Author Topic: USB or mic with cheaper interface?  (Read 51724 times)

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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #125 on: December 14, 2014, 08:47:38 pm »
So if I do end up having any issues with it, it should be fixable just by messing with the different settings and such? 

Amazing how different that clip sounded just changing the gain (that's all he did, right?)

I don't understand the DI thing.  What is it and why would you need it?
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #126 on: December 14, 2014, 08:59:43 pm »
Yes, and you don't want to do what he did. EVER... it's not a guitar amp that you can overdrive like that. Eventually it will burn up.

It may sound cool but it's not made to do that. You don;t want the red lights on. If you want distorted you get it outside the box and feed distorted sound to it while keeping the dial green. Or afterwards in the computer.

He is overloading the inputs.

Everything you plug into that box needs to stay green .. no clipping. If you want distortion it has to come from somewhere else. Otherwise you risk ruining lots of stuff.

DI correct impedance between devices and sets levels correctly.

It's like this... Let's say you have a Blue guitar and it works best plugged into a Blue box. But you have an Orange box

So you get a DI that converts Blue to Orange... It has a Blue input so the guitar likes what it sees and an Orange out so the Box likes what it sees.



Before
BG>>>>OB


AFTER
BG>>>>B-DI-O>>>>>OB





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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #127 on: December 14, 2014, 09:03:53 pm »
No, I mean it sounded better when it was green.  I thought it sounded terrible on the red.

The Scarlett 2i2 apparently does not have a MIDI input.  Without that, what will I not be able to do?

I also saw something about how you can plug in an mp3 player to some interfaces.  Can you do that without a MIDI input?  And why would you need an mp3 hookup?
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #128 on: December 14, 2014, 09:12:50 pm »
No, I mean it sounded better when it was green.  I thought it sounded terrible on the red.

The Scarlett 2i2 apparently does not have a MIDI input.  Without that, what will I not be able to do?

I also saw something about how you can plug in an mp3 player to some interfaces.  Can you do that without a MIDI input?  And why would you need an mp3 hookup?

5pin Din MIDI is the THE standard for midi keyboards... So like if you found an old midi keyboard to play SoftSynths on your PC, it might very likely have those 5pin jacks. All the newer stuff has USB ... AND.. .they probably will have the 5pin as well for backward compatability on the higher end stuff. Having a keyboard is not a bad thing. Old drum machines, all that stuff which you can pick up cheap has 5pin MIDI to talk to each other.

Midi is digital like printing, or a mouse or whaterver... it's not audio... it's data.

Mp3 is audio so no, MIDI not required.

Stereo MP3 player >>>> ST2Mono Adapter>>>>> One input of your interface.
Looks like 1/8"ST>>>>>>>>>>>>1/4"mono plug into one of those jacks that your mic is not in.

If you need Guitar + Vocal+Mp3 then you are out of inputs. That's why people buy Interfaces with 4, 8 or more Inputs which = more $$$$

When you eventually get more crap than you know what to do with, some people buy a little Mixer... maybe it has 6 inputs... You plug all your junk into that and it has a Master Stereo Out ... that then goes to Interface Input 1 and 2.

http://www.amazon.com/Mackie-802VLZ4-8-channel-Compact-Quality/dp/B00EDHWLFI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418591720&sr=8-2&keywords=mackie+vlz4


Go here .... download this... Look at the diagrams the y show for different scenarios...
When you see "Computer" just think ( INPUTS 1 and 2 )The Interface.
http://www.mackie.com/downloads/VLZ4/manuals/802VLZ4_OM.pdf
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #129 on: December 14, 2014, 09:18:16 pm »
So basically I don't need it, then? 

I have - I think it's a Yamaha keyboard that I would want to use for some songs.  Does it just plug in like the guitars and mics do? 

If I have a 2 input interface, can I record 3 or 4 different instruments but just do one or 2 at a time?  So like if I record a piano track and a drum track, for example, can I then record a vocal and guitar track over those onto the same file so all 4 instruments would be in the same song?
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Offline Majik

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #130 on: December 14, 2014, 09:19:13 pm »
It may sound cool but it's not made to do that.

I would be surprised if anyone thinks that sounds good, or "cool".

No, I mean it sounded better when it was green.  I thought it sounded terrible on the red.

Exactly. It's digital clipping and digital clipping sounds dreadful.

Quote
The Scarlett 2i2 apparently does not have a MIDI input.  Without that, what will I not be able to do?

You won't be able to connect MIDI devices, such as keyboard controllers, sequencers, etc. If you don't know what it's for, the chances are you won't need it.

Quote
I also saw something about how you can plug in an mp3 player to some interfaces.  Can you do that without a MIDI input?  And why would you need an mp3 hookup?

That's unlikely, and I think you are getting confused with amps or multi-fx pedals where they can act as a USB recording device, but can also be used for standalone performance use.

For example, I have a Digitech RP-355 which can be used as an audio interface, but it's main use is as a standalone guitar pedal for practice or performance use. In that case, you can plug an MP3 player into it so you can play along to songs, backing tracks, etc and the unit will mix the MP3 with your guitar. Many modern amps, modelling pedals, etc. do this these days.

But if you are connecting to a PC, you don't need that, because you can play the MP3 on the PC. So units that are designed primarily as PC audio interface don't have that capability.

Bear in mind, some audio interfaces do have multiple cinput channels, so you could (if you wanted to) connect an MPs player to it and record/playback at the same time, but It's a really tortured way of doing anything; there better ways of doing it (like playing the MP3 directly on the PC).

If it's a backing track, for instance, and you are using a DAW, you can load the backing track into the DAW to play along to.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #131 on: December 14, 2014, 09:21:40 pm »
So basically I don't need it, then? 

I have - I think it's a Yamaha keyboard that I would want to use for some songs.  Does it just plug in like the guitars and mics do?

Yes

Quote
If I have a 2 input interface, can I record 3 or 4 different instruments but just do one or 2 at a time?  So like if I record a piano track and a drum track, for example, can I then record a vocal and guitar track over those onto the same file so all 4 instruments would be in the same song?

Exactly. You would need a DAW app like Reaper or Cubase on the PC to do this, but it's exactly how you would do it.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #132 on: December 14, 2014, 09:24:20 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?

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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #133 on: December 14, 2014, 09:30:19 pm »
I would be surprised if anyone thinks that sounds good, or "cool".

You'd be surprised. I can recall a guy who did that to a Neve clone that many of bought and even when told very politely that he was kinda off the mark by some very high level engineers,,, he still insisted he loved it.... and it sounded worse than that.

Never under estimate the power of the fuzz box. No matter what devastation may occur during the process.

I know someone that burned up a DIY talkbox with a MuffFuzz.... but I'm not mentioning any names.

So I wonder which one was the warmer sounding. the more analog... the 2i2 or the 2i4? I'll have to find his review.....





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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #134 on: December 14, 2014, 09:31:29 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?

Correct


... and if it's not obvious... you can record as many tracks as your computer will take.
5 guitars, 4 vocals, 3 keys, drums....

You are not limited to one shot each if that's not clear to you.

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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

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." 
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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

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?
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