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Old 28-08-2011, 03:12 AM   #1
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Good Sound Card?

Recently I've been getting cracks and popping because I have onboard sound. What is a good sound card for a $180 budget.

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but i'm not sure if its ideal for music production. plz gimme some insight

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Old 28-08-2011, 03:30 AM   #2
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Re: Good Sound Card?

It is a sound card designed for home entertainment so it might not be ideal for audio production. You'd need to look at audio interfaces which are designed for audio production if you want to be sure.

In addition you need to consider what do you need in your sound card.

How many inputs and outputs and of which type i.e. what do you need to connect?
What interface (pci/pci-e, usb, firewire)?
What operating system are you running and what software to make sure it's compatible?
Do you need mic preamps?
Do you need MIDI input/output?
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Old 28-08-2011, 03:35 AM   #3
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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Originally Posted by Blank^ View Post
It is a sound card designed for home entertainment so it might not be ideal for audio production. You'd need to look at audio interfaces which are designed for audio production if you want to be sure.

In addition you need to consider what do you need in your sound card.

How many inputs and outputs and of which type i.e. what do you need to connect?
What interface (pci/pci-e, usb, firewire)?
What operating system are you running and what software to make sure it's compatible?
Do you need mic preamps?
Do you need MIDI input/output?
alrighty well to answer your questions

i'd like to connect my guitar via firewire that would be sweet.

pcie is what i'll be using

os is windows 7 64bit software is fl studio 9

not sure about mic preamps

midi input / output would be nice but i dont have a midi interface so its not needed now

I just want a card that will eliminate buffer underruns and take the load of my cpu when processing real time vst effects
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Old 28-08-2011, 03:58 AM   #4
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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i'd like to connect my guitar via firewire that would be sweet.

pcie is what i'll be using
You can't interconnect these two as they are separate protocols. It's either pci-e or firewire or USB.

I'd go with an USB or a FireWire audio interface because there is more to choose from and it will not become obsolete if you want to use it some day in another computer, which doesn't have PCI-E, like laptops.

You got to be careful when choosing an audio interface to work with Windows 7 x64. It's still so new that not all manufacturers have worked out the drivers yet and there might be serious compatibility problems. So you need to google to find out whether people are having problems with the particular card and Windows 7 x64.

The new Roland audio interfaces have been touted to be very good , and they're brand new in the market so there are up to date drivers. They're USB 2.0. Check out the Roland UA-33 Tri-Capture, has Hi-Z input for connecting that guitar and also has a mic input in case you want to use a mic.

Edit: Or maybe the older Edirol UA-4FX, which would give you MIDI and digital I/O too.

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Old 28-08-2011, 05:42 AM   #5
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Re: Good Sound Card?

Hmm, at this price I'd probably go with an all-around sound blaster from creative with the outboard drive for ins/outs. Maybe a M-audio would do.

I'd recommend saving a bit to buy yourself a decent interface since it's an important piece of gear that you won't be willing to sacrifice quality on.
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Old 28-08-2011, 05:43 AM   #6
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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Hmm, at this price I'd probably go with an all-around sound blaster from creative with the outboard drive for ins/outs. Maybe a M-audio would do.

I'd recommend saving a bit to buy yourself a decent interface since it's an important piece of gear that you won't be willing to sacrifice quality on.
how much should I save?
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Old 28-08-2011, 06:33 AM   #7
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Re: Good Sound Card?

I would NOT go with a SoundBlaster. They have a bad record of not implementing ASIO correctly or having other issues with sample rates and such. That was maybe a long time ago, but I still don't trust them. I'd go with an M-Audio or some other brand that has been making compliant ASIO cards since the beginning.
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Old 28-08-2011, 06:42 AM   #8
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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how much should I save?
Dunno, something like 400-500 up to a grand, depends on quick you can pile some money and and much your willing to pay for this.
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Old 28-08-2011, 06:51 AM   #9
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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Dunno, something like 400-500 up to a grand, depends on quick you can pile some money and and much your willing to pay for this.
damn I dont have that kinda doe. I rly dont need to plug my guitar in it. Just need a card that sounds great and can process loads of effects without spazzing out / popping crackling. Is there any good cards with in my $180 price range?
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Old 28-08-2011, 08:02 AM   #10
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Re: Good Sound Card?

Buy something budget like M-audio Fast Track Pro, Tascam US122mk2 or similar (dedicated audio interface, not some cheap home audio thingy). Then when you have the money go for RME, MOTU, Apogee, Metric Halo, Lynx, Prism Sound, etc.
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Old 28-08-2011, 11:15 AM   #11
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Re: Good Sound Card?

I totally agree with Evelon on this
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Old 28-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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Re: Good Sound Card?

Me too. It's BS to put 500-1000 dollars into basically your first audio interface. You can do fine with much less and you'll know if you want to "upgrade" some day.

Some M-Audio device like the basic Fast Track or the Tascam would be fine too, just ensure the driver compatibility. Or the Edirol/Roland mentioned earlier.
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Old 28-08-2011, 01:56 PM   #13
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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Originally Posted by zeblazed View Post
damn I dont have that kinda doe. I rly dont need to plug my guitar in it. Just need a card that sounds great and can process loads of effects without spazzing out / popping crackling. Is there any good cards with in my $180 price range?
Yes there totally is!

I have a desktop konnekt 6 (about 200usd) and it is fantastic.
There are many in that price range.
I got recommended the konnekt on my old music board by a fairly successful signed fidget artist (don't ask whom can't remember! and the board is dead ), and have loved it since I got it.
Just look around for something that suites your needs, xlr, aux multiple aux, knobs, features, outputs etc. If you can afford that much, you should be able to find quite a good card that could last you a long while (you may not ever find the use to upgrade!!).
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Old 29-08-2011, 05:33 AM   #14
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Re: Good Sound Card?

I'm projectile vomiting everywhere.

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I have it. I started a thread on how to maximize it's use with a mixer.

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Old 29-08-2011, 07:43 AM   #15
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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I'm projectile vomiting everywhere.

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I have it. I started a thread on how to maximize it's use with a mixer.
sickk!

is there anything else I should buy? I kinda want to blow all my money on the card.
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Old 29-08-2011, 11:48 AM   #16
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Re: Good Sound Card?

I thought the EMUs had serious incompatibility problems with Windows 7 x64 or did they get fixed already?
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Old 29-08-2011, 12:58 PM   #17
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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Originally Posted by MKoussa View Post
I'm projectile vomiting everywhere.

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I have it. I started a thread on how to maximize it's use with a mixer.
Not everyone has a PCIe port... lucky un portable bastard
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Old 29-08-2011, 05:17 PM   #18
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
Then when you have the money go for RME, MOTU, Apogee, Metric Halo, Lynx, Prism Sound, etc.
If I may chime in here, I just recently picked up a MOTU 828mk2 from eBay for 275.00. Just a bit over the $180.00 you have but wait a month get another 100.00 and get one...their great. It's got everything you would need for now and then some.

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Old 29-08-2011, 11:48 PM   #19
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Re: Good Sound Card?

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I thought the EMUs had serious incompatibility problems with Windows 7 x64 or did they get fixed already?
After much foot dragging and being lame, E-MU released 7 64-bit drivers. I've been using the vista drivers on my 7 64-bit machine forever though so...

It'll work either way.

Also, @OP, let me find the link to the thread I created explaining how I use this card to it's maximum.

My mind was expanded at the time so I was super in-depth.

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Last edited by MKoussa; 29-08-2011 at 11:52 PM..

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Old 30-08-2011, 03:02 AM   #20
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Re: Good Sound Card?

I'm reppin a Presonus Audiobox USB 2x2 which has 2 Mic/XLR/Instrument inputs on the front. So far It has worked great on both my macbook pro and windows 7 machines. It was only $150 I believe at the local guitar center.

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