I used to just play around with Digital Music Creation, and mostly using amateur softwares, such as Reason.
However, I really found that I like what I'm doing, therefore, I want to delve deeper into it.
I'm looking at a new computer system, mixed with good studio monitors, and some hardware.
My problem is, I have no idea what soundcard would be ideal for me to get? I've heard a lot about M-Audio cards, but I have no idea what model / make to get. I currently use a Sound Blaster (Which is horrible, because it is not GSIF Compatible, and using GigaStudio is VERY VERY frustrating).
Any sugestions for hardware, mixing board, monitors, would be great too!
You are really going to get alot of mixed feelings about the soundcards it really comes down to trying it out your self and personal taste. E-Mu and M-Audio and all the other main ones are obviously competing with each other so their products will be somewhat on par so you might just have to pick one and see how it goes.
1 thing you should be aware of is that M-Audio uses XLR inputs/outputs and EM-U uses 1/4 in/outs i think.(could be wrong on this)
Interms of software i've been using Cubase SX 3 and its been my fav out of all of them. It's a very well rounded program with tons of features and has a nice layout.
Make sure you get a video graphic card that supports dual screen as thats always nice to have.
interms of a mixing board.. this depends on how much hardware you have and that but i'd go with a Mackie Onyx as it has firewire audio input/output so you can seperate youre tracks into whatever software you are using pretty easily.
The Audiophile is part of the delta series, so it's really a mater of choosing how much i/o you need. You can have up to 4 Delta cards in one computer, in any combination, so you can always at i/o as needed.
I guess the questions you have to ask yourself are:
a.) How many in / output-channels do I need?
b.) What kind of interface: PCI, Firewire, USB (PCIe still to come)
c.) What kind of converter-quality is necessary
d.) Do I need built-in preamps?
I use a EMU1212m which has stereo in/out witdh symmetric
connectors and high converter-quality - but this cards does
not support GSIF so it's probably of no use to you.
I also use a Sydec Mixtreme 192 with two external breakout-
boxes (8in/out cinch and 2in/out symmetric) which has converters
which are a bit less quality than the EMU, but performance is
rock-solid and the amount of ins and outs is nice for stuff like
monitoring during tracking (I can create multiple monitor-mixes
for the performer and the producer without any additional
load on the PC and with almost zero latency)
RME-soundcards have a pretty good standing in pretty much
I recently purchased an Audiophile 192 soundcard and I am quite happy with its results, and since budget was an issue for me, I was only considering M-audio audiophile series or E-mu cards, which are competitively priced. I've also heard that the RME cards are great as well. I have 3 music PC's, and this is what I run in each. My gigastudio PC has an Audiophile 2496 card which has GSIF 2 drivers. My Cubase SX/ VSTi and mastering PC has Audiophile 192 card, and my additional VSTi PC has a terratec EWS88D which has an ADAT connection that I use.
You really cannot go wrong with either M-audio card (great driver support), or E-MU card (Now have better support for drivers, and also usually come with lots of extra software), or even RME cards. If you want really Hi end then you may have to start looking into Lynx cards, which I do not know much about, but have heard are pretty hi end cards.
In case, you were interested, the best price I found for an Audiophile 192 card is here , this price I thought was better than ebay:
Mixtreme 192 was actually a recommendation from a friend as well; he suggested using that card for what I'm doing (Mostly softwares).
Would the Mixtreme be a logical choice for me? (Budget is not a problem by the way.)
I really like the Mixtreme 192. The drivers work very nice. And you can
even plug some effects into the dsp-based mixer which does not
introduce any load on the main-cpu. But as this card has only one DSP,
the amount of effects it can run concurrently is limited. There are some
Sydec cards which have more DSPs, but I don't have any experience
with them - and they cost quite a bit more...