Recording Interfaces? Which can I use?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Recording Interfaces? Which can I use?

    Alright, so I'm trying to get a digital audio recorder to record from the "record out" RCA outputs on my mixer to a line in on a digital recorder.

    Could I use any recording interface? I.E ones geared for guitars? Anyone know of products that could fit what i'm trying to do.

  2. #2
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Any digital recorder should work, however I'm not familiar with one geared towards guitars. Are you looking at a specific recorder? Post a link to what you're taking about and we'll have a look.
    Chris Jennings FHP

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    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    You don't want one thats actually good at recording guitars…they tend to be really high-impedance inputs with a lot of gain…which isn't what you want for a line-level signal. In all honesty, though, most companies that make recording interfaces for guitars either assume the guitarist is using a buffered pedal somewhere in their chain or else can't tell the difference between what a guitar is supposed to sound like and what–for example–line 6 and vox modeling amps sound like…so they just make the input line level with a lot of gain in front of it…those could work.

    If the guitar actually sounds like a guitar through it, I'd bet that a DJ mixer would sound like poo.

    If you see "line level input," it'll work. "phono level" will sound distorted and effed up. "instrument level" will probably sound distorted unless it has a gain adjustment that goes pretty low.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Bunford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    You don't want one thats actually good at recording guitars…they tend to be really high-impedance inputs with a lot of gain…which isn't what you want for a line-level signal. In all honesty, though, most companies that make recording interfaces for guitars either assume the guitarist is using a buffered pedal somewhere in their chain or else can't tell the difference between what a guitar is supposed to sound like and what–for example–line 6 and vox modeling amps sound like…so they just make the input line level with a lot of gain in front of it…those could work.

    If the guitar actually sounds like a guitar through it, I'd bet that a DJ mixer would sound like poo.

    If you see "line level input," it'll work. "phono level" will sound distorted and effed up. "instrument level" will probably sound distorted unless it has a gain adjustment that goes pretty low.

    To add to this, you usually get line level, instrument level or mic level (with instrument level being somewhere inbetween the other two). Line level is usually about 40dB higher than mic level due to the input gain/higher voltage. If your mixer has line level out and interface has line level in, it should match. If you have mic level out (low level) and line level in (high level), it'll just sound super fuzzy and distored. If it's line level out (high level) with mic level in (low level), it'll just be really quiet and immediately get fuzzy as soon as it's audible.

    Just make sure the mixer out is the same as the interface input if you can and they should (in simpleton terms without getting too complex and finicky about it) match and sound right.

    If they're different, liek one is line level and other is mic level, you can buy a cheap D.I. box with +/-40dB. Better ones will have two +/- buttons set at +/-20db each, meaning you can pull down/boost signal from mic/line to isntrument and the to line/mic.

    For example, if output is mic leve and interface input line level. You could use the D.I. box in the chain to boot the output signal by 40db to match the line level. If the input is instrument level, with a good D.I. box you'd be able to boost by 20dB to bring mic level up to instrument level. The vice versa is also obviously tru as long as it's a +/- D.I. box, meaning it can boost or remove the dB's from the level.

    You can then simply boost or remove the 40dB from the mixer output signal using the D.I. box before the signal then goes into the interface. I'd recommend leaning towards a well grounded active D.I. box for best performance, making sure it has ground loop and a decent brand to remove any unwanted hum on the signal.

    Here's a short simplified explanation for you: Short and Simple Explanation
    Last edited by Bunford; 04-20-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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  5. #5
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks guys.

    As of right now I'm currently just using an RCA to 3.5 mm and plugging it into the Mic Input on my laptop but it's sounding like shit.

    I think i'm just going to opt for the m-audio microtrack 25/96

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    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodesMcC View Post
    Thanks guys.

    As of right now I'm currently just using an RCA to 3.5 mm and plugging it into the Mic Input on my laptop but it's sounding like shit.
    That should work fine. Are you sure you're not clipping? What software are you using to record? What mixer? Give us some more details and we can probably get it sorted for you.
    Chris Jennings FHP

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  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
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    Got it figured out guys. Thanks a ton.

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