gadgets and geekery

PCs, laptops, macs, mp3 players, consoles, peripherals
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Uncle Ants
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Uncle Ants » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:03 pm

roundbitsofplastic wrote:yea, my laptop has two little holes at thre front that are for that sort of thing. I was just wondering if anyone ever actually had to use these and whether a USB might be better for any reason?
It'd only be a problem if you had to use them at the same time as using the headset ... which given by the sound of things you have never used them for anything else before ... seems unlikely :)

Tonieee's right ... and it it's much more likely you will need a spare USB port for something else than the headset I'd have thought anyway.
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:07 pm

Right you are then, thanks for the help all. I intend to spend some of the beer tokens mr brown sends me next on one of those headset thingies.

Once again, I thank you :-)
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Uncle Ants » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:13 pm

roundbitsofplastic wrote:Right you are then, thanks for the help all. I intend to spend some of the beer tokens mr brown sends me next on one of those headset thingies.

Once again, I thank you :-)
DOUBLE check that's what the sockets are for though. I've seen a soundcard before now that had a headphone socket and a line-in, but no mic-in - it's not usual though, they all have headphone outs, and if there's only two the other is usually mic-in, but best be safe .... They are all the same size sockets but they aren't all the same things. Mic-ins usually have a little picture of an old fashioned microphone next to them.
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:23 pm

Thanks for the headsup! I've just looked at there's a tiny little picture of something that could be mistaken for a mic. I wouldn't bet my granny's nips on it, but I'm fairly sure.
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Uncle Ants » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:43 pm

like this:

Image
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by tonieee » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:43 pm

Or this: Image. The one on the left is the microphone and the one on the right is line in.

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Final Loan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:14 pm

I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Uncle Ants » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:17 pm

Final Loan wrote:WANT!
You don't. They are pretty awful sounding.
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:24 pm

tonieee wrote:Or this: Image. The one on the left is the microphone and the one on the right is line in.
i think its like that one (w/o the colour coordination), only i think that one is upside down a bit isn't it?
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Final Loan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:25 pm

Uncle Ants wrote:
Final Loan wrote:WANT!
You don't. They are pretty awful sounding.
Oh, really? What would do this job yet not sound awful?
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

Pockets Filled With Matches are no more, but we still have copies of our e.p. 'If Time Heals You' for sale, if you'd like one

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by tonieee » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:27 pm

Uncle Ants wrote:
Final Loan wrote:WANT!
You don't. They are pretty awful sounding.
Yeah, I never understood all these USB devices for recording records/tapes - just connect the line-out of your hi-fi to the line-in of you computer's soundcard and use Audacity (which is what comes with this one anyway).

Edit: Again missed a post!
Final Loan wrote:Oh, really? What would do this job yet not sound awful?
What I said above - the leads are a few quid from Maplin's and Audacity is a free download.
Last edited by tonieee on Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by tonieee » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:28 pm

roundbitsofplastic wrote:only i think that one is upside down a bit isn't it?
Yes, I think so.

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Final Loan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:32 pm

tonieee wrote:Yeah, I never understood all these USB devices for recording records/tapes - just connect the line-out of your hi-fi to the line-in of you computer's soundcard and use Audacity (which is what comes with this one anyway).
I'll have to double check that I've got those line-in sockets then - it's a new laptop and my first so I'm still VERY new to this whole computing thing (it's easy at work, when you can't use many interesting programmes and there's an it department that'll fix anything that breaks...).
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Uncle Ants » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:32 pm

Final Loan wrote: Oh, really? What would do this job yet not sound awful?
The sound card in your computer will likely do a better job and cost you the price of a connecting cable (£5 to £10). If you are serious, serious about sound quality, then you need to be sure to be using a good quality deck and preamp (£how long is your arm?) and a good quality external sound card (£60 - £70) or preamp/soundcard (£90 to £100). The first is cheaper and better and the second is probably quite a lot more expensive and considerably better.

I bought one of these to see if I wanted to sell them in my shop ... the answer was no I didn't.
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Uncle Ants » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:37 pm

tonieee wrote:Yeah, I never understood all these USB devices for recording records/tapes - just connect the line-out of your hi-fi to the line-in of you computer's soundcard and use Audacity (which is what comes with this one anyway).
It depends how serious you want to be about sound quality. The built in sound cards in lap tops are okay ... acceptable anyway and certainly a lot better than the nasty cheap thing in one of those little USB doohicky's, but if you want better sound quality (and have a deck good enough to justify it), then a good external soundcard with a preamp built in if you don't already have one can do a better job. Or a preamp with a built in sound device which is the same thing - some stereos these days have no line out, so that's where that can come in handy.
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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Final Loan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:19 am

My laptop's only got a microphone in that I can see. Will this work as a line in? I've got a cable that takes the red and white (left and right) into a single plug...
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by tonieee » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:02 pm

Final Loan wrote:My laptop's only got a microphone in that I can see. Will this work as a line in? I've got a cable that takes the red and white (left and right) into a single plug...
Probably not - line level's a lot higher than microphone level so it'll probably not work and may even cause damage and also the microphone in is probably only mono. I think the only option would be to buy a usb soundcard - I don't think they cost a massive amount, but make sure it's got a line-in!

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Final Loan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:59 pm

I'm gonna hafta actually go into a shop and ask about this, aren't I?
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by tonieee » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:37 pm

Final Loan wrote:I'm gonna hafta actually go into a shop and ask about this, aren't I?
Probably, unless anyone else can suggest something - I haven't looked at soundcards for years so can't be much help but a quick search of Maplin's website found the following:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=97120
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?moduleno=224729

The first one's quite a cheap one but I don't know what the sound quality will be like - it may be good enough for you depending on how much you care about such things. The second one's quite a bit more expensive but will be better quality sound. You'll probably be able to find better/cheaper ones if you look around.

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Re: gadgets and geekery

Post by Concrete » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:52 pm

tonieee wrote:
Final Loan wrote:My laptop's only got a microphone in that I can see. Will this work as a line in? I've got a cable that takes the red and white (left and right) into a single plug...
Probably not - line level's a lot higher than microphone level so it'll probably not work and may even cause damage and also the microphone in is probably only mono. I think the only option would be to buy a usb soundcard - I don't think they cost a massive amount, but make sure it's got a line-in!
I wouldn't be sure about that. Check the technical stuff in your laptop's manual, but a lot of mic sockets are fine for recording at line level. A lot of half-decent soundcards only have one input which can cope with a very wide range - mine has just one socket for mic, line-in and optical inputs. I think because of the trend towards digital processes the old issues of impedance-matching and all that malarkey have gone out of the window. You've probably got a software control that will attenuate the input to a usable level for recording, and that is normally enough, but do check the manual or go on some specialist computer forums to find out about it before you try it...

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