The Ultimate Recording Gear & Accessories Thread
Well since there is a ultimate guitar thread, an ultimate gear thread and an ultimate bass thread i think there should be an ultimate recording accessories thread. Include any accessory items you might think of that you've either tested out yourself or own.
Here's what to include in your post:
Name of Item
Who It Is Made By
Why You Like It
Well get going!
Keep it clean - it is stickied
Spam, unrelated posts, or posts that simply do not have enough/relavant information, or give a poor review will be deleted.
Please keep this thread filled with posts STRICTLY about recording gear. Questions can be asked in PMs. Once again, unrelated posts, WILL be deleted.
The E-Mu Emulator X
Pros: Exceptionally clean recordings and everything you could ever want in a sound card and then some.
Cons: Steep learning curve applying all the patches and everything else that comes with the card.
Street Price: $299.99 (you don't want to know how much I paid... they practically gave it to me)
Specs: General Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 96, 192kHz from internal crystal or externally supplied clock (no sample rate conversion)
Bit Depths: 24-bit I/O, 32-bit processing
- PCI 2.2 Compliant
- Form Factor: Universal Keyed, Short PCI Card
- 3.3V I/O, 5V Tolerant
- PCI Bus-Mastering DMA subsystem reduces CPU usage
E-MU E-DSP? 32-bit DSP with 67-bit accumulator (double precision w/ 3 headroom bits)
Hardware-accelerated, 32 channel mixing, and multi-effects processing
Zero-latency direct hardware monitoring w/effects
ASIO 2.0, Stereo WDM/MME/DirectSound Drivers
EDI (E-MU Digital Interface) proprietary 64 channel audio link over CAT-5 cable
Anti-Pop speaker protection minimizes noise during power on/off
Ultra-low jitter, clock subsystem: < 1 ns in PLL mode (44.1kHz, Opt. S/PDIF Sync)
Analog Line Inputs (2) Type: servo-balanced, DC-coupled, low-noise input circuitry
A/D converter: AK5394A
Level (software selectable):
- Professional: +4dBu nominal, 20dBu max (balanced)
- Consumer: -10dBV nominal, 6dBV max (unbalanced)
Frequency Response (20Hz - 20kHz): +/- .05dB
Dynamic Range (1kHz, A-weighted): 120dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted): 120dB
THD+N (1kHz at -1dBFS): -110dB (.0003%)
Stereo Crosstalk (1kHz at -1dBFS): < -115dB
Analog Line Outputs (2) Type: Balanced, low-noise, 3-pole low-pass differential filter
D/A converter: CS4398
Level (software selectable):
- Professional: +4dBu nominal, 20dBu max (balanced)
- Consumer: -10dBV nominal, 6dBV max (unbalanced)
Frequency Response (20Hz - 20kHz): + 0.0/-.35dB,
Dynamic Range (1kHz, A-weighted): 120dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted): 120dB
THD+N (1kHz at -1dBFS): -105dB (.0006%)
Stereo Crosstalk (1kHz at -1dBFS): < -115dB
Digital I/O S/PDIF:
- 2 in/2 out coaxial (transformer coupled)
- 2 in/2 out optical (software switched at ADAT)
- AES/EBU or S/PDIF format (software selectable)
- 8 channels, 24-bit @ 44.1/48kHz
- 4 channels, 24-bit @ 96kHz (S-MUX compatible)
- 2 channels, 24-bit @ 192kHz
- 1 in, 1 out
- 400 Mbps 1394a port (6-pin)
- Compatible with DV cameras, storage peripherals, etc.
Synchronization Internal crystal sync at 44.1, 48, 96, 192kHz
External sample rate sync via
- ADAT (44.1 - 192kHz)
- S/PDIF (opt. or coax 44.1 - 96kHz)
Retail Box Contents
E-MU 1010 PCI card & E-MU 0202 I/O daughter card (the exact same as the 1212)
I/O card cable
Mini-DIN MIDI adapter cables
Quick Start installation guide
E-MU Digital Audio Systems CD-ROM
- Windows 2000 and XP Drivers
- E-MU PatchMix DSP
- E-MU Power FX
- E-MU E-DSP Effects Library
- Owner's Manual and Tutorials
E-MU Production Tools Software Bundle CD-ROM
- Cakewalk SONAR
- Steinberg Cubase
- Ableton Live 4 for E-MU
- Steinberg Wavelab
- IK Multimedia AmpliTube
- IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ
- Minnetonka diskWelder BRONZE
- SFX Machine
- E-MU Proteus X (over 1000 sounds included)
Emulator X is a 24-bit/192kHz software sampler for Windows XP and 2000. You can run the Emulator X 1.5 software as a VST instrument within your favorite sequencer application or standalone, from RAM or streaming from hard disk. Emulator X 1.5 is the culmination of over 30 years of sampler and synthesizer development, offering musicians and sound designers the sampling technologies, powerful DSP and pristine sound quality of E-MU's hardware samplers with the latest disk streaming, file management and graphical interface advantages of software.
Massive Sound Library Included
The Emulator X 1.5 Software Update ships with over 2GB of sounds including: Proteus Composer (1024 Original Presets from Proteus 2000 Sound Module)
E-MU General MIDI
Hip Hop Producer
Saint Thomas Strings (Symphonic Strings)
Studio Grand Piano (1.6GB)
Beat Shop 1 (Studio Drum Sounds, Grooves, Fills)
This stunning collection of sounds provides the essential 'sound tools' for any composer or producer.
Automated sample acquisition and preset creation
Emulator X 1.5 makes sampling as easy as loading a preset by offering intelligent, automated sampling and preset creation from both external audio and batch files, allowing you to turn a .WAV file into a fully functioning preset in seconds with a single click of your mouse.
Advanced synthesis architecture
No software sampler can match the depth of the Emulator X 1.5 synthesis engine, with 36 patchcords per voice, over 50 patented Z-Plane morphing filters, multi- wave LFO's, conditional voice modulation, clock modulation and a host of other synthesis features and parameters. You can even save your favorite synth setups as templates for quick editing.
Standalone or VSTi operation
You can use Emulator X 1.5 as a VSTi instrument within your favorite sequencer program or run it standalone for maximum system performance.
RAM and Streaming playback
Emulator X 1.5 offers you playback from both RAM and hard disk for total flexibility in optimizing the performance of your system.
Integrated waveform editor
Emulator X 1.5 provides you with a host of professional DSP tools that you've come to expect from E-MU (i.e. Gain Change, Time Compression/Expansion, Reverse, Pitch Change, Sample Calculation w/automatic digital tuning, etc.), giving you total control over your samples.
Comprehensive sound format support
Emulator X 1.5 supports EOS, EIII, GigaSampler, Akai, HALion, EXS24, SoundFont 2.1, .WAV and many more sound formats- ships with over 2GB of sounds.
You owe it to yourself to add this card to your system!
Event Studio Precision 8 Active Studio Monitor
Pros: Clean, clear crisp and uncolored reproduction of your mix.
Cons: Had to tweak them to get a good bass response, but it was done quickly and easily.
Street Price: $650.00 USD per monitor, so... $1,300.00 per pair... but you would die if you know what I bought them for... brand spankin' new in the box!
Low Frequency Driver:
Magnetically shielded 8" mineral-filled polypropylene cone with neodymium
magnet, 1-1/2" diameter high-temperature voice coil, and damped rubber surround
High Frequency Driver:
Magnetically shielded 1" diameter ferrofluid-cooled soft dome neodymium radiator
Frequency Response: 35Hz - 20kHz, ±3dB, ref. 500Hz
Amplifier Power: Biamplified, 280 Watts; 200W LF driver/80W HF driver;
Crossover: 2.6kHz, active asymmetrical fourth-order
ASP8 (Active): Continuously variable input sensitivity; continuously variable high frequency trim; continuously variable low frequency trim; switchable 80Hz second-order high pass filter
Inputs: Balanced XLR and 1/4"
Indicators: Power-on/Clip LED
Protection: RF interference, output current limiting, over temperature, turn on/off transient, subsonic filter, internal fuse, magnetic shielding
Dimensions & Weight:12.5"W x 16" H x 11.875" D; 32.5 lbs (each)(each)
The first time I listened to a pair of these monitors, I shook my head in disbelief... then I broke out in a smile. I've seen it happen before: People just can't believe that they're hearing a sound so big and so alive coming from direct field monitors. But my ears don't lie. These monitors deliver a sound that's much wider, much deeper, much more defined, and packed with much more low-end punch than any other direct field monitor I've ever heard. Simply put, they far exceeded my expectations... and by a huge margin.
You see, Event's engineers wanted to deliver the ultimate direct field monitor. They wanted to come up with a totally new design that would surpass anything they had done to date. A design that would cause recording musicians around the world to sit up and truly take notice. In short, a design that would bring a whole new dimension to the direct field monitoring experience.
So that's what they did. Sure, it took them two-and-a-half years. But, hey, they had to start from scratch.
Continuously variable trim controls and a switchable 80Hz high pass filter let you perfectly match the Studio Precision's response to your control room.
Tight, Punchy, In-Your-Chest Low End
First on the engineering agenda was enhancing the low frequency response. The attack was three-pronged: new low frequency drivers, new cabinets, and new bass ports.
Custom-designed in every aspect, the drivers deliver a whole new level of performance, in part through the use of neodymium magnets. Neodymium is a rare earth material at the forefront of loudspeaker technology. It produces a significantly higher magnetic energy than conventional ceramic magnets. This allows the creation of a "supercharged" driver motor that provides for lower distortion and a much greater level of output efficiency... that is, more output per watt than woofers designed with traditional magnets.
The cabinets themselves were carefully designed to deliver deep low frequency response yet be small enough to fit comfortably into today's modern recording environments. Larger studios can use the 8" models to fill the room with enough heart-pounding sound to impress even those "I want you to rock me" guys, and smaller studios can do the same with no compromise in performance. All of the cabinets are constructed from 3/4" MDF (precision-milled to 0.005" tolerance), which insures that the sound emanating from the speakers is pure and clean?free from artificial tones created by unwanted cabinet resonance.
An obvious distinguishing feature of the front baffle is the dual port design. The ports may just look like a couple of holes, but they are much, much more. They are the reason that you can truly feel the tremendous low frequency response... not just hear it. The real story lies beyond the front-baffle holes, inside the cabinet itself. Ready for a little speaker design theory? Here we go: Bass ports are incorporated in monitors to provide extended low frequency response. They help move the significant amount of air required to accurately reproduce low frequency material. For optimum performance, a port tube should be straight, which means its length is limited by the depth of the cabinet. (Physics dictate that it would be very difficult to have a 9" port tube sit inside a cabinet that was only 8" deep.)
The elliptical backplate of the soft dome radiator hints at the expansive soundscape the high frequency driver produces.
The low frequency drivers feature exceptionally low distortion characteristics, and deliver more output per watt than traditional driver designs.
But Event's engineers came up with an ingenious port design that's unique to these monitors that literally "bends" Mother Nature's rules. The design, which they cleverly dubbed "dual large-diameter linear-flow bass ports," gives them low frequency response that is simply unparalleled in small footprint direct field monitors.
The unique port design allows for exceptional low frequency coupling into the room, low distortion output, and superior low frequency transient response. And since the ports are front mounted, the speakers can be placed near walls without restricting the ports' air flow.
So what's it all mean? In practical terms, it means that these monitors will reproduce percussive and bass instruments without introducing new overtones or artificially-hyped frequencies. Put another way: You get true, accurate, powerful low end.
Soaring Highs, Expansive Soundscape
All Event monitors feature soft dome high frequency drivers. The reason is simple: The soft dome design helps to prevent the ear fatigue associated with metal-domed tweeters. Sothey took the soft dome model and began developing a new driver that would deliver truly superior performance.
After months and months of design work and critical listening, they emerged from the lab with a magnetically shielded 1" diameter ferrofluid-cooled soft half-dome neodymium radiator. Whazzat? Some might say it's just a fancy name for a tweeter. But technically speaking, we call it a radiator because it produces a broad, flat radiation pattern that doesn't require corrective equalization (which adds tonal coloration and robs an amplifier of headroom). The shape of the radiator's backplate hints at the expanded (make that enormous) stereo soundstage it produces. And the imaging is unsurpassed, with even subtle panning movements easily discernable.
Now combine the radiator's tremendous off-axis frequency and phase response with its like-performing low frequency driver counterpart, and you end up with a very large sweet spot?so the mix position can be truly personal or shared with the whole band and the producer.
These puppies pump out 280 watts per speaker (200 watts RMS LF driver / 80 watts RMS HF driver). You'll always have plenty of headroom for even the most demanding applications. The amplifier circuitry itself, which is custom-designed for the driver components, features low noise semiconductors and audio-grade film capacitors, giving the system enhanced dynamic range as well as very low noise and low distortion characteristics. The amps are powered by toroidal transformers, which results in significantly reduced mechanical and electrical noise.
Continuously variable low and high frequency trim controls are provided, so you can precisely tune the speaker to your room acoustics. Also included is a continuously variable input sensitivity control, and a switchable 80Hz high pass filter?the latter an indispensable bass management tool in surround-sound applications. For easy connection, these monitors sport both balanced XLR and 1/4" inputs.
No More Guesswork
You've probably spent way too many hours mixing on monitors that required you to compensate for sonic inaccuracies. Sure, you could go on guessing how much bass is really there. Or missing that vocal pop. Or living with a guitar that's a bit buried. But wouldn't you rather mix with every bit of sound... from thundering low end to subtle imaging nuances which are precisely laid out before you? Wouldn't you rather have complete confidence that your mixes will sound great when they get out into the real world?
These monitors deliver that and then some. So put yourself in front of a pair, and experience what it's like to hear your mix for the first time.
Trust me, You'll hear everything.
M-Audio Audiophile 2496
I still have this card, but I've pulled it out of my office system and replaced it with the Emulator X shown above, but... seeing as no one else has the gónadas to even try posting about their own stuff... here's another one for you.
2 x 2 analog I/O
S/PDIF digital I/O with 2-channel PCM
SCMS copy protection control
digital I/O supports surround-encoded AC-3 and DTS pass-through
1 x 1 MIDI I/O
software controlled 36-bit internal DSP digital mixing/routing
gold-plated RCA jacks
Apple G5 compatible - Incompatible exceptions
includes Ableton Live Lite 4 music production software, so you can make music right away
frequency response: 22Hz-22kHz, -0.4, +/-0.4dB
dynamic range: 104dB (A-weighted) (D/A) 100.4dB (A-weighted) (A/D)
THD: < 0.002%
size/weight: 5-1/4? x 5? x 7/8?; 0.2 lbs.
Mac OS X Core Audio / Core MIDI
Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 (SP4) / XP (SP1)
For 96kHz operation: Pentium III 500mHz w/ 128MB RAM
For 48kHz operation: Pentium II 400 w/ 64MB RAM
G3* 500MHz with OS 9.2.2, 128MB RAM
G4* 500MHz with OS X 10.1.5, 10.2.6 or greater, 256MB RAM
OMS 2.3.8 for MIDI under OS 9.2.2
Decent recording properties with the right equipment and the price is cheap.
Not enough ins and outs for my tastes, but again, if you have the right setup, it'll take whatever you can throw at it.
Sreet Price: $100.00 brand new
Compatible with ProTools M-Powered Software
The Audiophile 2496 is an all-in-one high fidelity soundcard solution for a wide variety of applications, ranging from multitrack recording to computer-based home theatre. Analog I/O is available on RCA jacks, utilizing the same professional 24-bit 96kHz conversion as the Delta 44 and Delta 66 cards. S/PDIF I/O and MIDI I/O provide connectivity to both digital devices and the world of MIDI. The Audiophile 2496 includes a powerful digital mixer/router, and control over SCMS (Serial Copy Management System). Delta cards support all computer platforms and major software programs.
Samson Resolv 50a
Even more... come on guys... someone else out there must have something to talk about!
Cheap, decent and coloration is minimal
Can't get any punchy low end out of them, but they do have the Samson Resolv 2.1, but I still didn't like them enough to buy them. Click me to read about the Resolv 2.1
Dual power amp (50 watts low and 20 watts high)
5.25" polypropylene butyl surround woofer
1" ferro-fluid filled titanium tweeter
1/4" and RCA inputs
Ported, tuned cabinet
Wall mountable (with optional bracket)
Sold in stereo pairs
Street Price: $239.00 USD
M-Audio Firewire 410 recording interface
M- Audio Firewire 410 recording interface
Pros: super compatible, alllows you to link together more than one, really accurate transfer, controls latency issues.
some distortion, but not too bad.
8 analog outs
2 analog ins
gold plated jacks and connectors
windows 95, 98, 2000, or ME; Pentium III 500 MHz and 128MB of PC100 RAM for 96kHz operation
Pentium II 400 and 64MB of SDRAM for 48kHz operation
System requirements Mac: MacOS 8.6 or higher; G4 or G3; 128MB RAM for 96kHz operation; 64MB RAM for 48kHz operation
Price: $300 USD
Roland - VS-2400CD Digital Studio Workstation
Pros: You name it, its got it
Cons: None except maybe its a bit pricey and the hard dive is a little small when you consider the price.
* Self-contained 24-track/24-bit/96kHz recording workstation with onboard effects, CD-RW drive and 40GB hard disk
* 24-track playback; Up to 16-track simultaneous recording with 384 V-Tracks*
* 48-channel, fully automated digital mixer with 13 motorized faders
* VGA Monitor output for fast, software-style editing with mouse
* Intuitive drag-and-drop editing via included mouse and optional ASCII keyboard
* New RSS 3-D panning creates a 3-Dimensional sound field for mixing
* V-LINK function for synchronizing or controlling Edirol video equipment
* Premium analog components including 8 XLR/balanced TRS inputs and Hi-Z input
* Import .WAV/AIFF files direct from CD-ROM; export files in .WAV format
* 2 stereo effects (expandable to 4 stereo, 8 mono) including COSM? Mic, Speaker and Guitar Amp Modeling, plus Mastering Tool Kit
* 8-channel R-BUS port for expandable I/O in a variety of analog/digital formats
*To record 16 tracks simultaneously, an additional R-BUS device must be used to expand the available inputs.
Street Price $2,500.00 USD
The VS-2400CD Digital Studio Workstation brings professional 24-track recording and CD burning to a new low price. This compact recording workstation inherits many features from the flagship VS-2480CD - like premium analog components, motorized faders and a VGA Monitor output for powerful software control - while adding new features of its own such as RSS 3-D panning and V-LINK for integrating Edirol video products. Onboard effects and an internal CD drive let you mix, master and burn like a pro.
When 16 Tracks Aren't Enough
Let's face it: 16 tracks are great, but 24 tracks are even better. With the VS-2400CD, you can record and play back up to 24 tracks in pristine 24-bit sound. That's enough room for an individually miked drum set, along with guitar, bass and plenty of vocals. And with 384 Virtual Tracks, you'll never have to settle for just one take. And for those who want the ultimate in sound quality, the VS-2400CD supports multitrack recording at 96kHz.
*At sampling rates of 96kHz, maximum 8-track recording is possible.
Flexible 48-Channel Mixing w/ Motorized Faders
More than just a recorder, the VS-2400CD is a full-blown 48-channel digital mixer. These channels consist of the 16-channel Input mixer, 24-channel Track mixer and eight effect returns. How do you keep them all straight? That's where the 13 motorized faders come in. Just select which channels you want to mix and the faders instantly snap to the proper position. It couldn't be easier!
Works Like the Popular VS-2480
Ask any VS-2480 owner and they'll likely tell you what a pleasure it is to use. That's because the operating system is based on years of knowledge gained from products dating back to the original VS-880. And now this same easy-to-use interface can be found in the VS-2400CD. Just follow the graphic icons to quickly navigate menus, while taking advantage of intuitive drag-and-drop editing using the mouse. You can even connect an optional VGA monitor for true software-style control.
New RSS 3-D Panning and Onboard Effects
A new RSS Panning function provides dedicated 3-D panning without complicated editing. Using this function, you can create a 3-D sound field with up to six mono sources and write it into the Automix. The VS-2400CD also sports dedicated 4-band EQ and dynamics on 32 channels, plus two stereo effects processors with 36 high-quality Roland/BOSS algorithms. These include everything from reverb and delay to Lo-Fi and vocoder effects, plus guitar amp modeling, mic modeling and mastering tools. Two additional stereo effects can be added via an optional VS8F-2 Effects Expansion Board.
Burns CDs and the Competition
With a low-profile CD burner built-in, the VS-2400CD has everything you need to take your song from idea to completion. First mix down your tracks (along with any live inputs) to an open pair of tracks. Then add the final touch using the Mastering Tool Kit with multi-band compression and burn your 2-track master to CD. The CD-RW drive can also be used to import .WAV files directly into a song - great for loading loops from sampling CDs!
Expandable I/O and V-LINK
If you need additional inputs, simply connect using the 8-channel R-BUS port. For example, the VS-2400CD can be connected with another VS-2400CD, VS-2480 or even to a computer with the RPC-1 R-BUS Interface Card. This allows you to expand input channels and recording tracks, or exchange eight channels of 2-way audio and MIDI data between your V-Studio and a PC. And with V-LINK, musicians can trigger video clips by creating MIDI events on any of the VS-2400CD's recording tracks, or use the V-Fader function to control video parameters such as color balance and brightness.
Fast Track by M-Audio
Fast Track by M-Audio
Pros- Easy to use, runs USB so no installing into your computer
Cons- latency issues while listening to what you are recording, cannot do stereo inputs
Street Price- 100 USD
Ins and Outs-
1 XLR input
1 1/4" input (switchable line or instrument)
1 USB port for computer connectivity
1 1/8? output for headphones
Stereo RCA outputs
easy to connect and use
professional 24-bit/48kHz sound
dynamic microphone input (XLR) with gain control and signal LEDs
switchable instrument/line input (1/4?)
stereo headphone output (1/8?)
stereo output jacks (RCA)
level control for headphones and main outputs
compatible with GarageBand and most other music software
USB class-compliant (OS X 10.3.5 and higher) for plug-and-play operation
direct hardware monitoring for synchronized overdubs
mono switch sends input signal equally to left and right channels
includes GT Player Express software:
? professional effects
? guitar amp and stomp box modeling
? plays standard audio files with variable speed playback
? standalone operation, ReWire or VST plug-in
sample rates 44.1kHz and 48kHz
dimensions 5.5" x 4.25" x 1.75' (14 x 10.8 x 4.5 cm)
weight .45 lbs (.2 kg)
max input -2.2dBu (0.6 Vrms), min. gain
signal to noise ratio -100dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted), min. gain
dynamic range 100dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted), min. gain
THD + N 0.0053%, 1kHz, -1dBFS @ 48kHz, min. gain
frequency response +0.08 / -0.12dB, 22Hz to 22kHz @ 48kHz, min. gain
available gain 45dB
input impedance 1M Ohms
input (guitar setting)
max input +3.2dBV (1.5 Vrms)
signal to noise ratio -97dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
dynamic range 97dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
THD + N 0.0049%, 1kHz, -1dBFS @ 48kHz
frequency response +0.00 / -0.45dB, 22Hz to 22kHz @ 48kHz
input impedance 500K Ohms
input (line setting)
max input +2.3dBV (1.3 Vrms)
signal to noise ratio -98dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
dynamic range 98dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
THD + N 0.0045%, 1kHz, -1dBFS @ 48kHz
frequency response +0.01 / -0.35dB, 22Hz to 22kHz @ 48kHz
input impedance 20K Ohms (bal.), 10K Ohms (unbal.)
max output +2dBV (1.2 Vrms)
signal to noise ratio -105dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
dynamic range 105dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
THD + N 0.0039%, 1kHz, -1dBFS @ 48kHz
frequency response +0.03 / -0.15dB, 22Hz to 22kHz @ 48kHz
crosstalk -100dB, 1kHz, channel-to-channel
output impedance 240 Ohms
max output (@ 32-ohms) -2 dBV (0.8 Vrms)
signal to noise ratio -102dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
dynamic range 102dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
THD + N 0.0395%, 1kHz, -1dBFS @ 48kHz
frequency response +0.05 / -0.20dB, 22Hz to 22kHz @ 48kHz
crosstalk -80dB, 1kHz, channel-to-channel
output impedance Less than 1 Ohm
headphone impedance 32 to 600 Ohms recommended
Mac OS X Core Audio
Windows XP (SP1)
Pentium II 350 w/ 64MB RAM
G3* 300MHz/G4* 350MHz
OS X 10.2.8 or greater, 128MB RAM
* native USB port required; G3/G4 accelerator cards not supported
This is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems, and is portable so you can use it with multiple computers (obviously not at the same time). It has 24-bit/48 kHz sound, which the box claims is professional. The microphone input level is controllable so you can boost the signal of weaker mics while turning down stronger ones. There is an LED to show when the hub is receiving input, and another to show when the mic is peaking (so you can avoid clipping).
The only real problem I have had with this so far is that there is a slight delay when you are trying to play and listen to your playing through the headphone port. The manual says that you should turn down the knob that controls input vs. playback on the headphone out so you don?t have that problem. This way you can listen to what is playing on your computer without listening to the slightly delayed signal of your playing at the same time. The only other issue I see this product having is that it cannot record in stereo. If you are planning to record a stereo instrument such as keyboards this is not for you, you will want something with stereo inputs.
The Fast Track also comes with some software that looks cool enough, but I have never used it so I?m not sure about it. The software is mostly digital stomp boxes for your computer, and some things that are supposed to look like rack units and can play back audio at speed or slow it down, as well as record. I have never used this software so I have no idea of the quality of anything or how well it works.
I like using this because it is very simple to hook up and use. It sounds pretty good when I mic my amp, and I have yet to try the line in but I?m sure that it would sound good as well. It is great for recording jam sessions by just putting a mic in the middle of the room, hooking the fast track to a laptop and just hitting record. The portability and control over each input and output are the things I like most. If you are looking into buying something so you can mic your amp, record vocals, or just have a portable mic hookup for jam sessions, this is something that you should look into.
Ego-Sys WaveTerminal 192X
Ego-Sys WaveTerminal 192X
Pros: Excellent card to get that true professional production from.
Cons: None that I can think of at all.. except that they're not in production anymore, but I have 3 of them myself
Street Price: around $500 a card if I remember correctly, but I did find one place that might still stock a few of the and they're selling them for $229.00 USD.
High quality 24bit 192kHz A/DC; 123dB Dynamic range
High quality 24bit 192kHz D/AC; 106dB Dynamic range
Analog 2In/6Out;+4dBu bal 1/4" 2ch In/+4dBu 1/4" 3stereo Out
24bit 96kHz Optical digital out
Supports Multiple cards in one computer system
Full Duplex;Simultaneous Record/Playback
Uses 32bit PCI slot; PCI Bus-Mastering support
Supports multiple Sampling Rates :
16, 22, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz
Supports the EWDM driver: Multiple MME, Multiple Direct sound,
ASIO 2.0 and GigaStudio support
OS: MS Windows XP/2000/ME/98SE & MAC OS 10.x
Optional add-on card MI/ODI/O
Intended for serious recording, this card has a 2-in/8-out Interface, with a 24-bit/96kHz S/PDIF stereo optical digital output, boasting no-compromise 24-bit/192kHz A/D and 24-bit/192kHz D/A converters. Among the standard features are simultaneous record/playback and support for Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 surround formats. The optional MI/ODI/O add-on card (sold separately) expands the 192X's capabilities with 24-bit/96kHz S/PIDIF Optical (TosLink) Input and Coaxial I/O, along with a 1-in/1-out MIDI interface.
The purity of the 24-bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters is phenominal. The card has A/D converters designed to handle up to 123dB; More dynamic range than any other converters in the world. It also fully supports the DVD-Audio Standard with its true 24-bit/192kHz resolution.
It supports Windows XP and Mac OS X. For PC, it is designed to work with ESI's unique and powerful E-WDM driver for perfect compatibility with Windows XP, 2000, ME, and 98SE, offering ultra low-latency performance with all popular digital audio software applications including Nuendo, Cubase, Gigastudio, Cakewalk, Sonar and Logic. In fact, any software that fully supports Windows XP will support the E-WDM driver.
Real World Tests generated by RightMark Audio Analyzer 4.2:
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.04, -0.24 Very good
Noise level, dB (A): -105.3 Excellent
Dynamic range, dB (A): 102.1 Excellent
THD, %: 0.0053 Very good
IMD, %: 0.0043 Excellent
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -98.8 Excellent
Frequency range - Response
From 20 Hz to 20 kHz, dB -0.69, +0.04
From 40 Hz to 15 kHz, dB -0.24, +0.04
Noise Level Parameters - Left - Right
RMS power, dB: -101.6 -101.6
RMS power (A-weighted), dB: -105.3 -105.2
Peak level, dB FS: -87.5 -87.6
DC offset, %: 0.00 0.00
Dynamic Range Parameter - Left - Right
Dynamic range, dB: +100.3 +100.4
Dynamic range (A-weighted), dB: +102.1 +102.2
DC offset, %: 0.00 0.00
THD + Noise (at -3 dB FS) Parameter - Left - Right
THD, %: 0.006 0.005
THD + Noise, %: 0.006 0.005
THD + Noise (A-weighted), %: 0.008 0.007
Intermodulation Distortion Parameter - Left - Right
IMD + Noise, %: 0.004 0.004
IMD + Noise (A-weighted), %: 0.004 0.003
Stereo Crosstalk Parameter ~ L<-R ~ L->R
Crosstalk at 100 Hz, dB: -94 -94
Crosstalk at 1 kHz, dB: -98 -96
Crosstalk at 10 kHz, dB: -97 -97
PHONIC MU802 Mixer
-A small mixer used to record 2-3 people at once.
-Phantom power for condenser mics.
-No enough mic imputs for a whole band recording.
-Only one fader controll knob used to control the master output signal.
-Only one level meter used for showing the level of the master output signal.
Price: - 70-100$
* Two balanced Mic/Line inputs
* Two stereo Line inputs
* 3-band EQ on every channel
* Mini Stereo I/O and stereo RCA I/O each with trim control
* Post-fader EFX send on every input
* One stereo AUX return
* +48V Global Phantom Power
* Stereo EFX Send cue for monitoring individual channel in stereo image
* Mono/Stereo switch on main mix for checking mono system playback
* Peak and VU Metering
* Peak indicators on each mono input channel
* Separate Mix, CTRL RM and Headphones outputs
* Balanced master output with 60 mm fader control
My oppinion: I am mostly using this mixer as my mic preamp for ShureSM57 which I use for recording electric guitar. I also use it for recording guitar and keyboard at the same time. When I was buying a mixer I was looking for something small and cheap. And this thing came right in my eyes. Two mic imputs are more than enough for me at this time, and I use the two line in imputs for conecting my computer and keyboard. It was cheaper than a behringer mixer with exacly the same capability. I really like the srtucture of this thing, because it's small and simple. At first, I thought "Look at all these knobs!" But than, I read the manual once or twice and now, I know exactly what each button does. So If you are looking for a small mixer for recording 1-4 persons at the same time, this is a really affortable and usable mixer for you.
- They don't distort loud music
-their a pretty pimp color.
- came with two cables
- They are expensive
I just got them on Thursday(It's sunday), so if I find anything else I like or don't, I'll edit it.
(as written on the package)
Frequency range: 10-25,000Hz
Impedance: 75 ohm
Sound pressure level: 95dB
Driver: 40mm gold-plated
Weight: 295g (without cord)
2 detachable cables: one straight (9.85'), one coiled (9.85') with gold-plated jacks 1/4"
and gold-plated adapters (1/4" and 7/50")
Spare pair of speed-switch ear pads
S-Logic Natural Surround Sound
MU Metal bufferboard, reduced field emissions in accordance with ULE standard
As of yet, they aren't worth the money, but I got them for free so I'm not complaining. They do what they are supposed to. Compared to my last headphones, which I paid about $60 USD for, these things are amazing.
Here something to think about...
There's a Sam Ash very close to my home and I pass it every day going to and coming home from work. I've been looking for a mic that can handle more than that damned Shure SM57 that everyone here seems to love. Hell... I have a few of them myself.
So I turn in and park. Go in the store... not really expecting to find much of anything under $100.00 that can come close to the SM57. I turn on the power amp... level all of the inputs on the mixer and start goofing off with every freking mic there that's $130.00 and lower.
Needless to say, I'm a "regular" in this particular store and they'll let me play around with most anything there without blinking an eye... so my cranking on the amp and fooling with the mixer and the mic's wasn't any problem. I guess that my age, the amout of crap I've bought from them and the fact that I don't break anything sort of helps out in that department.
So I have 16 different mic's all lined up and I'm poking, prodding, talking into them, playing an acoustic into them and everything else you can think of... short of mic'ing an amp'ed electric guitar up to them.
This one particular mic stood out above all the rest. It beat them all hands down and the price was right. $89.00 USD.
Here's the specs:
Samson - Q7 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
The Q7 dynamic microphone brings a high level of audio performance and accuracy to vocal miking applications thanks to its low mass, neodymium element.
The Q7 is a hand held, dynamic microphone that excels in both live performance and recording applications. Equipped with a linear frequency response for superior reproduction, it is also designed to withstand high sound pressure levels. Extremely sensitive, it employs a tight super cardioid pattern to reduce feedback. A special shock-mounted element minimizes handling noise and provides additional protection.
The Samson Q7 utilizes state-of-the-art microphone technology and is engineered to the finest detail.
Ultra-sensitive neodimium element picks up all of the nuances of any performance.
Tight super cardioid polar pattern minimizes feedback problems and effectively rejects signals not originating directly in front of the mic capsule
Extended range frequency response for optimum reproduction and exceptionally clear, crisp sound.
Special shock-mounting allows movement of the mic element and greatly reduces handling noise.
Rugged zinc alloy die-cast case ensures reliable performance in even the most demanding environments.
The Q7 can be mounted on any standard microphone stand (using the included mic clip).
Withstands high SPLs lending itself to a wide range of miking situations
Included foam-lined, impact resistant carrying case for convenience when transporting the Q7 microphone from venue to venue.
Gold-plated XLR Connector.
After reading so much about these mic's and the low price for them, I decided to give them a test run.
The 990 is smooth and sultry, rather well balanced, good for vocals and mic'ing amps. Its range doesn't seem as broad and is easier to take on the heavy end recording jobs... IOW deeper low end.
The 991 is more suited for recording acoustics and is also well suited for vocals, but is a bit on the squealy feedback side if you don't watch the levels closely.
The price is easy on the wallet, but don't expect to get the sounds of a $500.00 mic out of them. This is a situation where you get what you pay for... but in a price/performace setting... they're hard to beat.
I decided to try using both the mic's at the same time for recording an acoustic set... and you would not believe the sound I got when I recorded the two channels. The 991 picked out nice clean highs, while the 990 grabbed almost every nuance of the bass end of my guitar. This is where the 2 mics shine. Put them together and you will get that "so close to real" sound that you will shake your head trying to figure out how you can get this from something so cheap.
The cost was $99.00 USD plus tax.
Keep in mind that these mics need 48v phantom power, so if you don't have a pre... or a mixer with phantom power.... these mics will not work for you.
Another thing is that the cardoid patterns these mics employ is pretty wide, so if you're not in a very quiet place, they'll pick up every little noise around. You also have to watch the levels as they will squeal (feedback) really quick... so much so that I swear it sounded like the mics were farting at one point.
Here's the specs:
The MXL 990 has changed the way project studio recordings are being created. Until now, condenser microphone prices have been out of the reach of most working musicians. Production breakthroughs have brought the MXL 990 into the price range of the home recording enthusiast. The 990 is a true, phantom powered, condenser microphone with a 6 micron, 20mm gold-sputtered diaphragm. The MXL 990 has a high quality FET preamp and its output is balanced.
Type: Condenser pressure gradient mic with large 20mm gold diaphragm capsule
Frequency Range: 30Hz ? 20kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
S/N Ratio: 80dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
Equivalent Noise Level: 20dB(A weighted IEC 268-4)
Max SPL for 0.5% THD: 130dB
Max SPL with -10dB cut: 130dB
Power Requirements: 48V Phantom Power (+- 4V)
Current Consumption: <3.0mA
Size: 60mm x 130mm
Weight: 1.2 lbs
Metal Finish: Champagne
The MXL 991 is a small profile instrument microphone designed for close guitar miking. It has a 6-micron, 20mm Gold-sputtered diaphragm delivering a wide cardiod pattern. It It exhibits a silky top end sound perfect for capturing the subtle nuances of acoustic guitar without the harshness associated with many widely utilized dynamic microphones. The 990 works equally well for overhead drum miking and for stereo recording when used in pairs.
Type: Condenser pressure gradient mic with 20mm diaphragm
Frequency Range: 30Hz ? 18kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
S/N Ratio: 78dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
Equivalent Noise Level: 20dB (A weighted IEC 268-4)
Max SPL for 0.5% THD: 137dB
Power Requirements: Phantom Power 48V ±4V
Current Consumption: <3.0mA
Size: 22mm x 134mm
Weight: 0.35 lbs
Metal Finish: Champagne
Here's a little update. Since I bought the mic's at Guitar Center, I decided to look into a new sub that I'm thinking about getting on their website. The front page of GC's website has the mic's bundled with a M-Audio "Audio Buddy" dual channel pre amp (solidstate=no tube warmth) for the same price as the mic's alone. Its a promotion, so if you're interested... get it quick before they stop selling the bundle.
If you wait, the "Audio Buddy" sells for $79.95 USD alone, but its free with this promotion!!!!
Seeing as I didn't get the Audio Buddy with the mic's, I called GC and asked why. "Bring in your receipt and get it" was what they told me. So now I've got that to play with too.
I haven't tried it out yet... so I'll update this after I crank it a few times and let you know what I think.
Here's the specs:
2 independent preamp channels, each featuring:
mic input (balanced XLR) with phantom power switch and indicator
high impedance instrument inputs (1/4?)
professional balanced/unbalanced line output
frequency response: 5Hz-50kHz, +0, -3dB
mic gain: 60dB maximum
mic input impedance: 1kOhm
guitar gain: 40dB maximum
guitar input impedance: 100kOhms
size and weight: 5-1/2? x 3-3/8? x 1-3/4?; less than 1/2 lb.
Okay. I've played with the little pre for a few hours and at first its a nice little pre, but after about 3 or 4 hours straight, I was getting a slight hum from it. Very slight, but I did notice it. Its not so much though that you should be able to eq it out of there, but I thought it should be mentioned. Considering that it was free... how can I fuss though.
It provides a straight 48v of phantom and will power both mic's easily, but my tube pre does a better job and just gives them a better all around sound. I will have to admit, though... for a solid state pre, I'm impressed with it. The hum was extremely minimal and only came in after hours of use.
The phantom power is switchable, so you can run dynamics through it.... it will also overdrive your guitar with a nice bit of crunch... but still not up to par with a tube pre.... but considering that you get 2 mic's and an "okay" pre for $99.00 USD... its a must have for the musician on a budget.
BTW, If you use the instrument line ins, it will cut the mic's line in, but you can run one electric guitar and one mic at the same time. If you turn the phantom power on, both XLR inputs are powered.
Its a great bargain. If you have the spare cash, I suggest you go and get one before the promotion is over.
Doesn't anybody else ever buy or try anything out... sheesh.
Anyway I had a chance to review this cheap soundcard for a local musician's rag. It was free for me, but the actual cost is shown below....
The Emu 404.
Pros: Plenty of ins and out, plus a multitude of cool effects to throw in the signal while recording.
Cons: Nowhere near as good as the M-Audio 2496 after recording. Its priced the same as the 2496 and I would recommend it over the 404 for sound quality alone.
Cost: $99.99 USD
Specs: (while they look better than the 2496, my ears could easily tell the difference)
The E-MU® 0404 Digital Audio System delivers everything you need to produce audio on a PC at a breakthrough price - pristine 24-bit/192kHz converters*, hardware-accelerated effects and mixing, and seamless compatibility with your favorite PC audio/sequencer software. The E-MU 0404 Digital Audio System offers the same hardware acceleration as the rest of E-MU's Digital Audio Systems, providing you with professional sound quality and powerful DSP an affordable price.
The E-MU 0404 features: Premium 24-bit/192kHz converters - 111dB signal-to-noise ratio A/D converters and 116dB signal-to-noise ratio D/A converters for pristine recording and playback of your tracks
Hardware-accelerated effects - over 600 standalone and E-MU Power FX VST plug-in effects with no CPU overhead
PatchMix? DSP zero-latency hardware mixing and monitoring - with super-fl\exible patchbay - no external mixer needed
Comprehensive analog and digital I/O plus MIDI - two analog inputs, two analog outputs, optical/coaxial S/PDIF plus MIDI I/O
Compatibility with most popular audio/sequencer applications - ultra-low latency 24-bit/192kHz ASIO 2.0 and Stereo WDM drivers
E-MU Production Tools Software Bundle - includes Cakewalk SONAR LE, Steinberg Cubase LE and Wavelab Lite, Ableton Live Lite 4 for E-MU, IK Multimedia AmpliTube LE, Minnetonka diskWelder BRONZE (trial version), SFX Machine LT, plus E-MU's Proteus X LE Desktop Sound Module - everything you need to create, record, edit, master and burn is in the box
I/O Configuration: Two 1/4" Analog Inputs and Outputs
Optical 24-bit/96kHz S/PDIF In/Out (switchable to AES/EBU)
Coaxial 24-bit/96kHz S/PDIF In/Out (switchable to AES/EBU)
E-DSP Hardware-accelerated Effects, Mixing and Monitoring:
E-MU's Digital Audio Systems feature the powerful E-DSP chipset, which features a hardware-accelerated effects processor with over 28 effects plug-ins (over 600 presets). This effects architecture is fully expandable, allowing you to add more effect plug-ins to your system as needed. E-DSP also provides zero-latency, hardware-based mixing and monitoring via the included PatchMix DSP mixer, delivering unmatched flexibility in routing audio between all of your physical and virtual (ASIO/WDM) inputs and outputs- no external mixer needed.
Ships with the following Effects Plug-ins:
1-Band Para EQ
1-Band Shelf EQ
Mono Delay 100 Mono Delay 250 Mono Delay 500 Mono Delay 750 Mono Delay 1500 Mono Delay 3000
Stereo Delay 100 Stereo Delay 250 Stereo Delay 500 Stereo Delay 750 Stereo Delay 1500
Here's a little sub that Sam Ash gave me to review.
Pros: Price to performance comparison is good and the remote with its overall system control is a nice touch.
Cons: None that I can find yet. Except the 8 inch woofer is a bit on the small size, but it has all the punch you'll need for anything. It will even handle subsoinic hiphop thumps with ease. (sorry... just testing it to see what it could handle)
Price: $179.00 USD
Specs: The Resolv Sub88 is the perfect addition to any pair of powered studio monitors for accurate low end frequency reproduction and total system control
80 watt 8? long stroke subwoofer
Variable crossover frequency and volume control
Gold plated XLR inputs and high pass outputs for satellite speakers
Wireless IR remote, controls system level, sub level and subwoofer mute
My take on it: Not a bad little sub, especially when you consider the price. The Sub will handle from 18Hz (subsonic... you can't hear it, but you'll feel it) and the active crossover will throw it to range from keeping anywhere from 40Hz's to 250Hz's from reaching your monitors.
You can also adjust the sub's volume levels to suit your tastes, plus control the volume of the monitors connected to it. all individually. IOW you can crank the sub without the monitors getting any louder or you can crank the monitors without the sub jumping all over the place. You can even control both the sub's volume and the monitors volume together (as a pair) and crank the hell out of them.
It has XLR ins and outs (balanced), TRS ins and outs (balanced) and RCA ins and outs (unbalanced).
While 80 watts is a little low when compared to some of the higher priced subs, the price/performace options become self evident. I compared this to a Genelec 7070A ($2,599.00 USD) and while the Genelec has a 250watt amp and a 12 inch sub, the Samson was almost as good. The only big difference was the volume that the Genelec could produce.... but the Genelec would not control my monitors at all. I had to set them separately, where the Samson let me control the entire set with a small remote.
At low to moderately high volumes, the 88 sounds just as crisp and provides as much punch as the Genelec. Its only when you want to get to the "I'm going to be deaf" volumes that the Genelec outperformed the Samson.
Anyone looking for a decent "feature packed" sub at a damned good price should look into this one.
Samson also has a 120 watt 12 inch sub, but I haven't had much time with it yet... not enough to give an honest review of it.
Sorry, I just wanted to add to this, because I own the same soundcard. This card is amazing, and YES IT IS CAPABLE OF STEREO INPUTS/OUTPUTS WHATEVER. You just have to set it up correctly in the software. The only issue that I've had with this soundcard is that M-Audio failed to explain anything properly and it took me almost a year trying to get it to record stereo tracks.
But yes, it sounds awesome, especially in ASIO with Guitar Rig 2 or Amplitube....provided you set it up right with the necessary gates/compression/filters/EQ. This is a near pro card for only $100
uhh.. mines pretty ghetto compared to some stuff i'm seeing here. but:
It's really inexpensive and really easy to use.
it's really inexpensive and it's a bit hissy at times but the hiss remover in CEP2 cleans it up really nice.
perhaps about $125 total
Crate GX-15 practice amp
Ibanez GT10 practice amp
Rocktek 6 band EQ w/ gain control
Cool Edit Pro 2
Digitech RP50 -> Crate GX-15 or Ibanez GT10 -> Rocktek EQ -> line in on soundcard -> Cool Edit Pro 2
sorry. no picture right now.
Nady CM-88 Mic
Pros: very clear audio quality for such a inexpensive price. Very good for use of drum mics, acoustic guitar, vocals, and some amp micing.
Cons: for vocals the presence quite high enough, and sounds kind of muffled.
Street Price: 29.99
Description: The Nady CM-88 Condenser Microphone is a back electret condenser microphone designed for cymbals of all types, reeds, acoustic guitars, piano, vocals (with optional windscreen), and overhead applications. Extremely uniform and tight cardioid pattern. CM-88 Microphone has extended frequency response for smooth, crisp transparent reproduction. Aluminum housing and gold-plated XLR contacts. 48V phantom powered.
Designed for cymbals of all types, reeds, acoustic guitars, piano, vocals (with optional windscreen), and overhead applications
Extremely uniform and tight cardioid pattern
Extended frequency response for smooth, crisp transparent reproduction
Aluminum housing and gold-plated XLR contacts
48V phantom powered
My experience with it: I have used it to mic some guitar tracks, an acoustic guitar track, i mainly use 2 of them for drum overheads. Very good mics for the price.
Yamaha Magicstomp MKII Guitar Effects Processor
Video Review Link:
Yamaha MG 10/2 mixer
If you simply need to mix a few sources to stereo - but insist on the finest audio quality available - the MG10/2 is probably the way to go. It's compact and convenient to use, but won't compromise your signal in any way. With an optional adapter, the MG10/2 can even be mounted on a microphone stand for totally flexible positioning and easy access. For demo and music production in your personal studio, for band rehearsal or small sound reinforcement applications, or simply as a super utility mixer for any application, you can't lose with the MG10/2.
The MG10/2 features a total of 10 input channels: 2 mono microphone/line inputs and 4 stereo line inputs, 2 of which offer mono microphone input capability.
The microphone preamps provided on the 2 mono channels and 2 of the 4 stereo channels would be worth the price of the entire mixer if packaged separately. These are high-performance head amplifiers that will bring out the best in any dynamic or condenser microphone.
So you can take advantage of the superior sonic quality of professional-class studio condenser microphones, all 4 of the MG10/2's high performance mic preamps feature switchable phantom power. A single switch turns phantom power on or off for all 4 channels.
Mono input channels feature insert I/O patch points so you can add compressors, EQ, or other extra signal-processing to the channels as required.
Designed for smooth, "musical" response, the 3-band equalizers provided on all input channels are 1 more sonic tool you can use to create clean, professional mixes. All mono microphone input channels also feature a switchable highpass filter that can be used to cut out unwanted low-frequency noise.
The MG10/2 is also fully equipped to handle external effects and monitor systems. Use the post-fader auxiliary sends in conjunction with the stereo auxiliary returns to add reverb, delay, or other external effects to the mix, and the prefader sends to feed a separate mix to your monitor system.
- Low cost
- Great sound
- Good quality parts and little noise
- Not enough inputs for a proper miced drumset
- Can be fed into interfaces such as the M-Audio 2496 PCI however it lacks outputs which makes it hard to work with...
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