on the fly quality to computer for cheap

Discussion in 'Computing' started by borgotron, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. borgotron

    borgotron Guest

    What I am looking for is a method to get decent quality input on voip chats such at ventrillo etc, and have some cheap reverb/chorus effects. The hardware I can make use of for this is a shure 57, Xfi Xtreme music pci card. Everything else I would like to be able to purchase from a guitar center. I am assuming I will need some sort of preamp so the pci card will receive a strong enough signal without loud static, could I get one with a cheap effects processor, or possibly a digital effects processor on my computer? This all needs to be on the fly for the voice chats. Keep in mind this is just for voice chatting so i don't need hi fi quality, but I do not want noticeable white noise either.
  2. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Reedsville, PA
    Home Page:
    hmmm...i would think your best investment might be a usb audio interface...like one with 1-2 simultaneous inputs.- these interfaces have built in preamps and a sound card that is probably better than what you got (these interface sound cards are generally 24/48khz or 24/96khz)...this will give you a nice clean input with the quality you need. look into the Line 6 toneport or the M-audio fast track....i think Lexicon also has a relatively cheap interface as well. this will prolly run ya about 60- 120 dollars.
    hope that helped
  3. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    Most everybody around here hates these, but USB microphones are probably your safest bet for this sort of thing. Really, you don't need an interface. This'll be more portable, easier to get the hang of, and it'll really do what you need.

    I don't know much about them, but the Samson C01U seems to be a popular USB microphone.
  4. borgotron

    borgotron Guest

    i'm not a n00b to interfaces, and i don't care about portability, + i have that shure 57 sitting around. all that added together plus the fact that a usb microphone will not have controllable reverb/chorus/delay/whatever effects, i'm not so sure a usb microphone is the best choice. I will admit though, this pci soundcard is a pos. More advice would be appreciated.
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    OK, here's something that *might* work.

    Can you rig up a second output, such as splitting rear/front panel output?

    If not, this won't work.
    If so, excellent. You need the following...
    (This solution should work well unless you want to modify it while being in-game)

    - Kristal (http://www.kreatives.org)
    - The VST(s) you want to run. I can recommend some free reverbs/delays if you want.
    - A spare bit of processing power.

    Plug your mic into the mic in - mute the Mic In under the Output panel. Set your default recording device in Windows to be the 2nd input (such as a spare soundcard or a front panel/rear panel output) and make the default source "Stereo Mix".
    In Kristal, at the left of the mixer window, change "Waver" to "Live In". Click the first circle to make the track stereo, select whatever device your mic is plugged in to on the first drop down.
    (now the fun part)
    Add the VST(s) on the Input 1 channel. Adjust as necessary.
    Once you're happy, set the Output on Kristal's Mixer window to be whatever your spare device is called - the one you set as Stereo Mix and default recording device.

    If that didn't fail to confuse you, reply or PM me and I can post clearer instructions.
  6. I did the voice chat thing a while back and I used a Small Mackie Mixer (non powered). I plugged it directly into the sound card (line in). It had Phantom power so I could use a condenser. I used a RCA -1/8 Stereo cord from my 'Tape out' on the mixer to the sound card on the computer. That gave me a good clean sound.

    You can get a decent Mixer like a Peavey, Mackie, Beringer or such even with some onboard effects to make for a pretty cool set up for voice chat.

    I have even used my PA for the same thing. Running from the Tape out or Rec out.
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I have to pull you up on that.
    My inherited conscience doesn't allow me to let the words
    "Behringer" be used in the same sentence.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Basically what you're asking for is what a radio talkshow host might utilize? So I would say that in addition to your SM57 you're going to need to utilize a microphone preamp followed by an equalizer followed by a compressor followed by an equalizer. You're going to need a miniature console that also has an effect send control. You're also going to need to purchase something like an old Alesis Quadraverb. This will give you a quick access to dozens of presets. So a small mixer that has a insert feature, that would pre-amplify the microphone, allowing you to insert a compressor/limiter prior to the effects send & bus output.

    There really isn't any programs that I know that could give you a real-time processed signal other than perhaps an old version of Steinberg's Wave Lab 5? And as I recall that piece of software allowed for the ability to use it as a standalone, real-time, effects processor? So for multiple processing stages of a single channel, shouldn't be that much of a problem. I haven't kept up with that program nor do I use it but a friend of mine had it years ago and I thought it was cool. It also wasn't cheap. But when you realize all that it could do for you, it may be an alternative to hardware? I'm not even sure if ProTools even has that capability? And as I recall the program was able to do this relatively little latency? But I still like the hardware way as I described above. It's more signed and I think actually quicker? But because you are also dealing with a telephone like situation, I'd filter on the side of intelligibility instead of Fidelity. You certainly don't want to be creating a muddy mess. Your request reminds me of the old CB days of the seventies. All those terrible echo microphones with the worst compression & worst overload any fool could possibly hope for. Intelligibility? Heck, there wasn't any intelligence involved. Which was instantly obvious. Don't fall into the same crevice. You might create more enemies than friends? Either way, you're going to drop $300 or more. Somehow the thought of chatting with special effects sounds rather distracting? Is anybody actually going to understand what you're saying through all of your echoing flanging delay loops & reverbs? Somehow this makes me think that it's not really very deep chatting if you have to slather your conversations with nonsense? I mean, occasionally, when cutting announcers for commercials, one might add a little touch of some very short reverb way way way in the background. Sounds like idiots delight to me?

    We're all bozos on this bus
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. borgotron

    borgotron Guest

    good idea codemonkey, that looks like a nice method to avoid purchasing equipment. i will try it out.

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