Author Topic: USB or mic with cheaper interface?  (Read 31489 times)

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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #180 on: December 16, 2014, 01:56:10 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.

If I'm reading the specs right... which I wrote a few pages back.. it looks like the Focusrite overloads much sooner than Steinberg or TASCAM.

Whatever you get will work. You will probably never get rid of it until computers are so fast that USB is not even used any longer and by then you will have upgraded to other stuff appropriate to whatever it is you are doing.

It all works and it all works very well.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #181 on: December 16, 2014, 02:01:42 am »
So regardless of what I get, if there are any issues with the guitar, there are for sure ways to make it work?
THe cheapest DI box I see at GC is $55.

One other thing I came across was this http://www.alesis.com/multimix4usb but it's still a mixer.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #182 on: December 16, 2014, 02:02:42 am »
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?

Right I'm saying use the Mixer for Live --- use the Interface in the Mixer for Home. Why would she be tracking a live performance other than Stereo at this point in the game? I doubt she can deal with that.

Live = no recording or at best record the Stereo Mix on a Laptop just for the heck of it.

Home = Flexibility. Record two tacks at time. Less plugging and unplugging. Less level setting. More playing and creating.

Ability to add muso friends she may meet without running out of inputs. Right now she is done. Both inputs are used up. No expansion possible.



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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #183 on: December 16, 2014, 02:05:53 am »
So regardless of what I get, if there are any issues with the guitar, there are for sure ways to make it work?
THe cheapest DI box I see at GC is $55.

I'd get an active DI. Either Radial or Countryman. There's a smokin' "buy now" deal on a Countryman 85 on eBay right now. With the DI, you can record direct to a mic input of your interface while using your amp. You will also use it for playing through your amp on stage while sending the guitar to the mixer. (You ahve to have a balanced signal to run long distances) Di's typically sound better than pads, and active DI's typically sound better than passive (transformer) DI's
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #184 on: December 16, 2014, 02:07:09 am »
Why would she be tracking a live performance other than Stereo at this point in the game?

So that the tracks can be remixed and it won't sound like a board mix.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #185 on: December 16, 2014, 02:08:35 am »
So regardless of what I get, if there are any issues with the guitar, there are for sure ways to make it work?
THe cheapest DI box I see at GC is $55.

Correct, it can be fixed. Yes DI boxes ain't cheap. They go up in price from there. You can pay 10X that a nice DI box. On the other hand... one of those little mixers with a "INSTRUMENT" input switch IS a direct box.

Personally, I would fix it with two resistors soldered inside a guitar cable for 20 cents.
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Offline mike42

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #186 on: December 16, 2014, 02:09:07 am »
Yes, there will be a way to deal with a gain issue overloading the interface. As others have said, a DI box (which aren't cheap) or a much cheaper DIY solution like I linked (from TB's advice in another thread).

And keep in mind this is only for recording direct with your pickup. If you record with a mic you won't have this issue, although the pickup in your acoustic is probably very good so that may get you the best quality recording.

At this point, I'd agree that a Steinberg or TASCAM interface might be a better option for you than the Scarlett. It's a good interface, but I'm not confident that you can easily overcome the gain issue without investing more money or doing a bit of soldering work.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #187 on: December 16, 2014, 02:09:57 am »
So that the tracks can be remixed and it won't sound like a board mix.

No, I mean live... does she really need to be worrying about recording her live performance at this point in the game? That's a lot to deal with.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #188 on: December 16, 2014, 02:11:04 am »
I'm confused.  So are you saying a mixer already has a DI box built in?
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #189 on: December 16, 2014, 02:25:36 am »
I'm confused.  So are you saying a mixer already has a DI box built in?

No. Mixers that have HiZ inputs often have pads on them though so you can attenuate the signal.
DI boxes take an unbalanced instrument and convert it to a balanced signal taht can be plugged into the XLR input of the mixer. Even if a mixer has a HIz instrument input, and even if it has a pad, you have to use a DI box to balance the signal so that it can be sent long distances without added noise from RFI, EMI, etc. A balanced signal splits your waveform into positive and negative and sends both down two separate condictors. Anything that isn't common to both pins gets canceled by common mode rejection.. You don't really need to know all that though.. you just need to know that an unbalanced signal (like a guitar) has to be balanced so send it long distances (like into a PA mixer) so that additional noise isn't introduced.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #190 on: December 16, 2014, 02:32:17 am »
Okay.  So, say I get the Steinberg or Focusrite (kind of leaning away from the Focusrite right now) and my guitar has issues with it.  Do I have to spend another $200 - more than the cost of the interface - to buy a DI box just so I can properly use the interface, or are there other cheaper ways to work around any issues?
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
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Debut solo EP "Destination Sunday" (Rachel White)

Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #191 on: December 16, 2014, 02:42:25 am »
Okay.  So, say I get the Steinberg or Focusrite (kind of leaning away from the Focusrite right now) and my guitar has issues with it.  Do I have to spend another $200 - more than the cost of the interface - to buy a DI box just so I can properly use the interface, or are there other cheaper ways to work around any issues?

There's cheaper ways.. You can build a pad with resistors. Or build a DI box with a  Jenson transformer. I really think you'll be OK just turning down the guitar. My acoustic guitar has a preamp that works fine with my Presonus interface. I prefer mic'ing it when I record though.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #192 on: December 16, 2014, 02:46:50 am »
I prefer mic'ing it when I record though.

Would the SM58 also work to record guitar if I needed to? 

So, which should I get:
1) Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
2) Steinberg UR22
3) Mixer

From the reviews, it sounds like the Steinberg software is hard to install, but the Focusrite will overload faster.  Ugh.
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #193 on: December 16, 2014, 02:47:18 am »
I'm confused.  So are you saying a mixer already has a DI box built in?

Yes, it can be used as a DI. You plug your guitar direct into CH1. You press the button that is labeled INST. This converts the impedance and gain structure for guitar.

Then you route that signal to either the main output which is balanced XLR  - OR - you use the Monitor Aux. so you plug a balanced cable into that output point and turn up the little knob on CH1 that says AUX.

Those are both Balanced outputs and will drive long lines. For anything you are going to be doing in the near future that is plenty good.

That won't allow you to split to amp but to be honest I can't imagine you needing to do all that. If you wanted to run to amp too you would still need a reamp box and ideally a pickup emulator along with it.

SCENARIO: You meet someone and they will let you play but don't a DI for you. You say  no problem. I have a little mixer. I can plug into that and you can tap off it.

SCENARIO: You meet a bass player, a keyboard player, and you. No gear. But you say,, OK, I've got a little mixer and we can record all of us at once onto my PC

SCENARIO: You sit at home and build up single tracks with all your gear already plugged in and levels set. So the inspiration flows and you actually get some music recorded. As opposed to... Cool idea pops in head, plug in guitar, set levels, record, maybe even remember what the urge was. Unplug, plug in keyboard, set levels, hit record, play. Unplug, plug guitar back in, set levels, record some more.

Don't you know anyone that could show you how this all works in a private setting? Maybe even make arrangement with GC or someone to show you in their music room.

If my mixer wasn't broken I'd make a YT vid for you. I think if you could see it done once you would get the picture.






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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #194 on: December 16, 2014, 02:49:01 am »
Would the SM58 also work to record guitar if I needed to? 

Well, between the Steinberg and the Focusrite Scarlett... which one do you guys think is better?  I know TB recommends the Steinberg, and at least one of you has the Focusrite...
From the reviews, it sounds like the Steinberg software is hard to install, but the Focusrite will overload faster.  Ugh.

The SM58 will record anything that makes sound that you can hear.
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