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Looking for a 24-bit interface up to $200 (Canadian). I've got my eye on the Mackie Onyx Blackjack and seems to be pretty good and at a really good price. But is there something way better I could get if I used the full $200 budget? What if I went up to $250?
the main flaw I see in your setup is that the monitor outputs are mono L/R TS outputs, not two TRS stereo outputs.
I've got a similar setup with a Mackie Onyx Blackjack which I really like both for recording and just as my dedicated audio device: [link]
It's basically an external sound card that has 1 stereo output, and two mono inputs
The one I have has the additional feature of having independent volume controls for the headphones and speakers
If you're not recording, the unit I have works as a regular ol' sound card except the headphones and speakers both always outputting, but you can just turn one down if you aren't using it.
If you are recording, it sends the audio both into your computer, and it's got an internal mixer for 0-latency output to your outputs.
This isn't very helpful since my Mackie is a bit different from the unit you're looking at, but perhaps you'd consider the Mackie instead due to the extra output control features. Mackie is also known for their great preamps
I'm actually buying an interface in the next few days with that LITERAL exact same price range!
This Mackie Onyx Blackjack is going for $100 right now (it's $100 off the regular $200). It's got two hybrid XLR and 1/4" TRS inputs and it's supposed to have a really low noise floor, and both inputs have DIs (needed for proper guitar recording, among other instruments). The reviews look extremely positive.
Well, the proper nomenclature is 3.5mm TRS to 3.5mm TRS, but yes, an auxiliary cord. Depends on your computer if it is separate or include as a "headphone/microphone" in out. If PC, then it's separate. If Mac, you might need something a bit different.
Audio interface is still a much better option, even something like a Mackie Onyx Blackjack (which is all I use at home), will work.
I find the mic pretty good. I got tired of using a boom arm and mic when I was just playing online with friends. You'll need a decent audio interface to drive it. I have the [link]
I also changed the ear pads on the headset to Brainwavz ones.
If you want to hear how the mic can sound. The PlayStation access youtube channel use them for gameplay videos.
I use the mackie Onyx blackjack. Works very well 2 XLR input and USB to computer. Really easy to set up as well
DACs are digital analog converters. They are basically really fancy sound cards that are good for recording. Low noise floor so you can turn them up really loud before you ever hear any hissing. This is essential for recording any outboard gear. It also will have proper outputs for studio speakers aka reference monitors. I don't record any instruments and work 100% in the box so I use a 2output for my speakers. This is what I use as a DAC to make electronic music.
If you end up getting a higher end DAC that has firewire read below.
Firewire will be its own separate card that goes in a PCI-E slot. Its a very common port in Apple computers, its become the defacto standard for high end DACs that have more than 4 in/out
This one I believe works right out of the box.
Fanless, more than enough power for a machine like this. Costs a little more but for an audio PC silence is worth the extra money.
Get rid of that POS, get a Blackjack. 2 inputs. Very low latency. Very low noise. I recommend it for anyone needing just a few inputs.
If you want to record in stereo, then you'll need a two-microphone USB interface. I've had good luck with the Mackie Onyx Blackjack ([link])
So get an SM57 and a 58.