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Sound Blaster R3
The Sound Blaster R3 is a complete starter kit that comes with a dynamic microphone for vocals and a clip microphone for your guitar, and these work seamlessly with the included advanced audio recording interface. Dive into your recordings right away!
The Sound Blaster R3 expands your laptop audio connections to more than one input. Dedicated connections such as the dual microphone input or line-in allows you to sing and play with your favourite guitar tunes simultaneously, as well as plug in other sources of music such as your MP3 player. With the dedicated line-out connection, hook up some powered speakers and play out your latest tracks to your friends, in all its glory.
Unlike some other external recording cards using FireWire, the audio interface in the Sound Blaster R3 utilises simple USB connectivity, which means that PC and MAC users can now enjoy simplified connectivity to desktop and notebooks with a single USB cable. Simply plug it in and you're ready to go.
The dedicated hardware reverb control knob lets you adjust the level of reverb to dress up your voice for professional recording sessions.
Tired of having to choose specific headphones impedances to match your setup? The Sound Blaster R3 has a 600 Ohm amplifier, which means you can even use studio-grade headphones to monitor your recording.
The dual microphone input allows you to sing and play with your favourite guitar tunes simultaneously!
Sound Blaster R3 Control Panel gives you the ability to control and customize every aspect of your recording.
Stereo Mixing allows you to record from your microphone, Line, Wave sources - giving you flexibility in various recording set-ups.
Use Mic EQ to custom balance any microphone to your desired settings, from volume to effects.
You can connect your smartphone / tablet with the 4-pole analog cable for clear audio playback and recording.
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Average Customer Review:
( 26 customer reviews )
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6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
SoundBlaster R3 -- 24-Bit Stereo Recording USB Interface with Microphones and CablesAug 11, 2014
This device is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get your music recorded and on the internet. The SoundBlaster R3 is a USB recording interface that allows stereo recording, and comes with a vocal microphone, an acoustic guitar microphone, cables and software so there's nothing else you need.
The software includes a sound editor and provides on-board effects such as EQ and reverb, among others. It's small, it's portable and it took me less than 10 minutes from opening the package to recorded music. The recording quality is fantastic (24-bit) and the interface is easy to use, even for someone just starting out in the world of digital recording.
You do not need a sound card for this device, you just need an open USB port on your desktop or laptop and the software takes about 5 minutes to install. The input jacks (for instrument and vocal) are 1/8" (3.5mm) and are the same kind of jacks that are on your MP3 or cell phone.
You also have an input for headphones so you can hear yourself or a music track play while you record, just like the way the pros do it in the recording industry. The two round knobs on top are for reverb and for volume. You can also listen to a music track in your headphones, while you sing your vocals on a separate track, which is also very easy to do with this recorder and software.
The software is very easy to use, even if you haven't used recording software. The interface is laid out in a manner that is easy to understand and comes with presets for karaoke (singing over music with friends) online chat (like Skype), broadcast (recording your own podcast) or studio recording (yourself, other people with or without instruments.)
For acoustic guitar players, you do not need an acoustic pickup in your guitar to record, since the R3 comes with a high-quality microphone that attaches via its own clip. So you just clip it on, plug into the R3 and you are ready to record--it's that simple.
Do you have an electric guitar? You can plug in your electric guitar (with a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter, not included) and use the Instrument line-in on the R3 to record. You will need to set the "Mic Boost" setting in the software to +30 dB, and turn on the EQ and lower the high-band to cut out some of the static from your pickups, but it works! There's also a level boost on the EQ, so don't forget about that either.
Also, if you have a guitar effects pedal or board that supports a headphone out, you can also plug this in SoundBlaster R3 and record your amp and guitar effects, just remember to turn up the volume control on your effects board to get the full range of tones and effects. I have a Korg Pandora Stomp pedal and used the headphone out on it to record with the R3 - no amp necessary!
There is sound editing software (Creative Wave Studio 7) that comes with this is well if you want to use it for simple editing and multi-track recording. You can record from either the vocal mic, the instrument mic or record both at the same time.
The R3 also supports recording in 24-bit, in stereo, at the highest rate of 96 kHz, which is well above CD quality recording (44.1 kHz) so don't think it won't give you the same quality recording as some of the other more expensive USB recorders out there.
This is a another winner from Creative - It's a great all-in-one setup for someone looking to record pretty much anything they can think of. Like I said before, it comes with two microphones, the interface and cables. You might want to pick up a microphone stand if you don't have one already, since a mic stand is not included in this setup. However, they are some very low-cost mic stands on Amazon for 12-14 bucks so it's worth getting one if you want to record your vocals standing up while playing ;-)
Note: The R3 is compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1 (including 64-bit)
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Very basic I/O interface + 2 inexpensive MicsAug 20, 2014
By Marty Gillis
Let me cut to the chase right now. If you have no other digital audio interface for your computer then this product is a step up into the world of digital audio recording. In fact, there is no need for this unit UNLESS you have no other way to get audio into your computer and monitor it in full duplex mode. The reason I say this, is there are many fine units out there that offer way more than this set-up (albeit without the two included mics) and other choices will afford you more flexibility with your signal routing plus usually include some semi decent audio recording software as well. On the plus side of things, this Creative system gives you a very usable digital reverb that is adjustable and serves to enhance your finished product. It isn't the greatest, but compared to the old Alesis Midi-verb from the 1980's it is top quality!
But as it stands, this Creative R3 kit does give you everything you need to get sound into your computer, monitor the sound with speakers or headphones (any type of headphones will work since the interface does allow for various types of headphones) and with the aid of some recording software (not included) you can mix your project and put it out there on the web.
This is an inexpensive unit and build quality reflects that, however I do think it is a bit better than the price would suggest. The inclusion of all the cables is also a very welcome addition to this package.
All the hardware in included, but necessary software must be downloaded from Creative's web site. Also, you may encounter software/hardware conflicts between this unit and installed sound cards on your system. You may need to disabled one to make the other work, etc. Make sure you assign this unit as the default audio device in your system or you will get problems cropping up.
Everyone's system is different so your problems (if you have any) and/or solutions will vary. In many cases, this R3 unit should work without a hitch as indeed it was designed to do. This set-up does play nice with Garageband.
The microphone quality is also what you might expect for this price. It works, nothing more. Not horrible by any means, but just barely enough quality to not sound horrible. Actually, or the money, the included larger mic is not all that bad.
The small condenser mic for your acoustic guitar seems to have a problem staying clipped on in actual use, but perhaps I received a slightly faulty unit.
Sound quality is what you might expect. Passable, but nothing special. You just are not going to get high quality A/D converters at this price,. For basic use and needs though, it should suffice and honestly many people can't tell the difference between high end converters and el-cheapos anyway. Just bear in mind if top quality is what you want or need, you should look elsewhere.
Personally, I would direct a person towards something more like the Behringer 302USB and perhaps an inexpensive Shure mic or two. Unlike the Creative product, it includes some decent multi tracking software, albeit limited in nature. And it is less money. (more money after mic is purchased however)
Bottom Line: If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get audio into your computer, record your voice and a guitar or other acoustic instrument, plus balance the two and monitor the signals thru headphones or speakers, then this Creative R3 may fit the bill nicely. Yes it is cheap and yes you get what you pay for, but it DOES work and your final results may actually surprise you. You can get some pretty decent sounding recordings out of this thing, just nothing you would release on a major label.
If you are new to computer recording, this is a fine place to start and the pros outweigh the cons, especially when the purchase price is taken into consideration.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
I have always loved creative products because of their practicalityAug 01, 2014
By Larry Silveira
I have always loved creative products because of their practicality, ease of use, and software bundles.
The Sound Blaster R3 is a fantastic device for its targeted population. It is cheap and fun to use. If you are a user/lover of Karaoke, want to play music at your friend’s party and add a mic, or a newbie to recording yourself singing while playing guitar this device offers what you need at around $100. The sound quality is good and offers the versatility to complete several creative tasks. With 50% of the knobs (there are only two) devoted to a vocal effect called reverb it seems clear that one of the targeted populations are singers who want depth to their voice. Add their second included mic for attaching to a guitar and you have a device for any budding musician/singer/songwriter.
Before I get into the fun things about the R3 I’d like to take a more systematic approach to reviewing this device. So that you know, I am a computer tech, musician, and song writer with experience in both analog and digital multitrack recording. That being said, in my opinion this device while geared for the novice to intermediate person who just wants an easy way to record playing their guitar, playing their guitar while singing, or adding your voice (s) to prerecorded music from a variety of sources, is actually a pretty nifty mobile device for the “prosumer” as well.
Parts of the install process were confusing to me perhaps due to past install experiences. The enclosed guide (and that’s all it is), instructs the customer to go to www.creative.com/support to download the software and full User’s Guide. The user is directed via choosing “Sound Blaster” to locate the downloads for the R3 (dependent on one’s Windows or Mac operating system). So be now informed you may really need to download three files:
1. The bundled software containing a series of applications (which includes the R3 Panel, Creative Smart Recorder, and Creative Wave Studio 7,)
2. The firmware to make improvements to the R3 device itself
3. The User Guide.
The software will not install unless it first sees the device. So plug the R3 into a USB port first. Once I actually figured out the order, everything went smoothly. (1. Plug in device, 2. Install bundled software including registration, restarts may be required, 3. Install firmware (with device obviously plugged in) restarts usually required. So now you know what I know!
The R3 itself is…well, pretty. It is sleek, shiny, and black and red. The inputs/outputs are all 1/8 “mini plugs which are obviously geared for the entry level user but the two mics included (a handheld mic with an off/on switch and a guitar mic) comes with the appropriate cords. For the pro musician, get your adapters out and all is well. The included mics sound great. The hand held has very little “handling noise” which is one sign of a decent mic. The clip with the included guitar mic attaches to the sound hole on your guitar. It’s a little snug for my liking so be careful. You can position the guitar mic so it is not in the way of your strumming. Obviously if you use both mics as intended you will need to buy a mic stand clip and mic stand (with boom) to hold the hand held mic. For the pros, the great news is you can use any LoZ or HiZ mic that does not require phantom power like a Shure Beta 58A or 57A. I tried both and they sound great.
There is an included “4-pole” cord that attaches your “IPhone or IPad to the “Mobile In” input or a “3-pole” stereo “Line In” jack for other non-Apple mp3 players. (That cord is not included so you will need to supply your own male-to-male 1/8“stereo cord.) This is a cool feature that probably makes Karaoke enthusiasts pinch themselves to see if they died and went to heaven. As you may know some Karaoke devices remove the vocal tracks from music so one can sing with the rest of the music. I DO NOT THINK THIS DOES NOT REMOVE VOCAL TRACKS FROM SONGS. If you are such a singer you probably know you can buy Karaoke versions of many songs with vocals removed on Amazon or ITunes or other mp3 venders.
The real flagship software is the R3’s Control Panel. It lets the user adjust everything from inputs to outputs to types of reverb effects to Karaoke to recording settings and even funny voices changes (the last would be a great party pleaser.) The four modes: Karaoke, Chat, Broadcasting, and Recording really exemplify the diversity of this device.
The included editing/recording software is useful for basic recording only. You can record yourself singing and playing guitar or some other acoustic instrument. But note the software is not intended for you to do multi-track recording. For that you need to download either a free multitrack software like “Audacity” or buy software from several other venders and then multi-track recording is possible.
Finally, here are a few ways you can use the R3 from I’m certain a long list:
1. Record you and/or a friend singing and playing guitar
2. Using your laptop and mp3 player and either a stereo system or small PA you can DJ at yours or a friend’s party with the added ability to talk on a mic or open things up to Karaoke. You can add funny voices for laughs and record some of it for others to hear later. (Note that true DJing such as shifting tempo and easy transitions form one song to another is not possible with the included applications but playing one song after another is possible.)
3. With laptop and mic stand, record your friend at an open mic venue while you sit at a table near the performer.
4. Using your laptop and mp3 player you can record yourself singing to Christmas songs/ jazz standards/other music (Karaoke music) then create a CD (with a CD burning application not included) to give to friends and family for the holidays.
This is a straight forward device. The R3 is easy to use and works great with your laptop especially for portable events and recording.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
The sound quality between his old microphone & this station is amazing. He had no problem getting the guitar mic ...Aug 07, 2014
My husband records himself singing & playing the guitar for you tube. The sound quality between his old microphone & this station is amazing. He had no problem getting the guitar mic to stay on. The size & portability of this unit is fantastic, as he records in many different locations & can now also use his iPad! Plug in the unit, download the software (it would be nice if there wasn't downloading to do, but oh well). After playing around with it for 10 or 15 min, he was ready to go. The different modes are nice, & the reverb control adds definite polish to the recording. You'll need a mic stand, but that's not a big deal. Excellent unit!
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Great item for the beginner - Good price and sound!Aug 08, 2014
By Chris Winchester
You get what you pay for here. I think it is a really good bargain because similar items could cost hundreds, if not thousands more. It is plug and play, literally, you plug, you play. I like the thing because of how easy it is to use. All I have hooked it up to is my computer right now but will be hooking it up to other things. We are trying to start something on youtube and I was actually looking for an audio device and this thing fit right in. It just works and for less then 100 bucks you really cant go wrong. On top of that it is a Creative device and I have always had really good luck with that brand.
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