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Recording without a line-in jack.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by grampoel, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. grampoel

    grampoel Guest

    My Compaq (works great for multimedia, but TOTALLY unreliable - no wonder they're on their knees) is down AGAIN so I am forced to record on a Toshiba laptop. Only there's no line-in (mic-in only) and hi-impedence signals will be distorted by the pre-amp of the mic-in.
    What are my options - is there some way to bypass / defeat the mic pre-amp or route the mic jack to the line-in channel of the Windows Volume Control (audio mixer)?
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Cant say that I have really tried to record thru an internal sound card before..one thing to try is going into the advanced settings for the volume control panel and lowering the input into the mic in...just a guess..otherwise getting some external mixer or pad to lower the signal going into the mic in would be the next step..sorry I dont have a better answer for ya
  3. grampoel

    grampoel Guest

    Thanks for your response, Opus2000, but been there tried that.......
    1) Lowering mic-in volume: does not affect distortion, just lowers the entire signal.
    2) Using external mixer: gets rid of distortion, but increases NOISE (by going through two pre-amps, I guess?).
    The mic-in pre-amp is the enemy. Maybe I can simply plug my AT4033 into the mic-in (without using the pre-amp on my Soundcraft Spirit desk), but I don't trust the laptop's pre-amp.
    Am I going about this the wrong way? I am very green to audio recording on computer (I'm used to ADAT). Would I get better results with a PCMCIA card (but I want to use a laptop, not a desktop)?
    Thanks again,
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Yes..you would be better off going the PCMCIA(which stands for People Cant Memorize Computer Industry Anacronyms!!!) route or the USB route. Tascam offers the US428 for USB..
    RME-audio.com and echoaudio.com are the two companies I would reccomend for the PCMCIA route.
    check them out...if you want to go straight into the mic in on the laptop you will most likely need an impedance mismatch transformer!! then take that into an eigtht inch jack into the mic input!!
  5. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Opus, I've heard that the Tascam US428 has a bit of a latency prob. as it is USB. Can you recoment any o/b firewire connected sound cards?
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Depends on what latency you are talking about? MIDI or audio latency? MIDI latency is fine..no issues there at all. Audio latency...small amounts..only really noticable while doing vocals. But to be honest..I never track with effects thru it..I listen to the direct source..this way there is no latency.
    Well, if you go with firewaure you have to make sure the PC has firewire built in or you have to get a add on Firewire card. The only real firewire device is the 828 and that itself hasnt faired too well. The 896 looks nice but notice they dont give you specs online? hmmmm? wonder why that is...sneaky MOTU..trapping you into thinking it's a good unit. Also, notice how they dont talk about 2xFS mode as well..how when you switch to 96Khz they dont say how suddenly you lose half your output? SingleWire mode baby!! lol
    Crest put out a firewire device that seemed to go nowhere as well....looks like firewire doesnt really sell that well for audio...it's a shame too. Possibly due to bad drivers and so forth. The audio card industry is a hard market to be a crowd pleaser..unless it's PCI based.
    I would check out RME's PCMCIA stuff...they have great products with very stable drivers and good sounding converters!!

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