Need help choosing an AUDIO INTERFACE

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Axion, Aug 4, 2010.

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  1. Axion

    Axion Guest

    I want to setup a studio for my band, but I'm not sure what type of audio interface I should get.

    - I'll mainly be recording guitar and vocals
    - I want to be able to plug the guitar straight in and record
    - I'll be using a Dell XPS with 4 GB RAM & Processor 2.40GHz

    I'm looking at the M-Audio Fast Track Pro, is it any good?

    My budget is $400 or less. Also will I need any other equipment besides an Audio Interface to get a pro quality sound?

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
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    Well, the Fast Track Pro is the bottom end of anything that would get you an acceptable sound, but it has only TWO instrument or microphone inputs. So you could record a guitar and a vocal at the same time, record bass and a second guitar on another pass, but it really does not cover recording a drum kit. If you are not planning to have drums in your recordings, it would service your needs for multi-tracking separate instruments. You should get a Shure SM57 instrument mic and an SM58 vocal mic to complement the interface, and a pair of closed headphones for tracking.

    If you throw up your hands in horror saying that of course you have a drum kit that you want to record, you won't do it for that sort of money. You need at least a 4-channel interface and 4 mics: the SM57 mentioned earlier on snare, a pair of pencil condensers (e.g. Rode NT5) for overheads and a kick mic. Until you tell us some more about the type of music you play and the room you have for recording in, it's difficult to recommend a specific kick mic.

    You will be needing a multi-track computer program. Reaper is about as cheap as they come for anything that will do your job. What you do when you have the tracks recorded is another matter. You will be needing reasonable monitor loudspeakers for use in mixing your sound.

    It's difficult to put a low $ figure on what you need. Go at it sensibly, however, and you can end up with a good first-step recording system that you can enhance and upgrade as more funds become available. Make poor choices at this stage, and you will be having to buy to replace rather than to extend when you have more cash available.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Why is this in the PRO Audio gear forum? This should be in the budget gear forum. Other than that, Boswell has some good advice as always.

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