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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering what USB soundcard/mic pre amp people are using with good results for their Macs and REW?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated,

Dan
 

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You might check the E-MU Tracker Pre USB 2.0, M-Audio Fast Track Pro - 4 x 4 Mobile, and PreSonus AudioBox USB. Actually, it's not hard to find on-line reviews for just about any interface you'd be interesting. People who like or dislike them will often note if they're using a PC or a Mac.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Wayne. I've done quite a bit of searching and can't seem to find anything but mixed reviews. I was hoping their was a sort of general consensus here on the forum for which are best--generally speaking. I know my M-Audio keyboard works flawlessly, so maybe I'll stick with them. I was actually hoping for a more rugged unit that would last a long time w/ minimal issues.

Thanks again,

Dan
 

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Yeah, most of these things do get mixed reviews. I make it a point, however, to study them and take note of exactly what it is they're happy or not happy with, to see if it directly relates to my set-up or intended application. For instance, I just ordered a Tascam 122L because the only people I could see having problems were using Macs. The Windows XP users seemed happy with it, so that made it an easy decision. :T That plus the fact that people here have successfully used its sister, the 144L.

BTW, the Presonus was one I looked at that got mixed reviews, but IIR Mac users said it worked fine for them. Naturally, I passed on that one, but you might take a closer look at it. As always with these things, it's good to buy from a place with a generous return policy - just in case...

Regards,
Wayne

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Wayne! Your the best. Very helpful and persistent. I ended up buying a Tascam 144. Seems it works well with new Macs. Worst case, I use my PC--I wish I like that computer better as so many third parties make stuff for it. I just found an extremely good deal on the Tascam and I know they make good quality stuff, so I went with it. I'll be sure to post how it goes. I have a 13" MacBook with the Leopard version of the OS. Still waiting to upgrade to Snow Leopard and iLife '09.

It should be here by the end of the week.

Thanks again!

Dan
 

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Dan,

How's the Tascam working for you?

I'm trying to decide between that and the EMU Tracker. I'm fed up with M-Audio, between their horrible driver (non)support and spam.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Still not in my possession. Ordering online is still sort of scary.... I ordered from Abe's of Maine through Amazon. I'm going to contact them today.

Sorry,

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPS told me they never received it. Abe's of Maine said UPS returned it smashed then I asked me if I wanted my money back or to wait a few weeks until they can get another one from Tascam. They said they would then send it to me via airmail. Looks like I'll end up getting it about a month after order. It stinks, but the price I'm getting it at can't be beat. It's actually the model that comes with a condenser mic and I'm getting it for less than I could even buy the mic pre amp. Hopefully the mic isn't total , but if you play music you know extra mics are always nice to have.

Dan
 

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Dan,

How's the Tascam working for you?

I'm trying to decide between that and the EMU Tracker. I'm fed up with M-Audio, between their horrible driver (non)support and spam.
You might try the Tascam US-122L instead. Basically the same as the 144, only quite a bit cheaper without a firewire connection, which is not needed for REW.

Regards,
Wayne

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well here we go. It's more than 3 weeks after my order and Abe's of Maine calls me today to say that they are no longer a Tascam distributor not they cannot send me what I ordered. :foottap: What a joke. Just goes to show you that if a deal is too good to be true ....... well then it's self explanatory. I know that's my last order through them.

Thanks for the help,

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow Wayne! You are seriously the best! I was actually looking at the PreSonus AudioBox USB now. Seems no Mac users have any issues with it and it's build quality seems about the same as the Tascam. I'm going to wait until I get my money back from Abe's of Maine though. An employee called my wife today and said they won't refund my money until I remove my comments from their feedback on Amazon and said I was evil for posting it. Looks like I'm going to have to get the authorities involved. I'll talk to management before I do. :boxer: Boy what a mess. I've had more trouble lately with supposedly reputable online sellers than I care to think about. It's depressing. The only thing that's gone smoothly is the mic I got from Anechoic from this forum and the iPod I bought from Apple for my wife's birthday. I'll likely just start paying higher prices at brick and mortar stores just for the stress reduction. It's gotta be cheaper than therapy. :doh:

Thanks again Wayne!

Dan
 

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Yikes! Thanks for the link, BK. :T

Yeah, based on that review I think I’d pass on that thing – a shame, because Presonus’ pro audio gear is generally regarded as good stuff.

The reviewer notes that it’s noisy, among other problems. Maybe not relevant for REW, but these interfaces can be useful for other things. For instance, it could be used if you wanted to record some old cassettes to the computer, to make a CD. Or wanted to record a spoken voice, or anything else you might want to record with a mic (like if you want to prove to your neighbor that his dog barks like crazy when he’s gone :D). Or if you have decent-quality computer speakers, like studio monitors – connecting them to a better-quality sound card than what’s in your laptop.

So basically, if I’m going to spend my money I’d like to be able to use the sound card for more than REW, should the need arise.

BUT – check this out, a tidbit I noticed in the review:
The AudioBox PDF manual says:
Both channels of the AudioBox USB have a Mic/Line connector using the Neutrik Combo connector.
which initially sounds great since they used the word "line", but alas, then they go on to explicitly say:
Plugging a line level source into the instrument inputs on the front of the AudioBox USB not only risks damage to these inputs but also results in a very loud and often distorted audio signal. (In other words, don’t plug a line level source into the combo jacks of channel 1 or 2.).
Ouch. That tells me it might not be possible to generate a calibration file with this thing, or it might not work well using the Radio Shack SPL meter as the measurement mic, since it uses a line-level output. Apparently the 1/4” inputs are intended for guitars, which have very low-level signals.

Bottom line, I think I’d avoid the Presonus. I have no way to verify, but the Tascam’s published noise specs are excellent. Its frequency response is so flat it doesn’t really even need a calibration file. REW’s calibration shows it’s down less than .5 dB at 10 Hz, and .25 dB at 20 kHz.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

 

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Discussion Starter #20
*moo*. Thank you guys for the review link and further comments. This has to be one of the best forums on the web. Now I'm just not sure what to do. I might just go back to the Tascam but do the 122 just to save some mulah.

On a brighter note. I talked to a manager at Abes of Maine and he did indeed refund my money. It hasn't been cleared by my credit card, but it was confirmed by Amazon. At least I'm not out anything except a lot of time and confidence in online retailers, and I'm worried about what other damage this employee might be capable of inflicting. He has my phone number on his personal phone (he called me many times from it so the conversation wouldn't be recorded), and he knows where I live. I wonder how much access he has to my personal information. :dontknow: This is torture. I'm looking into it and I'm going to attempt to purge my info from their system. I mean if he's capable of extortion to get a better review, what else is he capable of?:scratch::gulp::doh: I also wonder how much of this has gone on with them. They have no other negative reviews......out of hundreds of thousands if I remember correctly.

Anyway, thanks again guys! Looks like it's back to Tascam for me. Looks like you've saved me more hassle BK.

Dan
 
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