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PC soundcard upgrade vs. outboard USB interface?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by JohnL, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Is there (sonically) a reason that I should upgrade my PC's soundcard vs. an outboard USB unit? (Specifically, I'm looking at the Tascam US-122) The Tascam seems very flexible and portable, but I don't really know enough about internal soundcards (I was also considering one of the M Audio cards)to know what the advantage/disadvantages would be.
  2. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Forgot to mention that both options are about the same, price-wise, and based on the price range, I am just wondering about sonic differences, if any. Thanks!
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    PCI will always give you lower latencies than USB. So if you need low latency, go PCI. USB will give you more flexibility in terms of portability.
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    PCI cards, or at least some of those with analog ins and outs, are more prone to picking up RF interference (generated by various components in your computer), which will distort and degrade your audio. I had a POS "professional" :rolleyes: sound card which did exactly this. Noise floor was at times at -20 dB, which is outrageously bad. I don't think USB units in general are as likely to share this problem. But quality PCI cards shouldn't have it either.
  5. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    That's interesting. The Tascam site claims the USB unit to have zero latency. I wonder if it's a little "creative" advertising on their part?

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