Lexicon® Alpha™

USB 1.1 desktop recording interface

Item #: 857ALPHA

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A great entry into computer recording

Want to start recording music on your computer? The Lexicon Alpha is a simple, inexpensive way to create a miniature home studio. It connects to your PC or Mac® via the included USB cable. There's an XLR input for a microphone and 1/4" inputs for instruments like keyboards and drum machines — even electric guitars thanks to the high-impedance instrument input. This computer audio interface allows simultaneous two-channel recording, so you can record vocals along with a keyboard part at the same time.

Get started right away with the included Cubase® software

Don't have recording software? The Alpha comes with the Cubase LE digital audio workstation. Install it on your computer and you can record and mix as many as 48 tracks. Plus, it also includes Lexicon's Pantheon™ VST® reverb plug-in — a crucial tool to add more space and depth to your recordings. If you already have recording software, the Alpha is compatible with most major digital audio workstations, including GarageBand®.

Choose your monitor mix

The Alpha has 1/4" outputs for connecting powered studio monitors for playback. Not ready to buy new monitors? Use the RCA outputs to connect the Alpha to your receiver or integrated amp for monitoring with your home stereo. Or connect your headphones to the 1/8" jack. The front-panel monitor mix fader lets you listen to playback from your digital recording software with effects, or listen to the direct analog signals input to the Alpha to eliminate latency and keep your audio in sync as you record.

Space-saving design

You might think a home recording studio is going to require you to carve out a lot of space for gear. But the Alpha's streamlined design and small footprint make it easy to squeeze in next to your computer. Because it's USB-powered, you don't even need to find an outlet to plug it in. It's even small enough to take on the road for laying down tracks on your laptop.

Product Highlights:

  • 2-input computer audio interface with 2-channel simultaneous output
  • includes Steinberg® Cubase LE digital recording software with Lexicon's Pantheon VST reverb plug-in (DVD-ROM for Mac/Windows®)
  • compact chassis for desktop or portable use
  • powered by your computer via USB
Connections:
  • 1 XLR microphone input
  • two 1/4" line-level inputs for balanced TRS or unbalanced TS cables
  • 1/4" high-impedance instrument input for direct connection of an electric guitar or bass
  • two 1/4" left/right line-level outputs for connection to powered monitors or a mixing board
  • stereo RCA line-level outputs for connection to a home stereo for monitoring with home speakers
  • USB 1.1 port for connection to a computer
  • built-in headphone amplifier with 1/8" miniplug output
General Features:
  • 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion with sampling rate of 44.1 or 48kHz
  • Monitor Mix fader offers both direct monitoring of analog input signals and incoming digital signal from recording software
  • stereo/mono switch for direct monitoring of input signal
  • analog and digital mixdown options for external recording devices
  • peak LED lights for each channel input
  • USB cable included for connecting to your computer
  • compatible with the following operating systems: Windows® XP (32-bit), Vista (32/64-bit), Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Windows 8 (32/64-bit), Mac OS X 10.4 or later
  • minimum system requirements: USB 1.1 port; Pentium/AMD Athlon™ 1.4 GHz processor; 512MB RAM; DirectX- (Windows) or CoreAudio- (Apple) compatible hardware
  • 6-3/4"W x 1-1/2"H x 6-1/2"D
  • weight: 1.13 pounds
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

A gateway to computer music production

Want to record music using your computer? You'll need a way to connect your instruments and microphones. That's the purpose of a computer audio interface. These devices route incoming signals to your PC or Mac®, and most even include recording software. Interfaces can feature mic, instrument, and line inputs, as well as connections for MIDI controllers and external signal processors.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Desktop recording interface
  • 10' USB cable
  • Software Installation Disc
  • CUBASE LE5 Installation Disc
  • Desktop Recording Studio Owner's Manual
  • pantheon VST Reverb Plug-In Owner's Manual
  • Software Installation Guide
  • Cubase LE5 Specifications
  • Warranty/Registration Card

Product Research

Features

Desktop Recording Studio: Lexicon's Alpha Desktop Recording Studio is a complete package of hardware and software that turns your USB-equipped computer into a professional multitrack recording workstation. Whether you use it for high-quality stereo location recording with a laptop computer, or for multitrack overdubbing and mixing in a home studio desktop system, the Alpha Studio provides the professional-quality inputs and outputs, metering, and level controls that computer sound cards or built-in audio connections lack.

Applications: The Alpha Desktop Recording Studio is both a 2 x 2 x 2 mixer and a USB audio interface that can be used in a variety of audio setups and applications.

  • Monitoring Audio: The Alpha Studio allows you to monitor audio from both the units inputs (Direct) and from your connected computer (Playback). You can listen to (or monitor) the audio through either the 1⁄8" Headphone jack on the front-panel, through studio monitors using the 1/4" or RCA L/R Line Out jacks on the rear-panel, or both.
  • Recording Audio: Analog audio signals are created by microphones, synthesizers, mixers, and instruments with magnetic pickups using the Alpha Studio's XLR, 1/4", and TRS inputs.
  • Mixdown Connection: After you record and mix your sessions in either Cubase LE 5 or other recording software, you may want to mix them down to a DAT, audio cassette, or other stereo 2-track recording device using the Alpha Studio's analog outputs.

24-Bit A/D-to-D/A Conversion: Lexicon's Alpha Desktop Recording Studio utilizes 24-bit A/D and D/A converters, supporting sample rates of 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz.

4 Analog Audio Inputs: The Alpha Desktop Recording Studio's four analog audio inputs let you record up to two tracks at once.

  • 1/4" Instrument Input Jack: This front-panel 1/4" jack accepts unbalanced, low-level, high impedance instrument sources such as electric guitar, acoustic guitar with a pickup, and electric bass.
  • Two 1/4" TRS Jacks: The two rear-panel 1/4" inputs can accept both balanced (3-conductor TRS) and unbalanced (2- conductor TS) line level audio sources.
  • XLR Mic Input: This balanced XLR input features a high-quality mic preamp designed specifically for low-impedance professional dynamic and self-powered condenser microphones. The XLR mic input features an extremely low noise preamp and 50 dB gain.

4 Analog Audio Outputs: The Alpha Desktop Recording Studio includes RCA and 1/4" analog audio outputs to connect the device to a mixing board power amplifier, studio monitors, etc..

  • 1/4" Stereo Line Outputs: These outputs support balanced TRS or unbalanced TS 1/4" connections. These outputs can be connected to a mixing board, power amplifier, powered studio monitors, recorder, or another line level input.
  • Stereo RCA: These outputs support RCA connections. These outputs can be connected to a mixing board, power amplifier, powered studio monitors, recorder, or another line level input.

High-Powered Headphone Amp: The high-powered front-panel headphone output accommodates stereo headphones with an 1⁄8" stereo plug.

Monitor Assignment: This function selects whether a pair of analog audio sources will be heard in stereo or mono in the Direct Monitor Mix. In Stereo mode, the left inputs (Line 1/Instrument) are routed to the left channel and right inputs (Line 2/Microphone) are routed to the right channel. In Mono mode, you'll hear the selected inputs in the center of the Direct Monitor Mix through the Headphone or Line outputs.

Monitor Mix: The Alpha Studio gives you the ability to hear your analog input signals directly and immediately while recording, without having to adjust levels in software, and before the delay caused by digital converters and computer recording latency.

Peak LEDS: These LEDs light when the input signal is within 5dB of analog clipping. If the Peak LEDs flicker occasionally, the signal is approaching clipping levels, but does not necessarily indicate distortion or actual clipping.

USB Port: The rear-panel USB Port is used to connect the Alpha Studio to your computer and provides the Alpha Desktop Recording Studio with power. A standard USB cable is included. The Alpha Studio supports USB 2.0 full-speed.

Included Software & Plug-Ins: So you can make full use of the Alpha Desktop Recording Studio right away, included is the popular Steinberg Cubase LE 5 production suite software and Lexicon's Pantheon VST reverb plug-in for PC and Mac computers.

  • Steinberg Cubase LE 5: Cubase LE 5 offers integrated multi-track recording, editing and mixing of up to 48 audio tracks, 64 MIDI tracks, VST® Instruments support, VST plug-in effects support, and an array of additional features.
  • Lexicon's Pantheon VST: Lexicon's PantheonT VST reverb plug-in is a major feature of the Alpha Studio package, providing the lush Lexicon reverbs that have been used on professional recordings for over thirty years.

Note: Lexicon Alpha Studio may be used as an interface with almost any other major audio recording software you may have, such as Steinberg Nuendo, Cubase SX, MOTU Digital Performer, Garage Band, Cakewalk Sonar, and many others.

Minimum Computer Requirements: Powerful software for audio recording requires a powerful computer with the right operating system software, processor, memory, and hard drive space. Most computers currently sold already meet these requirements, or can be upgraded to be compatible with the Lexicon Alpha Desktop Recording Studio.

  • Windows: 7 (32-/64-bit), Vista, XP Home, or XP Professional
    • CPU 2 GHz (dual core CPU)
    • 1024 MB RAM / 4GB of free HD space
    • Display Resolution of 1024 x 768
    • Windows DirectX compatible audio hardware; ASIO compatible audio hardware recommended for low latency performance
    • DVD-ROM drive and Internet access
  • Macintosh: OS X 10.5.5 or 10.6
    • PowerPC G5 (Intel Core Duo)
    • 1024 MB RAM / 4GB of free HD space
    • Display Resolution of 1024 x 768
    • CoreAudio compatible audio hardware
    • DVD-ROM drive and Internet access
Note: As with all such systems, adding more RAM than the minimum will allow you to do more processing and improve performance, and more disk space will allow you to record more tracks for a longer time.

Compact & USB Powered: The Alpha Desktop Recording Studio is extremely compact, yet it gives you the features needed to get professional recording results almost anywhere. Simply connect the Alpha Desktop Recording Studio to your computer with the included USB cable. No need for a power supply, so you can record practically anywhere you can take your laptop.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Lexicon® Alpha™ Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Lexicon Alpha

Written By John W, Alameda, CA on Monday, April 28, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a nice interface, and getting Cubase LE5 with it was a nice bonus.

Pros: Small, easy to understand.

Cons: Set up was not easy, but not harder than other similar products.

Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Lexicon® Alpha™

These mics are extremely sensitive, making them ideal for studio recording.
These durable mics are great for the stage or the studio.
Studio headphones deliver accurate sound for mixing and monitoring.
Studio monitors let you hear your mixes with accuracy and detail.
Fill out the bass response by adding a sub to your studio monitor setup.
A controller integrates real knobs and faders with your DAW software.
Connect electric guitars and basses with an instrument cable.
XLR cables connect microphones to mixers and interfaces.
Connet a USB microphone directly to your computer.
Use RCA cables to connect your interface for playback over a home stereo.
Connect your interface to your studio monitors with patch cables.
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Get more inputs and higher-quality mic preamps

The Lexicon® Lambda™ offers these features:

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