My Soundcard : kill or keep

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Alanfc, Aug 25, 2003.

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  1. Alanfc

    Alanfc Guest


    OK so I'm paranoid about the external USB soundcard/box-thing I have.

    I've been recording on it for a few months now and everything sounds clean and no pops, dropouts, anything. My instruments sound like I want them to. I use a guitar with a mic'ed amp, I use a bass guitar direct in with a bass compressor pedal, and I use a simple drum machine going Mono into the external soundcard box/thing.

    I have the Edirol UA-5 going into Windows XP with 1 gb of RAM. Using Cakewalk Home Studio XL 2002. I use the old MME driver. I had alot of problems with the WDM and dropouts and gave up. The MME seemed fine to me, everything worked perfectly, so I went back to that.

    My question is, my use of USB -and - MME, according to everything I've read , seem like a tragic combo and practically the worst thing I can do...

    but isn't the USB issue about speed , and the MME issue about latency? I have no latency issues because my Edirol UA-5 has a control to monitor my input (without having to rely on the computer).
    I only record one instrument at a time, and none of my inputting is Digital, I'm sending everything in as Analog: Marshall/guitar mic, Bass DI, Drum machine.

    So do the shortcomings of USB and MME apply here, if things sound the way I want?

    I shopped a long time for a good USB card and Edirol UA-5 was my choice. Am I losing my mind wondering what I'm missing in terms of sound quality? Or , if it sounds good , it is good ? Now, the A/D converters, thats another question. I have no idea if I would even know if things could sound better....

    Can anyone give me an ideas of the quality/lack of quality for the A/D converters that could be in this Edirol UA-5 box? Is that where I could be coming up short? And if so, if I wanted to upgrade to better converters, would I have to buy a whole new soundcaard or is there some other external gadget that I can get?

    I admit I was worried about installing an internal soundcard myself, or having some shop put it in for me, thats why I shopped for External USB in the first place.

    thanks to anyone who can figure out what I'm saying; I guess I mean:

    Kill, or Keep the Edirol ?

  2. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Woodbridge, Va
    Home Page:
    Get rid of it. Too many good quality cards out there that will offer you more than what your getting w/ the Edirol.
  3. Alanfc

    Alanfc Guest

    Hi-thanks for the advice

    Is it the converters? the wordclock ? (whatever its called) How do I know what/who makes them? Is there both cheapo and a supremo makers of converters?

    Is it the USB?

    I appreciate the ideas but I want to understand what I'm lacking. I mean, what is "more " compared to what I have now?

    thanks alot
  4. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Woodbridge, Va
    Home Page:
    Opus I need your help. Well the way I look at it is that the Edirol stuff is marketed to us budget minded folk. Cheap , inexpensive , more bang for the buck , you know what I mean. I'm pretty sure the quality of the converters are'nt the same as say "a lucent labs or avid technologies". And personally , I'm not downing edirol products , but there's too many other good quality cards out on the market. You said this model supports USB. Are there other forms of connectivity ? Word clock I/O ? Digital I/O ? Most of the semi-pro and pro cards have these features. Look at some cards made by (I'll start w/ the cheapest units first) ST Audio DSP2000 , Delta Audio 1010 , Echo Audio Layla24 , Aardvark Direct Pro Q10 , Motu 2408 MkIII , and Digidesign's Digi series. These cards will allow you to focus on writing music rather than utilizing the same time , getting your card up & running.
  5. Alanfc

    Alanfc Guest

    dabmeister.... thanks!

    I haven't lost any music time on this issue, I'm just starting to look at more microphones and other new stuff. I want to make sure I'm not lacking in the soundcard dept. before I go on..

    Your reply gives me clues about what to look for:

    My UA-5 box has optical in/out, coaxial in/out, 1/4' unbalanced in/out, and stereo plugs in/out (RCA?). It was about $300, not cheap to me, but not hi-class either. With this variety of connections, you have any idea which one could be better than my USB?

    One of the 6 USB ports on my WIndows XP is 2.0. The Edirol claims to be USB 2.0 compatible. I've been trying to figure out how to make sure I'm using that port. But have found no firm proof in Device Manager or elswhere in my computer that I am. Surely there must be a way I can assign a particular USB port to a certain device. I'm working on that.

    Thanks again
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    The Edirol product lines have given nothing but problems to all the users I have talked to our helped on these forums.

    Switching to another device has always helped them and improved their sound in a big way.

    Consumer boxes like that are made with cheap components. Cheap components don't give you quality conversions, only garbage in and garbage out.

    Using the digital inputs would be a good solution but that doesn't help the drivers that are running the product.

    Opus :D
  7. Alanfc

    Alanfc Guest


    thanks all for your advice

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