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Topic: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

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  1. #1

    Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    Last year, whenever there was a bump in the road, my phrase was, "It's always something." It still seems appropriate for this year, too.

    I've never considered myself a total computer expert, however I completely missed this one. I recently purchased a nice, brand new HP. Windows 7 64 bit. Quad core. 1 terabyte HD. 6 gig of ram (upgradeable to 16). It works real nice, fast, the whole bit. I thought I had researched everything. So imagine my surprise when I open it up late Wednesday night to install my reliable M-Audio 2496 sound card from my old HP to find I couldn't because I have are 3 PCI Express x1 slots and no PCI 32 bit slots. Argh! Dumb mistake! Don't know how I missed that! So now I'm looking for a new sound card. I prefer to stick with a pro sound card of some type (preferably under $200). I know some who use Creative X-Fi cards and I've previously used a Creative Audigy card, but the 2496 has always been flawless and the support for ASIO was perfect. However, M-Audio doesn't offer an updated version of the 2496 that would work in a PCI Express x1 slot (at least none that I can find). Creative's cards seem more geared for gamers, IMO, but at the same time, they are more in my price range plus they offer support for soundfonts.

    Sooooo....I'm asking for suggestions, guys. Anyone want to throw me a lifeline here?
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  2. #2

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by serenitymusician View Post
    Last year, whenever there was a bump in the road, my phrase was, "It's always something." It still seems appropriate for this year, too.

    I've never considered myself a total computer expert, however I completely missed this one. I recently purchased a nice, brand new HP. Windows 7 64 bit. Quad core. 1 terabyte HD. 6 gig of ram (upgradeable to 16). It works real nice, fast, the whole bit. I thought I had researched everything. So imagine my surprise when I open it up late Wednesday night to install my reliable M-Audio 2496 sound card from my old HP to find I couldn't because I have are 3 PCI Express x1 slots and no PCI 32 bit slots. Argh! Dumb mistake! Don't know how I missed that! So now I'm looking for a new sound card. I prefer to stick with a pro sound card of some type (preferably under $200). I know some who use Creative X-Fi cards and I've previously used a Creative Audigy card, but the 2496 has always been flawless and the support for ASIO was perfect. However, M-Audio doesn't offer an updated version of the 2496 that would work in a PCI Express x1 slot (at least none that I can find). Creative's cards seem more geared for gamers, IMO, but at the same time, they are more in my price range plus they offer support for soundfonts.

    Sooooo....I'm asking for suggestions, guys. Anyone want to throw me a lifeline here?
    This is something I may need to start thinking about as well as I expect to be upgrading my P4 computer (time to jump into this century )

    I've thought about the M-Audio Fast Track Pro. It's a little over your price range, but looks like a pretty solid unit with good reviews.

    If you specifically want to keep it internal, about the only PCIe card I could find that meets your budget is Emu 0404. It actually looks kind of appealing in the sense that it has built in DSP and has support for soundfonts if you're interested in that. It also has ASIO drivers, is compatible with AMD or Intel chipsets. I was planning on building a machine that had a PCI slot so I could reuse my 2496, but now I'm starting to second guess that thought after reading a bit about this card.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  3. #3

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    I heartily recommend anything by Emu as far as soundcards go. Mine has been rock solid for years. Its the 1212, but the 0404 should do fine. I had to finally ditch the M-Audio 2496 after it started giving me audio problems, but it held its own. I do love the built in DSP of the Emu cards though. Decent sounding and saves CPU overhead.

  4. #4

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    I used to use M-Audio products almost religiously. They worked flawlessly and were great. Then they stopped supporting my [then] operating system - Windows Media Center Edition and then the company was bought by Avid. Things, for me, went downhill from there.

    So when I bought my 64bit machine and OS [Windows 7 Pro 64bit] I didn't know what to do. The guys who built my machine, Polywell, suggested the Creative Titanium XFi card which I went with and I have not been disappointed. Creative got a reputation for cheap and noisy cards and I was leery about using this, but it has been performing flawlessly and with NO NOISE. I am impressed by this card and recommend it. HOWEVER I only use one stereo audio out [it is my main stereo out] from the card and have no need for a physical MIDI interface (5 pin DIN plug) [all of my stuff is internal].

    EDIT: I did, however, buy M-Audio's Midisport 2x2 Anniversary edition when I was using a Roland stage piano with no USB MIDI functions. It was their only 64bit MIDI interface at the time and it worked just fine.

    I would love to have stayed with M-Audio but until that company gets its stuff straightened out I just don't know. Maybe now they are better.

    Hope that helped.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  5. #5

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by swinkler View Post
    This is something I may need to start thinking about as well as I expect to be upgrading my P4 computer (time to jump into this century )

    I've thought about the M-Audio Fast Track Pro. It's a little over your price range, but looks like a pretty solid unit with good reviews.

    If you specifically want to keep it internal, about the only PCIe card I could find that meets your budget is Emu 0404. It actually looks kind of appealing in the sense that it has built in DSP and has support for soundfonts if you're interested in that. It also has ASIO drivers, is compatible with AMD or Intel chipsets. I was planning on building a machine that had a PCI slot so I could reuse my 2496, but now I'm starting to second guess that thought after reading a bit about this card.
    Just went to the Creative Labs Online Store, and the buy page for the Emu 0404 says they're currently out of stock. However, I did find it in stock at Amazon.com for $120, although oddly enough their vendor is -- Creative Labs, so go figure!

    Anyway, when I bought my new computer back in September, I made a different mistake, although it may bring Gary and I to the same place here. Long story short, I upgraded my sound card from an old Turtle Beach Santa Cruz to their latest PCI card, which is the Montego DDL. Came to find out after I received the card that A. it didn't have a MIDI interface/joystick port (I went over to a USB MIDI interface cable, so I was saved there), and B. Turtle Beach no longer supports ASIO.

    My Montego seems to be functioning fine with ASIO4ALL, but I haven't put it to any serious test with my music work yet. If it ends up choking, I'll have to replace it. I was looking at the M-Audio 2496 (just in case) because it's an ASIO card, plus the price is within my budget. However there are a number of negative reviews on the product, albeit mostly because M-Audio hasn't updated their manual apparently from the Windows 98 days. Yes, they do have a 64-bit driver you can download. However, if M-Audio can't get with the times on their documentation, I'm just a little concerned about what this could say about their customer support. On the other hand Emu has always made great stuff, and the Emu 404 has a reasonable price tag. So thanks to this thread it's bumping the M-Audio card off my list of candidates for a replacement to the Montego should the need arise.

    Yes, indeed...it's always something.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  6. #6
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    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    EMU cards are made by Creative. I've been using the EMU 1212m for quite a few years. Pretty solid card although it could have lower latency. One thing I like the 1212M over the 0404 is no breakout cables except the MIDI cables. Also, I'm not sure if the outputs are balanced. I use balanced cables on my output to my monitor speakers to cut down noise as the main power box for the house is in the wall right behind my computer desk.

    Jim

  7. #7

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    For external interfaces i have heard good things about Presonus Firestudio and Saffire Pro lines. The good thing is that they are external so you depend of a firewire connection. You can also look for a good usb2 external module, like the presonus audiobox. You can just unplug them, and use with a notebook in any place.
    For a PCI-e, ESI has updated their nice MAYA44 to a PCI-e version:

    http://www.esi-audio.com/products/maya44e/


    Said that, i have been luck, until now, with asio4all and integrated soundcard of the motherboard of my i7. My old c-port still works, but only in XP.


    Good luck!
    Marcelo Colina

  8. #8

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by marce View Post
    For external interfaces i have heard good things about Presonus Firestudio and Saffire Pro lines. The good thing is that they are external so you depend of a firewire connection. You can also look for a good usb2 external module, like the presonus audiobox. You can just unplug them, and use with a notebook in any place.
    For a PCI-e, ESI has updated their nice MAYA44 to a PCI-e version:

    http://www.esi-audio.com/products/maya44e/


    Said that, i have been luck, until now, with asio4all and integrated soundcard of the motherboard of my i7. My old c-port still works, but only in XP.


    Good luck!
    I just did some research online, and the websites that carried this product say it has been discontinued.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  9. #9

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn View Post
    EMU cards are made by Creative. I've been using the EMU 1212m for quite a few years. Pretty solid card although it could have lower latency. One thing I like the 1212M over the 0404 is no breakout cables except the MIDI cables. Also, I'm not sure if the outputs are balanced. I use balanced cables on my output to my monitor speakers to cut down noise as the main power box for the house is in the wall right behind my computer desk.

    Jim
    E-MU has a 1212M PCIe card that's little more expensive (about $169), but if the 0404's breakout cables are a problem for you, this looks to be a choice worth considering. The product specs indicate that the inputs and outputs are both balanced. They also suggest (at least to me) that latency is improved over the higher latency Jim was describing with his older 1212M card.

    I found the best price online here.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  10. #10

    Re: Well...it's always something...new sound card suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Johnson View Post
    I just did some research online, and the websites that carried this product say it has been discontinued.

    Steve
    Appear you are right, Steve. I was considering one of that cards too. They still offer the old pci version, so if they did that i guess if because some problem with the card.
    Thanks for let me know.
    Marcelo Colina

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