starting a Home studio

Hi I’m trying to setup a lil home studio as a hobby and I’ve recently purchased a electric guitar, Nady dynamic xlr mic, acoustic guitar, and other things as well. I was inspired to do this when I was playing with instrumentals using N-track, when I had wrote a bedtime song that sounded good with the beat. My daughters wanted to sing it so, I let them do it and found that they stayed on note pretty good. Here’s a link

1. I purchased a Rolls GCi404 Audio Computer interface and was wondering if anyone knows of a good compatible soundcard that will work well here’s the image link.
Rolls GCi404

Good starter guide:

Are you sure you need a soundcard? The Rolls says ‘audio computer interface’. Sounds like it does the job of a sound card. Check the specs.

For an entry level ‘pro’ home studio soundcard a lot of people use the Echo Mia, or the M-audio Audiophile.

Nope, he need s a sound card too. It just happens to be mountable in a CD drive bay.–RLLGCI404

Outputs on the unit are stereo RCA and 1/8 in. as well as a 4-pin header to connect to a sound card.

That is one cute tune there swizzard.

For a cheap solution get an old CT4810 soundblaster from ebay about $12. Or to go more upmarket a M-Audio Audiophile 2496 about $100.
You can make a good CD quality 44.1K 16Bit recording with the soundblaster ( this card used to be recommended by Mac who many people will remember was a bit of an expert on this forum a few years ago)

The Rolls is really just a drive-bay-mountable preamp for $99. Frankly, a $50 Behringer mixer like UB802 is better, but the drive-bay mounting might be handy.

For starters, I recommend a SoundBlaster Live. Just be sure to use it at 48k sample rate. If you find you’re serious you can upgrade easily.

One thing to keep in mind – something that so many folks forget – is that simple, cheap gear like SB Live and a Nady mike can deliver excellent results when used well. As long as all the components are decent, differences in quality are minimal compared to differences in how they’re used. In order of decreasing importance (with lots of wiggle room):

- composition
- arrangement
- performance
- instruments
- engineering skill (recording/mixing)
- mikes and preamps
- software (mostly, plugins – any decent DAW will do)
- soundcard

As a guy I know says, "If you can’t make a good recording with a Soundblaster and stick mike, chances are you can’t make a good recording with anything."

With the Soundblaster, there are a few tricks to getting it to work correctly, so if you get one, post back here and ask about “Sounblaster tips”. We need to collect them for the Wiki anyway.


Jeff, you must be wrong, if I just buy more equipment I will certainly be better! :) Kidding!

One thing I learned about nady microphones when I got one a few years ago. Don’t drop them on concrete floors. It tends to change how they sound. Just a small tip from experience. It might even apply to other microphones, I dunno.

Don’t mention it.

Nifty idea with the CD-ROM connector and the Floppy power supply. Going with the Soundblaster idea + kX drivers, you should also be able to utilize the Line In of the SBLive or Audigy as a separate analog in as long as you buy a kX compatible card.

The soundblaster CT4810 is an earlier model than the soundblaster live and doesn’t suffer from the “48k” issues.
Its also not suitable for the KX drivers.

Really, Nick? It kind of surprises me that all the other Creative cards have that issue (including Audigy). Is the CT4810 such an early design that it doesn’t use the “one-bit” method (delta-sigma modulation)? Earlier designs had issues with the necessary analog Nyquist filters. (Imagine trying to design a filter that rolls off above 20kHz and by 22.1 kHz nearly nothing leaks through! How many poles is that?) Regardless of the reason, thanks for pointing it out.

And what I said above still applies – so long as it’s decent (which I’d take Mac’s word for), you have to be a really good engineer before improvements in the soundcard are significant. There are better places to spend your efforts and dollars.

The CT4810 was the Ensoniq based card (became the Creative PC1 64, PCI 128 - some Ensoniq cards were repackaged with Creative stickers on the chip). It’s a whole bail of wax different than most other blasters and live cards. That was a great choice many years ago. I’m not sure it still is by comparison, but that’s subjective.

Here’s a link to one:

Aha, that makes sense. Thanks!

I’m still bummed that Creative bought Ensoniq. They made great synths, and Creative just shut that part down (or sold it to EMU, who did next to nothing with it). My MR76 from 1997 is still comparable to the best keyboards sold today. That’s surprising, especially for piano where the rest of the industry has made such big improvements since then (catching up with Ensoniq and Kurzweil of the late 90’s).

Oops, back to soundcards …


I’m still bummed that Creative bought Ensoniq.

So am I. When I found out it was going to happen I knew Creative would just suck them in to kill off the competition and pick up a few pointers.

Yup, my PCI 64 was a great card, and I used it continually till I moved up to 24 bit. My card only had a Creative sticker on it, the etching on the card said Ensoniq.

Curiously enough, when the Creative sticker eventually dropped off, the noise floor also dropped by 4dB! :D

Maybe the sticker held in heat…thermal noise. :)

Naw, it was the name.

It helps if you blow the dust off the card… :p :laugh:

I still have 5.1 Live cards in these machines I have here… as well as the cards the box was built for…

Those cards repro 24-bit files just fine… I use one on the machine I edit files, with… When I get to the mixdown process… I don’t use the “Soundcard’s Settings” check the 24-bit box…