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Old 02-12-2012, 08:06 AM   #1
Mudchild
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Default interface recommendation for a total beginner kid?

folks I'm looking to set up a 12-year-old kid with Reaper on his PC laptop. It needs to be super-beginnery so I'm going to strip out loads of options and stuff to make it simpler for him.

But also I need recommendations for a simple but solid audio interface for him, plus a suitable vocal mic. Cheap would be fine.

It should be USB and just have two ins - for voice mic and one for guitar lead. That's it.

Can anyone recommend a cheap, reliable interface and vocal mic for a singy guitar kid who just wants to try a bit of simple recording?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:54 AM   #2
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folks I'm looking to set up a 12-year-old kid with Reaper on his PC laptop. It needs to be super-beginnery so I'm going to strip out loads of options and stuff to make it simpler for him.

But also I need recommendations for a simple but solid audio interface for him, plus a suitable vocal mic. Cheap would be fine.

It should be USB and just have two ins - for voice mic and one for guitar lead. That's it.

Can anyone recommend a cheap, reliable interface and vocal mic for a singy guitar kid who just wants to try a bit of simple recording?

Thanks!
Wow. If the laptop has a mic input, you can probably get away with a cheap dynamic mic from Maplins ~ £20ish.
Getting electric guitar in, then you might need a USB interface? I have a relatively cheap one - Tascam US-200 - which suits my needs.
Have a look through http://www.dv247.com/
For basic recording, you can spend as little as you want, really.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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Can anyone recommend a cheap, reliable interface and vocal mic for a singy guitar kid who just wants to try a bit of simple recording?
I’ll give you one bit of advice... if at all possible, buy your audio interface from somewhere that will accept a return gracefully. If you look around the Internet a bit, you’ll soon discover that there is no such thing as a USB audio interface that doesn’t fail to work with some setups. Usually no one, including technical support for the product, can figure out why, and others will be perfectly happy with the same device in what seems like an equivalent configuration. Alesis IO|2, E-MU 0204 USB, Line 6 POD Studio UX2 and Tascam US-122MKII would all be plausible choices, but they all have significant numbers of reports of failure. (Beware of the “step down” versions of many of those... frequently they have one microphone input and one guitar input, but the two can’t be used together, which will be very frustrating when a time comes that he wants to try recording voice and guitar together. Guitar requires a preamp, and if there are two preamps, there will virtually always be two microphone inputs.)

As for a vocal mic, there’s always the trusty SM-58. It’s usually thought of as a microphone for live performance rather than studio applications, but for a 12-year-old the durability factor has to be an advantage.

Last edited by Coises; 02-12-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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M-Audio Fast Track (or Avid recording studio, which is the same interface with Pro Tools LE included)
Fits perfectly to your demands. It`s very cheap and USB-powered, it has one mic and one instrument in onboard.
You can buy reliable condenser vocal mic for beginner use for about 100$ (Samson etc.). But, as Coises said, dynamic mic will be good for kid`s use.

Last edited by Megabass; 02-12-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:40 AM   #5
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I’ll give you one bit of advice... if at all possible, buy your audio interface from somewhere that will accept a return gracefully. If you look around the Internet a bit, you’ll soon discover that there is no such thing as a USB audio interface that doesn’t fail to work with some setups. Usually no one, including technical support for the product, can figure out why, and others will be perfectly happy with the same device in what seems like an equivalent configuration. Alesis IO|2, E-MU 0204 USB, Line 6 POD Studio UX2 and Tascam US-122MKII would all be plausible choices, but they all have significant numbers of reports of failure.


This is gold right there. Great advice. I have an alesis Io2, and it works extremely well with one of my laptops, but is extremely unstable on the other. Mind you, the preamps are great, so I would recommend to anyone on a budget.

for the mic, the at2020 sounds ridiculously good in a home recording environment....and is built like a tank, which is always good when you speak about teenagers.
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Last edited by g4greg; 02-13-2012 at 06:41 AM. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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Edirol UA25 (or whatever the modern incarnation is) Mine's proven itself to be completely bulletproof, 2 x combi mic / jack ins one of which is switchable to HiZ (so can be used as a guitar DI) and the driver has been solid for some years. It also has outputs on jacks and phonos so it's easy to interface with whatever hifi or monitors he's got.

I would second the SM58 recommendation. Good, solid 'industry standard' mic that will continue to be of value and use to him whatever he moves on to. He might then be able to leapfrog the super-budget end of the condenser market at his next upgrade and keep all of his purchases as investments rather than steps to something better.

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
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thanks all! much appreciated
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