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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
budget sound card recommendations?
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Stanley Pain



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:10 am    Post subject: budget sound card recommendations? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i have been asked to recommend a soundcard for use in a school. the school already has a couple of M-Audio delta 1010 based PC's running VST 5.

they want to buy a whole bunch of budget soundcards (about 14) to run on MIDI workstations. they want the following specs:

1. ease of use (for kids aged 14-1Cool
2. idiot proof (for teachers)
3. ergonomic GUI, i.e. no need to keep going into settings.
4. quality GM sounds (i.e. do NOT recommend Soundblaster LIVE because that's what they have and they're shit)
5. audio recording capability, but does NOT need to be professional production quality

any ideas/recommendations? tried and tested would be preferable.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The M-Audio Audiophile 2496 is pretty decent.

Quality GM sounds? In a an audio interface?
Shocked

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quality GM sounds?
Shocked


Are those available at any budget anywhere? That´s like honest politicians, short intergalacic trips or healthy sigaretes; Beyond the scope of current technology and it´d kinda defeat the point.

Why not go with whatever soundcard you can afford and a software based sound generator? Doesn´t windows have one build in already? If soundquality doesn´t need to be profesional I´d go with a Soundblaster16 any day; those are compattible with *every* OS released on the x86 platform since they were made, install is a breeze and they don´t realy require any settings nor will there be surprises with drivers. More modern consumer cards need lots and lots of crap in the registry and pro cards aren´t idiot proof. Asio capability and being idiot-proof are mutually exclusive, for example.

This´ll save you a factor 10 or 20 in money. More if you figure in support time after they messed up the Asio settings or replacing stolen cards.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2005 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yep, I think Kassen has some good points. The Soundblaster cards would be my choice as well. You may get a good price on some of the more sophisticated cards in the Soundblaster Live line. These would all meet your requirements.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I hesitate to recomend the "Live" because of it´s reputation of spamming the registry with megabites of nonsense aimed at games. I think the SB16 is a solid starting point for negotiation; it works everywhere, no questions asked. Of cource; when push comes to shove it´s crappy by modern standards but it sets a challenge. ASIO is better, but is better worth the complexity? Breakout boxes are better, but are they worth the risk of theft? Nearly all GM sets will be preferable, but are those realy important and if so at what price?

I know this project won´t take the ´16, just like I know nobody asking me for a computer to read mail on and browse and listen to mp3´s will take the extra P1 133 I have lying around (which will do all of those).

What I meant was that you won´t solve this untill you ballance your conflicting needs.

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm not sure exactly what card you should get, but as for quality GM sets, it depends on which one you load, I've got about a dozen. 2, 4, 8MB Creative generics, (which do sound shit!) but my Audigy will load any Soundfont right up to the Fluid2 (a 128MB Soundfont, which sounds really nice, (for a GM set)) also, all the soundfonts I use are free downloads from places like hammersound.
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