• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Topic: Sound card quality with virtual instruments

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Sound card quality with virtual instruments

    I am recording MIDI tracks using Kontakt's sample libraries. My question is: how important is a high quality sound card if I am only using virtual instruments? In other words, I am NOT recording music INTO the computer, where high quality A/D converters would be essential.

    I am currently using the computer's stock sound card, and an ASIO driver, courtesy of ASIO4ALL.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2

    Re: Sound card quality with virtual instruments

    The quality of a sound card becomes even more important when using virtual instruments because not only the A/D converters are equally involved, but, for example, the latency (in conjunction with your computer hardware capabilities)...

  3. #3

    Re: Sound card quality with virtual instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by zeruyo View Post
    The quality of a sound card becomes even more important when using virtual instruments because not only the A/D converters are equally involved, but, for example, the latency (in conjunction with your computer hardware capabilities)...
    This is incorrect. Virtual instruments remain in the digital domain so sound card quality is irrelevant. A sound card is used to get audio from the digital domain (where its in 0s and 1s) into the analog domain (input from hardware instruments, mics, out put to amps and speakers).

    The quality of the sound when moving from analog to digital is totally dependent on your sound card (Otherwise known as an A/D or Audio interface). However, if the sounds are generated within the digital domain, as with virtual instruments, there is no conversion to analog. It stays entirely in 0s and 1s the whole time. As long as you keep the sound within your DAW, the only affect your sound card will have is in your monitoring. It will have no effect what so ever on the 0s and 1s of your music.

    In this way it is possible to create music entirely in the digital domain. You can mix in your DAW, bounce to a stereo file and go straight to CD or download service without the music ever having going through or been affected by a sound card.

    Having said that, if you mix your music while listening through a cheap sound card, you will not be able to hear all the details in the sound and may not produce as good a mix as you would with a better sound card. But this is only because you won't hear the music as accurately, not because the sound card will actually have an effect on the sound quality music itself, it won't.

    If you plan to rout your audio out of your DAW into hardware outside your computer and back into the computer again, then your sound card will very much affect the sound. Using a low quality card will destroy the sound quality in this case.

    But virtual instruments (hence the word "virtual") are entirely digital and if kept within the DAW, will not be affected by your sound card.

  4. #4

    Re: Sound card quality with virtual instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiphones View Post
    Having said that, if you mix your music while listening through a cheap sound card, you will not be able to hear all the details in the sound and may not produce as good a mix as you would with a better sound card. But this is only because you won't hear the music as accurately, not because the sound card will actually have an effect on the sound quality music itself, it won't.
    Of course this is what I was meaning. In the entire music production workflow I think that listening what you're producing plays an important role. Not forgetting the latency issue.

Go Back to forum

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •