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Upgrading Home Studio PC Sound Card... HELP!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by samplethiset, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. samplethiset

    samplethiset Guest

    I am currently operating on Windows XP Home; AMD Athlon XP 2200 1.8G Processor 512M Ram and currently have a crappy Aureal Vortex 1500.

    I am recording with Cakewalk Home Studio 2004 XL. Mainly recording pop and dance music.

    I want to upgrade to a midrange pro audio sound card and most likely the processor too.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!!!
  2. artgug

    artgug Guest

    The processor is probably fine, for now. Check your docs for the highest proc your motherboard can handle, and get that if it becomes a problem. Upgrade to a gig of ram first, that will be much better.

    Keep the soundcard as your general audio card , for everyday pc stuff, and get an external firewire audio interface for Cakewalk, you'll be much better off.

    Lemme know your budget, I'll help you out.
  3. mr_mundane

    mr_mundane Guest

    Hey, I didn't see the need for making a new thread since I'm having the exact same problem. My brother has asked me if I'd make a computer for him to record music on, but I have no knowledge of computer audio equipment related to recording or anything of that nature.

    I'm completely stumped on what sound card would be the best for what he wants. He's not into video games, and probably won't use it for DVDs, since he has a player, and probably all he'd use it for besides recording would be for email and internet.

    He also doesn't have a lot of money to spend. I've seen some sound cards like the terratec aureon universe, audigy 2 zs platinum, and stuff which come with the drive bay attachment with all the plugins at the front, and I thought that looked like something he'd find useful, but I'd like to find out if there are better ones out there for about the same price range that wouldn't cater so much to the gaming / multimedia sect and more to the recording of music. ... and whether they are actually that much better to go with...
  4. Humbucker

    Humbucker Guest

    I have an M-Audio Audiophile 192 and have no complaints whatsoever - it has an excellent reputation too amongst home recording musicians. I'm not sure whether you'd consider it mid-range or not though. For the price though, I think it is pretty awesome. :)
  5. emils

    emils Guest

    Just reading thrugh your posts and can't help but notice that noone has explained what they expect the soundcard to do. Are you trying to record guitars, are you just going to be using virtual instrument, how many signals are you trying to record at once, what gear do you own......All these things would have great influence on which soundcard to choose.
  6. samplethiset

    samplethiset Guest

    Thank you for responding... I have tried a couple of things and it all has gone back.

    I tried an M-Audio external... unfortunately, it sucked. I have noticed that there are many threads out there saying the same thing... I wish I would have seen them first!

    I did upgrade my ram to a gig, much better performance... Thanks!

    The M-Audio external kept losing it's drivers, sometimes I could get sound and record from my Korg and Vocals, sometimes only one or the other, sometimes none! Every time, I had to reload drivers for it... needless to say, I wasn't happy. The M-Audio is what the store suggested also... I do not.

    I have now gone a bit further and have purchased the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS soundcard, (wanted better sound for normal pc stuff too) a great little surround sound set of speakers for play and an awesome set of studio monitors for recording (all a bit pricey but I just couldn't pass it up after hearing it) and I am going to go with a small mixer.

    Now, I need a bit of advice on getting a mixer. They range from $50 to Gazillions of dollars... I figure $50 - $200 range should work for me. We mainly record from the keyboard (Korg Triton Le) and vocals. The vocals I don't know much about but have been told that I want to be sure to get XLR connections on the mixer... true? Multiple instruments/vocals will most likely never be recorded at the same time, as I work a track at a time. I think I should only need about 4 tracks, including vocal... 1&2 for stereo keyboard and 3,4, 3/4 or xlr for additional instrument or vocals. Anything particular I should look for in a mixer? The mixer will plug into the sound card.

    I've gone this route because many people recommended an external sound card and when I was having issues with that, I found that a lot of people using Cakewalk HS were having similar problems. With that I found quite a few people say that an upgraded internal sound card and a mixer was the only way they got everything to work together.

    I know there are better external sound cards out there but (even though it will probably get upgraded later) a mixer would have come into play at some point also... and then I would have just had a mixer plugged into an expensive sound card. Now I have a sound card that has pretty decent sound and the mixer can be swapped around over time... besides, I am really trying to go for this to be pro at some point and will completely replace everything. For now, we just need to get a pretty good, almost "gettin there" pro demo out of this...

    Oh, and any suggestions on upgrading the mic for vocals? $100 - $300 range? Attachments/Accessories separate in cost but any suggestions for those too? Like screens, etc... Almost always to be used for vocals and usually pop/r&b styles.

    Thanks for your help!
  7. samplethiset

    samplethiset Guest

    P.S. Does anyone think that I totally screwed up on my choice in soundcard? Sounds good now... but haven't tried with Cakewalk yet. :roll:
  8. emils

    emils Guest

    Hmmm, for what you are trying to achive you should have looked at the new Tascam FW-1804. You wouldn't need all the separate bits and peaces but this box and some active monitors. For the vocal mike look for Anything by Rode, you won't go wrong with their stuff.
  9. peterpan

    peterpan Active Member

    Jan 13, 2004
    Hi Humbucker.
    I bought this card but did not install it yet, waiting for a new Mac G5. Reading the specs I found that it is a PCI 2.2 card, whereas new Macs want PCI X. I could not find a site telling me what the difference is between these two new features and, mainly, (that's the question...) if they are compatible... i.e. will this card go on a Mac G5 (over 1.8 Ghz)?
    Thanks for your reply 8)


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