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  #1  
Old 12-21-2012, 03:04 PM
derrickm derrickm is offline
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Default Recommended Audio Interface

Which audio interface would you guys recommend for hooking up an e-kit to my PC? Something relatively inexpensive. There's so many choices out there, just curious which ones I should be looking at and which ones to avoid. I have no experience doing this whatsoever! Looking forward to using Superior Drummer 2.0!
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:25 AM
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thebarak thebarak is offline
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Default Re: Recommended Audio Interface

I would recommend the one I currently use. MOTU Audio Express.
It is a brand with a good reputation and this model is inexpensive.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:35 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
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Default Re: Recommended Audio Interface

I assume you'll be taking a MIDI out from your e-kit to the audio interface (it's really the only sensible thing to do). So, the good news is, you can go pretty cheap and still do well. As far as electronics go, MIDI is pretty simple. With most audio interfaces, the prices go up for more sophisticated preamps and converters. You won't be using preamps at all, and you'll only be using the output (digital to analog) converters, which are not as pricey or sensitive as the input (analog to digital) converters. Of course, all this gets much more complicated if you want to record live audio, e.g. a real cymbal, vocals, etc.

If you're interested in recording, I have a Presonus Audiobox which I like a lot. The nice thing about the Presonus interfaces is that they now come with pretty good recording software, Presonus's Studio One. The "Artist" version is free, and you can do quite a lot with it. Other manufacturers' interfaces sometimes come with an "LE" version of Cubase or Pro Tools or something. My experience is that these "LE" versions are the unwanted step-child version. It can be a real pain to get support. Hardware and software manufacturers just point fingers at each other and leave you stranded because you didn't pay another $300 for DAW software.

If you want to do recording, I'd suggest you look around the web at home recording forums. There are plenty of them. Many have sound card / interface buying guides. I'd suggest you do a lot of research and make some decisions about what you want to do. It is very easy to waste money buying stuff that seems nice, only to find out, it won't let you do what you want.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:43 AM
derrickm derrickm is offline
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Default Re: Recommended Audio Interface

Thanks for the replies!

I guess all I really want to do is be able to trigger the sounds from SD2. If that's the case, should I just be looking at a simple MIDI to USB cable? Are they all the same? I see them for all different prices?
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:15 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Recommended Audio Interface

If you only want to trigger drum samples within your computer, you just need a midi interface.
If your module has a midi out, and your computer uses usb ports, a midi to usb cable would work.

If you want to record the audio from a drum module, you need an audio interface. The number of inputs you'd need for that would depend on the number of audio outs the module has.

Lots of units have both midi and audio interfaces combined in one unit.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:34 PM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
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Default Re: Recommended Audio Interface

Quote:
If your module has a midi out, and your computer uses usb ports, a midi to usb cable would work
.

This is certainly true, and I can even go one step further: Some modern MIDI devices
actually have a USB out, which can send MIDI signals. Although in the old days, MIDI implied a specific kind of cable, that is not true any more. You might want to check out your e-kit to see if sends MIDI through USB. In that case, you would not have to buy any new hardware.

HOWEVER, you will probably be very disappointed in the sound quality of either solution mentioned above. The sound would be generated by your computer's internal sound card, which are not known for their sound quality. The money you spent on SD2 would be wasted. This is really why you want to get a decent audio interface, it will generate high quality audio. Again, though, the good news is that what you are doing is really not that demanding. Any decent audio interface ought to do a good job.

Related complexity: You may still want to send MIDI from your e-kit to your computer over USB, then send SD2 output to the audio interface, via USB or firewire or whatever you get. This way, you don't have to buy a MIDI cable. The last time I looked, I thought MIDI cables were ridiculously overpriced. You might even have some spare USB cables laying around. Plus, using this approach, you can try it without the audio interface first, and then just add it on once you've decided that sound quality sucks.
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