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Sound card for listening and recording guitar and vocals

Poll Results: Which of these is the best for me?

 
  • 100% (1)
    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
  • 0% (0)
    Yamaha AG03
  • 0% (0)
    Mackie Onyx Blackjack
  • 0% (0)
    M-Audio M-Track Plus MKII
  • 0% (0)
    Other
1 Total Vote  
post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
external sound card for Win10 PC (and possibly iPad)

inputs: 1x 1/4 inch jack, 1 combo (xlr or 1/4 inch jack) (guitar, mic, maybe another guitar (won't be connected together with mic))
outputs: headphones (AKG K271 MKII), stereo speakers (either RCA or 1/4 line-out) (old home stereo system)

price: ~$150

important aspects: silent ADC (and DAC), good sound quality, low latency, good windows drivers


My current top contenders: (prices in braces are in my local currency, all from the same shop for price comparison)
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3 800 Kč)
Yamaha AG03 (3 190 Kč)
Mackie Onyx Blackjack (3 390 Kč)
M-Audio M-Track Plus MKII (3 490 Kč)

Other contenders: ALESIS IO Hub, ROLAND UA-22 DUO-CAPTURE EX and TASCAM US-2x2.


Which of these fit my needs the best (or you can provide your own suggestions)? Why are the others inferior?
post #2 of 10

I would say go with the Focusrite.
It just matches what you need right now the best.

 

Yes, any of those would work--but the Focusrite has the most flexibility for your purpose (two XLR/DI inputs) and is very well built and good quality.

The Yamaha only seems to have one XLR and you don't need the mixing aspects of it for your purpose (can do it all digitally), the Mackie would work but it's just not as quality and same goes for the M-Audio.

 

Focusrite is just a standard for USB interfaces. M-Audio makes some good stuff, but quality can be sketchy.

post #3 of 10

I'm a drummer, so having more inputs would be really swell. 

This is what I'd like for myself but it's not at all what would be suitable for you lol.

 

http://www.amazon.com/TASCAM-US-16x08-USB-Audio-Interface/dp/B00MIXF200/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, it's my current favorite too

About the Yamaha - I'm happy with the guitar amp sound from line-out, so I'l be using line-out instead of miking the speaker for the most time, so I don't need two combo inputs, one is enough (also, my current mic (really crappy) uses 1/8 jack instead of XLR - that's another reason why I need single combo input)).

Also, when practicing, the mixing options on Yamaha would let me practice without pc (as far as I understand, it should work with usb cable and wall charger, shouldn't it?).

And one last thing - when I connect my guitar amp to pc directly, I get really strong ground loop -> 50 Hz hum (amp grounds through my PC or the other way around). Do you know if some of these has any issues with eliminating this?
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anagmate View Post

Thanks for the reply, it's my current favorite too

About the Yamaha - I'm happy with the guitar amp sound from line-out, so I'l be using line-out instead of miking the speaker for the most time, so I don't need two combo inputs, one is enough (also, my current mic (really crappy) uses 1/8 jack instead of XLR - that's another reason why I need single combo input)).

Also, when practicing, the mixing options on Yamaha would let me practice without pc (as far as I understand, it should work with usb cable and wall charger, shouldn't it?).

And one last thing - when I connect my guitar amp to pc directly, I get really strong ground loop -> 50 Hz hum (amp grounds through my PC or the other way around). Do you know if some of these has any issues with eliminating this?

 

How are you connecting your amp to your PC currently?

And if you have a use for a basic mixer outside of recording then yes I would think so (can't guarantee though) but do you really need it?

 

And I know you might not need the extra input now, but you might decide you like the sound of micing your amp better later, or want to record acoustic, or whatever.

It gives you more flexibility.

 

If your mic is terrible right now though, maybe get a cheaper interface like the Mackie and buy a decent mic as well instead.

Having at least a decent mic is pretty important--you don't need to spend hundreds just something like an SM58/SM57 even.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I don't sing a whole lot (and I'm not too good at it), so the sound card has currently higher priority over a mic. And also, if I bought cheap sound card (and there is not that much cheap sound cards with 2 combo inputs), I would have to spend on it again in few years. I want something that can last me for "lifetime" (OK, maybe not but at least as long as my guitar).

I'd rather have a good sound card and just buy good mic when I'll need it instead of buying a mediocre sound card and mic, only to switch them both in a year or 2.

Just one more question - do you know about DAC quality in these sound cards (all reviews say that they have very good ADC but as most them are guitarist reviews, they don't talk a whole lot about output quality)?
post #7 of 10
What is a "Combo" input?

Do you mean a simple line level input, or...?
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry - combo = both XLR and 1/4 inch jack in one input, like the Scarlett 2i2 has.
post #9 of 10

Yeah by the way--most people consider these audio interfaces rather than soundcards, myself included.

I think it might confuse some people coming to the thread.

 

Just FYI!

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anagmate View Post

I don't sing a whole lot (and I'm not too good at it), so the sound card has currently higher priority over a mic. And also, if I bought cheap sound card (and there is not that much cheap sound cards with 2 combo inputs), I would have to spend on it again in few years. I want something that can last me for "lifetime" (OK, maybe not but at least as long as my guitar).

I'd rather have a good sound card and just buy good mic when I'll need it instead of buying a mediocre sound card and mic, only to switch them both in a year or 2.

Just one more question - do you know about DAC quality in these sound cards (all reviews say that they have very good ADC but as most them are guitarist reviews, they don't talk a whole lot about output quality)?

 

That I have no idea about to be honest.

I have a dedicated tube amp and a dedicated DAC for my headphones.

 

A schiitstack (Vali & Modi).

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