Beginning Recording Interface, What should I get?

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Member Since: Dec 30, 2009

Hey I'm new to the whole recording experience and I could really used some pointers. I am an experienced guitarist/musician looking to do some basic recording, demo type stuff. I have checked out tons of different products, read a million reviews and I am still in the same place.

I do solo work so I would only need two inputs and I am on a budget. Any help would be great, I figure why not ask people who do this all the time for the facts.

I mainly use my Dell laptop on Windows XP and I also have a another PC that runs on XP as well and both work pretty well.

What are the things I should get to start this out right?

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Since: Dec 04, 2007

Dec 30, 2009 11:06 pm

Well for starters, I can recommend the smaller interfaces from Echo Audio, and the Line6 Toneports line. The M-Audio interfaces are also pretty decent.

I myself am using an Echo Audiofire4 which is a firewire interface that has 2 Universal, preamped inputs on the front (auto-senses XLR or 1/4") and a dedicated headphone jack (unfortnuately the headphone jack is a mini, so you'll need a converter for the standard 1/4" jack.

On the back there are 2 line-level inputs, and 4 outputs, along with S/PDIF in/out, and standard 5-pin midi in/out.

Last I checked, it was running for about $280. Which IMO is a good price for the quality of the interface.

A lot of the folks around here use the Line6 toneport, either the UX1 or the UX2, and they come bundled with some nice software as well. The only downside of the UX2 is that I don't think it handles midi. But if you don't use or need it, then that would be right up your alley, and it's a bit cheaper than the Audiofire. The only difference between the UX1 and UX2, is the UX1 has 1 less of each input. 1 XLR and 1 line-level vs. 2 and 2. So that might be right up your alley as well, and pretty cheap at $150. The UX2 runs about $200.

Both are great products, and the drivers/software are pretty much rock solid stable. At least I've never had any issues with the Audiofire, and I'm sure others can vouch for the Line6.

Hope that helps!

Since: Dec 30, 2009

Jan 08, 2010 04:59 pm

Okay thanks that sounds great for me, what about mics? I would like to get a good mic to go with the UX1, what should look at?

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Jan 08, 2010 07:22 pm

Well, as for the mics, I think that depends on what kind of music you plan to record, the kinda room you're in, and your budget. I mean, if you're sending the guitar through the interface and just recording vocals, then you may just want to get a good vocal mic, and some good headphones that have little leakage so the guitar doesn't bleed into the mic while you're singing.

Here's a few brands worth looking at: Shure, MXL, Rode, Neuman, Audio-Technica, Studio Projects, and probably a few others I'm not thinking of off the top of my head.

I can tell you the Shure SM57 is a pretty decent all-around dynamic mic for $100, works very well on guitar cabs so I hear, and one of the other people around here was liking the Studio Projects C1 as a condenser.

One of the others will probably chime in with mic recommendations because I don't do a whole lot in the way of recording. At least, not yet. (I'm more of a midi/keyboard guy for now)

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