Posts Tagged ‘audio’
I’ve had this device for a month now and I’m very happy with it.
Reviews on the Akai EIE 16 bit version where pretty thin on the ground so buying it was a gamble.
The sound quality seems very good and I’ve not noticed any latency either with midi or audio.
When I record I tend to run with at least 16 tracks and have not experienced crackles, pops or gllitching.
There are 4 inputs on the front which for me is perfect, no rooting around the back to plug mics or instruments in and the inserts on the back make it easy to add external effects, eqs and compressors.
There is phantom power for each input if needed which you’ll need if you have condenser mics.
There are also switches for each input which can switch from mic/line to guitar.
As a long time computer musician I’ve always used pci sound cards, prior to the Akai I was using a Layla 3g and before that a M-Audio 2496.
Both are great audio devices but the problem was that 1. it took up a pci slot which I needed and 2. Not portable.
A big benefit of the Akai EIE is that it is portable, if I need to record in the garage or away from my home I can take it with me and my laptop.
A couple of things I’d like to address,
1. It’s a 16bit recording device as opposed to 24bit – difference? I can’t tell to be honest, as someone who in the past has recorded using a cassette 4-track it’s always going to be a step up. Let’ss face facts, and I’m sure someone is going to jump all over me on this. When you’re recording on a budget or in a small diy studio 16bit is more than adequate.
2. It’s USB 1.0 – I’d always been warned off USB 1.0, potential latency being the main criticism amongst friends but I’ve not noticed any so far. That said I’ve not tried to record more than one track at a time yet so maybe that will come up.
The Akai doesn’t come with drivers, the disc it is shipped with uses ASIO4ALL which seems stable enough to me.
I’m running a bog standard desktop 4gb memory, 3ghz dual processor, 1gb Graphics card and windows 7 64bit and the whole setup with the Akai seems to be working well.
I use Reaper as my DAW and can be running multiple tracks including Sampletank, Garritan and several audio tracks with multiple tracks.
Like I’ve said it works well and Akai seems more than up to the job.
At £130 it’s well worth the cost but if you’re not sure you could tray the Akai EIE Pro – it’s about £70 more expensive but is 24bit and uses USB 2.0
Additional information below.
One convenient box to connect all of your music gear to your computer.
The EIE is all about plug and play convenience. With the EIE tabletop USB audio interface from Akai Professional, you can connect virtually any musical instrument or piece of production gear to your computer. With three convenient USB inputs in addition to its main USB port, EIE enables you to connect controllers, hard drives or any other peripheral to your computer when native ports may be limited. This compact, 16-bit recording interface contains high-quality components including nickel-plated input jacks, analog-style VU meters and a rugged aluminum casing for a powerful, professional, portable audio solution. The EIE can be used with virtually any music software program like GarageBand or Pro Tools and connects plug-and-play to Macs or PCs; there is no driver installation required.
Each channel of the EIE has an XLR-¼” combo jack, dedicated gain-pot and Mic/Line/Guitar switch. The EIE features four discrete-design preamplifiers with 48V phantom power for use with virtually any microphone. Individual ¼” nickel-plated jacks found on the back of EIE provide you with channel inserts for processing audio signals externally. You can monitor sessions on multiple sets of studio monitors using the four ¼” balanced outputs, which are also nickel-plated. Both pairs of outputs can be monitored visually with the high-quality, analog VU meters providing classic features with modern style. For remote tracking and alternative playback, the EIE has a 1/4” TRS headphone output. High quality analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters ensure that every detail of your session or performance gets captured and played back faithfully.
The EIE sends and receives four audio channels on a single USB cable for simple, universal interface to your computer. The three additional USB 1.1 ports allow the EIE to function as a hub as well, bridging other MIDI controllers and hard-drives to the computer. EIE’s USB interface is class compliant for plug-and-play operation with Mac OS X and Windows XP, Vista and 7. The EIE features traditional MIDI In and Out jacks for playing and controlling software with keyboard and pad controllers, workstations, and other MIDI-compatible instruments.
- Record and playback 16-bit, 2-channel audio via USB
- Plug-and-play operation, no driver installation required
- Four XLR-¼” combo jacks with phantom power and gain control
- Four nickel-plated ¼” outputs for two separate monitoring systems
- Two classic, high-quality VU level meters with switchable sources
- Three additional USB ports for connecting other devices through to a computer
- 5 Pin DIN MIDI Interface
- Headphone output with switchable source and direct monitoring dial
- Table-top, solid construction with a great-looking, classic design
- EIE I/O
- Power cable
- Quick start guide
Previously I’ve written articles on the Emu 0404 PCI soundcard and my problems getting it to work cleanly on my system.
Originally I gave up and reinstalled my M-audio 2496 and put the 0404 away.
Well while trying to fix something else last week as reported on in the article, XP and Bios Tweaks and Fixes, Pops and Glitches I decided to try again.
It seems to have worked, the cuplrit seems to have been the belkin gigabit lan card. Wether this was a IRQ issue or not I don’t know but whatever it seems to have solved all the problems with clicking and glitches.
Also another weird turnup as well, the 0404 seems to have reduced CPU usage!
Not my imagination, with the 2496 audiophile my CPU was at around 35% in Sonar, now it’s down to 14%.
So it looks like I’ll be going back to 0nboard lan for FX Teleport. But maybe I’ll just see how I go.
Now I’ve got quite a bit of FX processing power with the TC Powercore, UAD and now EMUs PowerFX.
Previous articles about EMU 0404 below.
You’ll need to scroll down Marcus’s page there to find it.
Parametric graphic equalizer with excellent response all the way up to Nyquist. It never clicks, and it handles deep bass well too. The Nyquist frequency is the highest representable frequency for a given sample rate. The trebliest of the treble. Most other digital eqs have great problems producing a natural sound here.
If you are trying to Master your own tunes you will be wanting to know which effects to use and what order to use them in.
Truth is there is no set way to set up your mastering effects.
It’s all about your ears, does it sound right?
2 previous articles on this site.
Let’s look at mastering for the beginner.
Add a Limiter to your fx chain, typically the limiter will go at the end of you mastering fx chain.
Well it’s not a set in stone rule but if you’re trying to get your track to level out and increase the overall volume of your track a limiter or limiting effect will with a little care and good ears get this for you.
Some setups will include placing a compressor set at a low rate at the beginning of your fx chain.
What you place inbetween is down to choice, typically this is usually an EQ effect.
So a simple setup could be,
Compressor – EQ – Limiter.
That said removing the Compressor at the beginning is not out of the question.
If your track is well mixed and your eq is spot on then the EQ can be removed as well.
It’s about what suits.
Usually an EQ is added to lift a track in some parts(boost) or to remove problems(cut).
If you do boost – be gentle – if you find yourself having to correct too much then you need to look at your mix.
Using EQ a roll off around 40hz(link) can usually give you a bit more room for volume as the lower frequencies tend to take up much more room in your overall levels.
Other than that messing around with eq is again up to taste, but be careful with your boosts – whatever you boost has an effect elsewhere in the track – gentle boosts are a safer way of massaging your sound. If you find yourself doing more then you may have a problem in the mix.
Learning more about bandpass filters and types of eq is necessary – get your ears used to what happens to instruments and mixes when you apply eq – drastic and dramatic settings can be helpful to tune your ears but they will be often be damaging to your master – if in doubt leave it out.
Use eq for gentle lifts and cuts only.
—Adding Other FX—
There are many other Effects that can come into play when mastering,
Each of these effects have their own uses, the order in which you use them again is down to taste.
For example a Reverb before an EQ will be affected by the EQ so decide wether that is what you want.
Remember It’s all dependent on sound not so-called rules.
Imagine a big reverb going through a limiter – what will happen?
If you compress a high pass eq what happens?
Adding distortion into your mastering FX chain does exactly that – think about it.
Sometimes it can have a warming effect – too much and it will distort.
Be gentle but at the same time keep in mind what you want to achieve.
A good mix can be killed by bad mastering.
Start off simple, listen and learn.
1. Decide on the sound you want – will it be part of an album of songs?
2. If so that has a bearing on your mastering – eq’s have to match – your volumes will depend on the order/playlist of your music.
3. Take your time – bounce your mixes first – find the order of your songs – then listen on as many different types of stereo listening equipment as you can.
4. Were all the songs recorded around the same time/studio/equipment? Look at point no.2
5. Get a few commercial songs to A/B and Compare against – take notes – use analysis plugins – LISTEN!.
6. Take a few weeks off – don’t master straight away – yeah I know me neither but run a basic master off if you must – just to listen to – but then take a few weeks away – do something else and go back to it – if you have a few songs to record finish those off before you master any more.
Wavosaur is a really cool free audio editor available to download from here.
Even though it is offered for free please if you use it make a donation. Software such as this needs to be supported.
If we don’t support projects like this they will die out.
I’ve been using Wavosaur on and off for a few months – moreso recently.
My chosen editor is Audition – but that is on my main pc – it’s an expensive software.
Wavosaur is pretty simple to use – it’s a small file – and unlike other audio editors doesn’t load VSTs on startup, instead you load the vst yourself.
Wavosaur also has a really cool batch processing facility which is dead simple to use and has a few presets already set up.
Over the next few months I’ll be investigating this software more and will throw up some tutorials on how to use it.
‘Wavosaur is a free sound editor, audio editor, wav editor software for editing, processing and recording sounds, wav and mp3 files. Wavosaur has all the features to edit audio (cut, copy, paste, etc.) produce music loops, analyze, record, batch convert.
Wavosaur supports VST plugins, ASIO driver, multichannel wav files, real time effect processing.
The program has no installer and doesn’t write in the registry. Use it as a free mp3 editor, for mastering, sound design. The Wavosaur freeware audio editor works on Windows 98, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Go to the features page for an overview of the software.’