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Author Topic: Need new Smaart USB interface as IBM T20 has died... M-audio,Tascam...?  (Read 5598 times)

Douglas R. Allen

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Greetings;

Sorry for yet another Smaart USB interface question. I have searched and found a lot of the post are getting older now and some new interfaces have been out for awhile.
I was using an IBM T20 for my basic Smaart 5.0 measurements. As the T20 had Stereo LINE IN and OUT I was able to get by with just a small external mixer and do the basic measurements that I do from time to time.  Last weekend the sound card in the laptop went up in smoke as did the hard drive. I wondered about power supply failure but I guess its a moot point now.

I have an older dell Latitude that has an 80 gig 7200 rpm hard drive. 2 gigs of ram and a 1.2 gig processor on it with windows xp. It has been striped clean and I feel it will be ok for just a single use smaart laptop. I only do 4 or 5 measurements a year now for friends or local bands. The biggest use is ringing out monitors and maybe finding some delay times between drum monitors / FOH.

For a USB interface I need a bare bones box. Microphone input with phantom power and of course duplex stereo in/out. USB power for a clean setup without having to bother with a power supply as I had to before.

I've been looking at these but wonder if there is anything else that people have been using that is in the aprox price range? Less is alway better but I don't want to be $50 away from the answer.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/m-audio-mobilepre-mk-ii?src=3XBACR

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/tascam-us-122mkii-usb-2.0-2-channel-audio-midi-interface?src=3XBACR

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/avid-recording-studio?src=3XBACR

I'm leaning on the tascam although it seems to have bad reviews. The Avid looks nice and small but I'm unsure if the Line In is setup for instrument only or if its a true Line In.

I've also looked at a Steinberg but I haven't seen any of their gear in my area so I'm unsure of the quality.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/steinberg-ci1-advanced-integration-usb-studio

All in all just a basic box to do a few measurements a year is all I need. Is there one of the above that others have tired and have had bad or good luck with?

Thanks;
Douglas R. Allen
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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Need new Smaart USB interface as IBM T20 has died... M-audio,Tascam...?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 10:00:11 am »

I have one of these:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/alesis-io2-express-audio-interface

and one of these:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/USBDualPrePS

The Alesis is 24 bit, the ART is 16 bit.

Thanks;
I missed the Alesis. Good luck with it? I like the looks of the Art but Musician's Friend doesn't sell the unit. I have a $75 dollar Christmas coupon to use so I want to use that to cover some of the cost. ;)
I may just go with the alesis.
Douglas R. Allen

EDIT: The Alesis is on its way. Should be here the first of next week. I'll do a follow up as to setup when it arrives if others are looking for a low cost usb pre.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 12:16:23 pm by Douglas R. Allen »
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Jason Raboin

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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Need new Smaart USB interface as IBM T20 has died... M-audio,Tascam...?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 04:19:03 pm »

I picked up the Alesis io2 express.
Works very good and has some interesting routing resources as well.
I started using an old Dell Latitude for music playback after my IBM t20 retired. (died)
Not wanting to always carry or use the Alesis USB preamp I set up Smaart wave out to go to the Dell laptops internal sound card and have the smaart input fed from the Alesis USB Pre.
To play just music when I don't need to measure I can just use the Headphone out on the Dell as normal to my desk.
To do some measuring I'll go with the same cable but now use the right channel only and go into the Alesis USB Pre Right Line input.
This feeds the Reference side of Smaart via the alesis usb feed. I have the Monitor Mix Knob on the io2 to the Direct side so this same Right signal goes out its Main right out balanced/unbalanced as needed to the device to be tested.
The Measurement Microphone or return from a device goes in Channel 1 and is returned to Smaarts Left input  via usb for the measurement side. The Channel 1 preamp is very Hot so getting enough volume is not a problem.

I like that setup this way I can have a small mixer to do basic testing when I need it and still play music out the laptops sound card when I don't. I can use Smaart generator for the source or a cd playing in the laptop with only one cable from my laptop into it. Then the reference out from the alesis with no cluster Y cable to mess with. I haven't had a time to check latency but they claim 0 latency with the monitor mix knob turned fully to direct out. Of course when delay time is set this is accounted for.

Signal to noise is lower than I had before and its small and light with USB power so I don't have to mess with a power suply like I did in the past.

For a simple measurement USB Pre it works fine with no problems with the installation.

Douglas R. Allen

edit: spelling
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 07:31:44 pm by Douglas R. Allen »
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John Penkala

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Greetings;

Sorry for yet another Smaart USB interface question. I have searched and found a lot of the post are getting older now and some new interfaces have been out for awhile.
I was using an IBM T20 for my basic Smaart 5.0 measurements. As the T20 had Stereo LINE IN and OUT I was able to get by with just a small external mixer and do the basic measurements that I do from time to time.  Last weekend the sound card in the laptop went up in smoke as did the hard drive. I wondered about power supply failure but I guess its a moot point now.

I have an older dell Latitude that has an 80 gig 7200 rpm hard drive. 2 gigs of ram and a 1.2 gig processor on it with windows xp. It has been striped clean and I feel it will be ok for just a single use smaart laptop. I only do 4 or 5 measurements a year now for friends or local bands. The biggest use is ringing out monitors and maybe finding some delay times between drum monitors / FOH.

For a USB interface I need a bare bones box. Microphone input with phantom power and of course duplex stereo in/out. USB power for a clean setup without having to bother with a power supply as I had to before.

I've been looking at these but wonder if there is anything else that people have been using that is in the aprox price range? Less is alway better but I don't want to be $50 away from the answer.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/m-audio-mobilepre-mk-ii?src=3XBACR

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/tascam-us-122mkii-usb-2.0-2-channel-audio-midi-interface?src=3XBACR

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/avid-recording-studio?src=3XBACR

I'm leaning on the tascam although it seems to have bad reviews. The Avid looks nice and small but I'm unsure if the Line In is setup for instrument only or if its a true Line In.

I've also looked at a Steinberg but I haven't seen any of their gear in my area so I'm unsure of the quality.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/steinberg-ci1-advanced-integration-usb-studio

All in all just a basic box to do a few measurements a year is all I need. Is there one of the above that others have tired and have had bad or good luck with?

Thanks;
Douglas R. Allen

An A&H Zed 10 would work for measurement and also be a nice extra mixer. I keep one in the shop for testing and bench work. You can find Sound Devices USBPre's on eBay pretty cheap. I've seen them sell for $100-$200. These are very rugged little boxes. XP is supported but Windows 7 isn't. Visit their website to check compatibility with your OS. I have had mine for years. I used it with an XP machine for a long time but had to buy a $60 third party ASIO driver to work on my 64bit Windows 7 machine. Additionally, if you do stereo recordings, these sound fantastic.

JP
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 01:05:24 am by John Penkala »
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