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agm2003 31st August 2007 05:17 PM

Cheap Audio Interface (USB?) to PC
Looking for a very budget minded way to get fairly good quality audio input into a PC (Windows XP). Need to input BASS GUITAR and MICROPHONE.

In understand USB bypasses OEM onboard soundcard.

Wanting to start using Audacity (and maybe PowerTracks Pro Audio 12 ) to help with newbie songwriter / bass guitar player.

Any suggestions for Input or Software?


drummer_Dave 31st August 2007 10:58 PM

Ive heard M audio stuff is not too shabby, no personal experience though sorry.

check musicans friend out and read teh reviews

hopefully that helped a bit

Conrad Hoffman 31st August 2007 11:41 PM

I use an Emu 0202. It has two line inputs, or one line input and one balanced or se mic input. I also use it with Audicity and it works great. It has a nice direct conversion headphone output. On the downside, though the inputs perform well and the s/n is fantastic, the input connectors are a bit confusing. One 1/4" phone input is in the center of the mic input DIN connector, and the other input is a balanced or se 1/4" phone jack. I just stuck in two 1/4" to RCA adapters, but it might already be just the way you need it. Note that the mic input is really suited for a dynamic. If you use certain condensers, you'll need to put a load resistor across it. It also works great with large diaphragm condenser mics and a simple passive bias network to apply the phantom supply- the 0202 does not have a phantom supply. I've gotten good results with the usual Shure vocal mic, and with the super cheap Marshal condenser mic.

agm2003 1st September 2007 02:51 PM

Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202??
I'll check these out. I appreciate the input (no pun intended)!

Does anyone know about the
Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 USB-Audio Interface?

It is inexpensive, but what concerns me are RCA inputs --can you adapt from 1/4" guitar or 3 pin mic (or adapt to 1/4" mic) to RCA without too much signal loss/distortion?

Conrad Hoffman 1st September 2007 03:44 PM

I've never seen an RCA to 1/4", but they probably exist. I'd just wire up one of my own with a piece of cable and the appropriate connectors. You don't want a solid adapter, as it would stress the RCA too much. Losses aren't a factor.

agm2003 1st September 2007 04:08 PM

I can wire the cables, I just didn't know what kinds of electronics may be needed for the conversion.

Infern0 6th September 2007 09:13 AM

Do the commercial options have a good enough preamp to boost the signal up? Also, I heard that certain sound cards cut out the ultra low end. Anyone hae input on this?

Geek 6th September 2007 07:41 PM

This brings back memories for me when I recorded with my bass :)

Audacity is good, if you can get it to run stable on Windows (it's native Linux).... I couldn't.

I used Quartz Studio Free from Digital Sound Planet.... WAY more versatile 8-tracker and has a couple of built in FX.

As for s/c, your onboard will do better than any USB for under the $$ of getting a real one, like a Yamaha DS-XG1000.


dangus 11th September 2007 05:08 AM

The Behringer uses the same type of USB audio chip that some more expensive boxes do. But according to a review I found, it isn't the best implementation of that chip. Another inexpensive box that uses the same chip, the ADS Tech "Instant Music", measures better.
Unless you're bringing Jaco Pastorius back from the dead for one unholy recording session, that's more than "good enough" quality.

You will need some kind of preamplifier, DI box or mixer if you're going from a mic or bass guitar pickup. Otherwise the levels will be way too low, and therefore noisy and low resolution. I'm not sure what to suggest here; do you need a 1/4" mic input or a 3-pin XLR? Behringer has some very cheap little mixers, but it looks like they don't support 1/4" mic inputs, so you'd still need a DI box or something for the bass.

soltari_knight 11th September 2007 05:49 AM

How about UCG102?
There are 2 versions of the USB audio interface from Behringer: UCA202 (USB-Audio) and UCG102 (USB-Guitar). I think what you need is the UCG102. This should work for both guitars and bass. Its inputs are 1/4" phono jacks.

I personally own UCA202. My impressions on this thing is just so-so. I find I have a lot more control from just using my soundcard (I can control the gain from the software mixer - UCA202 doesn't have one). In terms of sound, it's pretty much comparable to my soundcard.

From your post, it seems like you need 2 inputs --- one for your bass and then a mic. If this is the case, I would suggest buying just folio-type mixers. Try Behringer Xenyx 802 or 502. Simply hook it up to your soundcard, no need for another external USB audio device. The 502 cost almost the same as the USB devices.

With regards to software, try using Kristal along with Audacity.

Good luck to you and your music!

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