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Focusrite 2i2 overkill for voice recording?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I want to start voice recording and I figured I need four things to get started with my home studio:


Microphone (C0S1 - Samson)
Headphones (SR850 - Samson)
Preamp ($100 budget, looking for used only)
and speakers (last thing thing I will purchase, using 15-year-old Harman/Kardon Speakers)



I purchased this for $40:
http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/headphones/sr-series/c01sr850/


I was thinking about purchasing a used Focusrite scarlett 2i2 or a VTB-1, but I'm not sure if this is over-kill.

For the time being, I will try to be using the condenser microphone as a gaming microphone (that is until I start making beats and writing music).

In addition, I'm sure a condenser microphone won't be the best option for computer gaming; My cherry mx blue switches are very audible and so are my fans in my computer (that is lacking side-panels and lays so close to my monitor) and these noises would be picked up. If this is truly a bad option, I will have to buy a mod mic 2.0 and hook up that suction cup to one earcup of the SR850.


TL;DR is a Focusrite 2i2 overkill for a beginner who has no idea what he wants to do with his microphone, but just wants to be able to use it (XLR connection) in the future for unknown purposes?
Edited by xquisit - 8/29/13 at 11:50pm
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post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Do I buy a new focusrite 2i2 for 110 dollars
Or a used 8i2 for 100 dollars ?
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post #3 of 11
i am using a vintage A/T/U/S ATR40 MIC (condenser) and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for voice communications in games works really well....except if i have music going in the background it come thru pretty clearly to others .... my computer is under the desk and is pretty quite so it really works out well for me here.


I'm sorry but i am not sure on the used 8i2 vs new 2i2 part of your question...I think either should work pretty well


here is a photo of my desk to sort of show how stuff is set up and whatever.... my Scarlett has been a good little device I like it.
gi9i.jpg


it makes a rather nice dac also ....IF (big if) you have monitors w/ balanced inputs as the scarlett has balanced TRS outputs.... i used mine for a bit with TRS to RCA cable (bal to unbalanced) had bad noise floor issues.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atarione View Post

i am using a vintage A/T/U/S ATR40 MIC (condenser) and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for voice communications in games works really well....except if i have music going in the background it come thru pretty clearly to others .... my computer is under the desk and is pretty quite so it really works out well for me here.


I'm sorry but i am not sure on the used 8i2 vs new 2i2 part of your question...I think either should work pretty well

Great looking setup, I'll post mine someday (when I get my Samsung Galaxy S4 replaced).

I ended up purchasing a brand new Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for $109 /w free shipping!

So far my home studio is pretty cheap:
Headphones + Mic + stand /w shock + filter = $45
Preamplifier = $107
Keyboard = Casio CTK-601 (Sitting in my lil' brothers room for 10 years, free for me?)
Speakers = Harmon/Kardon (From my 333MHz Dell, which was my first computer, before 1999)
Computer = Built in 2009 (WTB IB-E or waiting for HW-E, then I'll get a bunch of new memory and SSDs) (Will get a nice multi monitor setup, 1x 1080 TN 120Hz and 1x 1440p 60Hz IPS)
Huge L-Desk = $75 from a Hollywood screenwiters home (Craigslist FTW), the house was worth 8,000,000 (guessing)... That view was phenomenal and was a cool buying experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atarione View Post



it makes a rather nice dac also ....IF (big if) you have monitors w/ balanced inputs as the scarlett has balanced TRS outputs.... i used mine for a bit with TRS to RCA cable (bal to unbalanced) had bad noise floor issues.

I'm a newcomer to the Audiophile zone/world, what is a DAC? Digital Analog Converter? Is it something you use to give bass to your headphones? Or is it an external sound card pretty much?
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post #5 of 11
Just a preamp like the Art Tube MP ($30) or the Behringer MIC100, one male to female xlr cable, one male to male 3.5mm audio cable, and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter would be a much less expensive option that'll give you the same sound quality.
Edited by cuad - 8/31/13 at 7:27pm
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuad View Post

Just a preamp like the Art Tube MP ($30) or the Behringer MIC100, one male to female xlr cable, one male to male 3.5mm audio cable, and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter would be a much less expensive option that'll give you the same sound quality.

I'm sure that's $50 worth, but isn't the 2i2 (new) at $109 a better value? I've seen them sold used for $80+. The casing (not that it matters) looks to be good quality and it matches my wooden desk. I'm a sucker for looks, but audio quality comes first.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by xquisit View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuad View Post

Just a preamp like the Art Tube MP ($30) or the Behringer MIC100, one male to female xlr cable, one male to male 3.5mm audio cable, and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter would be a much less expensive option that'll give you the same sound quality.

I'm sure that's $50 worth, but isn't the 2i2 (new) at $109 a better value? I've seen them sold used for $80+. The casing (not that it matters) looks to be good quality and it matches my wooden desk. I'm a sucker for looks, but audio quality comes first.

For me, eh. I don't use the direct monitoring feature on mine. I don't use the speaker outs. I don't use the software it came with. I use the DAC on it, but it doesn't sound any better than my onboard Realtek ALC889. I only use the preamp on it and the USB connection to the computer. I kept my 2i2 over the Art Tube MP set up for a couple reasons. One, it's USB powered. The Art Tube MP has to plug into an outlet, so you have to have one extra cable on your desk. Two, the Art Tube MP runs hot, so I was afraid of having it plugged in day after day. On the other hand, the 2i2 runs cool. Maybe it wouldn't be such a problem if I could turn the Art Tube MP off, but... Three, there's no power button on the Art Tube MP. I kept the 2i2 for convenience reasons rly. Plus, it's a pretty red box. Soundwise though, you're not getting anything extra out of it.
Edited by cuad - 8/31/13 at 7:52pm
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post #8 of 11
kewl I think you are going to like the Scarlett I have had mine for a couple years now and it is a neat little device
Quote:
I'm a newcomer to the Audiophile zone/world, what is a DAC? Digital Analog Converter? Is it something you use to give bass to your headphones? Or is it an external sound card pretty much?

yeah Digital Analog Converter ... basically a external sound card


alot of people (including me) like to use external soundcards (DACs) because there is quite a lot of electrical noise inside of your average pc case... rather than fight it ...just move the card out of the case and avoid the issue.

right now I use a FiiO E07k / E9


the Scarlett does have decent headphone amp also I have used it with my ATH-M50 headphones quite a bit sound pretty good.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuad View Post

For me, eh. I don't use the direct monitoring feature on mine. I don't use the speaker outs. I don't use the software it came with. I use the DAC on it, but it doesn't sound any better than my onboard Realtek ALC889. I only use the preamp on it and the USB connection to the computer. I kept my 2i2 over the Art Tube MP set up for a couple reasons. One, it's USB powered. The Art Tube MP has to plug into an outlet, so you have to have one extra cable on your desk. Two, the Art Tube MP runs hot, so I was afraid of having it plugged in day after day. On the other hand, the 2i2 runs cool. Maybe it wouldn't be such a problem if I could turn the Art Tube MP off, but... Three, there's no power button on the Art Tube MP. I kept the 2i2 for convenience reasons rly. Plus, it's a pretty red box. Soundwise though, you're not getting anything extra out of it.


Finally, someone broke it down for me (a $40 preamp vs 150). I'm glad the 2i2 has a power button!
Quote:
Originally Posted by atarione View Post

kewl I think you are going to like the Scarlett I have had mine for a couple years now and it is a neat little device
yeah Digital Analog Converter ... basically a external sound card


alot of people (including me) like to use external soundcards (DACs) because there is quite a lot of electrical noise inside of your average pc case... rather than fight it ...just move the card out of the case and avoid the issue.

right now I use a FiiO E07k / E9


the Scarlett does have decent headphone amp also I have used it with my ATH-M50 headphones quite a bit sound pretty good.

I hate the humming noise from EMI, so I am thankful I have a chance to use an external sound card. Will here be an disadvantages to this? Like latencey in FPS games?
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post #10 of 11
Actually, the 2i2 doesn't have a power button. The only button on it is the 48V phantom power switch, but that's not for turning the unit on and off. You don't have to worry about leaving it on all day though, so it's okay.

Also, the 2i2 isn't just a preamp. It's an audio interface that includes preamps. An audio interface is anything that hooks to your computer and has an ADC and DAC on it. Those are analog to digital converters and digital to analog converters. The preamps in the 2i2 probably aren't worth more than $40 standalone preamps we've talked about.
Edited by cuad - 9/1/13 at 11:47am
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