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Newbie questions

Member for

21 years
1.Do I need a soundcard?I only need the headphone out and line in connections.The mother board I plan to buy has a 24/44.1 audio chipset.

2.Do 32 or 64 bit DAW software have any effect on sound quality?Whats the advantage?

3.RAM what are the real world advatages of DDR400 VS DDR2 800mhz?

Comments

Member for

16 years 9 months

Reggie Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:29
1. If the mother board has the input/output connections that you require, then no you don't HAVE to have a separate soundcard. Many things will be easier for you when recording if you do get a recording interface/soundcard of some kind...

2. Not near as much effect as mics, preamps, rooms, etc. Not really worth worrying yourself about too much as far as sound quality. More important to worry about the nuts and bolts basics of recording good sound.

3. I can think of no advantage that DDR400 would have over DDR2 800.


It is fun to think that you can buy good sound by buying the latest greatest computer; but as far as audio recording goes, it is almost the least important part with regards to sound quality.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:40
Thanks for the post.Based on the research that Ive done I only really need to use the motherboards sound chips since it has HDA 24/44.1 recording capabilities and the requred inputs needed.I am building a basic setup just for home recording use.Nothing fancy.

Guitar,Bass & vocals all run thru the same 24/44.1 effects processor and drums and loops will be on the software.

I plan to use Cubase SE3 so I really need advise on what type of computer compontents I need to run this DAW porperly.

The RAM question was based on me choosing a motherboard.Some support the new memory version at added cost so I am asking what are the advantages to using the newer faster memory style?I only plan to run 1gig since my recording and DAW needs are small so will there be an advantage?

Member for

16 years 9 months

Reggie Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:56
Cyrix wrote:
The RAM question was based on me choosing a motherboard.Some support the new memory version at added cost so I am asking what are the advantages to using the newer faster memory style?I only plan to run 1gig since my recording and DAW needs are small so will there be an advantage?

Maybe a little since you are using some samples and loops there will be some benefit. But probably only once you have many tracks of samples and virtual instruments running. In other words, if 1GB of DDR400 plays all of your samples and loops properly (most likely will), then DDR2 won't do it any "better".

Member for

15 years 4 months

dementedchord Fri, 11/10/2006 - 18:53
[quote=Cyrix]1.Do I need a soundcard?I only need the headphone out and line in connections.The mother board I plan to buy has a 24/44.1 audio chipset.

quote]

the answer you got was no you dont NEED an additional card... now if you were to pose the question as would it be better??? yeah by a LONG shot... if you do a search on the subject either here or anyother sites you'll find a myriad of problems all traceable to either on board or (shudder) soundblaster type audio... dont have to take my word for it do the research your self.... i'll probably be around when/if you decide to thank me....

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 11/10/2006 - 20:49
dementedchord wrote: [quote=Cyrix]1.Do I need a soundcard?I only need the headphone out and line in connections.The mother board I plan to buy has a 24/44.1 audio chipset.

quote]

the answer you got was no you dont NEED an additional card... now if you were to pose the question as would it be better??? yeah by a LONG shot... if you do a search on the subject either here or anyother sites you'll find a myriad of problems all traceable to either on board or (shudder) soundblaster type audio... dont have to take my word for it do the research your self.... i'll probably be around when/if you decide to thank me....

Well I will be happy to thank you now if you give me some examples.Ive been trying to find info on the chipsets and soundcards but there is alot of conflicting data.Most websites are concered more with the in/out capabilites of the card and they do not list the audio drivers and the A/D converters that are on a certin sound card.Most dont even list the S/N or dynamic range of the card.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 11/10/2006 - 20:50
dementedchord wrote: [quote=Cyrix]1.Do I need a soundcard?I only need the headphone out and line in connections.The mother board I plan to buy has a 24/44.1 audio chipset.

quote]

the answer you got was no you dont NEED an additional card... now if you were to pose the question as would it be better??? yeah by a LONG shot... if you do a search on the subject either here or anyother sites you'll find a myriad of problems all traceable to either on board or (shudder) soundblaster type audio... dont have to take my word for it do the research your self.... i'll probably be around when/if you decide to thank me....

Well I will be happy to thank you now if you give me some examples.Ive been trying to find info on the chipsets and soundcards but there is alot of conflicting data.Most websites are concered more with the in/out capabilites of the card and they do not list the audio drivers and the A/D converters that are on a certin sound card.Most dont even list the S/N or dynamic range of the card.

Member for

15 years 4 months

dementedchord Sat, 11/11/2006 - 01:22
Cyrix wrote: [
Well I will be happy to thank you now if you give me some examples.Ive been trying to find info on the chipsets and soundcards but there is alot of conflicting data.Most websites are concered more with the in/out capabilites of the card and they do not list the audio drivers and the A/D converters that are on a certin sound card.Most dont even list the S/N or dynamic range of the card.

i understand you dilema.. the chipsets used quite often wouldnt make much diff to you at the level most of us are playing the game at... soundcards useually come with drivers and with few exceptions your better off using them than say generic or windoz media and s/n is so low for all intents and purposes that it's a mute point....so what's a mother to do??? as to examples of where on boards and SB's are better ... you'll find them in threads that start out with "what's wrong with this...." "why is this noisey???" and the like... in otherwords search for examples of what went wrong and you'll see them....lotsa them... BTW you posted that you're anticipateing use of cubase often a lite version of it is packaged with some soundcards and may alow you to kill two birds and all that kinda stuff.....

and your most welcome....

see ya round the playground....

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 11/11/2006 - 04:15
PC Windows sound and audio hardware setupThe following procedures and hints can make your life much easier when using your PC as audio workstation. This article helps to minimize disturbing influences while you work with Steinberg host applications such like Cubase or Nuendo.

This article assumes that you already have an ASIO compatible audio hardware in use with Steinberg applications.

Often you can read about the tip to disable onboard sound chips in the BIOS of your computer. Unfortunately this is not always a good idea. These chips (on todays mainboards these are often already integrated) are ideally suited to let Windows play back its own generated sounds while using ASIO with your audio hardware in the host application exclusively.

If you have no onboard sound chip (or no additional simple standard sound card) Windows will use the MME drivers of your ASIO hardware to playback e.g. system sounds or audio from the Media Player.

Now it can happen, while your are working with your ASIO driver of your audio hardware within e.g. Cubase, that Windows generates a system sound. If your ASIO hardware with its MME ports is set as playback device in Windows it is very likely that you run into a sample rate mismatch problem.

Windows system sound are played back with 22.05 or 32kHz. In your host application you often work with sample rates of 44.1kHz or higher. Playing back a system sound will change the sample rate of the audio hardware abruptly while you are actucally want to continue to work with the sample rate of the project - a classic example of a sample rate conflict.

It depends of the property of the audio hardware and its drivers what can happen in this situation:


The playback stops abrupt and it is likely that you can not start it again properly or at all
You hear a very awkward noise
Nothing happens it seems but your project continues to playback with more or less severe timing issues
There are now some options to change this:

Setups without an onboard sound chip/standard sound card (only ASIO hardware is available)
There is not much possible to do except doing the obvious and that is disabling the Windows system sounds completely:


Go to the Start menu > Control Panel > Sound and Audio Devices
There select the tab "Sounds"
Select "No sounds" as "Sound scheme"
Confirm the following window with "No"
This procedure eliminates to main source of sample rate mismatch issues. However, these points remain:


Applications starting audio playback outside of an already running Steinberg application can still change the sample rate
There is a speciality (dependent of the used video player) related to the import of video files when these files also contain an audio stream. If this stream does not use the same sample rate as the project a sample rate mismatch can also occur. This is not an application issue but due to the Windows architecture used for video playback.
Setups with available onboard sound chip or standard sound card
If you have such hardware available, besides your ASIO hardware, it is recommended to split the Windows playback from the ASIO playback:


Go to the Start menu > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices
There, select the tab "Audio"
Now make sure that you select the onboard sound chip/standard sound card as default device for "Sound playback" as well as for "Sound recording". In the example picture to the right you can see such a setup: The "Soundmax" entry is an onboard sound chip, the other ports below are from the ASIO hardware (a RME Digi96-8/PST).
It is now essential to check the red encircled option "Use only default devices". Make sure a check mark is set.
Now you have splitted Windows playback and ASIO playback. Everything played back within Windows is routed to the sound chip. Playback from an host application using the ASIO driver of your audio hardware is now running without interferences.

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 11/11/2006 - 04:28
Here are the Realtek Audio chips found on the motherboard specs:
High-performance DACs with 95dB SNR (A-Weighting), ADCs with 85dB SNR (A-Weighting)
Meets performance requirements for audio on PC2001 systems and Microsoft WLP 2.x
Ten DAC channels support 16/20/24-bit PCM format for 7.1 sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel output
2 stereo ADCs support 16/20/24-bit PCM format, one for stereo microphone, the other for legacy mixer recording
All DACs support 44.1k/48k/96k/192kHz sample rate
All ADCs support 44.1k/48k/96kHz sample rate
16/20/24-bit S/PDIF-OUT supports 44.1k/48k/96k/192kHz sample rate
16/20/24-bit S/PDIF-IN supports 44.1k/48k/96kHz sample rate
Up to four channels of microphone array input are supported for AEC/BF application
High-quality analog differential CD input
Supports external PCBEEP input and built-in digital BEEP generator
Software selectable 2.5V/3.75V VREFOUT
Two jack detection pins, each designed to detect up to 4 jacks
Reserve analog mixer architecture for backward compatibility with AC'97
Wide range (–80dB ~ +42dB) volume control with 1.5dB resolution of analog to analog mixer gain
All analog jacks are stereo input and output re-tasking for analog plug & play
Built-in headphone amplifiers for each re-tasking jack
2 GPIOs (General Purpose Input/Output) for customized applications
Power support: Digital: 3.3V; Analog: 3.0V~5.0V (Minimum AVDD is 3.0V)
Pin compatible with the ALC880 and ALC882
Enhanced S/PDIF-IN circuitry ensures compatibility with consumer DVD players
48-pin LQFP 'Green' package
Meets Microsoft WHQL/WLP 2.x audio requirements
EAX™ 1.0 & 2.0 compatible
Direct Sound 3D™ compatible
A3D™ compatible
I3DL2 compatible
HRTF 3D Positional Audio
Emulation of 26 sound environments to enhance gaming experience
10-Band Software Equalizer
Voice Cancellation and Key Shifting in Karaoke mode
Realtek Media Player
Enhanced Configuration Panel to improve user experience
Microphone Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Noise Suppression (NS), and Beam Forming (BF) technology for voice application
ALC883D features optional Dolby® Digital Live output for consumer equipment
ALC883DTS features optional DTS® Connect software

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 11/11/2006 - 04:36
Now here are the specs for any run of the mill soundblaster or audigy card:
64 audio channel playback with independent sample rates
24-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at 96kHz sample rate
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of digital sources at 96kHz to analog 5.1 speaker output
16-bit and 24-bit recording with sampling rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz
SPDIF output up to 24-bit resolution at selectable sampling rate of 44.1, 48 and 96kHz

So like I said if they have the same specs and support the same drivers how do I know which one is a better source for recorind audio?SQ?
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