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View Full Version : What USB interface to use?


Invader3K
09-04-2007, 07:31 PM
Hey all. Completely new here...just downloaded Reaper and love it so far. I've used ProTools in the past (though that was a few years back when I was still in college), and this program looks fantasic.

Anyway, our band is talking about recording a demo (just a basic cover band demo to pass out to bar owners, etc). We're just a three piece band. What kind of interface would be recommended for connecting microphones, etc...to the computer for recording. I'm planning on using my newer laptop with Windows Vista, which only has USB connectors.

Thanks in advance.

Invader3K
09-05-2007, 11:25 AM
To follow up on my question from yesterday, I've been looking at the Mbox 2 Mini. Would this be a good option? It seems like the price is right. Basically I envision recording a guide track using one mic, then having guitar, bass, vocals, and drums record individually (I realize this would basically limit us to two mics on the drums, though). Our guiarist does have a PA mixer that I suppose could be used to allow for more mic inputs, I think. Any help I could get would be wonderful!

Invader3K
09-07-2007, 05:38 AM
No help at all? C'mon people, throw me a bone, please!

Diogenes
09-07-2007, 06:47 AM
I would only consider the Mini if you wanted Pro-Tools LE for some reason. Myself? I'd get a EMU 0404USB if that covered my I/O needs.

How many inputs do you foresee needing to record at once? What's your budget like? Basic needs would be covered by a Tascam US-122. I have one of those and it has been great. I suggest the EMU0404 because the A/D/A converters are better.

D

DAnttila
09-07-2007, 07:31 AM
I would recommend alesis multimix for this purpouse, very easy to set up and it has phantompower and the basic eq's aswell. Just plug it in and hit record, works fine! Phonic also have a combined mixer/interface but I have no experience with that one, should be pretty similar in quality I guess.

http://www.alesis.com/product.php?id=40

or this with more inputs:
http://www.alesis.com/product.php?id=93

I have the 16 version

/Danttila

simpsongb
09-07-2007, 07:50 AM
I might suggest that you go firewire. Most USB implementations are limited to 2 tracks of input. Firewire removes the limitation. I use the Alesis IO26.....very nice preamps...very flexible........

Invader3K
09-08-2007, 06:41 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the tips.

Firewire is not an option for me as our laptop does not have a firewire connection, just USB. Guess I should have mentioned that before. I know there are probably adapters and such, but I don't want to mess with that right now.

I actually ordered the M-Audio Fast Track Pro yesterday. Hopefully the Beta driver for it will work OK with Vista. I think otherwise that it will fit my needs pretty well for now. Reaper has been running great so far on the laptop, so hopefully connecting the Fast Track Pro will not create any new problems. Looking forward to trying it, anyway.

boka
09-11-2007, 02:16 AM
According to my experiences, M-audio has been pretty good at midi interfaces. I've been using Midisport 4x4 for a long time. But. You know there is always a but. Do not expect sample accurate midi timing. Lots of interfaces are advertised as sample accurate midi timing. Don't believe that. Even on the mac they still have latency.

Invader3K
09-11-2007, 06:46 AM
Well, I'm not going to be really doing any midi on this, unless I'm misunderstanding you. I'm just pretty much going to be doing microphone and line-in recording.

flight
09-11-2007, 07:02 AM
++1 for Firewire over USB. The Presonus Firepod is a good interface.

Oops, just saw the note where you don't have the interface. You might want to do a little research to see if the advantages of Firewire don't make it worth installing an interface card. The primary advantage is that USB shares its bandwidth among all USB devices, where Firewire gives full throughput to all devices. When you're talking DAW, this could come to be pretty important.

Finally, though you may not be doing MIDI today, you may want to tomorrow (this from personal experience).

boka
09-11-2007, 08:23 AM
Well, I'm not going to be really doing any midi on this, unless I'm misunderstanding you. I'm just pretty much going to be doing microphone and line-in recording.

then no problem in that case! :)

Invader3K
09-11-2007, 11:43 AM
++1 for Firewire over USB. The Presonus Firepod is a good interface.

Oops, just saw the note where you don't have the interface. You might want to do a little research to see if the advantages of Firewire don't make it worth installing an interface card. The primary advantage is that USB shares its bandwidth among all USB devices, where Firewire gives full throughput to all devices. When you're talking DAW, this could come to be pretty important.

Finally, though you may not be doing MIDI today, you may want to tomorrow (this from personal experience).

I get what you're saying. Again, though, I'm just interested in recording a cover band demo right now, so I think the USB interface will work fine. My M-Audio device should be coming today or tomorrow, so I'll try and post an update of how it works.

As far as MIDI, if I ever became seriously interested in that, I'd probably get a new computer system, keyboard, etc. I only play bass guitar, though, so I don't see it being that useful for my personal needs. Frankly, I've never used MIDI, so that would be a pretty huge leap at that point.

Invader3K
09-11-2007, 06:25 PM
Well, just got the Fast Track Pro in the mail today and spent most of the evening playing with it. Mainly I'm limited to plugging my bass into one of the front instrument jacks, but so far, so good. I like that I can plug in my bass through my pedal board and get some quality sound with effects, through that method.

I'm sure I'll have many more questions once I sit down with the band to record, but right now I'm very happy with this interface, combined with Reaper.

bigtop
09-23-2007, 03:12 PM
Are you sure you dont have Firewire?
You may have a port called IEEE 1394 or if a Sony Laptop called iLINK. It may well be a small 4 pin connector....dont worry its the same thing and you can get a 4 Pin-6 Pin cable to do the job.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_wire

Happy recording

Invader3K
09-26-2007, 05:17 PM
My laptop isn't that fancy...just an Acer. So only USB, as far as I can see.

.jon
09-27-2007, 01:54 PM
I've had the Fast Track Pro for almost a year and it's been all good.

"Sample accurate MIDI" doesn't have much to do with the interface, and even less with latency - all audio interfaces have latency.

It's a reliable, nice little box.

Have fun!