Forgive me if this has been already hashed over, but I\'m new to this forum and very confused.
I am a happy user of Finale (currently 2004a). However, I want improved sound, such as in the GPO samples. So, I am in the process of purchasing a computer with enough horsepower to handle the two applications.
But, I cannot get a straight answer on what sound card to get. I have an SB Audigy now that works great with Finale alone. But, as I read through these posts I see some saying Audigy\'s fine, others saying there\'s problems and everyone starts throwing jargon and abbreviations around. What I need to know: will my soundcard work or, if not, what do I need to buy. In plain English, please.
Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this question, but I haven\'t figured out which topics go where yet.
I am using Finale 2004a, SB Audigy, GPO (and the bundled sequencer), and am happy to report that it works well for me. From another post here at this forum I learned that I needed to set the Sample Rate of Audigy to 48000. I do hear a little lag when running GPO Studio directly from Finale. I hadn\'t noticed this lag before, but as I push the limits I now hear it.
My PC specs: Windows XP Home, Celeron 2.4GHz, 760 MB of RAM. I could use more RAM when I load up the GPO Steinway.
That is what I needed to hear. I don\'t understand all this stuff about ASIO and WDM--just: does it work, yes or no.
The system I am in the process of having built--just so I can use Finale and GPO together--has a 2.7GHz processor and 2Gb RAM, with 2 fast disks. From what I\'ve read, including your reply, this ought to do it. The soundcard was the only thing I was stumbling over, and if my current Audigy will do, that\'s great. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
The main difference is that if you want to pursue a professional music career, I would lean toward a more professional product. The Audigy is good - I am not knocking it - but the arguments here stem from consumer versus professional. Professionals want high end audio cards. I have a professional audio card. The Audigy falls in the \"consumer level.\"
For example, for just a little more than the cost of an Audigy, you can get a semipro/pro level card. Check the M-Audio products for prices. The Lynx and Hammerfall(RME/HDSP) cards are very expensive but are the definite \"pro choice.\"
The main factor you are dealing with is latency and bitrate. The pro cards (in most cases) use less resources, but it is marginal for the money. The other cost factor is in the A/D D/A converters. This is a \"get what you pay for\" quality in the cards. Most pro engineers/producers want the best in the conversion specs. However, at the same time, pros tend to use rack converters instead of what is built into the card (for recording).
I know this is a lot more than you probably were asking for, but I think it will help you. If you are planning on on doing recording with a good mic-pre, go for the higher end audio cards. If you are just sequencing, you can aim for a semipro/pro card for probably as little as $200-$250. Or, if you do this as a hobby and are not planning on making a career out of it or being serious at your hobby, get the Audigy. However, I am most confident you will get more mileage out of the low-end M-Audio cards.
Ask some people about the latency they get with their cards, and cpu resource usage. Then make a decision based on what kind of music goals you have. Even if you plan on laying an acoustic guitar into the orchestration, the D/A converters in the semipro/pro cards will help the sound tremendously.
This is just my opinion. Feel free to PM me if you want more details. Good luck with your decision.
Thanks, Jonathan, for the clearly worded and helpful reply. I am stretching the budget just getting the basic hardware. So, I\'ll stick with the Audigy card for now because I already have it.
The more professional card can wait for a birthday present.
But I will file your reply away and use it for reference when the time comes.