Lexicon Alpha Reviews4.0/5.0 based on 10 customer reviews
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from Lawton, OK USA
September 17, 2012Music Background:
Hobbyist working to pro
Perfect for my needs!I've had this for almost a year now. It is wonderful, simple, and easy to use. I really only use it to get the sound to my speakers, but it REALLY does the job for the price. I'm pretty much a simple bedroom producer using FL Studio, a Midi Controller, Headphones, and a set of monitors. I haven't really tried recording through it because I don't have a mic at the moment, but I soon plan to do so. :)
from Nashville, TN
July 26, 2011Music Background:
Former performer, currently songwriter and hobbyist homerec'er
Excellent valueFirst, I want to state that I purchased my Alpha just a couple of weeks ago to replace a (multi-owner) Omega that was slowly dying. I decided that I wanted to separate my MIDI from my audio, so I went with the Alpha, especially for the price.
The first thing I noticed was that the pre-amp in the Alpha seems much better than in the Omega. Now, I don't know production dates so I don't know what tech was changed when in these units, and my Omega was used when I got it, but I know I get much better sound through the XLR of this unit while using the same mic and same cables as I used before. (It was kind of nice to have to pull back to get some headroom instead of fighting to register a signal.)
It uses bus power, which is a huge plus. It generates no noticeable heat and it's one less thing to plug in. (I'm pretty sure the Omega died because it ran really hot.) The tradeoff is no phantom power, so if you're not using a standard dynamic mic, you'll need a separate phantom power unit.
If you have duplex issues check for battling audio drivers / devices / applications. The ASIO driver can only be in so many places at a time, and what looks like a driver crash can actually be another application "stealing" control of the device. I fix this by routing non-latency-critical apps (Sound Forge and Acid, since I don't record on those) to the regular Windows audio, then route the soundcard LO output to my monitor mixer's aux input so I don't have to change headphones around and I can control what I'm hearing from each. Reaper gets the Alpha (and the ASIO driver) all to itself, and I run the L/R rear outputs through a Y cable into my monitor mixer's main input.
It's hard to beat this unit in terms of bang for the buck. I'm very happy with it.
from Las Vegas, NV
June 26, 2010Music Background:
Pro Audio Student
Exactly what I neededThis thing has 1 mic input, 1 instrument input, and 2 line inputs. If you need more, don't get this. However, if you're like me and only need to record one thing at a time, then GET THIS! Simple as that! Sound quality is great! PLENTY of gain. The normal sized headphone jack is a plus (no more 1/4" adapters!) It's not incredibly durable, but will definitely survive a good fall. Tip for Win 7 64bit users, the drivers will not install off the CD. Just go to Lexicons website and download the drivers. It worked perfectly after that. It comes with Cubase LE4 which is amazing. If you're thinking about getting this, just get it! And Sweetwater has the best service on the planet so buy it here!
John E. Lawton
from Craig, Colorado USA
March 27, 2013Music Background:
Amateur Recording Engineer, Professional Live Sound Engineer, Hobbyist Musician
I Love My Lexicon AlphaExcept that it has only one XLR/mic (loss of 0.5 stars) input (compared to two for the piece of equipment that it is unexpectedly) and has no option for an external power supply (loss of 0.5 stars), I absolutely love this little thing. It was originally intended as a low-cost mixer to interface a netbook PC (for playback of practice tracks), a Galazy AS-900/Shure SE215 IEM setup, and a Audio-Technica wireless mic. Now, the piece of USB equipment it replaced (which cost me THREE times as much) is now going to be semi-retired and used as the IEM/Wireless/Netbook mixer and the Alpha is going to be my bedroom/practice-vocals/make-practice-recordings mixer. In fact, I may not have to buy one of two other prospective USB or FireWire mixers at 8-10 times the cost, if the XLR mic pre-amp is as clean as it appears to be on quick aural-"inspection". (But, I have yet to put a DAW meter on it to see the actual noise-levels.)
March 4, 2013Music Background:
Live sound engineer, pro musician, 20yrs
Lexicon AlphaWorks well once you get through the Cubase LE Installation. Would give this a 5 star rating if the installation would have gone smoothly. The hardware works fine. Installation of Cubase LE was very cumbersome. It took far longer to install this than necessary. I bought this to use as a simple method of self evaluation of vocals for practice in my home office, avoiding using the studio. Cubase took a good solution and fouled it up with an unnecessarily complex installation procedure.
from United States
October 3, 2012Music Background:
Student, Audio Enthusiast, Audio/Recording Engineers brother
Definitely a Great Buy!Current setup: M-Audio BX5, Sony MDR-7506 to a laptop. I'll hopefully be pairing it up with the matching subwoofer. Using it as a dac and pre-amp currently, I can definitely hear the immense difference this interface has done. I listen to a wide range of genres, mainly metal and electronica and I tested it out with all other genres expect country and it makes everything significantly clearer and more enjoyable to listen to. This interface is worth buying if you are a Audio Enthusiast on a budget!
from Dallas, TX
May 10, 2012Music Background:
Performance of a variety of music with instrumentation being guitar and drums.
What you read is what you get!This item was an upgrade from what I had before and I like the fact it has monitor mix and an output level knob. This box is nothing extremely fancy, but Cubase LE 5 came with it which is also an upgrade from what I was using before. According to the documentation, it's suppose to have LE 4. I assume they may have just kick that idea out of the windows and just decided to upgrade it. The Pantheon reverb plugin sounds great if you can tweak it out; I was never good at mixing sounds and mainly used pedals. The knobs on this box are very stiff and sturdy. Like the other reviews said........this box is not going to last for he long haul, but atleast it can take you where you wanna go.
from Rexburg, ID
September 22, 2011Music Background:
Great little box!Perfect for on the go recording. I love the portability - no batteries or power cord needed. Has a decent sound to it, too.
from Ft Lauderdale, FL USA
February 25, 2012Music Background:
Home recordist, sound engineering student, musician
Nice little box for simple applications.When I purchased a Lexicon Alpha, it was my first ever audio interface. All I really wanted was a way to plug my electric guitar and a mic into my computer to record into GarageBand and get some musical ideas down. It worked great for me, and it was really inspiring to be able to record with all the capabilities of a DAW, rather than an unfriendly TASCAM digital 8-track. (It's also nice to have a Hi-Z input, so if you don't have a great amp or a decent room, you can still get workable guitar sounds via software amp modeling.)
I've also had nice results using it as a simple monitoring hub when playing live with a drummer; I use loops (i.e. phrase sampling) when I play so the drummer needs to hear my signal clearly to follow along in time, so I plugged an SM57 into the Lexicon, mic'd up my amp, and piped the signal to his headphones. Just what I needed.
However, there are several limitations that have driven me to upgrade to a higher-quality interface:
1. No phantom power. This is pretty limiting, since you'll probably want a condenser mic for vocals. It would also be handy to use a condenser as a single drum overhead, if you wanted to track some demo drums with this thing, but as is, you'll have to use a dynamic mic, which gives pretty sub-par results. It'll work fine if you're mostly recording guitar amps though.
2. Only one mic preamp. It may have two inputs, but you're only gonna be able to get one mic in there unless you have an external preamp, so it's not the most versatile 2x2 setup. Also, as a side note, I didn't find the preamp to be of stellar quality---it's workable, but compared to the ART MPA Pro II tube preamp I recently upgraded to, it can be somewhat uninspiring.
3. No option for stand alone operation. It's very convenient that it is bus-powerable, but I would love the ability to just plug it in and use it as a simple stand-alone monitoring system. There are other small, portable interfaces that offer this option, like the Echo Audiofire 4 or MOTU Ultralite MkIII. I felt a bit silly bringing my laptop to the gig for the sole purpose of powering the monitoring system...
3. Relatively cheap build. The housing is sturdy enough to be dropped or stepped on without literally breaking, but after using my Lexicon heavily for a couple years, some parts have started to degrade in quality. The headphone volume pot is very crackle-y now when I turn it, and sometimes the headphone jack doesn't transmit a clear signal unless I wiggle my headphone plug a bit. No big deal, but don't expect this guy to last long enough to be passed on to your kids or anything.
So, all things considered, I would recommend this unit to someone looking to get their feet wet in digital recording without the budget to buy a high-quality interface. I would also recommend it to someone who only needs a simple hub for monitoring, sending software instrument signals out from your computer to a P.A. or amp, etc. But if you're more interested in making an investment that will stick around for a while, I would recommend spending a few more dollars to get an interface with more functionality and expandability.
from Jacksonville, FL
April 20, 2011Music Background:
This unit is NOT full duplex! (2x2)Unlike the specs listed here, I have tried using this unit in full duplex mode and it crashes the drivers. The manufacturer specifies that you cannot record and playback at the same time. So the specs listed here are not correct! Apart from this glaring defect, the device is a decent audio interface.