Skip to main content

Which quality of the soundcard for mastering?

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.


aracu Sat, 02/10/2007 - 16:46
If everything is working properly, the only significant differences
directly effecting the audio quality will be in ¨destructive¨
processes, especially, different eqs, reverbs, dynamics
processers etc. Other than that, the different platforms (and
soundcards also to a certain extent) will produce different
workflows, which only indirectly effects the final mix, although
not literally effecting the audio quality, unless something is
causing files to become corrupted.

Michael Fossenkemper Sat, 02/10/2007 - 22:57
I'm not sure how this would be pointless. All I would be changing is the software that is doing the calculating. Coming out of a DAC is the way we hear it, so isn't that part of the "system". By eliminating the DAC, aren't you eliminating an important part of the process? sure there will be some difference in that part of the process is going to be analog, but how else would one Capture the difference, if there would be one, in what one is hearing without including the DAC? Maybe all it would test is how it communicates with the DAC, but isn't that important also?

I'm also not sure how 32 bit comes into play being that 2 of the processes are using TDM and that is running at 24 bit. Not sure if logic bumps it to 32 bit and then truncates it to 24 bit running through core audio and then into TDM. Or maybe the very nature of core audio in OSX is running at 32 bit and then gets truncated to 24?

Cucco Sun, 02/11/2007 - 05:35
Hey Mike -

I don't know that, if I were you, I'd even want to waste my time with the test. It appears that most everyone here agrees on the basic concept that digital is digital, from there, all other points are quite minute.

I say, if someone wants to argue with me that their DAW sounds better or their hard drive or RAM sound better...I'll gladly concede. Then...while they're spending all their money on high end Hard Discs, funky ribbon cables and mic/line cables made from the pubic hairs of male albino unicorns, I'll spend my money on more Schoeps, better converters and maybe a prostitute or two.

I guess my point is...even though there probably IS in fact something to prove, that something is so minute, I doubt that the results would be in anyway Earth shattering.

Cheers -