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Soundcards- I'm so undecided!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by starman66, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. starman66

    starman66 Guest

    About me:

    I'm a guitarist that is tired of gigging. I've never recorded a thing in my life except for some live demos. I'm ready to start making music for me.

    So I'm rebuilding my computer to do some recording at home. It will be Asus P4B266-C/P4 1.6A.

    My first efforts will probably be drums generated from fruity loops using wav samples, guitar and bass parts, and vocals. I hate the sound of computer-generated drums, even using recorded wave samples. I have a Beringer 802A mixer, it has four preamps in but no inserts. So I really couldn't record live drums to individual tracks without a different mixer. I don't own a drum kit, but have friends that are drummers that I may be working with someday.

    At first I considered a Mia or something like it to get some good quality sound. Then I started thinking about a Delta 66, so I would have the inputs if I needed them in the future. Then I started thinking about the Omni Studio, $429 from Bayviewpro with a free SE1000. (I know it's not a great mike, but it's better than the condenser mike I have now, since I don't have one!) I figure I can use the two preamps on the Omni, plus the left and right out from the Beringer, and get four simultaneous inputs.

    Then I start thinking that I should just get an Audiophile or something to start, and if I ever buy a drum kit and need more inputs I can buy the latest technology. Who knows? I may get bored after a year and never do anything with it.

    In the meantime, I'm gonna stick my old SB AWE 64 in there just to start piddling around.


    Thoughts anyone?
  2. Nick Driver

    Nick Driver Guest

    I think I'm going to get one of those ST Audio DSP2000 C-Port card/breakout-box combo kits for $399 from tracertek.com.

    8 ins, 8 outs, two xlr mike preamp inputs, spdif, headphone outs, midi, plenty good enough specs for home studio use.... that is if I don't end up with my friend's old Gina 20-bit unit since he's fixing to jump off and buy a MOTU 2408 mkII if he didn't already do so when he drove to Dallas today.
  3. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    First off, if you are going with a PC, stay away from MOTU...they specialize in Macs, and have a pretty shoody reputation with PC drivers..

    Secondly, you are smart to plan ahead with the number of inputs...you will always need more than you think you will! :)

    Thirdly, the quality of the hardware you buy (mic pres, mics, A/D converters, etc.) will effect the quality of your sound more than anything else you buy...software, computer, etc. My advice is to get the very best A/D converters that you can afford, and then my second priority would be the quality of the mic pres. The Delta stuff is OK...nothing to throw a party over in my opinion. Remember the old saying..."you get what you pay for" and "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".

    If I was just starting out, and had enough cash, I would get a soundcard with an ADAT lightpipe input (like one of the RME Hammerfall cards), then combine that with a nice mic pre setup that has good A/D converters and an ADAT output. I am using the ProSonus Digimax Mic Pre setup. It has 8 high-quality class A mic pres, with lots of bells and whistles, and then I take the ADAT output from the Digimax into my Echo Layla/24. This gives me 16 total inputs, 8 of which have great mic pres!

    ProSonus has also just released a new version of the Digimax, called the Digimax LT which is about half the price of its big brother. It has the same 8 mic pres, but has no limiter, less digital output options, and less analog output routing options (it does add inserts however for every channel which is pretty cool). It is a nice setup, and is selling for about US$800 in the street.

    Good luck!

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