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Soundcards - Which one is right for me...?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BKStoltman, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. BKStoltman

    BKStoltman Guest

    I currently have an older Soundblaster Audigy 2. Next month or so I am going to invest in a new soundcard. What do I use it for. I have 5.1 Audio system hooked up to my computer - a Logitech Z5500 digital. I play games here and there, but as many of you know am now going to be dabbling in recording for podcasting. I have picked out a Preamp, & an At4040 mic. I have always been a soundblaster guy all the way back to the Soundblaster 16, if any of you remember that.

    I need the card to be vista compatible, and would prefer PCI-E. I know Soundblaster is regarded a horrible card when it comes to recording (not sure why honestly, never really recorded with it though.) I was looking to pick up the new Soundblaster Titanium Champion w/ front Bay when it comes out in month or so. I love to listen to music, play games, and soon to add record with my computer.

    Just curious what soundcards are recommended here. I am looking at a $200-$300 budget on a soundcard. Please check out the new Soundblaster Titanium, does it still have what ever problem the older soundblasters had with recording, whatever that may be.

    Thanks,

    Blake
     
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    After reading that S-word like fifty times I can't type it.
    But _they_ are multimedia cards. For playing sound while you watch a movie...
    Awesome for playing sound.

    I'm not 100% sure but I think that thing you're getting that you call a preamp might be an external sound card already... Just guessing though.
     
  3. BKStoltman

    BKStoltman Guest

    I am confused - I don't believe the Art MP w/ USB is a soundcard. It is just a amplifer with limter from my understanding.

    Here is a link to it.
    http://www.bswusa.com/proditem.asp?item=TUBEMPPS-USB

    the main website is:
    http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?id=124&cat=1&type=79

    Perhaps I am mistaken. either way then what is the recommended soundcard, or would I need 2 soundcards - 1 for playback and 1 for recording. I could do that if the recording one was PCI but again I prefer to have only 1 soundcard.

    Thanks,

    Blake

    PS. SOUNDBLASTER - LOL
     
  4. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Fair call.
     
  5. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    From a description on musicians friend :
    It looks like it will get audio to your computer, but I don't see any of the vitals on the A to D such as SNR, harmonic distortion, sample rate, bit depth etc.

    For pod casting, and not multi-tracking, that SB you have will work, but if you ever want to do multi-track recording your cards will need to be in sync. Check out what M-Audio has. They are great entry level cards.
     
  6. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I would have said something similar but I use this.
    http://www.roland.com/products/en/ua-25/
    Not 5.1 but cheap and useful. And hey, it's not USB2.0 as I say.

    Intense times.
     
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Hmm....M-Audio Delta 1010LT has plenty of capacity for inputs, is about $250 and uses a PCI slot. I'd opt for that.
     
  8. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Several things. You want it for surround sound for your video games through, probably, lousy speakers. Those speakers will do nothing to improve your sound. But, if it's just games and podcasting...may be OK. It doesn't sound like you want anything approaching "professional quality" sound, or you wouldn't have a music computer with games.

    Do any of your video games use MIDI information? If so, an audio interface without MIDI-playback capabilities may not be right for you. You'll want a MIDI-capable soundcard. By that, I mean the means to play back MIDI with built-in sounds, or loaded samples. Or, software that will let you play MIDI Soundfonts or something through anything. I forget what that is.

    The 'soundcard" will also need to be capable of running those 5.1 speakers, so depending on how those are configured, you'll need to check into that, if you intend to use them.

    The "recording problem" with SB is that they just kind of suck, compared to a better quality digital audio interface. I still use one for MIDI Soundfonts on my MIDI computer, and it's OK for what I do with it. I don't record audio into it, though. I have another computer for that.

    Kapt.Krunch
     
  9. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    The Delta 1010LT is a nice card for multi-track recording. You can have up to 4 in your system and sync them all.

    Before my Delta 1010LT I used SB cards for multi tracking, and learned quickly why it wasn't a good idea. I was using 3 stereo cards for 6 inputs. At first everything sounded fine, but after recording for a few minutes, there was a noticeably delay from card to card. The snare drum microphone was no longer in sync with the overhead drum microphone. My understanding is that this is because the oscillators on my 3 SB cards are all running at a different speed simply because tolerances of the parts used. One could be at 44101, the other at 44099, or something like that. In the end I had to do a lot of stretching audio to get them to line back up, and that introduces sample artifacts. There were also glitches where the software tried to correct the issue by rejecting some of the samples every 5 minutes to realign the incoming digital data.

    Kapt.Krunch, You are right that the Delta 1010LT cannot do surround sound, so it is probably not a good fit for BKStoltman.
     
  10. BKStoltman

    BKStoltman Guest

    Do you think it would conflict in my system, if I were to purchase the new Soundblaster Titanium which is a PCI-E card and use it exclusively for gaming & music playback & DVD playback. And then install a M-Audio card of some form in the PCI slot and use that for Recording - or do you think windows would be a pain in the butt about it.

    Thanks,

    Blake

    PS - I checked out the Hammerfall soundcards - Dang those are nice looking (and expensive.) - LOL
     
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I didn't read where the Kapt said the 1010 cannot do surround sound.

    As another note of interest, it can.
     
  12. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    I don't see why 2 soundcards wouldn't work. Unless of course you're running Vista. I've done it before in XP, although I haven't used both at the same time.
     
  13. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I think I currently have 3 cards running at the same time, although I don't think I've ever used all 3 at once........
     
  14. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Thanks for the clarification Space. You are right, Kapt.Krunch did not say anything specifically about the delta 1010LT. I miss spoke. I was trying to say that the 1010LT would not fit the bill of:
    [which I am probably wrong about but...]

    I have a delta 1010LT, but I have not dabbled much in surround sound. The delta 1010LT does have a "bass management" section for surround sound that allows you to align the phase of the channels for the sub woofer, but I can't figure out how to get the analog channels to output each speaker on a different channel. It has plenty of channels for that. I think you still need a 5.1 receiver to do that. I had an SB card that had connections for the satellite speakers.

    So really all I wanted to say is that a multimedia card may be better for surround sound than one made for multi track recording.
     
  15. Rusven

    Rusven Guest

    MAudio 1010 LT...
     
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    It may be able to do 5.1 if you have a DAW capable of 5.1 but if you're watching a movie or playing a game, I think you are SOL. Also AFAIK they have yet to produce a PCI-E version of these cards. edit: they are in fact compliant to PCI-X now.

    I'd have to go with the multiple cards idea. In fact I would probably get a USB or Firewire interface. Since all you're doing is podcasts, you likely don't need more than one or two inputs anyway.
     

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