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USB Microphone and Audio Interface Question


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  • USB Microphone and Audio Interface Question

    I'm interested in purchasing a USB microphone. I already have an echo audiofire 2 soundcard. Will I be able to monitor the USB microphone's input/ output simultaneously with the midi tracks I've already laid down in Record 1.5? I would like to be able to monitor both signals through one pair of headphones.

  • #2
    Stay away from usb mics; they are for podcasting, not what we do.
    analog>digital converters are cheaper
    asio = ONE device driver at one time.... you will have monitoring problems.

    Get a regular mic for your audiofire.
    Tim O'Brien


    • #3
      asio = ONE device driver at one time.... you will have monitoring problems.

      Get a regular mic for your audiofire.


      A usb mic is for someone who doesn't already own something like an Audiofire.
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      • #4
        I basically agree with these guys unless you also had a need to go in the field with a laptop for tracking and needed the portability.

        Cheap USB mics don't usually have direct monitoring, so there's no good way of hearing what you're doing (without latency slapback).

        If you want to use a USB mic for any serious overdubbing, you should buy one with on-board monitoring the blends cue playback form the computer with live sound from your mic.

        Another issue might be problems with tracking alignment, at least in some cases. I had an early Samson USB mic (sounded decent but, again, not monitoring) but its driver did not consistently place new overdubs in the right place in the timeline (in a sense, it didn't properly compensate for real world latency -- and additionally was inconsistent in the way it did place stuff in the timeline. Sometimes the new audio was ~25 ms behind where it should be... sometimes ~40.

        That means not only that you have to figure out the latency and adjust for it in some fashion (many DAWs have a timeline placement adjustment utility, since many drivers are bad about placement), but that every time you do that, the value is potentially different. I found that the unadjusted latency varied from session to session. Whether that was only that driver (which I kind of doubt) or possibly even pandemic with USB drivers (beats me, it's the only USB audio device I ever owned).

        (One thing's for sure, five years ago, most folks' rigs had unadjusted latencies in the tests I prodded folks to do, regardless of DAW or OS or driver type. My current set up always has 355 samples misalignment using WMD-KS drivers. With ASIO drivers the misalignment was less, but still significant.)

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