Delta 44 - crap

Soundcard crap

Just to warn anyone who might think about buying the Delta 44 PCI…this card is shit. It has absolutely the same quality as my stock card. Same noise when I turn up the high and mid frequencies on the eq.
The only positive thing is that it has 4 out and ins. I can cget better sound quality from my dinosaur Tascam 244 4track.

Oh, i see you are angry with the card. But, if you have time, post a little what you believe is the problem, maybe we can help you. Delta cards have been always rated like good cards, good convertes and good drivers. One question that always is done, maybe you are not a newbie and know it, is if your system is grounded, i mean, is connected to the ground. That avoid a lot of interference&static problems.

Yeah, you’re the first negative post I’ve seen on the 44. Could it be (could it…) your PC? Sounds crazy, maybe, but there’s an awful of of stuff in there… but I’m not an expert- closer to a newbie with all this. I’m just piping in 'cause it’d be interesting to find out what the reason for the trouble is.

Could you try your card on someone else’s machine?

Well, I believe my system is grounded, although I must say im a noob in that department. (my plugs are 3 pinned)
Whenever I record tracks, even at about 1-3db, and then tweak the EQ, especially the high band, I can hear a distinct noise. I believe it is generated from the computer environment.
I understand that with any PCI card there will be noise, but what pisses me off is that it is the same level as my stock card. For me the Delta provides no improvement in sound quality even at 24/96.
If there is a way to eliminate or at least minmize that that noise, please let me know.

Well, first, let me say that the fact that you have plugs 3 pinned dont means that you have a ground connection. You can have the 3 pin plug, and inside your wall, only connected 2 of them, since, it works. Worth the pitty to investigate a little, but warning, if you dont know about electricity, keep yourself, and let someone qualified to give a look.
Second, dont matter how great is a card, if you connect to it a noisy mixer, bad condition cables, a bad microphone, or something wrong, it can ruin the chain.
Maybe if you describe what you have connected to the Delta, and you can post a little mp3 or wav of the sound you get, it can be a tip.

Hi Staggerlee,

Sorry to hear you have been having trouble with your Delta.

I have very good results with my Audiophile 24/96, a sister card of the Delta 44. A couple of things to look at:

1. Do you have a card in the PCI slots next to the Delta’s interface? Try to have nothing next to the Delta if possible or at least try to shuffle your cards so that the worst noisemakers are away from the Delta.

2. Make sure that all your digital cables, monitors etc are far from your audio sourcea and audio interconnects. I had noise troubles no matter what sound card I used until I moved everything in order to avoid noise pickup.

Something to try:

Short out the line level inputs right at the input to the Delta and record the silence to a file. Make a note of where the record level meters rest when things are in this state.

Next hook up your preamp/mixer or whatever you are using with your source, ground its input and set any faders the way you would during normal recording. Record the silence to a file. Again, make a note of the meter levels.

Next, take your microphone, wrap it in foam and put it in a box or take your guitar and totally damp out the strings with a cloth and hook it up like you do when you record and place it physically where you would have it while recording… Set all faders the way you would when you are normally recording and record the silence. Note the record level meters.

You will end up with several meter readings plus several sound files that can help us isolate the source of the noise. It is also possible that your settings are somehow effecting the noise levels you are encountering. Gain staging not only effects clipping in the signal chain but also the noise levels that get amplified in the signal chain. If you are unfamiliar with the term “gain staging” please do a search. This is one thing that is essential to understand if you want a clean recording.

If you do as I suggest, please let us know what you find.

BTW: What are you using for a source and a preamp?

Peace,
TrackGrrrl

You’ve had plenty of suggestions to try, but just to add some balance to this for future readers, my Delta 44 is EXCELLENT.

Quality is miles better than my old SB live (which was also very good).

M-Audio do have a good reputation and I’ve not heard any negative reports elsewhere.

Perhaps you have a faulty card?


Mark

Is that noise always there ?

Or just as you are tweaking ?

I suspect it’s the soundcard picking up some digital noise from a high freq. clock/data line in the PC. Probably cos something is not shielded in the PC.

I’ve had similar problems in the past. Removing unnecessary cables (like the audio cable that goes from the CDROM to the soundcard) often helps, as does keeping the soundcard away from potential noise sources (like other cards)

Or could it be signal path? Are you using 20 ft unbalanced patches or something like that in close proximity to a dimmer switch or flourescents? Hi-Z mics into balanced inputs? I am just wondering if there isn’t something basically wrong with your signal chain that may cause noise no matter what card you are using.

Yeah, what’s your outboard gear?

If you ever suspect that you may have an external grounding problem ( In your house ) or just want to ensure that you have a clean grnd ,a wire can be run to a cold water pipe and brought up to your recept and or the cpu cab. In houses the nuetral (white wires on your recept) and the grounds(bare wires on the green screw) all are grounded to the can at your panel. Non linear loads like motors ( furnace, bathroom exhaust, could create some noise and worse.Newer houses are better grounded and dont have much problem but an old ( 50’s or older and depending on where you live and who wired your house ) could just be a 2 wire set up and just be grnd to the recept box.Usually motor loads affect electronic things when they start because of the start up surge.( locked rotor amps)but could definely induce a hum thru magnetic interference. This is probably more info on wiring than you wanted to hear so I will shut up.

I believe the Delta uses the envy24 chip, the same as my C-Port. The signal to niose ratio should be over 100 dB. Like others here, I think maybe the problem is another segment of your setup. Good luck troubleshooting it.

A bit of trouble-shooting is in order…

To test your electrical outlet, you can use this:



You can find at Radio Shack for $5.99

To isolate your copmuter from your outboard gear, simply unplug all of your cables going in to your Delta and record some blank tracks. If the noise goes away, then your problem is not your computer or the Delta… and vise-versa.

Good luck!
-John
:cool:

polarity testers will show you if the receptacle is wired properly and grounded but not show the quality of the ground.

Ok, first of all thanks to everyone who is taking their precious time to help me out, I guess Im more of a noob with computer gear than I thought.
This house is new, 30 yrs old, so it should be grounded.
Anyway, here is my basic set up.
I have a keyboard tru which I play back midi so I can use its sounds and then I feed it with a 1/4’’ straight into the input of the soundcard. The keyboard itself is crappy, so it produces a high noise floor because of the power supply hum. But this is not my problem.
For vocal tracks I actually record first on tape (personal preference) with a Samson CO3 tru ART V3 preamp and then feed my 4track out put into the input of the card to digitize the tape track.
This is my basic set up, Im a songwriter not a pro engineer ;)…
I’ve tried recording a silent track with all cables and gear unplugged from the card, the noise floor is about -87db. Druring playback, if I tweak the Ekulizer busses (sorry one of my letters doesn’t work, guess which) all the way to the right the noise is amped up to about -70db.
The same happens when I record a loud track, if i have to tweak the ekulizer busses, especially high and mid frekuencies the hiss becomes pretty audible. To mask it I always turn the high and mid as much to the left as I can. But as I said the hiss is the same as my stock SB card and that’s unacceptable.
Now the interesting thing is that if I monitor the playback through the monitor mixer option in Patchbay/Router menu of the delta, the hiss is less audible, but if I feed my monitor system from the wavout1/2 of the Patchbay/router the hiss is pretty loud. Also when I playback tracks that I 've recorded on the stock card tru the monitor mixer option, the hiss is again less audible.
Thing is, I don’t know which route is a tru representation of the kuality of the recording. I might have to record a track onto a CD and see what happens.
Again thanks for everyone who is pitching in.

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Samson CO3 tru ART V3 preamp and then feed my 4track out put into the input of the card to digitize the tape track.

I’d skip the 4 track machine and go from the preamp out to the delta in using an appropriate cable. If you absolutely have to use the 4 track, skip the ART and go from the main or track out on the 4track to the delta44.
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I’ve tried recording a silent track with all cables and gear unplugged from the card, the noise floor is about -87db.

That sounds like could be set for 16bit. Recheck and set for 24.
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The same happens when I record a loud track, if i have to tweak the ekulizer busses, especially high and mid frekuencies the hiss becomes pretty audible

That’s because most hiss resides up in the higher frequencies. When you boost it, it’ll become more apparent.

How do the recorded tracks sound through something like Media Player or a wav editor? Are they noisy there - there could be something going on with the mixer settings of the Delta. I had some stupid amount of noise on a single channel once, turned out I was monitoring an open channel with the preamp gain turned up, all the time (a herc 16/12 fw quirk).

Willy.
Quote (Tom Hicks @ Jan. 11 2006,08:12)
I believe the Delta uses the envy24 chip, the same as my C-Port. The signal to niose ratio should be over 100 dB. Like others here, I think maybe the problem is another segment of your setup. Good luck troubleshooting it.

Hey Tom, i also use one c-port! A pitty it is not more produced and supported, great&cheap card.
Quote (Staggerlee @ Jan. 11 2006,09:09)
Thing is, I don't know which route is a tru representation of the kuality of the recording. I might have to record a track onto a CD and see what happens.

That was going to be my next suggestion -- burn one of your tracks to a CD and play it back through your stereo to see if the noise is still there...