Sound cards?

mafkaroo Nov 30, 2004

  1. mafkaroo

    mafkaroo Junior Members

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    Hi there!
    I have a technical question. I have a Sony Vaio desktop with the soundmax soundcard that comes with it, and was recently about to get a new quality soundcard.

    But I was thinking do I really need a fancy soundcard? I mostly use propellerheads reason which sounds fine, and then when I finish a track I mixdown to wav file (which presumably doesn't use the soundcard). I then often check the production by burning to CD (which doesn't use the soundcard I expect) and playing on different stereos or sound systems.
    I don't record instruments into the PC, using mainly synthesisers to get the sounds and some prefab samples.

    So before I shell out a couple of hundred quid on a quality soundcard, I would mind some thoughts on whether I need one, and if I do, I expect for monitoring purposes - which is the most straightforward? ( I don't need midi I have a usb out-midi so its basically about sound quality).

    Presumably if I ever buy an external synth, and that is playing as part of my track, I have to record from the synth back into the sequencer at mixdown in which case a soundcard becomes vital?
    Cheers in advance,
    John
     
  2. Ott^

    Ott^ Guest

    Yeah - pretty much.

    If you're happy with your internal sound card for monitoring, and yu get sufficently low latency to be able to play your soft-synths then I wouldn't waste yr money.

    The advantages of a decent external soundcard will be [much] better sound quality, and well-written ASIO drivers which will give much lower latency than any MME or DX drivers.

    For my laptop I have a M-Audio Firewire Audiophile which I really recommend - 2-in, 4-out with spdif digital i/o and midi for about £200. Sound quality is exceptional and the drivers are excellent.

    On my desktop I have five Echo Gina 20's which give me 40 analogue outs, 10 analogue ins and 10x spdif digital i/o. These are PCI cards with balanced breakout boxes and cost me about £100 each. I get 4ms latency and they never misbehave.
     
  3. The Phonographist

    The Phonographist www.lucidoxford.com

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    :o

    Looking forward to the day I need that many! :Grin:
     
  4. Ott^

    Ott^ Guest


    They went out of production in about 1998 and the latest driver update was dated November 2004.

    Show me another hardware company that is still updating drivers for a product they stopped making 6 years ago...

    In computer hardware terms that is nothing short of remarkable.
     
  5. Zaven

    Zaven Time to prime..

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    Good questions John - matched only by great answers.


    M-Audio - Thanks Ott^. I'm in the market and that was the card in question...


    Now I know for sure.



    :wo^thy:
     
  6. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    Just remember that their aftersales service is crap (or at any rate they were really rude to me), so I won't buy their gear any more.

    I'll be A/B'ing the FireWire 1814 against the Roland FA101 soon, to see if there's any discernible difference in audio clarity.

    Hopefully not, 'cos the FA101 suits what I need it for more...

    J.
     
  7. psyfi

    psyfi Pie Fly

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    Weren't you going to get a sixth Gina Ott?
    Oh and by the way what are you using for a midi interface on you desktop?
     
  8. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    There's usually only 5 PCI slots in most PCs...

    J.
     
  9. Zaven

    Zaven Time to prime..

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    I prolly don't rate you much as a customer anwhichwayz, :no: your pretty damn rude y'self..

    Don't much rate your ears for that matter.. :no:


    While on the subject, don't care too much what you need either.. :no:

    Thanks anyway.




    Peace.
    :unsure:
     
  10. Zaven

    Zaven Time to prime..

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    Did i SAY that??

    :ph34r:
     
  11. Ott^

    Ott^ Guest

    I just got my 6th Gina [a newer 24-bit model] which Simon gave me when he bought a job lot of Motu firewire thingies.

    Rather brilliantly, one of the reasosn for the Nov 2004 driver update was to make it possible to run 24-bit Ginas alongside 20-bit ones, although as Joe points out, I have only got 5 PCI slots. No chance for 48 analogue outs then, [which is a shame cos my desk has 64 channels] unless anyone knows of a reasonably cheap way of adding more PCI slots to my PC. I found something that does it but its £1000 to buy.

    Sod that.

    The current plan is to build another PC [out of all the shite in my PC spares cupboard] to use as an FX machine, with the 24-bit gina for I/O.

    Midi?

    AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha!!

    I haven't used a midi cable in about 2 years.

    I have got a Midiman USB Midisport 4x4 which is gathering dust in my wardrobe, along with all my old hardware synths that are just too cumbersome to be bothered with. When you've been spoiled by sample-accurate software synths, the dreariness of midi is just too unappetising.

    10ms lag and wobbly timing caused by the inherent limitations of a 20-year old serial communications buss makes for an unrewarding musical experience IMO.

    All my controller keyboards and stuff [Oxygen 8, Edirol PCR-A30 and a Behringer BCR-2000] are USB.
     
  12. Ott^

    Ott^ Guest

    Why do you have to be such a fucking tit all the time?

    Next time you feel compelled to diss somebody for offering constructive advice, re-arrange the words "Fuck, Shut, The, and Up" into a well known phrase or saying, and read it aloud to yourself.

    Arsehole.
     
  13. psyfi

    psyfi Pie Fly

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    Sounds like the mans gotta plan.
    I’m using my old creative cheap as you like card for midi along side my Gina with no probs at all and I'll be rebuilding my machine soon as I've been struggling along with 256 of ram. Poor. But I’m getting a gig of ram and a new fat processor n main board this week. Who knows might even be able to write a whole track with out bouncing the whole thing together.
    Excited little psyfi waits for his parts to come.

    Now that sound just plane rude.
    :bananada:
     
  14. Reconstructed

    Reconstructed Member

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    I'm using a single Echo Gina24 right now and love it. It is a sound card in which you plug everything in and then never have to think about again, which is exactly what I want.

    I find myself doing most everything in software now so my original plans to buy a bigger mixer and another Gina to daisy chain probably won't be fulfilled.
     
  15. The Phonographist

    The Phonographist www.lucidoxford.com

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    I think you're me in the future Alan! :? :Grin: (Albeit about 2 months in the future)
     
  16. psyfi

    psyfi Pie Fly

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    It's all well and good splashing the cash/credit but when next months credit card bill comes :no: I'm not going to be as exited any more. specialy as its almost two years to the day that I've been out of work. oops how did that happen? :unsure:
    Still it was a baaargin mate, a bargin it was I tell ya.
     
  17. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    Uhh - do we know each other? I'm fairly convinced that I haven't met you in person... I'm caustic with my long-term friends (and they're caustic back) because it's part and parcel of being friends with someone. I certainly never go out of my way to cause offence or hurt.

    The situation I'm referring to involved a friend who'd spent over £900 on a pair of Delta 1010s to go with his new machine. Now a little-known fact about the Delta 1010 is that the WinXP WDM drivers contain a bug that causes glitches in playback and recording if you're using more than one of them. Speaking to their tech support line, I asked when an update to fix this was due, only to be told that it wasn't a priority. I was incensed that this guy had just shelled out nearly a grand on a product that was known to be faulty - but still spoke nicely to them and gave them my e-mail address to let me know when the fix was due. The guy said words to the effect that I'd be waiting forever for all it bothered him - why didn't we act like professionals and buy a Mac - at which point I put the phone down.

    *Not* a professional attitude to take if you want someone to buy your gear.

    The bug still hasn't been fixed, and it's been over a year.


    Any particular reason?

    Your prerogative, no need to be insulting though... :unsure:

    J.
     
  18. makdaddy

    makdaddy Guest

    M-Audio Delta 10-10 here, and no complaints either :Smile3:
     
  19. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    Yeah, it's only if you daisychain 2 of them...

    J.
     
  20. makdaddy

    makdaddy Guest

    soz J we must have subitted posts at the same time, yours wasnt there when i was posting anywhoos i was vaguely aware of the issue of stacking 10-10's but seens as i am never going to be able to afford another one in the forseeable future it didne bother me, pretty much bought one of the back of spending time using another setup which had one

    that sooo sucks for your mate, bad bad M-audio :mad:
     
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