First USB Interface

RyanIbanezMan

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Cardiff, UK
Well, this is my first post and I hope I'll learn a lot from this forum, so hi to everyone :)

I'm thinking of buying my first USB soundcard/interface and I think I've narrowed it down to 3 but I need some help choosing. I'm at university, so money is tight and I can't really go over £100 ($160) but an extra 10 won't matter much. I use Cubase and Reason (both versions @ 5) and I play guitar, but I may want to record vocals in the future also. My amp isn't ideal for mic'ing (being a solid state I might as well just go guitar -> effects pedal -> interface or record the guitar dry) but both it and my effects pedal have emulated line out/recording jacks. I don't have any microphones yet but my university has a big range to choose from.

So, the choice (won't necessarily buy from here, just a decent source of info):
PreSonus Audiobox USB
[="http://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/Presonus-Audiobox-USB-Audio-Interface/90H"]Presonus Audiobox USB Audio Interface at Gear4Music.com[/]

Line 6 Pod Studio UX1
[="http://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/Line-6-Pod-Studio-UX1-USB-Audio-Interface/B38"]Line 6 Pod Studio UX1 USB Audio Interface at Gear4Music.com[/]

M-Audio Fast Track 2 MKII
[="http://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/M-Audio-Fast-Track-2-MKII-USB-Audio-Interface/C0R"]M-Audio Fast Track 2 MKII USB Audio Interface at Gear4Music.com[/]

Thanks!
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
Hi, and welcome!

Of the interfaces you list, the Presonus is in a quality league above the other two, and it has MIDI ports in case you move up to needing those.

If you want to record the guitar amp through a microphone, get a Shure SM57 for this task. Don't try to use a cheap condenser mic. You could also use the SM57 with a pop shield for vocals, although if it looks as though your emphasis would be on recording directly from the guitar amp, then go for an SM58 for vocals rather than the SM57. Beware of fake SM57/58s floating around the market at temptingly low prices; the SM57 and SM58 should weigh 284g and 298g respectively, fakes are usually a little lighter.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on!
 

RyanIbanezMan

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Cardiff, UK
I'll probably experiment both with mic and direct input since I have the free resources over the next few years :cool:. Is the PreSonus going to be good for both of those? I also saw a review somewhere saying that it doesn't "like" line-level input. If anyone can tell me what that is, I'd appreciate that (I wiki'd it and got massively confused). Will I be able to plug my guitar into my MultiFX then plug that into the USB box?
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
Yes, both the Presonus Audiobox USB and the M-Audio FastTrack do not have proper line-level inputs. These are the high-level outputs of devices such as mixers, and you did not indicate that you would need that sort of thing.

Most guitar pedals still look like guitars to whatever you plug them into, so the Audiobox USB should be fine with an effects pedal. I cant decode exactly which pedal you have, as the name "MultiFX" matches half a dozen different ones, but if your amp likes the output of the pedal, it should be fine going into the instrument input of the Audiobox.
 

blackstars26

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Location
United Kingdom
Just something to think about for the future, the presonus audibox is usb 1.1 their better model the 22vsl is usb 2.0.
And just to add another name to the mix the Focusrite 2i2 is very respected interface and is usb 2.0 only £119.
[="http://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/Focusrite-Scarlett-2i2-USB-Audio-Interface/HCI"]Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface at Gear4Music.com[/]
 

RyanIbanezMan

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Cardiff, UK
Hmm, didn't see that it was 1.1. Thanks, again, for the suggestion. I'm looking at the focusrite now and it looks very nice indeed.
Which would be better for my all purpose needs then?
Recording guitar through a mic'ed up amp
Recording guitar straight into the USB interface
Recording bass straight into the USB interface
Recording guitar into the effects pedal then the USB interface
Recording vocals
 

blackstars26

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Location
United Kingdom
I am no expert, I am at the same stage as you and have done exstensive reading on them, but focusrite preamps are top quality and their drivers are solid as well, whereas with the presnous peolpe do experince problems with it.
You do have to consider in the future if you will want to connect say a midi keyboard in which case you would need a seperate midi interface (they go as cheap as £14 for just the cable type).
 

RyanIbanezMan

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Cardiff, UK
As of right now, MIDI keyboards aren't a problem as I'm using a USB powered Korg Nanokey. But you're right, the Focusrite does look pretty awesome and the reviews are much better for it. I've got a while to order it anyway, getting it as a birthday present and I'm not until the end of march :p
 
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