I am in the process of planning a major studio upgrade which will include gigastudio and whatever host applications are bundled with the various sample libraries I'm considering (i.e., GPO or EWQLSO).
Among the many choices, perhaps the biggest mystery is which soundcard to get. PCI or Firewire? Which ones have the best converters? Which ones should I avoid? Which ones are, or will be, GSIF 2 compatible? Which ones are in my price range ($400 - $500)?
I need midi in/out, at least 4 analog outputs and 2 inputs. Digital in/out, while not yet needed, might be useful in the future. And there may be other considerations which I haven't thought of yet.
Since you are in need of Analog I/O I would take a look at M-Audio cards...specifically the Delta 1010...It just had a price drop and now sells for $449.00. I use the Delta 1010 LT ($229.00) which is identical except for the breakout box. These are great cards with drivers that are consistantly updated and provide low latency.
No word yet on GSIF 2. But I couldn't imagine M-audio not supporting this.
For all of your questions, answer is RMW Multiface or RME Fireface 800.
They are already support GSIF-2 drivers since last two months....
Alsa, IMHO it has got one of the best AD and DA converter in it.
I'm using multiface with 1.5 ms and sometimes 3ms latency.