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Thread: Good soundcard or a good interface?

  1. #1

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    Good soundcard or a good interface?

    Planning to get a laptop for recording song demos. Minimal noise and a clear sound is what I want for my recordings, not aiming for studio quality. So should i consider getting a good external soundcard or a good audio interface?
    "Technically, I'm not a guitar player. All I play is truth and emotion." - Jimi Hendrix

  2. #2

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    i thought audio interface = external soundcard. unless you meant internal audio interface like those PCMCIA kind. then should look into echoaudio heheh. i'm using presonus firebox with my laptop
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  3. #3

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    There are lots of firewire and USB audio interfaces. Echo, Presonus, M-audio etc etc.

    PCMCIA/Expresscard from Echo (indigo) is not recommended for recording - the input is a 1/8" jack. RME also has an expresscard interface connected to their Multiface and Digiface. But that's probably beyond your budget.

  4. #4

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    I remember seeing some external soundcard for laptops, maybe I see wrongly.

    So the internal soundcard of the laptop won't matter if I used an audio interface?
    "Technically, I'm not a guitar player. All I play is truth and emotion." - Jimi Hendrix

  5. #5

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    oh my bad for the bad recommendation . yeah, it doesn't matter whats your internal soundcard cos audio interface is like "external soundcard" , but either "USB/Firewire" etc. once you set your DAW to record/playback through that "external soundcard/audiointerface" it doesn't matter. so your best shot is something like a Zoom H4n? what instruments are you recording?
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  6. #6

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    thanks blueprint! I am recording guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals. The setup is for home recording demos. The instruments will be recorded "plug in, no micing involved except for vocals.
    "Technically, I'm not a guitar player. All I play is truth and emotion." - Jimi Hendrix

  7. #7

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    Mobius : your situation is very similar to http://soft.com.sg/forum/gear-sound/...me-studio.html

    read the thread and decide whether you want upgradability (Presonus Firebox , FIREWIRE ONLY but with midi and 4 inputs) or costefficientabilitionalizationaly (Zoom H4n, USB, but no midi)

    Presonus Firebox
    your situation, keyboards = midi , guitars DI , Bass DI . vocals (get a seperate preamp + mic like AT2020) so you can actually choose to "live jam" record a rough before layering. then again watch make sure your PC/Mac has the power to handle all these at once (at 16bit 44.1khz usually should be ok for today's desktops)

    H4n =
    pretty much can only layer, but should you choose to cut cost and use onboard mics for vocals it's fine too.then this is pretty much all you need ,but keyboards no midi. via analog input.
    [Check out the stuff I put up for sale starting from Free/$1 !]
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  8. #8

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    Sorry to hijack!

    I recently got myself a Line 6 UX2 guitar/vocal audio interface. I have been using my own guitar amp as monitors for the UX2 and it sounds really awesome.

    However recording the same stuff I am hearing through the computer comes out slightly less clear and defined, sounding a little muffled compared to what I hear from the amp monitor. This has been giving me the impression that maybe my internal soundcard plays a part in the recording process as well..

    I am using a UX2 into the computer through USB, and then Audacity for recording.

    I believe that this set up is not the best but is I am actually contented with what I am getting. The issue now is whether my internal soundcard matters. When my computer takes in the signal from my UX2 for recording, or during conversion of file format from wav to mp3, doesn't the internal soundcard play a part?

    Or anyone has any tips on getting a clearer recording? Thanks!

  9. #9

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    you UX2 becomes your external soundcard replacement instead of your onboard.

    if I were to rephrase your situation into this :

    guitar > line6 ux2 > PC > Audacity recorded > DAW playback > PC > ux2 > output to amp monitor "speakers" > your amp's speaker cone > your ears.

    notice the "colouring" of WHAT YOU HEAR is at your "speakers/amp speaker cone" stage.
    WHAT YOU RECORDED is only UX2 DI (direct in)

    this is why people prefer to mike up their amps instead. but then again good mics/miking position/preamp,audio interface/mixing will vary results.

    but if your recorded signal is ux2, and the playback through the same amp settings it should replicate the exact sound but yet it produces a "muffled" effect, then probably something else is tampering with your output.
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  10. #10

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    Thanks for all the input! Think I will settle for the tascam 122L or Tascam 122l MkII. Just pray that they are compatible with windows 7
    "Technically, I'm not a guitar player. All I play is truth and emotion." - Jimi Hendrix

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