USB audio interface + ham radio + musical instrument = win?

Discussion in 'Microphones, Speakers & Audio Processing' started by N2VWP, May 21, 2012.

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  1. N2VWP

    N2VWP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello all. Here's a quick rundown of what I'm trying to do:

    I currently have a custom built PC that is running Windows 7. Hooked up to the LINE IN of the computer is an Icom IC-718. I use the volume control knob from the radio as well as the 'windows mixer' to control the volume of the radio for software such as Digipan and JT65-HF. For transmitting, I have it controlled via a West Mountain Radio Rigblaster Pro connected via USB.

    I will be buying a new Apple iMac when they come out in a few weeks. I have a Roland TD4K electric drum set that I've been using with my Macbook via MIDI/audio outputs for use with Logic (an audio multi-track recording program) as well as Apple's Garageband music software. I also have a Roland SPD-S sampling pad that I use with standard audio outputs. Here's where it gets 'interesting.' Since the Macbook is starting to show it's age, I wanted to merge everything into one computer powerhouse.

    I originally has asked on an Apple users forum about mixers and everything. One person that responded (that had a recording background) said that mixers were "last year" and I should be looking at USB audio interfaces instead. One of the brands that seems to be recommended is the Focusrite Scarlett series. (http://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Sca...cal-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1337599895&sr=1-2)

    It looks pretty straight forward, you plug each of your audio devices into it, the software can mix and 'tune' the sound as needed, and select the audio "source" and "output" in each individual program. However, I've never used one of these pieces of hardware and was wondering if any ham out there has had direct experience, maybe not necessarily into the music side of it, but just the box in general? I'm not looking to start a PC vs Mac thread, so please leave those comments out. ;)

    Thanks for any information!

    --rob
    n2vwp
     
  2. K5HS

    K5HS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am both ham and musician here, and am familiar with Focusrite, I use a Liquid 56 and a 24DSP for my studio. The key is the Mixer software that allows you to pick and choose inputs and outputs (virtual mixing board) and you can save your routing as profiles so when you do ham radio pick that routing, when your doing music recall those assignments.

    I dont know what sound card you have in your PC probably on board sound, so the Focusrite will be a step up .

    I am using a rack of processors for my transmit audio , kinda in to the ESSB thing.

    Just be careful of ground loops.
     
  3. N3JQD

    N3JQD Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is somewhat similar to a question that I'm about to post. Is anyone using a Mac or iPad to process audio for use with a rig? Either Xmit or Rx ? I've just gotten into some of the recording apps for the iPad and they are great. I can't see a reason to buy anymore hardware when the iPad coupled with a few patch cords can do all the work. Any app that you know of would be appreciated.
     
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unless you have a way to monitor IMD, which about 0.01% of all amateurs do, I'd stay away from the "ESSB thing." To most of us, it sounds horrible. And the reason it sounds horrible isn't on-channel, but off-channel, where IM3, IM5, IM7 etc. get really bad unless well controlled, and you can't do that at the audio level.

    Like probably 90% of all active hams on HF, I never answer anyone who sounds like that.:p

    SSB was intended to occupy minimal channel space while providing highly intelligible communications. ESSB mostly defiles that intention, unless it's done incredibly well.

    Funny part is, it's easy to sound very high fidelity within a 2.7 kHz bandwidth (with all modulation rolled off below 300 Hz using a brick wall filter) and normally requires nothing more than a good microphone and excellent modulation habits. Let's make a sked on the air and I'll show you what that sounds like.:eek:
     
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