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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
Getting a Good Signal
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Scott013



Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: Getting a Good Signal
Subject description: Out of my computer
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I'm purchasing a Midi controller soon, and I'll be using software such as Kontakt and Reason. I want to be able to get good clean, low-lag sound out of my computer, that could possibly be fed to an amplifier. So, I think I need a soundcard, all I have now is the card that came with my computer (Realtek AC97 I think), I would imagine it doesn't have any low-lag capabilities.

So basically I just want recommendations of what I should buy. I'm a Windows/PC guy, that probably makes a difference.

My guitar teacher recommended the EDIROL UA-25, would those of you here do the same? http://www.roland.com/products/en/UA-25/features.html

Thanks.

Last edited by Scott013 on Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The M -Audio 2496 is a pretty decent and very inexpensive card. The drivers are pretty good. There are better products out there, but this one sounds good, is very basic and it will work ok with both windows and mac os x / os 9.
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Scott013



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That card seems like a good deal! Would It work in both a desktop and a laptop though? I don't know much about sound cards Razz.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nope. This is a PCI card thingie. You could of course consider the new Behringer Firewire MAC-202.
http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-8463.html

I actually own the M-Audio Audiophile 2496. I am using it in an old mac I have set up as a virtual mellotron. I have no knowledge of how good the Behringer product is. However, with a basic design like this, they can hardly go wrong.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmmm. I posted something here and it didn't show up... Better talk to the system administrator.

I use a firewire device, the MOTU 828MKII - first rate. I got a power hit here about three weeks ago and the MOTU and my motherboard burned out. I was able to get a new motherboard in about two days but the MOTU device took over two weeks. Well, I got my system up and had no choice but to use the A97 sound card builtin on the motherboard. I was expecting utter crap. I mean, the entire motherboard costed $60, how could the sound card be any good?

Turns out it is excellent. It sounded great. It has 6 channels out. I was amazed. I was very content using it until my MOTU showed up. Now I use th MOTU, but he sound of the stereo output doesn't sound any better than the A97.

The A97's output is only tiny miniplugs which aren't as robust as 1/4" phone plugs or XLR connectors, but it has digiatal optical out! That's as good as any digital out on any system. If you have a receiver that will take that, you are all set.

So, don't run out and buy something you don't need, unless you really understand completely why you don't need it. Wink

Why then would you want a new soundcard?

More ins and outs.
Convenience.
Better connectors.

If you have a desktop and a laptop, and you still want a soundcard, get a Firewire device. This will hook up to either computer with the same cable. Excellent and very convenient.

But, the A97 sounds very good.

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Scott013



Joined: Aug 16, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting, so I may not need a soundcard right away? I assume your "A97" is pretty much the same as whatever my "Realtek AC97" is. I really have no idea though.

So, if my current built in sound card is ok, how can I send it MIDI (I only have 3 1/8" jacks on it. One output (to computer speakers), one mic input, and one other input)? And will it have near-zero latency?

Thanks again for the help.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Realtek AC97 - that's it. Sorry, I was sloppy.


If you get a MIDI Controller with a USB connecter, then use that.

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Scott013



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm, sounds good.

Sorry for all the questions (I find it very hard to find this information on other parts of the internet), but just one more thing.

Would there be a big difference in the latency for the AC97 and a "good" soundcard? I've heard some things about ASIO, that it is very good to have/a neccesity for live performances. Once again... I really don't know much about this, all I know is that I don't want to hit a key and have a sound come out half a second later.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The chip you have should be fine as long as your PC has enough memory and it fast enough.

ASIO drivers were at one time much better than windows drivers, but they aren't a requirement anymore. In fact the MOTU people provide the ASIO drivers simply to be compatable with some legacy software that requires this. WDM (I think that's right) and DirectX drivers are excellent now. These are the best available now on any computer platform.

Just be aware that if you start running too many soft synths in parallel, you might run into latency problems. Many people won't use a computer like this for live performance. So, you have to be careful.

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paul e.



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Hmmm. I posted something here and it didn't show up... Better talk to the system administrator.

I use a firewire device, the MOTU 828MKII - first rate. I got a power hit here about three weeks ago and the MOTU and my motherboard burned out. I was able to get a new motherboard in about two days but the MOTU device took over two weeks. Well, I got my system up and had no choice but to use the A97 sound card builtin on the motherboard. I was expecting utter crap. I mean, the entire motherboard costed $60, how could the sound card be any good?

Turns out it is excellent. It sounded great. It has 6 channels out. I was amazed. I was very content using it until my MOTU showed up. Now I use th MOTU, but he sound of the stereo output doesn't sound any better than the A97.

...

But, the A97 sounds very good.


this probably reflects on a weakness in the MOTU and not a strength in this off-brand sound card 'realtek'..

if the realtek is comparable to the MOTU, this is a very good argument for avoiding MOTU at least

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roooareee



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You could start by using your AC97 chip along with asio4all. This turns the normal windows drivers into ASIO ones, and many people are able to get very low latencies with it, even when using it with big name soundcards instaed of their supplied drivers.
If you need more facilities, or aren't happy with the sound quality, you can always upgrade, but why spend money if it's not neccessary?

Good luck[/url]
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

paul e. wrote:

this probably reflects on a weakness in the MOTU and not a strength in this off-brand sound card 'realtek'..

if the realtek is comparable to the MOTU, this is a very good argument for avoiding MOTU at least

Dont know about that, but Realtek is only the chipset. Things also depends on what (analog) circuitery is put around it.

My laptop f.i. uses this same realtek chipset but it only has a shitty microphone input (lots of noise) and a head phone output (that is sort of usable as a line out ...).

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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

paul e. wrote:

if the realtek is comparable to the MOTU, this is a very good argument for avoiding MOTU at least


snob

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paul e.



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
paul e. wrote:

if the realtek is comparable to the MOTU, this is a very good argument for avoiding MOTU at least


snob


i had to look that smiley up...yes, i guess it is a bit snobby hehe

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The MOTU 828 mrk.2 is in fact very good. Technically the analog part of it is also very decent and it should not really be difficult to make it sound better than the Realtek.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I wouldn't buy another one though.
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