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I'm trying to record an electric guitar and apply effects (amp sim, etc.) through my DAW, then play back the result through headphones with minimal delay.

So far, I have been using the Scarlett Solo for this, but I would prefer an interface, which plugs into my computer via PCIe. I have found the ESI MAYA44 eX, which is such a PCIe card.

Can I just plug my guitar into this and be ready to play? Or am I missing something essential that the Scarlett is doing and I am not aware of?

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From their website (bold is mine):

MAYA44 eX provides 2 stereo analog line inputs, 2 stereo line outputs, a microphone input with +48V phantom power and preamp, a Hi-Z guitar instrument input, a headphone output, as well as an optical S/PDIF output and an optical S/PDIF input.

So yes, you can plug straight into that interface.

Personally speaking, I always prefer an external interface, as plugging your instrument/mics into that card can cause movement leading to damage, but as long as you are careful you'll probably have no problems.

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  • Is there anything in the Scarlett Solo that the Maya44 is missing and that I need to provide extra?
    – MechMK1
    Oct 25 at 16:24
  • It depends what you are expecting. If you are just treating it as an interface, then no. If you like the way the Scarlett treats the audio stream, then there will likely be some differences (not much, but all are slightly different)
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 25 at 16:27

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