Log in
Log in

Create an account


Thread HELP! Need some advice to buy external device

  • 11 replies
  • 3 participants
  • 0 follower
1 HELP! Need some advice to buy external device
Hi there! Well, I’m new at all this and I need some advice to get started so I guess I’ll have to take advantage of the expertise I’ve seen around!

I play the guitar (Spanish and electrical) and I would like to use my laptop to record some music. I bought the laptop for various reasons but mainly so I could install a copy of Cubase I got hold of and start making my home recordings. I have no clue about computers so I couldn’t understand why everything I recorded sounded so low, then a friend told me that the soundcard I have is far from enough to do what I intend so he recommended I buy an external device. He recommended a couple: the Tascam US-122 and the Edirol UA-25.

Now, I’ve been doing some research and it seems the US-122 gives a lot of problems (specially with Windows XP which is the one I have). On the other side I could not find any comments on the Edirol. I saw someone in a discussion recommended the M-Audio OmniStudio USB. So I’m really, really lost. I just want to record some music!

I’m not looking for something excessively fancy. I guess I’m looking for a USB powered portable device, with a plug in for guitar, with a fairly good sound, that I could use with Cubase, and most important of all, that would not give me much trouble in terms of installing it and getting it to work. See, besides not being good with computers I bought my laptop in Japan recently and I haven’t been able to change the OS from Japanese to English yet, so any change in the configuration becomes a true adventure! Regarding price range, well, although I would like to keep it low (around £200) I prefer buying something more expensive and more reliable than taking the chance of getting into lots of trouble.

Can anybody help??

Thanks so much


omni studio is a good solution because it has a preamp bult in. If you buy regural sound card you'll have to buy a preamp too. How did you record gutar? Do not connect your amp directy to sound card. For good sound you need good condenser mix infron of your amp, than mic conected to preamp and than to soundcard. If you directy wire amp and soundcard you get thad ugly low sound.
Hey Manowar!

Thanks for your reply!

Well, I have only recorced acustic guitar so far (with an MD), just starting to venture into electricity (in fact I don't even have an amp, I was hoping to conect the guitar directly into some kind of device). What I do is connect a mic to the computer and play in front of it (quite rudimentary...).

Regarding the condenser mix and all that, well, I really don't know anything about it. Do I need all those things to record? See, for me the more simple I can keep it the better. I just want to get a decent sound and be able to use the Cubase to record different tracks.

Yes you can record acustik guitar without amp, but you need condenser mic not dinamic mic. For condenser mic you need a preamp with fantom power. You can not connect it direct to computer. If you'll record with regural dinamic mic connected directly to computer soundcard you will get horrible sound.

Difference between condenser an dinamic mic: Dinamic mic works backwards like speaker. It has small membrane that conver moving of air (sound) to electrical signal. Condenser mic don't have a membrane but capacitor. Moving of air (sound) changes the condenser capacity and that is convertet te electrical signals.

Sorry for my english. :oops:
Dude- your English is fine!!! Much better than my, er, Slovenian. What is the native language there, anyway?

So far as Sandro's question-

Yes, you will need something with mic preamps, whether you get a mixer or get an audio interface with preamps is up to you.

So far as the interface goes, I have always been a big fan of MAudio stuff, but I have read an awful lot of reviews on their USB interfaces lately that have not been good, so I would be a little wary. Their Firewire stuff seems to be ok, though. I have also read some poor reviews on the Tascam unit you mentioned.

The Edirol stuff seems to get decent reviews- although, to be honest I haven't seen as many reviews for the Edirol stuff as I have the others. It certainly seems a good buy, anyway.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
Hi there!

Manowar, thanks so much for the explanation about the mics (I didn't know there were two kinds!, I'll have to check which type is mine).

Axeman, yeah, I've seen some comments of people having problems with the omnistudio but I'm also starting to beleive it is almost impossible to find some device with no risk involved (specially with Windows XP it seems)

Men, I really don't know what to do. Some people were talking about the possibility of M-Studio releasing a new version of omnistudio with USB 2.0 (which it seems better for some reason) so I might wait a bit instead of making a rushed decision. Or I might accept the risk. It is just that I've been waiting so long to get some music recorded that I don't think I can wait any longer!

The Omnistudio seems more serious stuff so I might go for the Edirol which looks more simple and portable and it is said to be the number 1 in driver stability (which for some reason I think it is what I'm looking for!).

Just a further question, would I need any further stuff if I decide to buy the edirol? I've seen the specifications and it looks like chinese to me!

Thanks so much for you help!

Well, you'll need some software, like Cakewalk or Cubase or something. You'll need the mic for the guitar(Behringer makes some inexpensive ones that have gotten decent reviews. So does Studio Projects). You'll need a CD burner to burn the finished product to, and you need a set of reference monitors to mix it properly.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
Native language in Slovenia is slovenian. :)

I wrote an email last week to maudio abou usb 2.0, and they write me that they have no plans to to some usb 2.0 audi device. Sorry. :x I was angry too.

Usb 1 devices sucks no matter if thay are form Maudio or edirol or something else. IF you are recording at 24bit 96Khz you can record only two channels at once because usb 1 port is too slow. I suggest you firewire maudio, but you'll need two firewire inputs on your computer to connect it. :) Really.
Hey Men!

So no intention to make omnistudio with USB 2.0? Well, to bad for them! Anyway, I don't intend to record more than two channels at once at the moment. I just want to record some very simple stuff now. I'm sure I'll get more excited about it and start complicating my life after a while but until that happens two channels seem more than enough.

Regarding the extra gear. Well, I pretty much have everything. I have a microphone (not exclusive for the guitar though, I don't know if there is a difference), I have a CD burner, a copy of Cubase and... what in the world are reference monitors? I have a pair of really good computer speakers, is that enough?


The may be enough to get you started, but in order to do any serious recording you'll need a pair of reference monitors. These are speakers that are specifically designed for a flat response and a very transparent sound stage so that you can mix and listen critically. They are speakers that are designed to bee accurate rather than stereo or computer speakers which are designed to sound good.

I use a pair of Event 20/20bas speakers. There are lots out there. MAudio makes some relatively inexpensive ones that get pretty good reviews.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD