[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: sound card

a very quick disclaimer:
I'm a relative newbie to computer music composition, having been involved
with the World Beat movement for 22 years as an artist and producer so take
everything I say here with a grain of salt.   I've tried my best to 
this particular area but there is much that I am ignorant of.   If I've got
anything wrong, please help educate me and don't waste time flaming me.

I've found that the Soundblaster live card (which I used for my entire 
CD of abstract electronica) had tremendous problems with
my VIA motherboard and was advised by one of my computer gurus (Si
Moorehead, one of the geniuses at EMU/Creative) teh the VIA
motherboards are notorious for conflicts.   I finally gave up and bought a
brand new Intel motherboard and, presto,  everything is working
hunky dory.

Be advised:  I have heard that the A/D/A converters are not very good 
pro specs, certainly) and that because they use a
48k sampling rate that every time you do anything in the 44k sampling range
(like EVERYTHING having to do with CD manufacturing) that
it forces the sounds to go through this crummy conversion on the way in  
on the way out.     How I circumvented this problem
(and avoided buying an expensive DAT machine in the process) was to buy a
MidiMan FLYING COW  A/D/A converter that supports
24/96 recording, SPDIF and has balanced stereo ins and outs.   It set me
back about $350 as I remember and allows me to SPDIF everything in and out
of the SoundBlaster live card thus (I hope I've figure out correctly)
circumventing the SoundBlasters A/D/A converters all together.    I also
just read that ART has a new stereo A/D/A converter (I think called the
DI/O) which the catalogues are selling for
only $250.    As long as you buy a Sound Blaster Live card that has SPDIF 
and out (a waste of time if it doesn't) you do NOT have to spring for their
most expensive card.    If it has SPDIF it is as good a card as they make.
You just pay for the breakout box and all of their software (much of which
is pretty superfluous if you are doing serious recording/composing) by
purchasing the expensive card.
Total outlay for a pretty cool and quite setup:    $350!!!!   Not bad.  I
believe it is the cheapest way I know of achieving 'champagne' high quality
results on a 'beer' budget.

One last thing:   Windows '98 has a new version out which has really
resolved a lot of the conflicts with a lot of drivers.   Download the
upgrade and install it.  It has made a huge impact on the stability of my
system (which got pretty damn wobbly last year).   I must confess that
for music applications I still don't trust Windows ME yet.     Anybody have
any good luck stories with it, yet?
It always seems the best bet to wait two years for any Windows operating
system before they work out the kinks.

yours,   Rick Walker (loop.pool)