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Question about my audio card

Discussion in 'Recording' started by 0ColdZero0, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. 0ColdZero0

    0ColdZero0 Guest

    Hi guys ! I got a question about my computer's audio card. I have a very basic sigma and I want to make some home recording. The problem is, when I want to record (with Adobe Audition), I get some very bad lags. My computer is very good but the only bad thing in it is its audio card. If I change it, will there be a big difference ?

    By the way, I record with a roland mic in front of my amp. Wich audio card do you tell me to buy, and how much will it cost to me?

    Thank you ! Sorry, my english is not very good hehe
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    A computer sound card is not designed for the requirements of balanced audio recording. (happier Space? ;-) ) It can be done but won't sound good.

    Generally you will need a computer interface of some sort. That interface could be based on PCI or USB or Firewire. There are numerous brands to choose from.
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I can't believe how many times this gets posted in different phrasings. It should really be made into a sticky :D :cool:
  4. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    It is an inaccurate statement.

    A computer sound card can in fact do balanced audio recording. What it cannot do is do it at a professional level. And that comment could be attached to any number of other interfaces. It isn't deserving of being a sticky but with a fully fleshed out explanation might be more useful as a reference to why one piece of hardware is better then the other and why the other should be considered less then capable of reaching the desired goal as a start up piece of hardware.

    Now that is deserving of being a sticky!
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Never give up trying to suck your own dick :D

  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Easy killer.

    Space is correct. As often as I am a stickler for details he has every right to pick my statement apart. Whats more, he knows perfectly well I'm aware he's more or less right.

    Except that most soundcards are not in fact balanced but a 3.5mm TS input or a 3.5mm TRS that is configured as T=right R=left and common ground. Will it work? Yes. Is it balanced audio professional or otherwise? No. Some do have a S/PDIF input as well which of course is useful but not microphone friendly.

    It's kind of like the fact that I can get decent recording with a pair of cheap Chinese condensers. That doesn't make them the right tool for a recording to sound good or professional.
  7. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    You all know I'm joking by now right? If I didn't like you you'd know :D No offense to Space, in all honesty you have every right to pick apart Jack's statement, it is after all an open forum. Your final thought however caught my eye :cool:
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Mixer outputs -> soundcard input.

    Yeah there's a level problem, but this is why I use outputs with a volume control.

    Bit of a buzz but the job works. And if you route the outputs correctly, you can do some jiggery post-pokery and cancel the noise out.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I think what he is referring to is that he is experiencing latency while trying to overdub, since his sound card does not have a "no latency" pass through. This is a typical problem with most inexpensive sound cards. This is where you would be better off purchasing an inexpensive "professional" USB or FireWire external interface. And with a few computer tweaks, you won't have any "lag" or latency issues. Then everything will become more synchronous and in time.

    Balanced versus unbalanced is not as much of an issue when it comes to latency. It's an issue if you are experiencing hum and/or buzz. This is also not generally due to unbalanced versus balanced but is more likely a "ground loop" between your mixer/preamp and your computer. Lifting AC grounds by using a 3 into 2 AC adapter plug will generally correct for ground loop errors. But beware, under certain situations and with certain equipment like tube guitar amplifiers with "hot chassis" (not referring to heat here) can KILL you. So it's also handy to have a AC volt meter to make certain that there is not high-voltage between any chassis. This generally isn't much of a problem with regards to laptop computers but is a general problem with computer switching power supplies as opposed to old-fashioned transformer based linear power supplies.

    So if you do use your computer supplied sound card, you want to use the line input when connecting to your mixer/preamp. And you'll probably want to lift the AC ground on either your mixer/preamp or your laptop computer switching power supply.

    You have to be careful to achieve good sound.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. casper

    casper Guest


    The main problem with PC sound cards is they have a latency or lag as you stated. This is due to drivers. The ASIO4All


    driver may work to reduce latency. It definitley helped me when I used it for my onboard soundcard.

    As stated above to get better results a audio interface will be an improvement. Maudio and Emu have some nice soundcards that should give you better results. They usually inclued built in mic preamps and hi impedence instrument input for guitar or bass. If its for recording guitar you might look at Line 6 as they offer modeling amps. These cards usually come with software to get you started.

    I found this guide helpful


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