Which audio interface card?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by cocheese, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    Ok, here's the deal... My brother wants to get me a nice audio card for Christmas. We were looking at some magazines and online reviews but there are so damn many out there that it is simply overwhelming. Also, my dad is giving me his old 900mhz computer that I can hopefully run this stuff on.

    Here are some of the criteria I have on the soundcard:

    Best sound quality (192k?)

    Only need a few tracks at a time

    8 or so tracks total

    Don't need midi

    Don't need any other fancy hookups for ADAT, syncing, etc...

    As you can tell I am pretty clueless when it comes to this computer recording stuff. I had an Mbox but it just sounded awful. :(

    Thanks for the help! :)
     
  2. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    hey ,

    I remember researching like crazy on this and I decided upon the Edirol UA-5. The converters are AKM , I think the same company that makes alot of the super incredible expensive ones. I know theres alot of other factors than the converters though. There's two inputs, preamps, and phantom power if you ever use a condenser mic.

    One big thing I believe, is Latency....somehow way back I learned about latency before I bought anything , that is the small time delay between when you hit the strings and when you hear the tone going into your PC, it can be annoying and disorienting. The thing that made me decide on this one is that it has a real-time monitoring volume control so I don't have to worry about all that Latency stuff. And it was USB, which some may not like but for me was an easy choice since I'm a teck-chicken and didn't want to install a PCI slot thingy whatever they are. I don't know whats best for you but I got lucky on this one and haven't changed in almost 2 years.

    Its a Roland company here:
    http://www.edirol.com/products/info/ua5.html

    The thing I've learned about recording with such a high sample rate, is that you're gong to need to convert it down to 44.1 at some point, and I =think= the programs to do that need to be good and you need to know what you're doing. Thats way over my head, but just do some searching on "truncation" or "downsampling" or something along those lines.

    theres also a thread here:
    http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum&f=14

    about recording at 192k, part way down the page.

    I'm a semi-experienced novice at best, but for simple needs my card has been great.

    :dude
     
  3. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    Take a look at the EMU and Lynx family of cards that do 24/192.


     
  4. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    The major players I ran into are M-Audio on the lower end, and RME and Lynx on the upper *at least realistically affordable* end. There are others, many others.

    For me - the Lynx stuff came out on top. Extremely low jitter and killer D/A and D/A. I am running at 5ms of latency at full bore. I highly recommend them.

    http://www.lynxstudio.com/index.html
     
  5. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys. I'll look into them.

    The Lynx was already at the top of my list.
     
  6. amper

    amper Member

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    Don't bother with 192KHz unless you're going to be mastering at 96KHz (SACD, DVD-Audio). 96KHz is more than enough for CD or DAT output.
     
  7. Gerry

    Gerry Guest

    Scott, what's the major parts of your DAW chain?
     
  8. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I custom built a PC for DAW work. It was fun to reseach, choose each thing down to even the cables and assemble it all here as I got it. Great learning experience. I am foggy on the specs now, but....

    P-4 3.0gHz, 2 Gig Ram, 3 Hard Drives - two are Fast ATA 200gHz; one is a SCSI 20gHz. Fast bus, blah, blah, blah. All soundproofed and fancy. :D

    I only record guitars (acoustic and electric); bass and vocals.

    Going in I have a Soundelux U195, SM57's and others. Preamp and compression are FMR Really Nice Preamp and Really Nice Compressor.

    Lynx L22 soundcard into DAW.

    For coming out I go to the Mackie Big Knob and Mackie HR624's on custom made Sound Anchor stands. I use Auralex MoPads.

    I have a Mackie Baby HUI as a controller.

    I have a 17" Samsung LCD monitor to work on.

    I just noticed I now have a lot of Mackie stuff. Never thought about it before. :D
     
  9. amper

    amper Member

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    Just curious, Scott, any particular reason you went with a PC? I'm a technology consultant by day, and for my new system, I went with a Dual 2GHz G5 with a gig of RAM and two 160GB SATA HDD's.
     
  10. joseph

    joseph Member

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    What software program do you use for recording?
     
  11. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Because I understand it and use Cubase SX. I have invested thousands of $$$ in PC related software, so it was a no-brainer.

    On the computer, I use Cubase SX 3 or Samplitude Pro; usually Cubase now. I have two of the UAD-1 cards. I have UAD, Waves, Voxengo and PSP plug-ins mostly. Antares too.

    I use Wavelab for heavy work ala mastering. I have some proprietary software for mastering.
     
  12. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    MBox sounded bad... really?

    Granted I use the MBox purely as an "in" to my computer, but I haven't had any sound quality issues with it. All my mics go into Focusrite and Joe Meek preamps and then hit the M-Box, so maybe that's the reason why I haven't experienced any issues with the MBox.

    Could you elaborate, please?
     
  13. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Substitute Nuendo for Cubase SX, and you've got my rationale to a T as well. (Were i to do it all again today, i'd go with SX as well, as Nuendo 2 is sort of overkill for what i do).

    (It's easy to cross platforms these days. If i've got to work in a Mac environment with a project that started on PC, it's no big thing.)
     
  14. amper

    amper Member

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    Tess Wiley's new album was recorded almost entirely on a MBox in her bedroom (former guitarist for Sixpence None the Richer). It sounds pretty good to me...

    and, BTW, the MBox has Focusrite-designed preamps in it.
     
  15. straticus

    straticus Member

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    I'm curious as to why you prefer Cubase SX to Samplitude Pro?

    I've been a Samp user for years and can't imagine switching to anything else. Is it a midi thing? Samps not real strong on midi but for audio I don't think there's anything better ................. but I'm open. :)
     
  16. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I didn't like how Samp supported my controller at the time I was trying to use it - I had a Mackie Control back then.

    I truly feel that the audio engine was indeed far superior to Cubase VST; but Cubase SX really closed that gap.

    There is room for all these programs; I still like Samp but I left back in Samp Pro 7.
     
  17. straticus

    straticus Member

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    Scott,

    Does Cubase SX have an object editor and Room Simulator type reverb? Those are just two of the features I couldn't do without that are in Samp. On the Samp home page it shows that it supports the Mackie HUI. Is that what you were using? I just downloaded the Samp V8 demo and it's wonderful. I'll be upgrading soon.


    Hmmmmmmm ..... Maybe I should download the Cubase demo first and see what it's all about.:)
     
  18. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    The Mbox was kind of brittle and the latency was pretty bad.
     

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