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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's been discussed that maintaining a list of sound card/mic pre/mixer/mic options might be valuable, including any pros and cons or notes on use. To kick it off, please post your REW signal chain components (not including cables) and what operating system you are using.

Here's my current setup:

Mic: Dayton EMM-6
Soundcard/mic pre/phantom power: M-Audio MobilePre USB (this old school one)
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Notes: Works well with java or ASIO driver, TS in/out connectors (use RCA adapters where necessary), No longer sold / $40-50 on ebay
 

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Thanks for starting the thread John... hopefully this will be helpful and we can get some ideas flowing.

Mic: Behringer ECM8000 (Calibrated by Cross-Spectrum)
Preamp: Behringer UB802 Mixer w/ Phantom Power (Older model)
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster MP3+ USB (No longer available)
OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

No issues thus far with this setup.
 

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This is what I am using...

Mic: Behringer ECM8000 (also calibrated by Cross-Sectrum)
Preamp/Phantom Power/Soundcard via USB: Tascam US-122 MKII
OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

I have not tried it with ASIO drivers yet.
 

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I was hoping we would have more response out of this... maybe it got lost in the shuffle. Let's bump it back up to the top again. :T
 

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My Setup:

OS: MS Windows Vista (on Asus Notebook)
Mic: BeyerDynamic MM1 (Factory Calibrated) [also Behringer ECM8000]
Audio Interface: Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 (Firewire)
[Normally using ASIO (ASIO4ALL) but also works well with Saffire-ASIO and Java drivers]
Software: REW and HOLMImpulse
 

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I'll be posting my setup as soon as I have a chance to actually give it a go and verify it all actually works together...

:)
 

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Mic: Dayton EMM-6 w/full calibration from Cross Spectrum Labs
Soundcard/mic pre/phantom power: Tascam US122 MKII
Operating System: Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit
Notes: TASCAM has ASIO support, but I don't think I've tried it with REW. I've used it with SMAART though.
Laptop is HP 6730b

TASCAM is very flat +- .5db
 

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Mic: Behringer ECM8000 (calibrated by Cross-Sectrum)
Preamp/Phantom Power/Soundcard via USB: Tascam US-122
Preamp/Phantom Power/Soundcard via USB: Steinberg UR824
Preamp/Phantom Power/Soundcard via Firewire: Steinberg MR816x
OS: Windows 7 Pro 32 and 64-bit.

Notes:
ASIO output works great.

Soundcard calibration of the Steinberg products works best when using headphone out to line 1 in. If using line 1 out to line 1 in the frequency response rolls off starting at 20 Hz. However, if using the Tascam out to Steinberg in or vice versa, the frequency response is flat to about 5 Hz. I was told that using line in to line out on the Steinberg causes an impedance mismatch which results in an incorrect calibration. This was verified by using the Tascam in conjunction with the Steinberg. All three of these are basically flat from 5 Hz to greater than 20 kHz.
 

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I'm a DAW user calibrating/measuring my project studio, same measurement principles though.

Mic: Dayton Audio EMM-6 calibrated via Dayton's serial no/website system (formerly Behringer ECM8000 uncalibrated)
Pre: Golden Age Projects Pre-73 (phantom power of course)
Soundcard: EMU 1212M PCI (formerly on an 0404 PCI and 0404 USB)
OS: Windows 7 64bit

Notes:
Been an EMU user for about 8 years now. Their DAC converters are SO NICE for the $$$. Patchmix is a bit rough to figure out at first but, through the years, I feel super comfortable with it. In fact, I have my EQ filter adjustments setup on my ASIO output so that when I test in REW or I'm just on Cubase mixing, etc...the filters are in place...not need for a BFD 1124 thingy...ahh except one drawback. Patchmix only lets u setup eq filters down to 50hz :( I use ApQualizr VST eq plugin to compensate for the rest, though, while mixing in Cubase :p
 

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Is anyone using a small DAW, like a 2x2 or 2x4 either traditional or newer USB model like either A Tascam US144 Mkll, Pre-Sonus AUdiobox 22VSL, or Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ? (There are many others, but bigger & more detailed for recording). Thoughts, comments ? The Audio spec on the line/mic inputs, with 48V Phantom power, at least on paper are pretty impressive. 20Hz-20Khz +/-0.3dB and audio input from basic 44.1 all the way up to 96K/24bit. Vs. dedicated sound cards, thoguht, comments, opinions ?
 

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The Focusrite is pretty lol...its got good specs too.

I've always used EMU interfaces cuz the have dope converters for the price and I've gotten really used to Patchmix. I did have an 0404 USB for like a week but didn't like it it all (for one reason, I dont think it had Patchmix).

U might wanna consider the M-Audio interfaces too.

Is anyone using a small DAW, like a 2x2 or 2x4...
And just to correct ur language, replace "DAW" with "interface"
 

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With few exceptions, just about all the pre-amps less than about $450 are in the same ballpark.
And then there is another price/performance break at about $800.

Here is a list with comments regarding some of the more common pre-amps.

Signal to noise, phase and frequency response linearity, latency...all are much more critical than sample rate.
 

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:sn:Of course S/N, THD, linearity, weighting basis, are more important than whether you are recording at 44.1 (PCM), or 88.2, but a whole other subject, not directly related to my original comments & questions is the power supply of the respected device. VERY few, and I mean VERY FEW USB based devices detailed herein, take any consideration of the dual usagae of the USB carrier, whereas the small current has an effect on the recorded tone. In fact, one of the ONLY playback devices that I know of that takes this into consideration in product design, is the BRYSTON BDP-1. If you look at the NAIM D/AC, they don't include USB at all, for fear of contamination from the small current flow. Anyway, I digress, as this was a discussion about measurement microphones and the accompanying options of sound cards or 'Digital Audio Workstations /DAW' (yes some are
small format DAW with software), and of course, computer recording interfaces. M-Audio offered interesting devices, but after they were purchased by Digi, I am not sure of the product. I geenerally would trust the oversight and reported specification of Japanese brands like Tascam, and in larger format, Yamaha. DBX by Harman makes very good quality for the money, and I would guess the measurement mic is made in Austria, or at least designed in Austria by AKG. The DAW workstation, with phantom pre, and lots of I/O options also by Harman is the Lexicon piece, but when I last checked it didn't support Win7....maybe it does, but I don't know. Anyway, the bottom line is NOT paper spec always, it is a starting point. I am not confident in the starting point with the Behringer, so everything after is moot. So I am back to Dayton, DBX, Audix, and maybe even a capsule from ACO. Anyone ?
Thank you!
 

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Excellent ! Just looked at list..now THESE are the brands & models I know. Are you with Easra? Thank you very much. The lamda & Omega have always intrigued me, for what they are, how much software is included, and how relatively inexpensive they are. Now brands like Samson are entering this field, after brands like preSonus broke new ground. I guess between $150-$300 MSRP for one of these interfaces, you need to look at THD, S/N, deviations, etc., which all might be very similar, but more importantly for the user, ease of use. Size of the unit, type of I/O, as if you need XLR & the device is 1/4" TRS, then adding adapters can & will affect results, including adding to costs. In the end, what fits 'your' needs.
Thanks again.
 

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First, there is a different orientation between measurement products and 'audio recording' products.
And I would not let your familiarity with the MI products color your opinion of products intended for use in measurement and analysis purposes. And talk of DAW has no place in this discussion. While i appreciate one's desire for 'quality', I must admit to disagreeing with the decision making criterion.

Ultimately you buy what is necessary to do the job. Simply having a Ferrari to go to the grocery store is not necessarily a prudent matching of tool to task.

And no, you essentially don't use ANY of the included software unless it is specifically required for control of the unit, so that aspect is moot. You use the measurement software, not the editing and FX capabilities of included MI software.

Many of the high end platforms regrettably use a proprietary front end. Easera does not. No, I am not with Easera, but my primary platforms have been TEF and EASERA & SysTune over the past 25 years. For Easera, some of the more commonly used pre-amps have been the Easera Gateway made by PreSonus which includes an integrated loopback eliminating the need for an external loopback and exhibits timing characteristics allowing it to be used in conjunction with TDS; the PreSonus Firestudio Project for use as a multi-input (8-16+ channel) device, the Duran Audio DAxys pre-amp featuring exceptional S/N, phase linearity and a ruggedized design (eg I/O jacks mounted to a metal case instead of to a motherboard), integrated loopback, and software based controls. Meanwhile movement is being made towards Ethernet based connectivity rather than USB or Firewire.

Also, there are a plethora of quality (and pricey!) lab grade measurement mics available. (And since the question of orientation comes up repeatedly with many very curious interpretations, they are listed for the following sample mics as well...) This is NOT intended to serve as any kind of exclusive reference or endorsement, although all are good mics. They are simply examples... Not listed are many from such firms as Audix, etc...

The optimal orientation of the microphone relative to the source is model specific. One will want to verify this with the owner’s manual for the microphone in question.
The orientation of a few common measurement microphones are listed below.

SoundFirst SF101 - 0 degrees (pointed at source)
DPA4007 - 45 degrees
DPA4090 - 0 degrees
TEF05 - 0 deg
TEF04 - 45 deg
AudioToolbox - 90 deg (perpendicular)
Earthworks M30 - 90 deg
Earthworks M30BX - 90 deg

And I would avoid the tendency to buy on the basis of 'name recognition' - as many of the best measurement mics are made by companies whose names one has no other reason to be familiar.

As you pay more for a mic you get: flatter response, extended range, and lower self-noise and better consistency from mic to mic.
The question is: how flat do you need it? What frequency range do you need? Do you require multiple matched mics? What degree of mic-to-mic consistency?
 

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No, please excuse me , as you are correct, and I never meant to imply that the software with MI product was needed, or even usefull for acoustics testing. We should know, that it is not! I was simply inferring that in the MI world (as you pointed out), you can purchase an I/O box, that has 1,2, or more mic-pre's some with up to 48V Phantom b/i, for less money than a computer specific sound card. If anyone ever has a need to do any live or pass-through recording, along with field testing, at the lower price points some of these boxes are quite nice. Don't know if this go-round with Focusrite is as good as it once was, but these price points are pretty shocking. I was never leaning in any way shape, or form towards a CLASS 1 B&K, Eathworks, or otherwise unnecesarry expense. And you are 100% correct, in that the wrong tool in the wrong hands, or for that matter, the best tool in the wrong hands has no meaning. That is why the same tooling in production can turn out a $10 item, or a $1000 item. it all depends on the operator, just like using a Martin guitar or a Selmer Alto by a 4th. grade 1st., semester music person. Anyway, regarding your comment about USB, again you are correct! Firewire is a very good , but Apple, which owns 1394, has almost given up this interface. USB 3.0, while rolling out in new PC's seems not to have a follow-up act with third party vendors. From the giants of the MI world, to the masters of the studio market, on through to the newer audiophile market that is moving towards HD music (and video), Ethernet IS THE ONLY way right now to future proof product. Look at the StreamNet patented protocol, which transmits 44.1 & 88.2, uncompressed, in multiple streams over one cat-5e cable...and will control all functionality. Anyway, back to sound cards & mics; All of your points at the end of your post, are well taken and helpful, but as we aren't, I don't think talking about doing FOH mic check, multiple mics aren't really germain to this subject. Then again, I guess you could be learning how to setup a large venue here. And we aren't talking about plugins or things like ProTools, I don't think, so we are back to small room acoustics, and we have to focus on frequencies below 2K, or at least that is where I know most of the issues in small rooms lie. So back to square one; Do we use a card frame sound card (desktop) or for most here, an external sound card with pig-tails, or something of this sort, or use as an option an MI I/O device ? It is interesting as the cards detailed within are of higher quality, with valuable microphone information about placement of the associated units, but in other posts here, it seems the direction is 180 degrees opposite, with a mic like a Behringer 8000, with ZERO accompaning paperwork or usefull info. Anyway, thank you very much for all of your information. My next step maybe an Audix TR1, but still unsure of the pre.:ponder:
 

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First time poster. I just got REW up and running so I thought I'd post my kit.

Mic: Behringer ECM8000 Cross spectrum calibrated
Soundcard: Behringer UCA202
mic pre/phantom power: Behringer XENYX 502 mixer
Operating System: Windows XP SP2 Java 1.7 (upgraded from 1.5)
REW Version: 5 build 2412
Notes: Originally had a problem getting the loop-back to work. After googling I found 2 recommendations; 1 to upgrade the version of Java, and the second to run 'Levels' from the main menu before attempting the loop-back.

I upgraded Java and it worked as expected
 

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In the REW cable and connections guide the setup for the spl meter shows a need for an external sound card with both line out -and- line in jacks..which sound cards would fit this requirment? been doing a lot of research and i wanna make sure i dont end up getting the wrong thing

Thanks

p.s. this will be for subwoofer calibration only, i have a rs digital spl meter already and a bfd on the way.

edit** just looked into the above posted behringer uca202, connecting that to my laptop pc via usb should be all that is necessary, right?
 
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