2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Really really great device!,
This review is from: ALESIS IO2 Express Audio Interface (Electronics)
Well I didn't actually buy the Alesis from Amazon, but from a high street store after speaking for a while to one of their staff. He highly recommended this product, saying it would fill all my requirements. Basically, I want to record the audio and midi of my piano with excellent quality onto my computer, yet still have "room" to plug in anything else I may acquire (mics, etc). I have to say, he was spot on. I can't praise this highly enough. It's pretty cheap for what it does, and it does it brilliantly.
For those wondering what this is, or why you might actually need it - it's basically an audio interface. An interface takes a signal from one device and makes it into a signal manageable by another device. In this case it's taking the audio from your Piano / Mic and making it so that your Computer can process this audio / midi. Call it an external hard drive with fancy bits attached, if you like.
So the device itself. It's small and compact, and looks sleek and professional. It's quite light, and doesn't have a metal finish, but that's just minor cosmetic details. How it actually performs is the important bit.
It comes bundled with Cubase 5LE, which I actually like. Maybe it's not top of the range, but it certainly beats audacity, and if you don't have any paid software, it will certainly be helpful. It's easy to use and does the job I need it to do. Included in the box is a USB cable (The Alesis connects to your PC via USB), and some instruction manuals.
Here is my setup: Yamaha Electric Piano - 6.3mm Audio Cables plug into the Left and Right Line in sockets on the Alesis. I also bought 2 midi cables - which I plug from the Piano into the Alesis. It's important to note that with midi cables that "Midi Out" on one device plugs into "Midi In" on another. The Alesis then connects via USB to my laptop. All in all this works perfectly for me and I'm able to get perfect quality piano with no hassle at all. I can also record MIDI - which means you record the actual data (What notes playing, for how long, etc) instead of audio. This means you can change notes on the Computer (In Cubase) and change the instrument playing them, for example. I also have a Studio Condenser Microphone which I can use with the Alesis. It has two Phantom Power sockets - which are needed to power some types of microphone.
Other features include Monitering - you can choose to listen to audio from the Computer, the Lines in, or a mix of both and this is fully customizable. You can plug in headphones and there are two sockets for speakers as well. It is fully powered by USB so doesn't take up valuable plug sockets.
In conclusion, a great, great product, which I can't recommend highly enough. Not only for price and features, but for audio quality as well. Fantastic!.
On a side note, with Cubase, you may have to install driver called AISO4ALL if there is latency or the Alesis doesn't seem to work properly with Cubase. Just google AISO4ALL.