Line 6 UX-2 USB Recording Interface
The Line 6 UX-2 USB Recording Interface Review
Home recording is a great way to record your songs when you can't afford or have no professional studio to rent. I started this blog to help aspiring engineers pick the best gear to suit their needs, and to give tips and tricks that I've learned over my career in the studio industry. While it is true that the mysterious world of audio manipulation can only be mastered with many hours of practice and diligence, I hope this blog will help guide you through some of the mistakes and heartbreaks I've endured learning this craft.
To start, the core of any home recording setup is the interface and software. There are many pro level programs that are amazing at what they do, and we will discuss these in a later blog. But since this is a home recording discussion, we should start with the basics.
Clearly the sound card on the majority of computers today have the ability to accept a line in device. However, there are many USB or Firewire devices that sound much better, perform faster, and are actually pretty inexpensive. I'll start with one that I have used extensively and has a slew of features that can help you get started tracking your hit song quickly.
The Line 6 UX-2 USB Recording Interface The Specs
The UX-2 is a USB powered interface for computers that has 2 XLR mic inputs with phantom power. This means you can use any number of microphones. Phantom Power is required for condenser microphones. A dynamic mic such as the Sure SM-58 do not require phantom power. By adding this Line 6 ensured flexibility. It also features 2 instrument inputs. One normal level and also one with a "pad". A pad decreases the input to the UX-2 from the instrument. This is useful for guitars and basses with active pickups which generally output a higher signal. If your guitar or bass has a battery, then you generally have active pick ups.
The UX-2 has a 1/4' headphone jack for tracking / monitoring, but it also features stereo 1/4' outputs for studio monitors. This is important because the UX-2 becomes the heart of the recording setup and centralizes most functions with one piece of equipment.
Why I Like The Line 6 UX-2
Here is where I believe this unit shines. With this one interface you not only get the line / instrument and mic inputs, but the UX-2 also has a variety of Line 6's modelling expertise at your fingertips. Line 6 has some of the best guitar and bass amplifier models around. Want to jam out on a Marshall? It's there. Those clean guitar parts would sound good on a Fender Twin? You have one. This can cut out hours of mic'ing and trying to find the sweet spot on an amplifier. Just plug in, open the included Gear Box software and pick from the best guitar and bass amps in the world. Plus there are effects pedals built in!
But they didn't stop there. You could spend thousands on mic pre amps. These are basically what you plug your mic into to give it color and personality. There are many. Neve, API, SSL, etc. All are great. And all are expensive for home recording. Line 6 has modeled these pre amps also and included them in the UX-2.
So you have a piece of gear that can give you many of the classic sounds that many spend thousands to achieve. All you have to do is plug in.
The last but certainly not least very important feature of the UX-2 is the inclusion of recording software. These are LE, or limited edition versions of their professional counterparts but are more than adequate for the home recording engineer. Amazingly, these are programs from Ableton, Reason and Cubase, all top names in recording software. All these features for less than $200 is outstanding and is why the Line 6 UX-2 is my most recommended interface for beginning home recording.
Find more reviews of great recording gear at www.betterhomerecordings.com