SoundCard DREAMS and reality

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Kemble, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. Kemble

    Kemble Member

    Mar 4, 2002
    Used that catch title to get you in here. Here's the deal- Going with a P4 northwood deal (the Opus deal). Was thinking of using MAudio card- Audiophile, but want MORE INPUTS, so Delta44. But after reading in here more and more, I am undecided.
    SO ANYONE, please answer 2 questions (I am a home studio user for now, but want to be on the radio! :D )
    1. If I were paying, what D/A I/O set up would you get for the system in your home studio?
    2. In light of economics and reality, what would you get.
    Please explain yourself so I understand not just WHAT by also WHY!

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Nick Driver

    Nick Driver Guest

    I've been so undecided about what to get too, but after hearing some work done with the Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96, and not being able to afford the Q10 right now, I think I'm going to try to buy the DP 24/96 next payday.

    This guy's website has some downloadable mp3 demos of his songs done on the DP24/96. If you'll ignore the lossy MP3 compression, you can still hear the quality of the audio interface in there. I was impressed.
  3. Kemble

    Kemble Member

    Mar 4, 2002
    To add to the mix:
    I just got back from ebay. Looking for P4B266. There are 'new' ones there. USB 2.0. Price: $150 or so. I noticed too they all have a GAME PORT. Am I correct in thinking I can use this for MIDI control via my MIDI/gameport cable?
  4. Nick Driver

    Nick Driver Guest

    Does the onboard joystick port require the onboard sound to also be enabled? If so, that's a couple IRQs gobbled up unless you want to stack them on IRQ 9 which might cause further problems.

    EDIT: Re; Ebay, I duuno how comfortable I'd be buying a new mobo there. I bought some computer parts once from someone on Ebay (my only purchase there ever) and got burned. I know several other folks who got burned buying from Ebayers.

    The 3 best online parts vendors I've found are, and Had nothing but good dealings with all three of these and their prices are generally near the best that can be found on pricewatch.
  5. SirRiff

    SirRiff Guest


    Mike G, I am exactly like you man. I would give my left testicle (and most of my right) to sit at home with a 8 channel 24/96 system all day and just make music. Unfortunately I'm not cute enough to be in a boy band or going to be a rock star of any sort so i need to be practical.

    I gotta say, if you are at all serious about this stuff and think you are going to recording in some form for a long long time my opinion is to get something that is scalable. RME cards are good for your PCI interface because they have a good reputation and you can add a few ADAT interfaces to them. Then you just gotta get pre amps and AD converters. For the AD converters lucid are often recognized as the best, a bit pricey though. As for preamps, I'm a bit fuzzy on the solution to getting 8 quality preamps without going to a mackie mixer. I think lucid makes pres too, but getting more and more lucid stuff raises the price.

    I am very interested in what people think of as solutions for getting 8 quality preamps if your AD interface is lucid and your PCI is RME. Cause if you can get some transparant pre amps added to that setup you are a very very happy man. Then, after you have your PREAMP-CONVERTER-PCICARD pathway created for 8 channels (of very high quality sound!) you could add another breakout box of preamps/converters (a relatively cheap one) connect it to your RME by lightpipe, and you have SIXTEEN FREAKING INPUTS. You can easily do a full band with the drums fully covered in mics....<drools>.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    My reasoning is that once I drop 2000$ for a kick ass computer this summmer, I want to invest in good stuff that won't limit me as i get better at quality recordings. My main goal is to make music, not fiddle with cables, and I am willing to put some money into it over the next year or two.

    You sound like you enjoy recording, but still, money don't grow on trees, so we gotta look for good deals too.

    The Delta 1010 and the aarkvark Q10 both give 8 analog I/O and 2 channels digital I/O via SPDIF. The Q10 has preamps which I have heard are good, and both are expandable to at least 3 boxes.

    I'm not sure how drastically the prices vary between the PREAMP-LUCID-RME setup or the PREAMP-Delta100 or Aardvark Q10. IT would seem the first setup with 3 individual componants would be the most expensive (someone want to do some prices quotes for us?) But it also gives you the best quality and control at each step of the audio path.

    This is a very interesting topic, I hope some people with more experience will give us some opinions.

  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well, the RME cards are indeed the top choice these days for PCI interfaces goes..especially the 96/52. Now, if you are doing work at home for yourself why go 24/96? Do you really think you are going to hear the difference from 24/48? Personally, I dont think so....There are certain applications in which you need that resolution..DVD and Surround for DVD...plain and simple.
    I work for Apogee Electronics and have this discussion with several prominent engineers and we all agree with that 24/96 is not for the home user. It's nice to know the hardware can handle that but it's not a neccessity.
    Alot of Nuendo users are going the full RME route for AD and DA...
    Of course being an Apogee employee I also would endorse the AD-16 and DA-16..both units are 1RU and have 16 channels in and out..connections are a 25pin D-Sub Analog and stock option Adat outputs in S/MUX or normal mode.
    Lucid are nice indeed as well, any converter can be expensive but also bear in mind what you are using it for.
    Audio cards are definately something to do your homework on..everyone has their opinions and biased facts about them. I've played with a lot of the cards out there and in dealing with the tech side of it I see which cards are easier to configure and get working. This is an important factor as well as quality. That's what I chose to go with Echo Audio. Ease of operation and some great sounding converters. M-Audio stuff sounds great but can be a pain to get working if it's not on the right slot or IRQ!
    Aardvark I've never really been a fan for their stuff. Flaky drivers and unpredictable quirkiness with the cards as well. Maybe they fixed them but so far I havent heard good relults on tech support or reliable operation. I've heard "some" good reports but the bad reports out number those.
    I like going with Analog inputs on a sound card rather than optical. Until I can truly afford external pre's and so forth then I will think about it.
    Again, bearing in mind I dont do multiple inputs at once. I usually do two at most so thus spending money for that type of operation is uneccessary for me...maybe down the road but for my home....nah!
    Well, I've done enough babbling for one post!
    Opus :D
  7. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Well, the Q10 gets you the best converters (IMO) you can reasonably expect for the money, and eight very useable mic pre's, right off the bat. It's going to be a while for most people before anything in that box will be a limiting factor in terms of product quality.
  8. SirRiff

    SirRiff Guest


    Well obviously your logic is right opus, i really don't NEED 8 imputs of 24/96 right now...BUT after spending high school recording my whole band through a boombox, then getting a 4 channel mixer to do a band, then getting my yamaha MD8 which has multiple imputs but not pristine sound quality or nondestrutive editing; the thought of recording a full band cleanly gets me mentally aroused.

    Now if i could only find a drummer who owns his own drumest, can play in 4/4, shows up on time, and doesn't live with his girlfriend.

    But seriously, compters and audio stuff is so relatively cheap these days, that i find it makes sense to get stuff that lasts. Especially since you can never outgrow a card with 16 channel imputs, or 24/96 would last me forever and ever i think...till i am old and grey.

    I wanna rock
  9. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    If anybody's looking for 16 ins/outs NOW, I just recently found out about Creamware's new A16 Ultra. I haven't heard much bad about their stuff, and their head tech support guy claims that they priced this unit near cost as an incentive to buy the rest of their systems. (Yeah, I know, and Opus likes Apogee... :=) ) Anyway, these units sell for about $1100, and have already been tested with an add-on (not sure of price) that allows USB 2.0 operation with no other hardware - 16 in/out A/D/A, TRS 1/4" connectors, 24/96 thruout, but wait there's more...


    I know guys were talking budget, but $1100 for 16 channels would only be $550 for 8, rotsa ruck finding that price. Soon as I get time, I'm gonna check it out further - just another option in a sea of indecision... Steve
  10. SirRiff

    SirRiff Guest

    for all that means....

  11. jscott

    jscott Guest

    OPUS2000, nice to see a comment that brings it back to reality. ;) I think people are getting "spec" crazy in a lot of cases. I see no reason for the home user to ever use beyond 24/44.1. Right now, it all has to go back to 44.1 anyway if you're to push your product and downsampling has an effect that you can avoid if you just keep it all 44.1 anyway.

    Most aren't really capable, and/or require the storage space, equipment and real estate required to store and produce CD's that need anything else. But I guess 96 is what dreams are made of?

    A better investment might be sound treatment, microphones, modules, etc? IMHO

    So I guess that brings me to, what in your opinion is the nicest sounding yet least expensive 8-I/O converter box out there? I know you said that you don't do multi i/o, but do you have an opinion if you had to pick 1?

Share This Page