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June 2017 Giveaway

Behringer U-PHORIA UMC1820 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 15 customer reviews
Questions about the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC1820?

Questions about the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC1820?

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  • David Cohen
    from Portland, OR June 9, 2017Music Background:

    Nice features-Solid Build

    Just arrived today, and I have yet to use it for any actual work, but I'm impressed with the quality of the unit. (I spaced on ordering the 1/4" TRS balanced cables to connect it to my monitors- so get those!)

    Quite sturdy- and putting it through some preliminary runs, it seems to be all it should be.
    Feature packed.
    The TWO headphone outs alone makes this beat some of the popular competitors with less inputs. Simple things like a "Stereo/Mono" button are indispensable. ZERO latency is a huge selling point (if you've ever dealt with latency issues, you know how screwed-up that can be for your performance).
    Mostly I will be using this unit by myself, but wanted the ability to record an entire band should the need arise (i.e: make some money!) something I couldn't do with my old interface.

    I labored over this purchase, reading reviews, both here and elsewhere, and when it comes to bang for your buck, this unit cannot be beat- hands down.

    (ALSO- I went to the Behringer site and downloaded the drivers while I was waiting for delivery- so when I plugged it into my laptop, BOOM, there she was, as well as all the accompanying software. You'll want to do this ahead of time, just so you don't have to mess around when the unit arrives).

  • Matt
    from Fort Wayne March 2, 2017Music Background:
    Engineer and Musician

    Best Bang for the Buck

    Geez where do I start? Originally I bought this just to have some mobile recording capabilities, but ended up using it for so much more. First of all, while the preamps may not be the greatest in the world, they are clean and quiet. Had an sm57 as a secondary mic on an acoustic guitar, literally had the preamp gain up almost all the way and still quiet as a mouse. I decided to hook it up to my studio rack and run Pro Tools on it just for fun, and was even more impressed. Very intuitive interface, and plant of routing options for a wide variety of circumstances. The only slightly annoying feature is that phantom power is only selectable in groupings of 4. Not the biggest deal in the world, especially if this is not your main interface. However, for a Pro Tools interface it performs far beyond my expectations, even when I have an 8 channel ADAT feed coming in from my MOTU 896. This unit will not disappoint, especially for home and project studios.

  • Jay
    from Oregon October 1, 2016Music Background:
    Many years

    Very happy I chose this interface

    Such a great interface for the money! Paired up with the ada8200 and you have a power house of recording options.

  • Mike
    from Tampa June 17, 2016

    8 HiZ inputs low latency

    Nice little audio Interface, clean sound, low latency.
    I have the FCA1616, but needed more channels in, especially for more instruments. This was the only AI I found (for under 1000) that is designed with more than 2 HiZ inputs. This has all 8 inputs capable of handling either an Instrument, a Microphone, or a Line level Input device.
    This allows me to split my guitar signals through 2 paths (Firehawk and M13), as well as recording the clean signal.

    I was hoping I could just ADAT the two together, but that doesn't seem to be happening right off the bat, however, I found ASIO4ALL (freeware) that allows both interfaces to feed my DAW (Reaper) and send all the output to just one of them.

    For a Standalone AI, or even an add on to current, it can't be beat!

  • Mayega Johnson
    from June 12, 2017

    Great Sound Output

    Great sound output, and more input options without reduction in quality. I had to redo most of my early works because the sound output was greatly improved with the UMC1820. No regrets for this selection.

  • Jeremy Hurst
    from Selmer, TN April 19, 2017

    Behringer U-PHORIA UMC1820

    Great product works well and for a great price!!!!

  • Andrew
    from Kauai, HI March 6, 2017Music Background:

    Solid Interface - Does exactly what I need

    This interface is great. Does exactly what I hoped it would do. I'm using it in my Pro Tools 12 home studio (and for mobile recording). I bought this unit as an interface to bridge with my Focusrite Octopre (ADAT). Works GREAT and I'm happily taking 16 mics at a time into Pro Tools.

    Literally plug-and-play with Pro Tools. No drivers needed (for Mac) and simply select UMC1820 from Playback engine.

    The Midas preamps sound great, clean and quiet. The "mix" knob for zero-latency or mix or full PT playback is nice. The only thing I have discovered, which is not discussed anywhere, is that if you are using more than just the 1-8 mic inputs (like I am using the ADAT 11-18 inputs as well) you CANNOT monitor those additional inputs during record if you are using the 1-2 outputs. I'm guessing this has something to do with the direct output from the interface, and it not being able to process the additional 8 digital inputs (via ADAT) to direct output. The workaround is to simply use the 3-4 outputs from Pro Tools, and monitor 3-4 on the headphone selector. This works like a champ, and depending on your Pro Tools buffer setting, latency can either be very low or annoying. 32 sample buffer is very very low latency.

    Having the XLR/1/4" multi connectors, and Line/Instrument option on every channel is great, this easily allows me to line-in some of my nicer outboard preamps. I haven't done any A/B comparisons with the Midas mic amps, but they are quality and quiet, NO complaints.

    Overall, this is a great unit. It is small, light and packs everything I needed for a great price.

  • Chad
    from November 24, 2016

    Great intermediate interface

    Wonderful interface. Ever since Behringer bought out Midas, everything they do has gone up so much in build quality, and the UMC1820 is no different. The preamps work fantastic, the individual pads for each input is great, two headphone outs, all of it. And for only $? Can't be beat. I bought mine as a demo model, came in some beat up packaging, but after a bit of fiddling with the interface I got it working super smoothly. That's the only problem I have with it, is that for a beginner I wouldn't recommend it. It requires a lot more fiddling with in your DAWs internal settings than something like a Presonus Audiobox or Focusrite Scarlet interface. BUT, if you know how to mess with buffers to reduce latency and match your computer's sample rate to that of the project and the interface, you should be fine. Anyone who complains of clicking obviously hasn't played with too many settings. Shout out to Ryan for always being a wonderful and friendly representative of the company. Once again, I am hooked on Sweetwater.

  • Dr. Bob
    from Chicago July 22, 2016

    Outstanding Value

    Well Behringer has really come thru with this one. They've always had low priced options where you "get what you pay for" but with this, you get a LOT more. Using a Win10 laptop running an I7 quad 2.4 and 8gb ram, this thing had 1ms of latency, and I really think it was less than that but the programs I used to test them didn't go less than 1. I am currently using it as the main sound card in a live performance situation where I use VSTi instruments triggered from keyboards and it's virtually flawless. The sound is really clean. I also ran some tracks off of my ADAT just to test it out...and setting it up in Vegas and Cakewalk was literally 2 minutes each. Hit go, and you're in business. The ONLY drawbacks that I have with this device is that it is deceptively heavy (read: beefy) and the sample rate MUST be selected by your DAW/VSTi playback software. There is no option to select it in the built in driver. This wasn't that big of a deal as I was able to select all sample rates without any issue. But some DAWS want to read the sample rate from the card and auto select versus the other way around. Just know this going in and you won't have any issues. I will be buying another one of these here in the near future along with two of the ADAT/8 channel mic pre's to get the full 16 channels of I/O.

  • Data-Bank-A
    from Massachusetts July 10, 2016Music Background:
    35 years of production

    Not too sexy, no...

    This is a great example of Function over Form.
    Is it the sexiest looking USB audio interface? No.
    Is it the best sounding USB audio interface? No.
    What Behringer ever so wisely did was to make something that works well and is priced well.
    It quite simply works. Perfectly.
    It turns on instantly. MAC OSX recognizes it immediately.
    Fire up your DAW and you're off... No software to install.
    No Drama. No issues.
    It shows up with all channels available all the time to all audio apps.
    During tracking, the ability to quickly adjust levels and balance between live and playback with dedicated knobs, rather than software menus is a big relief.
    By not having fancy, sexy software screens that take up your time, and often don't work, you get the hardware out of the way of the work flow. You get more done in less time.
    That's what I need from my gear. Simply to stay out of my way and let me get my music down.
    To my ears, the sound is up there in quality - on a par with units like Steinberg, and better than than Presonus. I'd describe it as well balanced and clean, not overly harsh on the highs - like many of the units in this price range, while giving good clear low end punch.
    No noise. No shrill high end.
    And of course the connections are as much, or more, than the competition. You get all you need for 8-Track production.
    It also plays well with expansion units - like the Behringer ADA8200 - which I hooked up and got 16 channels running in about 30 seconds.
    And did I mention that it's smaller than most units? The reduced footprint gave me back some valuable table-top space.
    I really don't understand the noses that turn up at Behringer gear.
    This is a great piece that's at the center of my studio.
    No, it's not too sexy to look at. But I have better things to look than A/D converters... like a nice Tube Pre-Amp!

  • Customer
    from June 16, 2016

    A ton of features at an amazing price

    I purchased the UMC1820 for use in a home studio to record drums. It replaced a convoluted setup involving a couple mixers and an old M-Audio firewire interface. It's coupled with the Behringer ADA8200 (via ADAT) for 16 inputs total.

    The unit is built very well. It's not especially heavy, but not too light or flimsy-feeling. I've had several Behringer rack units in the past and they have definitely stepped up their game with the build quality.

    The UMC1820 packs a ton of features into a small single space rack unit and at an amazing price. The preamps have plenty of headroom and sound great. There are Line/Inst switches and a -15dB pad for each input. There are two +48v phantom power switches, one for channels 1-4 and the other for channels 5-8. It has MIDI I/O, SPDIF I/O and Optical ADAT I/O.

    The main thing this unit is lacking is better software control over the features. The UMC Audio Control Panel is very bare bones, giving you only the very most essentials options. You can't select the operating frequency, it's determined by the DAW. There are no routing options and the unit cannot be used in stand-alone for anything other than stereo monitoring of the analog inputs.

    If you're looking for a ton of inputs at a low price, look nowhere else. The bottom line is that this unit sounds great, looks nice and is extremely affordable.

    Lowest price, hands down!
    Small footprint (single rack space and very shallow)
    Sleek look and sturdy feel
    Smooth knob control
    8 MIDAS preamps with +48v phantom power
    ADAT SMUX and SPDIF inputs and outputs
    MIDI I/O
    2 Headphone outputs with independent volume and channel selection
    Direct (zero-latency) monitor/DAW blend knob
    Per-channel Line/Inst buttons
    Per-channel Pad buttons
    Solid drivers allowing for low latency performance

    No option for stand-alone operation
    UMC Audio Control software is very limited
    No LED meters (just a single LED for signal)
    Unit can run a little hot

  • James Anderson
    from Chicago July 20, 2016

    Great piece of hardware

    The UMC 1820 is a great piece of hardware for my home studio, Many ins and outs, very flexible, plus good sound quality. I had a couple of set up questions and the engineers at Sweetwater were fabulous

  • Mark
    from June 30, 2016

    Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820

    A very nice product! I wanted more than two tracks of audio going into my home studio DAW, so the UMC1820 was not only a reasonable low-priced way of getting 8 tracks in (or four stereo pairs), its monitoring turned out to be less noisy than the FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 I was using. When I'd first installed it, I had some problems with ticking noises coming out of the audio and through the MIDI channel. It turns out that Behringer's Windows driver had a problem with the combination of the the UMC1820's USB 2 interface and the USB 3 interface on the Windows machine. Thanks to the Sweetwater support technicians, I was able to get an alternate driver loaded and the problem was resolved. So, all in all, between the Behringer product living up to its advertising and Sweetwater's pre and post sales staff, this has turned out perfectly.

  • Artie Langston
    from December 1, 2016Music Background:
    professional musician, university music professor.

    Buyer's remorse.

    I purchased this unit to fill in while my FCA1616 was in for repai6, a good move since it took several moths to come back, and I had a number of projects that needed to be completed.

    My main disappointments are that there are no inserts at all on the UMC1820, and according to Behringer, it's impossible to sync the FCA1616 and UMC1820 using ADAT as we assumed I could do when the FCA1616 came back. It appears this was something even the Behringer tech was unaware off until he tried to hook them up when I called..

    Very nice unit in other regards if you are strictly DAW and VST based.

  • Gary
    from Seattle June 26, 2016Music Background:
    Composer, live jazz performer

    Not well thought out...

    2 major issues:
    1) I have the Behringer X18Air - works great.
    When loading the Windows drivers for the UMC 1820 there was a conflict with the x18Air drivers.
    I confirmed this with Behringer... they do not have a fix. The driver for the UMC 1820 has known conflicts with the x18Air. I cannot use this unit with the X18Air on my PC in my live rig.
    2) After discovering the above, I swapped converters in my Mac based studio and put the UMC 1820 in my Mac based studio. After I connected the UMC 1820 to my gear there was a horrible and pronounced ground loop. After trying to discover where it was coming from (when there was no issue with my 828mk3 that I swapped out), I found that there was a grounding problem with the unit itself. Likely due to the ungrounded wall-wart power supply for the unit. With all of my gear disconnected, I could still hear the grounding problem. Again... my studio was dead-silent with the 828mk3 installed.
    I am sending the unit back.

    Now, I am on the hunt for another USB based, *internal transformer* unit. Another 828mk3? Perhaps...

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