i’m looking to set up to record high quality. so i’m curious to know what kind of equipment i need. i’ve been using n-track since 2002 (somewhere around there) but all i have is my computer and a line in which i use a 1/4 in. to headphone transfer jack. So one thing is i could probably use is a good sound card rather than the factory one, but I’m learning that perhaps a mixer would be a good idea as well. Ive been lookin at an AudioTrak maya44 MKII and a digidesign mbox (sound cards), both seem pretty promising but the mbox is a little pricey for me and it comes with all its own recording software and such when i already have n-track, but it still seems pretty fancy…so yeah i’m open to some suggestions here as what i should be lookin into…

(im only hookin up guitar and bass for now)


-dan ???

I use the AudioTrak maya44 mk I, i.e. not supporting 24 bit, 96 kHz. Apart from that, a very decent-sounding card considering its price tag. Driver installation was found to be a bit awkward and cumbersome, involving no less than six (6!) scheduled reboots (i.e. not by fault, but by design). However, drivers are extremely robust and stable, supports ASIO (i.e. low latency - important when overdubbing), and represents value for money.

This card is, however, a bit dated nowadays. Today, I would consider a FireWire soundcard with at least four inputs/outputs given that the computer in conjunction with which it is to be used supports FireWire. Avoid Edirol equipment.

Regarding mixing desks, go for a small (4 or 8 channels) mixer having balanced inputs, phantom power and at least one effects loop as the minimum specs. I have an Alto S-8 I like very much. You should check out their range together with Yamaha, Soundcraft, Samson and Mackie. Behringer if you are on a budget. Again, avoid Edirol equipment.

regards, Nils


Avoid Edirol equipment…Again, avoid Edirol equipment

Any particular reason why? I know a few people with the DA2496, and the fa-101 and the UA-1000 were both on my shortlist when I was shopping around… Minature powered monitors, yeah, I’d agree (they’re not critical enough), but the soundcards?

I have an Edirol DA2496 and have had no problems at all with it.

Worked fine on my old P3 and now on my P4.

Currently using build 1846 of N-Track, but was working fine with earlier versions of 3.x.

Same I also have an SB Live that lives happily with the DA2496 in the same PC. I go from the SPDIF out of the SB Live to the SPDIF in on the DA2496.

I think the noise floor on the DA2496 is a bit high compered to what you could get for the same budget these days but it is a very good card for my purposes.

The inbuilt mic pre’s a very “clean”. I use these when I want a pretty uncoloured sound and use an ART DPS pre when I want something a bit warmer.
But is you had no mic pre’s then the DA2496 at least gives you 2 very useable ones out of the box…

I have heard the Edirol didn’t used to play well with AMD chipsets.
This was back when I had my P3 and was shopping around for soundcards.
Since I had a P3 it didn’t concern me.

Not sure if the same incompatabilities exist with the newer AMD chipsets…

Oh yeah, the in built headphone output with the heaphone volume control is mega handy too.


My main reason for advocating against Edirol equipment is the experience I had with the UM-1 midi-USB interface. It didn’t work in my setup. Period. I tried it in my other computer, which was older and not generally intended for audio/midi work. It worked perfectly there ???

I dug into the problem more seriously, and it turned out that the UM-1 was expecting a particular brand of USB chip to be present on the motherboard in order to function at all. “The unit will only work with this-and-that brand of USB chip present on the motherboard. Consult your computer’s user manual if in doubt… etc. etc.” This piece of information I found in the very back of the manual, and I had to go through every manual received with my DAW motherboard in order to verify that this was the culprit. :angry:

These are my observations from a customer standpoint:

1) USB isn’t USB, but external equipment may be dependent on particular hardware to be present in order to function.

2) This isn’t stated on the box like in “Intel USB chips only” or something like that.

3) The unit couldn’t be returned to the store where I bought it because it wasn’t faulty, and it worked on my other computer.

4) The reason for designing the interface in this way was apparently a desire by Edirol for achieving higher throughput rates through the USB-midi interface. How such a design facilitates communication speeds exceeding the 31.25 kbps midi standard speed is entirely beyond my comprehension.

5) The unit was rather costly. I got a Midisport UNO USB-midi interface at 60% of the asking price of the UM-1. The UNO interface does the job without any trouble whatsoever, being fast, transparent and reliable in my setup. Even on the computer that the UM-1 worked well with I had the occasional hanging midi note…

Thus, I do not recommend Edirol. I know, YMMV, but the very attitude of “buy-our-stuff-and-it’s-not-our-trouble-if-it-doesen’t-work-in-your-setup” is, in my opinion, not a user-friendly one, and as long as other manufacturers provide equipment having equal - or surpassing - facilities I reserve my right as a customer to buy my equipment from other manufacturers.

just my two øre…

regards, Nils

I had the same problem with the Tascam US428 I bought before the Edirol.
Would install OK but was geting pops and clickas at any buffer setting.
Worked fine on my flatmates PC but not in mine.

Problem as the USB chipset on my Mobo (I think it was a VIA but can’t remember).
I tried all different things, upgrading the USB drivers, Mobo drivers and a whole bunch of other stuff over several days.

I took it back and swapped it for the Edirol and paid the difference.

That is why anytime anyone asks about buying a USB soundcard I recommend they make sure they have the option of returning it is there are compatability problems with their system.

Doesn’t really matter what the brand is, it is more what your system is and whether it will be compatible with the USB device.

plenty of people get the Tascam US428 working no problems at all.

For my money though PCI is a lot more stable and reliable.

If I was going go more plug and play so I could move to other PC’s I’d go firewaire rather than USB.


Quote (becks256 @ Aug. 13 2005,01:19)
i'm looking to set up to record high quality...

(im only hookin up guitar and bass for now)


-dan ???

Could we go back to basics please

You want high quality recordings for both bass and guitar.

What do you mean by 'high quality'? Are you looking to create samples, demos, your own CDs? There are various grades of 'quality'. At the lower end of this spectrum you may not need to spend out too much to get the sort of quality you desire.

Also, are we talking electric or accoustic guitars? If electric, you could go the amp and good mic and mixer route, or you could go the DI/effects processor, mixer route.

Lots of possibilities here, so I think it might be worth clarifying