Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Of music and thrift stores.

Anyone who knows me knows quite well that I love music, and the gear involved in making it. Well, Monday I stopped by the Logan Deseret Industries on a whim. There wasn't anything all that interesting until I walked past the electronics section. Now, normally the electronics section is full of old TVs and stereos and a bunch of ancient computers that sketchy looking characters dig through. Well yesterday, lo and behold, what did my incredulous eyes find there? Oh, nothing much, just a Tascam US-122 USB audio interface sitting on the rack amidst a bunch of random computer parts. This does not happen, ever.

Now, given the condition of most of the computer gear found at the D.I., I was skeptical, but it looked undamaged, save for some scuffs and a missing knob, and at $2, it was a gamble I couldn't pass it up. I brought it home, and after a couple hours of reading tutorials, downloading drivers and fiddling with settings, I got Reaper to recognize the interface and made a couple of brief test recordings with my Seagull plugged straight into the guitar input.
The sound quality on this thing is actually really good! Noticeably better than just running into the mic jack on my laptop, which is what I had been doing to this point, and which had kept me from doing all that much recording because of the disappointing quality. Recording also seemed much smoother than before, although I also attribute this mostly to Reaper running much leaner than my old version of Cubase.

The verdict? It just doesn't get any better than this. Finding this little interface in a pile of junk saved me around $160, which is what I was planning to drop on a new M-audio interface. The sound quality and features are more than adequate for my current needs, and I got it all for less than I spent later that night at Carl's Jr. Best $2 I've ever spent.

1 comment:

  1. I have been meaning to find an interface and start doing some little recording with Reaper.

    Can you wholly endorse Reaper? I have heard good things but not tried it. Anywho, nice find.