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Topic: Sound card please? Read inside please...

  1. #1

    Sound card please? Read inside please...


    I know that there are myriad of threads around but still I believe I have some unique questions that needs answering... So here goes:

    My specs:
    P4 2.8 GHz. 2 GB RAM. 2 hard disks both at 7200 rpm ATA (not SATA )

    My software:
    cubase SL3 (would love to get SX3... maybe in a while)
    EWQL SO gold, gold xp pro, SC, Vapor, Adrenaline
    DFH Superior
    Ivory, Pianoteq
    Bela D. Media DIVA (btw, great phrases... I love working in audio Will showcase in a while)

    Now my issue:

    I'm waiting to recieve (AT LAST) my keyboard. 88 keys, blah blah. Nothing speciall, really cheap (340£) Casio PX 110.

    And what's wrong with that:

    A. My soundcard does not have midi in out. It's the default soundcard found on motherboards. With realtec AC97... Latency is around 10-12 ms (that's huge, right?)
    B. In the meantime I'm having custom build monitors and amp!

    So, when the keyboard comes, I need to get a new soundcard to connect it.


    1. what is better PCI, or Firewire (I don't have firewire so I will need to also buy one)?
    2. Does PCI have external controler, ins/outs/etc?
    3. The guy building the amp, has specifically told me that he can have ins/outs for line and mics on the amp (it makes sense after all, doesn't it). Does this mean that I don't need line in/out mics in the soundcard? I mean I will just connect the amp with the soundcard. (How? what lines will I be using. The line out is for the line to go to the amp and from there to the monitors. The other way around? The mics, for example? Will need a simple line in to the soundcard?)
    4. Do I REALLY need 192 KHz or 96 is fine? (of course 24-bit is in, no question there)

    Note that the cheaper the better of course.

    In short:

    I want a new soundcard to connect to my computer. I want it to have minimum latency (specs play their part, right?) and need to integrade with the new amp and monitors to come...

    I've heard various stories about EMU and Edirol and M-Audio... don't know. They all seem the same to me. Same specs, same 24-bit 192 KHz, same number of ins/outs...

    Confused Nikolas, Out!

    Thank you as well.

    PS. The whole thing is in discussion. Any comments, on why I should prefer, MAckie instead of custom made monitors? I think I'm saving huge ammounts, and the monitors are built to my room specs... Makes perfect sense to me... Warranty, get it back if you don't like it, all that included of course...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA

    Re: Sound card please? Read inside please...

    pci is a closer connection and generally the reports are of better ( less ) latency.

    yes. 10-12ms is huge.
    I never have to work higher than 2.9 and I can "feel" the difference between 5ms and 2.9ms.

    An Audiophile 2496 has midi in/out.
    I have 1 ( not in service now ) but it is a great sounding card and you can get them for under $100 USD.

    I'm using Gina24 cards and a PCI-822 for midi in to my main box.
    I don't recommend the pci-822 to others but I have it and it works for me.

    Mackie Monitors: I have the hr824s.
    They work well for me. Everthing translates well with very little effort.

    Custom monitors built to your room specs?!?!?!?
    Sounds like snake oil to me and also kinda like doing it backwards.

    I'm working in an untuned acousticly rediculous ( alcove ) environment but having no problems that bother me.
    I attribute that all to the monitors being good. ( for me )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Sound card please? Read inside please...

    I'm using the PCI version of the EMU 1212M. I was able to get it on sale for $99 but they normally go for $149. This card has MIDI in/out, 2 inputs and 2 outputs. It's pretty much your barebones card which is all I usually need these days. I haven't had a crash with this card so the drivers are quite stable with Windows XP.


  4. #4

    Re: Sound card please? Read inside please...

    Thanks guys

    I value your input very much!

  5. #5

    Re: Sound card please? Read inside please...

    Hi Nikolas,
    I've been using a Delta 1010LT


    It manages reasonably low latency (I can't remember the figures, but I play into the card, then the MIDI is passed to my Giga machine by Gigateleport, the audio comes back over the network, which imposes a separate latency, then out of the Delta. All this and I can't play quick enough to notice any delay at all, even with instruments with a fast attack) and has MIDI in/out, Mic in, Line in/out, and more analogue in/outputs than you can shake a stick at. It sounds great.

    I did have an issue a while back, which I brought up here, where the drivers seemed to be acting up. For a limited time it seemed like channels were randomly rerouting themselves to the wrong physical outputs on the card. As it happens I think that was some incredibly improbable problems with broken cables, which kept behaving themselves when I checked them out, then acting up when I put them back on the outputs that I thought were dodgy. I've swapped my leads and the card has been rock solid for months.

    It's not the cheapest card (although it's certainly not expensive) but I presume that the Delta 410 has the same engine - so if you don't need all the analogue connections then there is probably a cheaper option for the same quality.

    The Echo MIA MIDI is also a superb card. I got one way back when I was building my Giga machine - then it turned out that the MIA drivers had issues with GS, so I ended up selling it quite quickly. But, for the time that I had it, with all my other software it was absolutely rock solid, and had even lower latency than the M-Audio cards.

    Sorry I'm not an expert in this area. I've had my setup for a long time now, and everything from my previous setups is obsolete, so I only know what I've got.

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