Recording 24 Bit

… with a 16 Bit soundcard?

Hi guys,

Here is a quick question.

If you have a USB capture device capable of recording at 24/96, but only a 16-bit soundcard, what results can you get?

The reason I ask is that the band and I are looking to record our own CD this time, rather than going to a studio, and the timing is pretty good as I am about to get myself a brand spanking new PC. However, one of our requirements will be multiple inputs, so that we can do things properly - I reckon the most we should need at one time will be 7 for the drummers mic set to go into.

The two options I have are to get a good 24bit/96KHz 8-10 input soundcard, or to go with a decent consumer soundcard and use something like the Edirol UA101, which offers 10 inputs and 10 outputs over USB2.

I like the second option because all my recording to date has been via a USB device and it is a familiar environment for me. However, it strikes me that I may have to pony up for a 24/96 card anyway in order to take advantage of the capabilities of a capture device like that.

Or does n-Track actually work internally at the appropriate bit-rate for the file, even if the soundcard can’t?

Or could I just use the 101 as the sound output device whilst mixing etc. and ignore the soundcard completely.

Thoughts anyone?

Cheers,

<!–QuoteBegin>

Quote
or to go with a decent consumer soundcard and use something like the Edirol UA101, which offers 10 inputs and 10 outputs over USB2.


You won’t need the soundcard with something like the 101. If it’s turned on and hooked up, windows will use it for everything especially if it’s the only sound device (which makes things easier in the end). You’ll also find that the UA-101, the FA-101 or the UA-1000 (and pretty much every other prosumer 24/96 card - I don’t include creative cards in there) will capture 24/96 just fine.

Example, I’ve got a hercules fw 16/12 as my only sound device - I play games through it, windows sounds, the lot, and also record 16 tracks at once at live gigs with it too (and mix, and master).

Edirol are about the only mob doing USB2 devices, firewire seems a bit more proven at this stage, pci more so.

Willy.

Hi Willy,

Thanks for that … I hadn’t come across the Hercules before, definitely interested in that one, particularly with the Firewire connection. Problem is a lot of the Firewire devices are outside my price bracket, or don’t have enough inputs - the Hercules is cheaper than the UA101!

:D

Cheers,

Well, here’s a few things I posted about it when I got it - it wasn’t all smooth sailing. SP2 must have a hotfix applied before installing the drivers which was probably the main cause of my problems.

http://www.ntrack.com/cgi-bin…ercules
http://www.ntrack.com/cgi-bin…ercules
http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer/20050210/

Look, I’d probably suggest a different unit all told. For the price it’s great, but Hercules haven’t released a new driver since march 2005 so I’m thinking that the support isn’t going to be there. The specs are about average, but there are better AD/DA’d specced units for the price (mainly the EMU 1820m). And you really need a mixer to minitor propery with it.

Willy.

<!–QuoteBegin>

Quote
. . . USB capture device capable of recording at 24/96, but only a 16-bit soundcard . . .


I’ve seen this confusion before. Your usb device IS a soundcard! It converts back and forth between analog audio and digitally stored files, right? That’s what soundcards do. It’s just an external card. Your 16-bit soundcard is an internal card. There is no functional difference otherwise.

n-track lets you choose between all of your installed soundcards to use for recording and playback regardless of your windows settings. You could even set both n-track and windows to use your usb soundcard and then safely remove your internal card with no problems (assuming it’s not one of those built-in-to-the-motherboard units.) Note: I’m not suggesting you do this, though. I’m just making the point that you have two independent soundcards.

hth,
mrtoad