Author Topic: USB or mic with cheaper interface?  (Read 31473 times)

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Offline Majik

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #135 on: December 14, 2014, 09:31:33 pm »
Alright.  And then with the headphones you hear everything you're recording as you're recording it? 

And if you're playing along to a backing track, do you also hear that through the headphones?

With most interfaces, yes.

An issue with PC interfaces can be "latency" (delay) and some interfaces have a capability called "local monitoring" where the monitoring output (for headphones, for example) is connected internally within the sound card which gives you no noticeable delay (known as "zero latency monitoring").

WIthout this you are relying on the PC to do monitoring, and that means the signal has to go through the interface, to the PC, through the DAW, and back out through the audio interface before you hear it and that can introduce noticeable delay.

Cheers,

Keith
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #136 on: December 14, 2014, 09:38:05 pm »
Yes, that too is another reason people get a little mixer. If they can't cure latency for whatever reason, All the audio hits the mixer and you plug your headphones in there.

So the way that works is you press go the PC. Even if it took two seconds to get to mixer which it never would but even two seconds later since you are listening to mixer you will hear it and start playing. So you will be in time with music.

BUT ... hopefully those interfaces are fast enough. I think one said it was ZLM.

Actually I'm not sure they can do ZLM.... it seems to be PC dependent.  Again the really high priced stuff has more going on in the hardware.


here is what you would do.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JABZdLMl6ik



« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 10:21:18 pm by TB-AV »
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #137 on: December 14, 2014, 09:40:14 pm »
There's basically two things going on - there's stuff going into the interface, to the computer, and there's stuff coming out of the computer, into the interface, into montioring systems like speakers or headphones.

So basically what that means is your recordings become the backing track. When you record something over that's already recorded, you're doing overdubs. That's exaclty what I did in the Dueling Banjos video that Stich posted in one of your other threads. ;)

Most interfaces (I know for sure the Steinberg has it) have an input/monitor mix that control how much of either you want to hear. I have to do that in a piece of software and it's a little cumbersme, I'd prefer an actual knob on the interface.

ETA: Zero-latency or direct monitoring might be annoying only if you're gonna track (record) electric guitar that you want to monitor after it's gone through amp/cab simulation (like Guitar Rig, Amplitube, etc). But you have a Spider, so you shouldn't run into that problem.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #138 on: December 14, 2014, 10:42:26 pm »
You know... I started watching one of this guys videos and thought, man what is this guy doing... then I went back and listened to him a bit.... He actually has really good ideas.

I'm pretty sure he just picks up stuff used and cheap but he gets a lot of flexibility and definitely zero latency.

This one is for if you don;t want to buy an interface-- which is not ideal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spk_ueuv-Tw&list=UUDzXKk1EBhPoxL0lGBi4APQ

These are where he uses two mixers to get zero latency and a ton of flexibility in monitoring and patching with inexpensive gear.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1kXkh4zZsE&list=UUDzXKk1EBhPoxL0lGBi4APQ&index=4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnmgvSzlxhw&list=UUDzXKk1EBhPoxL0lGBi4APQ&index=6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUNVmgZdehE&list=UUDzXKk1EBhPoxL0lGBi4APQ&index=5


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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #139 on: December 14, 2014, 11:00:29 pm »
I'm wondering now if something like this would be better for her ultimate goal?

http://www.zzounds.com/item--MACPROFX8
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #140 on: December 14, 2014, 11:14:20 pm »
Oooh, wow, that looks fancy!  I read through what I could understand of the description... it sounds like a mixer is an interface that does a lot more stuff?

So what would be best? 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 02:08:42 am by Hollywood »
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #141 on: December 15, 2014, 04:54:52 am »
watch this and click on links in description... to see diagrams.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l0BsPKpi-Y


Hey Scooter..... if she gets a SM58, why can't she just get a transformer and cable adapter and plug into her computer. $100 and done.

Set the camera up as it seems to record the guitar just fine and that's when she tries to play softly. So she plays normal and the camera gets the guitar and some vocal bleed.

Then go direct with Mic to Mac.

Drop video+guitar in the movie prog. Align audio track with that and you have a 2CH mix. Add other instruments through Mac interface as needed.

Then she can get used to using a mic and software while doing some more research. I swear I think the little mixer deal is the way to go. they even make them now with a USB interface built in.

But I don't see why she can't start using a mic with a Hi-Z transformer and 1/8th adapter right now.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hosa-XLR-Female-1-4-TS-Adapter-MIT-435-LoZ-Mic-HiZ-Line-Transformer-/321261328644?pt=US_Cables_Snakes_Interconnects&hash=item4accaad904

« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 06:02:20 am by TB-AV »
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #142 on: December 15, 2014, 06:52:45 am »
Hey Scooter..... if she gets a SM58, why can't she just get a transformer and cable adapter and plug into her computer. $100 and done.

A Shure A85F and adapter cable (Female 1/4 - male 1/8") would cost about $30.00 or so. Of course it's possible, but she'd likely never use it again.. She has Christmas sales and a discount coupon?
I have no experience with the smaller Mackie mixers, but they're not exactly within the original budget.
Some of the interfaces have zero-latency direct monitoring, and if you want to track with a complex mix you can just print the mix and reduce the buffer size..

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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #143 on: December 15, 2014, 02:44:27 pm »
The Focusrite, Steinberg and Tascam all have zero-latency monitoring. I believe all interfaces of that size/budget and up have had that feature for a while now. In my experience, REAPER compensates well for latency - i.e. if you're recording with relatively high latency, but using the zero-latency monitoring, it will still track in the right place. No idea about Studio One, have only recorded from scratch with it so no complex mixes.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #144 on: December 15, 2014, 03:12:57 pm »
A Shure A85F and adapter cable (Female 1/4 - male 1/8") would cost about $30.00 or so. Of course it's possible, but she'd likely never use it again.. She has Christmas sales and a discount coupon?
I have no experience with the smaller Mackie mixers, but they're not exactly within the original budget.
Some of the interfaces have zero-latency direct monitoring, and if you want to track with a complex mix you can just print the mix and reduce the buffer size..

True... I was thinking maybe there was a better long term situation. Her wanting to add mp3, and things.. I guess it does add up fast though in price.... and you are right ...I've still got the first transformer I ever bought and hardly ever used it.  Still works though so there's another tip of hat to Shure.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #145 on: December 15, 2014, 08:36:59 pm »
THe mixer you posted the link to earlier was only like $50 or $60 more than the interface I'm looking at, I believe.  So I guess it depends.  If it's something that will last me a little longer than a regular interface, I might be fine with spending a little bit more on it.  It's not that I only have $200 to spend, it's that I just don't want to spend much more than that on something that's not making me any money yet.  Looking at it this way:  It's probably better to spend $250 on something that will last me 3 or 4 years and get me further into recording than it is to spend $150 on something that will last me 2 years and only get me started on recording.  For example. 

What exactly would be the benefits of getting a mixer rather than just an interface?
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Offline Majik

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #146 on: December 15, 2014, 08:45:29 pm »
I would strongly consider the mixer. The mixer can not only act as an audio interface, but can also act as a standalone mixer for live use.

The main downside, compared to an audio interface, is that even if you connect and mix multiple channels (instruments) most of these mixers will mix these down to a single stereo channel pair into the computer, so you cannot use them for simultaneous multichannel recording.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #147 on: December 15, 2014, 09:10:20 pm »
I'm not quite sure what that means, Majik - you mean that if I had a mic and guitar plugged in, it would end up being one track and you can't adjust each one separately?


I just heard back from Takamine.  Apparently my acoustic has a "higher output than your average guitar pickup." 
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
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Offline Majik

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #148 on: December 15, 2014, 09:16:06 pm »
I'm not quite sure what that means, Majik - you mean that if I had a mic and guitar plugged in, it would end up being one track and you can't adjust each one separately?

Exactly! You can adjust the level of the mix in real time at the time of recording using the faders, but what the PC records will be the mix, not individual tracks.

From the Mackie ProFX8 product description:

Quote
Integrated USB I/O allows you to record a stereo mix from the mixer directly to a laptop.

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #149 on: December 15, 2014, 09:21:05 pm »
So basically you just have to get it all set up how you want it before you start recording?  And that's what you'd want to avoid, then, right?
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
www.LightingMatchesMusic.com
www.Facebook.com/LightingMatchesMusic

Debut solo EP "Destination Sunday" (Rachel White)

 

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