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  1. #1

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    I'm looking hard at this. Will be a couple months but it's the top of my list. Want it mainly to record songs (my own) at home. Some would use BIAB/Reaper but others would just be me and a guitar. (I guess that goes for videos I make here for study groups and the like.)

    Is the bundle the way to go? (Interface, headphones, condensor mic) Or is it better to just get the interface and the rest separetely. (I have a Blue Yeti mic now and a very old Audio Technica one.) My current headphones are cheap-o ($15 bucks, IIRC).

    Anyone have the bundle and like / dislike it?

    Is the mic good (enough)?

    Alternatives?

    Here is how Sweetwater describes it: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen Recording Bundle | Sweetwater

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  3. #2

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    I have a windows 10 laptop and a Focusrite 2i2. I don't record with a microphone, so I don't even need headphones. I monitor with a guitar amp. Works great.

    Reaper is free to evaluate, then $60 to buy. The 2i2 is something like $100.

    Takes a couple of hours to learn enough to record and do simple edits. If you want to get to the bottom of the program, clear your schedule for a few lifetimes.

    I haven't compared my 2i2 to anything else so I have no comment to offer about any other hardware. I think I have the original version. I think they're up to version 3. I'm no expert, but, for my purposes the 2i2 has been perfect. It sounds good to my ears, not that I'm trying to make audiophile recordings. More important is that it worked perfectly as soon as I plugged it in and followed a couple of simple instructions from a video tuturial (you have to tell Reaper what to look for). I didn't have to adjust anything else. Reaper and the 2i2 worked without any issue with latency. All monitoring seemed instantaneous (which is a lot better than I did with Ableton Live a few years earlier, with the same 2i2).

    Here's my system. Windows 10 laptop. 2i2 plugs into it by USB. I plug the guitar into one input on the 2i2. I plug a cable into one output and the other end into a guitar amp.

    I might have Musescore export an MP3 (or individual MIDI tracks) and import them into Reaper. Or, somebody may send me a backing track in wav, mp3 or midi. Reaper will accept any of them. I set up a new track for my guitar part, arm it and hit record. I can then hear my backing track through the guitar amp and I play along with it. After recording, hit Play and hear it all through the guitar amp. Might have to adjust input level. If you do it right, the Reaper click will line up with your tracks which might make it easier to keep time.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 07-30-2020 at 04:17 AM.

  4. #3

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    Hi Mark,
    That bundle looks good to me
    (but incase you want to save some dough)

    Which AT mic have you got ? It may well be absolutely fine ....

    an interface .......
    i just bought a behringer UMC 202hd for £59
    Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD – Thomann UK

    l am very very pleased with it .... good for Mics and DI'ing guitar

    but I'd deffo get some comfortable ! (very important) decent Headphones
    I personally like Sennheiser
    and I prefer open back ones (so i don't feel so isolated and alone)

    something like these would be fine ....
    Sennheiser HD 559 – Thomann UK

    You'll deffo need a mic stand too
    for home use a cheapo one will be ok
    Last edited by pingu; 07-29-2020 at 09:06 PM.

  5. #4

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    First question would be, "Is your studio 'near field'?"

    That is to say, do you have an entire dedicated room to record and playback or just a section of a room?

    If your set up is to be like my own i.e. near field, then IMHO save your money for headset and monitors.

    I use KRK KNS-6400 open back and PreSonus Eris E4.5 monitors through Focusrite 2i2

    Pro Tools
    DAW or Audacity on budget...good results from record to print.

    Money should go first to headset and monitors then mics. I don't think bundles help; they actually sell you short.

    Just my experience.

  6. #5

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    I would go separate only because of flexibility. Guitar Center or Sweetwater can fix you up with headphones at any time, they don’t need to be world class.

    and mics are a small world unto their own.

    I’m not judging the bundle but I don’t know how to check it out in advance. The 2i2 works though. That I do know.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILSON 1
    First question would be, "Is your studio 'near field'?"

    That is to say, do you have an entire dedicated room to record and playback or just a section of a room?

    If your set up is to be like my own i.e. near field, then IMHO save your money for headset and monitors.

    I use KRK KNS-6400 open back and PreSonus Eris E4.5 monitors through Focusrite 2i2

    Pro Tools
    DAW or Audacity on budget...good results from record to print.

    Money should go first to headset and monitors then mics. I don't think bundles help; they actually sell you short.

    Just my experience.
    I wasn't sure what "near field" meant. Now that I know, yes, that's what it would be. It's a small room----bookcases, dresser, filing cabinet, music stand, window, and a cart with some musical stuff on it. Thanks for the suggestions!

  8. #7

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    My son has the 2i2 and it’s solid gear. I agree with others that you should think about picking out the various items separately. There are so many headphone choices nowadays. I have had a pair of these Sony MDR7506’s for something like 20 or 25 years now. I replaced the ear pads last year. They have gotten a ton of use and still function perfectly. You are cursed with a veritable cornucopia of choices for both headphones and microphones.

  9. #8

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    At this point, even though it is great quality, I think the 3rd gen Focusrite 2i2 bundle is not as competitively priced as the 2nd gen had been. Currently, I think the PreSonus bundle is priced better to get everything at once. They are a bigger player in the game than Focusrite, and equal quality.
    PreSonus AudioBox 96 Studio USB 2.0 Hardware/Software Recording Kit | Sweetwater

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    At this point, even though it is great quality, I think the 3rd gen Focusrite 2i2 bundle is not as competitively priced as the 2nd gen had been. Currently, I think the PreSonus bundle is priced better to get everything at once. They are a bigger player in the game than Focusrite, and equal quality.
    PreSonus AudioBox 96 Studio USB 2.0 Hardware/Software Recording Kit | Sweetwater
    Just now looking at the PreSonus, it has an extra dial that the Focusrite does not, the "Mixer" dial. The interface I use also has a mix dial and it is used all the time as part of my workflow. You use it to set the level of your input vs. the tracks already recorded going to your monitors or headphones. In other words, say you recorded a guitar track to Reaper and next you are recording vocals and you are using zero latency direct monitoring. The headphones dial will adjust the overall volume going to your headphones and the mixer dial will adjust how much of the mic you are hearing vs the already recorded guitar coming in from Reaper.

    If you have an interface without the mixer dial, when monitoring you can instead adjust the mix volume in Reaper to balance to the mic or adjust the mic gain to balance to the Reaper mix. I don't really want to do that, I prefer having a mixer dial on the interface.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    At this point, even though it is great quality, I think the 3rd gen Focusrite 2i2 bundle is not as competitively priced as the 2nd gen had been. Currently, I think the PreSonus bundle is priced better to get everything at once. They are a bigger player in the game than Focusrite, and equal quality.
    PreSonus AudioBox 96 Studio USB 2.0 Hardware/Software Recording Kit | Sweetwater
    Thanks, Cosmic! I hadn't considered ProSonus but that's an impressive bundle. ("That's what she said." <<<< My wife have been binge-watching "The Office" lately.)
    I'll definitely give this serious consideration.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    Hi Mark,
    That bundle looks good to me
    (but in case you want to save some dough)

    Which AT mic have you got ? It may well be absolutely fine ....
    Sorry for the delay in responding. I had forgotten which AT mic I had and had to dig it out of the closet.
    It's an AP901 unidirectional Lo-Z Dynamic. (This pic is from Reverb---my mic isn't this beat up!)
    Scarlett 2i2 Studio: best deal/bundle for home recording?-ap901-jpg

  13. #12

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    I just looked at the OP again.

    If money is tight...

    If you don't need great quality on a mic'ed part, then you don't need a fancy microphone. For lesson videos and the like, a pair of ear buds with an in-line mic (the wide spot in the wire) will work. You may have one, or if not, they're less than $20 for a decent pair. I wouldn't record singing, but it should be okay for speech.

    If it's just guitar, you can go straight into the Interface. If, otoh, you want to mic an amp, then you'll need a decent mic.

    In the mixing process, you need a way to be able to hear the music on good speakers or headphones. A home stereo can work for that. It's not a studio reference monitor, but it will get you in the ballpark. That said, when you're mixing, the equipment you listen on does make a significant difference. You can end up with your mix sounding fine and then, when others hear it on different equipment, typically, they're complain about the bass.

    I have a Sennheiser e609 mic. $110 or so. Sounds great. It's flat. You can mic a guitar cab by looping the cable through the handle and hanging the mic off it. The audiophiles will say that the mic should be a few inches further from the speaker, but it sounds fine to me. I like the fact that I don't have to carry a mic stand.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I just looked at the OP again.

    If money is tight......
    Thanks for the input.
    I do want to record vocals (sometimes).My old Audio Technica mic would work for that, I think. It's from the '80s but it was never abused, so it should still be fine.
    As for the guitar, I have a small Fender amp which sounds okay for what it is but I would like to record it direct (at least sometimes.) That's one thing I see as a plus with the Scarlett 2i2: they record guitar very well (from what I've heard.)

    Maybe I should just get the interface first, see what I can do with that, get some feedback on the results, and then decide what I most need next.

  15. #14

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    This guy has been doing great, detailed reviews of all the interfaces in the same range as Scarlett.
    Julian Krause - YouTube

    I recommend that you check it out before buying.

  16. #15

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    I use a MCA sp1 for vocals and acoustic guitar: Sorry! Something went wrong!

    I was turned on to that mic by a high level studio guy. I really like it. (It's really a medium capsule condenser mic or so I've heard people say). I'm pretty sure it would work well on electric guitar amp but I've always used an sm57 for that.

    I used it on the vocals and acoustic guitar of this. The first verse/refrain of Keith's vocal was on the SP1. Long story but he had to fly back home and recorded the other verses with an AKG C214. So on this you can compare the 1st verse $70 SP1 to the other verses $400 AKG C214.


  17. #16

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    I'm certainly not a mic conosoir, I just bought my mic based on a recommendation. Best I could do was take that recommendation and read some reviews. I've had the mic for so long that I'm not even sure youtube reviews existed when I got it.

    Recently there is a great resource for comparing condenser mics, it's actually amazing. They put a ton of thought and work into this tool. You really need good headphones or speakers to really benefit from it.

    Audio Test Kitchen | Compare the gear. Trust your ears.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Thanks for the input.
    I do want to record vocals (sometimes).My old Audio Technica mic would work for that, I think. It's from the '80s but it was never abused, so it should still be fine.
    As for the guitar, I have a small Fender amp which sounds okay for what it is but I would like to record it direct (at least sometimes.) That's one thing I see as a plus with the Scarlett 2i2: they record guitar very well (from what I've heard.)

    Maybe I should just get the interface first, see what I can do with that, get some feedback on the results, and then decide what I most need next.
    I've been doing at-home collaboration on songs with friends. I put the guitar through the pedalboard I always use and into Reaper. No mic. No headphones needed to record.
    So far, it's worked just fine, for my purposes and for my standards. If I want to mic an amp, I have the gear, but then I have to record with headphones (mine are heavy) which is a little less comfortable, physically and musically.

    Obviously, a recording engineer with pro standards for his work will feel something unpleasant in the back of his throat upon reading this.

    On the subject of an input volume control on the interface. For most, it's a feature. But for me, it could be a bug. It provides another way to make an error with gain structure. Even without that knob, there are a lot of ways to adjust volume. Mixer output, channel strips, effects, wave form manipulation and I don't know what else. Not to mention the knobs on even a simple interface, the ones on the guitar and amp, if any. I'm probably forgetting a bunch. If you don't lose track of the overall picture it's a convenience.

    The one thing you can probably be sure of is that nothing happens without an interface. And, plenty can happen with one.

    My Focusrite came with Ableton Live. I found it difficult to use, with eliminating latency being a particular hassle. As I recall, I was eventually able to figure it out, but, a month later, I couldn't remember how. I probably didn't put in enough time watching tutorials. A few years later I decided to try Reaper instead. One video, maybe an hour long, was all I needed to get going. It started with the guy taking an old laptop that had never had Reaper installed, and going through it step by step from that very basic beginning. It was entirely clear.

    This one, iirc.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 07-31-2020 at 03:23 PM.

  19. #18

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    I like my 2i2, not that it means it's the best.

    And I don't know about the bundle.

    I use Reaper. And for mics a sm57, e609, and Samson vr88. It's a fairly good, fairly inexpensive setup.

  20. #19

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    I recently got the Focusrite 2i2 and Reaper, sounds great to me.

    I already had an AKG C1000S mic which I bought many years ago, it now sounds very good and noiseless via the XLR connector on the Focusrite. Also it’s great being able to use it on phantom power.

    Previously I had to install a battery in the mic and I had no way of connecting via XLR, so I was just using a mic cable with XLR to standard plug, not such a good method.

  21. #20

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    “Maybe I should just get the interface first, see what I can do with that, get some feedback on the results, and then decide what I most need next.”

    yes , good idea
    you won’t waste money on things you
    don’t need ....

  22. #21

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    Thanks to all for commenting on this. I appreciate the suggestions and info.

    Like I said, it will probably be a couple months before I get whatever I get. At the moment, the Scarlett 2i2 (but not the bundle) seems the most likely choice and part of the reason for that is that many people here have one and are pleased with it. That means a lot.

    Meanwhile, I should write some more new songs...
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 07-31-2020 at 10:56 AM.

  23. #22

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    The Focusrite 2i2 is a good choice; I still use some of the plug-ins that came along with it. While the Scarlett line seems to be a somewhat different "department", Focusrite mic preamps have long been highly regarded by the professional recording community. Sony MDR 7506 headphones are pretty much the standard for production mixers (film/video), and should be fine. Speakers are a better option for mixing. I haven't kept up with all the new mics/manufacturers available today; I do know that the mics made by the established European makers such as Neumann, DPA and AKG sound great, but they are often prohibitively expensive. If you're miking an amp (as opposed to an acoustic instrument/vocalist), you may want to consider something as simple as a Shure Beta 57. Personally, I'm happy recording my Cushman archtop using the direct out from a Bud amp.

    In any event, have fun and be creative -

  24. #23

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    As others have recommended, I'd skip the bundle and buy individual components/software. I recently swapped my 2nd Generation Focusrite 2i4 for a Solid State Logic SSL2. I found the audio playback quality noticeably better.


  25. #24

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    As I'm on Linux my choices for audio interfaces were few when I decided to get one recently. So I needed something that would work out of the box, no fancy drivers or online registration procedures .. (I believe Focusrite 3rd gen changed somewhat in this field compared to their previous models).

    Luckilly I found this one: Roland Rubix24 – Thomann Portuguesa
    It's a great little piece of gear, 2 ins with 4 outs, and some 100 Eur below the bundle you posted, I believe?

    With those 100 you may get a nice microphone. The thing is, with a bundle you get what they give you which may not be exactly what you'd need/choose in other circumstances; ok, you need an audio interface but do you need those headphones and that microphone?
    I'm not saying that that you don't - just do some reading on studio microphone types to see the options you have, that research is fun and you end up learning a lot in the process. Then when you choose a particular type of microphone go and search for options in that particular type. Chances are you may find something that you really need and end up paying less.

    About my audio interface, as I'm giving online lessons this one has a particular button that ended up making a world of difference to me... it's a small loopback switch (I just wish it was in the front panel, but hey...) that allows me to send the sound of my PC to outputs; which is great if I need to show some YT examples to my students. Roland is not a name usually associated with audio interfaces but they sure did a great job on this one... oh, plus a compressor/limiter in it! Little things that come super handy.

    About the headphones: recently I was having lessons online in a "Project" class and I had to record and produce a track, online colab with some colleagues, record, mix, etc.
    One day I asked my teacher about some good headphones ... he basically told me "you mix with a system that you know well, with a system where you hear all your music, where you may be able to compare your track with others that you listen to regularly". My answer was "so I'll need to built a studio in my car" But you get the idea It's not the headphones, the brand, the type, whatever. It's about listening in a system that you are already very familiar with.
    This problem came to me as I had 2 sets of really nice JBL headphones at home. I was using the same set in my studio and the other was usually moving with me - tablet, phone, etc. So one day I decided to try that set in my studio and the sound was so so so different that I ended up messing big time my mix. Completely lost my references.

    So my advice would be. Personally I never got lucky with bundles. Choose an audio interface that does the job you need to do. Then think in what circumstances you could use an microphone and do some research with those goals in mind. Forget about the headphones

    Hope it helps (somewhat, at least!)

  26. #25

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    I have a windows 10 laptop and a Focusrite 2i2. I don't record with a microphone, so I don't even need headphones. I monitor with a guitar amp. Works great.
    What are your laptop specs? It sounds like you're getting decent performance. I would like to get the Focusrite for my laptop.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnoL
    What are your laptop specs? It sounds like you're getting decent performance. I would like to get the Focusrite for my laptop.
    I7, 8gig. 1.8Ghz

    Here are two sound samples.

    "Legacy": Guitar through a Boss ME80 right into the 2i2. No amp. Guitar solo is towards the end of the tune. This was done Covid style, with each person working independently. Bass and guitar used a 2i2 into Reaper. KB used Logic (Mac). I think the drummer used Garage Band, not sure of the hardware. Don't know about the horn. The kb player had done recordings before and has a quality setup. The drummer, bassist and I had never done anything like this before (except recording in a studio). We all used the interface and DAW software for the first time.


    "Alone" also done Covid style, but only two people. Bassist/vocalist, working in Logic. I did both guitars the same way as described above. They sound to me like they should. I'd have mixed it a little differently, but I was the sideman on this project and didn't do the final mix.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 08-02-2020 at 01:25 AM.

  28. #27

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    There is a guy with a user name of "yep" on the Reaper forum who has a legendary post (not me, I'm also "fep" over there). His thread "Why do your recordings sound like ass" is pretty legendary. Before buying any home studio gear it's a pretty good idea to check out that thread. Reading what he writes and the kind of comments he gets, you can tell he's a real expert.

    Check it out, at least the 1st four posts he writes on that thread: Why do your recordings sound like ass? - Cockos Incorporated Forums
    Last edited by fep; 08-01-2020 at 09:34 AM.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    There is a guy with a user name of "yep" on the Reaper forum who has a legendary post (not me, I'm also "fep" over there). His thread "Why do your recordings sound like ass" is pretty legendary. Before buying any home studio gear it's a pretty good idea to check out that thread. Reading what he writes and the kind of comments he gets, you can tell he's a real expert.

    Check it out, at least the 1st four posts he writes on that thread: Why do your recordings sound like ass? - Cockos Incorporated Forums
    Just getting started with yep's thread (which I've bookmarked). I'm going to make a cup of coffee and read the whole thing. He won me over with his riff on "golden ears". ;o)

    Thanks for sharing this, fep. (Fep and Yep---you guys should have an act!)

  30. #29

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    1) I like my first gen 2i2 but in some cases need a DI box if I am recording with hotter pickups (turning gain all the way down doesn't help). No pad switch as with the 2i4. 2nd gen version of the 2i2 apparently dealt with this problem.

    2) Also a fan a Reaper. WAY more capable than my modest needs and can get pretty complicated, but the Kenny Gioia videos are great for gaining a broad understanding. It can also be a little annoying to start it up and see that a new version is available because it is updated so frequently!

    3) Check out the GLS Audio clones of the SM57 & SM58 if you like those mics.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob taft
    As others have recommended, I'd skip the bundle and buy individual components/software. I recently swapped my 2nd Generation Focusrite 2i4 for a Solid State Logic SSL2. I found the audio playback quality noticeably better.

    I have a Steinberg UR22 which works fine for computer but I'm going to be using an Art V3 preamp going into an MPC Live in the future.
    If I was in the market for a new audio interface I'd probably go for this SSL2. It cost a bit more than the typical budget 2 channel AI's but probably has a high resale value. Better sound, independent phantom power on each channel.
    Might as well spend 50-75 dollars more and get a Toyota instead of a Chevy.

  32. #31

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    Independent phantom power for each channel is missing on the Scarlett 4i4 3rd gen and would be useful. Another lack on my Scarlett is a direct monitoring button. It is available in the software but that’s a PITA.

    The Scarlett has phantom but it’s either both or none.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    Independent phantom power for each channel is missing on the Scarlett 4i4 3rd gen and would be useful. Another lack on my Scarlett is a direct monitoring button. It is available in the software but that’s a PITA.

    The Scarlett has phantom but it’s either both or none.
    Re a direct monitor button, it looks like the 2i2 is the only one of the USB line that has this. Strange.

  34. #33

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    I went through the same process a couple of months ago. I switched from a Mac to a Surface Studio and my Apogee Duet would not work with a PC. The 2i2 was on my short list but I went with the IK AXE I/O. From your comment on recoding with BIAB this might apply to you.

    The AXE I/O has the standard 2 inputs / 2 outputs. It also has, on the front of the unit, an Amp Out. This allows for easy re-amping. I plug my guitar straight into input 1, send a cable from Amp Out to the input of my pedal board. The pedal board is connected to the Fender Deluxe Tone Master which has a balanced line out. This line out goes to input 2 on the Axe I/O.

    This gives me two tracks recording (in mono); one clean and one processed for sound I dialed in on the pedals /amp. I can blend the two for an improved stereo out but I can also send that clean to BIAB or other software that works better with a clean signal.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betz
    I went through the same process a couple of months ago. I switched from a Mac to a Surface Studio and my Apogee Duet would not work with a PC. The 2i2 was on my short list but I went with the IK AXE I/O. From your comment on recoding with BIAB this might apply to you.

    The AXE I/O has the standard 2 inputs / 2 outputs. It also has, on the front of the unit, an Amp Out. This allows for easy re-amping. I plug my guitar straight into input 1, send a cable from Amp Out to the input of my pedal board. The pedal board is connected to the Fender Deluxe Tone Master which has a balanced line out. This line out goes to input 2 on the Axe I/O.

    This gives me two tracks recording (in mono); one clean and one processed for sound I dialed in on the pedals /amp. I can blend the two for an improved stereo out but I can also send that clean to BIAB or other software that works better with a clean signal.
    Great idea. As far as I can tell, that's something I can't do as easily with the 2i2. I'd have to split the guitar signal first, then run one side into a pedal board and the other right into the 2i2.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Great idea. As far as I can tell, that's something I can't do as easily with the 2i2. I'd have to split the guitar signal first, then run one side into a pedal board and the other right into the 2i2.
    It seems that Axe I/O interface has a direct box built in.

    I also have recorded guitar to two channels... Guitar cable to direct box, another guitar type cable to amp from direct box with direct box "thru" output, mic cable also out of direct box to audio interface. Mic on guitar amp speaker to another channel of audio interface. ART ARTcessories Zdirect Professional Passive Direct Box | Musician's Friend

    I do this more often when recording bass than I do for guitar. It is very common to record bass this way.

  37. #36

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    My reluctance to recommend an interface is that my experience has been that,,, the two interfaces that came with couple of my earlier computers (mixer to mini stereo jack of a plain jane pc ), and the two interfaces I bought separately over the years... they all sounded really good. I don't think the sound quality from one to the other is much of an issue.

    I shop for features. I use the 4 channel version of this one. Just look at all the features, currently priced at $130. And the Midas preamps are suppose to be really high end, not an expert on that, but the recordings sound real good to me. The output to the speakers are balanced (the 4 channel one adds xlr outputs to speakers also).

    24 bit / 192khz

    The mix dial balances the direct input with the mix coming back from the computer, I love that feature in that I don't have to change my mix for monitoring purposes... who wants to keep changing a mix back and forth?

    If you do the regular studio monitors for Monitor A and some mid range small monitors in Monitor B, you can check the mix against two seperate monitors with the push of a button. That's a nice feature.

    Also, those inserts, you can send your signal to hardware before going out the usb, like a compressor for instance. Another nice feature.

    And it has midi in and out... not sure what more I would want (but I admit, I don't know what I don't know).
    Attached Images Attached Images Scarlett 2i2 Studio: best deal/bundle for home recording?-u-phoria-1-png Scarlett 2i2 Studio: best deal/bundle for home recording?-u-phoria-2-png 

  38. #37

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    i was looking for something portable for travel/ipad recording so i took a deep dive into this. came away with and audient id14. took a moment, but now i'm very pleased with it. the di is good enough to run my amp sims, and the preamps have enough juice to drive (and pleasantly) overdrive my amp sims; getting comparable results to my nice shadow hills preamps (but i don't think they have the same amount of raw horsepower those shadow hills pres do). and i just love the analog feel of just reaching over and turning a knob on the fly, instead of diving through menus and pushing buttons. as a plus, it makes my music/youtube/spotify listening experience much better, too. fancy converters, i suppose.

    so i'd recommend a peek at the audient line of interfaces. caveat: no midi anywhere, for whatever reason.

    i'd also recommend individual components instead of a bundle and perhaps taking a moment to question the need for a mic at all, unless you're dead set on doing vocals, acoustics or micing your amp. because then you have to invest in treatment and so on. i'm really liking the results i'm getting from my amp sims and would recommend that for most people. micing cabs and amps (or anything) is a bit of a dark art. it takes work, often more work than people understand or are willing to put in.