24-bit Upgrade

Soundcard question


I currently have a SoundBlaster 16-bit soundcard and n-track ver. 3.3…I want to get a new sound card so that my mixer isn’t connected to the PC by way of an 1/8" stereo input, preferably RCA connects, I suppose…The Audiophile 24/96 seems to be a popular choice. However, I guess if I get this card I’ll also have to upgrade from the 16-bit to 24-bit version of n-Track…My questions:

1. Is it true, would I have to upgrade to the 24-bit version of n-Track to use the Audiophile 24/96?

2. I’m wary of upgrading to the latest 4.x version of n-Track as I have had no troubles with 3.3 and see loads of posts on bugs in the forum about the 4.x builds…Does anyone know if I’d be able to download a v.3.3 24-bit of n-Track instead of having to download the latest version in 24-bit?

3. Any suggestions for a soundcard other than the Audiophile 24/96? Pros? cons?



I’ve used the 2496 card for a couple of years now, I don’t think you’re gonna find a better card for the price.

Thanks, Mr. Barton.

Any insight on my other questions? Will I need to upgrade to 24-bit? and is it possible to upgrade to a 24-bit 3.3 version. Should I email Flavio, yethinks?

Thanks again,


I don’t think you have to upgrade to the 24 bit version on n-Track, but you may as well so that you can get full use out of the 2496. (just remember to throw away the driver CD that comes in the box wiht the card and go directly to the M-Audio website for the latest and greatest drivers!)

As for being wary of upgrading to 4.0… I was having so much trouble with 3.3 that I finally upgraded. While still not perfect, 4.0 is much more stable for me. Your case may be different, as the Gods of recording choose to torment us all in unique and cruel ways. :laugh:

Check with Flavio about upgrading 3.3 to 24 bit.



Thanks very much…I haven’t posted to or read the forum in a while…Looking over some of the posts, it seems egos and insecurities have fueled a lot of recent topics…It’s nice to see that some folks are still providing useful info with a down-to-earth delivery…

Thanks again,


John Barton,

If you read this post again: What is your current computer set up, if you don’t mind me asking?

Also, what tweaks or adjustments have you made to the Audiophile 24/96 and n-track to give you the best sound (i.e., no clicks and/or pops) and low-latency for recording live instruments with tracks already recorded?


I’ve got a home-built system:

WinXP Pro (dual boot, 2nd boot configured per MusicXP.net)
Intel MB
Intel P4 3.0GHz CPU
1 Gig RAM (2 512 sticks)
ATI9800 pro video card running two monitors
M-Audio (Audiophile) 2496
250G SATA HD (Used only for data)
80G EIDE HD (Used only for programs)

Probably the key item is the dual-boot with the config tweaked for recording, and nothing else installed except n-Track and Soundforge, and all network connections disabled.


yes, you do HAVE to upgrade to 24-bit. or n will just give you the error of a wrong format supported …

v4 is getting better everyday. with the new freeze feature you can take much better advantage of a computer that’s not as fast. it seems quite stable to me. though honestly I haven’t run it through the gauntlet yet.

I don’t know how many inputs you need, but I’d recommend the delta 1010lt too. I had that card for a while and it was awesome.

Musician’s Friend has The Echo Mia on sale for $99…


That’s a GREAT price fro stereo I/O.

In order to set-up dual-boot, you would have start with a complete re-install of your HD…

One of the first steps in installing windows is when it asks you to setup your drive partitions. At this point, you would set up maybe to or three seperate partitions… these will look like seperate hard drives, but they’re just seperate spaces on your physical disk.

For example:

I have an 80G drive that is divided into two partitions:
1 - 60G
2 - 20G

You then install Windows completely onto one of the partitions and put all of your games, Internet apps, etc… onto it.

Next you install Windows onto the other partition, tweak it per winxp.net, and use it only for n-Track.

From then on, when you boot your computer, it will ask you which partition to load from.

I hope I’m making sense here…

Maybe this will help:

Multi-boot info

It’s not really that complicated if you are comfortable re-formatting your HD and re-installing Windows, this is just one little extra step in the process.



man i read the first few posts from these people, didn’t read them all, but dude… I have a Delta M-Audio 66 soundcard w/breakout box… uses 1/4 inch inputs and outputs, its a 24 bit soundcard, and i have n-track version 4.0 non 24 bit (which pisses me off that its not 24 bit) but i record find without 24 bit… go listen to my recording, and tell me what u think… its as professional as it gets…


Whether you need to upgrade to 24-bit n-Track depends on your luck.

In theory, you should be able to set the mode to 16-bit (hammer under recording meters). However, when I upgraded from using an internal soundcard to MOTU 828, that mode just didn’t work. So I paid the $24 or whatever and never looked back.

The expense of upgrading is well worth it. Especially as performer/engineer – recording yourself – it’s really great to be able to leave quite a bit more headroom and not sweat the levels so carefully when you’re recording yourself. Focus more on the music, and let the soundcard do its job. With 16 bits, you have to be very careful about peak levels, or you can end up with rather poor recordings.

Thanks to all for your feedback.

Truly appreciated.


If this helps…

I recently upgraded to the EMU0404, which is a 24-bit card. I rqn into problems using the ASIO drivers. Flavio’s advice was to use one of the other equally good drivers, which I tried and indeed did not pose much of a problem, but ultimately I wanted the ASIO, so upgraded.

I recall that someone on this forum was hacked off by the EMU ASIO drivers, which in themselves should not force the user down a 24-bit route, but unfortunately did for this particular card. Whether this is the same for the Audiothingy I have no idea

Anyway, I am happy to have upgraded

In theory, you do not need to upgrade your current version, but I would check with Flavio to be sure.

Good luck