Which audio interface?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by devc, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. devc macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2009
    #1
    I am looking at getting a USB/Firewire audio interface.
    I will be using it to record vinyl via a technics sl1210 turntable so it will need to have an L and R stero phono input and also somewhere to ground the earth from the turntable.
    I will need ideally 4 phono outputs (to mixer/monitor) and also MIDI connections in case I hook a MIDI controller up (or even better if the audio interface has some midi controls on it).

    Is there such a device that meets my requirements?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #2
    www.m-audio.com :cool:
     
  3. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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  4. devc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I was looking at them but couldnt decide which product would suit me needs?
    Would I need to put the phono leads from the turntable into another connector before inputting into the audio interface?
    Sorry I'm new to all this so still learning!
     
  5. devc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2009
    #5
    I have read that thread and understand the concept of recording, but I'm still unsure how to connect the phono outputs (and ground) of a turntable to say the M-Audio Fast Track Pro? I can't see any phono inputs so I assume I need an adaptor?
     
  6. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #6
    Grab a stereo phono to twin mono 1/4" jack cable from your local AV outlet or get a standard phono stereo cable and a couple of phono to jack plug adaptors.
     
  7. devc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    And then how do the jack plugs connect to the M-Audio Fast Track Pro? I dont see any suitable inputs.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Check driver support before you buy from m-audio. Go to the above web site's down load page and see if they support your version of Mac OS X. (Hint 10.5.6 is not supported.)

    Most stuff will work fine but corner cases don't, like using two audio interfaces at ones or the higher speed setting.)

    This applies to all companies not jut m-audio. Check driver support on the companies web site BEFORE you buy.

    To the OP: The problem is not "Are there any" but that that are many dozons of them and researching them all is time consuming. There must be two dozen then would meet your needs

    The first question is how much you care about audio quality. Are you one of those people who say that Vinyl has better sound quality then CDs and you want to capture that quality. Or maybe you just want listenable recording and intend to save them a 128K MP3 files on an iPod. How you answer this question will determin if you can use a $40 interface or if you will need to spend $300 or even $3000 if you are the "true audiophile" who buys the silver-plate speaker wire.

    EDIT:
    This web site will help. But (1) the list prices are MSRP, not "street" and are way high and (2) the web page does not address audio quality only features. You will have to read the specs. Most people would want at least 96K sample rate and 24 bits for recording.
    http://www.recordingreview.com/soundcard/soundcard_wizard.php


    All pro audio equipment is going to be using 1/4 inch TS or 1/4 inch TRS connectors. The RCA jacks are a consumer audio thing used for home stereo and TV sets. The pros use the larger connectors because they are more robust.

    Also you will find that in the pro audio world many of the signals are "balanced" while home audio mostly uses unbalanced signals. OK so how to connect it up? Tghe places that sell the audio interfaces wil also offer about 100 types of short adaptor cables. After a while you will collect box loads of these. Check out the local Guitar Center or Sam Ash retail stores or on the web Sweetwater.com. You will need a set of RCA to 1/4 inch TS cables or the correct length. I prefer simply buying the corect cable to stacking adaptors but they also sell 1/4 inch plugs with RCA jacks on them. For the most part you can directly connect line level balanced signels to line level nbalanced. There is a 3db (or is it 6db?) level difference but that's within range of the interface's gain adjustment.
     
  9. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #9
    The fast track (and most modern interfaces) use XLR sockets that feature a combined TRS Jack input. The central hole is a jack input.
     
  10. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #10
    Everyone has completely ignored the fact he's plugging in a turntable.

    Unless you've got an outboard phono preamp, plugging a record deck directly into any of the interfaces suggested above will not work, no matter what adaptors you're using.

    http://www.esi-audio.com/products/duafire/

    This has a built in phono pre. It's switchable as well, so if you get a higher-end phono pre later on down the road, you could bypass the pre in the interface.
     
  11. devc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2009
    #11
    If only is was USB! Just found out the new macbook doesnt have firewire!

    So if I hook the turntable up to a mixer and use the output from the mixer to connect to the audio interface will that be ok?
    Not ideal but could be an option.
     
  12. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    If the mixer has a phono pre in it (like a DJ mixer meant for use with record decks), then yes. Those tend not to be amazing quality though.

    You could by a phono pre like this one: http://www.project-audio.com/main.php?prod=phonobox&cat=boxes&lang=en for zround $150-170 and plug that straight into an interface as well for better quality.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    There are software filters that will apply the RIAA EQ curve to the audio. You don't really need a phono preamp.

    If you do want to go the hardware based RIAA EQ route them many people already own a stereo amp with a phono input. Connect the turn table to that and then run the "tape out" from the amp to the computer's audio interface.

    But you really can bring the audio directly into the computer and then apply a software filter. In fact if you record at 24-bits the software filter may even be better
     
  14. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #14
    As far as I know, due to the very low-level output of a record deck, you do need a phono preamp.

    Are you suggesting this is because a digital EQ being used over a 24-bit file is better than an analog one?
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15

    "Preamp" yes not not a "phono preamp" anything that can boot a mic level signal should work. Phono preamps are specialized devices that have a very special EQ curve built into them. You can do that part in software.

    That said, most people who would own a turn table likely also own an amp or reciever with a built-in phono preamp.


    The software eq might have more bands and also automation. But I also meant that software EQ was not so good with only 16-bits.
     
  16. joseph87 macrumors member

    joseph87

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