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Old November 9th, 2016, 08:38 AM   #1
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Computer audio in

I'm doing some corporate streaming of events/lectures where I'm ignoring the camera mics and going straight back to my XLR mixer and into the computer. The onboard sound card is really horrible so I was thinking of rather using a USB audio interface instead. Anyone using one of these for audio directly into the computer ???
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Old November 9th, 2016, 10:41 AM   #2
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Re: Computer audio in

I have an old M-Audio MobilePre USB on my desk for playback and recording. My current favorite is the Focusrite Scarlett series. I have a couple 2i2 (that's two in, two out) on a touring show I work on.
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Old November 9th, 2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: Computer audio in

Chris, I use a Lexicon Alpha and it works great and only AU $119.

But if you need phantom power go for the larger LexiconOmega which has more inputs and phantom power AU $329

Examples...

https://www.storedj.com.au/products/LEX-ALPHASTUDIO


https://:www.storedj.com.au/products/LEX-OMEGA
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Old November 9th, 2016, 06:03 PM   #4
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Re: Computer audio in

Thanks Guys

I'm sending mics in wirelessly to my XLR mixer so that already has phantom and level control so yes, a simple interface unit will work fine
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Old November 9th, 2016, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: Computer audio in

If your mixer has RCA connector -10db Tape Level stereo outputs, then you can't get much simpler than the Behringer UCA202 or UCA222.

As far as I know, the two models are identical except the 222 is red and comes with a software disc. The 202 is silver and since you don't really need software to use these devices you won't miss the lack of a disc. They are both $30 online in the US.

I've used several of them for hundreds of hours and never had a problem. I think the sound quality is very good. You can monitor the analog input directly from the built-in headphone mini jack with volume control.

2x input and 2x output, with switchable monitoring at the headphone jack and volume control, but no other controls or alternate types of connectors at other levels, just a simple interface.
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Old November 9th, 2016, 08:12 PM   #6
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Re: Computer audio in

Thanks Jay

My "mixer" at the moment is an active XLR adapter with 2 channels and I suspect it's not line output as it's designed to go into a camera mic input so I probably need a mic input rather than line input ... the adapter is a Saramonic AX7 and has a myriad of controls, levels, phantom power, peak indicators etc etc so probably a simple interface will do the job like the ones that look like a USB drive with a mic in and audio out 3.5mm on the end ...the Saramonic also has a headphone amp so I'm covered there too!
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Old November 9th, 2016, 08:39 PM   #7
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Re: Computer audio in

I understand. I've only tried one interface of that style, shaped like a USB stick with two 3.5 mm in/out jacks.

It was a no-name item that sounded terrible. I know there are better ones available so search for good reviews for audio quality is my advice, but I'd still think it's riskier than adapting the connector to a better unit that has mic inputs.

If you find a good sounding interface of the type you've described let us know.

There are also complete USB small mixers with two XLR mic level jacks with phantom power, as well as other connections and controls if you need other sources patched in during breaks, for $80 or 4 XLR inputs for $100 and up.

If you're in a static, corporate event setting with a small table or cart, would that work instead of your camera-interface type "mixer"? It would also give you additional outputs and level control to connect to a backup audio recorder or other device that might benefit from clean sync sound versus just ambient pickup on the secondary device.

I know, I'm making it more complicated, but adapting from what is basically a BeachTek-style device would be pretty limiting to me unless you're transporting the absolute bare minimum kit.

Last edited by Jay Massengill; November 10th, 2016 at 06:22 AM.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 12:09 AM   #8
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Re: Computer audio in

Hi Jay

Yes, I think you are 100% correct!! Leave the XLR unit to use on my camera for conventional shoots and rather get a decent USB mixer that is an all-in-one unit ... It might need XLR inputs in case I get a feed from the venues sound desk but unless that happens I still need to feed two wireless receivers into the mixer and who knows ..I might have to do music feeds or a feed from elsewhere and that could be mic, line or XLR so best to be ready! I appreciate the advice ...Our local electronics store have the Chinese USB's with two sockets in the end at $9.95 so I would stay clear of that... I was looking at Creative Labs unit but after what you said a better mixer is the way to go!!
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Old November 10th, 2016, 07:35 AM   #9
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Re: Computer audio in

So something like this would work???

https://www.storedj.com.au/products/BEH-Q802USB
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Old November 10th, 2016, 08:28 PM   #10
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Re: Computer audio in

Yes that would work as long as two XLR mic inputs are enough.

I could envision two wireless receivers for two presenters, an ambient mic for times in between presenters, and a headset announcer mic if you are conveying any updates or intro statements into the stream. Four XLR input units are the next step up in price, but the difference isn't usually too much.

The line inputs could bring in a house feed or an audio playback device.

You would have the USB output for the stream to the computer, the main and/or the tape outputs to feed a backup recorder, and the FX send to tap off a subset of inputs with separate volume control if you wanted to keep something out of that particular feed.

Again, as long as you have AC power and a flat space to set up, a small mixer like this is to me, a necessity.
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Old November 11th, 2016, 12:37 AM   #11
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Re: Computer audio in

Thanks again Jay

I went for the next model up as it has 4 x XLR inputs and 8 x line inputs ...The 8 channel was $149 and the 12 channel was $170 ... only $21 extra was worth the upgrade so that should work perfectly I think. I was interested in trying a $9.95 USB stick purely for interest but didn't see the point as you would still need a mixer anyway and why not get a USB mixer ... as you said the quality of those tiny 1/1 devices is probably suspect!!
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Old November 11th, 2016, 08:43 AM   #12
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Re: Computer audio in

Chris,

You made made a good choice staying away from those cheap adapters. Remember that any device with a 3.5 mm plug is going directly into the poor quality sound card on the lap top. Not a good way to go.

The audio forum has a ton of information on what video guys need when going into corporate AV events. I know of a couple of threads dedicated to what a video shooter shooter should have in his kit to get a house feed.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old November 11th, 2016, 05:57 PM   #13
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Re: Computer audio in

Thanks Steve

With all your experience anyone not taking your advice would be stupid!! Thanks why I love this forum!!

Yep, I decided not to even bother trying out the little USB device ..They are actually on eBay now for only $5.00 which should be telling a buyer what to expect!
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Old November 12th, 2016, 08:09 AM   #14
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Re: Computer audio in

Hi Chris,

I have been using an Alesis MTX8 multi mix for our live music shows for about 4 years. We use all 8 input channels and the master out goes to our PA system. In parallel with that, we often take a live feed out to record the full stereo mix to a pocket recorder to save using a laptop. The mixer also comes with software that enables the USB output to send a stereo mix to a laptop/PC or you can record all 8 tracks as separate recordings to remix later. You can even record an eight track and stereo recording at the same time.

I suppose there is no reason why you couldn't connect the main mixer LR outputs to a TX to send direct to a camera whilst still recording the USB or line outputs. There are a number of manufacturers that make similar spec mixers that you can find in online music and PA shops.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; November 12th, 2016 at 08:11 AM. Reason: correction
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Old November 12th, 2016, 09:14 AM   #15
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Re: Computer audio in

I went for this "Behringer XENY 1002B Mixer" and it's battery operated so can take out in the field. But as usual it needs more than just the mixer to get it into the laptop. So I also need this "Behringer U-Phono UFO202 USB"
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