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Author Topic:  Sound Card Questions.
James Quillian


From:
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 16 Jan 2021 4:35 pm    
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What is the difference in quality between using a regular internal sound card like Creative, Asus or something else and a recording sound card like M-Audio ore something similar.

All I an interested in is the sound that ends up on the HD with no preamp other than the stand alone preamp I normally use.
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Jim Fogle


From:
North Carolina, Winston-Salem, USA
Post  Posted 16 Jan 2021 5:44 pm    
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It is pretty common today for computers to include on board video and sound capability. Intel and Realtek are two vendors that make audio chips used by computer manufacturers.

Two issues can develop over time with onboard sound. First the 3.5 mm audio receptacles are cheaply made, quickly wear and become noisy. Second, internal electrical distortion can enter the audio circuitry through the computer power supply.

Creative Labs, maker of the Soundblaster audio cards, use to be the predominant audio vendor of choice for Windows computers. Creative still makes audio systems for computers but their dominance in the music industry has diminished as the company has concentrated on serving the home theater and gaming audience.

Most musicians seem to prefer using an external audio interface. In most instances it will include one or more microphone preamps, +48Vdc phantom power for use with a condenser microphone, one or more line inputs, a high impedance, or hi-z instrument input, analog to digital (A/D) convertor, digital to analog (D/A) convertor, headphone amplifier and receptacle, USB interface, an internal mixer to blend your incoming sound with sound coming from the computer and a dedicated driver that allows your computer and the audio interface to work together. The audio interface market is extremely competitive so it is easier than ever to find good deals.
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Jack Stoner


From:
New Port Richey Florida
Post  Posted 17 Jan 2021 3:14 am    
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The on board sound, predominantly Realtek, rivals and many times beats old add in sound cards. Unless some special input or output is needed there is no need for a separate sound card.

The exception, as Jim notes, is if it will be used for recording or "tracking" (recording along with a sound track) and then a separate (mostly USB) recording interface is needed. PC Sound cards have poor latency (delay) and for recording poor signal to noise ratios.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jan 2021 6:39 am    
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I remember buying Turtle Beach sound cards. Very Happy
Erv
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jan 2021 11:34 am    
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I bought a USB 3 Focusrite Scarlett audio input box. It came with ProTools Lite and other effects librairies. It's good for what recording I do nowadays. Back in the early 2000s I had CoolEdit Pro and a SoundBlaster card with an internally mounted build-out box. That was good for the time.
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Jim Fogle


From:
North Carolina, Winston-Salem, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jan 2021 6:53 pm    
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I was a big fan of Creative Lab Soundblaster products starting with a Soundblaster 16, a couple of SB Lives and an Audigy 2.

My favorite feature was the SB cards had an onboard GM and GM2 compatible midi soft synth. They also had a daughter board with memory for use with sound fonts.

All the SB cards also included the 15 pin game port. I purchased the 15 pin game port adapter which includes five pin midi IN and OUT ports.

The software included Cakewalk by Twelve Tone which was a DOS based midi sequencer and Voyetra Plus which was a Windows based midi sequencer.

I quit buying Creative Lab cards after they eliminated first the onboard midi soft synth and then the 15 pin midi port.

Unfortunately I see no sense in purchasing an internal sound card because I don't know of any internal sound cards that include midi functionality. Especially when there are USB audio interfaces with midi ports available for reasonable prices.
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Remembering Harold Fogle (1945-1999) Brother - Pedal Steel Player
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Zoom MRS-8 8 Track Hardware DAW
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James Quillian


From:
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2021 9:22 am    
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Jack Stoner wrote:
The on board sound, predominantly Realtek, rivals and many times beats old add in sound cards. Unless some special input or output is needed there is no need for a separate sound card.

The exception, as Jim notes, is if it will be used for recording or "tracking" (recording along with a sound track) and then a separate (mostly USB) recording interface is needed. PC Sound cards have poor latency (delay) and for recording poor signal to noise ratios.


For myself, I run things through a mixer in a way to eliminate the latency issue altogether.
The reason I don't use USB Cards or recording is that I have better quality pre amps and don't want to send signals through two pre amps on the way to the HD,

If I could find a reasonably priced USB system where the pre amp can be bypassed, I would go with that.

I do have a line 6 unit that does that. However, I have never been able to get it to function well.
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