by Brendan G-W
This week I take a look at an entry-level USB recording interface, the Lexicon Lambda. The Lambda can record two channels simultaneously. It has two quarter-inch inputs as well as two XLR inputs with the option of phantom power. An additional “Instrument” input on the front allows for direct input of a guitar, bass or any instrument with a quarter-inch out. A pair of insert channels can be used for outboard gear like a compressor or effects processor. The unit can also record using the MIDI in/out ports. The USB connection powers this compact interface. Simple controls on the front offer individual input adjustments. There is a “Monitor Mix” that blends the volume of what you are recording with the volume of what you have already recorded and are playing back. There is also an overall master volume control.
Because this unit is entry level and pretty inexpensive, I went in with low hopes. And I pretty much came out with the same. The Lambda would work fine for recording a rehearsal or doing some demo work – though there are some pretty bad latency issues if you are overdubbing. The built-in preamps sound cheap and the onboard phantom power creates such a high noise floor that it renders the unit useless. I would only use a condenser mic if you have an external phantom power supply. Lexicon packages the interface with Steinberg’s Cubase and their own Pantheon, a reverb plug-in. Cubase was pretty buggy and sluggish and the reverb plug-in wouldn’t even install. That said, $125 really is not a bad price for a very basic recording interface.
Brendan G-W is an Omaha native. Some of his fave things this week are the outlook of the five-day forecast and the hope of playing some golf soon. Oh, and gear stuff, he still likes all that nerdy stuff, too. Got comments or complaints? Leave em here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.