Laptop

Soundcards and laptops

Howdy,
I know ntrack pretty well but I don’t know laptops and I now have one, and am traveling alot. I’m pretty sure it has a 16 bit soundcard because ntrack won’t rec set at 24. I want to know what is the best way to go, when buying a device to intergrade 4 lines in at 24 bit for multitracking? Anyone have success doing that?
thx,
tom

I’m under the impression that a cardbus is less trouble and more of a direct link to the mother board for faster responce.
Here is one that might get a lapping dog started:
Emu 1616 Laptop Audio interface via cardbus :p

I can only report what I’m using…
I have a Gateway M520 XP laptop (widescreen) and I’m using a firewire Motu828mkII with a Glyph firewire drive to record to.

Zero problems. Ultra stable. Excellent quality.

Quote (TimOBrien @ May 14 2006,19:54)
I can only report what I'm using....
I have a Gateway M520 XP laptop (widescreen) and I'm using a firewire Motu828mkII with a Glyph firewire drive to record to.

Zero problems. Ultra stable. Excellent quality.

Thanks Tim,
Sounds good, I'll take a look at it!

My experience with usb 2 says stay away from it. On paper it sounds good, but something in the data transfer (burst packages) and asio (streaming) seem to get in each others way. A constant data stream type like firewire or cardbus is the way to go. Cardbus seems to be the solution with the least interference from other parts of the pc. I’m using the emu1616m and have no problems any more. I went for the m version because of the rave reviews I got about the converters (same as protools), but I don’t know whether I could notice the difference :) and the 1616 is $100 cheaper. Creative have a web site where they sell off refurbished units with complete garantee for $100 less than shop price. The software bundle that comes with it is also worth thinking about. I wish I had known about it before investing in other programmes. I’m not plugging emu, just enjoying being able to record on my laptop again after my disaster with usb2.

Quote (TimOBrien @ May 14 2006,19:54)
I can only report what I'm using....
I have a Gateway M520 XP laptop (widescreen) and I'm using a firewire Motu828mkII with a Glyph firewire drive to record to.

Zero problems. Ultra stable. Excellent quality.

Hey tim thats an impressive bundle, not a bad price for a rack full of grear.
Quote (sinbad @ May 15 2006,04:15)
My experience with usb 2 says stay away from it. On paper it sounds good, but something in the data transfer (burst packages) and asio (streaming) seem to get in each others way. A constant data stream type like firewire or cardbus is the way to go. Cardbus seems to be the solution with the least interference from other parts of the pc. I'm using the emu1616m and have no problems any more. I went for the m version because of the rave reviews I got about the converters (same as protools), but I don't know whether I could notice the difference :) and the 1616 is $100 cheaper. Creative have a web site where they sell off refurbished units with complete garantee for $100 less than shop price. The software bundle that comes with it is also worth thinking about. I wish I had known about it before investing in other programmes. I'm not plugging emu, just enjoying being able to record on my laptop again after my disaster with usb2.

Thanks for shairing your experance on the sub, I've heard that cardbus is the way to go. I'm curious tho, isn't the card bus how you would add more memory to a notebook, or can that be done in a chop shop?
tom

Cardbus is just an interface like firewire or usb, much quicker. The card itself usualy contains some type of function such as WLAN or sound card or whatever. The plus with cardbus is that it has functions that don’t need your cpu. In the case of a sound card that means effects which won’t overload your machine, hence no hickups.

Hi Tom. There are plenty of inexpensive USB interfaces out there but mostly they are two in, two out. And in my experience, with laptops some work OK and some don’t, so when buying any USB audio interface for a laptop make sure you try before you buy or a or at least can exchange the thing. For four inputs, either firewire or cardbus will be fine. One point - Cardbus ports on laptops seem to be giving way to PC Express slots, so you might want to check the future laptop upgrade path if you invest in a Cardbus interface.

Finally, a word of recommendation for the Alesis Multimix combined mixer and firewire interface devices. I have the 12 channel version and after some driver installation hassle (an error in the manual) it works really well.

Good luck, cheers
TB

Hey Tom,

Been using a Compaq Athlon 2400+ laptop with M-Audio Duo USB and external firewire drive for files. Never had any problems but it is only 2 in/ 2 out when recording 24bit 96k. It has been my experience that if you are going to use a USB audio interface, DO NOT have anything else running through the USB at the same time (ie. optical mouse or USB harddrive…etc).

Cardbus sounds like the way to go (that way you can run an external drive on firewire), but $400 sounds a little steep just for an interface.

I’m a pretty diehard EMu fan. No better sounding card in the price range… period.

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$400 sounds a little steep just for an interface


True thats a lot of coin… but that 1616M is THE shiznit for laptop recording IMO. With an ADAT enabled 8 channel mic pre and a sack full of cables, you can track 16 channels at once with a laptop and a decent FireWire/USB2.0 drive. The EMU stuff sounds freakin’ awesome as well. Best bang for buck going.

D

EDIT: IF you don’t want or need all the I/O of a 1616M, EMU has a new line of USB2.0 interfaces coming out soon that have the same great converters and clock circuits as the PCI “M” models. Should be awesome as well…