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What is the best solution for this

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Srdjan, Sep 26, 2017.

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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Belgrade
    Hi :)

    I am new member, so first I'd like to say hello to everybody, and to thank you for taking time to read this (and maybe help me )

    At the momment I'am using M-Audio USB midi-keyboard.

    It's connected to PC via USB.

    It has an instrument and mic input (dynamic, so it has no phantom power)

    It also works as an audio-interface (sound card built-in)

    I'am using it for some guitar-voice recordings. Reaper, Mixcraft, Audacity with Asio drivers, and it all works fine. (no latency)

    And that's a good part of the story.

    The bad part is: I have some noise with electric guitar, and I can't connect condenser microphone to that.

    In short it's an 16-Bit, 44.1 kHz, 2-in, 2-out outdated audio interface :) So I was thinking to buy the new one (any advice would be appreciated)

    but I'd like to keep the old one too.

    Because it's a great midi-keyboard and it works fine with many vst's.

    Besides that, it has great built-in piano sounds, so it works as standalone unit if I want to practice (no need to turn on PC for that)

    Now, as I understand it, if I get the new audio-interface, then the old one should become just a midi-keyboard, connected to the new one via midi cable? (although I've seen that some interfaces have usb hubs, so maybe I could go that way – connect my keyboards into new interface via usb, as it is connected to PC right now?)

    OR it can stay connected to PC via USB, as it is now so I cun run two audio-interface at the same time? (hopefully with no drivers conflict)

    I'd like to get some audio-interface that has right connectors/inputs for this situation, but not sure what to look for.

    Thank you for your answers and suggestions.

    Cheers !

    *here's my usb midi-keyboard

    20100125173015_inline.jpg

    m-audio-prokeys-sono-61-328942.jpg
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I'd be cautious about running it as an additional audio interface if you're planning on adding another dedicated audio preamp interface. You might run into some issues using two sound drivers at once on your system.
    Your best bet would be to get an external 2 channel pre/i-o, such as a Presonus or Focusrite, and then using the M Audio as a USB midi controller for VSTi's, as you have been doing this far. Or, you could look into one of the models mentiones above with midi built in. This would keep things organized into one device - that being said I don't see any problems using your current midi configuration, as long as you're not using two audio drivers - especially two different audio drivers/devices at the same time.
    I mean, you could try using both at once, but be prepared for potential (probable) issues to occur (clock/sync, latency, etc).
    Depending on what you have to spend, both Focusrite and Presonus make very good budget/entry level preamps/i-o's, and each makes models both with midi and without.
    -d.
     
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  3. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Sep 26, 2017
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    Thank you Donny, let me see if I understand it right:
    I can get some audio interface of this type
    2i4_front.jpg

    and, after I connect midi-keyboard to the new interface as a midi, everything should be ok?

    - Does it mean that I'd have to unplug it's usb cabel from PC?
    - Will I be able to use keyboard as a digital piano as usual? (not just as a midi / vst controller)
    - Will the new interface somehow "ignore" the old Asio drivers, and start working on it's own?
    - How to make new audio interface "the main" interface?

    I mean..all I want is to keep all the funcionality that my old interface-keyboard has, and just to add the new interface to it, with some new and hopefully better options, like phantom power (so I can add a condenser microphone) and less noise for guitar..

    English is not my main language, but I hope I made it simple understandable :)
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    What DAW platform are you using?
     
  5. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Reaper, Mixcraft, Audacity
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    If you got a USB interface such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2-4 that you illustrated, you could use a single MIDI cable to go from the MIDI out on the Prokeys Sono 61 keyboard (5th socket from the right on the rear panel) to the MIDI IN connector on the Scarlett, and then disconnect the USB cable to the keyboard. You would have all the previous keyboard functions available, but now the MIDI data would travel through the MIDI data stream of the Focusrite Scarlett. In addition, you would have good-quality audio I/O, including proper microphone, line and instrument inputs.

    The DAW will not look for the keyboard as its interface if there is no USB cable to the keyboard.
     
  7. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Thank you Boswell, I understand that, but if I disconnect the USB cable, then I'll lose the "standalone piano" function (to play piano without powering the PC on).
    The speakers are now connected to M-Audio
    I suppose, if the Focusrite should be the main audio-interface, then the speakers should be also connected to it (which means that I'll lose the option to hear the onboard sounds from M-Audio)
    Or I must have two sets of speakers for the whole thing..?
     
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    I may be missing something here, but how does the USB cable have any function when the PC is powered off?

    If you need USB power to be maintained, a cheap USB mains adaptor of the type used for phone charging would supply that.
     
  9. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    I don't really know..it's just that when I shut down PC, I can still play keyboards (with it's build-in sounds and switched On of course. Keaboard has On/Off switch behind).
     
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    OK, do a quick test. Have the keyboard playing with the PC powered off, then pull out the USB cable. Does the sound stop? Most computers still have power available at their USB sockets even when the computer is off (mains needed of course).
     
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  11. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Sure, when I pull out the USB cable there is no sound.
    The keyboard itself has an option for 9V power supply though, but I don't use it.
     
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Good. That proves that your computer still produces 5V at the USB connectors even when it's in standby mode (software powered down).

    The simple thing to do is to buy either the correct 9V plugtop power supply for the keyboard, or else a mains USB power adaptor of the type used for charging modern mobile phones. If you go with the USB power adaptor, be sure to get a 2 Amp version.

    I have an old Digidesign MBox 1 (with Focusrite pre-amps) which I sometimes use as an emergency pair of pre-amp channels that have 48V phantom power. I power it via a 2A mains USB phone adaptor.
     
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  13. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    All right, so you're suggesting to 1) get some new audio/interface (Focusrite for example or something like that), 2) to use keyboard just as a midi (connected to Focusrite via midi cable), but to 3) power it via 9V (or USB power) adaptor?
     
  14. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Yes, that's right. You could still take the analogue outputs of the keyboard to your powered monitors for the times that you wanted to use it independently of the PC and audio interface.
     
  15. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    I see..so I'll have to unplug speakers from Focusrite and to plug them into the keyboards every time I want to hear it?
     
  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    It's necessary to consider this carefully.

    The audio interface built into the Prokeys Sono 61 keyboard mixes the analogue output from the internal key synthesiser with the output from the D-A converters that carried digital information from the computer. In this way, with powered moitors plugged into the keyboard's analogue outputs, you could hear the real-time synthesised key outputs and the replay from the computer without re-patching any cables.

    A similar thing would be possible using any audio interface that has direct monitoring of incoming signals, but you would have to (a) have the interface powered and possibly talking to a software driver in the computer, and (b) bring the analogue outputs into the interface via a pair of cables. This implies the need for an interface that has 4 analogue inputs (minimum 2 microphone/DI and 2 line inputs).

    You could get away with a 2-input audio interface together with a simple external stereo passive mixer box to mix the keyboard's analogue outputs with the interface's analogue outputs. With the right cabling, something very low cost like the Rolls MX41B could be made to work, even though it's unbalanced.
     
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  17. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Ok, let me underline the part I am not sure I understand, just in order to be suer what to buy
    have the interface powered and possibly talking to a software driver in the computer, and (b) bring the analogue outputs into the interface via a pair of cables.

    - when you say powered, did you mean that I should consider buying an audio interface that has it's own power supply (not just via USB) ?
    - Current software drivers in my PC are Asio, and (I suppose) M-Audio. Some new audio-interface comes with it's own drivers (I supppose), so did you mean that new interface should be compatible with Asio or M-Audio or..?
    - finaly, here is the back side od my audio interface, so I'm not sure where the analog inputs are? (for connecting it with new interface). (maybe where it says Output R-L/Mono?)
    Thank you for your patience with my begginer's questions and for the effort to explain those things to me :)
    505Q0Vz9ilqSTe5FQl6.jpg
     
  18. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    here..maybe this one would be more appropriate than Focusrite which I took just for an example

    https://www.thomann.de/intl/rs/presonus_studio_68.htm
     
  19. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    - An interface with it's own power is recommanded because it has the most chances of giving better phantom power to condenser mics (if you ever buy one)
    -What ever the interface, they will have their own asio drivers that you should use (available on their website).
    -You are not to plug your interface into any inputs of the keyboard. You should have external monitors or headphones to hear the playback of the computer (via the new interace).
    The idea of having a new interface is to get rid of the low quality your current one has..
    As recommended you should choose an interface with a midi input and get a midi cable to plug between the midi out of the keyb and the midi in of the interface.
    If you do want to record the internal sounds of the keyb, you would use the outputs of the keyb and plug them to the input of the interface (not the other way around)
    The Scarlett 2i4 is a good starter choice unless you need more inputs.
    If get a friend to record with you or if you want to record your keyb (internal sounds) and some vocal(s) at the same time, you will need more inputs.
     
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  20. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Thank you pcrecord, that's what I also understood from Boswell's help

    but there is again one thing you've mentioned

    "If you do want to record the internal sounds of the keyb, you would use the outputs of the keyb and plug them to the input of the interface (not the other way around) "

    So here I'm not sure where are those keyboard's outputs, which cable to use and where exactly should it be connected to the audio interface?
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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