I'm in the market to buy some sort of recording equipment to run my guitar and mic through to my computer via usb.

I have a few questions for those that have experience with toneport, and M-audio's black box etc...

1. Can I run my guitar /mic through my computer and out to my amp simultaneously? Such that I can hear myself playing as the computer is recording. Is there a lag?

2. Are the effects and amp models that come with the units worth anything or should I run my guitar through my effects chain and then into the unit?

3. Lastly, what is the quality of the lower end $150-200 units? Is there not much difference between those and the lower priced units? Higher priced?

I've had great success with the M-audio fast track USB. I'd recommend something that works with firewire, if your computer has the ports. Firewire will eliminate any 'latency' (delay).

If you use a program that supports VSTs (I use Kristal) there are tons of great amp/FX simulators out there. I highly recommend FreeAmp 2 from Fretted Synth.

Again, check out a Firewire one.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.

I am Michael!
1. yes, you can run things to both. you will need something like an A/B/Y box if you are running DI to the comp and your amp. set it to Y and then have one going to each. if you are using a mic, you usually mic the amp so you should be able to hear it. or you can run DI, to the amp, and record the amp. you get two recorded signals that you can mix. i hear this is better for bass than guitar, but you can do it if you want. lag depends on your setup with the computer, interface and programs. a good set up will have no lag or lag that isnt noticable.

2. the effects and modeling that comes with cheaper stuff is just meh. i dont use it even if i have it. i have found free stuff that is better than what they give you, so its usually not worth using. which is one reason i dont like the toneport too much, you pay extra for all the modeling stuff which i would never use. i run through my effects chain sometimes, and other times i use computer based effects (mostly VST plugins). od and distortion sound like crap when digital, so those things are always in my signal path. reverb, phaser and EQ i can do nicely on the computer while mixing, but i do also have them in my chain at times. just depends on the circumstance.

3. the difference is that some give you more options and inputs. anything less than $100 is going to only have 1 input. stuff that is $150-200 is usually about the same quality but with 2 or three inputs. if it has 1 input, the quality is probably better. the more expensive stuff will have better A-D converters and better preamps. if you are really serious about recording and want high quality, be prepared to shell out a bit more. if you are just going for getting ideas down and getting some decent quality stuff up to show off to friends, most stuff in the $100-200 range will work.

oh, and ill move this to the riffs and recordings forum.