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Q: midi and mic preamp for notebook ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: midi and mic preamp for notebook
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: cheaptrinkets-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 07 Nov 2002 07:11 PST
Expires: 07 Dec 2002 07:11 PST
Question ID: 101147
I am an amateur musician and would like to find a way to add a mic
preamp and a midi interface to a notebook.

I know there are usb midi interfaces. are any of them powered by the
usb port?if not, which are considered to be the "best".  please
include reviews if possible.

are there any pcmcia cards that work as a mic preamp. mainly for
recording vocals.  there is a chance it minght be for using guitar
(much less of a priority)?

I know there is the soundblaster extrnal exigy but that card seems to
have gotten awful reviews in musician websites.  are there any other
usb or firewire options?

at work i have a keyboard and would use the midi interface. at home i
would add vocals and such.   so idedally the midi interface would be
quite portable or inexpensive (i would use buy one for home and one
for work).

reviews would be most welcome.  

my computer is a sony viao grx690.


Request for Question Clarification by kyrie26-ga on 07 Nov 2002 16:48 PST
Hello cheaptrinkets-ga,

Can you tell me what kind of total price range you are looking at,
whether for a single portable unit, or for 2 cheaper (non-portable)

I have found an excellent portable USB unit with mike preamps for
vocals AND guitar, and it has a very impressive range of built-in
effects too. However I'm not sure if it is "overkill" for your needs
and thus wanted to check with you on your budget. I have used an
earlier model by this company and was extremely impressed with their

Let me know, and we'll get cracking on the answer!



Clarification of Question by cheaptrinkets-ga on 07 Nov 2002 17:59 PST
Couple hundred dollars.  give me both options.

Subject: Re: midi and mic preamp for notebook
Answered By: kyrie26-ga on 07 Nov 2002 21:21 PST
Hello again  cheaptrinkets-ga!

Thank you for your question. It seems that we have much in common. I
am an electronic musician myself, and have used the Roland UA-100
Audio Canvas (
) as well as Creative's Sound Blaster Live! Platinum for both audio
(including vocal mikes and guitar) as well as MIDI. Both are excellent
products and I rate them very highly.

Since you mentioned that you are looking for something portable and
ideally USB-bus powered, I refined my search accordingly. You will be
happy to find the following piece of equipment that matches your
requirements, the Edirol (part of the Roland Group) UA-20 AudioCapture
USB Audio-MIDI Interface :


Edirol UA-20 AudioCapture USB Audio-MIDI Interface

[begin excerpt]

24 bit, USB Bus-powered, AUDIO & MIDI "Dual" Interface

The UA-20 brings portable 24 bit quality to your Mac or PC
applications. Your laptop audio is now 24 bit resolution, powered by
your computer through the USB bus, and flexible! Connect your guitar,
mic and line level input with Edirol's new portable, affordable UA-20
USB MIDI/Audio Interface.

Main Features

A complete USB audio recording device of high-definition with 24-bit
AD/DA conversion.
Low latency with Direct Monitoring function 
Direct Monitoring function allows for low latency performance while
ASIO 2.0 (Win/Mac), MME, WDM drivers and Sound Manager (Mac)
Create with any music software program for Mac or PC. It's compatible
with any audio production software and optimized for ASIO or WDM
compatible music software for your music creation.
Fast and stable MIDI input/output with FPT 
USB bus powered, adaptor free 
USB connection supplies power as well as data 
Headphone (1/8") jack and headphone volume 

Unique Feature
Audio/MIDI Interface

1 stereo record
1 stereo playback
Full duplex

Signal Processing
AD/DA 24-bit

Sample Rate
Digital Out 44.1 kHz
  Audio driver compatibility
ASIO2.0 (Win/Mac), WDM,
MME, Sound Manager

Line/Guitar/Mic x 2

Line (RCA pin) x 2
S/P DIF Optical

MIDI Interface
IN x 1/OUT x 1

[end excerpt]

+------------------------------------------------------------------+ : UA-20

The UA-20 can be purchased from here for $177.

5715 18th Ave. East • Bradenton, FL 34208
Phone Orders: 800-578-5507  •  Inquiries and FAX Phone: (941) 746-6641


Kelly's Music & Computers - UA-20 AUDIO CAPTURE

The UA-20 can be purchased from here for $179.33.


Unfortunately, this product is brand new and there are no reviews yet
available. However, going by my previous experience with the UA-100,
there is no way that you can go wrong with Edirol (Roland) gear. Also,
if you would like to consider a higher-end product with built-in
effects processor and "Composite Object Sound Modeling", check out the
Edirol UA-700 :

Edirol UA-700 AudioCapture USB Interface

The UA-700 has a suggested retail price of $595 though ( ).


Google Search Terms :

edirol ua20 OR ua-20 review OR reviews

Unsuccessful search terms :

bus powered portable audio capture (brings up UA-20 only)
bus powered portable audio midi (brings up UA-20 only)
bus powered portable audio 
bus powered portable audio card
bus powered portable audio digital converter

Based on what's currently out there, this looks like it would be the
best choice for your needs. I hope this is what you are looking for.
Feel free to Request For Clarification if you need it. Thank you for
using Google Answers.



Request for Answer Clarification by cheaptrinkets-ga on 08 Nov 2002 15:34 PST
This product has been out for 6 months. Please find some reviews of it.



Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 08 Nov 2002 21:16 PST
Hi Walter,

No luck with hunting down reviews on the UA-20. I used the following
Google Search terms :

roland ua20 OR ua-20 user review OR reviews OR evaluation OR
evaluations OR feedback

roland OR edirol user review OR reviews OR evaluation OR evaluations
OR feedback

I have posted on several music gear forums, and am awaiting any
feedback from other users. Also, I would like to suggest another
approach. From my experience as an electronic musician, most music
gear mail order sites have a very generous return policy, and will
accept a return, hassle-free.

For example, read the return policy at :

"Our return policy is simple: within 30 days of receipt of this
shipment you may return almost any item for any reason (please see
exceptions to return policy below). will refund the full price of your merchandise regardless
of the reason for your return; we have no restocking fees if the
product comes back to us in factory fresh condition and meets all
other requirements of our return policy."

Incidentally, they sell the UA-20 here, and will beat any quoted price
from any competitor : 

Let me know if this works for you. The other alternative is to locate
dealers close to you where you can visit them to try the product.
Although, that would be less than ideal because it would not be
long-term enough for you to test it in your unique environment/setup.

Let me know the next step.


Subject: Re: midi and mic preamp for notebook
From: ytgy111-ga on 28 Dec 2004 21:52 PST
Rather than using the UA-20, I use a very similar product by M-Audio
called the Midisport UNO to connect the Midi-cable to the USB bus.
It's available for a hell of a lot cheaper than the Ua-20 and it does the same.

Froogle has some great prices on it
Subject: Re: midi and mic preamp for notebook
From: djtoucan-ga on 11 Feb 2005 04:56 PST
You could of check out the user reviews on Zzounds here.

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