Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thrift Shop Find

I volunteered at the amazing "Hoosier 2 Hoosier" sale last Saturday.  I took the early shift - 6 AM to 11 AM - and ended up on traffic duty out in the field where everyone parked.  Before I went out to do my work, I notice two things I really wanted:  a Kala ukulele and and M-Audio USB audio interface/preamp.  If they remained unpurchased by the time I finished my shift, I'd walk away with both of them for the shocking grand total of $10.  Ten.  Friggin'. Bucks.

Given the popularity of the instrument, I couldn't realistically expect the ukulele to stick around long, and I was right.  It was nowhere to be seen by the time my shift ended and I could shop.  I was pleased to see the USB audio interface/preamp still available.  I had no way of knowing how old it was or if it even worked.  But let's face it:  $5 ain't much of a gamble in this case, so I went for it.

After the kids went to bed, I finally had an opportunity to try out my $5 treasure.  First disappointment:  the front input jack was broken.  As in, it moved around because it had been jarred loose.  No worries: there's a back input jack.  I let my computer automagically install drivers and though the unit powered up when plugged in via the USB cable (which I also had to buy - this project was now up to $10), I still wasn't able to record my bass using Audacity or Adobe Audition.  So I searched for new drivers.

Turns out that did the trick as you can hear from the rather anti-climatic recording below. I haven't tried the inputs and phantom power for a microphone yet, but I have no reason to believe it won't work.  Hopefully, I'll make good use of this new (old) gadget.  But even if I don't, I'm only out $10.


  1. New toys! I have a box full of USB cables - coulda saved you 1/2 your cost! Let me know if it's worthwhile to you - I might be able to fix the jack... -Kevin