Which audio interface card?

cocheese

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,550
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! :)
 

alanfc

Member
Messages
973
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
 

tedm

Member
Messages
7,272
Take a look at the EMU and Lynx family of cards that do 24/192.


Originally posted by cocheese
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! :)
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,503
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
 

amper

Member
Messages
686
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.
 
G

Gerry

Originally posted by Scott Peterson
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
Scott, what's the major parts of your DAW chain?
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,503
Originally posted by Gerry
Scott, what's the major parts of your DAW chain?
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
 

amper

Member
Messages
686
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.
 

joseph

Member
Messages
1,472
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
......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. ....

What software program do you use for recording?
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,503
Originally posted by amper
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.
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.
 

tonefreak

Member
Messages
2,461
Originally posted by cocheese


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! :)
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?
 

Bassomatic

Member
Messages
12,341
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
Because I understand it and use Cubase SX. I have invested thousands of $$$ in PC related software, so it was a no-brainer.
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.)
 

amper

Member
Messages
686
Originally posted by tonefreak
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?
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.
 

straticus

Member
Messages
3,101
Originally posted by Scott Peterson


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'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. :)
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,503
Originally posted by straticus
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. :)
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.
 

straticus

Member
Messages
3,101
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
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.
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.:)
 




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