New Inspiron Soundcard

Lack of inputs

My wife bought me a new Dell Inspiron which has the built in
Sound blaster Advance audio card which just has a mic in and aheadphone out jack. Any suggestions from you laptop users out there what I should do. I want to be able to input a small mixer.

The thing I suggest is that you get a USB based sound card. A lot of solutions with more than two inputs exist, among them EMU 0404 USB, Lexicon Omega, or (if you have the $$$ to spare) the MOTU 828MKII, with 8 ins/outs. Maybe the mic input may be used as a line input (although I doubt it), and in that case you only need a suitable cable between the laptop and the mixer. As an alternative, get a 2-channel USB based sound card like the M-Audio Transit.

regards, Nils

Hi, It depends what connections it has for an external interface. Firewire is preferred over Usb in general. Look at M-Audio, Motu, Presonus, Echo and Emu if it has a pmcia slot.

It’s possible your sound card actually HAS a line in – but you need a docking station to get access to it. (That’s what I had to do to get to the Line In on my Sony VAIO.) That said, you’ll probably pay about the same $$ for the docking station as for a decent Firewire or USB external sound box.

Thanks . I recorded a few tracks with my line 6 podxt plugged in the mic in. It actually sounded ok but It was a quick test. It does have a pmcia slot and a fire wire connection. Is’nt the main diff between a mic in and a line in that the mic in has some kind of pre amp circuitry?
I know some cards can tell if you plug in a mic level or line level device.
What should I be hearing by using the mic in instead of a line in when I record? I was able to record at normal levels. I am sure there are other dell E1705 users that are dealing with this.Thanks for any feedback

I’ve been using a laptop with the echo indigo pmcia-whatever-that-is card for a couple of years, with an external pair of preamps, and it is not the most elegant solution, but the sound is first rate, FWIW.