music composer
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Keyboards
choosing a good keyboard a checklist of things to look out for
touch sensitive keyboards the different types of sensitivity available
keyboard weighted keys the four different weighting options for keyboards

yamaha p95 review 88 note digital piano
casio px-330 review light weight keyboard
m-audio keystation pro-88 budget mother keyboard

Sustain Pedals
sustain pedal polarity why pedals are often not compatible with keyboards
yamaha fc4 sustain pedal a well-built yamaha pedal
yamaha fc5 review budget pedal from yamaha
m-audio sp2 review a sturdy m-audio pedal

USB Microphones
best usb microphones things to look out for when buying a usb mic
snowball-blue microphones retro looking classic mic logitech usb mic popular desktop mic samson co1u mic review studio condenser

MIDI Equipment
what is MIDI? with a list of popular control numbers
usb to midi cables for recording your ideas into your computer etc. yamaha UX16 USB/MIDI a midi/USB cable adaptor guitar midi interfaces for transforming your guitar into any midi instrument!

Sound cards
usb sound cards a list of things to look our for when buying one.

sounds cards for the Mac

covering the different types of cards & uses.

maya 44 sound card a short review of this popular sound card.

 


Maya 44 USB Sound Card Review

 

The Maya 44 is a 4 in/4 out USB Sound Card, meaning that it is capable of recording four tracks at the same time, and also boasts 2 stereo outputs. These abilities make it a sound card worth considering if you are a DJ or recording musician. If you are a DJ, you will like the option of being able to separately monitor in stereo and at the same time output to your front-of-house speakers. If you are a musician, it is possible to record up to four instruments simultaneously and preserve and edit these as separate recordings in your favourite DAW (e.g. Cubase or Logic) - thus making it possible to capture small live bands or string quartets. However, bear in mind that this card does not have MIDI transmission capability - if you are needing to hook up your keyboards via MIDI to your computer, you're going to need a MIDI/ USB adaptor to be able to do this as well.

Sound cardsPCI Soundcard

 

 

 

technical spec

4 input channels and 4 output channels with RCA connectors

Headphone output with 60mW amplifier

-10dBV input / output level (unbalanced)

Optical S/PDIF digital output

ASIO 2.0 & CoreAudio support

WDM / MME support (2 in / 2 out)

Standard USB connection to PC or Mac

Compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and Mac OS X

 

 

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pros

This soundcard is compatible with all leading DJ software applications, such as the BPM Studio, Traktor DJ Studio, and MixVibes.

The Maya 44 is also works with all the key professional audio applications, such as Logic, Cubase, and Sonar.

The soundcard is very portable, being about the size of a small alarm clock. It is also quite light and reasonably stylish (As sound cards go!)

It is very competitively priced, considering that it has the 4 in / 4 out capability.

There is a separate microphone input with +48V phantom power - ideal if you use condenser mics.

 

 

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cons

Construction not as robust as some other USB Sound cards on the market.

Some online reviews indicate that the software installation is problematic, with a rather convoluted set-up procedure with the original version of the card.

Other forum comments indicate that the sound quality is not as good as other (higher quality) ones, such as the Torq Conectiv card (by M-Audio) and the Native Instruments Audio 8 sound card.

For the recording musician, there is no MIDI in/out.

 

 

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verdict

For DJ's and musicians on a restricted budget, this sound card is worth a serious look. However, if you only need 2 inputs and outputs, then there are much better and more reliable USB cards on the market for the money. If you are a DJ and want something of higher audio and build quality, consider instead the Traktor Audio 2 DJ MK2 Sound card instead.

 

 

 

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