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Owen
post Jul 19 2007, 06:46 PM
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Ok, as I'm about to be receiving some money soonish - £100-£200 or 200$-400$, I am considering upgrading my recording stuff. I've already quadrupled the ram on my computer so that it can now cater with multi-track recording more efficiently.

Now, I'm considering buying a new sound card or something like a Toneport GX, to record guitar/vocals/bass. I've got a decent enough microphone/amp to get a decent sound out of at the moment but I'm feeling that the analogue to digital converter on my current sound card - a basic Soundblaster, is letting the side down.

So what do you guys reckon I should get?

Baring in mind Pod Xt's are a no no as they only record guitar and would be a bit redundant as I've got a Flextone II anyway.

Cheers in advance smile.gif


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MickeM
post Jul 19 2007, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Owen @ Jul 19 2007, 07:46 PM) *
Baring in mind Pod Xt's are a no no as they only record guitar and would be a bit redundant as I've got a Flextone II anyway.

Uhm, are you sure the POD only can record guitar? My Line6 guitar port can record a mike (vocals) and bass aswell.

EDIT: And what's a Flextone II?

EDIT2: I looked it up, it's a Line6 amp. I'm positive the Toneport will work well with the Flextone for recording. Do you record the bass for real or with a vst plugin?

This post has been edited by MickeM: Jul 19 2007, 07:09 PM


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Owen
post Jul 19 2007, 07:26 PM
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Recording the bass for real. I have one kicking about.

I dunno why, but the Guitarport seems to be twice the price of the GX.

The pod caters for amp modelling for the guitar outside the pc, whilst you could record vocals or bass through it you'd be mixing in guitar amp modelling in to it, whist I think the GX and Guitarport are modelled using Gearbox software in the pc which means you can do more than one type.


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Ben Howell
post Jul 19 2007, 09:43 PM
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Hey Owen,

FWIW, the EMU-0404 i think is a stunning soundcard for the price. really crystal audio quality and really low latency (-2ms ish).

Its cheap too, about £55 pounds, and probly much cheaper equivilant in the states.

You can connect a pod to it, or any line in standard jack, and midi too i think.

Stunner for the price in my experience. Also from my experience, id avoid 'all in one' stuff-line 6 toneport/keyboard broke on me, as did the M-audio ozone. Too much to go wrong in my opinion.

-Ben


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 19 2007, 11:14 PM
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QUOTE (benhowell @ Jul 19 2007, 04:43 PM) *
Hey Owen,

FWIW, the EMU-0404 i think is a stunning soundcard for the price. really crystal audio quality and really low latency (-2ms ish).

Its cheap too, about £55 pounds, and probly much cheaper equivilant in the states.

You can connect a pod to it, or any line in standard jack, and midi too i think.

Stunner for the price in my experience. Also from my experience, id avoid 'all in one' stuff-line 6 toneport/keyboard broke on me, as did the M-audio ozone. Too much to go wrong in my opinion.

-Ben


Yeah, I would agree with Ben on the 0404 - I have a 1212M by EMU and it is a stunning card for the price (a little more, has even better converters than the 0404) - EMU do good stuff in terms of audio quality, flexibility of mixing and latency. My 1212M can handle more tracks at lower latency than the XTL can.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jul 20 2007, 02:01 AM
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Hi Owen,
there are some pretty good deals at the moment btw - many will give you a good soundcard with a cut down/limited version piece of software (ie Cubase LE/Ableton Live etc) that you can upgrade at a later stage - albeit at a price. Firewire/USB 2 externals are wonderful particularly if you want flexibility between, for instance, a laptop and a desktop - easy to share the card.

As a slight caution on externals: Firewire800 is pretty rare and can be flaky on a PC but is reported solid on a Mac Tiger; USB 2 is usually fine on both but not all computers have USB 2. For PCs little in the way that supports 64bit at present, including software (Sonar does but not most of the others). MAC - usually ok but some issue about the PC version not legacied back (surprise - duh - different chip, bus etc).

For PC:
Most internal sound cards are still PCI and seem to be sound on XP or earlier, very few PCI Express internal cards: Vista seems to be reporting some problems/issues still with both.

As Andrew and Ben say the EMU0404 is good and very good value. EMU also now has an external firewire and external usb2 version. Bit more expensive but look around for deals - EMU 1210 with the emulator sequencer/sampler card and software (new about 200UK pounds but can get it cheaper). EMU coincidently are the pro recording side of Creative and certainly are a good choice.

Other externals if you don't want a Creative card- a Mackie Spike (about 150UK), MAudio 410 (250 UK but there are deals). Internal - Delta1010 or an Audiophile 2496 or maybe a used RME HDSP. There is, but sorry can't remember the details, a usb dongle that is specifically for connecting a guitar to a PC - about 80UK. Also a couple of Tascam USB externals for @150UK. (Lots of others but details don't spring to mind at the moment - too late and too much wine tongue.gif .)

Afraid I can't help on Macs though as I don't use one.

Thing to note - guitars produce a much lower level then, for instance, a dynamic microphone. Because of this any card you get may need some form of guitar pre amp between the guitar and the card to increase the level. If you don't you'll end up having to increase the gain on the input so much that the whole thing will disappear under noise. Check out whether any card can do both mic and guitar input (USB dongle above for instance is impedance matched for a guitar so is fine). Direct in of a guitar can sound pretty thin btw until you eq it and add reverb/distortion or something. Most software sequencers have a suite of VST effects that are fine for a starter. Also - connections on sound card - often only XLR, minijack, phono, spdif, fibreoptic rather than trs or jack; do check...

Any good music shop will demo an external for you for you. Internal well dry.gif .

Have a look at the forum for your sequencer of choice - also look at Kvraudio.com - mostly software but can be helpful- and the Sound on Sound forums. (Maybe go in to WH Smiths and look at/buy Sound on Sound if you can.)

Hope this helps

Cheers,
Tony


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Owen
post Jul 20 2007, 09:40 PM
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Thanks guys,

I'll probably end up looking at the 0404 as it means I can buy myself some extra storage with the spare cash that I desparatley need (I'm running out of space due to my huge music library at the mo).

Theres not a major difference in sound quality between the 0404 and the next model up is there?

I'd hate to think I was loosing any drastic amount of quality by skimping on the money I'd be paying out.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 20 2007, 09:52 PM
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QUOTE (Owen @ Jul 20 2007, 04:40 PM) *
Thanks guys,

I'll probably end up looking at the 0404 as it means I can buy myself some extra storage with the spare cash that I desparatley need (I'm running out of space due to my huge music library at the mo).

Theres not a major difference in sound quality between the 0404 and the next model up is there?

I'd hate to think I was loosing any drastic amount of quality by skimping on the money I'd be paying out.


No, not drastic, all EMU products get great reviews. The 1212M for instance has better AD convertors (the M denotes the best convertors), they are EMUs top of the line, I don't think the 0404 has the M convertors. I don't know for sure, but I think it would be a slight amount of improvement, but not drastic.


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Muris Varajic
post Jul 20 2007, 11:53 PM
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Yes,E-MU is great brand.
I have 1820m and it works more than brilliant!
Check out other model as well,awesome features for money value IMO.


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JCJXXL
post Jul 21 2007, 02:38 PM
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Check this out:

http://www.lexiconpro.com/ProductIndex.aspx?ProductID=6

It was recommended by a friend who does a ton of recording with his band. At first I didn't like the idea of a USB solution and was looking for internal. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Also the idea of being able to take it with me (laptop, desktop,whatever) was appealing. And the price was right ($200.00). I have done quite a bit of recording with it since I had it and am very happy with the quality.

Here are some specs on the Lexicon Omega:

Microphone Inputs (2) Female XLR Pin 2 Hot
Input Impedance 664 Ohms balanced
Phantom Power +48 Volt
EIN -118 dB @ 51 dB gain (150 Ohm source impedance) -120 dB A-weighted
Maximum Input Level -2 dBu (150 Ohm source impedance)
Frequency Response +0, -0.2 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz, ref. 1 kHz
Microphone Inputs (2) Female XLR Pin 2 Hot
Input Impedance 664 Ohms balanced
Phantom Power +48 Volt
EIN -118 dB @ 51 dB gain (150 Ohm source impedance) -120 dB A-weighted
Maximum Input Level -2 dBu (150 Ohm source impedance)
Frequency Response +0, -0.2 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz, ref. 1 kHz
THD+N <.005%, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Insert Inputs (2) 1/4" TRS balanced or unbalanced
Send Level (ring) +19 dBu maximum
Maximum Return Level (tip) +19 dBu maximum
Line Inputs (4) 1/4" TRS balanced or unbalanced
Input Impedance 20 kOhm unbalanced, 10 kOhm unbalanced
Maximum Input Level +19 dBu (40 Ohm source impedance)
Frequency Response +0, -0.2 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz, ref. 1kHz
THD+N <.012% A/D, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, <.012% A/D/A, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Instrument Input (1) 1/4" mono jack
Input Impedance 1 MOhm unbalanced
Maximum Input Level +19 dBu
Frequency Response +0, -0.25 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz, ref. 1 kHz
THD+N <.0125% A/D
Crosstalk <-74 dB any input or output to any recording channel, 20 Hz-20 kHz <-95 dB at 1 kHz typical
Line Outputs (2) 1/4" TRS balanced or unbalanced
Level +19 dBu maximum
Impedance 110 Ohms
Headphone Output (1) 1/4" stereo jack 100 mW per channel at 50 Ohms
MIDI Interface 5 pin DIN connectors for MIDI in and MIDI out
Digital Audio Input Coaxial RCA (S/PDIF format)
Digital Audio Output Coaxial RCA (S/PDIF format) always transmits the audio data from the USB stream
D/A and A/D Conversion Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz (determined by computer application)
Dynamic Range:
A/D >101 dB typical, unweighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
>104 dB typical, A-weighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
D/A >107 db typical, unweighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
>109 db typical, A-weighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
A/D/A >100 dB dB typical, unweighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz >103 dB typical, A-weighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Analog Path >115 dB dB typical, unweighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz >118 dB typical, A-weighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
USB Type B Socket: Version 1.1, Version 1.1 hubs are not supported
Power Requirements: PS0913-B adapter supplied
Dimensions 4.625" W x 7.25" H x 7.75" D (118mm x 184mm x 197mm)
Weight 2.65 lbs.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jul 22 2007, 05:16 AM
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Re: the Lexicon Omega - apart from good hardware specs for the price the Lexicon also comes with the rather wonderful Pantheon Reverb. Lexicon make great reverbs and this is a big bonus for computer recording - the pantheon is a big performance step up from most of the vst reverbs that come as standard with some software sequencers.

Cheers,
Tony


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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