Posts Tagged ‘edirol’

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Soundcard Buying Guide

October 21, 2009

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We understand that the Soundcard market can be a little daunting if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. With various connection methods such as USB, Firewire, and PCI it is difficult to find the one for you.

This guide should give you an overview of the world of soundcards and hopefully help you someway in choosing the right one for you. Please remember that you can always call us if you ever need help or advice on 0844 815 0888.

The difference you find with soundcards to mixers is that where as a mixer will just take an analogue signal and keep it as analogue. A soundcard converts the analogue to digital. The price of soundcards can sometimes be determined by the quality of the AD converters and mic pre amps. For example the quality of the RME AD converters is better then the ones found on the M Audio soundcard range, although how much better is negotiable.

Tascam US122 M

Will the soundcard on my computer not suffice?

Whenever a customer questions this at Dolphin our response is always to let them try it out first with the onboard soundcard. There is no better way of learning how much of a difference good AD converters can be then to use really bad ones. The onboard soundcard (or internal soundcard) is installed for alert sounds, games and MP3s but when it comes to recording audio and transferring to digital you really do need a better soundcard. Interference from the transformer, hard drive and so on will always inhibit the quality

On board soundcards don’t offer multiple inputs which rules out any larger scale recording of bands or primarily drums. They also suffer from large amounts of latency (glitches in the audio recording) which you will need to overcome via getting a better soundcard. This latency is caused by the onboard drivers not being capable of fast transfer speeds. You really need something with ASIO 2 drivers, which most external soundcards support

 Saffire Pro 24

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

How Many Inputs and Outputs do I need?

In today’s market there is a soundcard for everybody. We always ask customers to think into the future. Will there ever be a time that you will want to record more than two inputs simultaneously. This might be drums, a live recording, a band or the fact that they will have many instruments and don’t want to keep plugging and unplugging cables. If the answer is yes then we recommend 8 inputs. Unless you have a specific reason we would recommend that you have all 8 inputs via XLR and mic pre amps. You may not want this if you are using your own Pre Amps or you specifically need jacks.

 ProFire 2626 High-Definition FireWire Audio Interface

M-Audio ProFire 2626 High-Definition FireWire Audio Interface

If your music work will mainly be you and overdubbing other parts later, you can work happily with one or two inputs which is how a large amount of souncards are designed. Many people realise that they only need two inputs and if that is the case there are many options for you. Solutions range from just a small box that you connect to your computer, MIDI keyboards with soundcards built in (for the musician on the move) to guitar FX modeling solutions that you can connect straight to your computer. More and more manufacturers are seeing the need for combining an audio recording solution with their products.

 POD Studio UX2 Pro Tone Recording & Modelling Interface

Do I need a special Soundcard to use Pro Tools?

In a nutshell “Yes”. DigiDesign software will only work with Digi Design hardware. They obviously do very expensive HD systems for the medium to large studios, but they also have a more budget range of audio recording solutions. They have the Digi 002 and rack version for someone who wants 8 simultaneous inputs into ProTools. Anyone just wanting 2 inputs they have the ever popular MBOX and new MBOX Pro.

Digi Design MBox 2

Digi Design has recently bought M Audio, a smaller company that specialises in soundcards. Since doing this they have allowed users to run Pro Tools on M Audio soundcards. To do this you must purchase software called M Powered and have a soundcard that is compatible and you have a Pro Tools system.

Digi Design 002 Rack

Soundcard Connectivity with Computers

The ever popular question about what connection you should go for is asked by customers every day at Dolphin Music. Firewire is probably the most popular type as of today due to its fast data transfer speed, you will find that M Audio firewire interfaces as well as Presonus are very good. USB 2.0 which is actually slightly faster is also popular with the Mbox 2 Micro , Steinberg CI2 and Apogee ONE using it.

Back in the last century when we started all this USB and Firewire were but a twinkle in some technician’s eye. It was all about PCI cards which are going as string today as they have done. PCI (or PCIX – new versions) can offer faster data transfer but are also more processor dependent. Famous PCI soundcards are the likes of the M Audio Delta range and the older MOTU range of soundcards.

M Audio Delta 1010

It would be rude to talk about connectivity and not mention PCMCIA. This is a method of connecting directly to laptops. Just think PCI for laptops. Due to USB and Firewire it is becoming less popular but some still believe it to be the only true way of getting true recordings onto laptops. This is debatable and we just don’t have the time!

Free Software

All soundcards will come with software that will allow you to control the routing of audio within your soundcard. You will need this software to interface with your recording software. It basically allows you to interface with your soundcard as if it were a mixing console.

Presonus Inspire

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I need to record my band…

November 4, 2008

Visiting studios can be a very costly affair, and usually just a couple of days will be spent on recording AND mixing something which simply takes a lot more time.

Since the early 90’s Cubase, Pro-Tools and other Audio Sequencers have changed the face of how audio is edited. Computers are now so advanced that now even the most humble of modern home PC’s can effectively run a fairly powerful workstation.

Combined with the ever growing range of Audio interfaces available and microphones at prices I previously only dreamed of, there is nothing stopping an interested musician/ engineer from running a full scale production from their rehearsal space or spare room.

Equipment round up

Edirol FA-101

The FA-101 is a feature-packed 10×10 audio interface that can handle a full 10 channels of input/output at 24-bit/96kHz. Record and monitor all 10 channels simultaneously in full duplex. Phenomenal audio power for the studio musician! In addition, the FA-101 offers 6-channel recording and playback at 24-bit/192kHz for performance at DVD-A quality.

This system is Ideal for live applications where the user requires multiple sends for live monitoring AND recording. This will do both excellently.

At an event, all of the band’s hardware can be routed through the FA-101 to output to monitors and, at the same time, the show can be recorded. During the break, CDs can be burned to sell on the spot. The Performance DJ will rely on the FA-101’s rugged metal chassis for reliable, club-tough operation. Back at home, the FA-101 will return as the centerpiece to the home studio.

M-Audio NRV10


The NRV10™ is a new breed of gear that combines an 8 x 2 analog mixer and a 10 x 10 24-bit/96kHz digital audio interface in one convenient package—the perfect tool for computer-based recording and performance. Route and record mixer channels discretely to individual tracks in Pro Tools M-Powered 7.3, Ableton Live 6 and other software studios. You can also return multiple discrete audio channels from your computer to the NRV10 for CPU-free mixing and monitoring complete with on-board digital effects—great for live performances. And that means you don’t have to change settings like EQ and reverb in your files every time you play a new venue. Flexible monitoring options also make vocal/instrument recording and DJ-style audio previewing a breeze. And the included NRV10 interFX application allows you turn your NRV10 and host computer into a powerful live mixer with access to all of your VST effects. The NRV10 seamlessly integrates your computer with your studio—and bridges the gap between studio and stage as well.

Example set up using Alesis Multimix Firewire 16

Only 13 channels are used here

Alesis MultiMix 8 FireWire

The Alesis MultiMix FireWire 8 Mixer is part of the new line of MultiMix mixers featuring FireWire data connectivity. The MultiMix FireWire Series includes 3 different tabletop mixers, all featuring exclusive DICE II FireWire technology. Allowing for transfer of multiple audio data streams from mixer to PC using a standard IEEE-1394 interface, these mixers provide lightening fast connectivity to a wide range of PC-based audio production applications.

The MultiMix FireWire mixers are compact mixers featuring low noise analog electronics, 100 studio-grade 28 bit digital effects, and rock-solid construction. The mixer features high-gain mic/line preamps, phantom power, auxiliary send/returns, and on-board effects engine including reverbs, delays, chorus, flanging, 3-band EQ per channel with high/low shelving and mid band pass/reject.

Drum Microphone Kits

Samson 7kit – 7-piece Drum Mic Set

Everything you could want for micing drums. A complete set of our dynamic drum mics and a pair of C02 pencilcondenser mics for overheads or close-micing cymbals.

Features

  • Seven piece drum mic kit
  • One Q Kick kick drum mic with mic stand swivel mount
  • One Q Snare snare mic with rim clip
  • Three Q Tom tom mics with rim clips
  • Two C02 pencil condenser mics with shock-mount clips
  • Gold-plated XLR connectors
  • Road case included

Shure PGDMK6


A complete drum mic package. The PGDMK6 drum mic kit includes three PG56 snare/tom microphones, one PG52 kick drum microphone, two PG81 instrument microphones, three A50D drum mounts, six 15ft. (4.5m) XLR-XLR cables and a durable carrying case.

  • The PG56 is a compact drum microphone for close miking.
  • The PG52 is a high-performance microphone tuned to capture low-end punch.
  • The PG81 is a sensitive, flat response microphone ideal for overhead and cymbal miking.
  • The A50D drum mount can be used on most standard drum rims. The flexible, yet sturdy rubber construction provides stability and ease of installation.