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Topic: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

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  1. #1

    IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    Tech question. I get that I really need an external sound card if I'm going to run Finale and a DAW from a laptop, but my budget being what it is I need a computer first--peripherals will come second. That being said, has anyone had experience with the IDT High-Definition Audio Driver on HP laptops? Does it stink, or is it adequate?

  2. #2

    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    I imagine this is the stock driver that comes with the laptop?
    Win 7?

    No experience with that particular one, but in general with the consumer grade driver/chip:
    It should work for playback, provided that you set the buffer size in Aria (standalone) or Finale really high. There will be a siginificant delay in pushing Play and hearing anything, and it may not be able to handle very many tracks before distorting and dropping sample frames. I can pretty much guarantee that you won't be able to play in anything live, as you'll be looking at latencies upwards of 100ms round trip.

    But it should work for now. If you find you can't take it or want to avoid frustration I can recommend a couple of good low budget interfaces.

  3. #3

    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    I'm not worried about performing live (I'm a closet composer who only plays MP3s for other), so there's no worries there. Still, I do write ochestrally, so the number of instruments concerns me.

    Sure, I'd love to hear what you have for low-budget options.

  4. #4

    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    Well, Foss, my understanding is that's one of the drivers for some built-in soundcards on HP laptops. As you already know, everyone suggests you have an actual audio interface for working with music on a computer--It's not just a snobbish thing about an interface having better sound, it's a practical matter. Asio drivers are really needed for sound work, and Asio drivers don't drive built-in sound cards.

    As Reegs said, you'll get a significant delay in playback, and you'll be limited in the number of instruments you can run at a time.

    An actual audio interface really isn't just a peripheral, it's pretty much a basic need for a computer you're going to use for music production. I hope you can get one as soon as possible, because I'm afraid you'll be frustrated until you do. I for one have never been able to make Any built-in soundcard do more than sputter, click, and crash under the demands of recording music.

    Randy

  5. #5
    Senior Member Silh's Avatar
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    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    You could always try ASIO4ALL. I've had fairly decent luck getting that to work with the last 3 notebooks' crappy built-in sound I've had, and some others, with okay latencies too. Obviously not as good as native drivers, but sometimes you just gotta work with what you've got.
    -- Matt Wong

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    An actual audio interface really isn't just a peripheral, it's pretty much a basic need for a computer you're going to use for music production. I hope you can get one as soon as possible, because I'm afraid you'll be frustrated until you do. I for one have never been able to make Any built-in soundcard do more than sputter, click, and crash under the demands of recording music.

    Randy
    HELLO RANDY!

    Being a frothing at the mouth Apple fan boy I would have to interject that when you are mentioning PC hardware audio limitations you're referring to Windows machines.

    Phil

  7. #7

    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    Matt - Thanks for the addition of the Asio4All info - Every home musician needs to know about that fantastic app. I need it for when I work in 64 bit mode, because my Alesis audio interface doesn't have 64 bit drivers. What happens is I click on the Sonar 64 bit icon, and Asio4All automatically kicks in. When I use Sonar 32 bit, then the regular driver kicks in. Operation is smooth either way.

    I never had any success trying to get Asio4All to make the built-in cards on any of my computers work, but it wasn't too tragic for me, because I really wanted the controls available on an interface - So nice to have that box close at hand with system volume control, headphone jack - besides the nitty gritty reasons to use an interface, which are to have line inputs and MIDI in/out always available without putting up with mini-plugs dangling out of a computer tower.

    And there's Fastlane Phil again!--I just discovered you on the other DAW thread where you introduced me to Metro 6. - It really is great to see you back here at the Forum--it's been way too long!

    Apple-- (yikes--hehe) -- I'm a regular at the Cakewalk/Sonar Forums, and I've seen many newbies wanting to use their computer sound-cards instead of an interface, and of course they always get the advice to start a piggy bank ear-marked for an interface--And I haven't noticed any fewer Apple newbies than Windows newbies having those kind of problems.

    I Do know, though, that some people manage to get things set up for themselves using their built-in cards. More power to them!--So I can see it's not as if it's impossible to use a motherboard card for music production, I just never had any success at it myself - and at this point wouldn't want to lose all the controls I have with my interface ($150 unit, by the way - an average price for a modest but perfectly adequate interface).

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I do appreciate it. Do you have any affordable hardware suggestions? I may not be able to afford them immediately, but I'll probably be using that "piggy bank" suggestion.

  9. #9

    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by FossMaNo1 View Post
    I'm not worried about performing live (I'm a closet composer who only plays MP3s for other), so there's no worries there. Still, I do write ochestrally, so the number of instruments concerns me.
    I gather you haven’t bought the laptop yet, and since that comes first...

    I’m reasonably confident that I understand this correctly (but open to correction): your choice of audio interface will affect the sound quality you can get into and out of the machine, and it will affect latency: the delay between putting a signal (MIDI or audio) in and hearing the sound come out. The audio interface has nothing to do with how many instruments can be synthesized simultaneously, though — that’s a matter of RAM, CPU speed and hard drive speed (and minimizing the number of programs running in the background). To the best of my knowledge, games are the only things that use sound card hardware to accelerate performance, aside from specialized application / hardware combinations.

    If you’re composing on “virtual paper” or recording in step time, and monitoring more to evaluate your composition than to create a distribution-ready mix, then concentrate on getting a laptop that has plenty of RAM, a fast CPU and a fast hard drive. Remember that when you generate a *.wav or *.mp3 file from Finale, the quality is not limited by your audio interface (but your ability to hear what you’re doing and make mix decisions is).

    If you’re recording, latency will usually be a problem without a “professional” audio interface, as will quality if you’re recording audio (as opposed to MIDI); if you’re doing serious mixing/mastering, monitoring quality will be a problem with most (all?) consumer sound cards.

    That said, you’ll increase your range of choice for an audio interface later if you choose a laptop has Firewire and ExpressCard connectors as well as the ubiquitous USB 2.0.

  10. #10

    Re: IDT High-Definition Audio Driver

    No problem here with Asio4all. One hell of a driver. Needs some tweaking, ok, but I got to mix hundred-ish tracks and also Audio with no latency issues.
    I have a E-mu 0404 which lies completely inert on the desk.
    Much more comfortable to have everything in the laptop and move around without having to carry a trunk with cards and cables with you. I also plug my guitar directly into the mic 1/8 port using.... a banal 1/4 to 1/8 adapter.
    Ok, I do not mind very much about audio quality. I Reformulate: I do not mind at all. But anyway there is not so big a difference between the E-mu and my sound card which, by the way, is a very common Intel HDA, nothing special.

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