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Running 2 sound cards/devices in one pc

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Anybody got any experience of running with more than one sound card in a consumer PC? I've got an Audiophile 2496 in my new system for recording purposes but will be keeping the onboard AC97 chip for gaming, EAX, and cd-playback. Are there any gotchas I need to watch out for? (Routing sound from both outputs through one set of speakers looks like the first problem!)

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Is that even possible on Windows? I always thought it couldn't handle that. (Can be done on Linux though)

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Believe it or not, I attempted the same thing, but also with an Audigy card. To say the least, there were problems with Sonar 3 recognizing me audio ins and outs, but my games worked fine.


Sean Beeson

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I have multiple sound cards in my PC without any hitches...A creative X-Fi, a Yamaha SW1000XG (plus analog daughter board), and the motherboard's AC97 chip.

To mix the sound outputs, you could feed the output of one card back into the line-in of another, or as I do, use an external mixer.

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I run a consumer laptop with the built-in integrated sound card and an external m-audio firewire 410. It might be the fact that one is external, but I've never had any trouble. I'd had Sonar 3 using both simultaneously, trivially switched between them in Sound Forge, and used different ones as the default for various applications. I suspect that to go to the same set of speakers you'll need to use an external mixer as WillC suggested.

Basically, I do what you want - using one card for everyday stuff and the other one for intensive audio use with no major problems. If you're only ever using one card at a time, could you just switch the cord to the speakers from one card to the other?

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works just fine here i have a 2496 too (i use it for digital piano recording) & a onboard audio & i used to have another external soundcard on top of it , it works just fine & if you're only gonna use the 2496 for recording & playback of said recording just keep the regular card set as default for everything in windows as recording programs are better at providing options to override defaults than games are (since most games just assume you have 1 card). anyway had 0 issues here till now & using audacity for recording/playback

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I have five sound devices on my home PC.

1) Audiophile 24/96 - for recording, but it really is a terrible card. I actually keep a WinME system just so I can still use my Lexicon Core 2 card.
2) Yamaha YMF744 card - mainly for XG tinkering.
3) Onboard AC97 - Don't actually use it for anything at all, sounds awful.
4) SB Live Value - For gaming audio.
5) Monster Sound MX400 - For no apparent reason, should probably remove it.

They all coexist peacefully. You may want to get a mixer or a switchbox to be able to hear all cards at once (I have an A/B/C pushbutton switchbox, even though I pretty much always use the Live for output).

The only trouble you really have with mixing soundcards is applications that don't enumerate devices and let you choose. Even then, all you really need to do is make sure to choose the correct card as your default in the control panel before starting the app.

I typically use separate cards for recording, playback, and MIDI, and as long as you have stable drivers it's pretty easy to deal with. I've always had at least 3 soundcards in a PC since Win98 and not had trouble.

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Quote:
Original post by Xangis
I have five sound devices on my home PC.
...
I typically use separate cards for recording, playback, and MIDI, and as long as you have stable drivers it's pretty easy to deal with. I've always had at least 3 soundcards in a PC since Win98 and not had trouble.

Pssh! Noob! [grin]

Back in the day (circa 1992-1993) it was common to have a GUS (Gravis UltraSound) and Sound Blaster attached to the box. GUS for MIDI (they had good, recorded instruments) and the SB for regular waveform audio. Even before then, people had GameBlaster + adlib cards in the same machine, although I wasn't wealthy enough to buy both at the time.

Consequently, most games and demos at the time offered the ability to choose your midi and waveform audio cards separately.


I have three audio cards in my audio editing PC at home:
* the integrated audio that I don't use
* one for recording wired into the room next to the computer, with two stereo cardioid mics run through a mixer
* one for playback hooked up to a three-way splitter, which in turn hooked to headphones, monitor speakers, and regular room speakers.

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Looks like I shouldn't have any problems. Thanks all.

Quote:
Original post by Xangis
1) Audiophile 24/96 - for recording, but it really is a terrible card.


What do you dislike about it? It comes highly recommended in various magazines and online reviews.

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