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Friday, January 27, 2006

Equipment Options

First new episode in a few months. I hope to get back into the
swing of podcasting. This episode is about equipment options
suchas preamps, mixers, usb and firewire interfaces, and external
recorders. I hope to give you an idea of what many of the common
options are with their advantages and disadvantages. Direct link
to the aac mpeg-4 audio file
(19 minutes 9mb).

Usb and Firewire Interfaces

Presonus INSPIRE 1394 Price: $199.95

  • The microphone and instrument preamplifiers loaded in the
    INSPIRE 1394 are designed to deliver ultra-low noise, high gain
    preamplification for all types of microphones and instruments
    needed for professional quality recordings.
  • The INSPIRE 1394 comes complete with Cubase LE recording and
    production software featuring 48 audio tracks, 96 MIDI tracks,
    VST plug-ins and full VSTi support
  • Over 1GB of drum loops and drum samples INCLUDED!
  • The INSPIRE 1394 is completely controlled by an easy-to-use
    software mixer interface called the CONTROL PANEL. Controls
    include, input gain, phantom power, limiter (off/on), preamp
    boost (off/on), sample rate, headphone volume, main output volume
    as well as zero latency input mixing with playback mixing. This
    software control panel also serves as a mixer between your
    computer playback and your inputs for zero latency
  • The front panel of the INSPIRE 1394 features two
    custom-designed PreSonus microphone preamplifiers with +48V
    phantom power and two instrument Hi-Z inputs. The back of the
    INSPIRE features selectable line or phono (with RIAA filter)
    inputs great for all types of keyboards, samplers, drum machines
    and turntables. Outputs on the INSPIRE 1394 include RCA
    unbalanced and mini TRS jacks as well as headphone output.

Edirol UA-1EX: USB Audio Interface

The UA-1EX is a simple ASIO-compatible USB audio interface
capable of 24-bit/96kHz operation and designed to offer
component-quality audio signals in and out of your computer. The
UA-1EX offers excellent sound quality for connection to any RCA
or S/PDIF optical device. The UA-1EX features professional A/D
and D/A converters, ensuring accurate recording and playback,
whether youÍre recording tapes or vinyl to the computer,
or just playing your MP3 collection thru a home stereo receiver.
The UA-1EX also offers an electret condenser microphone input
similar to the ñMIC-INî on most internal soundcards
and a headphone output with volume control to quickly and easily
listen to audio from your computer. The UA-1EX is ideal for use
with laptops where audio quality is all but ignored, offering
superior audio quality, versatility, and the utmost in
portability. *EDIROL designs its USB devices in accordance
with USB specifications and has passed all compatibility tests,
which are continuously held and organized by USB Implementers
Forum (USB-IF).

  • Up to 24bit/96kHz audio quality
  • ASIO 2.0 (Win/Mac), WDM (Win2000/XP), Core Audio (Mac OS
    X) compatibility
  • USB Powered (no AC adaptor required)
  • S/PDIF optical In & Out
  • Supports both OS-standard drivers as well as
    EdirolÍs drivers* (Win/Mac OS X)

Behringer F-Control Firewire Interface

The Behringer F-Control Firewire Interface looks like an
interesting new product . It offers ultra low-latancy, 2 in/2 out
[TRS], 24Bit/96kHz firewire audio. The interface includes the
Behringer Edition of Ableton¬ Live Lite 4. Retails

Edirol FA 101 Firewire Audio Interface (Windows and

Price: $449.00 - $500.00 Description from Zzounds: The
FA-101, Edirol's first Firewire audio interface is a smashing
10x10 audio interface, capable of 24-bit/96 kHz at a full 10
channels in and out. You can record and monitor all 10 channels
simultaneously in full duplex -- phenomenal audio power for the
studio musician. In addition to 10x10 24-bit/96kHz performance,
the FA-101 also offers stereo recording and playback at
24-bit/192kHz for performance at DVD-A quality. Digidesign Mbox
$449 Mackie Spike $349

UA-101: USB Audio Interface $499


The UA-101 is a half-rack, high-speed USB audio interface
designed to turn your USB 2.0-ready computer into a powerful
digital audio workstation. No other computer connection is
required to get a full 10 inputs and 10 outputs at 24-bit/96kHz
to the computer. The UA-101 is built to offer low latency and
extraordinary stability. It's the easiest-to-use yet
most-powerful compact audio interface available.

  • Dedicated monitor output
  • Balanced I/O
  • Included Signal Router/Mixer application
  • Built-in limiter
  • 40-bit internal processing
  • MIDI I/O
  • Optical S/PDIF (ch. 9-10)
  • Low-latency drivers: WDM, ASIO 2.0
  • High-speed USB (USB 2.0) and full-Speed (USB 1.1)

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