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When to upgrade your soundcard.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BlackTalon, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Guest

    Probably a dumb question but I don't know too much in this area. I'm not using keyboards or any midi interfaces or anything all software and using samples . just curious if I still need to get a better soundcard. If I'm not recording but just playing back through monitors will having a beter soundcard make a big difference in how good your mix will turn out? I think I have soundblaster live value or something.
  2. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest

    The SB live card isn't bad- it's certainly on the upper end of the multimedia cards (make sure it's 24bit if you're trying to play back that bit depth... I used to think I was mixing with 24bit sound until I learned my old SB PCI card wasn't capable of it) so I wouldn't worry too much about it. There's 2 things I can think of that would prompt me to upgrade it in your position...

    First is noise. I haven't owned that particular card, but I do have a couple of other SB cards, and although multimedia speakers won't make it as apparent, better speakers will reveal a LOT of static coming out of them. If you're comfortable with the noise floor you get out of that card (and the rest of your system, too- there might be noise coming from other components in the signal chain) then don't worry about it.

    Second is multitrack recording, and it sounds like you don't do that. I got myself an Aardvark card mainly so I wouldn't have to submix the drums anymore. The playback quality is superior, obviously, and I use it for mixing, but when I'm tracking it's easier on the system to have one card playing back and the other just concentrating on recording.... If you decide you want to record stuff, you'll probably want to upgrade the card, but IMO you might just want to add one. No reason to get rid of the SB live, they're decent cards.

    If your stuff sounds good, don't worry about upgrading.

    Just thinking out loud.
  3. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Guest

    Well now that you've mentioned it I do notice some white noise that comes out of my computer speakers, they're fairly good ones I have to be up close to hear it though. My regular speakers don't pick it up. I haven't bought monitors yet so I can't tell otherwise. I just have the speakers plugged straight into the soundcard. I do plan on getting a keyboard and all that stuff down the road was mainly curious if it was more for recording. Maybe I should look into a new soundcard then I don't think they're that much are they? I wouldnt have a clue what to get though i'd have to read around.

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