Audio Interfaces? Mic?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by chuckles25, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2006
    I need some advice on picking the right audio interface. im building a small recording studio in my house. so far i have a macbook 2.0 w/1gb RAM, Reason 3.0, and an m-audio axiom 49 midi controller. I want to import vocals and guitar. so I was thinking of getting the mbox 2 becouse it will be useful when i start classes for pro tools audio engineering. and plus its used all through out the audio industry. But I heard it was a bit over priced for what u get ($495). I was also looking at this seems like a good deal, but is the interface any good?good preamps?
    i also wanted advice on a good recording Mic. under $200 i was thinking of the Rode NT1-A, someone recommended it to me. Do all audio interfaces come with preamps?
  2. macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Reading Material - Spend some time researching before you spend your money. Also FWIW don't ask us (or anyone else) to make your decisions for you, we're guaranteed to be off target. Know your objectives and get some research under your belt 1st.

    Search this sub-forum, there are many discussions here already.

    Virtually all interfaces are preamps, but not all interfaces come with preamps that will handle all mics. A 'professional' mic (including those project studio condenser mics starting at $100) is a low impedance mic, with an XLR (3-pin) balanced connector, that requires preamplification AND very well may require phantom power. You have to specifically check that the interface supplies all those.

    Although the MBox is one option, you may well be better off with an M-Audio Firewire interface, and the M-Powered version of ProTools, M-Audio are the only other brand of interfaces that are ProTools compatible (Avid owns both Digidesign and M-Audio)

    The M-Audio Educational kit you linked is an entry level USB interface with XLR inputs and phantom power. It is, however, only available to schools, teachers, and post-secondary students. School ID is required.

    Selecting a microphone is subjective, and no one mic will do every job well. The common wisdom is that for vocal and general instrumental recording, the first mic bought should be a large diaphragm condenser. Rode, and many, many other companies offer them from $100 to $thousands. Rode is distinguished by manufacturing in Australia rather than the vast bulk of entry level mics which are manufactured in China and rebranded for sale. The 'generic' Chinese made mics for under $200 by and large offer good sound for the money (scads better than was available for under $500 only 10 years ago); but for professional use, better sound can be had by moving up the price scale.
  3. macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    pick your software first. fwiw, the mbox2 will get you a free copy of PTLE, but if you buy an m-audio interface, you then have to pony up for the PT-M software ($250, iirc).

    for that range, save $100 and get the AT2020. it's better, imo, and obviously cheaper. spend the extra on an sm-57, then you've got a dynamic and a LDC.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2006
    thanx for the advice fellas

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