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what USB interface to get... from someone new

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by oskysum, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    Hi guys, I'm new to alot of this stuff and just getting into the world of recording, but i'm really eager to learn and improve my skills.

    Basically I record demos in my room, mainly recording bass and guitar. My plan is to start recording guitar/bass parts using SM57s but obviously I need an interface.

    What would be a good interface to start off with? with a budget 100-200 pounds, and i'm willing to spend more for a valid reason.

    Doing some research and people have recommended these 2:

    Tascam US-122 MKII Audio Interface
    Cakewalk UA-25EX USB Audio Interface

    what do you guys reckon? my computer is not particular powerful. it's pretty standard and not professional.

    Thank you
     
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well, you're posting in the Pro Audio forum and asking about a consumer grade recording interface. Honestly, pick the one that tickles your fancy. Neither is going to be all that much better than the other at this price point. I would personally, consider one of the Line 6 UX interfaces. They have decent amp modeling software. You can pick up Reaper for your DAW. That's going to be more around $300+/- US all together but still cheap.
     
  3. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    ok fair point, what would you recommend I get instead, if I have a budget of 500 pounds?

    like something more long term? the interface was always supposed to be short term anyway... please bear with me! like I was reading another post, antoher guy has Tascam Us2000, would it be worth getting this?
     
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Hueseph is correct. It is all about the same in this price range. Now how many simultaneous inputs do you need? If RME is cheaper in your neck of the woods than ours, you should look into the Fireface line (firewire) or the Babyface (USB) or if not a laptop, the 9632 or other Hammerfall line.
     
  5. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    Yeh i see what u guys mean. At the moment i dont need that many simultaneous inputs (at most 2) which is why i was looking into these. But as im said im new to this. And i am looking to record my band in the future, so something like, 8 simultaneous inputs? As im said, im very new to this and dont really know any better, my budget is 500 really, if i deem investment worthy, which is why i was looking at something like the tascam us2000
     
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Is this a laptop or a desktop?
     
  7. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    I think it's better if i start over, cos I didn't reallly make myself clear.

    At the moment I'm merely recording guitar, hence I was looking at those cheap interfaces to get me started. My questions have been answered regarding that, as you guys have told me, it's more or less the same.

    now my new question is this, I may be looking in future to record full bands, like
    drums
    guitar
    Bass
    vocals, so I would want something like 8 simultaneous channels minmum. ideally. Not definite, as I could record separately if i wanted to.
    which is why I wouldn't mind spending 500-1000 pounds on something that may be better long term.

    hence I've been looking at something like the Tascam us 2000, which i know is not amazing, but somethign to get me started on? what are your opinions.

    And at the moment i'm recording on a laptop, but again, I'm looking to upgrade to a much more powerful machine over the next few months, maybe a macbook pro and use the firewire advantage.

    does this make a bit more sense? I am very new to this, and perhaps this was not the best place to ask for advice as many people are pro, but this is the first site that came up when i searched Google. Please be understanding!
     
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    For a budget of Euro500-1000 I would look at the following interfaces:

    RME Babyface-This is a highly portable device that can be expanded as you need by adding an ADAT preamp It has two mic preamps and two balanced line inputs. That would get you started and be usable later. RME drivers are superbly stable and updated more frequently than I can keep up with. Audio quality is exceptional as well

    MoTU Traveler MkIII-This is MoTU's answer for laptop recording. It is popular and pretty useful. I do not have extensive time on one but it was in the running back when I chose the RME route years ago. If you had a desktop I would probably have recommended a MoTU PCIe solution.

    Mackie Blackbird-This is a pretty basic firewire interface. I happen to like the Onyx preamps quite a bit though they don't get used too much now that I have high end preamps. I would not hesitate to use Onyx preamps at any rate. Mackie products in this category tend to be designed fairly well and the driver situation has improved since the original Onyx mixers came out.

    Another option from MoTU would be a MoTU 8Pre. It is not as versatile as the Traveler or the 896.

    I do not like the Tascam interfaces at all. I had terrible luck and experiences with Tascam in the 90's and haven't got past that with any of the lackluster USB items they've come out with. I am looking to change my opinion based upon the new hard disc high end location recorders that have come out but those are not interfaces.
     
  9. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    Thanx, thats a really helpful post. what books would you recommend to read with regards to learning this kind of stuff? I've been a guitarist for most of my lief and it's only recently i've got into this.
     
  10. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The first book you should read is the manual. Not just the printed manual but the PDF manual if one is included with your device. That is where the most useful information will come from. You will need a DAW. Most people recommend Reaper here since it is very inexpensive and feature wise competes with the more popular DAWs like ProTools 9 and Cubase. The biggest problems you will have are with routing and setup. Getting your gear to play nicely is the first major hurdle you will get to.

    Micing and editing are something that will come with time and practice. You can learn a lot about that just from visiting forums like this but your best bet to start out is trial and error. When you hit a road block, then ask questions.
     
  11. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    o yeah, and jackattack, what do you use now?
     
  12. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    yeh the DAW I use now is cakewalk, up till now i've been recording using a USB mic, which obviously aint great, which is why i'm looking better things and something more long term.

    Theres alot I need to learn about recording, I see alot of people recording using differently equipment and it confuses me.

    Thanks anyways guys
     
  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Here's a great book to get you into the fundamentals. http://www.amazon.com/Recording-Engineers-Handbook-Artistpro/dp/159863867X/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

    Make sure you get the latest edition. That link wants to go to first edition for some reason.
     
  14. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    ok and one last question, and i'll promise to leave you guys alone...for now!

    what's the difference between a producer and a sound engineer?!

    secondly, do you think if you can't make it as a musician, she won't be able to make it as a producer?
     
  15. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    A producer is like a director in movies. He decides which take is good enough. He has the vision of the completed project. So, he decides what needs to be recorded. How many guitar, vocal, synth or whatever tracks he thinks are needed. Maybe a sound effect. Producers also spend time getting the talent into the right frame of mind. Dim the lights, help them to get the right mood. They are the visionary. The one who knows how the completed project will sound. The producer could be the artist and or the engineer as well.

    The engineer is a mechanic. He makes sure that the take will be recorded properly with no extraneous noise. No unwanted distortion. Good levels. No pops or clicks from dropout. You usually want a dedicated engineer since his role is so crucial. If the performance is good but the take is bad because there is some clipping, someone's head should role. A good clean take. That is the engineers goal.
     
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If your question is what is my primary interface, then the answer is a pair of RME Fireface 800's and an Alesis HD24XR.

    If your question is what is my setup like, then that is a much more complex answer.
     
  17. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    yeh my question is the latter... it's just so I have an idea what you pros use and what the setup is, cos at the moment ii'm complete baffled.
     
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Here is a partial rack list. It is highly modular on purpose as I do remote recording and have to tailor to the situation. I didn't "collect" all this overnight. I've been at this a while though not nearly as long as some of my esteemed colleagues here at RO.

    Rack #1:
    Furman line conditioner
    RME Fireface 800
    Glyph GT050 + GT051
    True Systems Precision 8

    Rack #2:
    Furman line conditioner
    RME Fireface 800
    Glyph GT050 + GT051
    Rane HC6
    Rane SM26B (x2 linked) [scheduled to be changed out for a BLA PM8 in 2011]

    Rack #3:
    Furman line conditioner
    Furman SB1000
    Onyx 800R
    Alesis HD24XR

    Rack #4:
    drawers full of XLR cables, TRS cables, TS cables, ADAT cables, DB25 cables, conversion cables.

    Rack #5:
    True Precision P2Analog
    Ashly CLX52

    Those are the five main racks. There are four other rolling racks plus the small cases that hold various splitters, eq's, compressors, PA mixer, etc. Three other rolling cases that hold all of my stage snakes. Many cases full of microphones-all water proof with pressure relief valves. And much more.
     
  19. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Leaving this in pro as OP looks like considering something pro/semipro.
     
  20. epitexan

    epitexan Active Member

    I have a Tascam 122 and the preamps really suck. They go fair with a nicer preamp in front though. Your best bet is the Focusrite Saffire 6 for bang for the buck. The preamps are much better.
     

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