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Which quality of the soundcard for mastering?

Member for

21 years
Hey, mastering guys and gals,
Some people says, that if I use for the mastering software equipment only, I don´t need any expansive sound-card, because everything is doing in digital process. I mean that good soundcard is necessary for good monitoring of the mastered sound.
Thanks for any opinion.

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Member for

16 years 4 months

karbomusic Mon, 02/12/2007 - 17:25
Quick lPre-Test Clarification

I'm not sure everyone is fishing from the same pond so I want to clarify something....

I'm testing a system as a whole.

There should be no A/D-D/A conversions whatsoever. Well, maybe the one needed to monitor the results but this is not really the issue at hand. Let's take a different medium such as a Tiff image. Any "math" I do on that image has a finite and predictable result. There is no deviation, it is as simple as the fact that we all know that 2+2 will always resolve to 4 no matter what. Provided each app does the "same math" it has to be the same outcome. "It would not be Logical Captain" as Spock would say.. Computers are founded on that principle, its why they are what they are.

The same exists when playing back a file in two different pieces of software. All things being equal it should be the same result. Both apps call into the same subsystem and exploit the same function calls etc. and the same audio driver makes the same calls in order to stream the audio through the card. However, the number of settings involved with knowing without a doubt that both apps are passing the signal identically from input to output can be high.

Now if Audio App "A" handles a function slightly differently than Audio App "B" does (Nuendo's native Q range is 0-12, in Waves 0-100) then things are no longer equal.

On the otherhand, I do know that rounding errors etc are a fact of computer calculations. For example you can multipy, add, divide some decimal numbers and arrive at a different result than if you just added them all or something like that. However, I believe that even then the incorrect result is completely predictable, its incorrect but predictable..

I think it is just difficult to word the "explanations". I can see exactly what Michael is thinking but for the life of me I cannot put into words and it makes perfect sense. However, if the test is set up properly there will be a line that cannot be crossed for the test to be valid. As soon as you see where that line is a light bulb might go off saying. "Were both right".. Because what Michael hears is very real but possibly falls outside the confines of the test. Its just hard to draw the picture with words...

Best regards-

Karbo
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