Portable Recording Rig

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Vyn, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    My trusty laptop and shitty Behringer line-in interface finally died in the arse the other day so it's time to look at a new portable recording rig. I've got a nice selection of VSTs and plugins available already and getting a new machine to run those is pretty straight forward. Any recommendations for interfaces?

    Also note the purpose of this rig isn't for mixing or mastering, it's for getting ideas down on the go, at best recording DI guitars and then re-amping the stems later.
     
  2. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    If it is just for quick guitar recording: Behringer UCG102

    It is dirt cheap, very small and gets the job done. I once had it and I had no complaints. The drivers were stable also.

    Needless to say that it is not suitable for a serious production.
     
  3. Turgon

    Turgon SS.org Regular

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    I suggest the Steinberg UR22. it's cheap and you can record DIs and vocals. I have this and the big brother UR824 and never had any problems.
     
  4. shredder3386

    shredder3386 SS.org Regular

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    I’m a focusrite guy myself, so I’d say any of their lower end stuff depending on your budget. I know you can get a Scarlett solo used for less than 100$ if you look. I know Horizon Devices is releasing that new preamp pedal right away too, which although pricey ($299 I think), would get you some solid usable tones into your interface too if you want something that sounds decent.
     
  5. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    used scarlett 2i4.
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    How portable are we talking? Something you can just fit in a backpack, or something where you could be sitting under a tree in a park somewhere sketching out ideas?
     
  7. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    Backpack. Something that's small and light-ish. I cycle a lot so sixe/weight is a factor

    Ha, that's the exact same interface that just died finally. Was almost going to get another one off the bat, was seeing if there were any alternatives. It was solid for the 6 odd years I had it.
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    So, really portable, then. Would you actually be recording mobile, or just moving it from location to location and recording there but not on the go?

    Also, we should probably have the cycling conversation sometime - do you just ride to commute, or do you go after it a little more seriously? I'm still coming back from shoulder serious, but pretty serious road cyclist here. :yesway:
     
  9. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    Location to location a lot. I do a lot of house-sitting for travelling family/friends, also in-between my place and the girlfriend's.

    I commute every day and I'm on a training program - basically 6-8-10-8 (number of hours per week, ramps up and down for recovery). Works out to be 200km-300km a week, sometimes 400. I've entered the occasional race, would like to do more but I need to get above 3 watts/kg FTP (I'm sitting at 2.5 at the moment) before I think about it, otherwise I'll just get dusted by the guys down here. On a break myself at the moment, caught glandular fever and that's just fucked my energy levels, immune system is still having a party.

    Slight derailment haha.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Huh, nice, you do ride pretty aggressively. I probably match you in hours for the most part, but generally tend to be on the lower end of your distance (I'd say 100-150mi/week is my typical range, though every once in a while I'll exceed that in a big way if I have a particularly large event. I don't commute though so this is a 3-5 ride a week thing for me). I don't race, wouldn't be totally adverse, but for the most part I'd rather ride with my buddies over the weekends than do crits. I haven't done a proper FTP test in a while, but a week or two back lit up the Alp d'Huez replica climb on Zwift (on a smart trainer - trying to hammer that is no joke, lol, I want to get out and ride the real climb some day to see how it compares) trying to crack an hour on the segment, and fell just short but averaged 275w for 1:02, so that's probably a good enough estimation - at 87kg that puts me at about 3.15w/kg, which is respectable, but I'm still at least 10lbs over where I was before we elected Trump and then I had shoulder surgery and didn't ride for five months at the start of this year - at my peak two summers ago I was 180/FTP of 300w, for about a 3.7, so I feel like a fatass at the moment. :lol: Trying to get back there...

    Back OT - it sounds like a laptop and a good 2ch interface is the way to go, though if you need something for mixing and not recording, maybe just a dedicated headphone amp..?
     
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  11. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    I feel your pain - I was 68kg, then after blowing my calves out and getting sick I went up to 76kg. It's amazing how a small change in weight just ruins your pace.

    It's actually mainly for recording noodling/jam sessions either with just guitar straight in by myself or with a room mic for band prac.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I'm just gonna shoot you a PM re: biking, because I don't want to pull this further off-topic and I don't know how much more help I can be. From the sound of it, though, a laptop and something like a Saffire 2i4 might be a good match. :yesway:
     
  13. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    Yeah the Focusrite should the perfect match if its not too big for your purpose.
    They make even a smaller one (scarlet solo) as well though.

    As I got a little history with cheap interfaces I could maybe sum my experiences up...even though you've decided already:
    - Behringer UCG102: Very cheap, very limited features, very small, pretty good for what it is intended for
    - Alesis IO26: cheap, unreliable, crappy quality
    - M-Audi Profire2625: Good but unreliable drivers, no Windows-10 drivers/support
    - Focusrite 18i8: Good, reliable, easy handling
     

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