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Interface quality?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Scott Bari, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Scott Bari

    Scott Bari Active Member

    I have a Univ Audio Solo 610 preamp and AKG 414XLS. I'm a singer/songwriter and will probably just record vocal and acoutic guitar thru a condenser mic. Want to acheive best sound quality. Does interface matter? Does preamp let you bypass interface "influence"? Would garageband be all i'd need ( assuming sound quality does not suffer)?

    Thanks !!

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The Solo 610 is a single-channel pre-amp, so I am assuming you will lay down a guitar track first and then add a vocal track in a second pass. I'm also assuming you are recording the guitar via a microphone (the 414?) and not via the DI input of the 610.

    The answer to your questions are yes, the interface quality does have an effect on the sound, and no, Garageband used as a straight digital recorder does not have an influence on the sound, although use of effects and other non-linear processing would.

    Do you already have an interface, or are you asking us to suggest ones you might consider? If so, we need to know what sort of budget you are working to. If you are going to be tracking vocals while listening to the replayed guitar track, you will need closed-back headphones and an interface that at least has a headphone output as well as line inputs.
  3. Scott Bari

    Scott Bari Active Member

    Thanks for your comprehensive reply, Boswell. I will use a mic to record the guitar and vocal separately-- 414xls does great with acoustic guitar. The Bock 195 I think does not work that well with my male tenor folky voice. I do have headphones a studio monitors.

    A budget for an interface could be up to $600. Also, pls recommend a daw that would do better than garageband for EQ, Compression, reverb, etc.. That is, about as good in the DAW vs. buying stand alone designated eq, etc.

    Sorry for TMI

  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You would do well to look at Reaper for a DAW. At $60 it's a steal.

    So with all the cash that you have saved by going for Reaper, you maybe can afford to go a little higher on the interface. There are several good-quality units in this price bracket, but the box I would recommend you look at first is the RME Babyface. It's available in the US in a reburbished form for around $650.
  5. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    The next Logical step would be to buy Logic, it can open all of your existing Garage Band sessions.

    Available at the app store $199, check the Apple site for the features.

    The interface does matter, but the room you record in matters more, research room treatment.

  6. Scott Bari

    Scott Bari Active Member

    Thanks to all for great suggestions.

    I imagine that my mic to the Univ Audio Solo 610 standalone preamp "plugged into" an RME Babyface ( compared with mic straight to the RME babyface) would bypass the RME preamp and sound better.
    Is this easy to do?

    Thanks !
  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    The only analog inputs I see on the Babyface are the XLR mic inputs, so you would be going through the RME preamp. But the Solo 610 has a distinctive soft, warm sound which would come through anyway. As long as you can resolve the level differences it's probably okay to do. Switching the 610's output to mic level should do the trick.
  8. Scott Bari

    Scott Bari Active Member

    Thanks BoulderSound, Would you like to recommend a DAW for me mostly just playing acoustic and vocals only? Boswell said Cockos Reaper and that seems real good.
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The RME Babyface is a very "transparent" pre-amp, and using the XLR inputs the sonic quality of the Solo 610 will come through. Bouldersound is right to point out that there may be a problem using line level at the output of the 610, as it could overload the +12dBu max at the XLR input of the Babyface, but his suggestion of switching the 610 to mic level output gets round that.

    For DAWs, there are many besides Reaper that have perfectly adequate dynamic and effects processing (either natively or via plug-ins) for acoustic guitar and vocal recording. However, Reaper stands out in terms of cost.

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