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If you have some $ you can spend $100 and get something like this:
and you run a 1/4" into the USB adapter (has a 1/4" input or XLR, I use XLR), which goes into your laptop. This will give you excellent sound quality that you'll hear (in mono, unless you mix it otherwise) thru both speakers at the same time. Your best bet if you have $100 layin around for something like this.
I use BPHS-1's.
Since I have a 2-PC streaming system, I split the MIC XLR, and connect both ends to each computer, using Blue Icicles($30 XLR to USB adapter)
I also have a mixer, and thats what I use for the headphone part. For you, I would recommend a [link]
I'd skip all the injecting phantom and 3.5mm USB device malarkey and get a Scarlett Solo ([link]) or similar. It's a bit more money, but it'll save you some headaches. Even the Behringer U...phoria? Sheesh that's a silly name... would be less work and more versatile.
Would that work? I use my computer for gaming and the likes, etc. so would I have to keep unplugging and plugging in my headphones to different ports just to be able to hear everything?
I dunno. I don't want to sound like I have high authority in this area. I am reasonably new to recording. But this [link] (sorry for the long link) has opened a lot of doors for ma and allows you to record one or two inputs simultaneously.
But yeah I am a 'bedroom' music maker. Maybe wait for more replies from more informed/experienced producers. But in my opinion an audio interface and a good quality mike will allow you to record pretty much whatever you like track by track.
Just make sure your recording music for the right reasons!
I think that would do what you need it to do, but it looks like it's made of cheap plastic so I'd be concerned about the reliability. Also, there is no XLR input which you may need if you're ever going to use a mic. This one is better, and not that much more expensive:
Are you buying the interface for recording??
The focusrite scarlett solo sounds perfect for your budget. It's $99. I've been using it over a year and love it so far. Might upgrade to the 2i2 in the future. But this is totally fine for my needs. Here's a link to amazon if you wanna take a look at the product. [link]
Budget - Preferably around $200-250, but willing to go over if necessary.
Source - [link]
Requirements for Isolation - I'll take or leave it. Not really a priority.
Preferred Headphone Type - Over ear, Semi-open.
Preferred tonal balance - A good balance with a focus on smooth mids and lows.
Past Headphones - I had a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M45WH which were great, but not quite colorful enough for my liking. After that I bought the Senheiser HD 380 Pros (which I'm still using).
Preferred Music - Favorite genres tend to be bass and mid heavy, but I listen to all sorts.
What would you like to improve on from your set-up - I'm looking for more depth and detail primarily.
I really love the set of cans I have now, but after the recent purchase of some higher tier JBL studio monitors, they don't really stack up anymore. Also an important side note; I'm trying to get into studio production and video editing, so accuracy is especially important.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
It depends on what you can afford. If this is all the money you have to get a working mic going then return it and get a usb.
However if you have the money and are planning to invest more money in your stream anyway, I would keep it and get a scarlett solo. This will allow you more control over your mic volume. The scarlett will then go straight in the pc without a sound card needed.
The scarlett solo also has an rca output on the back so you can also go to a sound card as well.
This is the stage I'm at, I bought this for gaming since I like hearing the game through my speakers but still using push to talk on occasion to talk with friends.
Then after that is the I love streaming stage. And that's when a mixer and a sound card come more into play.
I see the one suggested is not much but no oe had reviewed it...I would look for well reviewed and do a little research...I only know people like the focusrite...this one is in your budget...[link]
it sounds like the resting noise floor of your mixer too me.
if it's not too late, send back the mixer and get an audio interface instead. an interface will let you plug your mic directly into your computer, rather than having to "stream it via USB" like your mixer is doing. the interface will have an invisible noise floor.
The driving factor, to my knowledge, is your CPU resources. I will speak about Revalver 4 because that's what I have experience with.
If you are experiencing latency (which I didn't really, with factory settings) you can go into the settings of the audio driver (ASIO) and reduce the buffer size inside Revalver. The smaller the buffer size, the lower the latency but higher the CPU load. So I lowered my buffer size down to either the lowest, or very near the lowest setting allowed. This produces no noticeable latency (They say under 20ms of latency is hard to detect). This is the interface I'm using so it's not a real high powered interface but it's not the bottom of the line either. My laptop is probably 5 yrs old but it was very powerful when I bought it and is still plenty powerful enough (it's an i7 intel, and I have 8 gb of RAM in the laptop...not sure if that comes into play)
If you use an interface, your sound card will never come into play. At that point it is a USB connection using ASIO drivers.
I've never tried a sound card with guitar capabilities, but 2ms is probably lower than you will get with an audio interface. It could probably be debated whether you need 2ms or not. Go with what you feel comfortable with and which price range fits your needs.
$100 seems like a lot, but this thing is some of the best bang for your buck you'll get out of a recording interface, and it's got the added capability of doing a microphone as well, should you ever want to record an acoustic guitar or vocals.
you're not going to notice any improvement between onboard audio and a cheap usb sound card. you would only get a cheap usb sound card if your onboard audio was broken. save for an interface (there are some good ones from as cheap as $85!!)
> I included the sound card because you said you want to make music, with that said, on-board sound quality will be bearable at best (can't know for certain since it isn't a high-end motherboard).
I can live with bearable. The thing with making music on a computer is the sound card doesn't really do anything other than output - for inputs I'd be using a USB interface like one of the focusrite scarlett line. Once I have some more cash I can upgrade so i have better sound at the desk, but really it's non essential to begin with.
> I would highly recommend getting a video card, if not this one.
I made a couple other comments through here you can look at.
If you have a quiet environment this will be perfectly fine for streaming, and definitely for skype/mumble/whatever you use for chat. If you're not hardcore into audio, you'll probably never need another microphone.
As for XLR vs USB; USB is the easy-mode. You won't have a lot of flexibility, but that's the point of a USB mic, it's plug and play.
Getting an audio interface will give you better playback quality (most computers have shit-for-audio solutions) and will drastically increase your microphone options.
The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is a very nice entry-level audio interface. It gives you phantom power (needed for most XLR microphones), and an easy direct monitor if you need it.
As for XLR microphones, there is a wide range you can choose from. ATH2020 are nice microphones, and kind of "one size fits all." If you don't want to get crazy into it, they're perfectly fine. You can find other microphones from Shure/MXL/CAD that may fit your voice better for less cost, but it's totally up to you. It's like any other hobby, you can choose the easy and good enough for everyone else solution, or you can pour time into it and fine-tune to your hearts delight.
Edit: Just realized you have a pair of 558s. You'd be well served to get an audio interface. The audio quality you're getting from your computer is likely limiting your earphones. I'm just assuming since you are someone who spent ~$100 on earphones, you are slowly moving yourself towards the audiophile realm.
I bought one of these to use with my MacBook Pro / Garage Band. I love it! It has direct monitoring to get rid of the latency issues. It also has an XLR input so you could plug in a mic or acoustic.
I have a condenser XLR connected to an audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2). I have not used the Shure adapter but seeing that it has phantom power for a condenser mic, mic gain control, and volume control I don't foresee you having any issues since you'll be able to adjust the gain and volume going into your computer.
If the Shure adapter doesn't work or doesn't increase the gain/volume enough, then I'd recommend a Focusrite Scarlett. It'll boost your mic up to 105dB and is the same price as the Shure adapter. I have had no issues with increasing the volume on my condenser with it.
Gotcha, so an interface like this one is the way to go, and then I can just focus on a guitar that makes me happy.
I wish the nearest store wasn't two hours away.
After reading all these comments suggesting cheapo "adapters"; Do yourself a favor and get a somewhat decent audio interface. Most of these "adapters" (which are actually just very minimalistic audio interfaces) have shoddy microphone preamps and they corner you into very unflexible audio routing. Sooner or later you'll either be unsatisfied with the quality or they won't provide the routing options you need and you'll end up buying a proper interface anyways.
Looking through available options, here are some of the cheapest interfaces I could recommend without feeling like I'm telling you to buy bad products: 1, 2
There are slightly cheaper options, but in my opinion, they're pretty bad and you'll regret spending your money on that.
I'd rather save up some money and get one of these than throw my money at a shitty "adapter" that I'll discard in a few months for €30 any day.
Stupid question, but would this work?
I have an AT2020USB sitting on the floor (next to a Rode Podcaster). Good mic. Sounds good. Still a condenser and still sensitive. Still better choices to be found that'll work for most and sound better.
I generally avoid everything Alesis and Behringer because they're cheap. Not just in price, but in components, quality, reliability, and sound... generally speaking. That said, I have no experience with that particular audio interface. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo comes well reviewed at around the same price (I think?). Steinberg also has an interface around the same price. If you're looking more for a mixer (that's what the Alesis is), then I'd suggest looking at a Mackie or Yamaha mixer. Chances are, you're going to be looking a lot more money than the Alesis, but you're getting superior preamps and overall better hardware and reliability. Just be careful to get one that's USB unless you want to go analog everything (if you're not an audio engineer with a high end sound card, don't).
Whether you need a mixer or an audio interface comes down to what you're going to be doing. The mixer can be helpful for effects, additional EQ, monitoring, multiple inputs, etc., but it's not necessary in most instances. For most, an audio interface with one or two inputs is sufficient--you can always upgrade later and sell the interface on Ebay (or some such) because they're always in demand.
Regarding stands, I use a Rode PSA1 and have no qualms recommending it, but it's somewhat pricey. If you need cheaper, the Neewer arm has good reviews, but I have no feedback regarding it. Pretty sure several people here use and like the Neewer arm.
For a pop filter, anything, really, is fine. Don't worry about metal ones or filters made of exotic materials--any cheap nylon screen works as well as anything else. You likely won't need a windsock, but you can find plenty of those on the cheap as well. (I suppose you could go with just windsock or just filter, but either should be fine--I just prefer a pop filter to a sock.) For the XLR cable, meh... not Monster? I use these--they're nothing special, just cables. Work/sound fine.
It's easy to spend a lot of money on this stuff, but if you have patience and time, you can save a lot by buying used. Most of my mics are used and they work perfectly well--generally speaking, people take care of those (and it's obvious when they don't).
Scartlett Solo from Focusrite.
an audio interface is how you get from xlr to usb.
if you're not wanting to get an interface yet, consider the ATR2100 as it has both USB and XLR so you can start with the usb solution and still use the same mic if you upgrade to an interface later.
if you're going to get an interface, consider the AT2010 rather than the 2020. the 2010 has the same capsule as the 2020, but it's a smaller mic with a tighter polar pattern so it will be better at limiting background noise.
The good news is the XLR one is also cheaper by about 45 dollars, so a lot of your costs will be offset.
You have a few options, one option is to use a USB audio interface such as THIS
Another option is to get a basic MIXER and if you want to get better performance a basic PREAMP
If your PC has a line in you can optionally get just the preamp and go straight to line in or use the xlr to USB you linked, as this will provide power. obviously a mixer will always have more control
Sure thing. Musicians have a lot to learn from each other. You can get a guitar USB interface for pretty cheap these days eg: [link]
I have a more expensive one:
Great to have because it opens the door to using your computer as effects pedals and amplifier too. A lot of the software for that is free! :)
What's the difference between a Focusrite Scarlett Solo and, say, a Behringer UM2 other than $72 and the combo XLR/quarter inch input on the CHEAPER one? Something isn't adding up here.
a computer with music software, a USB audio interface, microphones, a mixer, studio monitors, headphones, cables... lots of cables.., and instruments, amps... you could also go oldschool style and use an 8track
what about either of these?
Interested in getting an Audio Technica AT2020, however am not sure what boom arm(?) (thing that clamps to the desk and allows swivel) as well as a shock mount. I understand that the mic will need phantom power and was recommended this from a friend on TS.
Some of the ones I've been looking at are;
Shock Mount - [link]
Boom arm - [link]
~Any help is much appreciated :)
Focusrite Scarlett Solo?
Have you looked through this? Hardware for these builds is less constrained than it used to be, but you still have better luck with nvidia and have to stick to certain chipsets/boards. And obviously, no AMD.
Anyone else trying this, really, look at that motherboard list. That's pretty much it without hassles.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
Now use your extra money to buy like, this, or if you MUST shave it down this or this(i can personally vouch for the m-audio being decent, if not 24/96)
If you get serious at all, you'll have a $400 interface within a few months anyways. These hold their value amazingly on craigslist/facebook music gear swap groups though. You'll basically have rented it for close to free when you sell it especially with the budget ones.
Check your local craigslist for m-audio, motu, focusrite, etc boxes. You DO want one, if only for the ridiculously improved SNR and built in inputs/outputs for monitors, and generally a halfway decent headphone preamp(the yamaha boxes are GREAT for this. I still use an ancient usb 1.1 one just as a pre)
Lots of storage and a decent video card fit in the budget no problem.
EDIT: i chose a slightly expensive case because it's VERY quiet, i also chose watercooling for the same reason. I've been doing recording and production in DAWs since the late 90s. It's worth it to flex some budget on running very quiet(which is also the reason for that fractal power supply)
BUDGET: £70-£90 (maybe £100+)
Source: They will be plugged into this (scroll down for the audio chips etc) and used with this. So 3.5mm/usb jack
Isolation: I'm not to sure, I have pets etc and a tv going in the background but I want good positional sound so Im not to sure what would be best
Preferred Type of Headphone: Full Sized
Preferred tonal balance: Id like it to be balanced
Preferred Music: I mostly listen to electronic music such as house, electro, dnb, chillstep etc. (my playlist)
I mostly want it for gaming but I also want good music quality. (I don't need a mic)
awesome plan! If you still have time, return the ART preamp and get an audio interface instead (which are basically usb sound cards with mic preamps in them).
there are lots of good choices, just find one in your price range that has good reviews.
The Scarlett 2i4 is a popular choice. They also have a cheaper version with only a single preamp the Scarlett Solo.
I personally use and love my Komplete Audio 6.
would either of these be suitable?
Audio Interfaces like Focusrite's Scarlett series all have line outs, headphone out, and volume control.
The Scarlett Solo is the cheapest in the series.