Ben Lobaugh Online

I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail

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Would I buy it again? Review of the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD Audio Interface – Plus 2x bonus gear!

Back in the day Behringer was not known for particularly high-quality audio, so when I went to upgrade my audio interface you could say I was more than a bit skeptical of the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD audio interface. To say that I have been pleasantly surprised would be mild. I am blown away by the clarity of the audio that comes out of it little unit.

Picked up this little unit for XX dollars on Amazon. This model has two inputs with double as XLR and TRS. The preamp’s are brilliant. There are two outputs for left and right on the back, and the headphone jack on the front with independent volume control can be used to monitor inputs, or the outputs.

Most of the time I am performing live with the U-PHORIA UMC202HD, and thanks to the flexibility of this unit I am able to bend and twist it in ways I never thought possible. Let me give you a brief overview of my setup.

Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD diagram

Typically, musicians run the sound out of their instrument to the sound board, and then the sound board returns their sounds in a monitor channel that allows them to create a mix of the band for monitoring. If you run a shared monitor send it can get dicey as musicians always want to hear themselves higher than the rest of the band. Having spent many years in this exact scenario, I came up with clever solutions to allow me to hear myself, which usually involved several pieces of equipment to create a mix between my instrument directly and the sound system monitor send. The U-PHORIA UMC202HD allows me to not only send a signal to the house, but also to mix and monitor the system at the same time. All from one box!

How do I do it?

The venue I play at runs mono- they get the left channel out from the U-PHORIA UMC202HD. The monitor send get plugging into input 2. In my software, Mainstage, I set up an audio track that uses input 2 as it’s source and pan that track all the way right. Then I simply plug some in-ear headphones into the front headphone jack and viola! Full independent control of my own volume versus the monitor mix. The output to the house is controlled by the main volume knob and the headphones are independently controlled with their own level.

Eventually I will write up a full tutorial on how I have this configured, but for now I will tell you that it is the best thing since sliced bread. I went from carrying a bag of equipment, to a laptop and the audio interface. Gigging has been greatly simplified.

But Ben, how does it SOUND?

Simply put, it sounds like a device many times its cost. The clarity is astounding! Sound comes out rich and full, faithfully replicating whatever I throw at it. And the noise when nothing is playing is simply non-existent. My venue has terrible ground loop issues that cause major hum. My prior setup always had issues, bad enough that I put a sound gate on the end of the chain, and so did the sound board. The U-PHORIA UMC202HD is completely silent! Even with the volume cranked there is no noise in the system. It also eliminated several potential ground loop issues since it is powered from the laptop itself.

I prefer Mainstage for….pretty much everything. It has a great set of preset sounds and it is super easy to create your own. The U-PHORIA UMC202HD integrates seamlessly. Just plug it in and the inputs and outputs show up right away. The input volume knobs on the U-PHORIA UMC202HD help regulate the incoming monitor volume, and the selector buttons let me bump the signal up or down, depending on what is coming from the house.

Would I buy it again?

In a heartbeat! This is definitely a device I recommend to anyone needing a kick-butt audio interface and is on a budget. In fact, there are models with more inputs and I am contemplating getting one and using it to manage all the devices and audio sources in my office!

Final conclusion

Do not let the low price fool you, the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD is a great piece of hardware. It allowed me to replace at least 5 pieces of equipment! I would definitely buy it again and heartily recommend it to all you readers.

Bonus #1 – Make speaker level sends safe!

Running a speaker level, or amped, send into the U-PHORIA UMC202HD could be disastrous for both the unit and the computer connected to it! To get around that I carry a Rolls PM52 Headphone Tap. It takes in a speaker level send and gives you a knob to control its output level, making it perfectly safe for headphones, or the audio interface.

Bonus #2 – Direct Box for interfacing the sound system

Most sound systems want you to convert your signal to XLR for input to the sound system. The Radial Pro line of direct boxes cannot be beat! They will send a clean smooth sound to the system that is as close to what is in your ears as it gets. The cases are also a highly durable metal.

iMac on a desk

How to fix missing Calibri and Cambria fonts on Mac (Bonus: Segoe UI)

If you open Microsoft formatted documents on your Mac like I do then you have probably run across the annoying message saying the Calibri or  Cambria font is missing.

For years I have ignored this as an annoyance, but today I decided to do something about it. Turns out there is a very easy fix!

Richard Taylor of RMTWeb became fed up like me and put together a package of fonts to restore Calibri and Cambria fonts on the Mac.

Getting the fonts running is trivial:

That’s it.

Really.

You will no longer get that annoying message about missing fonts!

Thanks to Richard for providing this resource! His original instructions can be found at https://www.rmtweb.co.uk/calibri-and-cambria-fonts-for-mac

Bonus: Segoe UI Font

After posting the original fonts I ran across an issue with Segoe UI fonts missing. Microsoft provides a download for them at Segoe UI and Fabric MDL2 external icon font. The install instructions are the same as above!

Photo by Patrick Ward on Unsplash

VW Bus enjoying a day out

Weather was perfect and the wife was out of town today so I pulled out the 1965 VW Bus and went for a cruise.

Picture of tables

How to extract a single table from a MySQL sql file

Ever received a large MySQL dump file and only needed one table out of it?

I ran across just this issue. The full database took significant time to import and I only needed a small subsection of the DB, just one single table. Rather than waiting for it all to import, I pulled together a sed command that extracts a single table from the sql file. Check it out:

sed -n ‘/Records of TABLE_NAME/,/Table structure for/p’ FULL_SQL_FILE.sql > table.sql

Replace TABLE_NAME and FULL_SQL_FILE with the names of the table you want and the sql file to pull it from, respectively.

You will now have a table.sql file in your directory that is ready to be imported.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

WordPress: How to “properly” allow unfiltered uploads

If you are working with a WordPress site and getting the dreaded “Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons.” message, fret no more!

WordPress has a config that allows you to enable unfiltered uploads

define( 'ALLOW_UNFILTERED_UPLOADS', true );

This, however, does not always work. Especially on Multisite, which may only allow unfiltered uploads for super admin users. No bueno.

Filters to the rescue!

Drop this code into your project (I put it in mu-plugins) and viola! You will have unfettered uploads.

add_filter( 'user_has_cap', 'unfiltered_upload' );

function unfiltered_upload( $caps )
{
    $caps['unfiltered_upload'] = 1;
    return $caps;
}

See also this StackExchange message

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