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Best Gear for Connecting to PC, + guitar/vox thru gaia

Ask questions and tell others how you work with the Roland Gaia. Share your discoveries and ideas.

Best Gear for Connecting to PC, + guitar/vox thru gaia

Postby CountCarlossus » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:39 pm

I am way slow at this... I want to record electric guitar, vocals, and synth into my asus windows laptop, but I thought I would need an interface. Then I find out, my Gaia is an interface too? Now I'm wondering about latency, and if I would plug my guitar into the gaia when I record on my laptop? And a microphone?
Specifically, I want to know:
1. What is the best USB connection method from synth to laptop, including what style cable... MIDI to USB, double USB or what :?:
2. If anyone has tried USB microphones and has suggestion, or tips for playing their guitar through the gaia
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Re: Best Gear for Connecting to PC, + guitar/vox thru gaia

Postby Grauw » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:49 pm

Best connection from Gaia to laptop is via USB cable (just USB A -> USB B). This will set up virtual MIDI ports through the cable, as well as an audio in- and output interface. Advantage of using this audio output is that it is digital, so this will give you the best audio quality when recording from the Gaia.

As for using your Gaia as audio input, indeed you can connect to the Gaia’s line-in input on the front panel and mix it with the Gaia’s output. Audio quality will probably be similar to your laptop’s line-in port.

Latency does exist but is pretty good iirc. Depends on what you want to do.

About plugging your guitar into your Gaia, I’m not super familiar with guitar signals. If it’s a regular line-in signal it seems OK, but I worry that perhaps the voltage may be too high or too low. If it’s too high it may damage the input port. If it’s too low you may need to use a pre-amp. Do you normally connect your guitar directly to your laptop’s line-in port? If you do then it’s probably safe.

I don’t have any suggestions for USB microphones :).
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Re: Best Gear for Connecting to PC, + guitar/vox thru gaia

Postby neamerjell » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:34 am

I know that an electric guitar can be plugged directly into a microphone input on a PC's sound card. Adapters are needed to go from 1/4" down to the standard headphone jack size (1/8"? 1/16"? 3mm?). Absolutely NO AMPLIFICATION may be used, you will blow the mic in jack if you do (words of experience - I plugged line level into a mic in years ago).

Also, if you have some money to throw around, check out the M-Audio Fast Track Pro. Prices vary wildly on the internet, but I got mine at Best Buy for around $150. It has 2x XLR/1/4" combo jacks with phantom power, 1/4" headphone, MIDI in and out, SPDIF in and out, 4x RCA jacks for 2x stereo outs, 2x TRS (1/4" mono) outs. It is powered by USB, although if you're using the phantom power, the manufacturer recommends using an optional 9v power supply. Be aware that while recording with the Fast Track Pro, its driver will mute the PC's speakers. This took a while to track down what was going on, but I suppose they thought it would prevent a feedback loop when used with a microphone. However, it also mutes while recording MIDI... a major reason I bought it. It does not mute its own outputs though, so headphones or studio monitors would be useful.

Hope this helps.
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