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View Full Version : USB Recording Interface for Acoustic-Electric Ukulele?



drmosser
10-25-2013, 04:21 PM
I would like to be able to record my acoustic-electric ukulele directly through a USB interface to my computer (Linux Mint OS) and perhaps eventually into my iPad 3. So far I have a Luna Tapa acoustic-electric uke with the built-in preamp (runs on 9 volt battery). Using a Fender Instrument cable (1/4 inch jack) I tried connecting the uke to my computer using a Behringer UCG102 Guitar-to-USB Interface (http://amzn.com/B000PAPO9W) connected to the USB port on my computer. The result was very low recording input levels when trying to record the ukulele. However, I had no problem getting the device to interface with my computer or in getting input to record at decent levels using the same 1/4 inch jack instrument cable and my Yamaha PSR-225 keyboard. So I know the issue is independent of my computer setup and recording software (Audacity). After Googling a bit I came to the conclusion that I need an additional device (with more preamp) before going into the computer's USB.

Any recommendations from anyone on a USB interface that will boost my uke output enough to be recorded at reasonable levels?

Of course, I have a budget. I would like to come in at $100 or less. More than that and I will have to exercise self control and save more money.

Does anyone have experience with either of these two devices?
Behringer 302USB Premium 5-Input Mixer with XENYX Mic Preamp and USB/Audio Interface (http://amzn.com/B005EHILV4)

M-Audio M-Track 2-Channel Portable USB Audio and MIDI Interface (http://amzn.com/B00BQ6KSN6)

seeso
10-29-2013, 11:19 AM
Thread approved. Sorry for the delay.

I have used the M-Audio MobilePre with success. I recommend it.

http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-MobilePre-Mobile-Preamp-Interface/dp/B000L9RNKA

anthonyg
10-29-2013, 12:23 PM
Yes as you have already figured out the keyboard has a line level output and uke has a microphone level output. Huge difference.

Mind you. I record ukulele's with a microphone. MUCH better quality than the inbuilt pickup. Your still going to need preamp/interface for a microphone so you may as well get one. I've just bought a Focustrite Scarlet interface but I'm yet to play around with it and its probably out of your price range. A small mixer with a usb connection will do the job for you and they are pretty inexpensive. The small Behringer mixers work just fine.

Anthony

hucklelele
10-29-2013, 12:35 PM
Or for about $100 you can still get a Tascam digital 4 tracker, with built in microphones, that records to SD card and downloads to computer via usb-

so you can have the "song" stored for further tweaking, oir download tracks to mixing software

th built ins are not too bad, or you can still input two 1/4 jacks

I can never get an external mike to work on my one computer 1/8" jack- and don't know if the software is bogus or the hardware,
but it's supposed to attenuate in some fashion- gave up long ago-

the built in mike never records audio loud enough and gets a hum from the laptop itself

strumsilly
10-29-2013, 01:58 PM
ART USB Dual Pre , 80 bucks, and they work great

Tootler
10-29-2013, 10:50 PM
Alternatively, get a DI box. You plug your instrument output to the DI "In" then run an XLR lead from the DI "Out" to a mic input on your interface. That way you match impedance and levels between your instrument and recorder. That's what I do with my Risa solid uke which has a passive piezo pickup and it works fine.

I use a Behringer DI100 which works fine and is relatively inexpensive.

Edit to say Just noticed, your interface only has a 1/4 input. In which case you will need a pre-amp to raise your instrument o/p to line level. In which case you may be better getting a new interface as recommended above. A DI box will still be useful.