Laptop mic input vs line-in

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dlandry
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Laptop mic input vs line-in

Post by dlandry »

I have a Lenovo T61 that I want to run KXStudio on.

Just getting back into playing after a long hiatus and only want to do this as a hobby, nothing too serious.

I was thinking that I would pick up a mixer such as the Mackie 802-VLZ3 to use to use mostly as a pre-amp to what will probably be only 2 inputs ... a Mic and a guitar (at most maybe 2 Mics and 2 instruments.)

I'm looking at my laptop and I noticed that I only have a Mic input, and no line-in.

I'm assuming that this means at a minimum that in all likelihood I will be limited to a mono input, but will a Mic input be able to handle the output from the mixer, and if so will there be major headaches?

Eventually, and in stages, when I have a better feel for what I want to do and what's possible, I'll upgrade my equipment, but for now I just want a way to get started without investing too much money into equipment.

Is this a reasonable starting point? Would there be a better option around the same price point that would allow at least a Mic and instrument input with better flexibility (ie: so I could record live each to their own track?)

So tio summarize my questions:

1) Mic vs Line in: What are the major issues of just having a Mic input and feeding that with a mixer?

2) Is there a better alternative to my "Mixer -> Mic -> Jack/KXStudio" plan?

TIA

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raboof
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Re: Laptop mic input vs line-in

Post by raboof »

dlandry wrote:I'm looking at my laptop and I noticed that I only have a Mic input, and no line-in.
On some soundcards, the 'mic' input can actually act as either a mic or a line input.

On my HDA Intel IDT 92HD81B1C5, I can use alsamixer to switch the 'Mic Jack Mode' between 'Mic In' and 'Line In'.

devilock76
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Re: Laptop mic input vs line-in

Post by devilock76 »

What was already said, it is actually "both", the only difference traditionally between sound card mic and line in s was mono vs stereo, respectively.

The better option is of course to get at minimum a supported usb audio interface. Even the behringer UC series will yield better results than the built in sound cards of most consumer grade machines.

Ken

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eikakot
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Re: Laptop mic input vs line-in

Post by eikakot »

well, I'm using tascam us-122l myself and there is no need for mixer because tascam has mic preamps itself. Take a look at it. You can get the used one very cheap.

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Capoeira
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Re: Laptop mic input vs line-in

Post by Capoeira »

devilock76 wrote:What was already said, it is actually "both", the only difference traditionally between sound card mic and line in s was mono vs stereo, respectively.
no,no.....mic-ins have a pre-amp and they are always shitty on onboards. while the line-in on those cards is often (quite) usable, the mic-ins are never (talking of making music).

Ken Balbari
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Re: Laptop mic input vs line-in

Post by Ken Balbari »

Just get a good USB audio interface (or firewire rather than USB, if your laptop has it). You can get one with two good pres, and good A/D and D/A converters, and some good input and output connections for around the price of that mixer. I believe the E-Mu 0404 now works well with Linux, as does the Roland Cakewalk (formerly Edirol) UA-25. I recently purchased a Cakewalk UA-4FX, and I can confirm that seems to be fully supported, though that's only one channel.

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funkmuscle
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Re: Laptop mic input vs line-in

Post by funkmuscle »

Capoeira wrote:
devilock76 wrote:What was already said, it is actually "both", the only difference traditionally between sound card mic and line in s was mono vs stereo, respectively.
no,no.....mic-ins have a pre-amp and they are always shitty on onboards. while the line-in on those cards is often (quite) usable, the mic-ins are never (talking of making music).
on my Sony Vaio, the mic/lin in is what I use... withe the alsamixer, I have to select mic and not like to run my guitar as the line in really sucks... really bad sound distorted sound...

USB or firewire is the way to go... I'm looking into that...

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