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delta soundcards?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by jace_one, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. jace_one

    jace_one Guest

    was in guitar center today........drooling
    they had delta 44, 1010, 410. the 44 comes with a breakout box with mic pre's (not going to micing much) for 400 clams.
    just wondering if anyone likes, heard, or knows much about them. i think 400 is my limit for a soundcard (not much but workable).
    or is there something else to look at?
    i looked at the tascam us428. how comparable is that?
    im going to be doing soft synth production and sampling on cubase, reason, etc.
    i'll do more research elswhere but any feedback helps. thanks

    amd xp1800
    iwill xp333
    512mb ddrram
    matrox g450
    maxtor 20 & 60g hd
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    I personally dont like the interfaces that they make..they look cheap and have cheap parts but from what people say they dont sound too bad and work pretty well. There's some folks on the Nuendo forum that use em and like their sound.
    Other than that you cant beat the price range they offer!! But, as the ol saying goes...you get what you pay for!!
  3. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I have to agree here with Opus..."If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

    I looked at some of the the Delta stuff a few months ago, along with lots of other brands, and decided eventually on Echo's Layla along with a PreSonus Digimax. These guys are a bit out of your budget, but I think that you should check out the Echo Web Page and have a look at some of their stuff...the Mia or the Gina might fit the bill.

    As far as the TASCAM US-428...great piece of gear. I used one for quite a while as my "sound card" until I got the Layla/Digimax combo, and it worked great. I still use it as a control surface, and love it. The main reason I went with the Layla/Digimax was to increase the number of simultaneous inputs I could get. The Mic pres on the 428 were fine (not as good as what I have now, but for the price...they really rock imho).

    Good luck!!!

  4. quixzika

    quixzika Guest

    I just posted a similar question- more about the system though. I am building a system right now- well, will be. Shopping now. AthlonXP 1500 or 1800 or somewhere in between. Recording as a serious hobby. (Hobby until someone pays me to do it!). How is the AMD system working. I was also just a guitar center and looking at the Delta 44. Although I think a Audiophile 2496 would to? I run through a 6 channel mixer and out to the card. I"d need 2 more preamps/2 channels to take advantage of the Delta 44 (Lots of micing of amps and vocals. Keep me informed if you don't mind. zikaj@ccf.org
  5. jace_one

    jace_one Guest

    thanks guys,

    yeah i have a feeling 400 isnt going to get the pristine sound others could do. but as of now i cant be really picky, settling for less is my only option. this is my first system so i think i have to build it up as time allows.

    i'll check out the echo stuff too.

    well this is my first system, i just built it this weekend, now all i need is a sound card to start working on productions. i didnt put anything on it but windows 2000. it fully loaded it in like less than 10 minutes (this one book said it might take 30 minutes for a 20g hd).
    other than that i cant say how it does. this waiting is killing me!!!
  6. SINEtist

    SINEtist Guest

    I purchased the Delta66 w the Omni I/O for $390 at http://www.americanmusical.com/ . I have to say that I love the card and the mixer. I get 11ms Latency in Win98 (which kinda does suck...) and 7ms in Win2k using the latest drivers. Using older drivers may result in better latency.

    The Omni mixer is housed in metal, the i/o jacks hold cables tightly, the pots are great, and the switches leave nothing to be desired. I think it rocks. The mixer was appealing to me because it integrates with the delta card and hit has both a pre-amp and a phantom power source.

    The sound quality is great. I had a SBlive which I used with a modified Cubase driver for better latency. That card is poo compared to the delta. I definately reccomend the delta44 or (66) for a 4 in/out (+spdif) setup.
  7. jace_one

    jace_one Guest

    thanks sinetist for the info. i met someone at guitarcenter looking at the deltas and he had the 66 also, said it was great for his stuff. 11ms of latency, where do you find specs on latency, i just see rating in db?
    and where does the latency happen? in the cables? in drivers? software?
    what would be the advantage and disadvantage of going with the delta or the us428 (besides midi w/the us428)?
    is the usb connection better quality than rca and such?

    thanks for the info.
  8. Bighand

    Bighand Guest

    I, too, am looking at the $300 range stuff.
    The delta 66 looks good with break out box.
    (I currently have alot of noise to get rid of from my old SBAWE card)
    Does this particular break out box also decrease the noise?
    The Delta 44 would do as I only have a Boss GT-6 for digital utilization. Wonder if the $60 is worth it down the road.

    On the same note, since I have a mackie mixer I really only need a Audiophile 2496($160) or Echo Mia($200) but I am afraid these internal units will not give me the pro-quality noise elimination
    I would like.
    Should I scrap this notion or just get one?

    Thanks from Southern Cal.
  9. Wormhelmet

    Wormhelmet Active Member

    Feb 11, 2002
    If you're comparing the delta to the US428, then ask yourself what kind of recording quality you want. I don't know if the Delta's do 24/96, but the US428 will not do the 96 part. It does a great job of 24/48 though. I use one right now, and I'm pretty happy with it. for the money, it's a great deal to have the midi control surface + midi/anolog/digital I/O. I personally find the 96khz capability is not a concern because 1. I'm too new at this, and 2.I burn everything to cd at 16/44.1. I think that unless you've been use to using some high end stuff, or you win the lottery (in my case, that's what it would take) then either would be good. If you do opt for the 428, then check out all info resources available to see if it will be really compatible with your system. I think most places have a 45 day return policy, so you couldn't go wrong anyway.
  10. jace_one

    jace_one Guest

    i think the 428 will probably be my choice, as of right now. but i'm going to be doing a bit more looking around, probably at the mia or gina like someone said. i dont think i've heard one bad thing about the tascam us428 and i need to plan for the future, which is midi, and the 428 has that.
    i've checked some other forums and all kinds of people have a hard time with the deltas. i'm a beginner also so i think i cant get too hung up on perfection, (i havent won the lottery either).

    i think i would go with the delta 66 just because it is a slight upgrade for not that much more, plus i saw a few good deals on 'em.

    well the search continues..........
  11. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    My future upgrade may be the M-audio Delta 1010LT for $389.00 at 8thstreet.com It is a great choice IMHO.(midiman) Awesome driver support for the latest Windows and Mac computers. WDM Win2K, (Sonar),GSIF(Gigasampler), ASIO(Cuebase),EASI(Logic), MIDI I/O and word clock sync.

    As the proud owner of two Sea Sound SoloEX's (company out of business) , and my first card, a Maxi-Studio ISIS, I can tell you, driver support and jitter reduction are important as well as good sound and low latency.

    The ISIS will never support Win2000 due to the real-time nature of the Win2000 OS and the incompatability of the hardware (dream chip.

    And Sea Sound is out of business, so no Win2K and no other software updates (except the ones a dedicated group at seasoundaudio.com are working on). And jitter is a bitch.

    One word. O.K, two words. Word clock. You need it. Or you will need it. The importance of slaving all digital devices to an ultra stable clock sync will allow music instead of digital noise to be produced by musicians.

    And as 192Khz becomes our next standard due to DVD and the new higher specs for the CD, these 96Khz parts will come down even further in price.

    Oh yea, don't be fooled by a pretty face(large outboard interfaces). Short and to the point signal lines reduce noise and jitter, so lack of big grandoise boxes should not deter your choices. Small and inside the computer, is good. Those stupid IEEE1284 printer cable connects (tiny tin over copper unshielded digital jitter inducing crap conductors*@$#%!) F*ck everthing up..

    I also like the way the RME product looks...
    Tommy P.
  12. jeffpico

    jeffpico Guest

    Here are the spec's on the Delta 44 from http://www.midiman.net

    Delta 44 Specifications:
    • 4x4 24-bit/96kHz full-duplex recording interface.
    • PCI Host card with external audio break-out box.
    • 4x4 analog break-out box accepts balanced or unbalanced connections on
    • 1/4" TRS jacks.
    • Analog I/O configurable for +4dB and -10dB signal levels.
    • Measured D/A specs: 103dB (A-weighted) dynamic range, 0.0015% THD @ 0dBFS.
    • Measured A/D specs: 99dB (A-weighted) dynamic range, 0.0023% THD @ 0dBFS.
    • All data paths support up to 24-bit/96kHz performance
    • Powerful digital mixing, routing and monitoring capabilities.
    • Drivers for Mac, Windows, NT, Linux, and more.

    I work at a music store and run a mastering/cd duplication facility full time. I have the luxury of playing with everything whenever I want to and getting to hear what these things sound like first hand. Here's the scoop...

    Midiman/M-Audio products are lifetime guaranteed. That's a big feature by itself. The delta series (1010/44/66/1010lt/410/rbus/tdif/omni studio) all share the same drivers. This means easy upgrades and universal support of all of thie products. The Drivers are updated regularly and are usually available at the same time as the new product you are looking for or shortly thereafter. These guys work on the software you use as it's being built. They support ASIO, WDM, GSIF, EASI, Win95, Win98, Win2000, WinXP, Mac os-X, OS9.x Sound Manager, etc... In other words, These guys have their $*^t together. They support the products they build and they build the products they support. Occasionally there are issues (VIA chipsets for expamle) that they cannot control. VIA admitted they had a problem with their handling of PCI cards and have supposedly fixed it since. A lot of PCI audio card useres have been upset that Midiman/M-audio or Echo, for that matter, didn't fix the problem with compatibility. This problem was not theirs to fix. They did, however, let people know up forn (on their website) that certain chipsets had issues. There's nothing better than a little advance notice when making a buying decision. Especially if you are the owner of someting as common as a VIA chipset.

    Delta card sound good, too. I use the Omni Studio (a delta 66 packaged with the omni i/o). This card has performed flawlessly as an audio I/O device for use with Wavelab 3.0, Nuendo, Cubase, Sonar, Vegas, etc...

    There are specific drivers for use with each of these applications. Use the proper driver and make some adjustments in you dma settings and bit rate/resolution and you'll get a screamin' system. I can run Sonar on a P4 1.7 512mb ram dedicated ata100 7200 rpm audio drive at a whopping 1.5 milliseconds. Cubase VST 5.1r1 with the ASIO drivers gets me just under 5 ms. Logic Audio 4.8.1 with the EASI drivers and I'm under 5ms. Giga Studio with GSIF drivers and I cannot tell that the Computer is inbetween my keystrokes and the sound coming out of my speakers.

    Now... echo cards, motu cards, frontier cards, tascam cards... they all have their place on the market. They all have a one year warranty. They usually all have a specific purpose (adat, tdif, aes/ebu, mic pre's, firewire, dedicated application support-motu in particular). There are some really good cards out there.

    Bang for the buck (best value-remember...this is your money!) I'd go for the Delta stuff. They sound great, if it breaks they'll fix it forever or replace it, they are compatible with everything under the sun.

    That's it for now. Exercise your right to a 30 day return policy at Guitar Center. They offer it. Use it. If they give you grief...point at the receipt and the big sign in their store that states the policy and they should be more than happy to accomodate you. If not... exercise your right to buy it somewhere else.

    Buy the Delta... you'll be happy!

    ... a guy named jeff
  13. jace_one

    jace_one Guest

    well, i went with the tascam us 428. so far so good, but i havent done recording where i could get some definitive results. i still need to optimize my os and system, more research. i think though that i get pretty diverse options with the tascam and i'm not doing anything too serious, so who knows right now.

    much appreciated all the info from you guys
  14. Destron

    Destron Guest

    Hmm... Well, too late to really make a difference, but I would have gone with the Delta. I have a 1010 and am very happy with it. I bought mine for $500, and I see on zzounds.com that the tascam goes there for $479. The difference is with the tascam you get a midi mixer and with the 1010 you get 8+2 tracks recording + upgrade path (with 2nd 1010 card). Well, whichever floats your boat, but I have no problems with my 1010.
  15. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I'm sure the delta cards work great, and they get great reviews as well, but the TASCAM 428 is a bit of a different animal than the Delta 1010. With the TASCAM you get less inputs (4 total), which for most home studio users is fine...you usually only record one or two tracks at a time. Most home studio users don't record whole bands at once or even a drum kit. With the TASCAM you get the MIDI inputs, *plus* the mixer, which is way cool! I use the 428 as a control surface even though I outgrew the 4 input limitation long ago. Having some real faders and pots to play with is absolutely priceless in my mind.

    Once again, both products are good, just different, and they have different target audiences.

    I think you did good Jace!!!
  16. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Good discussion here...Guy named Jeff...ever wonder why Delta puts out new drivers every week? There's a reason for that! (not to sound like I'm bashing them. but hey, thats my job in a wierd sort of way!) A company that has to constantly update drivers means there are more bugs than they have to deal with that you probably werent aware of...trust me, I work for a hardware manufacturer and know all about dealing with bugs!! It takes a lot of R&D hours and man hours to rewrite the drivers and test em out..thats a lot of money for Delta..how do they compensate you for the bug issues? You said it yourself...free repairs and lifetime support! I know you work for a music store but manufacturers wont tell you guys the truth all the time..Again, being in manufacturing I'm in the midst of it and do it myself sometimes! lol! Sort of the art of manufacturing BSting!!
    Anyhue..Delta is good for the buck but IMHO I think their hardware is cheaply built and breaks very easily. When I worked for sweetwater I would constantly have to deal with their broken gear. More people wanted to trade up to a MOTU unit or something else.
    If Echo hadnt blackballed themselves by dissing Echo like they did they would be in a better position in the industry. I love their stuff and will be getting the Layla24 bit. Better overall sound and hardware parts. Plus the fact that you can string any of the other Echo stuff together to use on one program.
    As James states the US428 is a different ball game alltogether...home users who dont use more than 4 inputs at once...MIDI and a mixer surface. Like James I use my 428 as a controller surface since One: it was affordable and Two: is compact enough to fit on my desk!
    No more mouse mixing for me!!
    Well, how's that for some input!
  17. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Looking into a crystal ball....

    "I see a 192Khz/125db USB2 card with optical input/outputs", "and there's another one with firewire..." "and an operating system that will allow zero latency"

    I can dream, can't I? :cool:
  18. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    lol tommy!!
  19. jace_one

    jace_one Guest

    yeah the tascam is perfect right now.... i love the hands on, i'll only use up to 3 channels at once and eventually i'm going midi. this is my first experience with production so its a good start.

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