.
Some of them come with a software mixer emulation. (Like the excellent RME TotalMix)
I don't know if these would be quite equivalent products. Mixers are a bit different and usually lower quality conversions than audio interfaces. At least at the lower end of the market like this. Often these are actually only 16 bit devices in terms of what they send the computer over USB and work at only one sampling rate most often 44.1khz and 48 khz which is the case with this device. Specs don't say, but it may be 16 bit. The device does output up to 8+ volts which is handy driving monitors and such.

This device does meet claimed specs so they aren't lying to anyone about it.
 
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respice finem

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PeteL

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and thats probably amazon's recommended, nowdays amazon isnt much different that aliexpress

their search engines just try to get you to buy the cheapest low quality products with the highest profit margins
Well, this don't qualify for highest profit margin. In fact your two statements are a bit contradictory, not to say we should follow Amazon's recommendation, but the cheapest low quality stuff rely on volume to be profitable, not on profit margins. And Amazon is definitely a volume based model, not a high profit margin model.
 

Rja4000

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I don't know if these would be quite equivalent products. Mixers are a bit different and usually lower quality conversions than audio interfaces.
Well, functionally, they are able to do the same.

The RME interface I listed have a digital mixer inside (although quite limited for the Babyface).
Of course, price is not comparable.
 

anphex

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Hey, this makes me curious how those super high end incredibly expensive analog mixing consoles perform. I bet they have incredible high noise at least due to all those electrical parts.
 

PeteL

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Well, functionally, they are able to do the same.

The RME interface I listed have a digital mixer inside (although quite limited for the Babyface).
Of course, price is not comparable.
Thay are not functionally the same. In the vast majority of the use cases, this will be used without a computer or any digital involved. The digital IO is an added feature, not the core use case.
 

Blumlein 88

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what is the daseinsberechtigung of this thing? I mean, even for karaoke it lacks features
Not really it has some Lexicon processing one mode of which is labeled "karaoke". It has on board compression, reverb and some basic functions useful for live tweaking of sound.
 

dasdoing

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Not really it has some Lexicon processing one mode of which is labeled "karaoke". It has on board compression, reverb and some basic functions useful for live tweaking of sound.

wait. it really doesn't. not this version

1673176642694.png
 

Ajax

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Do we have a review for a good product similar to this?
Suggest you check out Apogee Duet. Here is a review and measurements by Ken Rockwell


They are up to model 3 for about US$650, which includes Atherton Lite software, however, I have seen a Duet 2 second hand for only $US200. My son has one for his home studio and they are excellent but you need a computer and software.
 

Trell

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Thay are not functionally the same. In the vast majority of the use cases, this will be used without a computer or any digital involved. The digital IO is an added feature, not the core use case.

The RME Fireface UCX II can be operated in standalone mode but not as conveniently as there are buttons and menus to traverse. On the other hand you can store up to 6 setups on the device that you can later on adjust.
 

Digby

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It is a very handsome little thing. Given the colour, I wonder if the knobs glow in the dark? :oops:
 

Trell

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Thanks Amir for this review.

For this kind of device, ADC is more important than DAC.

Also, mic input is probably (noticiably) better than line input, even at line level.
They state an EIN A of 127dBu A at 150 ohm in the manual, which is not too bad.
You should see a better SNR.

I try to standardize somehow interface mic input testing to a similar gain / level.
I set the gain to have max 100mV before saturation or at 0dBFS, note and publish the gain marking, then measure SNR at -10dBFS and SINAD at -0 5dBFS.
This gain level, at least, gives a realistic use case for a dynamic microphone use.
Noting the gain marking allows proper comparison of interfaces with various (and often not published) ADC Max Voltage.

Also, checking SNR (A) with a 150 ohm load for a few gains around this refetence gain helps getting an idea how the dynamic range evolved with gain.

If you have a chance...

View attachment 255768

I hope Amir can extend his audio interface testing with what @Rja4000 is suggesting. From his RME Fireface UCX II review he describes his interface mic input testing in the following post and a few following this one:


 
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AndreaT

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From personal experience you need to spend North of $1,000 for good quality console if you are recording from a microphone, a price proportional to the one of a good microphone. It is sinful to start the musical chain with high levels of noise and distortion, as these flaws are extremely difficult (and practically impossible) to correct. I had good results with the Universal Audio Apollo Twin X that interfaces with a Neumann mic, with obvious audible improvements compared to a previous $150 console.
 
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JayGilb

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From personal experience you need to spend North of $1,000 for good quality console if you are recording from a microphone, a price proportional to the one of a good microphone. It is sinful to start the musical chain with high levels of noise and distortion, as these flaws are extremely difficult (and practically impossible) to correct. I had good results with the Universal Audio Apollo product that interfaces with a Neumann mic, with obvious audible improvements compared to a previous $150 console.
For some 16 year old with an acoustic guitar trying to record a song in their bedroom, this is perfectly fine.
 
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