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Another 'computer recording for dummies' question

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Okay, okay - I know that the sound card in my computer is not great and that I'll want to upgrade the soundcard soon.

    I know that I can get an "external soundcard" that will plug into a USB port (I think) ...I've started looking around for them online, and I'm not sure exactly what it is :meh:

    for example:
    A product like the "M-Audio Fast Track USB Computer Recording Interface"


    does that have a soundcard in it or does it just provide a way to plug things in?

    Same question with the Line 6 TonePort UX1 USB recording / Modeling Interface


    - is that a soundcard? Sorry to be such a dummy with all this - it's all new to me and I've been reading up like crazy and I've convinced myself to look into upgrading the soundcard... I'm just not sure what I'm looking at when I try to shop for one.
  2. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    I'm not really familiar with either of those choices, as I steered clear of USB devices when purchasing mine due to latency issues, but they are instrument input interfaces that will allow you to record your instrument on your PC and do appear to have playback capabilities.

    Another option you might care to investigate are the M-Audio Delta 44 or Delta 66, which are relatively inexpensive sound card alternatives that work well for PC recording.



    If you need more than 4 inputs and/or outputs, than the M-Audio D1010LT might be an option.


    These are obviously PCI sound cards that would be installed in your PC. ;)

    Good luck and have fun!! :bassist:
  3. Welcome to the slippery slope of home recording!

    Not only will you need an adequate means of providing input and output (your soundcard) but you will have to have a really hearty processor, lots of ram, a fast harddrive and, of course some software.

    If you are doing a 'personal' set up, I would recommend a sound card like the Audigy from Creative labs...


    It has all you will need to plug in you and someone else and do a nice 2-track session.

    If you are going for the full-blown studio, you can find products from M-Audio, like the Delta 1010


    My friend has 2 of these along with a whole rack of processors, eqs, patch-bays, and so on... And believe me, he never stops buying and upgrading his stuff... He is SO addicted...

    So beware - once you figure out your thing you are on your way to becoming a home-recording junkie! It is an expensive, but very rewarding habit to develop!

    Good luck!
  4. Hey Matthew

    If your plan is to record stuff from your 4 track to your PC in order to make MP3's / CD-R's then a fairly inexpensive soundcard will do. If you'd like to record your bass / guitar direct into the PC then something like the MAudio or Line6 gear would be a good idea since these include appropriate inputs and preamps to boost the signal from your guitar up to decent levels for recording.

    USB interfaces and their software drivers have improved a lot recently so that if you're recording one instrument at a time these will do very well. If you want to record more channels at once though the volume of data input / output through USB (these are usually older USB1 interfaces) gets too much to handle. That's where Firewire comes in.

    If price isn't much of an issue, it may be worth looking at the cheaper Firewire interfaces. The thing to look out for is how many 1/4" inputs they have. A lot of interfaces say things like "6 inputs". But only 2 of them are mic/line 1/4" jacks or mic inputs. 2 may be RCA jack and the other 2 may be digital. Whether that's any use to you depends on whether you ever plan to record a whole band, or choir. Anyhoo, think ahead a little and you'll soon be able to whittle down the list to useful components.
  5. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thanks for all the info MKS...

    For right now, that is exactly what the plan is.

    The next phase of this plan is to download Audacity when I get home tonight so that I can try recording from the 4 track to that, then I'll start my first recording project and see how it turns out mastering this way. I don't require super high quality. If I can get a quality that I can live with through the existing soundcard, I'll be happy. (for now) I recorded some drums from my drum machine to MS Sound Recorder last night and the quality wasn't too awfully bad - if I can get a mix with drums, bass, and maybe voice at about the same level of quality I might have everything I need.

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