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Topic: Quiet soundcards?

  1. #1

    Quiet soundcards?

    If you have say, 8 PC's running Gigastudios - how do you keep the noise level down when recording to audio? Even with 8 high-quality sound cards, wouldn't there be a tremendous amount of hiss and noise? How do you multiple-machine composers keep a clean sound while recording audio from all 8 pc's?

  2. #2

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    I have a 2 pc setup (1 P4, 1 AMD), both rackmount. They both have silent cooler and power supplies (and harddrive enclosures). The AMD makes a lot more noise compared with the Intel pc. Of course if this noise floor would be multiplied by 4 it would be at least as noisy as it was before the silent parts were added. This high noise treshold would be a serious problem if you were going to do some mixing.
    If you're using digital equipment only you shouldn't worry too much about the adding of noise by soundcards. Noise is usually added in the analog stadium, whether by an analog mixer (not too bad sounding) or a noisy cable. I think most sound interfaces are produced low noise. Of course a bit of noise isn't always a bad thing...

  3. #3

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    Put them in another room and run extended cabling to things like monitor, kbds, mice.

    Anyone got a clue on how to at least keep a DVD/CD rom drive in the room with us so that we can load stuff in without going next door? Does someone do an IDE extension box that lets you use an external drive more than a few feet from the PC?

  4. #4

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    I'm not talking about sound emanating from CPU fans and whatnot (I do have my PC's in a ventilated closet), I'm talking about actual recordings having massive amounts of hiss from all the soundcards. I have an analog setup with a great Mackie mixer (quiet too) using all Mogami cables. From what I'm hearing - to have sound clarity with multiple pc's I'd have to change from analog to digital. What would that entail, and is that necessary?

  5. #5

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    I think the only professional solution with so many machines would be to stay completely in the digital domain, either by using a digital mixing desk, or with FXTeleport or VStack.

    Concerning the computer noise problem: I am only using two workstations currently, but without silencing components the noise level generated by these two machines (together with an air conditioner) is near to unbearable (I have to work with headphones if I want to hear the mix properly...). Does anybody have some tips on effective noise blocking?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Castle Rock, Colorado

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    If you have more than one computer in your studio you can network your studio using FX Teleport which transmits both MIDI and audio data over LAN cables between computers *(if you're sequencing on the PC using either Sonar 3.0, Cubase SX 2.0 or Nuendo.) This could result in substantial savings to you in soundcard investment and also eliminate the soundcard noise tendency.

    FX Teleport operates with VSTi's, EWQLSO (Kompakt &/or Kontakt) and GigaStudio 2.54. (When using FX Teleport, the manufacturer recommends Gigabit LAN.)

    If you already have the soundcards perhaps you could plant a noise gate plug on each stereo in - at least in the quiet parts when one or more of the computers aren't pumping audio you can keep things quieter as you mix.

  7. #7

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeOlivier
    Does anybody have some tips on effective noise blocking?
    I have two computers in another room that are accessed over Gigbit Lan and Remote Desktop. My main sequencer daw is in the same room but runs a silent system kit (quiet fans and power supply) with a variable speed control on the power supply. In theory I could turn the fan down to the lowest speed whilst recording, but it is cool enough that I leave it on the lowest speed all the time.

    I wouldnt say the room is "studio quiet" but I record vocals and guitars in the same room and have never had any noticeable bleed into the mics.

    Aaron - I have to agree with Frederick and DeOlivier, FX Teleport plus MOL and the upcoming GVA are the way to go these days. You wont even need sound cards in your subsequent DAW's. Also, if you are printing files digitally, the noise floor of the sound card doesnt even enter the equation. The only time would be recording live instruments and Im sure they would be in the minority compared to the midi/sample tracks.
    - SCA - Sound Studios -

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Wink Re: Quiet soundcards?

    What soundcards are you using? Bad or cheap soundcards pick up internal noise of computer easily. If you are using unbalanced audio cables, change them to balanced cables. If the AC adapters, power cables, audio cables are messed and tangled up, keep them straight and apart.

    Computers are natural source of noise, both sonically and electrically. First of all, you have to find out what makes the noise.
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)

  9. #9

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    I use an external A/D converter (Mindprint) placed away from the PC's
    noise. This way the signal is digital when entering the soundcards
    and ist'nt affected by the computer noise.


  10. #10

    Re: Quiet soundcards?

    Sapkiller... (alias of poster above me)

    Wow Aaron, better watch out for that guy!
    Alan Lastufka | www.BelaDMedia.com
    Producer/Artistic Design | Content Producer

    20 Things

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