Author Topic: USB or mic with cheaper interface?  (Read 33368 times)

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Offline mike42

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #165 on: December 16, 2014, 12:23:07 am »
Yeah, that's a valid concern. I couldn't find any technical specs on your Takamine's pickup and the only reference I would have is my Agile, so I don't know if it'll have that problem if you plan to record direct with your pickup.

If you have a Guitar Center or other shop nearby you might be able to take your guitar in and try it through the interface to see if it clips. It won't tell you for sure if it'll work with your particular setup (computer, etc.) but it might be worth a try.

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #166 on: December 16, 2014, 12:26:18 am »
Yes, you will be able to get around it with using the volume control on your guitar.

There's some electric guitars that don't even have a volume knob, now that's where you'd have to do a little more fixing to make it work.

If you really needed to know about it, I could ask to borrow my friend's Scarlett because I know somebody that has the exact same guitar as you have.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #167 on: December 16, 2014, 12:30:40 am »
Yes, you will be able to get around it with using the volume control on your guitar.

There's some electric guitars that don't even have a volume knob, now that's where you'd have to do a little more fixing to make it work.

If you really needed to know about it, I could ask to borrow my friend's Scarlett because I know somebody that has the exact same guitar as you have.

If you could possibly do that tomorrow, that would be awesome.  Otherwise I'll have to see if the store near me even has one to try.  The sale ends on the 18th.


There's a Guitar Center about 20 minutes away... I dislike that store. But it's pretty much the only music shop that I know of aside from one that's 20 minutes the other side of town.
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #168 on: December 16, 2014, 12:33:30 am »
The only thing I could do tomorrow is drop by and run my own guitar through it (a Taylor). It also has a preamp so I'm assuming they might be in the same ballpark in terms of output capacity.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #169 on: December 16, 2014, 12:42:29 am »
That would be helpful, I think, if you could do that.

THe guy at Guitar Center claims it shouldn't have any issues, but I'm not sure how much I trust him.  He also claims I can return it if I contact him directly (even though the site says non-returnable) so I printed a transcript of the call, just in case.  I'm just not totally confident about it.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #170 on: December 16, 2014, 12:50:35 am »
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.


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That was sort of where I was coming from as well.... the Live use. Let's say she finds a place to play
A little shop, a little church, a school, a small bar....

Now maybe any of those will have a small PA set up but no mixer. Or the mixer is too complicated or too basic. With her own mixer she can already know a decent two track or mono out. She will be in control of all her stuff and could even patch in an mp3 player, cd of her own backing tracks or whatever. Just send her mix that she rehearses at home out to the in-house PA.

I haven't read much on these little Interface/Mixer combos. Most say record Stereo Out... I assume they do Stereo back in as well? Or maybe not... is it a one way affair?


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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #171 on: December 16, 2014, 01:05:40 am »
Never, ever been to a  club that has a PA and no mixer. I have however had bands with their own sub mixer that they wanted to plug into my FOH mixer so that they could mix their own sound from stage. The results were less than desirable. And if the mixer is too complicated to operate, chances are that the person using it isn't qualified to do live sound.  IMO, if you want to do live sound, you should either let the house do it, or provide your own PA including mixer, monitor, snake, amps speakers, mics....
Does that Mackie mixer even track individual channels to the DAW? Or does it only record the stereo mix?
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #172 on: December 16, 2014, 01:06:11 am »
Hollywood......

All these inexpensive Interfaces and basic mixers....

Interface = 2 inputs... maybe 4  BUT ONLY 2 Outputs at a time.. That means record a MAX of 2 tracks at once.

MIXER - these entry level ones you can afford... Even if it has 6 Inputs it still only Outputs 2 TRACKS MAX at once.

R3cord 1 or 2 tracks, rewind, record 1 or 2 more, rewind, record 1 or 2 more, rewind, record 1 or 2 more. So now you just recorded 8 tracks  but only TWO AT A TIME...

Mixer = plug in Keys, Bass, Guitar, Vocal, Backing vox... press record... how many tracks do you get? TWO

The signal from all those instrements have been MIXED onto two tracks. You can record any or all of them but only  TWO at once.

Now the more expensive stuff has what is basically direct out. For every Input it has an Output. For instance my mixer could record 26 Tracks at once.

Two tracks should be plenty for you though and honestly you will probably only be recording one track at a time. Just be clear on that.

Mixer = Many In - TWO Out
Interface = Two In - TWO Out

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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #173 on: December 16, 2014, 01:13:33 am »
Never, ever been to a  club that has a PA and no mixer. I have however had bands with their own sub mixer that they wanted to plug into my FOH mixer so that they could mix their own sound from stage. The results were less than desirable. And if the mixer is too complicated to operate, chances are that the person using it isn't qualified to do live sound.  IMO, if you want to do live sound, you should either let the house do it, or provide your own PA including mixer, monitor, snake, amps speakers, mics....
Does that Mackie mixer even track individual channels to the DAW? Or does it only record the stereo mix?

Agree on the above. I'm thinking of smaller scale situations.

Bold: I don't know... that's what I have been trying to figure out.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #174 on: December 16, 2014, 01:22:04 am »
So I'm better off, at this point, getting a simple 2 in/2 out interface?  And then once I start doing gigs, use the in-house equipment, and upgrade later on as I figure out what I actually need and get more comfortable with all this?
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Offline mike42

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #175 on: December 16, 2014, 01:29:40 am »
There's a Guitar Center about 20 minutes away... I dislike that store. But it's pretty much the only music shop that I know of aside from one that's 20 minutes the other side of town.

You don't necessarily have to buy it there. I don't know if they'd have a Scarlett 2i2 available for you to plug into, but you could call and ask.

Yes, you will be able to get around it with using the volume control on your guitar.

There's some electric guitars that don't even have a volume knob, now that's where you'd have to do a little more fixing to make it work.

I had this problem with my Agile, even with the volume fairly low and the the interface gain knob all the way down. I don't believe the Agile has particularly hot pickups, so it's a real concern.

I don't remember finding a solution that didn't kill the tone on my recording, like setting the input to line level rather than instrument, but TB gave me a good option on a cheap solution to lower the input. I think it's this:

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Build_Your_Own_Series_Resistance_Box

There might have been a problem somewhere else in the chain that was causing my issue, but it seems a bunch of people have had similar problems so it seems that for some reason the Scarlett 2i2 just can't handle much of an instrument level input.


Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #176 on: December 16, 2014, 01:38:49 am »
I wonder if I should go with one of the other ones, then...  :-\

One of you said a few pages back that the Steinberg has the same gain issues as the Scarlett.  So I wouldn't know what to get if both of those have the same problem.
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #177 on: December 16, 2014, 01:49:19 am »
I wonder if I should go with one of the other ones, then...  :-\

One of you said a few pages back that the Steinberg has the same gain issues as the Scarlett.  So I wouldn't know what to get if both of those have the same problem.

My advice would be to get either of those two interfaces and if the gain becomes an issue buy a DI box (Which you will very likely want later when you do live gigs anyhow.)
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #178 on: December 16, 2014, 01:50:13 am »
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.


If you have Guitar on Input 1 and Vocal on input and they are panned hard left and hard right respectively you will get a stereo file but it will really be dual mono that can be split. Reaper right click, process items, explode channels. Bang... two mono tracks.

So she can get two mono tracks... not 3,4,5,6 or whatever... but it won't be a blended Stereo image. It will be just like a 2 input interface.

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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #179 on: December 16, 2014, 01:52:36 am »
If you have Guitar on Input 1 and Vocal on input and they are panned hard left and hard right respectively you will get a stereo file but it will really be dual mono that can be split. Reaper right click, process items, explode channels. Bang... two mono tracks.

So she can get two mono tracks... not 3,4,5,6 or whatever... but it won't be a blended Stereo image. It will be just like a 2 input interface.

Then, if she's using it live and wanting to record the performance the instruments would be hard-panned in the live mix? What about the keyboards?
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