sound card and recording interface suggestions welcome

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by kevinkreiser, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. kevinkreiser

    kevinkreiser Guest

    ok so ive been recording my band for about a year now (full songs for download at ), and when i started i knew nothing about recording, nothing. so anyway, i was wondering if you guys have some suggestions about what hardware to use. im sure youve gotten this question a billion times but im going to ask anyway. ok here's what we have right now for our setup:

    shuttle xpc 2.4ghz 800MhzFSB with 512MB 400MhzDDR and Western digital Raptor. we use n-track studio software to mix our tracks, its not so hot, but it works well enough and its cheap.

    ok so im fairly confident in my computer being good enough for recording. but the real question is the sound card. embarassingly enough we have been using a soundblaster live! value card... i know i know, its not the way to go but, anyway any good suggestions for a worth sound card? ive heard that the delta 1010 is a good option. the thing is we have a special situation with the drum set having 10 mics on it. we have two mics that need pre amps, the rest are just normal.

    we have the behringer ub-2442-fx pro and we have all our drum mics plugged into that. we then run the tape out into the back of the sound blaster live card in teh computer. so what we get is a stereo wave file. its the most difficult thing to use, because all the different parts of the drum set are in teh same track, and so we have to make sure that the eq on the mixer and the micing and everything is perfect, which is impossible.

    so i figure i should ditch the mixer and the sound card, and get a sound card with a digital mixer i think you guys are calling them "a/d" no idea what that stands for.

    so i guess my qeustion is should i use the mixer still and just get a sound card, or should i just start over and get both a sound card and an a/d?

    also, i assume that when you have a sound card a/d combo, that you will get each individual track in whatever your recording program is, that way you can eq and effect each individual instrument. that is how it works right?

    any help on this would be much appreciated. great site by the way! thanks.
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    First, your computer sounds fine. If you don't have this already, I'd get a second drive to put your audio files on. This will make it possible to access OS and propgram files and audio data at the same time.

    If you have 10 mics on your kit, you will need two Delta 1010s. They are modular so this is a good choice.

    You said that only two mics need preamps and "the rest are just normal". I don;t understand what this means. Alll mics need preamps to attain appropriate levels needed for recording. I guess you mean to say that you have two condenser mics and the rest are dynamics? Dynamics need preamplification too. Use the behringer mixer and plug a mono 1/4" cable halfway into the mixer's insert points and use this too feed the inputs on the Delta.

    A/D just stands for Analog to Digital conversion. I assume you know what each of those things are. If not, just ask.

    If you record in the way I mentioned at the end of the third paragraph, you will have each mic recorded independently of the others and will be able to apply effects; to each track individually.

    Hope this helps.

    Merry Christmas!
  3. kevinkreiser

    kevinkreiser Guest

    i cant fit two deltas in my computer, my xpc is a small form factor pc, which means it only has one pci and one agp slot. its awesome for recording because i can haul it around anywhere, but i only have one expansion slot.

    so are you saying i only need the pci cards and not those external units that hook up to the cards. i dont know what they are called. i kind of thought you were reffereing to them as a/d, because i guess they are doing the analog to digital conversion? no idea. anyway thanks a lot for the input!

    oh and what does puting the 1/4" plugs in half way do? im not sure if i understand that, i put them half way in the mixers insert points. what do you mean by insert points. each channel has an input and an output, do you mean put them in the output right, on the back side of the mixer. thats what i would assume.

    sorry for my utter lack of understand for terminology.
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    I'm not sure what to recommend as far as a single card that will give you the kind of inputs you need. Hopefully someone else will chime in on this. The external boxes on the Delta's are necessary and the PCI card cannot be purchased without them. They move the components outside of the conmputer case where all kinds of electrical noise is generated.

    A typical mixer has something called an insert. This is generally a single jack with two connectors. One of the connectors sends the signal out post preamp and pre EQ. Then, the signal goes to whatever outboard device you have such as a copmpresor. Finally, the signal comes back into the mixer for EQ and additional routing to effects processors via aux sends. By using the insert point to feed the recorder, you can bypass the mixer's EQ section, which is usually a cause of sonic degradation on inexpensive mixers.
  5. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Any single card with a breakout box that has an ADAT interface can be used. I have (2) Layla 24's, one in my studio rig with an AI3 and one in my live rig. If I need more than 8 inputs for live work I just move the AI3 to that rig and plug it into the Layla's ADAT interface.
    16 tracks just like that. :D
  6. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I'm running a Shuttle XPC SB83G5, and I'm using a 2-part setup (like Big_D) wiht an RME 96/36 PCI card which allows 16 ADAT ins/outs, and 2 SPDIF ins/outs. I interface that with a rack-mount AID-8 Pro allowing 8 ins 8 outs of pretty good conversion (another 8 channel ADAT interface will be added soon for 16 I/O's). So far, so good!

    You can add the "add-on card" to make the 96/36 into a 96/56 (allowing a total of 24 ADAT I/O's and WordClock), and you can modify the XPC's case to mount the secondary PCI header anywhere within 8" of the PCI slot (it simply connects internally to the RME 96/36 main card with a multipin cable)

    Another possibility, a MOTU 24I/O uses a single PCI slot for it's interface and allows 24 analog ins/outs.

    Mic Pre's will still be needed in this case, but if the Behringer has "inserts" or "Direct outs", you can easily use those for mic pre's (with expected results).

    P.S. - Shuttle XPC's Kick Major Anus! (ESPECIALLY if you build one for $800 - $1000 that blows away the "Retail" Music XPC that sells for over $1800) :D ;) Quiet, Fast, Cute, and POWERFUL!

  7. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    There you go Kevin. Thanks guys.

    Merry Christmas!!
  8. kevinkreiser

    kevinkreiser Guest

    thanks guys, im on the look out for the needed parts right now!

    happy holidays!
  9. RockSkar

    RockSkar Active Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    I'm using a used Aardvark Q10 which has 8 xlr and 8 1/4" inputs which can be used 8 at a time. You might want to watch out for some cheap Aardvark products in the comings months, seeing as the company "disappeared" and has seemingly stopped supporting it's products. Reading other boards, it seems many people are looking to migrate away from Aardvark now. It's too bad, because they made some wicked products.

    Anyhow, my next interface will be a Tascam I think. Just have to save up money for their desk...
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