Sound Card Selection Help

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Fintan, Mar 14, 2005.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Fintan

    Fintan Guest

    hey everyone.

    i was wondering if you could help me pick out the best sound card for digital recording. i am in dire need of one, and there are so many out there that i cannot decide which one to go for. i would like detailed opinions on why the suggested sound card is worth it, etc. and i am looking for something either external, or a combination. either way, i need to avoid the system noise that i am getting at the moment- it is driving me nuts and just set me back completely until i get this issue resolved.

    i am somewhat on a budget because i am not a professional engineer or anything, but i want something quality. something i can work with, and something with plenty of options and flexibility. i would like to keep it under $500, but if there is something you really think is worth it and is more, then i would be willing to consider it, but i am definitely not willing to spend more than $1000. i am still also in the process of buidling a new system, and i was wondering if any of you know which processor is better- intel or amd? i have heard that one is better than the other for digital video and audio but i cannot remember which one. i believe amd would make sense because it is more like the mac when it comes to multi-tasking, etc. but i could be wrong. the new amd 4000+ is very appealing.

    thanks in advance

  2. mcmilliron

    mcmilliron Guest

    I really like my emu 1212m card. it is internal but I don't have any noise problems. you can also check out the emu 1820M which comes with a breakout box. they both have the same converters.
    Emu claims that the converters are the same ones that come with protools. IMO They sound killer! You can't beat it for only $200.00

    I would go with AMD because they are cheaper and run just about as good if not better than Intel.

    hope this helps[/url]
  3. Fintan

    Fintan Guest

    thanks mcmilliron.

    i was looking at e-mu previously, and i did like the 1820m a lot, but i wasnt sure if it is the best product in that price range or not, which is why i came here. it does look great in a lot of ways, so i may end up going with it, but i would still like to see some other people's opinions and suggestions.

    thanks again!
  4. Deusx

    Deusx Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    My dear friend from your post i am very much feeling that we are in the same boat, actually a week ago i started here with my first post asking the same question about the best audio interface as my budget is 1000$.
    i had an option of Aardvark direct pro q10 too which costs 800$
    a pretty good external rackmount pci interface a friend of mine has it, he is a pro. it has a good sound quality.

    after my post a few angels appeared here and gave me different advices on what i needed. one of them if i am not wrong named
    "Arrowfan" suggested me of the MOTU 896HD audio interface
    i looked their website for its
    all good features. kept search for all day and night for other cards.
    but i was convinced that this is the thing i need, because i want it to be with me for a long period. it costs about 1000$
    its features are very appealing to me. it has a firewire interface and it has no latency.

    Please check out their web site ""

    another card was suggest a Lynx 2 pci sound card that is also 1000$.

    you said about the pc noise i am also very frustrated with that, besides i need a pro quality setup for my homestudio.
    i've ordered for this card and soon i'll get it.
    i am now also looking to build up a good pc.
  5. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    If you can afford it, the Lynx stuff is top-notch from what I hear. I can recommend the RME Multiface + PCI card ($700-800). A little more dough and you could get the RME Fireface and have their best converters and a couple extra mic pres if you don't have any. I looked real hard at the MOTU 896 when I was shopping too. For budget soundcard, I think some people are happy with the Presonus Firepod.
    I personally trust Intel Pentium IV (not Celeron, not VIA chipset anything). A lot of techies like tweaking their AMD's though.
  6. Fintan

    Fintan Guest

    wow thanks you two- those were great posts. extremely helpful! you know exactly what i am looking for and you recommended fantastic products! i thank you immensely! i havent fully made up my mind, but i will post here again when i decide which product to go with, and then i will post again to let you know the results.

    this place rocks.

  7. Fintan

    Fintan Guest

    i think im going with the 896HD- it is the most appealing to me at the moment. im also going to go ahead and get a copy of digital performer, and i think i may simply go with a new g5 now. opinions? thanks everyone for your posts.

  8. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I don't think you can go wrong there. :cool: Many people have that exact setup, so you won't be going it alone. You will probably want to get a good preamp or two for your main tracks. And so the ball rolls.......
    Happy shopping.
  9. Deusx

    Deusx Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    happy ending :D

    No, it's just the beginning
    Good luck :cool:
  10. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I'll add my two cents to the E-MU audio interfaces, any of them as having incredible quality and value for the money.
  11. aksel

    aksel Guest

    I have own >MANY< soundcards EMU, MOTU, RME, CREAMWARE, LYNX... And I can recommend you 2 things :

    1 : Intel Pentium is the way to go ( like said Reggie, no VIA chipset, take a real big motherboard )

    2 : In my experience EMU is not stable, MOTU is not working at all ( on PC, great on Mac though ), RME / CREAMWARE are incredible : stability / quality / price etc...

    And I know what I say : I'm in the computer business, I program stuffs. All I could say about EMU is that their drivers are not as mature as for the others products.
  12. Fintan

    Fintan Guest

    i understand why an e-mu product would be very appealing, but in my case, the motu 896HD took the cake. it is a very professional interface with plenty of options and mic pres as well, which is why i chose it over a more budget oriented e-mu card.

    aksel, i have decided to go with an apple g5 system instead of a pc for many reasons, but i thank you for that advice. i personally do not like the new intel processors which is why if i were going with a pc, i would have gone with amd. my question was which one is supposed to be better for audio/video.

    the 896HD is compatible with both pcs and macs, so im not sure what was wrong with your product, but i havent heard any issues such as that before

    rme and creamware products are very nice, but i chose the 896HD because i am also going to purchase digital performer, and i might as well just stick with one brand as much as i can.

    i have been meaning to talk to my friends over at for advice on this kinda stuff also, but i havent had the chance

    thanks everyone!

    i'll keep this thread updated

  13. fontane

    fontane Guest

    agree... 896hd.. bang for your buck with nice converters ie s/n ratio and dynamic range :)

    if you dont need features? apogee mini or mini DAC :)
  14. Fintan

    Fintan Guest

    that would actually be nice to have for recording live on a laptop based system, which could happen in the near future- so thanks for the suggestion, i'll have to look into apogee more sometime down the road.

    thanks fontane

  15. itchy

    itchy Guest

    just out of curiosity - what's wrong with VIA chipsets?

  16. aksel

    aksel Guest

    You won't regret it !

    If you stay with a mac, then you cannot get better than MOTU... it's reliable on those systems.

    VIA chipsets just are cheap chipsets...
    ...And we don't want cheap chipsets for audio/video huh ?
    the problem is the IO connectivity of the VIA chipsets aren't fast enough / reliable enough ... So with greedy PCI card ( for instance I had a problem with a Creamware card ), the PCI just lack of ressources ( band pass MB/s ).
  17. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

  18. aksel

    aksel Guest

    yes you are probably right, I wrote that a bit quickly. VIA has surely improved their chipset recently, I was speaking of the previous generation, sorry for that.
    ( I would not buy one though )
  19. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    I have one of the previous generations of the VIA chipsets (VIA KT133) 2001, and it has indeed been a disappointment. I am currently building a new machine and was looking at the AMD + Socket 939 motherboards. I will do more research before buying, however.
  20. itchy

    itchy Guest

    hey shelltones, i just built (as in, this week) a new setup with an athlon 64 3200+ socket 939 and abit AV8 mobo. it uses the VIA K8T800 Pro chipset. That's why i was wondering why people are down on it. the reviews i read prior to buying all seemed positive.

    Setup was easy, but I couldn't tell you performance-wise yet, because i'm waiting for my ddr in the mail. I've been using 1 crucial stick of 512 MB ddr 333 during setup. 2 sticks of 512 MB ddr 400 are on the way, so then i can really check it out.

    i'll let you know what happens-


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