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Sound Card for Audio Production

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I'd opt for something like the MobilePre over that one; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829121012.

It's a little more $$, but has a mic preamp (good if you want to do some dialog/instrument recording, or foley/sound design) and has 1/4" outs, though unbalanced, but not as high of recording/playback quality.

The Fast Track for $99 is OK too; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829998005. Has a mic preamp anyway...

If you have no use for a mic preamp, then what you picked out is fine.


But I love my Hammerfall... :P

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Get one of these:

http://line6.com/toneportux2/

You can redirect your sound through the device and the ASIO built into it is really responsive. It has multiple connects for your instruments or microphones. Its Vista compatible and you can direct it straight into your DAW. IMO this is some of the best money I've ever spent.

Here's the Amazon listing for it:

http://www.amazon.com/Line-6-Tone-Port-UX2/dp/B000BP5QG2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1228748234&sr=8-1

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Why are all of these suggestions for external recording devices. They also cater to guitar players. Is there a reason for that? I will be doing the majority of sequencing through a master controller. I just want to make sure its understood what I need. Thanks for the replies so far.

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External work just as well as (if not better than) internal cards. However if you're really wanting only an internal card for a cheap price- I used the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum for my first 3 years. It worked GREAT!

Sound Blasters are not really considered pro cards and there are much better professional cards out there. Sound Blasters can get the job done though.

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Alright I understand. Its just I thought PCI was faster than USB.

I read some reviews on a few of the products listed and some are not so hot and some arent friendly with vista 64. What about these cards?

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Echo-MIA-MIDI-Digital-Audio-and-MIDI-Card?sku=247016

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=240390V

If they dont look so good I will likely go with the line 6.

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The USB1.0 specification rates the bandwidth at 1.5 MBits/s and 12 MBits/s

The USB2.0 specification rates the bandwidth at 480 MBits/s

The conventional PCI specification is a 33 Mhz bus at a width of 32 bits (33 * 32 = 1056 MBits/s)

The PCI2.2 revision added the ability to run the bus at 66Mhz (66 * 32 = 2112 MBit/s)

An uncomressed audio stream at 48Khz with a 16 bit data format will occupy .768 MBits/s

So I'd shy away from anything that claims USB 1.x compatibility but USB 2 or PCI should both be fine for most audio solutions.

I personally use a Sound Blaster X-Fi for my recordingand gaming, and I have to say vista support is pretty shoddy. The driver has been in beta for a long time and the driver cannot handle alot of appications using it at the same time. But the Windows XP drivers are superb. Unfortunately it's a bit on the pricey side.

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Quote:
Original post by dragnmastr85
Alright I understand. Its just I thought PCI was faster than USB.

If you're just recording MIDI, that's mostly irrelevant since MIDI's bandwidth is tiny. I would expect that virtually any sound card that supports MIDI would suffice for the task.

If you're wanting to record audio as well, that changes things. Then it's worth considering whether you're recording direct to line-in, or via microphones, etc.

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Wow.. I might get this actually..
http://cgi.ebay.com/E-MU-1820-PCI-Digital-Audio-System_W0QQitemZ220322875269QQcmdZViewItemQQptZKeyboards_MIDI?hash=item220322875269&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

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The Emu cards are good, but I'd hold off on getting something that complex till you know what you need. Get something simple but fully featured.

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Alright Ive been sniffing around some more. What do you think of this?

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/EMu-0404-USB-2.0-Recording-Interface?sku=242516

Now just so I am understanding this clearly.. this will be used to replace my current sound card. I will no longer need it. Correct?

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You never really answered my implied question, ie. "what the hell are you hoping to do with your sound card?" Without that, it's hard to give any kind of informed opinion on the multitude of interfaces that seem to be catching your eye. If it has the inputs you need, at the price you want, it's probably ok. But think about what else your system does: games, home theatre, etc. Those applications require different support (hardware and software) and will dictate whether you can ditch your existing card or not. Thus, they can also influence whether it's worth just getting an external interface instead.

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I want at least one mic pre amp. I want one or 2 1/4 audio jacks. I want it to be able to replace my current sound card. I intend to do midi sequencing and have it record live if need be. I only need to record one source at a time since Im a one man band. Thats about it. I think the last link I posted will cover the above. Anyone agree? Thanks again for the help.

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Quote:
Original post by dragnmastr85
I want at least one mic pre amp.

Need phantom power for a condensor mic?
Quote:
I want one or 2 1/4 audio jacks.

In, out, both?
Quote:
I want it to be able to replace my current sound card.

What do you use your existing sound card for?
Quote:
I intend to do midi sequencing and have it record live if need be. I only need to record one source at a time since Im a one man band.

One audio source? Stereo, presumably?

Quote:
I think the last link I posted will cover the above. Anyone agree?

Probably. Once you start paying that much you can pretty much do anything as far as recording goes. It just starts being about the number of inputs and the quality. But it says nothing about its suitability for games, or home theatre, or backwards compatibility, or anything like that. For those applications, it's often worth keeping a home user's card too.

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