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PC audio hardware recommendations please!


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Greetings Audiophiles!

 

Having not been able to find what I want through my own research online, I have come seeking recommendations from those in the know. This is the first forum I came across. I'm guessing you are mostly US-based judging by the default timezone it wanted to use? In which case, greetings from the UK :-)

 

Many years ago, while I was studying at University I used to have a PC that had a Soundblaster card with a breakout box. It was particularly useful for inputting midi and a mic and monitoring with headphones.

 

Now, in the coming months I will be doing a new PC build and although my useage has changed somewhat, I am looking for something similar which no longer seems to exist. I now have a small YouTube gaming channel which I co-host. I would like a panel/external box which can handle:

 

2 sets of headphones (3.5mm) with independent volume controls

USB mic in with level indicator

MIDI-in or another USB

 

I will also need a suitable soundcard. Last time I was building a PC there were crazy amounts of options for soundcards.

I did quite like the look of the SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty, but with it being over a decade old will no doubt be incompatible (don't think it works over PCIe).

 

Essentially I am totally out of date when it comes to PC audio.

Initially I will be wanting to record from one USB mic (Blue Yeti), while utilising two sets of headphones. But at some point I will want to probably use a couple of (musical) keyboards (Yamaha PSR7000 and microKORG) to do some sequencing work.

I don't want to be faffing around the back of the PC all the time.

I don't need top of the range. Equally, I don't want to be using the garbage that is generally on-board MB audio.

I am also a gamer.

 

Your suggestions would be most welcome.

All the best,

TRC

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Something like the Focusrite 6i6 would do what you want. Presonus or Steinberg make similar units. This has 2 headphone outs. Midi. The main difference is rather than a yeti mic you could use a mic with the usual xlr connections.

 

This connects via USB and would be the center of everything you do while interfacing with the recording and playback software.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Something like the Focusrite 6i6 would do what you want. Presonus or Steinberg make similar units. This has 2 headphone outs. Midi. The main difference is rather than a yeti mic you could use a mic with the usual xlr connections.

 

This connects via USB and would be the center of everything you do while interfacing with the recording and playback software.

 

Oh yes. That looks the business. Little more than I wanted to spend, but almost perfect. I'd rather not buy another mic though. I guess there must be USB to XLR converters, which although not ideal should do the trick no? Any nasty side effects of doing that?

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Oh yes. That looks the business. Little more than I wanted to spend, but almost perfect. I'd rather not buy another mic though. I guess there must be USB to XLR converters, which although not ideal should do the trick no? Any nasty side effects of doing that?

I don't think you'll find xlr to USB converters. You could get everything for half the money if not for the need for two headphones. You might be best off to sell the USB Yeti and buy the equivalent Yeti with xlr. Those have a lower noise floor than the USB Yeti anyway.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I don't think you'll find xlr to USB converters. You could get everything for half the money if not for the need for two headphones. You might be best off to sell the USB Yeti and buy the equivalent Yeti with xlr.

 

Indeed. Feared I may have to sell the mic for the XLR version. Suppose I could always stick with the USB and monitor the mic level via a software solution?

I wanted to stay away from using headphone splitters though if possible.

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Greetings Audiophiles!

 

Having not been able to find what I want through my own research online, I have come seeking recommendations from those in the know. This is the first forum I came across. I'm guessing you are mostly US-based judging by the default timezone it wanted to use? In which case, greetings from the UK :-)

 

Many years ago, while I was studying at University I used to have a PC that had a Soundblaster card with a breakout box. It was particularly useful for inputting midi and a mic and monitoring with headphones.

 

Now, in the coming months I will be doing a new PC build and although my useage has changed somewhat, I am looking for something similar which no longer seems to exist. I now have a small YouTube gaming channel which I co-host. I would like a panel/external box which can handle:

 

2 sets of headphones (3.5mm) with independent volume controls

USB mic in with level indicator

MIDI-in or another USB

 

I will also need a suitable soundcard. Last time I was building a PC there were crazy amounts of options for soundcards.

I did quite like the look of the SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty, but with it being over a decade old will no doubt be incompatible (don't think it works over PCIe).

 

Essentially I am totally out of date when it comes to PC audio.

Initially I will be wanting to record from one USB mic (Blue Yeti), while utilising two sets of headphones. But at some point I will want to probably use a couple of (musical) keyboards (Yamaha PSR7000 and microKORG) to do some sequencing work.

I don't want to be faffing around the back of the PC all the time.

I don't need top of the range. Equally, I don't want to be using the garbage that is generally on-board MB audio.

I am also a gamer.

 

Your suggestions would be most welcome.

All the best,

TRC

 

For about $170 USD, you can get the [email protected] card. Great for recording. However, it provides analog line level inputs and outputs with +4dBu and -10dBV signal level. To connect a microphone (non-USB), you need to use a separate preamp or a mixing desk; a direct connection of a microphone is not possible. Also, you may have trouble with a USB Mic in that you may not be able to run 2 ASIO drivers at the same time (one for the Mic and one for the sound card.

mQa is dead!

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For about $170 USD, you can get the [email protected] card. Great for recording. However, it provides analog line level inputs and outputs with +4dBu and -10dBV signal level. To connect a microphone (non-USB), you need to use a separate preamp or a mixing desk; a direct connection of a microphone is not possible. Also, you may have trouble with a USB Mic in that you may not be able to run 2 ASIO drivers at the same time (one for the Mic and one for the sound card.

 

To my knowledge Windows will not do more than one ASIO device at a time. I am not a Mac guy, but believe Mac will run two audio devices.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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