Sound card

ok but which one

Hi People

Having recently tried to use n-Track but with the poblem of the delay at input a friens of mine (aswell as this forum) would seem to say its the sound card.

My PC (although brand new) has only got a basic sound card so Im going to upgrade to one which will do the job.

My question is which one should I go for, I have DEL Dimension PC 4000 (2.1 GHz)

Your advice please


which one to buy "the most expensive one you can afford there is no subsitute for spending money, so here are a few things for you to take in to account-

PCI/PCI express cards - these are permantly installed in your PC they are OK but are difficult to use as you have to mess at the back of your PC everytime to want to change the connections - PCI/PCI express cards with a breakout box (in and outs are in remote box connected by single cable) are much much better (and expensive) -

USB, great to plug things in and out of but generally limited to 2 in and 2 outs (Soundblaster Audigy NX2 USB has 2 in and 8 outs (inc phones out)and except it requires a seperate PSU, get very hot and can only record correctly at 48000hz is value for money) for Sound blaster read EMU (different names same company) - some work through a USB hub others will totally crash your system unless going direct to USB port - soi f if you but a USB unit, plug it into a hub and everything goes black then that unit has to be fed direct -

FIREWIRE cards although allowing you to use many more inputs and outputs than any other soundcards they suffer from chip compatablilty ( may not work with your PC) and suffer interferance from high end Video cards - as the video use gets higher firewire use is reduced so pops and crackles appear - if you go for firewire check before buying at the companys website for compatability FIRST -

Dr J

Depends on how many channels you need to record at once. If you are only recording one instrument at a time or more than one. Also if your computer is brand new and it’s running Vista, you need to search to see who has the Vista drivers released for that card.

I have Vista, using E-Mu 0404 soundcard with Beta testing drivers. Full public release drivers due out sometime in Sept.

Hi Guys

thanks for the advice, in the main I have my korg D1200 but as I have a new pc would like to have ago at recording on it so using n-track would be ideal Im not a gaming man just for recording.

I only want to record one instrument at a time and get a sound card which would be ok to do the job a budget of £80 to £100 is about my limit.



look here

Dr J

Hi, If the delay you are talking about is in hearing the live instrument you are recording you should be able to overcome that by…

Not useing n-track in “Live” mode

Monitor the incoming sound using the windows playback mixer , where your previously recorded tracks will come up on the wave fader and the new incoming sound will be on the line in fader doing it this way should result in negligable delay.

Having said that later on a better sound card would be a good idea . If your Delll has a spare PCI slot my vote would be for a Delta 44 which gives four simultaneous ins and outs which although you think 2 ins is enough for you one day you’ll likely find a use for 4.


PS, Just had a look at M-audio website and no Vista drivers for Delta series cards yet . So ignore my soundcard recomendation .

Thanks to you all for your help.



I have never used the “Live” mode on Ntrack and I have never had a lag problem…and I use the onboard soundcard that came with my PC…everything plugged into the line in. Nick may be right about not using “Live” mode.