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Newbe soundcard question

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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Sanction
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:38 pm

Postby Sanction » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:47 pm

Let me start off by saying, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOOD QUALITY SOUND CARD! I can tell you from experience that there are 3 things you want fast and with quality.

1:A fast CPU I recommend at least a 2 GHz or better processor.
2: At least a Gig of RAM ( If you use Virtual Instruments or VSTi's get 2 Gigs.)
3: A good quality sound card! I don't mean a SoundBlaster anything! or AC97 they will limit your quality. Go with an M-Audio audiophile 2496 PCI Digital audio card. You can find them all over the net for about $100 USD. http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496-main.html

For the money you will thank me over and over again! This will make your projects glow!
All things were first a conception!

nathaissa
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:23 pm

M-AUDIO

Postby nathaissa » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:13 pm

Well thanks for the info. At this point I will try anything so I will get more info and pricing and let me see what happens.

Stef66
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Location: Quebec, Canada
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Postby Stef66 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:58 am

My Specs:

CPU => Intel Pentium 4 @ 3.0 GygaHertz
RAM => 1 Gygabytes (2 * Dual 512 Megs Kingston)
MoBo => Asus P5P800
Hard Disk => 1 * Western Digital Caviar 250 G + 1 * WD Caviar 120 G (both are 7200 Rpm devices)
SoundCard => Sound Blaster Audigy II ZS PCI

Audible Latency? ...NONE even with up to 8 24 bits @ 48000 Hrtz Stereo Tracks.

Drivers used? generic sound blaster bundled drivers.

Side note: A fast Hard disk does help a lot, when you record and playback the puter has to read or write it somewhere.
Keep it clean and defragmented.

Shut down all those resource hog software running in the background, I.E Anti-Spyware, anti-viruses, real player, Quicktime and so on.... you dont need them to record music so shut them off.

if you're afraid of viruses while you record, disconnect your lan cable.

Best yet, have a dedicated recording computer with only you allowed to mess with it.

Just my .02 cents here, im not an audio recording expert but im a computer tech and i earn a living repairing computers, i know my way around them.

J Gretch
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:39 am

Postby J Gretch » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:42 am

It sounds like there are two schools of thougut on getting the job done here.And they both make prefect sence.The thing that I have to decide is what's the smartest way to spend my money.
Does anyone know where to find a good price on a p4 computer without all of the extra crap loaded on it.I like the idea of having a dedicated recording computer.

I checked out tiger direct but they seem to be pushing gaming and vidieo stuff these days,any help would be apreciated.

Stef66
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
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Postby Stef66 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:33 pm

J Gretch wrote:It sounds like there are two schools of thougut on getting the job done here.And they both make prefect sence.The thing that I have to decide is what's the smartest way to spend my money.
Does anyone know where to find a good price on a p4 computer without all of the extra crap loaded on it.I like the idea of having a dedicated recording computer.

I checked out tiger direct but they seem to be pushing gaming and vidieo stuff these days,any help would be apreciated.


I dont know if you have any experience into assembling a computer together but you probably know someone in your friends who does.

That being said, i built my computer from brand new OEM retail parts i bought at a computer parts store, the case, mobo, hard disks, RAM all in separate boxes, then you do the IKEA thing...
Advantage of this?
You choose the parts yourself instead of the crap Dell or CompaQ or any other brand name company that chooses everything in your place.

plus... you get to install XP pro instead of crappy bugged Vista.

I live in Canada, but im sure those computer parts store must also exist in the US. :wink:

J Gretch
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:39 am

Postby J Gretch » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:45 pm

That sounds like good advise Stef66 thanks a lot. And thanks for the advise about quality sound cards Sanction, I'll probably do that for peace of mind. 8)

Sanction
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:38 pm

Postby Sanction » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:20 pm

Your welcome J Gretch, I too am a Computer tech, I own and run Mobile Computer Services. I have over 25 years experience. What stef66 says holds true, but you will pay a little more for the computer that way. But it's worth it. Keep in mind what you need to perform your task, and buy accordingly. A good quality sound card will enhance your final project. All those soundblasters and ac97's don't have what it takes to make a CD quality production. search the net for home studio setup's and you will find everyone agrees.
All things were first a conception!

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Acoustica Greg
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Postby Acoustica Greg » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:08 pm

I wouldn't lump integrated soundcards like the AC97s or Sigmatels with a something like the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy. There's a world of difference between the two.

I get latency complaints all day long from people with integrated soundcards, but only very rarely from Audigy users. It's because a Sound Blaster is a dedicated soundcard, while integrated soundcards often share chips with other motherboard functions, like the modem.

Sanction
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:38 pm

Postby Sanction » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:45 pm

Hi Acoustica Greg,

I'm sure the Soundblasters are fine for gaming, Souroundsound, podcasting and even get some pretty good studio style recordings out of them. BUT! You can't compare it to a pro audio card. the difference is like a VW Bug against a corvette and the price difference is negligible. Don't get me wrong Greg, I'm not knocking the Soundblasters, Just explaining there is a better choice.
All things were first a conception!

Stef66
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
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Postby Stef66 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:21 pm

Yes of course, if the budget is there, go for pro recording sound cards.

But don't neglect all the other aspects of your future computer, a computer is a chain and the strength of a chain always equals it's weakest part IMO.

Then it all depends on what level of quality you want to get, as far as im concerned, i am satisfied with 24 bits at 192000 as a sample rate for acoustic recordings, and 24 bits at 48000 for electric guitar needs.

Enough sound quality for my humble needs right there and my Audigy II ZS can provide it.

A very good tread with lots of good infos, it should be pinned somewhere IMO. :wink: :wink:


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