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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All!


I use my PC for lots of entertainment, from watching movies, recording TV, listening to music, and I dabble in music production.


I'm looking for a reasonable audio interface for under $200 that will suit my needs but not give me buyers remorse shortly after the return policy expired.


Right now my I'm using the on board audio, which has worked fine for just listening to music and watching movies. My PC is hooked up to my surround receiver via SPDIF Coax. It's nothing spectacular, it's an older JVC that supports Dolby/DTS and has both Optical & SPDIF Coax digital inputs, I'm not in the market to buy another receiver just yet, and I'm not looking to buy studio monitors anytime soon. My PC also is plugged in through Component to my TV as well, so I'm not using an HDMI connection (yet...)


System Specs.

HP M9000T

Intel DualCore 2.33ghz

4gb Ram

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

NVidia 9600GTS (Overclocked) - 2-23" Acer Monitors & Component Breakout to TV


Listening to music - ITunes mainly, or Winamp.

Watching/Recording TV - GBPVR, also watch Movies in GBPVR with K-Lite Codec Pack using ffshow to decode DTS/Dolby.

Music Production - Reason (4.01) along with some other programs, but mainly reason.


Keyboards

Axiom 49 (Just got it, and LOVE it so far)

Radium 49 (Revived now that I can use the Midi ports off the Axiom and daisy chain them!)

Korg Nano-Key (Mostly to dedicate to ReDrum or use on my laptop to toy around with)


I don't use any analog outputs really as I don't have a pair of Monitor Speakers, I use the 2nd speaker output of my receiver with a nice pair of Boston Acoustic bookshelf speakers as my monitors. So basically all of my audio runs out to my receiver.


I don't have a use for a million analog inputs, I may have a friend with his guitar hook up to it from time to time. So something with 2 or 4 analog inputs is fine with me.


My biggest concern is ASIO & Latency with Midi/Software. You know how annoying it is when you press down on a key and hear the note .5 seconds later? Or when the note comes out short or the beginning is cut off? I like to play stuff live or play along and record it into the sequencer, I hate sequencing with a mouse.


My interface choices are PCI/PCI-X and USB (too many complications with Firewire).I would like to go with USB so I could also use it on my laptop if need be, and I don't want a gang of cables hanging off of the back of my PC. I already have a bundle of wire coming out of it. But I understand that the current USB interfaces are limited for my price range. I.E. 24bit/96khz vs 24bit/192khz, limited on bandwidth only being USB 1.1?


To give you an idea of what I'm looking at. I've been looking at an M-Audio Audiophile 192, M-Audio 2496, M-Audio Fast Track Pro. A friend of mine has an older M-Audio Audiophile USB (I don't remember exactly what model number) and I have seen Reason work great with virtually no latency issues on his system.


I hope this is the right place to post this, and I hope to get some good feedback from anyone? As I said, my first option would be a USB interface for portability and also not having to reach behind my PC to hook things up, but I'd be fine with only a small bundle out of the back for a better sound card. I need the ability to have the Digital output for DTS/Dolby playback of movies, good software / hardware control and a good bit rate (24bit/96khz or better?).


Thanks Guys!
 

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Joel, the main reason you might not be seeing a reply here is that your question is bets answered by somebody who is a musician and doing the same things you are trying to do. I found several musician sites that talk about the best sound cards for musicians. In any case, I found these two devices. Maybe if I can find what you don't like and why, i can better help you find what you want. I bought a Behringer USB connected sound interface with software for the musician in the family. He didn't ever say anything about it, so I never got feedback from him. He makes some of his own instruments, and taught himself to play many different stringed instruments. He was in school band since he was very little. He is now in college and plays mostly stringed instruments. I don't think he records much of what he plays.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...Pre?sku=703092

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...DSP?sku=630166
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by massimj /forum/post/18167712


Joel, the main reason you might not be seeing a reply here is that your question is bets answered by somebody who is a musician and doing the same things you are trying to do. I found several musician sites that talk about the best sound cards for musicians. In any case, I found these two devices. Maybe if I can find what you don't like and why, i can better help you find what you want. I bought a Behringer USB connected sound interface with software for the musician in the family. He didn't ever say anything about it, so I never got feedback from him. He makes some of his own instruments, and taught himself to play many different stringed instruments. He was in school band since he was very little. He is now in college and plays mostly stringed instruments. I don't think he records much of what he plays.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...Pre?sku=703092

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...DSP?sku=630166

I've been scouring forums left and right. Basically some places show in the specs that the card supports AC3/Dolby Digital "Pass Through", what I'm confused about is does that mean if I play a movie that has DTS, Dolby Digital, any surround mix, will it broadcast that through the SPDIF Digital Coax.


I've been researching the M-Audio Audiophile 192 the past couple of days, and I'm pretty sure that's what I'm looking for. I've read that external devises tend to lag or lack in quality in some ways, so I'd rather get an internal for the same price and get a card that covers what I need. I suppose I just need someone who understands sound card lingo a bit more than I do I suppose. I remember back in the days it was simple. You buy a creative Audigy Platinum and all of your sound issues were solved.
... Now I won't walk near a creative card.
 
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