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Soundcard recommendations


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10 hours ago, Himelstein said:

It looks like the back of the unit has 1/4” jacks. That link you posted doesn’t show the back, but:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/US16x08--tascam-us-16x08-usb-audio-interface?mrkgadid=3303549775&mrkgcl=28&mrkgen=gpla&mrkgbflag=0&mrkgcat=studio&recording&acctid=21700000001645388&dskeywordid=92700046934848277&lid=92700046934848277&ds_s_kwgid=58700005287207011&ds_s_inventory_feed_id=97700000007215323&dsproductgroupid=475644261020&product_id=US16x08&prodctry=US&prodlang=en&channel=online&storeid=&device=m&network=g&matchtype=&adpos=largenumber&locationid=9014978&creative=285689013555&targetid=pla-475644261020&campaignid=1465808290&awsearchcpc=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0JDIl93v7wIVAAOzAB3wgQ3wEAQYASABEgKekvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

If you look at the back image, there are more balanced ins. Plus whatever switching is allowed with the software and on the front 2 ins. So theoretically you should have plenty of balanced line level ins. If I were you would get a cheap balanced patchbay, if you don’t have one, that way you can easily switch around configurations in front of the unit and not have to fuck with the back of it. Either way, tascam is good, and if you can get one used for a good deal you won’t be disappointed.

Yeah its got 4 stereo pairs of balanced line in jack ins. Should have mentioned that. 🙂 I think headphone to xlr will work in an xlr input but I just need to check of a safe way of inputting line level to xlr. I'll continue my research!

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On 4/8/2021 at 11:53 AM, cear said:

any affordable usb audio interface out there with stereo lineins? i want to record some vinyls. or better solution for this kind of job?

u mean direct from ur turntable or via mixer/amp? if direct u will need some sort of RIAA preamp..either built into the interface, which is not that common or an external one..ive got this

PhonoBoxMM_02-1.jpg?fit=1536,897&ssl=1

https://www.project-audio.com/en/product/phono-box-mm/

and then in an interface line-in via chinch-to-6.3 jack

 

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On the other hand, if you're already listening to records you already have some kind of preamp for your turntable, so if that has line outs on it you're all set to go straight into any interface.

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Yes, sorry about that, I should've been a bit more clear. I recently got this (very cheap) phono preamp https://www.thomann.de/intl/millenium_php_2.htm

Together with that, I got the Audient iD4 MKII (USB-C), replacing my ancient Focusrite 2i2, only to figure out that the single Mic/Line-input was mono when I tried to listen/record some vinyl. >< https://www.thomann.de/intl/audient_id4_mkii.htm

I just ordered the EVO 4 (which is also an Audient product) with 2 Mic/Line-ins + 2 x 6.3 mm Jack to 2 x RCA. Should do the job!

https://www.thomann.de/intl/audient_evo_4.htm

image.thumb.png.8f3be61d05db4afbbd8b7078783402b7.pngthe sssnake SPR2015

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22 hours ago, TheBro said:

Yeah its got 4 stereo pairs of balanced line in jack ins. Should have mentioned that. 🙂 I think headphone to xlr will work in an xlr input but I just need to check of a safe way of inputting line level to xlr. I'll continue my research!

I've used the tascam and the problem I had was that the front input knobs don't click or are even numbered so if you're using a stereo IN your not going to get a perfectly balanced signal, it's very easy for one channel to be louder than the other. Maybe I'm being picky.

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5 hours ago, yekker said:

I've used the tascam and the problem I had was that the front input knobs don't click or are even numbered so if you're using a stereo IN your not going to get a perfectly balanced signal, it's very easy for one channel to be louder than the other. Maybe I'm being picky.

Honestly that's probably better though.  Unless you have really expensive pots (fancier than what Tascam would be using) they aren't going to be matched so closely that the detents will give you the exact same level on both channels anyway.  The best way to do it is to feed a mono signal into both inputs and match them with a phase correlation meter.

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Most of the time I run my main mixer out into the interface, like I’m sure several of you do, and I also have the different volume problem. It used to bother me but now I feel like it’s better to have it like that. I end up with so many weird things panned further to one side I wouldn’t have accounted for, that’s it’s nice to be able to adjust at different “gain stages” or whatever. My old interface wasn’t this way and I had to rely on my ears and mixer for panning. It’s more accurate tho, with the interface- visually looking at the L and R and adjusting a “master pan”
 

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Posted (edited)

I got the Tascam US16x8 in the end. Its a very nice Soundcard. Very sexy to look at and louder than my Focusrite but I'm not seeing a huge difference performance wise compared with my internal soundcard. It's so strange that my crappy internal soundcard comes out top in terms of buffering obviously sound quality isn't good though. I will keep the Tascam however because it'll be handy when I want to plug lots of hardware into it but it seems I need just a better computer to run Ableton Live i.e. a desktop even though my laptop spec wise should be good enough. I seem to have exausted all avenues to try and get more out of my set up.

Edited by TheBro
Incorrect tense
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soundcard ain't gonna do shit for your CPU performance. all a soundcard is really doing is AD/DA conversion, which is a pretty trivial task for most CPUs these days. obviously the components used, quality and reliability of that conversion will be much better with a dedicated soundcard, but it won't speed anything up or enable you to use more plugins etc.

the vast majority of heavy lifting for plugin instruments and effects, and also sample conversion is done by your computer's CPU.

so if you want more tracks, more effects and more softsynths, or better performance of all that, you need a better CPU plus as much RAM as you can afford.

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1 hour ago, BCM said:

soundcard ain't gonna do shit for your CPU performance. all a soundcard is really doing is AD/DA conversion, which is a pretty trivial task for most CPUs these days. obviously the components used, quality and reliability of that conversion will be much better with a dedicated soundcard, but it won't speed anything up or enable you to use more plugins etc.

the vast majority of heavy lifting for plugin instruments and effects, and also sample conversion is done by your computer's CPU.

so if you want more tracks, more effects and more softsynths, or better performance of all that, you need a better CPU plus as much RAM as you can afford.
 

Yeah seems so. I think I'll be investing in a new pc soon and keep the laptop for other things!

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