soundcard advice

For computer based music makers. Discussions about plug-ins and stand alone computer synth gear.

Postby Stab Frenzy » Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:05 am

konvert wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Maybe no hard and fast facts, but compared to Motu and RME products, and even Digidesign, their hardware is poorly made. They use a lot of plastic instead of metal, the connectors are cheap and often unbalanced. Add to that the fact that their drivers are shocking and you've got enough problems to say M-Audio products are shite.


True.
But those products you mentioned are waaaay more expensive than M-audio so they really can't be compared.
I don't want to argue here, I agree with you (though I don't have experience of said cards) but one must think is it relevant to buy the most expensive card(s) there is. Maybe it is, I don't know.

They should at least be able to sort out their driver situation, that doesn't really cost more to get right and makes a huge improvement to the product.
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Postby spr » Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:56 am

I would recommend RME. A little expensive, but well worth it. M-Audio is so-so (but inexpensive), and MOTU interfaces are notoriously unstable on PCs. I've personally owned a M-Audio 1010, and now I have an RME Multiface/PCI card bundle. If you have the extra cash, go for the RME.

Good luck,
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Postby monk_volcano » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:11 am

from my experience, it seems like m-audio makes really great pci stuff for the price, but their firewire and usb stuff isn't made sturdy.


the 24/96 and 1010lt audiofile are killer deals. and i've owned both and never had a bit of a problem from them (had em for about 2 years now.)
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Postby hashy » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:04 pm

are all these good on latency though.?
I just cant handle any type of noticable delay.
fuck off, youd piss yourself laughing
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Postby fingerbib2000 » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:22 pm

hashy wrote:are all these good on latency though.?
I just cant handle any type of noticable delay.


i'm sure the creamware and RME stuff will be around 5ms of latency max.

the m-audio and cheaper stuff will be around 10ms i'd imagine.

either way, you're not going to notice it with your clumsy human senses....
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Postby hashy » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:26 pm

fingerbib2000 wrote:
hashy wrote:are all these good on latency though.?
I just cant handle any type of noticable delay.


i'm sure the creamware and RME stuff will be around 5ms of latency max.

the m-audio and cheaper stuff will be around 10ms i'd imagine.

either way, you're not going to notice it with your clumsy human senses....


even playing in perc? thats where i first noticed it and went urghh :(
i could do with a cheap card to get going tbh, you think it will ok?
fuck off, youd piss yourself laughing
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Postby fingerbib2000 » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:37 pm

hashy wrote:
fingerbib2000 wrote:
hashy wrote:are all these good on latency though.?
I just cant handle any type of noticable delay.


i'm sure the creamware and RME stuff will be around 5ms of latency max.

the m-audio and cheaper stuff will be around 10ms i'd imagine.

either way, you're not going to notice it with your clumsy human senses....


even playing in perc? thats where i first noticed it and went urghh :(
i could do with a cheap card to get going tbh, you think it will ok?


10-20ms won't be noticible but I'm not sure what the M-audio etc.. stuff actually have as latency, i do know that my creamware pulsar has 4ms, but then again, it's all about the price and you may not need all the features at this point so i'd recommend going for an M-audio or something similar...you could even think about something like a focusrite saffire, which is an outboard device that plugs into your firewire port. these have about 6 inputs and have fairly low latency (10ms) and of course, focusrite preamps etc.. i'd stay away from the more expensive DSP version though becasue the software is an absolute nightmare to use.
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Postby kk994 » Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:37 pm

On a PC I wouldn't recomend the Mbox it's USB 1.1 and I never got a lower latency setting than 512... the 002 is a lot of cash and as you are using Cubase you would be paying for a program you won't be using.

The MOTU stuff is very good. I have the MOTU ultralite. The latency on the Ultralite is fine at 128 for most purposes...It is good but not as good as the MOTU 2408. I assume this is becuase the MOTU 2408 comes with its own PCI card and it's own firwire ports on that PCI card. I set that at a 64 sample buffer setting and just leave it. The MOTU 2408 is an amazing card, truly brilliant but it might not suit you because it has 8 Analog and 16 Digital in's... All I'm saying is that the MOTU stuff that comes on PCI is better but the Ultralite which is firewire but is still very good.

The M-Audio 4/10 has unbalanced outputs and thats what it is. The 14/18 is all balanced. I have to disagree with those that said M-Audio are shite... the build quality may be cheaper but so is the actual unit cost. The converters are similar to other brands, the latency performance is on par with the Motu Ultralite and better than the MBox and 001/002. The mixer interface for the M-Audio 4/10 is one of the best I've seen... very flexible. I am solely talking about PC performance here and not about Mac. And this is from personal experience. I don't think they're shite I think they are what they are cheap and easy to use with a lot of I/O reasonable performance and not to many problems...

RME do make great/expensive card but I've had no personal experience of them so....

If you're looking at the Ultralite make sure your firwire chipset is a Texas Instruments or you WILL have trouble. If you looking at Pro-Tools make sure and contact Digidesign and go with a recommended computer. They do recommend certain models of Dell and Pro-Tools does perform better on recommended PC's.
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Postby polardark » Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:40 pm

I was about to get a new computer system for music, but then i realized just how few Windows Vista drivers there are out there. The E-MU 1212M was my prime candidate for a sound card... but i'll wait another few months to see just what sound cards out there will have native Vista drivers. Windows XP has been around for quite a few years now, and i reckon it won't live for much longer, so if you're going for a long time investment, you'd better make sure your computer and all its' peripherals will work well with vista.
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Postby Thefumigator » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:35 am

I only know that when I received and installed my EMU 0404 and hit play on my tune, I realized that my hi fi system waited years for that to come from my computer. It totally blew me away. Also, the recording tests results revealed that for 100$ the emus are the greatest (you could check the internet for those tests, they are somewhere out there).

Not to mention that you can load DSP effects on the EMU, but I already did that before with my sound blaster live, but of course, the emu has much more power for loading more of effects at the same time.

As for the dell machine, make sure you are getting an Intel Core 2 Duo and not the Intel Pentium D (worst dual core processor in my opinion). Athlon 64 X2 is ok tho, depends on which model.

I can load like 8 Arturias Minimoog V, doing crazy things in a pattern I just built, it uses 78% of my old Athlon 64 3000 (single core). If I overclock it, the performance can improve tremendously... I usually do when I run out of power in FL studio... I reach a performance ratio similar to a 4000 when overclocked.
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Postby spr » Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:19 am

If budget is a bit of a concern, then the Delta 1010LT is a real bargain. You should be able to achieve 10ms of latency or less with no problem at with a core 2 duo system. I had a Delta 1010 for years and it served me well enough. When playing in something live, I could achieve something like 5-6ms of latency. When mixing I would crank it higher for less CPU strain.

Good luck,
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