#1
Ok, I'm sure this kinda thing must get asked here all the time, but I'm new to the world of recording and would like some advice on equipment. I need a USB interface/soundcard for my laptop, with at least 2 line inputs and the ability feed both channels through to my pc at once so I can record them in audacity; I'm using a POD 2.0 so need to be able to record in stereo. I'm a student so keeping the price down is of high importance as well. Pretty much any other inputs and features are a bonus as far as I'm concerned, tho midi input and output would be good so I can access the POD's extra features and more complicated bits and bobs.

Also, could you recommend me a good pair of headphones please?
#2
i don't know much about soundcards but you might want to investigate in the possiblitity of getting a small mixer that you can plug all your mics and external devices (like the POD) and run them into a single line in jack on your computer. definitely use stereo cables to link your stuff. most people i know use 1/4" stereo cables with 1/8" stereo adapters to plug into the line in or mic in their soundcards.

as far as headphones go, i have a relatively inexpensive Sony set that i got at FYE at my local mall. they're noise canceling. But, truth be told, they're really only good for the actual recording process. I've been told my many other... and it's in my experience that you'll probably want to get a decent set of speakers for your computer for making final mixes. there's a pretty big difference in overall sound because with headphones, fainter tracks, noises, and sounds are easier to hear. with speakers, you might find you'll have to turn up the volume on that particular track. to be totally forthright, i actually use my truck as a gauge for overall sound for my final mixes sometimes. it's got 6 speakers in it and an mp3 player so i just load the tracks and songs up and listen to them when i'm out and adjust when needed later.
Last edited by hetjr at Feb 15, 2007,
#3
Quote by hetjr
i don't know much about soundcards but you might want to investigate in the possiblitity of getting a small mixer that you can plug all your pics and external devices (like the POD) and run them into a single line in jack on your computer. definitely use stereo cables to link your stuff. most people i know use 1/4" stereo cables with 1/8" stereo adapters to plug into the line in or mic in their soundcards.


I would do something like that, except this pc doesn't actually have a line input, only mic, and the POD manual tells you not to use mic inputs or you get lots of noise in the signal or something.
#4
Ok, I'd stay away from USB if I were you. Major latency problems, from what I hear anyway. Besides, I've long suspected it's just a cheap fix to be able to "say" it's pure digital recording.

I agree with hetjr on using a line input - you're looking for a soundcard / interface and whatever you get will have one - it should be used exclusively. You should never have a need to use the mic input unless you're trying to make a crappy recording.

Also, your laptop probably does have a line input. Most of them seem to be mic/line and you select what you want it to be in your volume control / software mixer. So, unless you know for sure, you might check that out - could save you some money and would only take a few seconds.

Here's a link to MF audiocards...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/pci-desktop-sound-and-recording-cards?N=100001%2b309132&Ns=P_Price%7c0&g=rec&page=1

All I recommend is an M-Audio or EMU. I don't know much about the other brands, so you might check out the reviews. Plan to spend between a hundred and two.
#5
Quote by ParanoiaMusic

Also, your laptop probably does have a line input. Most of them seem to be mic/line and you select what you want it to be in your volume control / software mixer. So, unless you know for sure, you might check that out - could save you some money and would only take a few seconds.


Ah, thanks for telling me that, you appear to be right. I'll see what it sounds like, I'm not exactly planning to do anything high quality so i'm guessing it'll sound fine for the moment. I'll probably look into what's available anyway, start learning my way around the business of recording.
#6
Yeah I understand. I recorded on a 10 dollar soundblaster for years before I got a nice audiocard. Sounds like your doing it right - nice and cautious.

Anyway, hope that works out for you. I'm actually quite interested in getting a nice laptop to do my recording with and give my PC to the kids.