Audio input devices

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
It may have been on here or somewhere else, I'm not sure which, but I was pointed to a Youtube video about recording to a PC. In the vid, the author used an Alesis audio interface and said that using the mic input on your sound card was no good -- he didn't say why. I have just tried a bit of recording using the mic input and it seemed ok for such a short experiment. Can anyone tell me why I might want an audio interface (apart from the fact that I wouldn't have to turn upside down trying to find the mic input on the back of my PC). I realise that I can get a USB input and so bypass any failings in the sound card so perhaps that is the reason he didn'y use one in the video.

Cheers

Moz
 

Sloth

Member
Messages
102
Location
The cheap end of Brighton
When PCs are built, the manufacturers don't often put such high quality equipment in their motherboards to keep prices relatively attractive. The analogue to digital conversion which goes on is an important thing to consider, as the signal can be compromised as it goes into the PC, much like an MP3 created on a 'fastest/low quality' setting.

As well as USB, you might consider a PCI/PCI express sound card, I have been using an Audiophile soundcard for the past 5 years or so, you can get them for under £50 and they are great, they also allow 24bit recording - along with the Alesis I imagine.
 
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Moz

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
When PCs are built, the manufacturers don't often put such high quality equipment in their motherboards to keep prices relatively attractive. The analogue to digital conversion which goes on is an important thing to consider, as the signal can be compromised as it goes into the PC, much like an MP3 created on a 'fastest/low quality' setting.

As well as USB, you might consider a PCI/PCI express sound card, I have been using an Audiophile soundcard for the past 5 years or so, you can get them for under £50 and they are great, they also allow 24bit recording - along with the Alesis I imagine.
I see, thanks for that. Now I understand why I didn't really hear a problem with my sound card input; just after purchasing my PC a couple of years ago I also installed a SoundBlaster sound card (I'd forgotten I'd done that). I expect that this soundcard is good for what I need.

Cheers again

Moz
 

TonyMoroney

Member
Messages
94
Location
Richmond, VA, USA
When PCs are built, the manufacturers don't often put such high quality equipment in their motherboards to keep prices relatively attractive. The analogue to digital conversion which goes on is an important thing to consider, as the signal can be compromised as it goes into the PC, much like an MP3 created on a 'fastest/low quality' setting.

As well as USB, you might consider a PCI/PCI express sound card, I have been using an Audiophile soundcard for the past 5 years or so, you can get them for under £50 and they are great, they also allow 24bit recording - along with the Alesis I imagine.
One caveat I have to add here is that there are many outboard interfaces available at a good price too.. see here:

http://www.dv247.com/search/3152/0/ProductPrice/Ascending/-/1/

One of the lessons I learned is that buying an external USB audio interface, gave me the freedom to use the same interface with my laptop whenever I wanted to record somewhere other than my studio. If you have no laptop or never plan to record anywhere other than your PC then this may not affect you.

EDIT: I mentioned this because I'm about to upgrade my Mac in the studio, and am having to do something to replace the internal audio card it uses, because the one in it is incompatible with the new Mac.

Cheers

T.
 
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Moz

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Well I've just saved myself a lot of money. Further to my previous post and listening to the advice given I tried to purchase an Alesis audio interface from ebay and missed two of them by just a little. Was on the verge of buying a new interface device but was umming and ahhing over which one when a little voice muttered at me from the darkest corner of my mind "you know you might already have one?"

A quick check in a dusty manual tells me my Zoom H2 recorder will function as a USB audio device and an hour later, I am sorted!! I always raved about the Zoom H2 and now nothing can stop me singing it's praises to all and sundry.

The reason it took me an hour was because I was trying to get it to work with Cakewalk Sonar software and the S/W just wouldn't let me use it properly (probably finger-trouble though). In desperation I went to Audacity and had everything up and running in less than five minutes.

So free audio device (cost me over a ton initially but not for this feature which I didn't know it had), free software...my cup runneth over! :sax::sax::sax:

Moz
 

Tanny

Member
Messages
116
Location
Near Cambridge
I recently got a tapco usb link for about £75 and an M-audio nova mick for about £60 from absolutemusic. For what I want, it seems a pretty good bit of gear. I am using garageband at the moment and I have been recording the rest of the fanily doing Irish music (whistles etc) and it is so much better than the built mics on the Mac book.
 
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