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Opinions on Sound Card and / or Audio Interface

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bassballs27, Jul 15, 2004.


  1. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Hello Everyone!

    I have a few quick questions for this forum........

    I'm looking for a recommendation on a Sound Card or even an Audio Interface that will easily accept a line level signal from by Bass Preamp.

    I'm NOT looking to connect my bass directly to my computer, in this case I would need some kind of preamp in order to achieve a decent signal.

    I want to run the signal directly from my Bass Preamp........which has many outputs for me to choose from.........so, I'm not looking for an Audio Interface with an instrument preamp......I don't need it!

    I've been trying to record with my simple Soundblaster Live PCI Card, but it works like most people say.........crap! You don't get enough signal gain.

    Anyway, I'd prefer if the soundcard would be able to accept XLR, 1/4" Mono, or 1/4" TRS.

    That little 1/8" stereo line in jack just doesn't cut it for me.

    I did a search in the forum and found some general solutions from M-Audio........but, I'm not sure if I need all that I/O.

    Does anyone know of a good sound card or an audio interface that would work for my case?

    My Computer is a PC......not a MAC.......and I can almost guarantee it can handle most Audio Cards or Interfaces available today!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    If don't need a lot of I/O then don't get those big interfaces. However the smallest you will find will be two channels.

    You mentioned m-audio, the Omni Studio is great as well as the USB Duo. Stay away from the cheap usb stuff they have, its garbage.

    Roland offers some decent stuff as well as EMU. Though I don't have much to offer on those products.

    Your request is a pretty simple one to square away. You will find most interfaces will have 1/4 and some will have XLR, or both. If you just need 2 channels I would suggest the Omni Studio, its very flexable, good converters and M-audio is pretty solid company if you ever need to deal with them.

    M-Audio Omni Studio
     
  3. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    I've been happy with the M-Audio Audiophile 2496.

    Marshall
     
  4. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    But its unbalanced, RCA.
     
  5. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The 2496 wouldn't be of much use to me.

    How about the popular M-Audio MobilePre USB?

    Would that be worth a shot?

    Price is $195.00 Canadian at a local music shop.

    Hey........Droog is the bundled software any good that comes with that MobilePre USB?

    Can you use other audio software, such as Cakewalk or CuBase, with the MobilePre?

    I'm still sort of shopping around..........I'm liking the MobilePre just because of flexibility and it doesn't have to stay stuck in my machine......I could take it with me!

    The USB stuff really isn't that good huh? not what it's cracked up to be?

    -Chris
     
  6. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Piss on the MobilePre USB. Yeah, its cheap for a reason. I used it, the noise floor could choke a horse. Not terribly impressed with the bundled software. Get yourself the $100 dollar version of Sound Forge and the USB Duo and you will be good to go.
     
  7. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Awesome.........thanks Droog!

    I'm still looking for recommendations on PCI Sound cards that don't have or have interfaces. Anyone know of any?

    -Chris
     
  8. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Does anyone use the Digidesigns M-Box?

    Is ProTools decent software for recording?
     
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    So what?
    Unless your preamp has balanced outputs and you use a long cable it doesn't matter.
     
  10. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    www.emu.com


    E MU is making some high quality stuff these days, getting great reviews from pros and public alike.
     
  11. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Hmmm.........but E-MU is high-end Creative? is it not?........which are the makers of SoundBlaster. (Which has been around many years......back in the day of the good ol' 486.

    That's a great marketing stradegy for Creative......"good for PC sound......but if you want to record......buy the more expensive product!" LOL!

    I might just have to A/B an E-MU product against the M-Audio Omni Studio........do you recommend a specific model Blisshead?

    -Chris
     
  12. radi8

    radi8

    Feb 10, 2004
    Chicago
    The Terratec EWX 24/96 works well..it has rca/digital ins and outs...i had a cable made with rca plugs on one end and balanced on the other.

    i use the balanced out from my Sans Amp DI into my soundcard.
    I can also use the 1/4 out into my soundcard.
    The 24/96 also has audio gain.
    i don't need it because my Sans takes care of that.

    just my two cents.
     
  13. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I have the EMU 1820M. Same converters Digi uses in some of their products. This is NOT a soundblaster, these two products could not be farther apart. It's like saying a geo is the same as a Saab because both are owned by GM. No correlation. Different magazines and web "experts" went out to test the EMU all ready to shoot it down, and to a man they've given it very high marks. I did use an M-Audio 24/96 before, and the difference to me is night and day. I think the 24/96 is a great card, but not in the same class as the E MU.
     
  14. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    ditto this, it really doesn't matter unless you recording from your neighbors house.
     
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Actually, it was the other way around. The Soundblaster Live! is a crippled EMU card (same chip as the EMU APS card, EMU10K1), there were even hacked EMU drivers that gave you ASIO capabilities and low latency for the SBLive! The Audigy is just a souped-up SBLive with the same flaws (48KHz only for ASIO).

    Strategy remains the same though. :D
     
  16. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I don't think those are the cards I posted though. You most definetly can go above 48KHz will the ones I linked to. As shown by the specs in this link:

    http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?product=2211&category=332&maincategory=&nav=over
     
  17. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Based on the original post, I don't see RCA in his preferences. Besides most Preamps worth a Sh** will offer a balanced out, may as well use it. I mean come on, RCA vs XLR. You decide.
     
  18. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Yeah, the M-Box is solid stuff, well as solid as $450 will get. Pro Tools if definately "decent", its the standard for a reason. The down side of the M-box (all digi products for that matter) is that you cannot use the interface for any other software, not can you use any other interface for Pro Tools. But its a great turn key system.
     
  19. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Well that's a great point Droog!

    I'm thinking I may want to use Cakewalk or (even simpler) Acid for recording.

    I haven't decided yet, but I don't want to be limited by one product.

    It looks like the M-Audio Omni Studio or the E-MU 1820M (or 1820?) would be a good choice for me.
     
  20. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Well.......the main difference between the M-Audio Omni Studio and the E-MU 1800M is the fact that the sampling rate is higher on the E-MU @ 196kHz. (Not to mention the chipset is that of Digidesigns ProTool Equipment)

    Now, with a little Nyquest theory......in order to sample a certain analog frequency, you should sample it at twice it's speed (frequency) digitally. This is called the Nyquest frequency.

    So, what is so wrong with a maximum sampling rate of 96kHz? Aren't MP3 files limited to 48kHz? Why go for the 192kHz?

    I can only assume a higher sampling rate gives better resolution. But, better resolution for hearing? or just a better resolution for the computer to perform it's Analog to Digital Conversion, creating a larger sound file, which has greater clarity?