Need a cheap interface?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tomass, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    im interested in doing recordings strait onto my computer, with using freeware programs like Kristal and Audacity. My question is can you get interfaces that will plug into USB, what i mean is like a 6.5mm jaack that the bass inputs to and that connects to the USB. But also i want a multi instrument/mic for band rec. got about $100-200 AUD to waste on one, also just some brands or what there proper nme would do fine and i can find the rest. I dont know what there called?
  2. rossM


    Jun 27, 2005
    sydney australia
    I have recently ( after resisting digital with a vengence & in some ways still clinging to the traditional recording process) embarkrd upon this road . A lot depends on what you are going to do - I needed to record Jazz - so I needed to concentrate on gettin a lot of channels & mics up and running all at once . This is particularly expensive in computer recording because you have to supply a no of mic pre amps and da/ad coverters all simultaneously. In the end I decided to go with a HD recorder which gave me the cheapest way of recording multiple simultaneous channels ( I already had a mixer).

    From what I understand you to be saying you are proposing to record only a few things at once . There are a host of boxes out there which will give you a couple of analog lines and a couple of digital inputs and midi to USB . Have a look on the M audio website and they offer a no of different configurations .

    Having opted for a HD recorder -I bought the cheapest Analogue/digital interface I could find to get my stuff into the computer. I can recommend the M- Audio transit USB - It has digital stereo in/out and analogue stereo in/out 24 bit audio ASIO plugs into your usb and comes with a free Abelton Live multi channel recording and editing software and free Reason software - which I have not yet found a use for - as it is all synth and drum machine stuff -This device is only good for a stereo (or 2 mono) channels at once - But that may be good enough for you- It doesnt tale stnd gutar jacks - It uses mini jacks - but radio shack will sell you an adapter for not too much - or if you want to fire up a no. of inputs get a small berringher mixer for $150 - It cost me $170 (australian-less than $130 US).
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If you can do Firewire, you might be better off in terms of latency.

    I like M-Audio, I recently bought a FW 410. Here's one that's more in your price range, and here's a blem 410 that would probably be worth the extra money. I really like mine.

    If you go USB, Tascam also makes a cheap unit.
  4. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    If you wouldn't mind, can you post some thoughts on the 410 when you get a chance? I'm thinking of getting one in the near future, but have had a hard time finding documentation on real world experiences with it.
  5. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I have a 410 card in my PC. Since it's PCI there's not too much concern about latency. But I've found that some people want to record two instruments at the same time. If you can afford it, try to get something with more inputs. A 410 will be fine in 90% of situations though.
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Well, it would be hard for me to make a direct comparison between the 410 an any other interfaces, as this is the first and only one I've owned. I can tell you my thoughts on it thus far, however.

    Getting it set up is a little tricky, but I was able to to do it in one sitting. The software that runs in the system tray that acts as the go-between for the hardware and your computer is useful, but it has a habit of resetting certain settings, which can be frustrating.

    In terms of sound, I think it's great. I've recorded my bass and guitar and both have sounded awesome. I've had zero latency issues, though I am pre-monitoring as opposed to post monitoring. (I think the correct term is "direct monitoring".) The general rule is that monitoring through your recording software can be pretty processor intensive and can result in latency, and I have not taken the time to try it that way.

    My only real grip is the contruction. The case is well-made enough, though the individual volume knobs don't inspire me with tons of confidence. Also, the front XLR jacks (also 1/4") tend to wiggle around a bit, that is, you can kind of push them back into the unit a bit when you plug or unplug. Not the greatest, but nothing that's given me troubles yet.

    I bought mine second hand, and can't comment on any software that may come with it. I purchased Cubase SE at the same time and have been using it through there. Getting it set up was easy, though it took me a while to find where I needed to go in Cubase to tell it that the 410 was the new input.

    I haven't used any MIDI features yet, though that will be in the near future.
  7. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    i might have found a solution, i was looking at the Behringer (dont bother argueing) Euro mixing desks, particulary this one and a MIDI interface

    My plan would be to have the drum mics plugged up to this and the 2 guitars, bass, and vocal linked up to the mixer. Use this to get the sound we want and then use the Stereo Phono outputs to plug into the MIDI and then into a USB port. The only bad thing being the nature of a metal band the drummer has got 2 bass drums, 4 toms, snare, 2 crashes and rides and Drum mics are very, very expensive. Would this system work though?

    EDIT: sorry didnt read the post up above, LOL
  8. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    also when i tried to use my bass through mums laptop via just plugging the bass up to it. It seem to lag like, when i played a note it would take like .5sec for the sound to come through the speaker. Now the laptop is fairly reasonble, 512mb ram, 80gb hardrive. P4 so thers nothing wrong with it, but im suspecting that this is a sound card issue? right?
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Tomass, that's the direct monitoring thing I was talking about in one of my previous posts. There should be a setting you can turn off in your software to turn off monitoring. In that case you likely won't be able to hear what you're recording, but there won't be any lag (latency) issues.

    There can be two ways around this - one is that the interface you linked to mentions direct monitoring, meaning that you're listening to the sound being recording earlier in the signal chain than the software, taking away the lag. Second, if you use a mixer, you can listen to the sounds you're recording through a headphone or monitor out _before_ it goes into your computer, also solving the problem.