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Customer Discussions > Recording forum

Help choosing an audio interface


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Showing 1-22 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 28, 2009 9:41:45 PM PDT
Wilson Gheur says:
Since August I've been trying to get an audio interface to record electric guitar + vocals on my macbook pro but I can't get a strong advice. I can't spend too much- I was considering the Motu Ultralite but it's a little on the expensive side for me. Every site/forum I visited has a different opinion. Please, can anyone say something positive like "buy this"? By the way... I've been using using Reason since version 1.0 for everyhting else but recording and I am planning to get a copy of Record as soon as I decide the right interface.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 10:47:12 PM PDT
Rick says:
For a budget studio I would recommend M-Audio Mobile Pre USB audio interface. Sounds great, works perfect with Propellerhead Record, and cost like about $150 + tax at guitar center. Me personally I use it for vocals and have not tried it with an instrument but so far I am very satisfied with the quality it has given me for the price. Oh almost forgot to mention it has phantom power, powers on with usb, and has 2 inputs so you can run a microphone and a guitar at the same time! To me that's great! Hope that has help....

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2009 12:13:28 PM PDT
Wilson Gheur says:
Hey Rick - thanks for the reply, this is exactly the kind of opinion I was expecting.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2009 3:15:57 PM PDT
I have tried several of them over the last few years. The M-Audio stuff is ok. The drivers have a lot of latency. The Alesis stuff is crap. Had 2 different models and both had driver problems. I finally settled on Phonic and went to Firewire. Driver and latency issues are gone. I am using the Phonic Helix 18 Firewire\USB MKII. I have a friend with a Mac and he can use it on his too with no issues. The Phonic stuff is a little cheaper but they work GREAT.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2009 12:34:43 AM PST
I have just recently been trying to get into this as well and i bought the Lexicon Lambda for around $150. I'm not the most experienced with going through the ASIO settings but i have yet to be able to get it to work without latency. I'm using windows viista and the clueless teenagers at guitar center told me i would probably have better luck with a Mac, but that's not really helpful advice since my PC is pretty much brand new and high-end. I'm intending to give it a try when i get Windows 7...

I think any of these entry-level usb interfaces will accomplish what you want, assuming everything is configured correctly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2009 1:00:22 AM PST
On second thought, and after a little reading, it's probably not the audio device itself causing the latency. More likely it's the wimpy 'lite' version of Cubase that comes with it. I'll try it with a full version software package and see if I have any more luck.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 10:22:21 PM PST
Lemon says:
I am also shopping for an audio interface and I am wondering about the pros and cons of firewire and USB. I am thinking of the M audioM-Audio Fast Track US44010 USB Audio Interface with GT-Player Express Software or the Firewire based interface that is bundled with Cubase. I am concerned that the software that is included is not good enough. I want to keep it on the cheap side as well, but I am willing to spend more if the entry level products are junk.

Posted on Dec 26, 2009 6:43:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2009 6:47:45 PM PST
Wilson Gheur says:
Brad and Daniel: Thanks for the replies. The Phonic opened a new front and I still need to check their line.

I trimmed my options to the following 2 sets:

1. PreSonus FireBox 6X8 Firewire Recording Interface ($199) + M-Audio Oxygen 25
25-Key USB MIDI Controller ($149.95)- Total: $350
Pros: Firewire, Advanced Midi Controller
Cons: 25-Key is limited, complains about latency, price.

2. Line 6 POD Studio KB37 ($299 - Amazon)
Pros: audio interface+midi controller, line-6 software and the seamless integration with Propellerheads Reason and Record, which is huge for me. Low latency system.
Cons: USB - maybe a deal breaker. also some complains about the cheap materials used on the KB37.

3. This would be the ideal home system (not happening, way too expensive):
MOTU UltraLite-MK3 Hybrid FireWire/USB2 Audio Interface ($549) + M-Audio Axiom 49
Advanced 49-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller ($329.95)

So this is where I am now and I will buy my set in 1 or 2 weeks.

Hope this list helps people in the same situation.

Posted on Feb 13, 2010 6:18:47 AM PST
Ü says:
I use a Digidesign M-Audio Mbox2 with Pro Tools 8.0 and it is amazing. The latency issues in a lot of cases is easily fixed by going into the program's setup menu and selecting playback engine. Then you increase the buffer size in the playback menu. Sounds complicated but if you record a lot like I do it will become second nature. Good luck and have fun.

Posted on Feb 13, 2010 10:02:00 AM PST
Wilson Gheur says:
Thanks! Always wanted to hear some feedback from Mbox2 users!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2010 7:00:06 PM PDT
Ar Adler says:
Ive been using the Lexicon Omega and cubase le both with windows and Mac and never had a latency problem even with a 5400 hard drive laptop. Check to make sure your monitor mix is at 12 o'clock and make sure you've turned off the software monitor in cubase

Posted on May 1, 2010 1:22:49 AM PDT
Zornaphile says:
I have been using my MOTU 828 mkII for over 6 years recording into Sonar onto a Windows XP laptop running at 2.2 outputted to a pair of Mackie 824's.
I love my setup and it will only be pried out my dead cold hands. I mainly record vocals and guitar.
I choose to record my guitar dry and use Amplitube to add distortion. The MOTU ASIO drivers allow me to record through Amplitube (a cpu hog for sure) with near zero latency. Mind you, this has been for over 6 years (when latency was a very, very dirty word).
The ultralite is now bundled with additional software (which I would love to get my hands on).

If I lost my setup in a catastrophe, the first thing I would do is save up the money to buy another MOTU unit.
They are a forward thinking company, that in my opinion, build sturdy, rock solid equipment that WORKS.
Moreover, you can daisychain these firewire units for additional expandability in the future.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2010 8:05:51 PM PDT
R. Corin says:
I have been really happy using an Omega Lexicon with my MacBook Pro for over a year now with no problems. I bring in guitar, bass, mics and MIDI, usually into Garageband, but I use it with several other software apps as well.

Good Luck!

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2010 2:27:46 AM PDT
S. Anderson says:
@ Daniel Morice -

In my experience, Windows 7 has unacceptable latency issues (.5 - 1 second) which render it useless for recording.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2010 12:29:45 AM PDT
JB Koesnarno says:
Almost Home,

I need your advice.

I plan to record my Children Choir. I make the accompaniment using Finale. It can be easily converted into midi or leave as it is, as the sound of Finale is quite good.

Now I am looking for an audio interface (Hardware) and software program. Could you give me suggestions ?

Many thanks.
JB.Koesnarno

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2010 11:10:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2010 11:12:22 PM PDT
G. Morrison says:
Generally, USB2 has been a big disappointment as a connection standard. People are waiting eagerly for USB3 to provide a more usable fast standard. Firewire is better than USB2, but, it's considered a legacy standard by hardware manufacturers who really wish not to support it any longer--at least for Wintel. I'd say if you have a heavy dual-core sys or better, USB2 may then be OK as far as latency is concerned. This issue certainly pops up again and again with every form of media--certainly with video, also.

For the future, it's best to use a desktop PC or MAC with a better CPU and a pretty good video card (If you someday decide to get into video). Laptops all too often use video circuitry which shares memory with the rest of the sys--that won't do. I'm thinking now of using a workstation card (say, the ATi fire series and nVidia's competing cards) instead of gamer cards for my next Windows media build. Workstation cards actually are intended for graphics and media professionals. Non-proprietary (self-build or indie-shop build) desktop system components may also be relatively easily changed/upgraded--and, power isn't the issue with a desktop as it is with a laptop. Reserve your laptop for light surfing, listening to (and even editing) your tunes in coffee shops, or, for Powerpoint presentations for your business. Laptops really are intended for business.)

Posted on May 21, 2010 1:41:37 PM PDT
waterloo says:
I need help!!! My EMU-202 died after a year services. I used it for playing musics from my Lenovo notebook as audio interface between the notebook and Yamaha AV receiver. Sound quality and user friendly for EMU-202 was satisfactory but its life was too short and not up to my acceptable standard. I wish to get a new audio interface to do the same work. What I want a USB 2 audio interface or otherwise which could offer sound quality as good as EMU-202 but longer durability with price range less than 200.00. I wish that you all experts in this particularily field cound give me a good recommendation.

Thank you all, best regards,

Wansang Lee

Posted on May 21, 2010 1:43:12 PM PDT
waterloo says:
I need help!!! My EMU-202 died after a year services. I used it for playing musics from my Lenovo notebook as audio interface between the notebook and Yamaha AV receiver. Sound quality and user friendly for EMU-202 was satisfactory but its life was too short and not up to my acceptable standard. I wish to get a new audio interface to do the same work. What I want a USB 2 audio interface or otherwise which could offer sound quality as good as EMU-202 but longer durability with price range less than 200.00. I wish that you all experts in this particularily field cound give me a good recommendation.

Thank you all, best regards,

Wansang Lee

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 8:36:31 AM PDT
KJ says:
Hi Rick,
You posted this note months ago, but I'm hoping you're still interested in the discussion. I'm a new user, just bought an M-Audio interface with Abelton Lite 8. I'm way over my head and can't even find a decent book to walk me through how to use the software. I want to record guitar and voice - very basic stuff. Could you please direct me to a tutorial, book or teacher? Thanks!!
Tracy

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 5:45:28 PM PDT
S. Anderson says:
Tracy ~ you can try these video tutorials. They're for the full version of Live, but they should be helpful enough to get you started.

http://www.ableton.com/pages/movies/archive/tutorials

You can also go to YouTube and search for Ableton Live Tutorial.

Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2010 6:13:33 AM PDT
KJ says:
Thanks for your suggestion. I realize I need to read about digital recording (in general). Are there any sources you think might help? I'm willing to purchase a book, etc.
Thanks again -

t

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 4:09:03 PM PDT
S. Anderson says:
You can find tons of info at Tweakheadz Lab http://tweakheadz.com/

and here's Tweak's Guide to Recording Success
http://tweakheadz.com/guide.htm
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Discussion in:  Recording forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  22
Initial post:  Sep 28, 2009
Latest post:  Aug 13, 2010

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