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Need advice: Listening and recording music with PC
Orome
post Jan 20 2010, 10:53
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Hi there

What i want to do:
I want to be able to listen to music in good quality (i don't need top stuff because a) I can't afford it and b) probably couldn't hear the difference anyways)
I want to record music in decent but not necessarily awesome quality.

What i have thus far:
My computer with a realtek mainboard.
Logitec z-2300 speakers (needs analog input)
A Tascam US-144 Interface
A Shure SM-57 with a XLR male/female and a XLR to 3.5mm jack cable


My main problem is that i can't use my Interface with my new computer because there's no driver for my new OS (windows 7 64bit) and i can't get it to work properly with other drivers (for example i tried the 64bit driver for vista).
Now I'm thinking about getting a PCI-(E) soundcard but I'm not sure how good the recordingquality will be. (As said above, I don't need premium qualitiy, but it should be decent)

So basically my questions are: Can you tell me which soundcard would work fine for me? Or would you advice me something else?

I hope I didn't forget something important.

Greetings
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AndyH-ha
post Jan 20 2010, 11:50
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The quality of the soundcard is down near the bottom of the list of things that will effect the quality of your recordings. Your recording environment and recording techniques will make far larger differences. There is a great deal of information available free on the web and there are some decent beginner's books. General audio recording and processing know-how should be your first priority.
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Orome
post Jan 20 2010, 19:40
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Thanks for your feedback.

So you'd say, when I'm buying a soundcard (which I'll do anyways because I don't want to listen to music with my onboardcard), I only need to watch out for the outputquality so to speak? Even if I'm going to record through the very same card?
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DVDdoug
post Jan 20 2010, 22:57
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I can't recommend any specific equipment...

QUOTE
A Tascam US-144 Interface
A Shure SM-57 with a XLR male/female and a XLR to 3.5mm jack cable
Actually, you'd be better-off with a similar device that has a proper balanced low-impedance mic input. I like this kind of solution (an external USB or Firewire "box"). Stand-alone digital recorders are another solution that I like...

I wouldn't use a regular soundcard with a pro microphone (like your SM-57)... Regular soundcards have high-impedance unbalanced inputs, and they generally have cheap mic preamps. (You can get pro soundcards with low-impedance mic inputs.)

An alternative would be to get a small mixer (with a mic input) and connect the line-out to the line-in on your soundcard. (As a rule, soundcard line-inputs are better than their mic inputs.)

Or, a few companies make a "USB microphone adapter" like this. (But, I'd only recommend this thing for special situations... And of course, you could run-into the same situation in the future with no available driver... sad.gif )

QUOTE
So you'd say, when I'm buying a soundcard (which I'll do anyways because I don't want to listen to music with my onboardcard), I only need to watch out for the outputquality so to speak? Even if I'm going to record through the very same card?
I'd be more concerned with input/recording quality. As far as output, if you don't hear any noise from the onboard sound, you are unlikely to hear any difference with an upgrade.

QUOTE
I want to record music in decent but not necessarily awesome quality.
If you're recording live music (with a mic), a 2nd mic for stereo recording might be a good investment. wink.gif

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Jan 20 2010, 23:02
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 21 2010, 03:36
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QUOTE (Orome @ Jan 20 2010, 04:53) *
Hi there

What i want to do:
I want to be able to listen to music in good quality (i don't need top stuff because a) I can't afford it and b) probably couldn't hear the difference anyways)
I want to record music in decent but not necessarily awesome quality.

What i have thus far:
My computer with a realtek mainboard.
Logitec z-2300 speakers (needs analog input)
A Tascam US-144 Interface
A Shure SM-57 with a XLR male/female and a XLR to 3.5mm jack cable

My main problem is that i can't use my Interface with my new computer because there's no driver for my new OS (windows 7 64bit) and i can't get it to work properly with other drivers (for example i tried the 64bit driver for vista).
Now I'm thinking about getting a PCI-(E) soundcard but I'm not sure how good the recordingquality will be. (As said above, I don't need premium qualitiy, but it should be decent)

So basically my questions are: Can you tell me which soundcard would work fine for me? Or would you advice me something else?


The deal with Tascam's non-support of the US-144 and Windows 7 is a bummer. :-(

However, the US 144 has been around for a long time, and you can't expect much in the way of support for discontinued hardware. Have you checked the driver situation lately, as I read conflicting things on the web.

I recently got at deal on a Presonus FW 1394 which has regular mic inputs even with phantop power, as well as RCA jacks for line level inputs and outputs for about $100 at Musican's Friend.
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Orome
post Jan 22 2010, 10:29
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Thanks for all your help.

Concerning the US-144 driver: I'm regularly checking for a 64bit windows 7 driver, since I'm still hoping to be able to use it again someday, but no luck thus far. Tascam once made an announcement that they'll make one but thats months back already.
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MikeFord
post Jul 30 2010, 18:17
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QUOTE (Orome @ Jan 22 2010, 02:29) *
Thanks for all your help.

Concerning the US-144 driver: I'm regularly checking for a 64bit windows 7 driver, since I'm still hoping to be able to use it again someday, but no luck thus far. Tascam once made an announcement that they'll make one but thats months back already.

I've been thinking about a 122, so I checked just now and a driver for both the 122 and 144 is out for both 32 and 64 bit Win7.
http://www.tascam.com/details;9,15,70,19.html
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