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Linux Recording With the MobilePre - page 2

Why Use Linux?

  • January 20, 2009
  • By Carla Schroder
In a nutshell, the MobilePre takes the place of an internal sound card for recording because it has its own ADC/DAC. So you can plug up to four devices into it, such as two microphones and two instruments, and make good-quality stereo recordings. It accepts both dynamic and condenser microphones, and it supplies phantom power (it's called "phantom power" because there is not a separate power cord) for condenser mics throught the USB bus. That's right, the MobilePre does not require its own power supply.

I use mine for all different recording tasks-- live recording of local bands, studio recording, making podcasts, and transferring precious old and rare vinyl LPs to CD. Because it includes a digital-to-analog converter, I also route playback through it to my home hi-fi system. It's quite a lot of functionality in a small, portable box.

There are quite a number of USB and Firewire recording interfaces, and I prefer these to even high-end PCI sound cards because they are portable, easy to use, and they do not pick up internal computer noises the way an internal sound card can.

The MobilePre works fine on Linux because it is genuinely USB-compliant. It doesn't use require any nasty Windrivers or Windows-only software control panels, which is something to beware of when you're shopping. It has real knobs and blinky lights for gain control, and a dedicated monitoring circuit with its own volume knob. Pair it with your favorite Linux audio production software, such as Audacity or Ardour, and you're in business. It costs around $120, which makes it a nice bargain. Someday I want a higher-end interface, perhaps with more channels and Firewire, but for now I am satisfied with the MobilePre.

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