USB Input Devices?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by DeclanG, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. DeclanG


    Jan 16, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Hi guys,
    Im looking at getting a USB input device to record onto my PC but dont know a huge amount about them. Im looking for something relatively cheap, say around €/$100. I will be using it through both Ableton Live and Audacity depending on the circumstances. Basically I have no idea of the quality of whats out there and whether some can have great guitar sound but then terrible for bass. Obviously bass is most important for me but do plan to throw down both. I was looking at the Lambda USB Desktop Studio and seems decent to me in the cheap and cheerful range but again my knowledge is pretty limited! Anyone have any experience with it? Any others you would suggest? Im not using a Mac so unfortunately that cuts out a lot of the devices out there!


  2. DeclanG


    Jan 16, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Just to add, I will only be using 1 input at a time as its mainly for me to write and mess around with at home so number of channels etc isnt that important to me. Quality (or as much as I can get for cheap) is the main thing :)
  3. Chromer


    Nov 28, 2012
    You could do a lot worse than a Presonus Audiobox 2x2, or (a little bit more) a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

    Either will give you a very clean, uncolored DI and very clean output. What goes in is essentially exactly what will come out. They'll also have decent enough preamps for connecting a microphone, should that bug hit you.

    I have a low-end Tascam. It's fine for instrument-in, but too noisy for microphones at any useful amount of preamp gain. It's going to become a doorstop as soon as I can find the right multichannel interface on ebay...

    Whatever you get, if you're plugging straight in you'll want some plugins to process the sound. Ableton comes with a fabulous selection of plugins and a very servicable Amp simulator (written by Softube). Spend some time with it and you'll get a wide variety of tones -- both guitar and bass.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Line 6 Pod Studio GX, or Pod Studio Ux1 are around that price.
    They have true "Guitar" or "Bass" instrument inputs.
    And come with Pod Farm which is a very good modeler, this alone is worth the price.
  5. Jason Hall

    Jason Hall

    Jun 21, 2012
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Most products work with windows/mac. The thing is, goal #1 is getting the sound into your computer with the interface, goal #2 is what you're going to do with it. Like seamonkey mentioned the line 6 products are cool because they come with a nifty plugin pod farm pack for guitar/bass and there's many others out there. I'd start reading up and educating yourself on amp modeling vsts and which ones are out there and prices (some are ridiculous) and find out what you want to go with. A few to look at: Guitar Rig, Jamvox, Waves GTR, and Amplitube.

    Edit: If you're micing an amp instead, that opens up a whole new discussion about what mics work best... :).
  6. Chromer


    Nov 28, 2012
    Almost everything has a pair of high-impedance instrument inputs.

    The Line stuff will let you process the signal before it goes to the computer. Good if you like what it does. Arguably the Presonus and Focusrite boxes will have better (cleaner, quieter and more faithful) inputs.
  7. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    At that price point another vote goes for the presonus. I have a motu 8pre but I also have the little audiobox usb for mixing and basic stuff. It's a good little box.
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    It's just that Passive bass and guitar are not line level, and they're not mic level.

    I wouldn't say that in the lower price range there isn't a drastic difference between interfaces one you get past the input impedance.

    Line 6 makes it easier for the casual electric bass/guitar user and includes decent modeler for the price.
  9. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore?

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
  10. DeclanG


    Jan 16, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thanks for the advice guys. Ill basically be using the Ableton plug-ins so the cleaner the sound original sound, the better. Ill have a good look at the ones mentioned anyway. Thanks again!