I'm begging for some insight!

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by kaukongfungpooey, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. kaukongfungpooey

    kaukongfungpooey Active Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Hello everyone. I'm really hoping I can get some advice as my head has been spinning recently, so any help appreciated.
    My current setup is as follows:

    PC >> M-Audio Fast Track Pro >> Blue Bluebird Mic.

    I recently purchased a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro/80 Headphones, and since this purchase the Fast Track Pro has plummeted in my regard. I realised that the preamps are not particularly great and I'm considering ditching it completely and leaving it's fate in the hands of eBay!

    I am not at all a technical expert on the subject of pro-recording - quite the opposite, and since doing research on potential options if I were to ditch the USB interface, my head is literally spinning. Please bear with me:

    If I were to purchase a decent Mic PreAmp, for example the Blue Robbie (http://www.bluemic.com/robbie/), and used the line output from that to go to my pc's line input, would the audio quality still be affected by the pc because it's going through the soundcard?
    If so what else would I need?!
    The reason I've been looking into a dedicated mic preamp is because I literally only need one mic input for recording, so I thought I could get more for my money by getting a single mic preamp, rather than a decent audio interface with a lot more inputs...I just need a good raw vocal recording...

    Am I along the right lines? Or completely off the mark with how this works...?!
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Yes. The soundcard input will most likely be worse than the MAudio. You could put a $10,000 preamp through it, and the soundcard would still be the weakest link.

    What did you realize about the preamps with the new headphones?

    How do you know the problem isn't that it's actually the microphone that isn't quite suitable for your particular application? Have you tried another mic? Are you setting your gain chain correctly? Is the software track recording/playback levels too high/low, and/or the MAudio set too high/low? Is your level for monitoring set too high/low because a different level is set incorrectly?

    What I'm getting at is that maybe you really never did have everything set ideally, and it just became much more apparent with the headphones?

  3. ArthurBod

    ArthurBod Active Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    Right now my setup is mainly for song writing so I only use two mics and a PC. My experience has been the same. The headphone monitor of the Fast Track pro, for me, is not that great. Actually, I've been using an old Tascam 4 track cassette deck for a headphone amp and I can blow my brains out on that if I desire. For not that much money I have had great results with a PreSonus Blue Tube mic pre and the Fast Track using an AT4033a. Also using a tiny little $200 Mackie mixer to route to the Fast Track and cassette deck for headphones. Of course, I am totally unfamiliar with the ways of the digital audio world being a dinosaur steeped in the old Ampex world, splicing tapes, and turning on tube amps. Geesh, I miss that! But, I am pretty sure the Fast Track beats the hell out of your PC soundcard!
  4. kaukongfungpooey

    kaukongfungpooey Active Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Hey, thanks for getting back to me.
    I've tried a few different mics in the past, most recently the AKG C 3000 B - thought it sounded awful and so got the Blue Bluebird, which sounded so much better to me.
    The thing I noticed with the preamps, more so with the headphone amp, is that it doesn't seem to have much power. If I have the level turned up full, it still sounds exactly the same, and at the same volume, as when the headphones are plugged directly into my PC's headphone jack.
    However I can still hear much more detail of sound than with my old headphones, which led me to notice the quality of recording from the mic preamp... I just feel like I could do better if I spent a bit more cash, and dropped to a single mic input device...
    I know what you mean with setting all the levels correctly, and to be honest I probably don't have them ideally set...
    So if I were to get a decent mic preamp, what else would I need to be able to connect it to my pc without going through the soundcard?
    A decent DAW that would connect via firewire or usb?
  5. kaukongfungpooey

    kaukongfungpooey Active Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Hey ArthurBod.
    So just to clarify - you use a mic preamp and then take that through the fast track pro? and you found the results good?
    I was thinking that if I used a mic preamp then took it through the fast track pro, it wouldnt do any good because the recording would be going through two seperate amps before reaching the pc?

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