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Topic: Advice on best soundcard please

  1. #1

    Advice on best soundcard please

    Just bought GS3, I have an Audigy2 using kX drivers. Getting half decent sounds from the samples but I'm sure it's supposed to be better, plus the latency is not great nor the polophony.
    What are the best soundcards out there to get professional results and low latency with GS3.

  2. #2

    Re: Advice on best soundcard please

    Not sure on the actual best of the best - there are a lot of opinions on that, but one of the least expensive and best-supported driver-wise is the M-Audio 2496. It will outperform your Audigy in probably every category. Latency will typically be as low as for any other card out there. For recording source audio there are better cards, but they will also be more expensive.

    (after adding shipping most of the ebay prices are not much if any less than the retail costs)

  3. #3

    Re: Advice on best soundcard please

    The next step up from the 2496 is to get balanced I/O for better noise rejection. You can get that with the M-Audio Audiophile 196 or the Echo MIA-MIDI. Both are fine cards.

    The next step is to get more I/O. There are some nice Firewire cards available that are worth a look. At the high end, people here tend to go for RME cards.

  4. #4

    Re: Advice on best soundcard please

    My opinion remains unchanged from your last thread asking the same question:

    The MOTU 2408mk3 looks great, sounds great, is GSIF-2 compatible, and doubles as a mixer if you don't already have one:

    — alanb




  5. #5

    Re: Advice on best soundcard please

    I haven't used the MOTU product, but alanb makes a good point: you are likely to want a mixer of some sort to go with your soundcard.

    I have a simple card with a Mackie 1402 analog mixer. I plug my keyboard, guitars, bass, mic, CD player and PC into it so I can monitor and mix anything for live playing. I have it set up so I can push the mute button on any input, and it sends only that input to the PC for recording.

    Today Alesis, Mackie, Tascam and others make mixer control surfaces with firewire soundcards built-in. If I didn't have a mixer solution, and needed a soundcard, I'd look hard at these.

    The functions I'd look for are:
    * Ability to mix to the monitors, if I just want to jam. Even if the PC isn't on.
    * Ability to control the master level to the monitors or headphones *now*. I want a physical slider, not a software mouse control.
    * Ability to select channels to record, and set their levels.
    * Ability to easily swap the outputs from monitors to headphones. This is needed when recording from a microphone.
    * Ability to record (your number here) channels in parallel to separate files/tracks. Depends on your application.

    Next in line is sound quality. Monitoring quality should be good, but doesn't have to be pristine. Recording quality should be pristine, with as few components between the preamps and the A/Ds as possible. Good noise immunity and a rock-solid sampling clock are also important.

    But maybe you just have $100. In that case get the 2496 and make music.

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