what's a good soundcard

Hi again,

We’ve everything under control now: good mic., good mixer etc… But the soundcard. We still use the normal soundcard that’s within the computer but we want to improve the quality off recording. We don’t need special things on the soundcard like effects, inputs and outputs. It may be very simple with a few small inputs like the simple cards delivered in the computer when you buy a “house-garden kitchen computer”. Of course the recording quality must be much better. I started a time ago the same topic and I got a list like:
Aardvark www.aardvarkaudio.com
M-Audio www.maudio.com
EMU www.emu.com
Terratec www.terratec.com
Presonus www.presonus.com etc.etc.
But the soundcards they all sell are very different with a lot special things. I just want to know about the best quality of recording. I don’t care about all other things like different in- and outputs. Here in Holland they are mad about Creative SoundBlaster but I’ve the idea that that’s an interesting card for people who like to play games on their computer, not for musicians. Besides that: there a much differences between this cards while I’m only interested in the differences in recording quality and not how much and witch in- and output possibility’s . Hope some one knows more about this issue and I hope I’m with my bad English clear in what I mean. Please don’t answer in difficult english… Thanks!

Maria :)

The M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sells for about $99(US) and should suit your purposes just fine.

It also works well with games.

Yip !

Ek stem saam met John.

M-Audio maak goeie klankkaarte.

Jy sal nie spyt wees nie.

Groete van Suid Afrika !

Wihan

Aardvark, strangely, is no longer in business. :(

I agree with your observations re: the soundblaster. They make gamer’s cards.

Got two advises from a seller:EMU 1212M (200 euro) and ESI Juliet (150 euro). He told me that there’s not a better (simple) one, keep in mind what I expect from a card (top of the hill recordingquality but easy to use, normal little inputs etc) than EMU1212M. Does anybody know these cards? Thanks Maria:) :)

Maria,

I use EMU 1820, which has same core components than the 1212M (but with the AudioDock). And yes, the same software.

The EMU system is pretty fine, but the software might be a bit baffling at first. Nothing that can’t be cured by a thoughtful reading of manual, I’d say.

There’s an EMU user forum at http://www.productionforums.com/emu/default.asp
if you’d like to check out the problems and gripes and praises the users have. I guess all the cards you’re interested in have similar forum sites.

Take care,

Mwah from Finland

I beg to differ, oh I do about the Creative cards. I use a Creative card in my computer-Audigy I SB0090 but instead of the Creative drivers I use the kX drivers. I paid about $30 U.S. on Ebay for the card.

This was recorded using that sound card and a Kel HM-1 mic. My wife did a bit of EQing on the mixer but other than normalizing, I don’t think anything else was added to the track. “Guitar Stuff Kel HM-1 (Instrumental)”
http://www.motagator.net/bands/69/

The other song up there was recorded a few years back in a studio on a DAT machine if I remember correctly, I sucked it into the computer off a cassette tape and created an MP3 of it using the same sound card.

Just have to defend my cheap stuff once in a while.

Nothing wrong with the “cheap” stuff Doug. I feel like it’s more in making the best use of what you have. Having said that though… if you want to improve your SNR and do serious multi-tracking, you gotta get off your pocketbook. I have an EMU 1820M and absolutely love it. Great card, just make sure you checkout chipset issues and stuff before you buy. This is true for any “pro” or “semi-pro” specific purpose device in a PC.

TG

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if you want to improve your SNR and do serious multi-tracking, you gotta get off your pocketbook


TG,

The Beatles recorded the entire Sgt. Pepper’s album on a toilet paper tube and a paper clip…pretty sure I got that right. It is all part of my brilliant plan.

Doug
Quote (Doug W @ July 01 2005,15:23)
The Beatles recorded the entire Sgt. Pepper's album on a toilet paper tube and a paper clip...pretty sure I got that right. It is all part of my brilliant plan.

Actually, they strung two of them together so they could multi-track.
Quote (Doug W @ July 01 2005,15:23)
if you want to improve your SNR and do serious multi-tracking, you gotta get off your pocketbook


TG,

The Beatles recorded the entire Sgt. Pepper's album on a toilet paper tube and a paper clip...pretty sure I got that right. It is all part of my brilliant plan.

Doug
:D :D :D

Yeesh, and people call me cheap... :D

TG

The seller told me that the a/d converter of the EMU1212M is very good, maybe the best. But I’ve a digital mixer (a/d en d/a converter within): LEM-RD82FX. So…eh…does it really matter which soundcard I use or does the soundcard also convert anything?? :p

Maria,that mixer has digital effects but is still an analog mixer. All signals IN and OUT of it are analog. So, better AD/DA convertors of say an EMU 1212M versus a SoundBlaster Live! WILL make a noticeable difference in your recordings.

TG

So, You mean that the a/d en d/a converters (also described in the users manual) are only active for the effects?
And it’s right that EMU1212M is better than an M-audiophile?
Thanks for all advises, Wihan, nice to here from you!!
Maria:) :)

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TG,

The Beatles recorded the entire Sgt. Pepper’s album on a toilet paper tube and a paper clip…pretty sure I got that right. It is all part of my brilliant plan.

Doug


Yeah Doug, but they had George Martian.

Where are you gonna get a Martian at this time of night? :D

Maria, the A/D converters change the analogue signal coming down the wire into a digital signal the PC can understand.

And the D/A converter does the reverse.

So, they’re always operating (assuming your soundcard is working that is.)

But if you have a true digital mixer, then you can go in and out of your soundcard via s/pdif or whatever, and then it’s ones and nothings all the way! :)

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Quote (Doug W @ July 01 2005,15:23)
The Beatles recorded the entire Sgt. Pepper’s album on a toilet paper tube and a paper clip…pretty sure I got that right. It is all part of my brilliant plan.

Actually, they strung two of them together so they could multi-track.


So was that what the paper clip was for?

Seriously. I used a creative card for some time. Nothing wrong with it. Perfectly good for making a good recording. A couple of years ago I got a Delta 44. It’s better but not hugely. It’s easier to get a good recording now, but then I’m two years better with my engineering capabilities.

Mark

M-audio is the way to go. Right now they even work with pro tools. which is good, since if you even get a client in that insists on using pro tools, you can use it, and snicker to yourself because they are losing out by not using ntracks

Quote (Mark A @ July 02 2005,09:08)
Quote (Doug W @ July 01 2005,15:23)
The Beatles recorded the entire Sgt. Pepper's album on a toilet paper tube and a paper clip...pretty sure I got that right. It is all part of my brilliant plan.

Actually, they strung two of them together so they could multi-track.

So was that what the paper clip was for?

Seriously. I used a creative card for some time. Nothing wrong with it. Perfectly good for making a good recording. A couple of years ago I got a Delta 44. It's better but not hugely. It's *easier* to get a good recording now, but then I'm two years better with my engineering capabilities.

Mark
I would agree and disagree with that. I used a SB Live for years.. very nice to use in its own respect. It worked. But I was getting anywhere from -60 to -50 noise when my computer idle, and i found now with my maudio 2496 im getting about -90 or -100 which is a relief to my ears. But yes, SB Live has it's place. I still have my card in my computer, as well as my maudio :)