I am thinking about to set upa record and live performance basement in my house to entertain just myself and my friends. One or two microphones, 2 electric guitars, 1 bass guitar,midi keyboard and electronic drum (they're working probably over midi interface). So my question is which soundcard + midi keyboard combination can take care this setup?

  • What is your budget?
    – NPN328
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 12:00
  • $1000 to $1200. As I will buy a good microphone also.
    – ybaylav
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 12:03
  • I would go for the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40. It has 20ins/20outs, so you have plenty of room for expansion (maybe you'll eventually want to mic a drum set, or more instruments). 8 of those ins are hybrid and with preamps (and Focusrite preamps, which is nice). You can also use it as a live mixer, using its 0 latency mixer.
    – NPN328
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 13:12
  • Thanks a lot. 1)Will this one support a midi keyboard and electronic drums at the same time as both use midi ports?2)What about a microphone, what would you propose to me? Shure SM-58?
    – ybaylav
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 13:17
  • 1) It only has one MIDI in. You have many (cheap) solutions: A MIDI merger (2 in, 1 out), one MIDI to USB interface (for one device only), chaining the devices if one has MIDI thru or other routing options (some devices include MIDI merge). 2) You can't go wrong with the SM-58, it's one of the most versatile mics out there. You might want to get a big-diaphragm condenser later for recording though, as the SM-58 is lacking in the higher frequencies. Try the mics before buying if you can (on site, or some online review, or whatever), make sure you like the sound.
    – NPN328
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 14:20

2 Answers 2


My personal take was to go for second-hand high quality equipment: RME HDSP for digitizing (8 stereo in- and outputs, digital I/O, Midi. I use a Cardbus32 interface into my laptop) and a Mackie Onyx (which has separate symmetric recording outputs) for good preamps. The overall solution is excellent, was comparatively affordable and works with the free Ardour Digital Audio Workstation but is rather bulky.

For a pure recording solution, a combined preamp/digitizer solution is much more compact but tends to be much less affordable second-hand in a similar quality range (or at least was so few years ago).

Also, having a live analog mixer/monitor could come handy with your kind of setup.


You can find second hand MOTU 828's or MOTU Ultralite soundcards for pretty cheap. Easiest is to get one that has USB. Some models come with Firewire, so make sure you get the one that comes with USB as well. They're nice because MOTU has great driver support on Windows and Mac and they work on Linux as well.

Did you need a keyboard as well or just the midi inputs? If you need a keyboard the M-Audio Keystations are great bang for buck, and can also be found used for a great price. The Keystation 61 is a nice compromise between quality and price. The 49 has very plastic feeling keys, but its also priced cheaper.

SM57s and SM58s are great all arounders. There is also an Apex tube mic that is very cheap, but people get the tube changed out and apparently it sounds incredible afterwords. So if your budget is tight and you dont mind the little bit of work, that might be a good mice choice to go with the 57s and 58s.

  • Thanks for your explanations. I don't know what to do. I'll be in Dubai at the end of this month. Maybe I can have cheap opportunities. Could you please explain a little bit getting the tube changed for the Apex tube mic please?
    – ybaylav
    Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 18:18
  • canadianaudiodistributors.com/Index/modkit.htm
    – elburzs
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 14:23

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