Behringer UCA200, necessary mixer ??? Help me plz

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Member Since: May 05, 2010

Hi there,
I have a notebook and Amplitube 3. I will buy a Behringer UCA200 USB sound card which has 2 RCA input and 2 RCA output ports. I just want to plug my guitar and play with low latency. So do I need a mixer ??? Can I plug my guitar this sound card directly (via a rca-stereo cable) ??? Thanks for your help...

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Marijuana Czar
Since: Oct 01, 2009

May 05, 2010 04:40 am

you probably could.. but (correct me if im wrong) it would sound terrible going over rca cables.
you'd be better off buying the mixer&uca200 package, i currently own one. they're great for beginner's, but once you get the whole recording thing going, you realize what your gear actually does, and end up upgrading.. so yeh.. avoid behringer mixer's.

BUT since you only want to play/record guitar on yr pc, you wont need a mixer!

* an alternative is the ux2 audio interface, its not as capable as a mixer for routing, but it will do your guitar and low latency. and i think they have 2 inserts and amp modelling and fx n a bunch of other tid bits. and ive been told that they sound much better than the uca's anyway

Since: Sep 30, 2009

May 05, 2010 07:01 am

You can try. I know a few people who have plugged into their computers sound card and gotten great results. But the people i've heard that get good results had desktops. With my laptop i tried the exact same approach you're thinking of, and it sounded terrible. I believe it was just the laptops sound card quality. It also would have had very high latency, but i never downloaded ASIO4ALL.

If you just want to record guitar, a cheap interface would get you there. Pod farm has one with just one 1/4 inch TRS input, for around a $100. If you need to record mics the upgrade would be $150 for the UX1. But i do know of someone who's mic quality sounds pretty darn good with a cable that goes XLR-TRS.

Bottom line though, the cheapest thing to do is just get a RCA to stereo cable, and download ASIO4ALL drivers. Then decide if you need to make a large purchase.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

May 05, 2010 09:35 am

Hello Dark Rider, welcome to the HRC.

I would think you can plug directly into that interface, but some issues come to mind:

1) behringer makes low-budget stuff (notice I didn't say cheap). This means that the converters may (probably are) be low quality, ergo; not so good latency. While I don't know for sure if this is the case, I'd be suspicious. ASIO4ALL may improve the situation, but I'd not hold my breath. But, also, it may work splendidly. Testing would be in order.

2) signal level. Guitars put out INST level signal, which is only slightly higher than MIC level signal. So the signal needs a boost of some sort (usually through a preamp) to get up to LINE level, which is what the UCA wants to see. So you could be living with weak, thin signal levels, unless you boost it somehow. If you boost the signal in software, then you're also boosting the noise floor, so you may hear buildup of background noise after a few tracks. CAVEAT: plugging your guitar into a processor (BOSS GT series, etc) will send out pretty phat signal, so you could go this route.

3) RCA cable. I don't think the cable will inherently be a problem. I've used TS -> RCA cables a bunch in the past, and noticed nothing of problem from using these cables. I'd suggest getting a factory made one, like from HOSA (of which I'm particularly fond)

4) cost. this certainly is a sub-$50 project. which is almost unheard of in the home recording audio world. So you have that going for it. I know others use these with a mixer and seem to track OK (livable latency) so it probably won't be a problem. (this is not a guarantee! Please research further! YMMV IMHO etc)

RCA - Stereo cable. You don't need to get a RCA -> Stereo cable. Just a RCA -> TS cable will be fine. No need to have the computer record 2 tracks of the exact same thing. and yes, they'd be the same thing. Let the software create the stereo field later, during mixing, as this is what they do. Just record the guitar as a mono source, as that's what it is.

As fragile stated, there's the bottom level Line6 gizmo, which I have a similar one (toneport) and it works quite well. Plus I get modeling, which is always handy. I think the new one is the GX, but i'm not sure.

Yep, GX:
zzounds linky:

Since: May 05, 2010

May 05, 2010 11:42 am

thanks for your helps.

I have not enough money to buy a powerful sound card. If I had enough money I thought to buy a Line 6 Studio GX USB sound card. It is about 120$ in my country.

I have a notebook which has Core 2 duo 2 Ghz, 2 GB ram and onboard sound card. And I use amplitube 3 with total 10 ms latency.

I have just bought the UCA200 sound card (25$) and RCA-stereo adapter (not cable). I will try it with behringer own asio driver. But I searched and I think i need a pre amp before plug my guitar to the sound card input. I hope I am wrong.

Since: May 05, 2010

May 06, 2010 09:42 am

I have tried this but I think I need a mixer or pre amp. Because the sound sustains too short. My onboard sound card works better than that.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

May 06, 2010 10:04 am

The onboard soundcard probably is a MIC IN, so there is a preamp built into the circuit behind the jack. This aligns with my concern #2 in my post above.

Bummer. Maybe if you have a stomp-box, or processor of some sort, you can boost up the signal.

Or, just use the built-in sound-card, like you've mentioned.

Uh, at least one more time . . .
Since: Feb 07, 2007

May 09, 2010 12:28 pm

I would suggest going on E-Bay and picking up an E-mu 0404. The newer ones are going for (list) $199.00--way too much, for the limited new functionality they have. Try to find a used one. They originally retailed for about $100.00. You would just need the 0404--the updated drivers and other software is free at E-mu. A used one can be had for about $50.00 US. The above-mentioned Toneport stuff is a good idea, too.
Behringer? I use their mixers, both at home and at our practice/record space, but only to input stuff into the software. Use the mixer to route signals into the soundcard, one at a time, into the software. Monitor the git at the mixer, and mix the sound with the the stuff you already recorded in the software, coming out of the computer and into the "tape in" jacks. Presto, no latency issues at all.
Behringer's stuff isn't high-end to be sure, but it's certainly serviceable. Again, go to E-bay and pick up, say, an 802. You'll be good to go for a while . . . .
P.S.: I actually have an old 0404 I just removed, in order to upgrade to an 1820, with ADAT in (Behringer ADA8000). I'll mail it to you, dark_Rider, if you pay for the shipping. Reply here and maybe something can be worked out--I'm hazy on the rules about this here, so we'll see.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

May 09, 2010 08:51 pm

Yay Tim!

That's some good post info from Tim, I hear quite a few people using the 0404 with good results, and for some reason I forget to bring it up =/

Good post.

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