I'm looking for a decent recording interface for doing home recording. What are some good, reliable brands?

Looking for something that's USB, with inputs for:

1/4" or 1/8" inputs
xlr for mic
optical (DIF) input, as I have an output using this with my Vox ToneLab

Any recommendations?

Also, are there and PC card that can do this that I could install in my computer like a soundcard?

I've tried looking on guitarcenter and musiciansfriend, but there are sooo many choices/brands/etc and I'm not really sure what would be a good one to go with.

I already have cubase software, and have used a friend's behringer single input to usb which worked great, but would like something with more inputs/options so I can atleast record guitar and vocals (and possibly more in the future).

Ahh, so it is a digital signal using fiberoptic cable, then?

Budget is ~$200 give or take.

I found this on MF:


Would something like this be sufficient?

I noticed that m-audio does have some PCI card-based products, is there any advatage/disadvantage to using something like that?

Thanks for the brands, I'll take a look at them.
Disadvantage being not portable for pci cards, that interface is fine for what you want.

Im wondering if we're talking about the same sort of connection S/PDIF uses RCA connectors to send a stereo signal. You could technically use rca cables i think... i've never tried it,

From what i understand, S/pdif is coaxial cable with rca connectors, it only transmits a digital signal (you couldnt get an adapter and hook it up to your guitar) It needs to be a digital signal being transmitted over the cable to something like an interface which can use the digital signal.

As far as i know, the only optical connectors are adat cables (lightpipe) which you won't get on any low end interfaces.
Last edited by doommaker at Jan 31, 2009,
I'm not sure, I haven't used that output yet. It is an output on my Vox ToneLab LE labelled S/P DIF, and is a trap-door style connection lit red. The only cables I could find that matched the description appeared to be fiber optic. Manual says "transmits S/P DIF optical digital data"?
..... that makes absolutely no sense....

It sounds like lightpipe... not spdif..., actually it MAY be toslink... thats pretty strange.

Ok i just looked it up, you can get a toslink to RCA spdif cable. Make sure its NOT lightpipe, it has to be spdif toslink to rca.
Thanks for all the info!

I'll have to read through all your recording guides.

You've helped me out ton!