Suggestions on basic line/xlr/hi-z audio interface?

  • hollywoodb
Posted: Tue, 01/22/2008 - 17:08
I'm looking for a good low-latency way to interface my guitars, microphones, and line-levels with my PC running 64studio.... I have been using plugs & converters to run them all into the line-in on my onboard sound card, but I've gotten familiar enough with the software and recording in general where this is becoming a growing problem. Ideally, I'm looking for a device with XLR, Line-level, and Hi-Z (guitar) inputs and a headphone output. Doesn't need to have speaker outs, I can use my onboard card and speakers for regular output. I would like a headphone output on the device though. I'm not very partial to USB or PCI, but I would prefer USB so I could put it a few feet away from the system itself. I'm also looking to spend <=$200. I was looking at the E-mu 0404 USB, but there's little information I can find on how well this works with linux. Product Page here: http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?category=610&subcategory=611&product=15185 Alternatively, I do have an older Tascam PortaStudio cassette 4-tracker with all the inputs I need. I could run the line-level out from the PortaStudio to the line-level in on my PC and use the PortaStudio as an input box, but I don't know how well this would work. I haven't tried it yet, and it doesn't give me the headphone out I was looking for. Any suggestions/pointers would be great, thanks.

Followup

  • hollywoodb
  • 01/22/08
  • Fri, 02/22/2008 - 23:41
Just thought I'd follow this up... I ended up spending a bit more than I had originally planned, but I'm happy with the results... I'm running a Behringer Xenyx mixer into an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 for recording. I also picked up a pair of M-Audio DX4 near field monitors running directly off the Audiophile for output. Has everything I need, except the mixer doesn't have hi-z inputs. I do, however, have a Line6 Pod 2.0 and Behringer V-Amp2 that work well enough for a preamp. The setup works really well, I was a bit on edge about the quality of the Behringer Xenyx mixer (they're pretty cheap price-wise) but I'm actually totally pleased with it.

Firewire...

  • ttoine
  • 11/15/07
  • Fri, 02/15/2008 - 16:16
Hey, Perhaps the good setup for you would be a Machie mixer with firewire adapter, but a bit more expensive than budget... For around 200 $, I would rather have a look to a Presonus Firebox or something like that, it has all i/o you need, plus pre-amp. Echo products are very good, but firewire one are not yet well supported, look at pci devices. But whatever your choice is, please consider that it would always better to choose pci or firewire against usb. Usb is not able to manage very low latencies. For your idea of using a sound card for input and another one for monitoring, I would say that it is not a good idea. And furthermore if you want to use a motherboard sound card that is not able to handle low latency, by design. It wil generate X-runs more often because jack will take more cpu to try to keep synchro between several cards. So the better is certainly to have a sound card for jack, with all i/o you need for your music production, and keep the motherboard sound card for Gnome applications. Hope it will help you making your choice, don't hesitate to ask more if you need ;-) Toine

Latency

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Wed, 01/23/2008 - 05:51
I have a RME Hammerfall card (ADAT interface) and a DDX3216 (ADAT enabled digital mixer) and I can get 2.9ms of latency without problems when recording. I record in 11ms latency as a very conservative setup (just to be sure) but drop it to around 6ms when I need to monitor effects to the musicians. If you can get around 10ms or less, it is good... more than that is noticable by ear You'll be able to get it with your Audiophile setup at least Hope it helps

Audiophile

  • hollywoodb
  • 01/22/08
  • Tue, 01/22/2008 - 19:23
Sorry to keep posting back to my own topic, but for low-latency quality recording is anything going to beat an Audiophile 2496 + Behringer mixer board? Perhaps that would be better than a more restricted USB/Firewire interface.

Firewire

  • hollywoodb
  • 01/22/08
  • Tue, 01/22/2008 - 17:21
Forgot to mention, I have firewire as well, I've just never used it ;) The ESI Quatafire looks great, but costs about double of what I can afford to spend.