Advice on equipment (interfaces for guitar->PC) for good performance in GR and Cubase

#1
Hey,

I have an okay system here,
Not a pro card for sound recording, just a Creative X-Fi Music, If I plug my guitar into the line in the signal is extremely low and noisy so I can't get anywhere with recording into cubase or guitar rig, even if i put it through the amp and through the line out its still as low, this is normal right?

I want to be able to record guitar at a suitable quality, good recordings that wouldnt sound bad on a cd, professional ish for what i'm doing, using cubase, guitar rig and VST instruments, drum programming..

I've been looking at items i've seen recommended.. Would these do the job?

First we have the Line6 toneport, not sure if this is the right one or what
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/12089

Then theres the M-Audio fast track USB
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/4667

Do these make it able to use the guitar like a real guitar, by this I mean, the levels and sound being fine, not minute tiny, just normal.. would I still have to go throug the amp? or do I need anything else..

Advice please!
Extremely grateful
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#2
Did you try raising the volume in your sound cards settings for line in? I had an Audigy and I could record just fine through the line in so I'm sure you could as well. If not those other options should be fine. I picked up an E-MU 0404 USB and a Shure SM57 after playing through just the Audigy and they sound great. If you want to hear what I did with both check it out here:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=112927007

"1" was done from my amp straight into the line in on my SoundBlaster Audigy (using the line out on my amp and an adapter to go from 1/4" to 1/8th") and "High E" was done mic'ing my amp with an SM57 into the E-MU 0404, neither had any changes, just a straight signal to mp3.
#3
Quote by mattvl
Did you try raising the volume in your sound cards settings for line in? I had an Audigy and I could record just fine through the line in so I'm sure you could as well. If not those other options should be fine. I picked up an E-MU 0404 USB and a Shure SM57 after playing through just the Audigy and they sound great. If you want to hear what I did with both check it out here:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=112927007

"1" was done from my amp straight into the line in on my SoundBlaster Audigy (using the line out on my amp and an adapter to go from 1/4" to 1/8th") and "High E" was done mic'ing my amp with an SM57 into the E-MU 0404, neither had any changes, just a straight signal to mp3.


Strange, creatives support for vista is annoying, I remember it working okay on my old system which had an Audigy, and I think it was working on this one too for a while, I dunno where the settings have gone odd, ill have to try again.
I have turned stuff up.. i'll give it alook at.

When going through lineout the volume of the amp doesn't matter right?
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#4
I believe the volume of the amp DOES matter. I can't remember for sure but I'm fairly certain I needed to adjust my amp volume as well when I was recording through line in (maybe depend on the amp as well).
#5
I have got some volume now, but i have extreme amounts of constant noise, even when not playing.. this is in guitar rig.. its just through the output, yet if i turn the input down it goes.

Would using a decent interface free it of noise?


And my amps volume is down and it doesn't seem to make much difference, i can't exactly tell as its 4am in the morning.
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#6
Try using the Creative audio recorder that came with the card.
#7
Yeah will do tomorrow after some sleep.. thanks for your help!

Hopefully some other people will answer questions about the products above too
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#9
Quote by fridge_raider
An interface would heavily reduce/remove those problems.


I thought so, but which and would I need a preamp?

I saw this recommended also (pre amp~)
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/3561/category_id/
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#10
Most USB interfaces have preamps onboard, so you wouldn't need any extra ones.
There is poetry in despair.
#11
Thanks,
So the toneport or the M-Audio, how do I choose?
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#12
Compare prices, features, and reviews.

EDIT: I don't know if you're planning on getting a mic at some point but neither the Toneport or the M-Audio look like they have phantom power so you'll have to get a dynamic mic as opposed to a condenser (which is most likely fine, the Shure SM57 is a dynamic mic and unless you're trying to get some studio quality recordings you aren't gonna need anything better...alot of studios use SM57's all the time anyway).
Last edited by mattvl at Feb 27, 2008,
#13
Quote by mattvl
Compare prices, features, and reviews.

EDIT: I don't know if you're planning on getting a mic at some point but neither the Toneport or the M-Audio look like they have phantom power so you'll have to get a dynamic mic as opposed to a condenser (which is most likely fine, the Shure SM57 is a dynamic mic and unless you're trying to get some studio quality recordings you aren't gonna need anything better...alot of studios use SM57's all the time anyway).


I wouldn't mind a mic too, just incase I happen to learn to sing or want to record voice, i don't know how far i'll go, once you start you don't stop right:p, just keep wanting more.

So you think the toneport and m-audio are suitable?
I've noticed you can get PCI cards, Firewire, and then the usb things.. Its confusing knowing whats good for what .. too many things.
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#14
I like USB because it's portable and you can use it with a laptop but they're also more problematic. If you just want to record at home and get some great features for a low price I'd look at the E-MU 0404 internal card. Probably about 100 bucks total, comes with a nice set of inputs/features and has phantom power (I believe):
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/EMu-0404-PCI-Digital-Audio-Recording-System?sku=240390&src=3SOSWXXA
The reviews for the PCI version don't seem all that great however...may want to check out an M-Audio alternative if you want internal.

Or if you want to spend a little more you can get the USB version (this is what I have):
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/EMu-0404-USB-2.0-Recording-Interface?sku=242516
#15
Interesting, don't need a pre-amp for the card then? just plug n play as it were, guitar straight in..?

David
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#16
EDIT: Sorry, I was still talking about external cards. Listen to the guy below.
Last edited by mattvl at Feb 27, 2008,
#18
Ah well its out of the question now, I dont have a spare PCI slot, stupid modern computers with 3 PCI-E slots, and 2 PCI, stupid..

So its either firewire or USB.. even though I don't really have a USB free, damn technology and money!
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#19
How many USB ports do you have and what is plugged into them ?
There is poetry in despair.
#20
6 all taken, I could probably remove one and just use it when I need to, but i'll also need one for my midi keyboard when I get that also, unless I can put it into the same interface for guitar, I noticed some have midi.
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#21
Alot of have MIDI, again the EMU 0404 USB but while I can't remember of the M-Audio equivalent I was gonna buy they make them as well. I usually leave mine unplugged unless I'm using it since I like to use my normal sound card for everyday things and the EMU for recording (they don't have surround sound outputs).
#22
Wouldn't the M-Audio fast track USB be quite similiar? It doesn't have midi, then theres the fast track pro which does.. ahh money!
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/7475

fast track
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/4667

And then we're back to the original ideas which don't include midi, unless you get the higher up versions.. toneport, fast track and so on...

I guess it makes it slightly easier now I know it has to be USB or firewire
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
Last edited by David_VI at Feb 27, 2008,
#23
The Fasttrack Pro has phantom power so that sets you up for whenever you get a condenser mix as well. Looks like a pretty good choice.
#25
Quote by David_VI
6 all taken, I could probably remove one and just use it when I need to, but i'll also need one for my midi keyboard when I get that also, unless I can put it into the same interface for guitar, I noticed some have midi.



Well, for the less intensive USB peripherals (I'm assuming you might have a mouse, and such things) then just buy a USB hub to increase the amount. I wouldn't suggest you plug the interface into this though, just the less powerful USB stuff.

And what MIDI keyboard are you getting? Because if it's USB like the M-Audio Oxygen series, for example, then you won't need MIDI on your interface.
There is poetry in despair.
#26
Quote by fridge_raider
Well, for the less intensive USB peripherals (I'm assuming you might have a mouse, and such things) then just buy a USB hub to increase the amount. I wouldn't suggest you plug the interface into this though, just the less powerful USB stuff.

And what MIDI keyboard are you getting? Because if it's USB like the M-Audio Oxygen series, for example, then you won't need MIDI on your interface.


Yeah I was thinking of a hub. I wasn't sure how hubs worked and I did realise they msut split the load, my keyboard/mouse are on the same USB and I have a media center remote so I guess things like that can on on a hub.

The keyboard, i'm going for the Its cheap! And it'l do the job! http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/8558
Pretty good it seems.

I was thinking if I get a usb interface and a midi keyboard thats usb it'l take up two usb ports so it owuld be good if the interface had a midi input so I could use that instead.

Fast track pro does seem good enough but it is also a lot more expensive than the other one and other products, I guess you pay for what you get might have to wait till i'm extremely sure about the whole thing or just go for it, I dunno over 129quid seems a lot to spend at once, with keyboard n all.
And also if i'm spending that much it brings in other ones to compete like the toneport UX2 and the next price range under 120 i didn't look at before!! ah dear!

David
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
Last edited by David_VI at Feb 28, 2008,
#27
I can vouch for the Fast Track Pro. It's only downfall is that it's USB 1.1 which introduces latency (which can be easily worked around).

The good points in my experience are: Phantom Power, XLR/Instrument combo inputs on the front, MIDI, decent preamps built-in, and it's suprisingly durable.

I take mine with me all over the continent (as my job requires me to travel alot). It's never let me down. I use a Dell Latitiude laptop, which is a great match in my opinion.

DS
Irrelevant quote from obscure person
Obnoxious statement regarding size of e-ween
Italicized text indicating bandwagoning masquerading as deep thought
ASCII graphic that will take over the world if you put one in your signature
Made up statistic
#28
Well, I would definitely recommend getting the Alesis IO|2 instead of the Fast Track Pro. All the features, but with USB 2.0 and about 30 quid cheaper.
There is poetry in despair.
#29
Quote by fridge_raider
Well, I would definitely recommend getting the Alesis IO|2 instead of the Fast Track Pro. All the features, but with USB 2.0 and about 30 quid cheaper.


I wouldn't discount the E-MU 0404 USB either...works great for me anyway.
#30
Quote by fridge_raider
Well, I would definitely recommend getting the Alesis IO|2 instead of the Fast Track Pro. All the features, but with USB 2.0 and about 30 quid cheaper.


Never noticed the Alesis, checked it out on Dolphin and the reviews seem a bit bad
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/8246

Whats that website that has reviews for music stuff? I remember it from when I researched my guitar but can't remember what it was.. .
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#31
Well, one of the bad reviews is just because it isn't compatible with his Mac, so that's nothing to do with the actual quality of the unit itself.

Anyway, I use it, and I think it's great for small home studio use.
There is poetry in despair.
#32
I'm, not trying to be argumentative, but I don't see on Dolphin where the Alesis is USB 2. It's actually listed under USB 1.1 interfaces on their website.

Another thing to remember on interface for the PC/Mac is that alot of the reviewers get pissed off and write bad reviews based on problems on their PC and not the actual interface. I saw the same type of feedback on the Fast Track Pro on Musicians Friend. People tend to avoid the instruction manual like the plague.

Either way both of those interfaces would be a good choice and give good sounding results.

DS
Irrelevant quote from obscure person
Obnoxious statement regarding size of e-ween
Italicized text indicating bandwagoning masquerading as deep thought
ASCII graphic that will take over the world if you put one in your signature
Made up statistic
#34
I agree, people are always saying bad things about the product on the basis that they didn't know how to use it.

Well, it doesn't say it is USB 2.0 on the description, but I don't notice latency issues, and tweakheadz seems to think it's 2.0. When I bought it, I was too ignorant to check as I had less knowledge of how important it was.
There is poetry in despair.
#35
I may have found the answer..

http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/15162
Know anything of those?
The price is good and it has all the inputs i'd need but its way cheaper than the others withthe same inputs..

Is there a catch here?!
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#36
I'm currently using guitar rig 3 with no noise at all - and sounds awesome, and the spec on my laptop is awful, about 1.2GHz and built into the motherboard soundcard - but Native Instruments promoted the product to work even with lame spec computers and soundcards.

I only use the microphone to plug my guitar into my laptop and got some resonable speakers for the output.

I simply had to change my sound driver to get rid of all noise and latency issues. - Get Asio4all sound driver - it works well.

also when in guitar rig best to turn the input volume down to its lowest, you don't need it unless you use certain equipment, and if you mute your microphone out via your volume control in windows to cut out feedback. Guitar rig works like a separate entity.

Key thing is to look for different drivers etc before splashing out on something that might not be the source of your problem. - Though if you have the money to buy fancy equipment - do it :P - I'm poor
#37
Quote by Herman Ri
I'm currently using guitar rig 3 with no noise at all - and sounds awesome, and the spec on my laptop is awful, about 1.2GHz and built into the motherboard soundcard - but Native Instruments promoted the product to work even with lame spec computers and soundcards.

I only use the microphone to plug my guitar into my laptop and got some resonable speakers for the output.

I simply had to change my sound driver to get rid of all noise and latency issues. - Get Asio4all sound driver - it works well.

also when in guitar rig best to turn the input volume down to its lowest, you don't need it unless you use certain equipment, and if you mute your microphone out via your volume control in windows to cut out feedback. Guitar rig works like a separate entity.

Key thing is to look for different drivers etc before splashing out on something that might not be the source of your problem. - Though if you have the money to buy fancy equipment - do it :P - I'm poor


I've been using ASIO4ALL, I think I just have issues with my Creative card and Vista.. If I use my onboard sound the linein signal is massive and good but I can't get that to work in guitar rig, doesn't show up.
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#38
Have you tried turning off all other programs that use your computers sound card? - e.g. itunes, certain pc games, anything audio/video. I've seen asio4all stop you from working with guitar rig until you stop all other audio programs, and then restart guitar rig, and it should come up in your sound options menu.

Have you tried registering at native instruments forums? I go there to get links to new sounds/pre set up rigs. They seem to have loads of forums on this sort of issue.
#39
Quote by Herman Ri
Have you tried turning off all other programs that use your computers sound card? - e.g. itunes, certain pc games, anything audio/video. I've seen asio4all stop you from working with guitar rig until you stop all other audio programs, and then restart guitar rig, and it should come up in your sound options menu.

Have you tried registering at native instruments forums? I go there to get links to new sounds/pre set up rigs. They seem to have loads of forums on this sort of issue.


Well i'm just using demo and thats why i'm trying to sort it out to work, testing it out but not getting results I wanted.. I remember the demo and all the sound working fine on my old system before XMAS, that was an older Creative card though.

I really want to find a way that works because gtiar rig seems amazing and i'd seriously buy it if I can't et the results i'm after.

On Creative forums it seems a few people have said the line in signal is extremely low on the X-fi.

I might just get that Lexicon interface, it has midi so I can get my midi keyboard working with it too..

David
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
ESP LTD Ex400
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
#40
Sounds cool, Lexicon interface would be wiked. I've been looking myself for a way to connect my midi keyboard to my laptop, there are adaptors from midi to USB (though they seem pretty shoddy) so I'm purchasing a PCI sound card interface. fingers crossed!

Hope you sort out your problem, guitar rig is cool and each version seems to just get better and better.