I love to garage sale. You never know what you can get for a great discount. Yesterday was a perfect example. I walked up to a box that said, “Everything in this box, $20”. What I saw on top made the purchase worth it.
Edirol UA-4fx Vocal mic/instrument to USB
This first item is the Edirol UA-4fx vocal/instrument mixer. It has some great features to it. You can plug a microphone or instrument into this mixer and record in 24-bit. The mixer has an effects mode and even a tube simulator for great audio control. Set to master to record your podcast: include noise suppression in this program. Playback mode allows you to hear what you just recorded through the headphone jack.
I was testing this out and it was going way past my expectations. I plugged in a ribbon microphone (which needs phantom power) and it worked! Line in and Line out jacks allow you to bring in other items – maybe an iPod full of music. Edirol also has a digital audio in and out to connect up to your TV or stereo system.
The Edirol UA-4fx is discontinued and does not have an updated model. Roland (Edirol’s parent company) offers the Roland Tri-Capture and Roland Quad-Capture, which can give you 4 inputs for recording. There are no internal effects, but both give you 24-bit 192kHz recordings.
This older Edirol is still a great find. I see eBay purchases around $65 for this older device.
Although the M-Audio FastTrack didn’t have as many features as the Edirol, I could see using this device in a compact podcast mode. FastTrack is made for those musicians that want to practice guitar licks or do quick recording of vocals.
One thing to remember: This is the older version of the FastTrack. The newer version supports phantom powered microphones and has more options included. So while this FastTrack is good, the newer one works a lot better.
The updated FastTrack is $120 in stores. This older model sells for $30 on ebay.
Not a bad find for a portable podcast studio. One more notable item in the $20 garage sale box was an ATI All-in-Wonder USB TV tuner for PC. Ultimately, this $20 box could net me over $150 in resale value. However, I am going to use these pieces for portable podcast studio equipment.
Audio of Both Edirol UA-4fx and M-Audio FastTrack Below
I put together a quick MP3 testing out the microphone and instrument features of both.