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Paul Ortiz

Paul (aka "strunglikeahorse" in our Forum) (19) has just recently completed his College courses in England, among which was Music Technology. Both his parents are musicians by trade, and have been major influences on him both in the career sense, and musically, raising him on a strict diet of funk, soul and jazz. At the age of 8, Paul got his first Atari computer, a copy of Cubase and a "Dream-Machine" sound module and has been hooked on writing and recording ever since.

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  1. Carlos
    May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:12 am

    Great article thanks. Do you recommend any ASIO cards? I have a crappy default one that came w/ the PC although the machine itself is great. Another question I have is regarding laptops and playing guitar through them to headphones. Problem is most if not all modern laptops have a single plug for both headphones and microphone. Is there any external device that can help? I’d really like to take a laptop with me when I travel so I can practice to backing tracks on mp3.

    By the way it’s not “for all intensive purposes” but “for all intents and purposes”.

  2. Tao Mokoda
    May 24th, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

    I’d recommend rather than a sound card, that you use an external audio interface connected either via USB or firewire. They will ususally come with an ASIO driver. Prices vary widely so it depends on your budget and your committment to your music. Generally, the more expensive ones just have more features or more input/output channels; they all do pretty much the same thing, they take the place of an internal sound card for getting audio into the computer.
    My opinion is the sound quality is much better and you have more input signal control. I personally use a MOTU Audio Express, which costs around $400. Again, you can get a good interface for quite a bit less and you could pay quite a bit more for one. You’ll DEFINITELY want clean (as in noise-free) mic preamps if you’re going to be recording from a mic (either vocals or micing your amp speaker). Read as many user reviews as you can find for the model(s) that interests you.
    An audio interface would solve your second issue as well and many are quite portable.
    Hope this helps.

  3. Carlos
    May 25th, 2012 @ 3:13 am

    Fantastic Tao, thanks very much!