In my ongoing hunt for good audio, I decided it was time to get a real audio interface. I had been jury-rigging my mixer with more adapters than most people own in order to get the sound into my laptop. I finally gave up and just did a search on eBay for “audio interface.” I picked the highest price I was willing to spend, and watched every single one below that price. With the help of JBidWatcher (an awesome piece of software) I was able to snag a Tascam US-122L for half-price.
I was excited when it arrived, all shiny and visibly used. But as long as everything works, I don’t care about a few scratches. I installed the software, fired up Audacity, plugged in a mic, and… Nothing. Audacity gave me an error. I thought I had researched this one and confirmed it was compatible with Audacity. I tried Garage Band. It worked perfectly. It was obviously something wrong with Audacity. But I had read about people using it with no problems. On a whim, I decided to install the Snow Leopard driver (I only have Leopard.) Voila! It worked.
So now I have a fully functioning USB audio interface. I like it. It has rudimentary level meters (a green light that turns orange, then red when the level gets too high.) It accepts line and mic inputs, and it provides phantom power. The US-122L plus Audacity equals a pretty legit recording studio. As long as you only need to record two tracks at once. For $65, that’s fine by me.