Recording to a laptop

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Could someone please tell me the best way to record my bass directly onto my laptop? do they have pcmia cards that I can plug my bass directly into?? thanks!:bassist:
  2. Echo has some pcmcia cards
    M-audio, Aardvark and more have some usb-recording solutions.

    you can find more info in various threads here.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  4. PCMCIA cards are only one way to get sound into a laptop. They have the benefit of being powered directly from the laptop and having low latency, as well as the fact that they're always connected, but they can be pricey.

    USB interfaces are another option. They tend to be cheaper, can also draw power directly from the laptop via the USB bus, BUT they tend to have higher latency (gap between playing and hearing what you've just played through the soundcard) due to the limitations of USB1.0. There aren't too many USB2.0 sound interfaces yet. USB2 has much higher data transfer rates...

    Try looking at devices like the Edirol UA-20, Tascam US-122, MAudio Audiophile USB.

    The other alternative, though still quite new is the Firewire devices such as the MAudio Firewire410. The advantage is much higher data transfer rates - lower latency, but the disadvantage is the not many laptops have 6 pin firewire ports meaning that you need to plug the interface in to a power socket to be able to use it. (Most laptops have 4 pin firewire). So it's not THAT portable.

    Hope this info helps.
  5. I've just heard about the Echo IndigoIO PCMCIA card that gives 24/96 quality sound, single stereo out, single stereo in (on 1/8" jacks) but it has decent drivers (ASIO,WDM etc) to enable you to use Cubase/Cakewalk/Sonar etc. Sounds like a good deal too at about £180 (~270Euros). .
  6. mrbaloo


    May 9, 2002

    I think Lexicon Omega with software bundle is a very handy tool for recording on your laptop; 4 ch input and 2 ch output streaming audio via USB 1.1. Inputs are four 1/4" TRS, two XLR with inserts and phantom power, one High Z and S/PDIF. Outputs are one 1/4" for stereo headphone, two 1/4" TSR main mix and one S/PDIF.


  7. B@ssT


    Jun 11, 2003
    Are these devices all full duplex? I want to play my drummers riff and at the same moment play my bass riff and record it. Or has full duplex recording something to do with my soundcard?
  8. mrbaloo


    May 9, 2002
    I think the Lexicon is full duplex. The manual talks about 6 ch streaming audio via USB 1.1 where 4 ch are input and 2 ch are output channels.

  9. jbay


    May 23, 2002
    How many tracks do u need? I personally recommend Firewire. Some products u might wanna consider are MOTU's 828MKII, 896, Tascam's FW-1884, Digidesign's Digi002 for more tracks. The Tascam & Digi002 (non rack version) have control surfaces which sync with ur recording software.

    If u require less tracks, eg doing one at a time, Digidesign's M Box or M Audio's Firewire 410 will do the job.
  10. If you're just messing around and not doing any "serious" recording just use the mic input on your laptop. My HP is full duplex and actually sounds alright for a notebook. But if you're using software synths, real time effects, or a ton of tracks I'd invest in a new card.
  11. MrBungle3


    May 16, 2002
    If you have firewire, that is the way to go...if not usb is the second best option in my opinion. I picked up a tascam us-122 (i think that is the serial?) for less than $150 - has phantom power, midi, xlr, and 1/4 ins...all powered from your usb (no wall plug).
    Mbox would be awesome, but its kind of expensive.

    2 cents.
  12. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    I was going to post this as another thread, but my question seems to fit in with this topic...

    I'm going to buy a computer for when I go to college next year. I was originally thinking of a notebook because of portability and all, but I'm now considering a desktop because I want to record music. Is a desktop considerably more practical for recording because of its expandability and the plethora of PCI audio cards available?
  13. jbay


    May 23, 2002
    If you don't need a laptop, desktop is definately better. As you said it's easier and cheaper to expand. E.g. adding RAM, larger HDD, audio interfaces. PCI audio interfaces are also significantly cheaper than Firewire counterparts. As far as portability is concerned, if u ever plan to do live recording, u'll need a decent no. of tracks. And that would mean a relatively large (firewire?) interface. Which defeats the entire portability part altogether.