Looking for an cheap audio interface for recording and karaoke

HappyFred

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Jun 18, 2012
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Hi, I am looking for an cheap audio interface for basic vocal recording and kaorake.
I have heard Avid M-Audio Fast Track Pro and Tascam US-122MKII are the good choices for a beginner to have. But I have found something even more cheaper and it is the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 USB Audio Interface plus Art Tube MP Original Tube Mic Preamp 48V Phantom Power.
Which one would be better? Is there any more choice than that?
references:
Art Tube MP Original Tube Mic Preamp 48V Phantom Power.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ART-Tube-MP-Original-Tube-Mic-Preamp-48V-Phantom-Power-/370623065251?pt=Midi_Controllers&hash=item564adb2ca3#ht_2315wt_1185

Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 USB-Audio Interface
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Behringer-U-CONTROL-UCA202-USB-Audio-Interface-/170684650762?pt=Midi_Controllers&hash=item27bd99150a#ht_2186wt_952

M Audio Fast Track USB + Pro Tools M Powered essential
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M-Audio-Fast-Track-USB-Pro-Tools-M-Powered-essential-/230778673235?pt=Midi_Controllers&var=&hash=item35bb7b1853#ht_2668wt_1141

Tascam US-122MKII Audio Interface
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tascam-US-122-MKII-Audio-Interface-/200776210678?pt=Midi_Controllers&hash=item2ebf31d8f6#ht_2204wt_1185
 

Boyd01

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I am using an Alesis iO2 express interface and have been very happy. It also includes a MIDI interface though, so you might be paying for something you don't need. I paid about $90 USD for mine.
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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I'd suggest the Tascam first, it has stereo inputs with dual XLR connectors.

After that, the M-Audio looks good, too.
 

HappyFred

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2012
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I am using an Alesis iO2 express interface and have been very happy. It also includes a MIDI interface though, so you might be paying for something you don't need. I paid about $90 USD for mine.
Thanks for replying. I have checked the price in eBay they sell it at about 79pounds for it, it is the same price of getting a Avid M-Audio Fast Track Pro. But it has more input jack than Avid.

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I'd suggest the Tascam first, it has stereo inputs with dual XLR connectors.

After that, the M-Audio looks good, too.
Tascam US122MKII is more expensive than previous two items. If its quality is about the same as them, I would go for cheaper option.
Have one thing to ask, how do we connect the speaker into the audio interface? Can I just plug the mic into the audio interface and plug the audio interface into the pc to get low delay?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tascam-US122-MkII-USB-2-0-Audio-MIDI-interface-/200778424473?pt=Midi_Controllers&hash=item2ebf53a099#ht_622wt_952
 

estrides

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Apr 8, 2012
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Hmmm, the Avid Pro 4x4 should have two dedicated preamps built in. They are pretty good too, but if you want a warmer sound, you would need a tube based preamp.

I think the standard ones would do you just fine though.
 

HappyFred

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Jun 18, 2012
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Hmmm, the Avid Pro 4x4 should have two dedicated preamps built in. They are pretty good too, but if you want a warmer sound, you would need a tube based preamp.

I think the standard ones would do you just fine though.
o..what is your opinion on Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202? It is so much cheaper and I can buy a preamp to boost the performance and I have found the art tube mp.
 

estrides

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2012
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New York
Your going to need a dedicated USB mixer for the Behringer... The AVID allows you to just plug the mic right into it, and mix in a program like Garageband or Logic, etc.

Go with the AVID.
 

HappyFred

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2012
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Your going to need a dedicated USB mixer for the Behringer... The AVID allows you to just plug the mic right into it, and mix in a program like Garageband or Logic, etc.

Go with the AVID.
ok, thanks for your suggestion! I think I gonna get one from eBay. :)
Have one more question to ask, do u connect the mic into the interface only? What about the pc speakers?
Do u think this seller is reliable? They sell FTP at only 64pounds!
AVID Recording Studio Audio Interface in Currys sells at 70pounds. It is the same thing as M-audio FTP?
I could only find one at 79pounds in eBay.
Also, I've heard from others saying that the FTP does not work for Windows 7.. I'm looking for an audio interface which would work perfectly with Windows 7 or Mac OS.

reference:
http://www.jamdup.com/avid-m-audio-fast-track-with-pro-tools-se.html
http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/avid-recording-studio-audio-interface-12033851-pdt.html?srcid=867&cmpid=comp~Google~Computing+Accessories~12033851&istCompanyId=bec25c7e-cbcd-460d-81d5-a25372d2e3d7&istItemId=rarwwmqq&istBid=t
 
Last edited:

estrides

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Apr 8, 2012
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http://www.m-audio.com/news/en_us-1870.html

It works very well actually. It works with these drivers.

It should work perfectly with both OS's . I'm not too sure about the sellers and their credibility.

What will happen is, you will install the drivers. Then you will hook up the interface. Then you will hook the mic right into the interface.

Once that is set up, since I'm assuming you don't have studio monitors, you will set the input system in your DAW program(Garageband, Logic, Protools) to your AVID box. But, your output will be your standard onboard soundcard, that your speakers are hooked up to.

I hope that makes sense.
 

HappyFred

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Jun 18, 2012
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http://www.m-audio.com/news/en_us-1870.html

It works very well actually. It works with these drivers.

It should work perfectly with both OS's . I'm not too sure about the sellers and their credibility.

What will happen is, you will install the drivers. Then you will hook up the interface. Then you will hook the mic right into the interface.

Once that is set up, since I'm assuming you don't have studio monitors, you will set the input system in your DAW program(Garageband, Logic, Protools) to your AVID box. But, your output will be your standard onboard soundcard, that your speakers are hooked up to.

I hope that makes sense.
Thanks I get it. Just want to confirm once again. Is this the Avid M-Audio Fast Track Pro?
http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/avid-recording-studio-audio-interface-12033851-pdt.html?srcid=867&cmpid=comp~Google~Computing Accessories~12033851&istCompanyId=bec25c7e-cbcd-460d-81d5-a25372d2e3d7&istItemId=rarwwmqq&istBid=t
 

HappyFred

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Jun 18, 2012
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looks like it to me!
Thanks. I think I will buy it from Currys. :) Do I plug in karaoke mic into the audio interface? I don't think the jack would fit pc mic, isn't it? If I gonna buy a vocal condenser mic, what would u suggest? Do u think Behringer C1 would be a good choice?
 

estrides

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Apr 8, 2012
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Youre going to want to use a mic with a standard XLR connection. For a vocal condenser mic, the Behringer C-1 is a great entry mic.
 

Boyd01

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I don't think the jack would fit pc mic, isn't it?
By "pc mic", do you mean a USB microphone? If you have one of these, you could use it in addition to your audio interface. To do this, use the Audio MIDI Setup program that is found in the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder. In the Audio Devices window, click the plus (+) button next to Aggregate Device. You will then see a list of all available audio devices you have connected, including a USB microphone, your audio interface and your computers built-in input. Place a check in the box next to the ones you want to use. They will then all be available to any audio software that you use.
 

HappyFred

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Jun 18, 2012
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By "pc mic", do you mean a USB microphone? If you have one of these, you could use it in addition to your audio interface. To do this, use the Audio MIDI Setup program that is found in the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder. In the Audio Devices window, click the plus (+) button next to Aggregate Device. You will then see a list of all available audio devices you have connected, including a USB microphone, your audio interface and your computers built-in input. Place a check in the box next to the ones you want to use. They will then all be available to any audio software that you use.
o so do I just plug the usb mic into the pc? Actually, I don't have a usb mic but I have a 1/8" jack pc mic.
 

Boyd01

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Yes, you can plug a USB mic into one of your computer's USB ports. I have two of them (Audio Technica AT2020 USB) that are plugged into a powered 7 port hub along with my Alesis USB audio interface. They all work fine together in both GarageBand and Logic.

For what you describe, if you are happy with the microphone you've got it might be best to just get an inexpensive adaptor plug for your interface. But if you prefer, you could plug it into your computer the way you usually do, then create an aggregate device as I described above.

But for an analog mic, you should get better quality by plugging it into an audio interface. If it's just a cheap, low quality microphone it probably won't make much difference either way though. But the audio interface will probably have a physical knob to adjust mic level, so that would be an advantage too.
 

ChrisA

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Jan 5, 2006
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Hi, I am looking for an cheap audio interface for basic vocal recording and kaorake.
I have heard Avid M-Audio Fast Track Pro and Tascam US-122MKII are the good choices for a beginner to have. But I have found something even more cheaper and it is the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 USB ...
What kind of microphone will you be using? How much gain does that mic require? Does it need 48V phantom power. And lastly do you care at all about audio quality?

As a rule the ONLY good thing about Behinger is the price. Actually not even the price is good because everyone after using it a while buys something else so the money is wasted. What you need for recording is a high quality preamp inside the interface. Cheap preamps will create hiss and noise. And you really do want tax physical "gain" knob. Not a software control for that.


The two you said, Avid and Tascan are good. But I like the persons "audio box" for about $150. These are all about the entry level for stuff you can keep. Anything less and you will have to replace it and buy what you should have gotten the first time.
 

HappyFred

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Jun 18, 2012
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What kind of microphone will you be using? How much gain does that mic require? Does it need 48V phantom power. And lastly do you care at all about audio quality?

As a rule the ONLY good thing about Behinger is the price. Actually not even the price is good because everyone after using it a while buys something else so the money is wasted. What you need for recording is a high quality preamp inside the interface. Cheap preamps will create hiss and noise. And you really do want tax physical "gain" knob. Not a software control for that.


The two you said, Avid and Tascan are good. But I like the persons "audio box" for about $150. These are all about the entry level for stuff you can keep. Anything less and you will have to replace it and buy what you should have gotten the first time.
KARAOKE DYNAMIC MICROPHONE 3M LEAD UNDIRECTIONAL ON/OFF
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150799068755&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160
Thanks for replying. I have order one of this. Will be coming soon with the Audio Interface which is Avid M-Audio FTP. I might consider to buy a condenser mic for recording. I want a good entry level mic with good price.

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Yes, you can plug a USB mic into one of your computer's USB ports. I have two of them (Audio Technica AT2020 USB) that are plugged into a powered 7 port hub along with my Alesis USB audio interface. They all work fine together in both GarageBand and Logic.

For what you describe, if you are happy with the microphone you've got it might be best to just get an inexpensive adaptor plug for your interface. But if you prefer, you could plug it into your computer the way you usually do, then create an aggregate device as I described above.

But for an analog mic, you should get better quality by plugging it into an audio interface. If it's just a cheap, low quality microphone it probably won't make much difference either way though. But the audio interface will probably have a physical knob to adjust mic level, so that would be an advantage too.
KARAOKE DYNAMIC MICROPHONE 3M LEAD UNDIRECTIONAL ON/OFF
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150799068755&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160
Can I plug the above into the Avid M-Audio FTP via the guitar jack? Since it isn't a XLR mic.
 

ChrisA

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Jan 5, 2006
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Redondo Beach, California
Could I plug a karaoke mic into the guitar jack??

No. Any pro quality mic will have an XLR connector on it. Guitars have a 1/4" phone plug. But that said there are combo jacks on many audio interfaces that accept either 1/4" or XLR. They look like an XLR with a 1/4" hole in the center.

But in general no. those combo jacks are just space saving. they are wired up internally as if they were two jacks. Mics always go into the XLR "mic level" jack and a guitar always needs to go to the high impedance "instrument level" jack. You can't put 48V phantom power into a guitar but condenser miss can't work without the phantom power.


One more thing. A studio mic for recording works best is a very quiet environment. they would not be good in a noisy karaoke bar. I'd go with some kind if mic designed for live on stage use for karaoke. The SM58 is the classic stage mic.
 

HappyFred

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Jun 18, 2012
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No. Any pro quality mic will have an XLR connector on it. Guitars have a 1/4" phone plug. But that said there are combo jacks on many audio interfaces that accept either 1/4" or XLR. They look like an XLR with a 1/4" hole in the center.

But in general no. those combo jacks are just space saving. they are wired up internally as if they were two jacks. Mics always go into the XLR "mic level" jack and a guitar always needs to go to the high impedance "instrument level" jack. You can't put 48V phantom power into a guitar but condenser miss can't work without the phantom power.


One more thing. A studio mic for recording works best is a very quiet environment. they would not be good in a noisy karaoke bar. I'd go with some kind if mic designed for live on stage use for karaoke. The SM58 is the classic stage mic.
DM11 DYNAMIC MICROPHONE

Handheld dynamic microphone with a durable Strong body and steel mesh windshield. Suitable for vocals and general PA or recording applications.

Unidirectional response
On/off slide switch
Supplied with XLR to jack lead
Frequency response 80Hz-14kHz
Sensitivity -68dB (±3dB)
Impedance 600 ohms (±30%)
Connection XLRM
Dimensions 170 x 50mmØ
Weight 180g
173.853

The details of the mic I've brought, is that okay to use?? Since it don't have guitar so I would only consider to use of the mic.
 

Sackvillenb

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Mar 1, 2011
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For a small interface with a great sound quality, I really like the Onyx BlackJack by Mackie. 2 channels, XLR and 1/4 inch inputs, phantom power, direct monitoring, etc. Rugged, and sounds great!
 

HappyFred

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2012
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For a small interface with a great sound quality, I really like the Onyx BlackJack by Mackie. 2 channels, XLR and 1/4 inch inputs, phantom power, direct monitoring, etc. Rugged, and sounds great!
o
I have already order a Avid M-Audio Fast Track Pro. And now I am looking for a cheap dynamic karaoke microphone which would work for my audio interface.
I have order this mic don't know if it would work? If it will not work for my audio interface then I will need to refund it as soon as possible.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150799068755&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160&clk_rvr_id=356030314012#ht_529wt_952