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PC Interface - USB vs PCI

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Drivium, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Drivium

    Drivium Active Member

    Are there any advantages of going through a mixer and into a PC via USB? OR would I be better off going directly from a mixer and into a PCI card via audio ports?

    Considering the card below RME HDSP 9632. My problem is, the mixer I have is the Edirol M100 FX (old) and I'm concerned that it won't be putting out the quality that the RME card is capable of - mixer capable of only 44100khz and RME card is capable of 96khz (assuming low quality in, low quality out). Perhaps I should ditch the mixer and plug directly into this card straight from mic? My purpose is for voice overs. Or is the 44100khz only a factor if I use usb? They have to be radio/production ready. I want to maximize my quality. This PCI card doesn't appear to have XLR inputs though, so I'll need some kind of go-between.. Please advise.....

    PC Interface - RME DSP 9632: RME HDSP 9632 at zZounds
    Mixer - Edirol M100FX: M-100FX :: Products :: Roland
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The HDSP 9632 is a great card - but probably not for you. As you point out, it has no microphone inputs. If you really want to make strides in your VO recording, you need an audio interface that has at least one microphone input. In the same budget range as the HDSP 9632 you should be looking at something like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

    That said, the audio interface is only the third thing on the list of important factors for VO work after the recording environment and the microphone. Tell us more about those two items.
  3. Drivium

    Drivium Active Member

    My current mic is pretty bad (SM57 shure dynamic). Plan to get the AKG C214 condensor mic. My environment is not ideal. Just a regular room at this point. Will probably get the porta studio setup as I can't afford to deck out the room as of now. lol. I found a killer deal on the 9632 - would I not be able to mic into one of the interfaces? I could always pick up an XLR to TRS cable... oh, but no phantom power which the c214 requires... hmmm
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    A shure SM57 is a great Mic ! It's like a tank and can go anywhere. I have 2 that I've been using for the past 20years!!
    But, it's not always the best mic for the job.. Use it with on a snare or an electric guitar cab and it will shine !

    You can't use a mic without a preamp. Most TRS input found in audio interface are line level except some instrument input that you can use to plug a guit or a bass.

    If you crave for the 9632, just plan to buy a preamp for the line in input or a unit like the focusrite octopre that gives you 8 pre with an Adat output.
  5. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    There is a d-sub to XLR adaptor for the RME, I believe, saw it on the RME website. Not sure if it's one of the included adaptors when you buy it. But presumably that would mean the RME does have up to 2 microphone inputs (the adaptor looked like it was 2 female and 2 male XLR). I could be wrong, but that's what it looked like to me.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I would say the SM57 is better for doing VO work in your conditions than an AKG C214 in that it's much more forgiving of a poor acoustic environment. An SM57 going through a half-decent pre-amp will give you perfectly acceptable results.

    My suggestion is that you blinker yourself from looking at the HDSP 9632 and instead consider a reasonable-quality audio interface like the Scarlett 2i2. The 2i2 would work well with the SM57 and also with a condenser mic like the C214 if you wanted to go that way in the future.
  7. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Just to backup what Boswell is saying, the 2i2 is actually a great sounding little interface for small projects (like VO). The pre's are very smooth and are designed even to handle hi impedance mic's; something that most interfaces in that range aren't capable of. The ADAC in the 2i2 is really quite decent as well. I have no trouble with my mixes from the 2i2 translating to computer speakers or car stereo systems.

    If your room is a problem I'd suggest setting the mic up in one of your closets to create a nice, dry vocal booth effect.
  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I do VO work, the 57/58 are not bad mics for that application. I use the 214's big brother, the 414B xls, but ONLY because it has the option to select a very tight pattern (hyper-cardioid). Any wider pattern than that pulls up too much room, so I would be very cognizant of that. Personally, I would take a hard look at the E-V RE-320 (if not it's older sibling the RE-20). You have to have a good preamp ; these are not high output condensers, but they keep the room noise to a minimum and will give a true representation of your voice, with great clarity.
  9. Drivium

    Drivium Active Member

    Thanks to all for the responses. I ended up passing on the RME card. I also have an EV dynamic mic and love the brand. From what I'm hearing here, the C214 is a great mic, but may be a little TOO sensitive? This mic was recommended by another VO - Crispin Freeman (he's been in everything).

    I ended up picking up a Profire 610 w/Phantom power. I borrowed my nieces Firewire 410 and it has been great. Crystal clear with plenty of interface options. I also like the idea of it not being an internal card for portability purposes.

    Also, I mis-spoke. Porta studio = portabooth. It's a small housing for a mic to keep out room noise. Pretty sure I could make it pretty cheaply, though...
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    portabooths are not like having a tuned room, but they get rid of a lot of reflections if in a unthreated room. It's a good way to start!
  11. Drivium

    Drivium Active Member

    ...and this room is like one big echo chamber. In these porta booths, I imagine you have to stick your face down inside the front of this "box" so your sound is very focused. In other words, if I lean back and speak loudly, I would think the mic would still pick up sound bounce'age. Right? Also, are all pop filters created equal? I have one, but it seems awfully cheap, and P's and B's are still very obvious. I even purchased the extra foam cover for the SM57 - they still come through. I sense this going off topic, but in my mind, these are all related... :)
  12. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Technique will contribute to the plosive problem. Sounds like you are hitting the mic's capsule too directly. Try approaching it about 30 degrees "off-axis"to minimize the pop and blast artifacts.
    When you speak of the "portabooth", are you referring to the desktop "laundry-hamper-turned vocal-booth" that pops up on the U-tube videos that BSW produces? These are almost useless. Ditto with a closet-turned-VO-booth. Why?
    Because the close proximity of the walls creates a hard midrange "hump" in the tone of the recording that is difficult to smooth out, no matter how much treatment you give the area. A cheaper and more effective way to manage this is to put the talent and the mic on a carpeted floor in the middle of an average room - say 10'x12' - and build up a temporary "wall" of heavy blankets draped over mic boom stands around the mic. This will help isolate the mic from the early reflections in the room and also keep extraneous noises out. All without making the talent feel clausterphobic or sounding "boxy".
    Sometimes the cheapest solution is the best. Take my sister-in-law, for instance....
  13. Drivium

    Drivium Active Member

    haha! This portabooth is an actual product with high end acoustic foam. Surprisingly expensive, but I googled the acoustic foam they used and that is the majority of the price - outrageously expensive for a small amount. Ill give that blanket technique a shot.

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